Diane on the Road: May 27-31

During this non-parliament sitting week Diane will be meeting with constituents and industry stakeholders throughout the South West region.

Engagements for the week commencing 27/5:

  • Monday:
    • Meeting with Dardanup Environmental Action Group
  • Tuesday:
    • Climate Action Summit at Margaret River Pro, featuring Tim Flannery and Ben Elton
  • Wednesday:
    • Meeting with Lower Blackwood LCDC
    • Demystifying Democracy Community Seminar, Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes
  • Thursday:
    • Various meetings throughout the Bunbury, Dwellingup and Mandurah regions.

If you’d like to speak to Diane about an issue that matters to you, get in touch to see if she will be visiting near you!

Petition to Reopen the Railway Line Between Bunbury and Greenbushes

Later this year I will present a petition to parliament to reopen the railway line between Bunbury and Greenbushes on behalf of concerned members of the South West community.

In anticipation of this, I encourage everybody who supports freight on rail to print copies and collect at least 20 signatures.

This petition must be returned to my office by 1 August 2019 (details below). This petition must not be altered or otherwise marked up or amended. Only original signatures are permitted.

Please return this Petition by 1 August 2019 to:
Hon. Diane Evers MLC of PO Box 949, West Perth WA 6872

Petition Greenbushes to Bunbury Railway Reinstatement

The transport of lithium is a significant issue requiring serious and urgent consideration from government. Over the past year I have supported calls for the State Government to pursue the improvement and development of railway infrastructure from the Talison Greenbushes mine.

With the potential impact of substantial increases in truck traffic through the local community and along South Western Highway as a result of road freight movements, a rail freight solution between the lithium mine, lithium refineries and the ports of Bunbury and Kwinana needs serious consideration. Read More

Greens Joy at Greens Pool Win

A disallowance motion in the upper house of WA Parliament was defeated on Thursday, upholding a McGowan Government decision to ban fishing at Denmark’s idyllic Greens Pool.

Almost 1000 people signed a petition to protect the popular sanctuary prior to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s announcement of the ban and The Greens (WA) fisheries and marine spokesperson Diane Evers claimed the decision as a win for the community.

Ms Evers, who voted to uphold the ban, welcomed a result that would see the popular location maintained as a family-friendly swimming spot.

Ms Evers had been liaising with the community prior to the announcement of the ban in December last year and said the feedback following the rejection of the disallowance motion has been unanimously supportive.

A fishing ban maintains the marine environment for public appreciation, without the risk of interaction with fishing lines and spear guns.

Greens Pool, a centrepiece of William Bay National Park, is situated between Denmark and Walpole and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“Greens Pool is a world-class natural tourist destination and asset to the south coast and the State and I was pleased to support the ban placed on all fishing at Greens Pool.

“Living in the South West and having enjoyed Greens Pool many times in the past, I recognise that this change creates a sanctuary that can be safely enjoyed by local residents and the many visitors.

“I am committed to protecting our marine and coastal biodiversity and support the ecologically sustainable management of marine environments that reduce the pressure from human activities.

“While I appreciate the place recreational fishing has within our society, these protective measures are being placed on a very small and very significant, part of the southern coast.

“The benefit to the community is great and there remain many alternative opportunities available to recreational fishers.

“I would point to the consultation process in particular as evidence of this, as 10 per cent of local voters signed the petition to support the ban.

“That is a significant sample size and there was no equivalent depth of opposition.

“Sometimes common sense wins out and in this case I’m delighted this is the outcome.”

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Climate Change Emergency No Influence on WA budget

The Greens (WA) finance spokesperson Diane Evers believes the McGowan Government should show more leadership on climate change after the 2019-20 State Budget was handed down on Thursday.

Ms Evers welcomed a return to surplus but said the overall strategies to combat the climate emergency must improve.

Water Minister Dave Kelly declared a water deficiency in the Shire of Ravensthorpe on Tuesday and was clear in acknowledging climate change had contributed to low rainfall in the region.

However, despite several WA Labor members mentioning climate change in parliament this week, there was no allocation for climate change strategies in yesterday’s budget papers.

Ms Evers appreciates additional funds for the Enhanced Prescribed Burning program but would prefer they were more specifically targeted towards wildfire mitigation and control.

The lack of additional investment in natural resource management (NRM) is of significant concern.

Despite the need for prioritisation of environmental and social programs, Ms Evers recognised that this budget would benefit businesses and the state economy.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“This is a responsible budget from an economic perspective but the need remains to protect our way of life by combating the harm to our society and environment due to climate change.

“Premier McGowan called for more national leadership on climate change in March, neglecting his own responsibility at a state level.

“In this budget, three times as much money will be spent on the fossil fuel industry than on only two very specific renewable energy projects.

“Mr McGowan and Treasurer Wyatt could listen more closely to their own colleagues in parliament, as climate change is clearly on their agenda, as it is for next week’s federal election.

“Prioritising within a budget is important but the Government’s focus remains broadly on large projects, when regional WA has a vast array of needs that may be most efficiently addressed through small business and diversified enterprises.

“I would like to have seen an increase in funds allocated to NRM, especially as the Australian Greens are committed to restoring the significant national funding cuts in this area over the past two decades.

“The $5.5 million per year provided to the Enhanced Prescribed Burning program is of concern, as we are missing out on developing more effective bushfire mitigation strategies in favour of a quantity-over-quality approach.

“I do welcome increased funding to create new national and marine parks over the next five years and to build recreation facilities at Ningaloo Coastal Reserve and invest in Ngari Capes Marine Park, along with significant investment in the agriculture and fisheries sector.

“Knowing there are key effectiveness indicators in the budget for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to drive quality outcomes for agricultural soil health and improved fish stocks is encouraging.

“I feel like my advocacy over the past two years in these areas is being listened to, which is a good outcome for any crossbencher.

“It was disappointing last week to learn that a planned solar farm in Collie has been cancelled and funding redirected in the budget to an as-yet unclear Industry Attraction and Development Fund.

“However, funding for the Collie Adventure Trails initiative, DFES multipurpose facility in Collie and the Collie Futures Fund are good starting points towards a much-needed and comprehensive transition for the town.

“I will reserve final judgement until the highly anticipated economic development plan for Collie and Bunbury is delivered later this year.

“It cannot be ignored that an iron ore windfall has bolstered the makeup of this budget and its subsequent surplus.

“We have seen previous governments squander this in the past, and expect better from this Government.

“I will continue to press hard for the Government to future-proof our communities and lands as part of fully integrated strategies factoring a changing climate at the forefront — while we still can.”

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

SFIS Support Announcement a Scheming Sales Stunt

A desperate Morrison Government is prioritising cheap vote-grabbing over farmers’ interests by announcing pre-election funding for the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS), according to The Greens (WA) water spokesperson Diane Evers.

In a media interview following the announcement, WA Nationals MP Terry Redman confirmed the funding had been passed by federal cabinet prior to the election being called on April 11, but the announcement by Liberal member for O’Connor Rick Wilson did not occur until yesterday.

With the announcement in Manjimup occurring the same day pre-polling opened, Ms Evers believes the poorly concealed strategy will not wash with the majority of disenfranchised local farmers.

Of 452 agricultural businesses in the Southern Forests Region, only 68 have chosen to join the SFIS, with farm-owners’ pledges of $10 million to be eclipsed by $59 million of taxpayer funding.

As a result, the scheme will see a minority of local landowners subsidised by significant government support based on stakeholders’ ability to buy-in, with others along the pipeline only able to access the water by purchasing it off their neighbours.

A number of approvals remain pending before the scheme can go ahead, such as last month’s determination by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that a full environmental assessment of the SFIS would be required.

Water for the scheme will be pumped from the Donnelly River into a dam at Record Brook.

Ms Evers highlighted potential issues of water availability for local farmers and the downstream supply for farmers and the environment.

Quotes attributed to Diane Evers MLC:

“This has always been a ‘first-in, best-dressed’ process and I am very disappointed to now see further funding allocated on the day pre-polls open.

“This was clearly planned well in advance but it is not going to win over people, as the scheme will only benefit a few wealthy landowners.

“Locals want to use water and will be hindered by the SFIS, but I intend to ensure the community — those who are missing out — are helped to be given the loudest voice.

“We also need to see the EPA assessment carried out, in particular with regard to the environmental needs for water downstream.

“With observable climate change and less rainfall, I am very concerned with how the state intends to manage water supplies.

“Forests require water to thrive and the sheer fact is that water will be taken from the Warren-Donnelly catchment area to serve a privileged few.

“Those people and corporations who purchased land with limited water supply, will now get water subsidised by the state and federal governments..

“To add insult to injury, pipelines for the supply of water will even go over the lands of those who are not entitled to access it.

“At its core, this is a scheme of inequity and unfairness, with original claims about its benefits to jobs growth constantly being revised downward.

“In fact, at least a quarter of this water supply will be to serve existing farm needs, and there are suggestions that figure may be higher given decreasing annual rainfall.

“I remain hopeful the EPA assessment may be where this scheme stalls and I’m sure a great number of people will be working to present fair evidence to support such an outcome.

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070