Declaration of Rebellion Rally – WA Parliament

New week, new energy – but with plenty generated from last Thursday’s Extinction Rebellion demonstration.

Diane was proud to join The Greens (WA) climate change spokesperson Tim Clifford MLC to represent these concerns, as well as her Greens Colleagues Robin Chapple MLC and Alison Xamon MLC.

As the remarkable School Strike 4 Climate activists have shown, there are loud and committed voices calling on government to do more and address the climate crisis.

Diane thanks those who turned up in the spirit of peace and non-violence.

Harassment Claims As Local Farmers Call For Government Intervention

KEY POINTS:

  • Harassment of local businesses who supported June petition to stop the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme
  • Local farmers call on McGowan Government to withdraw funding
  • Massive community opposition outnumbering support
  • Water trading scheme yet to pass environmental review
  • Planned community gathering for Friday, 23rd of August

Heavy-handed intimidation tactics are being employed in response to growing public opposition against the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS), according to concerned members of the local community. The claims come ahead of a community gathering at impact site to be attended by South West MLC Diane Evers next Friday — and after almost 1,000 members of the South West community signed a petition requesting that the SFIS be stopped.

Information in the publicly available petition to WA Parliament, which was tabled by Ms Evers in June, is alleged to have been used by backers of the SFIS to identify and target those who signed the document. Local sources indicated the harassment of businesses in the region by several pro-SFIS individuals took the form of threats to end long-standing trading relationships as a consequence of supporting the petition.

According to the Legislative Council Administration Office, if a petitioner is subjected to any treatment in the nature of harassment or interference, this may be considered a contempt of the Council and penalties may be imposed on offenders.

John Kilrain, a West Manjimup farmer who opposes the SFIS, said he was worried tensions could worsen and called on the McGowan Government to act in the public interest.

“Intimidation in the region is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” he said.
“If it continues, those doing so will be held accountable.
“The State Government needs to get a better understanding of just how little support exists for this water trading scheme, and withdraw its funding before this escalates.
“Everyone needs to live in this community and was good friends until this water trading scheme came about.
“We don’t want this getting personal, our community has always been united previously.”

Yanmah farmer Brian Vallentine agreed that the McGowan Government should withdraw funding and that claims of harassment and interference were against the spirit of community.

“This behaviour is not on, people have a right to freedom of speech and they exercised it by signing the petition,” he said.
“The best thing that could happen is if the State Government withdrew its funding.”

Mr Kilrain said the water trading scheme, which could yet be rejected by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) after it requested a Public Environmental Review in April, could not be supported.

“The current proposal is environmentally, sustainably and economically not acceptable,” he said.
“The interests of the few have been prioritised over that of the many, caused by a lack of consultation and not following due process.”

Despite there being 452 agricultural businesses in the Southern Forests Region, only 70 people have chosen to join the SFIS, with farm-owners’ pledges of $10 million to be eclipsed by $59 million of taxpayer funding.

Both Mr Kilrain and Mr Vallentine are members of the Don’t Dam the Donnelly community group, which has been representing those who do not want to see the water trading scheme proceed. Ms Evers and the Don’t Dam the Donnelly group will be hosting a community gathering and barbecue on Friday, 23rd of August, including a visit to the potential impact sites. The public is invited join and learn more about the water trading scheme’s perverse consequences on the Southern Forests Region.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“It is becoming clear that the proponents of this unfair water trading scheme are finally realising that public opposition to the SFIS is overwhelming.
“Opposition to the SFIS now outstrips its support by ten-fold and more, as was evidenced by the number of people willing to put their name to the petition tabled in Parliament.
“The South West is a big place, but a small community, so if people are willing to stake their personal information to a cause, you’d better believe they are committed to it.
“Any inappropriate behaviour in response to this sensible community resistance would no doubt be out of desperation — the people are being heard.
“The growing awareness of this scheme’s inequity is unsurprising, given that the SFIS will see a minority of local landowners subsidised by significant government support.
“This has been based entirely on stakeholders’ ability to buy-in, with others along the pipeline only able to access the water by purchasing it off their neighbours.”

FACT FILE:

The Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme is an agricultural irrigation scheme being developed in the Manjimup-Pemberton area in South West Region of Western Australia. The SFIS proposal aims to secure local water supplies through:

  • State and Federal funding comprising more than 85% of the total cost, despite scheme water being limited to just 70 landowners who make a financial contribution.
  • A 15-gigalitre dam and a 250km pipeline distribution network that will supply approximately 10 gigalitres of water annually to irrigate 1700ha of land, with only those investors that have purchased a water entitlement for the scheme will benefit. Landowners who have not contributed will get no benefit even if the pipeline passes beside their property.
  • Allowing the commercial trading of water between farms.
  • The SFIS will involve the clearing and/or inundation of over 320ha of valued Karri, Jarrah and Marri forest.
  • A likely and significant environmental impact on threatened ecological communities and species including:
    • Forest Red-tail Black Cockatoos;
    • Baudin’s Black Cockatoos;
    • Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos
    • Woylies;
    • Numbats;
    • Western ringtail possums;
    • Quokkas;
    • Chuditch/Western Quolls;
    • Balstons Pygmy Perchs;
    • Harringtons/Pink Spider Orchards;
    • Tall Donkey Orchids.
  • The potential disturbance of Aboriginal heritage sites.

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

Belinda’s Brave Walk

Today, Diane met Perth woman Belinda Teh, who has been walking across the South West Region campaigning for voluntary assisted dying.

Beginning in Victoria, Belinda arrived at Parliament House on today after 70-day journey. Her arrival coincides with the introduction of a Voluntary euthanasia bill to be introduced into Western Australian Parliament.

Diane and her The Greens (WA) colleagues acknowledge Western Australia has a unique opportunity to finally allow for compassion, dignity and respect for terminally ill people, and that it is people like Belinda who give so much and campaign so hard for change.

To learn more about Belinda and her very personal journey, please visit her website. You can also learn more about Dying With Dignity Western Australia and The Greens (WA)’s policy.

Australian Greens National Conference and Inaugural Country Greens Working Group

Diane joined her fellow Greens members and colleagues, as well as interested public attendees, in Adelaide for the Australian Greens mid-year National Conference today.

This latest National Conference involved taking stock of the federal election campaign and its results, while also looking ahead towards developing the party further to tackle oncoming challenges.

The conference included workshops and discussions focused on strategies for action and training for members, parliamentarians and the attending public alike in how to campaign and organise, including opportunities to work with MPs and national working groups to shape Greens policies.

As part of the conference Diane was delighted to participate in the inaugural session of the Australian Greens/Country Greens Working Group. There were twenty-three people in the room with eight more on-line. On-line links worked well as six of the eight reporting state/territory representatives contributed remotely. Having good remote conferencing functioning reliably is a great step towards connection to country.

An untapped desire exists within the regions to build hope and grassroots contributions, based on evidence, optimism and sustainable Greens policies – Diane anticipates country connections will be strengthened both within the Greens and with the country as a result.

In addition to her country passions, Diane also took great value from workshops discussing LGBTIQ+ matters, as well as the cross-jurisdictional issue of oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight.

EversGreen: April-June ’19

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

I’m so pleased to be writing this after the good news was finally confirmed in late June — the campaign to ‘Keep Jordon Rolling’ in the Senate is officially a success, as Jordon Steele-John has been re-elected for a further six years!

With this good news in mind, I am delighted to bring you a bumper edition of my redesigned EversGreen newsletter, as there has been plenty to reflect on over the past few months.

While many would be disappointed at the re-election of the Morrison Government, it was encouraging to know the Australian Greens increased their primary vote and retained all its seats.

Here’s to all the wonderful staff and volunteers who worked towards maintaining all Greens seats in federal parliament — as well as our South West candidates Jodie Moffat, Nelson Gilmour and Nerilee Boshammer. This federal election only reinforced the role we have to play in building a better future for all of us.

Thank you!

Diane

LEWIN FOREST BLOCKADE: THE POWER OF PROTEST

I spent two days in early June with forest protesters at Lewin block, near Manjimup, broadening my understanding of protest and seeking to protect the Karri forest from being clear-felled for woodchips by the Forest Products Commission.

There was good news later in the month when the Minister for Forestry confirmed Lewin block would not be cut during the winter months, up to August 31. Credit and acknowledgment must be given to the hard work put into getting this reassurance by the WA Forest Alliance (WAFA).

Thank you to WAFA and the dedicated protesters who brought awareness to the magnificent old trees at risk of being lost. I was proud to join you for a small period of the blockade.

REGIONAL FORESTS AGREEMENT: THE JOB IS NOT FINISHED YET

Despite many encouraging wins in the past three months, there was bad news in May as native forests, critically endangered species and climate change mitigation were all put at risk due to the McGowan Government’s renewal of the state’s Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).

11 forest vertebrate species have been raised to ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ categories in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, and Western Australia after signing the original RFAs in 1999. This brings the total number of endangered and critically endangered species to 24, with none lowered in categorisation during this time. With this in mind, I supported The Wilderness Society’s campaign to allow WA’s RFA to expire due to these negative environmental outcomes during the RFA’s 20-year term,

Unfortunately, I was appalled at Premier Mark McGowan’s decision, in alliance with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to renew the RFA.

When it comes to protecting our environment, only The Greens will defend native forests from logging, protect endangered species from extinction and take real action to address climate change.

Read Diane’s Media Release

PARLIAMENTARY EXCHANGE VISIT TO CANADA

In April, along with fellow members of State Parliament, I participated in a two-week exchange program to Canada hosted by the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

As part of this visit I learned about the Legislature’s chamber, committee operations and overall management of the Parliament in the first week, before being paired with David Forbes, MLA for the New Democratic Party in the second week. David and I paired to share information and experiences on constituency issues in our electorates.

Just like the Parliament of Western Australia, the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan also has a beautiful library. The entire landscape between Regina and Moose Jaw features architecture like that seen in the Legislative Building and their First Nations people are featured in artwork throughout.

As part of the trip and learning about the Legislature, I also had the opportunity to meet the Saskatchewan’s Premier, Scott Moe.

SOUTHERN FORESTS IRRIGATION SCHEME: A SCHEME OF INEQUITY AND UNFAIRNESS

Throughout the last few months, I have been consulting with concerned members of the community about the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS), culminating in a petition to Parliament on behalf of 862 signatories calling for the scheme to be stopped — with over 2,000 people doing the same in the form of an online petition.

A drive to Yanmah in June led to a chat with members of the Don’t Dam the Donnelly community group. These farmers are not happy about the scheme’s impact on the river and the planned dam at Record Brook and discussed with me the need to reassess how water rights are determined.

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.

At its core, this is a scheme of inequity and unfairness. The message is clear and I’m proud to amplify it: Don’t Dam the Donnelly.

Read More About Diane’s South West Journeys

RURAL REGENERATION: A WIN FOR THE JERRAMUNGUP COMMUNITY

The Department of Education has agreed to match, dollar-for-dollar, the Shire of Jerramungup’s fund to replace the Community Swimming Pool — resulting in a much-needed $2-million-dollar upgrade to the facility.

In April I wrote to the Minister for Education to let her know I had been contacted by constituents from Jerramungup who expressed their concerns over the future of the Community Pool, located on the Jerramungup District High School reserve.

The Jerramungup pool is a vital community asset that services many schools in the region, as well as the wider community and visiting tourists, with the next closest public pool over 170kms away.

Rural Regeneration – attracting people to and keeping people in the regions — is such an important issue to me. As such, I applaud the Shire on taking the initiative to seek alternative solutions and also the State Government for recognising this need to support our regional and rural communities.

FISHING BAN: GREENS JOY AT GREENS POOL

I have been liaising with the Great Southern community regarding Greens Pool, a natural tourist destination and asset to the south coast, as far back as December of last year. Prior to a spearfishing ban announced by the Minister for Fisheries in early 2019, almost 1000 people had signed a petition to protect the popular sanctuary and family-friendly swimming spot.

A disallowance motion in Parliament was subsequently defeated in May and I was pleased to support the ban by voting to uphold the McGowan Government’s original decision.

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

Read Diane’s Media Release 

JUST HOME MARGARET RIVER: CHARITY STARTS IN HOMES

Great news from the team at Just Home Margaret River, a housing justice organisation working with community members to facilitate appropriate, accessible, low cost, secure and sustainable housing options for all.

The Department of Lands has spoken to the organisation and it looks as though it will be allocated a block of land from Water Corporation, along with the offer from an organisation that works to provide suitable living options to assist with the design of future dwellings on the land.

This is a wonderful outcome for a hard-working group of people seeking to help those in the Augusta-Margaret River community in need of housing and shelter.

Learn more about Just Home Margaret River

SCHOOL STRIKE 4 CLIMATE: FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE

Finally, I have been so encouraged by the committed students who are maintaining the Greta Thunberg-inspired School Strike 4 Climate movement by rallying outside Parliament House every Friday until they see significant action on climate by the McGowan Government.

This type of peaceful, but meaningful protest, shows the willingness among the youth of Western Australia to protect the planet for their futures. We need them.

2019/20 STATE BUDGET: CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

The McGowan Government handed down its third Budget in May and while I welcomed a return to surplus it became clear that overall strategies to combat the climate emergency must improve.

A water deficiency in the Shire of Ravensthorpe was announced during the very same week, with climate change clearly acknowledged as contributing to low rainfall in the region. Despite this, there was no allocation for climate change strategies in the 2019-20 budget papers.

Read Diane’s Media Release

(NO MORE) SHARK FIN SOUP BILL

June saw me table my first Bill in State Parliament, aimed at stopping the sale of shark fin products in Western Australia. The Shark Fin Prohibition Bill, tabled on June 6, proposed banning the sale of food containing shark fins, with possible fines rising to $250,000.

Shark finning is an offence for federal and WA fisheries and involves removing fins from a live shark and returning it to the ocean to drown. It is reported, however, that thousands of kilograms of shark fins are imported into Australia each year through loopholes in existing regulations.

While it is unlikely that the McGowan Government will pick up and pass this Bill, it is my intention for these efforts to increase awareness in this cruel practice and add to existing efforts to protect shark populations, both in local waters and beyond.

Read Diane’s Media Release

Summary of my activities
April-June 2018

Events attended:

The Alcoa Harvey Waroona Sustainability Fund’s 10th Anniversary | 2019 Parliament House Tourism Industry Function | Hidden Pantry Event, Balingup | Ballingup Small Farm Field Day | Paddle Out for the Bight | Canada Parliamentary Exchange Program | Bioenergy Symposium | Roelands Village Festival | WALGA Members of Parliament Breakfast | Opening Night Performance of Water, Black Swan State Theatre | The Women and Infants Research Foundation, Special Event at Government House | Election Day Polling Booth Albany | Forest Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) Sundowner | Climate Change Action Summit Margaret River | Demystifying Democracy Community Seminar, Bridgetown | 2040 Film Screening | Lewin State Forest Protest – Camp Out | Donnelly River Site Visit | Mandurah Greens Post-Election Celebrations | WA Forest Alliance Monthly Meeting and Dinner | Windrose Resistance Festival | Albany Greens Gathering  | ASPG June Supper Seminar | Parliamentary Friends of Refugees event

Rallies attended:
Perth Change the Rules Rally – Unions WA | 3 x Fridays for Future – Perth School Strike 4 Climate

Interviews:
Triple M | ABC South West

Meetings:

Manuka Life  | Woodside | WA Forest Alliance | Dardanup Community Members – Cleanaway Waste Site Expansion | Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee | Manjimup Community Members – Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme | Bunbury Councillors – Greenbushes Railway Line | WA Hardwood Products | Peel Harvey Catchment Council – Point Grey marina proposal | Murdoch University Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering – Collie Innovation Hub | Appeals Convenors – Greenbushes Lithium Mine Expansion | City of Mandurah Mayor | Headspace Mandurah | Environmental Defenders Office WA

Briefings:
Palliative Care | Information session for Members: Adopting a national model OHS legislation – Lessons to be Learnt by Peter Rozen, SC | Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Pre-Budget Submission | Revenue Bill and Taxation Administration Amendment Bill | Medical Assistance in Dying – Canada | Budget Briefing with the Treasurer | The Wilderness Society’s Report ‘Abandoned – Australia’s forest wildlife in crisis’ | Payroll Tax | Pine Wood Industry | Ministerial Expert Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying | Law Access Parliamentary Briefing | Banksia Road Sand Mine, Kwinana | Sandalwood

Member’s Statements:

Forestry – Western Australia Regional Forest Agreement | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Forests Products Commission – Logging | Forestry – Lewin Block – Clear-Felling | Glyphosate Use and Canola prices

Petitions:
Tea Tree Walpole | Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme

Consideration Of Tabled Paper:
Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure

Second Reading:
Taxation Administration Amendment Bill 2018 Revenue Laws Amendment Bill 2018 | Pay-roll Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 2019 | Infrastructure Western Australia Bill 2019

Motions:
Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs – Forty-Ninth Report – “Mechanisms for Compensation for Economic Loss to Farmers in Western Australia Caused by Contamination by Genetically Modified Material” | Hardship Utility Grant Scheme | Energy Supply | Prohibition on Fishing (Greens Pool) Order 2018 – Disallowance | Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations – Seventy-Seventh Report – “2017-18 Budget Cycle-Perth 2: Annual Report Hearings” – Motion | GST Distribution | Private Property Rights | Road Safety Council – Speed Limit Reduction

Notice of Motion:
Food Amendment (Shark Fin Prohibition) Bill 2019

Questions Asked in Parliament:

Alcoa – Bauxite | Bushfire Mitigation – Shire of Manjimup | Jangardup Mineral Sands Mine – Acid Sulphate Groundwater Plume | Forestry Products Commission – Biological Assets | South West Forests – Threatened Species | Forestry – Lewana Plantation – Fire | Alcoa – Jarrah Forest Rehabilitation | Fracking – South West Region | Marri Forests | Ramsar Wetland Nominations | Litter Accumulation Rates | Climate Change – Aquatic Ecosystems | Lithium Rail Supply Chain | Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 – Timber Yield | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Agencies – Advertising [to all Ministers] | Forest Products Commission – Log Export | Water licences – Allocations | Police – Shooting – Gelorup | Forest Products Commission – Contract of Sale | Bushfire Mitigation – Shire of Manjimup | Forestry – Lewin Block – Clear-Felling | Greenpatch Development – Chromium-6 – Dalyellup | Banksia Road Waste Facility | Greenpatch Development – Gamma Survey – Dalyellup | Greenpatch Development – Contamination – Dalyellup | Parks and Wildlife Service – Prescribed Burning | Greenpatch Development – Dalyellup | Western Australian Planning Commission – City of Albany Local Planning Scheme 1 | Forest Management Plan 2014-2023- Timber Yield | Forestry – Regrowth Karri Thinning | Natural Resource Management 2019-20 State Budget | Western Australia Gourmet Escape – Contract | Banksia Road Waste Facility

Lewin Block Long Weekend (and Beyond) Blockade

Lewin Block Long Weekend (and Beyond) Blockade

Endless conversation, copious food supply, well-organised camp, and incredibly beautiful surroundings.

This past weekend, Diane spent two days with forest protesters at Lewin block, broadening her understanding of protests.

For Diane, a walk through the recently cleared area, making way for bigger equipment for the really old trees, was eye-opening. There were numerous trees with a diameter larger than Diane’s arm span, with no tell-tale ‘H’ for habitat tree marked on them. These giants will be felled in coming weeks if the government doesn’t step in and put a halt to it.

Anyone who has a thought about going to see this forest, Diane asks you to please act on it. There are lovely, committed people there to welcome you. Don’t let the weather put you off. There’s a lovely fire, and tents and tarps to keep you dry. A well-appointed kitchen with a well-stocked larder awaits your arrival.

Bring a camera, and a pair of boots. Help Save Lewin Forest.

Shark Fin Soup Off the Menu

Efforts to protect worldwide shark populations will reach State Parliament today, with Greens South West MLC Diane Evers to table a Bill aimed at stopping the sale of shark fin products in Western Australia.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) fisheries spokesperson, will propose banning the sale of food containing shark fins as part of the Shark Fin Prohibition Bill, with possible fines rising to $250,000.

Corporations will receive the heaviest penalties under the terms of the Bill, while offending individuals will be liable to fines of $50,000.

Shark finning is an offence for federal and WA fisheries and involves removing fins from a live shark and returning it to the ocean to drown.

It is reported that thousands of kilograms of shark fins are imported into Australia each year through loopholes in existing regulations.

There have been previous efforts in Australian jurisdictions such as New South Wales to implement bans on the sale of shark fin food products, such as shark fin soup.

Many jurisdictions have implemented their own specific bans on shark finning, while some, including various US states and territories, have gone even further and implemented direct bans on possessing shark fins.

Ms Evers, who has been vocal in the past about the harmful effects of baited shark drumline trials in South West waters, said the Bill would go some way towards removing threats to open-water shark populations.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“This Bill is a clear, measured and important step in our work towards ending the inhumane and wasteful practice of shark finning.

“The international community recognises that shark finning damages species and ecosystems, while shark fins have not been established to offer any scientific health benefits.

“Unfortunately, foods such as shark fin soup continue to be offered in restaurants as a delicacy.

“The introduction of offences in this Bill, which clearly prohibit the sale of food containing shark fins, will close significant loopholes and assist with enforcement in the food and fisheries areas.

“Private individuals making or consuming food containing fins will not be captured by the offence provisions, as long as the product is originally purchased as a whole shark.

“This ensures that the offences are targeted to the commercialisation of the shark finning practice rather than activities of consumers.

“There are also provisions within the Bill to safeguard commercial fishers acting in compliance with fisheries regulations.

“The proposed amendments to the Food Act 2008 will improve food standards and ensure the practice of shark finning is prohibited at each stage of the supply chain.

“This Bill simply seeks to treat shark fin food products the same as others considered unsuitable for consumption and will mirror provisions for existing offences under the Act.

“It does not go as far as the bans implemented in some US states such as California, Hawaii, Texas and New York but will be an effective step towards ending the awful practice of shark finning.

“Even with bans in place, we know that some fishers continue this cruel practice – in 2015, a boat was apprehended in Queensland waters carrying over 3,000 shark fins.

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

An Elemental Journey Through the South West

An Elemental Journey Through the South West

Monday

Environmental Action Discussion

Diane met with the Dardanup Environmental Action Group on Monday to discuss waste, mining and the environment in “the small South West community whose tip is bigger than its town”.

Lithium processing is experiencing a boom in the resource sector, but the production process has its consequences and the tailings must be responsibly dealt with.

Ensuring South West communities are not negatively impacted by this – in the form of waste management and Cleanaway’s expansion of its Banksia Road landfill site, in Dardanup’s case – is an issue Diane is taking the time to understand.

There may also be the opportunity to consider more proactive and positive management of the process moving forwards that might provide benefit to other towns in the South West.

Tuesday

Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit

Climate change mitigation was on the agenda at Surfer’s Point on Tuesday as Diane attended a summit held by Climate Action Augusta Margaret River, welcoming guest speakers Tim Flannery (via video link) and Ben Elton to talk about the challenges posed to society by carbon emissions and human impact on the planet.

The importance of a holistic and integrated approach to the climate emergency was workshopped by Diane and attendees, focussing on collaborative strategies that can incorporate agriculture, transport, youth and housing issues – amongst others – within the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

An action plan was developed on the day and a community group will will be tasked to engage this moving forward, which Diane will be paying close interest to.

As an additional treat, Diane also met 11-time surfing world legend and environmental advocate Kelly Slater, along with young Californian Conner Coffin, in town for this weekend’s Margaret River Pro.

  • Views from the Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

  • Ben Elton speaks to the attendees.

  • The Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

  • Diane with other attendees of the Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

  • Views of Surfer’s Point from the Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

  • Diane with Ben Elton.

  • Diane with Kelly Slater.

  • Diane with Kelly Slater, Conner Coffin (both center) and fellow attendees of the Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

Wednesday

Consuming Southern Forests Passions

A meeting with one of WA’s own veteran celebrity chefs, regenerative agriculture and a community discussion about the water allocation was on the menu for Diane on a busy Wednesday.

Diane and former Consuming Passions host Ian Parmenter talked about the importance of food tourism in the South West region, encouraging locally run culinary events and high-end travel opportunities.

Following this, Diane met with the team behind the Lower Blackwood LCDC to talk funding, community engagement and a whole-of-landscape, whole-of-community view of agriculture in the area.

Once again the topic of integration was raised, with local producers realising the need for governance that considers the many facets of agriculture and its holistic role in food supply, the economy, environmental conservation and even culture.

A drive to Yanmah led to a chat about one of the higher profile recent issues – the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme – featuring matters of water security and South West ecology as the focus.

Members of the Don’t Dam the Donnelly, along with other members of the community, are concerned about the scheme — one that benefits only 70 other local growers, despite $59 million of state and federal funding.

These farmers are not happy about the scheme’s impact on the river and the planned dam at Record Brook, and discussed with Diane the need to reassess how water rights are determined.

In a few short days over 1,200 people have signed a petition to stop the SFIS. They want politicians and the tax-paying public to know that the SFIS is not supported by the majority of people in the region.

Diane and local growers concerned by the SFIS.

Thursday

Station to Station: Regional Development

The final day of a busy few across the region began by returning to the issue of lithium and meeting with Bunbury councillor Murray Cook to discuss thoughts on reopening the Bunbury-Greenbushes rail line, which Diane will present a petition to Parliament on in the coming months.

Cr Cook has also expressed interest in Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup, where he was raised, calling for the mine proponents and the State Government to rebuild and open the line to take the timber, spodumene and the tailings off South West roads.

The final stop on the journey was up to the Peel region with focus turning to regional  development issues.

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council are maintaining a watching brief on the proposed development of Point Grey Marina, where proponents were given a five-year extension on a residential development on Ramsar wetlands in 2017.

The Shire of Murray rejected the development and the PHCC are raising public awareness of how this development and the proposed channel will damage the inlet. Better plans for the Point can be found and Diane will support the community to protect the Estuary.

Diane with members of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

Fridays…

…for Future.

Finally, Diane returned to Perth at the end of the week to once more support the committed students who are maintaining the Greta Thunberg-inspired School Strike 4 Climate movement.

These students shouldn’t have to strike from school every Friday, but they feel they have no choice, because not only is our government not taking serious action on this climate emergency, but Western Australia’s emissions are also rising.

This type of peaceful, but meaningful protest, shows the willingness among the youth of Western Australia to protect the planet for their futures – a willingness shared by the volunteers of the Western Australian Forest Alliance, who will be blockading state forest over the coming long weekend (and beyond).

Please support WAFA to prevent the imminent clear-felling of Karri trees at Lewin forest, largely for wood-chips, by joining their protest.

Diane speaks with the students of the Fridays for Future protest.



Next Week:

Parliament Duties Resume

The Legislative Council resumes on Tuesday, following the long weekend and a two-week recess.

Diane wishes all of her supporters in the South West and beyond a safe long weekend. Stay up to date with Diane’s parliamentary activities by following her on Facebook, Instagram or by joining her mailing list below!

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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!

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