Forests Follow-Through Necessary From Government

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has expressed happiness at the WA Government’s delivery on its commitment to reinstate Yoondadadup Lake Jasper into D’Entrecasteaux National Park, while noting that other promises await Government follow-through.

The reinstatement of Yoondadadup Lake Jasper follows on from many years of hard work by community representatives and environmental group the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition to protect the natural environment.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for wetlands, said she congratulated the community on its actions to ensure Western Australia’s largest body of freshwater can be protected, once and for all.

On Wednesday, Ms Evers wrote to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson regarding additions proposed to formal reserves in the Forest Management Plan as a reminder of his Government’s further environmental protection commitments. 

In her letter, Ms Evers referred to her parliamentary questioning of Minister Dawson August 2020, when she queried why one quarter of forest outlined for protection remained without the statutory measures promised, as outlined in the Forest Management Plan 2014-23.

In response, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson stated that a key consideration in finalising the gazettal of the proposed additions was the outcome of the South West Native Title Settlement (SWNTS), for which legal challenges were subsequently exhausted in November 2020.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“I’m so pleased to extend another deserved congratulations to the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition and its co-conveners, Andy Russell and Geoff Evans, who deserve so much credit after decades of effort.

“Today, Yoondadadup Lake Jasper is finally safe from the threat of destructive mining at the site once-and-for-all – I have been proud to support your efforts over my past four years in WA Parliament and hope to continue doing so in the future.

“The next step for this Government is to follow-through on commitments to finalising the gazettal of the proposed additions to formal reserves, as outlined in the Forest Management Plan 2014-23, now that legal challenges to South West Native Title Settlement have been dealt with.

“Now that the legal challenges to the SWNTS have been finalised, I Minister Dawson you to expedite the process for gazetting the remaining additions. 

“Promising to deliver this in the immediate future would signify the Government is serious in its commitments to protect the environment and that it is listening to communities.

“With over 200,000ha to be gazetted, but only a tiny portion of this completed so far, the work to continue our environmental protection goes on.”

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

Late-Term SFIS Opposition a Disappointing Election Ploy

Greens MLC Diane Evers has questioned the motivations of fellow South West Region MP Colin Tincknell, after the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party representative expressed opposition to the long-running issue of the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS) last week.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for regional development and water, has represented the West Manjimup community’s concerns about the SFIS in WA Parliament since the first year of her term, including several critical member’s statements to communicate her extensive community consultation on the issue.

Ms Evers said that while she welcomed common sense criticism of the scheme, she also wondered why it had taken four years for Mr Tincknell to speak out on such a divisive issue in his electorate, anticipating that the proximity to the March 13 WA State Election may be a factor.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“It is clear to all those who look at the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme that it is an inequitable water trading scheme, 85 per cent funded by taxpayers, but locking out 85 per cent of farming businesses.

“While I welcome growing calls for the WA Labor Government to see sense when it comes to the SFIS, I ask the Hon. Colin Tincknell MLC – where were you three years ago?

“Mr Tincknell’s statement opposing the SFIS strikes me as cynical electioneering just weeks from a state election, when the community has been calling for fair consultation and representation for many years.

“It is a shame that the West Manjimup community haven’t received stronger leadership on this issue from other members of parliament during this term.

“It is bad enough that the proponents have dragged their heels on the project timeline to delay an Environmental Public Review until after the 2021 State Election and that the modelling for projected water availability has been torn to pieces by a respected hydrologist and former director general of the Department of Water, Kim Taylor.

“The WA Labor Government has been clear in its intentions to sweep this issue under the table, but the community chorus has only swelled and the time has come for the Government to show leadership and stop the SFIS.

“Western Australia is dealing with water rights based on an Act from 1914 and a reliance on rainfall data going back to 1975 – with good forest and the world’s tallest karri tree at risk from environmental impact, the SFIS must be stopped. 

“We must not damn the Donnelly.”

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