Government Pinched by Lobster’s Flaws

The Greens (WA) has announced today, after consultation with government and industry stakeholders, it will not support the State Government’s proposed changes to the western rock lobster industry in its current form.

Marine and coastal issues spokesperson Diane Evers says the plan did not hit the mark in key areas of concern and could not be supported as is.

“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure our resources are managed sustainably. Resource management and further development of the plan, in consultation with the industry, must be addressed before any changes take place,” she said.

“Commercial intervention by a government, with economic objectives that do not align with environmental sustainability, is unacceptable.

“The Government has tabled a commercial plan for a five-year-plus period, despite sustainable catch quotas being based on four-year breeding projections — these goals of conservation and profit are in conflict.”

The proposed changes, announced in December last year by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly, suggested increasing the commercial catch to 8,000 tonnes, with the Government to create a 17 per cent commercial stake.

Ms Evers pointed to the Forest Products Commission operations in the timber industry as an example of a failed system.

“The fact is, the government’s management of the forest through FPC has failed in that it is not protecting the native forest and it is failing to return a profit” she said.

“We do not want to see another example of this bad model when it comes to a publically owned resource.

“Furthermore the Minister for State, in this case Premier McGowan, has powers available to override the Fisheries Minister — and science — should he desire increased revenue over the sustainability of the lobster resource.”

Ms Evers has held numerous meetings on the matter and says the rationale of the Government and the lack of detail in the plan has failed to convince her.

“From what has been communicated, it appears that the consultation process from the Government has been far from sufficient,” she said.

“I have no confidence in their process of collaboration with the industry, and while I have given the matter fair consideration, the lack of real engagement with industry on top of the potential damage to the resource makes this impossible to support.

“When you consider the fact that these changes could affect the industry’s Marine Stewardship Council Certification, it is clear the Government is taking a big risk with this policy.”

Get in touch:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Delay a signal of trial in error

The Greens (WA) marine and coastal issues spokesperson Diane Evers has reiterated calls for the State Government to cancel the proposed smart drum-line trial to be held near Gracetown in early 2019.

The state opposition has accused Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly of trying to sabotage the measure and Ms Evers considers his department’s referral of the trial to the Environmental Protection Authority as a signal of it being a bad idea.

“The government knows this is not a good scheme — they agreed to it for political reasons,” she said.

“I fully support the need to take effective steps to minimise the risks of shark attacks while protecting the ocean ecosystem, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest that smart drum-lines are effective.

“Delaying the trial is not necessarily worth criticising the government for — but approving it in the first place under pressure from Canberra is.”

Ms Evers recently made a submission to the Environment and Public Affairs Committee on the matter and believes the smart drum-line trial may pose unacceptable risks to sharks and people.

“To date, there have been no independent reviews undertaken on smart drum-lines regarding their ability to reduce shark bites and increase ocean-user safety,” she said.

“Without evidence to prove their effectiveness, there is a potential risk that the baited smart drum-lines could attract more sharks from the deeper ocean to the area or increase the shark presence in another area.

The ongoing issue of a decomposing whale carcass in Yallingup as evidence coastal issues need better management strategies than currently seen.

“A whale carcass has been stranded on the rocks at Wyadup since August, just 20km away from where the smart drum-line trial is to be held at Gracetown,” she said.

“While I oppose the concept of a baited drumline as a solution to improving safety to humans in the water, having even more ‘bait’ nearby in the form of a carcass would surely affect any trial outcomes.

“There is no point of a trial if there are whale carcasses attracting sharks to the area.

Ms Evers recognised the need for a statewide approach to marine and coastal issues, and the imperative to protect ocean-users.

“The Greens (WA) share the drive for human safety and the need to provide appropriate standards to mitigate the loss of human life,” she said.

“However, Minister Kelly knows this is a bad idea and does not support his government’s own scheme.

“In fact, it would appear we are not addressing management strategies that could make ocean-use safer to the public.”

“Let’s end smart drum-line trials and seek evidence-based approaches to ensuring the safety of both the public and sharks in their natural habitat.”

Get in touch:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

EversGreen: October-December ’18

With the year drawing to a close, I hope everyone takes an opportunity to reflect on their successes and look forward to new challenges.

It is a privilege to be speaking up for the South West and knowing there is much more hard work to come, which fills me with excitement about what may be achieved in the future.

Throughout the next two years you can be assured I will be supporting our farmers. I will be in our forests, protecting our precious landscapes and opposing inappropriate regional development. I continue to hold the State Government to account in parliament and in my role on the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee. But most importantly of all, I will continue meeting with you, the South West community. Your voice is my voice – together we can continue to build a future for all of us.

Warmest wishes for the festive season and a happy new year to you and your loved ones,

Diane

YOONDADADUP LAKE JASPER: TOO BEAUTIFUL TO MINE

There was an outpouring of online support in October when I shared speculation the State Government had approved a mining lease at Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake, Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.

While a mining lease has not yet been approved, I was subsequently pleased when Environment Minister Stephen Dawson responded to my questions in parliament on the matter by indicating he will write to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston to suspend consideration of a mining lease application.

Following this, in early December I camped overnight at Yoondadadup Lake Jasper as part of the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition’s ‘Camp on the Country’, joining Indigenous custodians and strong committed campaigners ready-and-waiting to make a difference.

There is no reason a mining lease should proceed – and I will be seeking to ensure this land is returned to D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

I encourage concerned community members to learn more and get involved by visiting savelakejasper.org.au

HEALTHY OCEANS NEED SHARKS

Thousands oppose a baited shark drumline trial ‒ and in November, prior to tabling a petition to support such opposition, I made a member’s statement in parliament to explain why.

The tabled petition, with 198 signatures opposing the WA Fisheries S.M.A.R.T. Drumline Trial, was supported by an online version signed by 7000 others who believe a trial of S.M.A.R.T. Drumlines lacks supporting evidence, increases risks to beach users and would have a harmful effect on our precious marine life.

DUNSBOROUGH DONE WITH PUMA

Some great news came from the Court of Appeal on December 2, with the announcement that a 2017 Supreme Court ruling allowing the development of a 24-hour Puma convenience store and petrol station on Dunn Bay Road has been overturned.

This development was proposed at a central location and it would have undermined community and Council expectations and decisions regarding the development of their town.

Development needs to be approved in line with community desires – it is not good enough to simply allow big operators to come in and make it unviable for existing operators.

For the past three years Tony Sharp and the community group Puma2Go have championed overwhelming community opposition to this development. Knowing our communities are being heard is encouraging and I hope the developers, the consortium Dunsborough Centrepoint Shopping Centre, will now abandon their plans.

GREEN PUSH FOR GREENBUSHES RAIL

I have been advocating for a freight rail solution at the Talison Lithium mine in Greenbushes throughout 2018. Lithium mining is growing in Western Australia and discussions are being held to consider reopening the Tier 3 Greenbushes–Bunbury rail line.

I also met with Talison Lithium general manager of operations Craig Dawson prior to a well-attended community meeting at the Greenbushes District Hall on December 5. We discussed a rail solution and the possibility of a conveyor belt option to avoid road-based freight impacting on the town.

Many in the local community support a rail solution, rather than trucks transporting lithium through their town to Kemerton, Kwinana and Bunbury Port. Current and future Governments will be expected to maintain and improve any road truck routes – opening the rail line would lessen this burden considerably.

We need this rail line. A considerable amount of infrastructure is needed, but the benefits would be ongoing. Reopening the line would require considerable infrastructure and the Federal Government can be approached to contribute along with state funding and Arc Infrastructure, who lease the line. The timber industry has also expressed interest in using the line.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS FOR SWEET DEAL

I am investigating concerns about a share-farming agreement on land near Walpole, for which the Water Corporation will receive a portion of revenue from the production of honey products.

Under the terms of the deal, three blocks of land owned by Water Corporation in the Walpole water catchment area will be sprayed with glyphosate to kill pasture, then planted with an introduced-species of tea tree.

The Walpole community is fighting this proposal and have a petition circulating to try to stop the project. The community want to be involved in the process for determining the best use of this land.

The risk of introducing an invasive species and of heavy glyphosate use in the catchment demands these community concerns be raised in parliament.

SOUTH WEST, PARLIAMENT & BEYOND…

There were many other issues I looked at in the past few months, including:

  • My member’s statement on Industrial Hemp – October 17
  • Petition tabled in Parliament opposed to the development of Greenpatch, Dalyellup – October 30
  • Albany Agricultural Show – November 9-10
  • Petition tabled in Parliament opposed to the proposed southern section of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road – November 20
  • My member’s statement to mark National Agriculture Day – November 21
  • Joining the weekly Asylum Seekers Action Group vigil in Albany – November 24
  • My first Pride march – also November 24!
  • Debating the motion of Bushfire Preparedness – November 29
  • The Big School Walkout for Climate Change – November 30
  • Supporting West Papua’s Independence Day – December 1

You can contact me by calling the office on 08 9486 8070, or emailing southwest.evers@mp.wa.gov.au

Summary of my activitiesOctober — December 2018

Events attended:

Act Belong Commit wearable art exhibition opening Bunbury | A Future for All of Us – Richard Di Natale | Focused on Forests Event – Margaret River | Ghandi Exhibition at Parliament House | Regenerative Agriculture: The Guts Governing Our Food | Food for Thought Festival | Wide Open Agriculture with Charles Massey | Host a Girl Guide – Girls Take Over Parliament | WA Forest Alliance’s Forests For Life: Science Forum | Opening of the Capel Civic Precinct | Bunbury Surf to Surf Fun Run | Mandurah Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition | John Austin Survey II Opening Exhibition | Torbay Catchment Group – Poornarti Cultural Tour with Joey Williams – Denmark | Clean State launch – CCWA | Constitutional Centre Lecture Series: Early voting and its effects on election | WA South West Regional Economic Update – Bunbury | Green Fair Albany | Albany Agricultural Show | Albany Roller Derby Swap Meet | Greens National Conference | Kinjarling Djinda Ngardak 2018 Gala Dinner | Big Gay Pride Dance Party Albany Roller Derby | Snap Action against Fracking | Shield of Voices Exhibition Launch | Manjimup Cherry Festival | Save Lake Jasper Camp out

Rallies attended:

Reverse the Education Cuts | Destruction of natural open space in Perth | Don’t Frack WA | School Strike 4 Climate | McGowan, don’t rope us into a fracked future!

Meetings:
Headspace | Allanson Primary School | Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions | Forest Products Commission | WA Farmers Bee Keepers Section & Bee Industry Council of WA | Friends of Gelorup | Hemp Growers Association | Real Estate Industry WA | Hemp Milk Co. | Frederick Irwin Anglican School | Guide Guides WA | John Calvin School | Meadow Springs Primary School | Southern Forests Irrigation Committee  | Sabrina Hahn at Stonemeal Farm | Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group | Gelorup Residents | Talison Lithium Pty Ltd. | Greenbushes | Greenbushes Residents | Donnelly River Farmers

Member’s Statements:
Ihemposium – Industrial Hemp Industry | Silvicultural and Agricultural Practices | Lake Mullocullup | Jordan Steele-John – One Young World Politician of the Year | Mining – Lake Jasper | National Agriculture Day | Sharks – Hazard Mitigation – Drumline | Bunbury – Greenbushes Rail Line – Lithium Mining

Briefings:

GM Farming Legislation | Arc Infrastructure | The impact of harvesting trees, including jarrah and karri, on beekeepers in the SW | The future of the Australia–India economic relationship | Water allocation in Manjimup | The development and use of the draft regional conservation plans and the FMP review process | Structure Plan for Lot 660 Goode Beach | Animal Welfare Amendment Bill | Encouraging the next generation of female representation into WA politics | Water Licensing Fees Discussion Paper | Reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972

Motions:
Payroll Tax | Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2017 | Live Export | Duties Amendment Bill 2018 | South West Forests – Economic Opportunities Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 – Disallowance | Health Services (Information) Amendment Regulations 2018 – Disallowance | Select Committee into the Government’s Local, Projects, Local Jobs Program | Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choice | Agriculture – Innovation | Bushfire Preparedness

Interviews:
Live panel interview SW ABC In Tha House program | ABC South West the Drum

Questions Asked in Parliament:

Structure plan Goode Beach, Albany | Water – Desalination | Barrabup Forest Logging | Bunbury Outer Ring Road | Forest Products Commission – “Forest Management Plan 2014-2023” | Integrated Timber Processing Yard – Expression of Interest 22/2017 | Salinity – Management | Green Patch Development | Sensitive Sites Map | Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee – Section 18 Notice | State Forest39 – Lease 2933/97 | Galaxy Resources – Lithium Mine – Dust Management | Conservation and Land Management Executive Body | Mining – Gingilup – Jasper Wetland System | Lake Jasper – Jangardup Mineral Sand Mine – Acid Sulphate Plume | Dieback – Mundaring-Albany Four Wheel Drive Route | Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme | Bunbury – Greenbushes Rail Line – Lithium Mining | Walpole and ManukaLife

Petitions:
Greenpatch Development – Dalyellup | Bunbury Outer Ring Road Route | Mining Lake Jasper | Sharks – Hazard Mitigation – Drumline Trial