Diane Delivers as Review Highlights Need for Greens Advocacy

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has said today’s announcement of an independent review into the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS) demonstrates the ongoing need for Greens members in WA Parliament.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for water, has campaigned to stop the SFIS over the course of her term in the Legislative Council, leading Parliamentary advocacy alongside community meetings and public discussion that have drawn state-wide attention.

Today’s announcement by the WA Labor Government comes after persistent and ever-growing calls from the West Manjimup community to cancel the water-trading scheme, amid questions about the accuracy of water modelling that has been described as “critically flawed” for not taking account of declining groundwater levels in South West catchments.

Ms Evers has sought to support and elevate the work of the Save Our Donnelly River and Don’t Damn the Donnelly community groups and was in Manjimup to campaign against the SFIS as recently as last week.

Ms Evers has also asked 21 parliamentary questions and made three member’s statements on the issue in Parliament during her term, and has tabled two petitions with nearly 4,000 signatures between them.


“Today’s announcement by the WA Labor Government comes as a result of years of campaigning by the community to stop the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme.

“A diverse crossbench in WA Parliament, featuring four WA Greens MPs, has maintained the upper house as one of review and accountability, forcing the Government to respond to the community’s legitimate concerns.

“An independent review does not go far enough, fast enough, however.

“Independent experts and those with subject-matter knowledge have been calling out the SFIS out as an inequitable water trading scheme for years, established thanks to 85 per cent of funding by taxpayers, but locking out 85 per cent of farming businesses.

“This is a flawed scheme and a bad plan that supports local systems of inequalities amongst farmers in the region, prioritising the mates of those who make decisions instead of an agricultural community calling for a fair water allocation plan.”

“Western Australians deserve a government that will take action on issues of climate and water scarcity.

“The time has come for the WA Labor Government to show leadership and stop the SFIS.”

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

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.


“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.”

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.


“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.”

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

Evers Calls on Government to Approve Removal of Point Grey Marina Option

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has welcomed the Shire of Murray’s majority decision to remove a marina from a list of allowed uses at the Point Grey site as part of ongoing community and local government efforts to prevent its controversial development.  

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for regional development, has voiced opposition to the Point Grey marina development in the past, both in Parliament and directly to the WA Labor Government.

The Shire of Murray has now forwarded the amendment proposal to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for its consideration. Planning Minister Rita Saffioti to make the final decision once a recommendation has been provided by WAPC. 

Given the importance of this amendment and the time pressure created by the upcoming March State Election, Ms Evers has written to Minister Saffioti to ask that the Government considers the amendment with urgency and provides approval as soon as practicable.

Point Grey is located in the southern rural part of the Shire of Murray and is surrounded on three sides by the Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary (Peel Harvey Estuary). The Estuary is an important part of the Peel-Yalgorup wetland system and was determined a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

After a State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) decision in 2019 supported the significant environmental and community concerns regarding the development and channel dredging, attempts have been ongoing to ensure only appropriate and sustainable developments proceed in Western Australia. 


“The Peel Harvey Estuary is something to be proud of and we should recognise the benefits of its protection.

“I previously wrote to the McGowan Government in September 2019 about the significant environmental ramifications of the Point Grey marina development and was pleased when the SAT later denied an appeal for permission to start work on the project.

“The impacts of such a large scale urban development that would have detrimental consequences for the ecological health and water quality of the estuary, impacts of climate change effects, ongoing management of the channel, and the potential impact of bushfire and coastal risk.

“The Shire of Murray sought public submissions as part of the process for this Amendment and received 580 submissions in support, including from the City of Mandurah and environmental-related organisations.

“The Shire of Murray has been working for many years to prevent this marina development and as a member of the Select Committee into Local Government during my term as a Member of WA Parliament, it is clear to me that the Local Government Act needs revision to better empower councils to protect their landscapes.  

“The WA Greens are also committed to introducing Third Party Appeal Rights to bring Western Australia in line with the rest of the country, and to guarantee the community has an equal voice to developers when appealing development decisions that do not meet community expectations.

“Given the significant environmental and financial concerns over the future development of the Point Grey peninsular site, it is imperative that this amendment is considered and approved, devoid of any delays. 

“Without the ability for third-party rights of appeal, the future of the peninsular and estuary are at risk, and this amendment will go a long way to providing the much-needed protection.”

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

Withdrawn Lease Brings Drawn-Out Environmental Victory A Step Closer

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has welcomed news that a three-decade effort to protect Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake from cultural and environmental harm is a step closer, after a mining lease was withdrawn by its proponent at a site adjacent to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for wetlands, had previously tabled a petition in WA Parliament containing almost 1000 signatures supporting the objection of any mining lease applications at the site. A 2018 mining lease application submitted for the location by Strategic Sands Pty Ltd was withdrawn on December 1, leaving oncoming native title settlement and stakeholder input as the only remaining barriers to the return of the lake to the surrounding D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

Last year the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition, a group of local environmental protection bodies, received a letter from Premier Mark McGowan indicating future intention to reinstate Yoondadadup Lake Jasper into D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Subsequently, after questioning in parliament by Ms Evers earlier this year, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions confirmed that the majority area previously under application for the mining lease would be pursued for addition to D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

This assurance from the Premier was the culmination of decades of effort and coordinated protest to protect the environment by the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition and its co-conveners, Andy Russell and Geoff Evans, who had faced down multiple mining lease applications before this result could be achieved.

The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition was established 30 years ago to raise public awareness about the initial application to explore for mineral sands in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and subsequent mining lease applications adjacent to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper within the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. In 1988, a WA Labor Government legislated to excise land from D’Entrecasteaux National Park and allow mineral sand mining immediately adjacent to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper, however, in 1994 the Court Government promised to return the excised land into D’Entrecasteaux National Park if the mining proposal in this area did not proceed. Despite the previous mining lease becoming discontinued a decade ago, the Barnett Government did not honour this commitment.


“I am so pleased that progress, slow and frustrating as it might be, has been made on an important environmental issue spanning many decades of effort and community activism.

“The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition and its co-conveners, Andy Russell and Geoff Evans, deserve particular praise for their efforts over the years – without their single-minded efforts to see the lake protected, we would not be on the brink of such an environmental victory.

“I recognise that South West Native Title settlement is a pressing issue to be resolved in this matter, but I now call on the WA Labor Government and Premier McGowan to affirm its commitment to reinstating Yoondadadup Lake Jasper into D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

“The Gingilup-Jasper wetland system is a major nursery area for freshwater fishes and frogs, and harbours a unique array of plant species – scientific surveys of the area have ranked Lake Jasper-Gingilup wetlands third among the 27 south coast wetlands for species diversity and abundance.

“Yoondadadup Lake Jasper is one of the most important wetlands for waterbirds in the South West and with is a major nursery area for the native freshwater fishes.

“Meanwhile, the national significance of D’Entrecasteaux National Park has been recognised by the Australian Heritage Commission, which has placed the Park on the Register of the National Estate.

“D’Entrecasteaux National Park and Lake Jasper are the jewels in the crown of wilderness areas in the South West and provide tourism that is vital to south coast communities.”

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

Greens Climate Policy Takes Action Over False Aspiration

South West Region MLC Diane Evers has welcomed the launch of WA Greens’ climate policy, and has described it as the necessary urgent action required to tackle the climate crisis and propel WA’s economy into the future.

The WA Greens today released its climate policy for the 2021 WA State Election with an aim to transform Western Australia into an energy powerhouse by repowering the state with renewable energy, taking advantage of the opportunities in the zero-carbon transition, regenerating the state’s diverse natural environment, and phasing-out fossil fuels.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for a range of environmental issues including agriculture, fisheries and marine, forests, and water, said the Tackling Climate Change policy acknowledges the extent of the climate crisis and commits to legislating interim and long-term targets of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2035.

Ms Evers said the WA Greens’ plan to end native forest logging and develop a sustainable plantation forestry industry and create 10,000 jobs a year, with an initial investment of $500 million for a State Renewables Investment Fund, would make the South West Region a crucial asset in the transition of employment and environmental management.


“By taking advantage of WA’s plentiful renewable resources, we can deliver thousands of jobs while drawing down millions of tonnes of carbon and supporting our South West regional communities.

“The WA Greens will end native forest logging, develop a sustainable plantation forestry industry producing long term products like housing and furniture, support farmers, pastoralists and their communities in adapting to regenerative practices, and support community-led regeneration projects.

“This is the critical decade in which to tackle climate change, and yet the Labor and Liberal parties are working for their gas and coal donors rather than our communities who are demanding real and meaningful action on climate change.

“87% of public submissions to the WA Labor climate policy supported a strong, legislated target and an immediate reduction in emissions, yet WA is still without a clear strategy on how the state’s rising emissions will be reduced. 

“WA Labor’s four-years-in-the-making climate policy has been extremely disappointing and is without an emission reduction strategy, which meant it has failed to take advantage of the opportunities in a low-carbon transition, enabling emissions to continue to rise.

“Action can’t wait – if COVID-19 has demonstrated anything, it is that real change can happen, when the political will is there.

“By setting strong, long-term and interim targets, reinstating the state-wide ban on fracking, phasing out fossil fuels, and supporting new and emerging green industries, the WA Greens have a plan to create thousands of clean careers while tackling the climate crisis and the COVID-19 economic recovery.”

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

Climate Policy Fails to See Forests for the Trees

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has criticised the McGowan Government’s climate change policy as lacking ambition and the necessary environmental protections to address the climate crisis.

After almost four years in government, WA Labor finally released its key climate policy yesterday and Ms Evers said she was upset at the lack of action to tackle climate change, with the Government undermining global efforts to cut emissions by allowing Western Australia’s carbon pollution to continue rising.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forests, said the Western Australian Climate Policy was a continuation of the Government’s unwillingness to take action to protect the environment for future generations, with nothing in the policy to grow and protect the state’s native forests for carbon sequestration. 

The Government’s policy has failed to address drastically rising emissions from the LNG industry by not enacting legislated interim emissions reduction and renewable energy targets.

Ms Evers said that, without such targets or a carbon budget, this policy would provide no real strategy on how the Government would effectively reduce emissions.


“With no vision for the future and no genuine attempt to address climate change, WA Labor’s lack of ambition is damaging our ability to tackle climate change.

“We are in a climate crisis, but WA Labor has created a policy that allows their major fossil fuel donors to keep polluting.

“Native forests are a valuable and irreplaceable source of environmental, economic and social benefits and forest management must address the urgent challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“The McGowan Government’s climate change policy fails to address this intrinsic value to Western Australia, just as it has done in its failure to address the logging and destruction of our forests.

“One page of the policy even refers to ‘Enhancing our climate resilience’ with a photo of beautiful WA native forest – despite no mention of how protecting and growing such forest can contribute to such resilience.

“I’m sick and tired of this Government paying lip service to its climate responsibilities – taking action does not mean putting pretty photos on documents to greenwash their environmental record.

“Scientists are telling us this is a critical decade – we must do better to stop cutting down our native forests, to grow and protect them, maximise carbon drawdown and sequestration, and create a better future for WA and future generations.”

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

Petition Pursues Promise to Protect Paradise

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers will continue to campaign on behalf of community calls to protect the South West environment for future generations when she tables a petition in WA Parliament today to halt the controversial resort and housing development proposed for Margaret River’s Gnarabup Headland.

Ms Evers has backed efforts by the local community and protest group Preserve Gnarabup to stop the development from going ahead and has urged the WA Government to protect the narrow strip of fragile undeveloped limestone karst headland from the proposed development.

992 people have signed the petition to protect Gnarabup, with over 20,000 more signatures lending support to the petition through an online equivalent that is, unfortunately, ineligible for consideration by WA Parliament. Despite more than a decade of opposition by the community, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River had approved the request for a subdivision to allow a hotel, mixed tourism short stay and permanent residential housing.

Ms Evers said that an increased understanding of the impacts of climate change including rising sea levels on the Western Australian coastline, as well as the enormous biodiversity importance of the Gnarabup environment, meant the Government must protect the land.

The tabling of the petition by Ms Evers comes after the Preserve Gnarabup group raised more than $50,0000 in under a fortnight to fund the cost of campaigning to reverse the development, with a $100,000 target in sight. The campaign aims to fund either the reservation of land or a buy-back of land on Gnarabup headland where the housing estate and resort is proposed.


“Margaret River is a world-renowned destination, not for its hotel developments, but for its pristine coastal environment and natural landscape.

“Almost a thousand locals oppose the destruction of the Gnarabup headland for the hotel development, with tens of thousands more lending their voice online.

“In July, I joined with others from the Augusta-Margaret River community when more than 400 people attended a rally at Reuther Park to oppose this proposal.

“This development proposal has caused significant angst in the community, who wish to see the land preserved for public purposes. 

“While it is important to ensure the local tourism trade is able to cater for visitors, this development would diminish amenity and access to valuable community and tourism assets, such as Margaret River’s only protected swimming and recreation beach.

“The message is clear to the McGowan Government: it is crucial that we do not sacrifice such important regional environmental assets.

“We need to preserve this coastline and encourage development for areas more suited to sustainability and managed tourism growth. 

“The impact of this town precinct development, with a multinational conglomerate at the centre of the plans, would significantly erode the natural environment and affect existing tourism businesses working hard to succeed in the region.

“Let’s not pave paradise to put up a Marriot.”

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

Bunbury Dolphins Deserve Dedicated Research Support

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has expressed concerns that the WA Government is not meeting the necessary standards required to protect the health and wellbeing of the dolphin populations ahead of planned Koombana Bay marina developments.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for fisheries and marine, said she was alarmed by potentially irreversible environmental impacts the nearby development could have upon Bunbury’s dolphin population, with further research necessary in order to protect the welfare of the aquatic mammals.

According to parliamentary questions from Ms Evers to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson in 2019, the most recent dolphin population study was undertaken in 2013.

Ms Evers said she was concerned by a lack of ongoing research into dolphins, including the local population’s health, impact of boating movements and effects of tourism hand-feeding provisioning programs.

Last month, Minister Dawson confirmed data collection and analysis is currently not being undertaken by Murdoch University on behalf of the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre and the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) with regards to hand-feeding tourism activities.


“The WA Government has committed over $100 million dollars to the Bunbury waterfront transformation project, including the construction of new breakwaters at Casuarina Boat Harbour and Koombana Bay.

“While I understand some community desire for this investment, I remain very concerned about the health and wellbeing of the dolphins in the Bunbury area.

“Such a significant project must take into account the protection of the dolphin population so precious to those waters.

“A lack of support for environmental research by the WA Government and delayed Environmental Protection Authority assessments could mean the environmental impact of the expected development may not be known until it is too late.

“The proposal for this marina is in close proximity to the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre (BDDC), which engages in hand feeding of dolphins for tourism purposes.

“Concerns have been raised with my office that the marina development, along with these local hand-feeding provisioning practices, may be negatively impacting the welfare of local dolphin populations.

“According to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, ‘habitat degradation, increased vessel traffic, tourism, illegal food provisioning, entanglement in marine debris, noise pollution, environmental contaminants and disease all threaten the health of the local dolphin population’.

“Government investment into proper research is crucial to mitigate such risk, and it is critical that the WA Government does not simply prioritise tourism over dolphin welfare.

“There is currently no funding arrangement between the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Murdoch University to undertake data collection and analysis on hand-feeding, with the Department instead relying on the BDDC’s own provisioning program to inform a review.

“I recognise that environmental studies are currently being undertaken by the South West Development Commission to support an environmental assessment, but with no population studies of dolphins inhabiting Bunbury coastal and inland waters completed since 2013, I encourage the WA Government to do what it can to support well-funded, independent research in this matter.”

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

Case For Manjimup Water Trading Dries Up As Community Opposition Intensifies

South West Greens MLC Diane Evers brought growing community discontent about the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS) to Parliament this week when she tabled a petition on behalf of over 3000 people opposed to the Manjimup water-trading scheme.

The petition was tabled on behalf of the Save Our Donnelly River community group on Tuesday and is the second petition Ms Evers has brought to Parliament regarding the scheme in the last 18 months.

Ms Evers said the increase in the number of signatories to a petition to stop the SFIS – from 862 in June 2019 to the current total of 3112 petitioners – was reflective of the momentum of outrage about the scheme’s inappropriateness.

The petitioners have asked the Legislative Council to withdraw state government approval and funding for the SFIS on the grounds that:

  • The average flow in the Donnelly River has declined as much as 65% since the 1990s.
  • Numerous species of vulnerable, threatened and critically endangered species of flora and fauna will be directly impacted by this proposal.
  • The Stewart Tree, WA’s tallest tree, and numerous ancient trees of significance are located within the dam impact zone on Record Brook.
  • An 85 per cent taxpayer-funded project should not be in the control of a privately-owned cooperative, exclusively benefitting 15 per cent of the farmers in the region.

Ms Evers said recent information provided by the Department of Water and Environment indicated reliability of the water for the scheme was only 44 per cent over a modelling period for the previous nine years.

This reliability would be dependent on fluctuating frequency of wetter years in a drying climate and would have seen the proposed dam totally emptied of its usable capacity for five out of the nine years.

Ms Evers said it was becoming clear that the WA Labor Government was making public statements in support of action on climate and water scarcity, without doing the work to enact the necessary investment, policy and scrutiny of existing projects like the SFIS to mitigate the climate crisis.

In recent weeks, Water Minister Dave Kelly MLA has launched the Water Corporation’s Think climate change. Be waterwise campaign, highlighting “the impacts of climate change and the significant reduction in rainfall and runoff into our dams”, while also stating the “need to rethink how we use our precious water resources”.


“It is clear to an overwhelming majority that the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme is an inequitable water trading scheme with potentially disastrous impacts on community and the environment.

“The SFIS is 85 per cent funded by taxpayers, but locks-out 85 per cent of farming businesses, with 70 farming families to pay one dollar in eight for a water-trading scheme on state forest land.

“It is totally inappropriate for such an impactful scheme to be owned by the Southern Forest Irrigation Co-operative – made up of a handful of directors and an unknown, undisclosed investor – in an agricultural region needing sustainable water supply for all.

“The fact is that Western Australia is dealing with water rights reliant on an Act from 1914 and rainfall data going back to 1975.

“Good forest and the world’s tallest karri tree are at risk from the environmental impact of the SFIS, with 160ha of healthy, resilient forest to be inundated and 142ha of forest to be cleared.

“River flows will be squeezed to a drop for a project that lacks transparency and could yet be blocked on environmental grounds.

“With such inequity, community discord and a lack of transparency, the time has come for Premier McGowan and his ministry to show leadership on this issue now, before it boils over.

“Simply put: this is a bad project that must be stopped – we must not damn the Donnelly.”

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