COVID-19 in Western Australia

  • Cases
  • Tested (negative)
  • Cases (positive)
  • Recovered
  • Deaths
  • Unknown source
  • Total
  • 35,155
  • 550
  • 495
  • 8
  • 16

Greens Call for No One to be Left Behind

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has encouraged the McGowan Government to take further steps as part of its economic stimulus response to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for finance, said initial stimulus measures to freeze household charges and fees were the minimum required during a time of unprecedented economic and social disruption, and highlighted areas of opportunity to enact a positive response throughout Western Australia.

Areas of focus indicated by Ms Evers included protective measures for those with health, social or domestic vulnerabilities as well as those within struggling industries as a result of current circumstances such as arts, tourism, retail and hospitality.

Ms Evers said a response to the current emergency could involve job-making innovations in infrastructure and education, as well as ensuring rural and regional communities were not left behind. 

Key objections

  • Too much focus on economic stimulus of an already flagging economy prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, WA needs to do more to protect people and workers 
  • Freezing of cost increases is maintenance of the status quo, not stimulus 

Key demands

  • Infrastructure boost to increase low-cost public and crisis accommodation to protect the most vulnerable in Perth and in the regions
  • Provide additional support to organisations in arts, tourism, hospitality and retail sectors
  • Make online TAFE courses free to enable workers to upskill during self isolation

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“The McGowan Government’s COVID-19 economic response constitutes the minimum measures expected from a government focussed on financial stability. 

“This is a challenging moment in time and a freeze on economic increases can only be a first step, much more will be required to provide stimulus at a state level. 

“We also need to do more for those most in need, including those in regional and rural Western Australia, to ensure no one is left behind.

“There are a range of health measures being enacted by the government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 at this response stage, but a front-foot approach is required to provide safety and security to the most vulnerable in society. 

“People experiencing existing hardships will have their situations compounded by this health emergency. 

“Those without homes, with existing health issues or those in volatile domestic situations will need varied support. 

“Without a targeted economic response for these people – which requires even more consideration when placed in rural and regional contexts – there will be a wider social impact.

“There is an urgent need to invest more in building low-cost social and crisis housing, this can be implemented locally and provide employment opportunities in regional communities.

“Consideration must be given to people in seasonal or casual work who will struggle to meet their basic needs, such as making online TAFE resources available at no cost for workers who wish to upskill whilst in isolation.

“Now is the time to ensure strategies are enacted to bolster our arts, tourism, retail and hospitality sectors as they each experience an anticipated, but uncharted, decline.

“I expect the McGowan Government to make use of their recent half year budget surplus to urgently do more in the coming days and weeks to ensure stimulus measures do not allow those at risk to fall through the gaps. 

“I acknowledge that a great deal of responsibility falls at a federal level to respond to COVID-19, but our approach to this health emergency must be proactive and positive from an economic standpoint at a state level also. 

“Finally, I encourage people, while practising social distancing, to remain connected to their communities, support your local community groups who provide for those most in need – this is always where the most important support comes from when responding to times of difficulty.”

GET IN TOUCH:

Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Support Your Environment Through Royalties for Regions


Diane’s Royalties for Regions Amendment Bill 2019 will be brought on for debate this week in the Legislative Council of Western Australia. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Royalties for Regions Act 2009 to ensure that environmental purposes are adequately reflected in Royalties for Regions funding.

This Bill provides a simple mechanism by which Western Australians can be sure that there is adequate provision for environmental programs in our regional communities by seeking to allocate 10 per cent of Royalties for Regions funding to Natural Resource Management groupsbut it needs your support. 

You cannot have vibrant regions and strong economies without a healthy environment and biodiversity, and nvestment in the environment is vital for regional communities, especially for the NRM groups that administer environmental programs.

If you agree that Royalties for Regions needs reform to promote and facilitate environmental programs and spending, please contact your Upper House member and encourage them to support this Bill by sending them the letter below, amended as appropriate.



Dear Dr Talbot/Dr Thomas/Ms Farina/Mr Tincknell/Mr Holt,

I would like to bring it to your attention that the Hon. Diane Evers’s Royalties for Regions Amendment Bill, seeking to allocate 10 per cent of Royalties for Regions funding to Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups, will be discussed in the Legislative Council this coming Thursday, March 19. 

Investment in the environment is vital for regional communities, especially for the NRM groups that administer environmental programs. Environmental spending now will deliver intergenerational benefits, ensuring that industries such as agriculture and tourism can be sustainable, and our incredible biodiversity and nature is able to be enjoyed into the future. NRM groups can make a small amount of funding go a long way, but it is so important that they have certainty and stability – a strong foundation for their incredible work in regional communities.

To date, Royalties for Regions funding has focussed overwhelmingly on business and economic investment whilst leaving the environment to fight for funding from consolidated revenue. This Bill will ensure the resourcing of organisations that are committed to preserving our natural wealth is secure. 

I encourage you to support Ms Evers’ Bill in your role as a member of the Legislative Council and ensure more is done to protect the integral work regional NRM groups do to care for our environment.

Yours faithfully,

XXX

Region – South West

Hon. Adele Farina MLC
Email: southwesteo@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9721 1165

Hon. Colin James Holt MLC
Email: colin.holt@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9724 1181

Hon. Dr Sally Elizabeth Talbot MLC
Email: sally.talbot@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9725 3711

Hon. Dr Steven (Steve) Caldwell Thomas MLC
Email: steve.thomas@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9757 9555

Hon. Colin Richard Tincknell MLC
Email: colin.tincknell.mlc@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9486 8106

Region – Mining and Pastoral

Hon. Jacqui Ellen Boydell MLC
Email: jacqui.boydell@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9144 4187

Hon. Stephen Noel Dawson
Email: minister.dawson@dpc.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 6552 5800

Hon. Kyle Owen McGinn MLC
Email: miningpastoral.mcginn@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9022 7003

Hon. Robin David Scott MLC
Email: robin.scott@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9093 1455

Hon. Kenneth (Ken) Charles Baston
Email: ken.baston@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9193 7044

Region – Agriculture

Hon. Martin Aldridge MLC
Email: martin.aldridge@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9576 0141

Hon. James (Jim) Edward Chown MLC
Email: jim.chown@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9481 0082

Hon. Colin Stephen de Grussa MLC
Email: colin.degrussa@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9921 4818

Hon. Laurie William Graham MLC
Email: laurie.graham@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9621 1999

Hon. Ricky (Rick) John Mazza
Email: rick.mazza@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9481 6070

Hon. Darren Legh West MLC
Email: darren.west.mp@mp.wa.gov.au
Ph: (08) 9964 1001

New Questions Asked After Native Forests Freeze

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has celebrated news that 2020 will be the first year since logging began in Western Australia that no karri forests will fall on public land, but has urged vigilance on how to proceed with forest protection into the future.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forestry, was encouraged to see progress has been made after three years of public and private campaigning during her term as member for the South West Region to see WA native forests protected.

However, she remained concerned by the Forest Products Commission’s advice that native timber volumes will be maintained without harvesting two-tier karri areas.

Ms Evers said the ability for FPC to continue meeting these targets under the current Forest Management Plan (FMP) demonstrated that more needs to be done by the McGowan Government to protect mature native forests from logging and she has plans to introduce a Bill to WA Parliament seeking to repeal the Forest Products Act.

Ms Evers reiterated the need to disband the Forest Products Commission as part of these measures, citing the serious detriment to the forest alongside consistent financial losses of the commission.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“I’m encouraged to see change in the native forest industry and greater protection of native forests, even if this is only a short-term measure.

“The question remains as to how the FPC intends to maintain its logging volumes despite excluding two-tiered karri from this year’s harvest plan.

“I would like assurances that mature trees in the region’s jarrah forests will also be protected.

“After decades of clearing, over-cutting and general mismanagement, many of our native forest and woodland ecosystems have been left fragmented, degraded and in need of protection and restoration.

“It is imperative the Forest Products Act must be repealed and the Forest Products Commission disbanded — I will not be satisfied until commercial logging of WA’s native forests is finished.

“This is in part caused through the existence of a regulatory body tasked with both making a buck and managing the environment.

“There is no mandate or reason to log native forests and McGowan Government has a responsibility to ensure the native forest industry — making up less than a quarter of the entire sector— is transitioned to a sustainable plantation model that protects the environment as well as employment in the region.

“This halt on logging of mature karri forests in the South West Region is a culmination of years of tireless work from The Greens (WA) members and forest protection campaigners, and I give full credit an entire community who have given their immeasurable time and effort.”

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