EversGreen: April-June ’19

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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

EversGreen: January-March ’19

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

It is hard to believe we are already a quarter of the way through 2019. Time stops for no one, nor does the need to ensure the voices of the South West Region are being heard in parliament.

It has certainly been a busy period, with big developments since Christmas break, beginning with the unexpected Rock Lobster fiasco at the dawn of 2019 and already this year, the McGowan Government has let Western Australians down by dismissing the Environmental Protection Authority’s greenhouse gas emissions guidelines.

We also saw the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs report on its inquiry into Compensation for Farmers as a Result of Contamination by Genetically Modified Material. I was disappointed-but-unsurprised by the outcome, however, I would challenge its finding that there is insufficient evidence to justify a departure from the common law mechanism.

Finally, a federal election will soon be upon us, with the date to be possibly called as soon as this week. To ensure A Future for All of Us, we need to elect Jordon Steele-John back into the senate as our Western Australian representative, and support Australian Greens candidates such as South West representatives Jodie Moffat in Canning, Nerilee Boshammer in Forrest, and Nelson Gilmour in O’Connor.

If you would like to contribute and help volunteer, get in touch with The Greens (WA) by visiting: https://greens.org.au/wa/volunteer — get involved and be the change you want to see in the world!

Diane

YOONDADADUP LAKE JASPER

I’m delighted to report that efforts to protect Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake may be close to success!

In February the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition received a letter from Premier Mark McGowan signalling his government’s intention to prevent any future mining at Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.

The Premier’s commitment came just days before I tabled a petition in parliament containing almost 1000 signatures supporting the objection of a 2018 mining lease application at the site.

This is a tremendous outcome for the environmental protection group and is culmination of their decades of effort and coordinated protest to protect the environment.

I have been proud to represent the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition and wider community in parliament and full credit must be given to the coalition and its co-conveners, Andy Russell and Geoff Evans, who have faced down multiple mining lease applications before finally receiving this wonderful news.

WARRIUP SWAMP-LAKE MULLOCULLUP

Sadly, at the very end of March, the State Government announce that the Department of Transport would proceed with the gazettal of Warriup Swamp-Lake Mullocullup for recreational water-skiing.

I wrote last year to the City of Albany and the Minister for Lands, Planning and Transport expressing objection of the gazettal, urging the City and the Minister to listen to the local Aboriginal people, respect the significance of the area and preserve such an important cultural and historical site.

These appeals to Minister Saffioti and an Albany council, whose own report described their consultation on the matter “a mess”, were not heeded. The State Government has capitulated to the desires of a small number of water-skiers who have illegally used the lake for three-and-a-half decades, while sacred cultural significance has been virtually ignored. Other recreation skiing options remain available, but cultural history is uniquely precious.

The fight to reverse this decision continues, with upcoming local government elections and the City’s responsibility to now manage the site for recreational use both posing opportunities to press for a different outcome.

For those affected in the Noongar community, as well as local landowners, this has been a poor outcome of bureaucratic box-ticking.

NANNUP MUSIC FESTIVAL

During the March Labour Day long weekend I attended the Nannup Music Festival to hold a community conversation on the Sunday afternoon.

We discussed the future of our regions and my concept of Rural Regeneration — a future where unique bio-diversity attracts tourism, local food production thrives, our energy sources are renewable, and local economies, service, healthcare and education are high-quality.

It was invaluable to meet with those who live regionally, closer to the city and, for some, have experienced both.

As an added benefit, along with many other terrific acts and attractions, I also had the pleasure of dancing along to the Ripple Effect Band, the first all-female rock band from Arnhem Land!

I can’t wait to return next year.

NULLAKI LIME PIT

One issue I have called on local and state government to join me in challenging is January’s State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) decision to grant conditional approval of a limestone mine on the Nullaki Peninsula (the Nullaki).

The establishment of a mine would see the extraction of up to 50,000 tonnes of lime per year from within a conservation zone instituted for the protection, enhancement and rehabilitation of the flora, fauna and landscape qualities of the site.

Intense community resistance has grown after multiple rejections by the City of Albany were ignored and overturned by the SAT, and 92% of public submissions objected to, or raised concerns about, this extraction project.

I strongly support local residents who argue this extraction disregards the objectives of the conservation zone and will be detrimental to the fragile environment of the Nullaki.

A fauna study funded by the Natural Resource Management Program is currently being conducted and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have not received an application for a clearing permit under part V of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

I believe there may be valid reasons to challenge the 2017 determination by the EPA not to assess the proposal, and will write to the EPA requesting they reconsider their determination.

SCHOOL STRIKE 4 CLIMATE

Kids care about their future: fact. It was a privilege — and so much fun — to join my Greens (WA) colleagues in supporting thousands of schoolchildren who took to the streets of Perth to strike for climate action on March 15.

Protecting our forests is a huge tool in the battle against climate change, but just to see, meet and walk beside the leaders of tomorrow demanding change made me so hopeful and proud.

Young or young-at-heart, we can only do this together, so to the Swedish shool girl who began this campaign, proving a movement can begin with one: thank you Greta Thunberg.

Lobster catch being measured.

WESTERN ROCK LOBSTER INDUSTRY

Did you hear the one about the minister and the lobster industry?

In January it seemed impossible to avoid debate about the State Government’s plans to nationalise 17% of the western rock lobster industry — quite contrary to the low-key response the Fisheries Minister may have expected when announcing the plan over the Christmas break.

The proposed changes suggested increasing the commercial catch to 8,000 tonnes.

As The Greens (WA) marine and coastal issues spokesperson I could not support government intervention in a market where economic objectives were in conflict with environmental sustainability — especially when the effect of climate change on the population of the species is so potentially volatile.

The scheme outlined a commercial plan for a five-year-plus period, despite sustainable catch quotas being based on four-year breeding projections, meaning these goals of conservation and profit were in unresolvable conflict.

As it turns out, after insurmountable political and industry opposition, the State Government withdrew its plan and reached a new agreement with the western rock lobster industry to increase the commercial catch by a smaller amount.

I’m relieved the punchline to this tale was to not risk the environmental sustainability of a natural resource for commercial reasons.

GREENS POOL

I was disappointed by Rick Mazza MLC’s motion in Parliament to disallow the December 2018 ban on fishing at Greens Pool in the Great Southern’s William Bay National Park.

With more than 238,000 visitors to the National Park each year, Greens Pool is a world-class natural tourist destination and asset to the south coast and the State.

I am committed to supporting the ban placed on all fishing at Greens Pool from December of last year.

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 will be speaking against the motion in parliament, indicatively scheduled for May.

Diane with members of the Jarrahdale Forest Protectors and Institute of Foresters of Australia during her visit to Jarrahdale, March 27.

JARRAHDALE FOREST TOUR

In late March I met with the Jarrahdale Forest Protectors and Frank Batini and John Clarke of the Institute of Foresters of Australia to discuss the impacts of raw bauxite mining in the region and ongoing management of rehabilitated mining sites.

That morning, prior to meeting, I was taken on a tour of the Jarrahdale forest by Frank and John to see first-hand the trials of thinning, re-vegetation efforts and other activities.

Bauxite mining by Alcoa is a real challenge, and there is urgent need for all stakeholders to look at ways to reduce the impacts.

It was an encouraging experience to facilitate discussion between local conservationists and foresters.

My focus is working together to provide a united front on issues where our values align as more will be achieved in collaboration to protect the health of our forests.

Busselton Jetty. In February, the future of The People Place community centre in Busselton was secured.

THE PEOPLE PLACE PROTECTED

Finally, I was so glad to hear The People Place in Busselton has had its immediate future secured after they were recently considered ineligible for funding through a competitive tender process.

The community centre, previously funded under the former Supporting Communities Program, provides vital services and programs and has been a fixture in Busselton for over 25 years.

As a result of questions on the matter I asked when parliament resumed, the centre has been informed its tenure has been extended until 2024, with future State-funding flagged.

The news really put a smile on my face!

Summary of my activities
January-March 2019

Events attended:

Busselton Jetty Tour | Busselton Festival Launch | Jerramungup CRC Community Meeting | Bremer Bay CRC Community Meeting | A Window to the Wetlands – Lake Vancouver Walk | Busselton Jetty Swim Sundowner | WA Forest Alliance Stall at Mount Claremont Markets | Boyup Brook Country Music Festival | Galactic Co-op Tour | Grains Industry WA Corporate Breakfast | Nannup Music Festival | Parliamentary ‘WA Seafood’ Function | Pew Foundation Launch: ‘An Extraordinary Natural Legacy’ | TWS Great Western Woodlands Photography Exhibition | WA Farmers Annual Conference: Trending Ag 2019 | Busselton Pride Parade with Senator Jordon Steele-John | Mandurah Crab Fest | Door knock in Waroona with Jodie Moffat, Candidate for Canning | WACA Ground Improvement Project presentation | Parliament Bike Ride | Wednesday’s Garden – Book Launch | Green Skills Albany – Sustainable Community Day | Western Ring Tailed Possum Presentation Albany | An Evening with Senator Jordon Steele-John, Albany | Walk for Refugees with Jordon Steele-John Denmark Students | Deco-Housing Denmark Open Day | Fairbridge Festival Regional Cultural Development Project | Southern Regional TAFE 2019 Student Awards Ceremony

Meetings:

Environmental Defenders Office | Fishing Families WA | Western Rock Lobster Council | Beyond Zero Emissions | World Animal Protection | Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-Operative | Jerramungup Shire Staff and Councillors | Fitzgerald Biosphere Group | 888 Abalone Farm Site Visit | Carol Petterson and Jane Jeffries – Lake Mullocullup | Emanuel Exports Fremantle Wharf sheep loading site visit | The People Place Busselton | SMART Drum Line Trial Update meeting | Nullaki Peninsula Community | WA Division of the Institute of Foresters Australia | Police Union President | 4wd Association | Collie-Preston / South West – school visit to Parliament House | Mandurah / South West – school visit to Parliament House | Animals Welfare Working Group | WA Forest Communities Network | Bunbury student Climate Change activists | South West Agroforestry Network | Walpole Community: Manuka Life | Jarrah Forest field visit with Institute of Foresters | Jarrahdale Forest Protection Group | Total Green Recycling E-Waste Recycling Tour

Petitions:

Lake Jasper – Mining

Questions Asked in Parliament:
The People Place Busselton | Jangardup Mineral Sands Mine – Acid Sulphate Groundwater Plume | Forest Products – Karri and Marri Industrial Wood | Western Australian Planning Commission – Local Planning Scheme 1 | Lime Quarry – Environmental Protection Authority Assessment – Nullaki | State of the Environment Report | Our Priorities – Regional Jobs | Sandalwood Harvest | Alcoa – Jarrah Forest Rehabilitation | Nursing Posts – Bremer Bay and Jerramungup | Sandalwood Harvest | Bushfire Alerts Notifications | Lake Mullocullup – Recreational Use | Renewable Energy Collie | Western Rock Lobster Fishery – Harvest Strategy and Control Rules

Member’s Statements:

State of the Environment Report | South West Bushfire | Albany Wave Energy Project – Radiotherapy Funding | Regional Forest Agreement

Motions:
Western Rock Lobster | Environmental Protection Authority – Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Communication | Rights in Water and Irrigation Amendment Regulations (NO. 2) 2018 – Disallowance | Christchurch Terror Attack | Environmental Protection Authority – Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Briefings:
Western Rock Lobster | Bunbury Outer Ring Road | Greenbushes Lithium Mine | WA Sandal Wood Inc | Environmental Court / Tribunal | Air BNB | WACOSS Parliamentary Friends of Children Briefing

Interviews:
ABC morning radio w/Katie Triple M Albany (Re: Nullaki Media Release) Triple M Albany (Re: Lake Mullocullup)

Rallies attended:
‘Save the Murray/Darling Perth Rally’ | Perth School Strike 4 Climate

EversGreen: October-December ’18

With the year drawing to a close, I hope everyone takes an opportunity to reflect on their successes and look forward to new challenges.

It is a privilege to be speaking up for the South West and knowing there is much more hard work to come, which fills me with excitement about what may be achieved in the future.

Throughout the next two years you can be assured I will be supporting our farmers. I will be in our forests, protecting our precious landscapes and opposing inappropriate regional development. I continue to hold the State Government to account in parliament and in my role on the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee. But most importantly of all, I will continue meeting with you, the South West community. Your voice is my voice – together we can continue to build a future for all of us.

Warmest wishes for the festive season and a happy new year to you and your loved ones,

Diane

YOONDADADUP LAKE JASPER: TOO BEAUTIFUL TO MINE

There was an outpouring of online support in October when I shared speculation the State Government had approved a mining lease at Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake, Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.

While a mining lease has not yet been approved, I was subsequently pleased when Environment Minister Stephen Dawson responded to my questions in parliament on the matter by indicating he will write to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston to suspend consideration of a mining lease application.

Following this, in early December I camped overnight at Yoondadadup Lake Jasper as part of the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition’s ‘Camp on the Country’, joining Indigenous custodians and strong committed campaigners ready-and-waiting to make a difference.

There is no reason a mining lease should proceed – and I will be seeking to ensure this land is returned to D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

I encourage concerned community members to learn more and get involved by visiting savelakejasper.org.au

HEALTHY OCEANS NEED SHARKS

Thousands oppose a baited shark drumline trial ‒ and in November, prior to tabling a petition to support such opposition, I made a member’s statement in parliament to explain why.

The tabled petition, with 198 signatures opposing the WA Fisheries S.M.A.R.T. Drumline Trial, was supported by an online version signed by 7000 others who believe a trial of S.M.A.R.T. Drumlines lacks supporting evidence, increases risks to beach users and would have a harmful effect on our precious marine life.

DUNSBOROUGH DONE WITH PUMA

Some great news came from the Court of Appeal on December 2, with the announcement that a 2017 Supreme Court ruling allowing the development of a 24-hour Puma convenience store and petrol station on Dunn Bay Road has been overturned.

This development was proposed at a central location and it would have undermined community and Council expectations and decisions regarding the development of their town.

Development needs to be approved in line with community desires – it is not good enough to simply allow big operators to come in and make it unviable for existing operators.

For the past three years Tony Sharp and the community group Puma2Go have championed overwhelming community opposition to this development. Knowing our communities are being heard is encouraging and I hope the developers, the consortium Dunsborough Centrepoint Shopping Centre, will now abandon their plans.

GREEN PUSH FOR GREENBUSHES RAIL

I have been advocating for a freight rail solution at the Talison Lithium mine in Greenbushes throughout 2018. Lithium mining is growing in Western Australia and discussions are being held to consider reopening the Tier 3 Greenbushes–Bunbury rail line.

I also met with Talison Lithium general manager of operations Craig Dawson prior to a well-attended community meeting at the Greenbushes District Hall on December 5. We discussed a rail solution and the possibility of a conveyor belt option to avoid road-based freight impacting on the town.

Many in the local community support a rail solution, rather than trucks transporting lithium through their town to Kemerton, Kwinana and Bunbury Port. Current and future Governments will be expected to maintain and improve any road truck routes – opening the rail line would lessen this burden considerably.

We need this rail line. A considerable amount of infrastructure is needed, but the benefits would be ongoing. Reopening the line would require considerable infrastructure and the Federal Government can be approached to contribute along with state funding and Arc Infrastructure, who lease the line. The timber industry has also expressed interest in using the line.

COMMUNITY CONCERNS FOR SWEET DEAL

I am investigating concerns about a share-farming agreement on land near Walpole, for which the Water Corporation will receive a portion of revenue from the production of honey products.

Under the terms of the deal, three blocks of land owned by Water Corporation in the Walpole water catchment area will be sprayed with glyphosate to kill pasture, then planted with an introduced-species of tea tree.

The Walpole community is fighting this proposal and have a petition circulating to try to stop the project. The community want to be involved in the process for determining the best use of this land.

The risk of introducing an invasive species and of heavy glyphosate use in the catchment demands these community concerns be raised in parliament.

SOUTH WEST, PARLIAMENT & BEYOND…

There were many other issues I looked at in the past few months, including:

  • My member’s statement on Industrial Hemp – October 17
  • Petition tabled in Parliament opposed to the development of Greenpatch, Dalyellup – October 30
  • Albany Agricultural Show – November 9-10
  • Petition tabled in Parliament opposed to the proposed southern section of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road – November 20
  • My member’s statement to mark National Agriculture Day – November 21
  • Joining the weekly Asylum Seekers Action Group vigil in Albany – November 24
  • My first Pride march – also November 24!
  • Debating the motion of Bushfire Preparedness – November 29
  • The Big School Walkout for Climate Change – November 30
  • Supporting West Papua’s Independence Day – December 1

You can contact me by calling the office on 08 9486 8070, or emailing southwest.evers@mp.wa.gov.au

Summary of my activitiesOctober — December 2018

Events attended:

Act Belong Commit wearable art exhibition opening Bunbury | A Future for All of Us – Richard Di Natale | Focused on Forests Event – Margaret River | Ghandi Exhibition at Parliament House | Regenerative Agriculture: The Guts Governing Our Food | Food for Thought Festival | Wide Open Agriculture with Charles Massey | Host a Girl Guide – Girls Take Over Parliament | WA Forest Alliance’s Forests For Life: Science Forum | Opening of the Capel Civic Precinct | Bunbury Surf to Surf Fun Run | Mandurah Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition | John Austin Survey II Opening Exhibition | Torbay Catchment Group – Poornarti Cultural Tour with Joey Williams – Denmark | Clean State launch – CCWA | Constitutional Centre Lecture Series: Early voting and its effects on election | WA South West Regional Economic Update – Bunbury | Green Fair Albany | Albany Agricultural Show | Albany Roller Derby Swap Meet | Greens National Conference | Kinjarling Djinda Ngardak 2018 Gala Dinner | Big Gay Pride Dance Party Albany Roller Derby | Snap Action against Fracking | Shield of Voices Exhibition Launch | Manjimup Cherry Festival | Save Lake Jasper Camp out

Rallies attended:

Reverse the Education Cuts | Destruction of natural open space in Perth | Don’t Frack WA | School Strike 4 Climate | McGowan, don’t rope us into a fracked future!

Meetings:
Headspace | Allanson Primary School | Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions | Forest Products Commission | WA Farmers Bee Keepers Section & Bee Industry Council of WA | Friends of Gelorup | Hemp Growers Association | Real Estate Industry WA | Hemp Milk Co. | Frederick Irwin Anglican School | Guide Guides WA | John Calvin School | Meadow Springs Primary School | Southern Forests Irrigation Committee  | Sabrina Hahn at Stonemeal Farm | Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group | Gelorup Residents | Talison Lithium Pty Ltd. | Greenbushes | Greenbushes Residents | Donnelly River Farmers

Member’s Statements:
Ihemposium – Industrial Hemp Industry | Silvicultural and Agricultural Practices | Lake Mullocullup | Jordan Steele-John – One Young World Politician of the Year | Mining – Lake Jasper | National Agriculture Day | Sharks – Hazard Mitigation – Drumline | Bunbury – Greenbushes Rail Line – Lithium Mining

Briefings:

GM Farming Legislation | Arc Infrastructure | The impact of harvesting trees, including jarrah and karri, on beekeepers in the SW | The future of the Australia–India economic relationship | Water allocation in Manjimup | The development and use of the draft regional conservation plans and the FMP review process | Structure Plan for Lot 660 Goode Beach | Animal Welfare Amendment Bill | Encouraging the next generation of female representation into WA politics | Water Licensing Fees Discussion Paper | Reform of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972

Motions:
Payroll Tax | Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2017 | Live Export | Duties Amendment Bill 2018 | South West Forests – Economic Opportunities Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 – Disallowance | Health Services (Information) Amendment Regulations 2018 – Disallowance | Select Committee into the Government’s Local, Projects, Local Jobs Program | Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choice | Agriculture – Innovation | Bushfire Preparedness

Interviews:
Live panel interview SW ABC In Tha House program | ABC South West the Drum

Questions Asked in Parliament:

Structure plan Goode Beach, Albany | Water – Desalination | Barrabup Forest Logging | Bunbury Outer Ring Road | Forest Products Commission – “Forest Management Plan 2014-2023” | Integrated Timber Processing Yard – Expression of Interest 22/2017 | Salinity – Management | Green Patch Development | Sensitive Sites Map | Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee – Section 18 Notice | State Forest39 – Lease 2933/97 | Galaxy Resources – Lithium Mine – Dust Management | Conservation and Land Management Executive Body | Mining – Gingilup – Jasper Wetland System | Lake Jasper – Jangardup Mineral Sand Mine – Acid Sulphate Plume | Dieback – Mundaring-Albany Four Wheel Drive Route | Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme | Bunbury – Greenbushes Rail Line – Lithium Mining | Walpole and ManukaLife

Petitions:
Greenpatch Development – Dalyellup | Bunbury Outer Ring Road Route | Mining Lake Jasper | Sharks – Hazard Mitigation – Drumline Trial

EversGreen: July-September ’18

FIGHTING FOR OUR FORESTS

In September we held a very successful workshop at Margaret River, aimed at re-energising the battle to protect our forests.

The big turnout, consisting of seasoned campaigners and curious newcomers wanting to learn more about the future of our precious environment, discussed topics ranging from identification of High Conservation Value forests to organising campaigns to save them.

It connected a community of forest enthusiasts who spent much of the day brainstorming and coming up with strategies and ideas for future action.

I am happy to report that everyone went home invigorated with enthusiasm, vowing to maintain collaborative efforts to help protect WA forests.

We’ve taken on board all the suggestions and will be liaising with all participants on their follow-up efforts to spread the word about preserving our jarrah, karri and tuart trees.

We need to maintain our rage against the Government, which has ignored two big petitions to stop logging the forests. Keep an eye out for opportunities to get into the forest. As part of the campaign city dwellers will be encouraged and assisted to interact with the forest up close

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Recently, to commemorate Op Shop Week (Sep 30 – Oct 7), I encouraged people to donate their unwanted clothes to charity, and to utilise their nearest op shops for their clothing needs.

We need to halt the growing throwaway culture for clothes which has resulted in fabrics filling landfill indefinitely, as they invariably take hundreds of years to break down, if ever.

Secondhand does not mean sacrificing style, and I’m proud to say that my family and I frequent op shops whenever and wherever we can.

MILKING HEMP POTENTIAL

I was delighted to be able to offer Members of the Legislative Council the opportunity to taste milk made from hemp during afternoon tea in Parliament.

Parliament recently passed legislation which allows the cultivation of hemp containing up to one per cent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the leaves, making it easier for registered farmers to grow the seed and plants, which they can sell into the food or fibre industries.

The hemp industry will likely expand quite significantly over the next few years. I’ll back calls on the Government to support the industry with research into the agricultural aspects and development of products and markets.

One of those products, hemp milk, is currently available in WA, manufactured locally in Victoria Park by the company Refresh Juice, whose proprietor Liam O’Neil provided the milk at Parliament House. It’s dairy-free, nut-free, contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids as well as all 10 essential amino acids, without any cholesterol.

I’m happy to report that most of my Parliamentary colleagues who sampled the milk gave it the thumbs up.

OTHER ISSUES

There were many other issues I looked at in the past few months, including the impact of AirBNB-type accommodation on tourism and housing in the regions, the increasing demand on clearing for new developments, the use of drum lines for sharks, and the on-going debate over the live sheep trade, for which a transition to a chilled meat industry is the answer.

My constituency stretches from Mandurah to Bremer Bay along WA’s South West coast, taking in the electoral regions of Mandurah, Dawesville, Murray-Wellington, Bunbury, Collie-Preston, Vasse, Warren-Blackwood and Albany.

It’s a pleasure to travel and meet people, listen to their concerns and help out where I can, and find out more about the varied and interesting things they do.

Summary of my activities
July-September 2018

Events attended:

Nornalup Art Exhibition | Denmark High School class presentation | Parliamentarians Leadership course | Climate Change and Energy Public Discussion | Truffle Kerfuffle Manjimup | Germination Art Opening (Manjimup) | South West Environmental Snapshot | Dalyellup Library Opening | BCEC’s Focus on WA Report Exploring the Digital Divide in Western Australia | WALGA Conference | Soil Restoration Farming Seminar | Opening Shire of Manjimup State Timber Museum | Denmark Employment, Education and Training Expo & Evening Event | Homeless Week Couch Conversations (Margaret River) | Photo Exhibition – Year of Living Dangerously | Dying with Dignity Rally | New Economy for WA | Food and Health Event | Dowerin Field Day | WA Farmers Federation Dinner | National Threatened Species Day – Yagan Square Silent Protest | Reverse Education Cuts Rally | Diabetes Awareness Event | CCWA Projections at Parliament | Act Belong Commit Wearable Art Exhibition Opening | Hemp Growers Association Symposium | One Last Stand Rally | WA Farmers Federation General Section cocktail party

Meetings and Briefings:

Great Southern Grammar School at Parliament | Aquinas School at Parliament | Friends of the Earth | Alcoa Rehabilitation Team | Allansons Primary School at Parliament | WA Beekeepers  | Friends of Gelorup | REIWA | Hemp Milk producer Refresh Juice | Frederik Irwin Anglican School at Parliament | Bunbury Greens | WA Forest Alliance | Fire Re-ignition | Roadside Clearing in SW | Forest Management Plan | Food Security in Rural WA | Waste Water Treatment Plant and Drainage Issues | Foreign Buyers Duty | Softwood industry | GM regulations | Solar Battery Storage | The impact of harvesting trees, including jarrah and karri, on beekeepers in the south west | The future of the Australia–India economic relationship | The economic value of insect crop pollinators | Water Allocation Manjimup

Interviews:

Live panel interview with ABC South West | Bunbury ABC Radio

Questions Asked in Parliament:
Integrated Timber Processing Yard | Forest Products Commission – Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 Review | Bunbury Outer Ring Road Route | Barrabup Forest – Logging | Desalination | Structure Plan – Goode Beach, Albany | Logging Beekeeper Concerns | Wild dogs – Pastoral Leases | Green Patch Development – Gamma Survey – Dalyellup | Regrowth Karri Thinning | Prescribed Burning Smoke Health Impact | Roadside Clearing South West | Wild Dogs – Pastoral Leases | Greenpatch Development Dalyellup– Waste Water Treatment Plant | Forest Products Commission -2016-17 Annual Report Hearing | Forest Products Commission – Independent Audit | Sawmills – Investment Security Guarantees | Pemberton Camp School – Leasing | Biosecurity Leptospermum Scoparium

EversGreen: April-June ’18

LITHIUM LEADS THE WAY

I welcome the establishment of a Government taskforce to investigate how WA can benefit from the lithium boom. Lithium is a key ingredient in the batteries that drive electric cars, and in electronic devices like mobile phones and laptop computers. The South West should see increased mining activity as lithium-bearing rocks are plentiful in the region. These industries could create thousands of highly skilled, high-paying jobs. The mining activity would bring many families and associated businesses to the region. Value-adding to our mineral resources benefits Western Australians and can make use of extensive renewable energy potential. It’s exciting to see more than 15 lithium developments planned or under construction across the state, representing about $4.7 billion in future investment, with more on the way.

But, like all similar industries, we must maintain appropriate recognition for environmental and social concerns. I also asked the State Government to consider re-opening the Bunbury-Greenbushes line to facilitate rail freight of the lithium from the Tianqi plant, and take pressure off the roads. I welcome the news that the company is in negotiations with Arc Infrastructure, lessees of the rail line, for its reactivation. It’s imperative that the State Government support moves to restore the line to operating condition.

THE STATE BUDGET

This year’s State Budget has inflated household costs, with Treasurer Ben Wyatt announcing that residents would have to find an extra $300 to pay for increases to water, power, public transport and car registration. These hikes will be felt hard in all sectors of the community. All up, they take the “representative household’s” annual payment to the State to $6,327 a year for the services they receive. Many in the regional areas, with less disposable income, will struggle with the burden.

I’m also disappointed that no extra money was allocated to community resource centres, which have had their funding severely reduced. And there was no mention of Indigenous tourism, an area that was highlighted in a recent Auditor General’s report which said the State was not meeting its targets in this area.

On the plus side, I’m pleased that the Government has pledged to continue its investment in the regions. I also welcome the allocation of $15.3 million over four years to establish an independent advisory body on infrastructure needs and priorities, which has the potential to curtail ill-thought-out construction projects and save considerable funds. There were also welcome references to climate change and regenerative agriculture. Overall, it appears the government was looking at longer term strategies, which will help with the state’s fiscal recovery.

SALT OF THE EARTH

The issue of salinity in WA was a much-discussed area of concern many years ago, but seems to have become a forgotten problem in recent times. The point was reinforced recently by a damning report released by the Auditor General, which assessed the extent of salinity in the agricultural regions of the South West. The report said the scale of the problem was daunting, with an estimated one to two million hectares of land affected by salt, potentially rising to five million, with costs over half a billion dollars a year in lost agricultural production alone. It said since 2008, agencies have reduced monitoring and evaluation, and the Soil and Land Conservation Council, the key independent advisor to Government, has not met since 2003.

I highlighted this sad state of affairs in an address in Parliament. There is no question that there should be more coordinated management across government agencies, landholders and stakeholders to address the problem.

GM FINGERPRINT ON THE PULSE

I enjoyed an informative session with Murdoch University genetic engineering students earlier in June. My adviser Margaret Gollagher and I had been invited to attend a tutorial where the students, playing the roles of government scientific advisers, had to present an elevated pitch to explain the science of genetic technology, using everyday language. Unit coordinator Dr Wayne Reeve had urged them to think critically about the social and ethical issues surrounding genetically modified organisms.

It was a useful exercise to help them learn how to communicate with policy makers who are not usually experts in this area, but who help draft associated legislation. I gave out prizes to the groups who made the best presentations and who performed best in the laboratories. Ultimately, it’s good to know that the future of GM fingerprinting is in the hands of future scientists who are aware of the ramifications of their discoveries and breakthroughs, good and bad.

NO GREEN LIGHT FOR GREENPATCH

The residents at Dalyellup have been protesting long and hard about plans by developers, the Satterley Property Group, to bulldoze existing green space nearby to build 213 new residential lots.  It’s understood the proposal would destroy an area of high conservation value and would not safeguard the existing biodiversity.

I’ve suggested to the State Government that it protects this area by including it within the boundaries of the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park. While part of the development site is not owned by the Government, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has confirmed that the state does have the authority to include the lots in the Regional Park, subject to detailed assessment. This would be an ideal solution to protect this valuable land and provide a buffer for nearby sewage and waste facilities. In the interim, it is important that the Government does not act rashly in giving the green light for the proposal.

HOME ON THE RANGE

New laws have come into place which require all egg packages to prominently display the stocking density of hens. Producers must have less than a maximum density of 10,000 hens per hectare to earn free-range accreditation. Unpackaged eggs, like those sold at farmers’ markets, must be accompanied by signage with the stocking density printed on it.

In my opinion, the guidelines don’t go far enough. They’re much higher than those proposed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council model code of practice, which recommends just 1,500 hens per hectare. I would encourage consumers who support free range to make sure they check the labelling on their egg cartons and choose densities of no more than 1500 birds.

RAIL, NOT ROAD

A recent newspaper report highlighted the increased operating subsidies for the new Forrestfield Airport rail link, as well as other proposed rail projects. While the amount is large, what’s often overlooked is the cost of using road as an alternative to public transport. There are huge intrinsic and flow-on costs associated with building new roads or improving existing ones, including expenditure spent on maintenance, repair, and policing of traffic; in effect, they serve as a de facto subsidy.

There are also socio-economic effects to consider, such as increased pollution, increased congestion on the roads, and increased possibility of road accidents. Of course, transport systems aren’t just about commuters. A highly developed freight system will ensure efficient delivery of goods and divert this process from the roads, with a much lower carbon footprint. Spending money on mass transit infrastructure, urban or regional, is a wiser investment than directing it at arteries, avenues and expressways. I would rather have my taxes spent on enhancing our public transport networks than being forced to pay a road toll.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

On May 22, I commemorated one year in office. We’ve accomplished much, but there’s so still more to do to ensure proper use of natural resources and appropriate delivery of services to all Western Australians. We look forward to the challenges that face us in the future.

Summary of my activities
April-June 2018

Events attended:

Lecture on Climate Change and Energy, Curtin University | Parliamentarians Leadership Course | Nornalup  Art Exhibition | Visit  and talk with Denmark High School Students | Murdoch Genetic Engineering Workshop; Diane as a Guest Panellist | Gender and Climate Change Philosophy Lecture | Fire Resilience Event at Bornholm Hall | Albany Roller Derby Volunteer Breakfast | Dalgarup National Park site visit | Constituents Margaret River | Constituents Bunbury | Aboriginal Heritage Act Review Workshop in Bunbury | Australian Greens National Council Conference | Stop Adani Rally | World Bee Day display at Parliament House | Pesticide Rally | Greens Consensus workshop Albany | Karri Forest, Timber Trees and Shitake Event in Pemberton | Northcliffe CRC | Manjimup CRC | ‘We’ve Been Here Before’:  An Evening in Conversation with Nyoongar Elder Dr Noel Nannup and  Professor Fiona Stanley | Donnybrook on-farm visits | Balingup on-farm visits | Noongars Knew Best’ Talk on Historical Burning Practices by David Ward – Bridgetown | Bridgetown community | Senator Jordan Steele-John South West Tour | PowerUP Greens Election Campaign Training | The Truth about January 26: Justice and Healing

Briefings:

Committee on Young People | Auditor General report briefing | ALCOA | Meeting with CAPS Yarloop Data Collection | Management of Salinity | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme and Water Issues | Industrial Hemp Amendment Bill | Payroll Tax | Rural Fire Service | Animal Justice Party | Forests

Interviews:
Radio Interview with Dee Salmin on ‘In The House’, ABC South West | Youth for Forests film with Curtin film students | Live panel interview with Meghan Woods and Colin Tincknell, ABC South West | “Understory”: RTR FM Interview with Tim Clifford on Climate Change

Questions Asked in Parliament:

South-West Rail Line – Future in Light of Lithium Boom | Greenpatch Development – Planning | Pemberton Camp School – Land Ownership | Fremantle Port Authority – Inner and Outer Harbour Development Options Evaluation Report | Greenpatch Development – Wastewater Treatment Plant | Parks and Wildlife Service – Prescribed Burning | Greenpatch Development – Tuart Bushland – Dalyellup | Greenpatch Development – Tuart Bushland – Dalyellup | Barrabup Forest – Logging | Forestry – Sawmills | Live Export – Mv Maysora | Prescribed Burning – SW Forests | Water for Food Program – Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme

Motions:
Water Resources Management | Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations – 2017-18 Budget Report | Federal Government Budget | Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act – Reinstatement | 46th Report – “Acknowledgement of Country”

EversGreen: January-March ’18

GM CONTAMINATION INQUIRY

One of my first acts as a Parliamentarian back in June, was tabling a petition organised by FOODwatch calling for compensation for WA farmers who experienced economic loss through GM crop contamination. This bore fruit in December, when the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs, with the backing of the Agriculture Minister, agreed to inquire further into the issue. Over January, I put out the call far and wide for farmers to contribute their firsthand experiences and on-the-ground knowledge as evidence to the inquiry.

One of the problems with the GM debate is that we don’t hear enough from farmers because of fear of repercussions. So it was one of my proudest moments in early February, to help get an item on the ABC’s Country Hour where we heard from a non-GM farmer about his fears and experiences. I really hope this important inquiry will provide useful answers and guidance, and I will be following it closely.

FIGHTING FOR OUR COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTERS

In the September 2017 State Budget, the McGowan Government flagged it was planning a 40 per cent cut to Community Resource Centers (CRCs)  from 2019-20 onward. This naturally has caused great concern in my South West electorate where constituents rely heavily on their local CRCs for a broad range of services. No one is sure yet how such a cut, if it proceeds, will be implemented and whether just some CRCs would experience cutbacks or if it will be across the board. I have received nearly 100 letters from CRC users urging me to help them fight the cuts. The Regional Development Minister has announced a review to report by June 2018.

I am determined to make sure we don’t lose any services that sustain people and communities in my electorate, and across the State. For the past few months, I have been reaching out to each CRC in the South West electorate for their thoughts and feedback, and I will be taking this information back to raise with the Minister.

When I am out and about in the electorate, I regularly use the CRCs for meetings and events. In each town, I have witnessed that these Centers are the heart of so much. I intend to fight for these vital services to remain in our communities for all to benefit.

HANDS OFF POINT PERON!

In January, I attended a packed public meeting in Rockingham about the proposed Mangles Bay Inland Marina at precious Point Peron. It was a shame that no one from Government, apart from a LandCorp representative, attended because it was clear from the very large audience and mood, that any Government proceeding with this disastrous canal-style development proposal for the southern end of Cockburn Sound, will face very strong community opposition. Although this was outside of my South West electorate, I attended as the WA Greens Marine spokesperson.

Mangles Bay is an important, diverse fish nursery, including for King George Whiting and Blue Swimmer Crab. Maintaining its ecological health supports the Little Penguin colonies on Garden Island and Penguin Island, as well as fish stocks and water quality across the Sound. I will be working closely with WA Greens MLC colleagues Robin Chapple and Tim Clifford, who hold the Ports and Planning portfolios, to ensure that all future development in Cockburn Sound prioritises the ecological health of this important WA water body.

STANDING UP FOR OUR FORESTS

One of my priorities for this term of Government is greater protection for our native forests. The WA Greens policy is to end further logging of native forests and woodlands, and that is the goal I am working towards in diverse ways. One stepping point is to get the McGowan Government to enact on its pre-election promise to ‘immediately conserve all High Conservation Value (HCV) forests to provide protection for some of WA’s most threatened wildlife, including the Forest Black-Cockatoos, Western Ringtail Possums, Numbats and Quokkas’. Over summer, I reviewed more than 100 South West forests, ranging from the Swan Region around Perth, the South West Region, and the Warren Region towards the south coast, which were identified as ‘HCV’ by the Conservation Commission 2002. I am sorry to say that many of these, including those known to contain threatened animals and plants as well as patches of old-growth trees, are listed in the one-year and three-year harvest plans put out by the Forest Products Commission and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, respectively. My team and I have been working hard to collect signatures for a huge WA Forest Alliance petition that will be tabled in Parliament in March on this issue. Expect to hear more from us shortly on this issue and in the meantime, if you have questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

EversGreen: September-December ’17

BARRABUP PROTEST, OLD-GROWTH DEFINITION AND DIEBACK PREVENTION

The big ticket item that kicked off this period was the Save Barrabup Rally on the steps of Parliament House with a fantastic show of Nannup community members and supporters arriving to table their petition calling on the Environment Minister to classify the Barrabup Forest as a High Value Conservation Forest and end logging in the area. Click here to watch.

With hundreds attending on the day and more than 3000 signatures on the petition, the rally shone a spotlight on this very important subject. I was very pleased to table the petition to the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs for consideration.

The ensuing Government report confirmed the Forest Products Commission had failed to notice old growth forest at Barrabup before illegally bulldozing some of it in preparation for logging.

Further, it appears the Government recently changed the definition of old growth, without any community oversight or consultation. Strong criticism of these changes were made public in embarrassing inter-departmental communication records which I was able to obtain through Parliamentary process.

On a lighter but equally serious note, it was my recent honour to open the WA Dieback Information Group (DIG) Conference in September. Dieback is an issue close to my heart, as in 2006, I worked with South Coast NRM when we received substantial funding to research dieback and install boot cleaning stations. It was fantastic to join my voice with those of researchers and scientists dedicating themselves to protecting our precious WA ecology from the threat of this deadly pathogen.

STANDING UP AGAINST THE GASFIELD

I was pleased to join my voice with peaceful protesters in Bunbury recently to protest the McGowan Government’s approval of a large conventional gas exploration permit across the Bunbury, Dardanup, Donnybrook and Capel areas. The Government is stating that they are sticking to their election commitment not to ‘frack’ in the Southwest but I am pushing to enshrine this commitment into legislation.

I hear the message from farmers, families and our communities who want to protect land, water, health and agriculture into the future. As MLC for the Southwest I support a gasfield-free South West.  I’ll also be working with my colleague Tim Clifford MLC to advocate for better strategy and investment into renewable energy for our state into the future.

Make sure your voice is heard in the Governments’ upcoming Fracking Inquiry: www.frackinginquiry.wa.gov.au

FREE RANGE EGGS

I was pleased to see fines of $750,000 plus $300,000 in court costs awarded by the Federal Court against Snowdale Holdings announced recently, which sends a very clear message across the industry that deception over free range labelling is not acceptable. Snowdale Holdings duped Australian consumers for many years by producing eggs that did not meet free range standards. The WA Greens have long supported truth in labelling and for Australian consumers to have information that they need for their purchasing decisions. As well as consumers, I’m keen to support small farming enterprises in WA to profit from their hard work and dedication to sustainable farming practices. Click here to read more.

SHARKS, PENGUINS AND SHEARWATERS

After a community call-out on the effectiveness of the Government’s shark deterrent rebate scheme, I’ve been asking questions in Parliament and putting the pressure on the government to support devices that work for surfers.  The government has increased the rebate program but we want to see more options for surfers. I’ve also heard your concerns around the death of local penguins and shearwater birds and have been asking the hard questions to ensure the safety of our precious marine life in the context of large development proposals, climate change and over-fishing.

FOOD! GLORIOUS BUSH FOOD!

It’s no secret that I am in love with the latest bush food trend. I was honoured to dine with guests at a Fervor bush foods degustation dinner in late August. The group works with indigenous leaders in a culturally engaged way to offer degustation dinners which showcase uniquely Australian and local bush foods. I believe the bush foods movement is an incredible opportunity for indigenous groups and small business agriculture and tourism in regional WA and am putting my support behind this amazing and fast growing industry.

I was delighted to cut my first ribbon as a Member of Parliament recently to launch the healthy, local and sustainable Culcha Kitchen mobile food van in Albany, which is also collaborating with the very groovy team at the Wilson Brewing Company: yet another amazing and environmentally conscious small business that’s new and booming in the Great Southern.

NOWHERE TO GO: PROTECTING OUR ENDANGERED SPECIES

Community outrage over the destruction of trees that were home to critically endangered possums in Busselton recently to make way for a car park shows people in the Southwest want action to preserve Busselton’s natural assets and wildlife. I was moved when I saw the footage of the mother and joey western ringtail possums clutching the end branches of the tallest peppermint tree as the tree was slowly lopped, until they eventually had nowhere else to go.

The mother and joey were the last of six critically endangered western ringtail possums known to occupy a small stand of mature trees, including four peppermints and a sheoak, at the corner of Duchess and West streets. The possum and the trees have all now been removed to make room for what will initially be a single story, and later multistory car park for the expanded Busselton Central Shopping Centre.

I share residents’ dismay at the loss of mature trees and disturbance of an endangered species that is unique to WA’s south-west and south coasts. Due to drying climate, land-clearing, logging and feral species negatively affecting our forests, western ringtails increasingly rely on peppermint trees in urban or suburban areas for habitat and food: You can support the conservation effort for the possum via SWCC.

SOUTHWEST AND BEYOND

My office has been grateful to hear from you and the Southwest community on a number of issues regarding planning approvals processes and concerns in recent months. I was very pleased to assist the PUMA2GO community group in Dunsborough in opposing the building of a petrol station that is against the wishes of the local community.

I’ve also been engaged in discussions around developments in Albany, potable water supply in Northcliffe, waste water recycling in Denmark, construction waste management in Busselton as well as ALCOA’s recent bauxite mining and export operations.

I’ve been working with members of the community to address concerns around the Mangles Bay Inland Marina and Housing Estate in Point Peron. This included drawing the Minister for Environment’s attention to the work of the Peron Naturaliste Partnership into the vulnerability of Mangles Bay and the impacts of climate change.

I really enjoyed attending the PrideFEST Southwest and Pride Northbridge events and was thrilled to celebrate the wonderful ‘Yes’ Vote with the Australian Greens on the streets of Melbourne last month.

Summary of my activities
September-December 2017
Events Attended:

Opening of Busselton Admin and Civic Building | The State Budget Breakfast | BCEC Indigenous Football | Collie Health Service Redevelopment Launch | Sustainable House Day Margaret River | Donnelly River Mill Museum Opening | Philosophy café, Kate’s Place Albany | PGA Convention | Dieback Working Group Conference | Film Screening “I, Daniel Blake” | Arthur River Soils Field Day | Mad Hatters Tea Party Albany | Opening of Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence | Sprint into the garden – Create No Waste Festival | Albany Marriage Equality Rally | Food for Thought | Take Back The Future (Scott Ludlum farewell) | Diwali & Hindu New Year | Gas film in Mandurah | ACBC & CCCA China National Day Celebrations

Events Attended (cont.):

Oddysea at Sensorium Theatre | WA Spatial Excellence Awards | Black Swan Theatre: “I Am My Own Wife” | BCEC Perth’s Infill Housing | Aboriginal Business Showcase | Aboriginal Art Exhibition | Walk Together for Freedom Rally | WA Greens AGM | Greens Institute Conference “Everything is Connected” | PrideFEST Southwest | Gas-field Free Southwest – Peaceful Protest | Albany Agricultural Show | Greens National Conference Hobart | Pride Parade, Northbridge | Dalyellup School Students at Parliament House | Fiona de Garis Performing Lines WA | Press Gallery Christmas event | BCEC The Price is Right | Greater Bunbury Greens Gathering

Meetings:

Southwest Catchments Council | Australian Society for Medical Research | Briefing: Appropriation Bill | Media on Mars | Tallison Lithium mine Tour – Greenbushes | Nannup Mill | LNG Marine Fuels Institute | UWA Corporate Communications | DWB Advisory | Briefing: ALCOA | Chamber of Commerce and Industry | Briefing: Dieback | City of Albany | Briefing: Salaries and Allowances Amendment | Briefing: Jobs Bill | Briefing: Potable Water Supply Northcliffe | Senator Janet Rice | RFA PLU Mechanical Fuel Load reduction | Briefing: Cyber security | RPELA (Shark Deterrent Devices) | RAC Southern Ports Authority Working Group | Briefing: E-Conveyancing | Auditor General: Tourism Review | Briefing: Kidman Resources

Questions in Parliament:

Rockingham Little Penguin Colonies | ALCOA Forest Clearing | ALCOA Bauxite | Mangles Bay Inland Marina FPC Saw Logs | Denmark Waste Water | Barrabup Forest | Old Growth Forest | Shark Deterrent Devices | Fracking Inquiry | Payroll Tax | Rottnest Marina Proposal | Community Resource Centres | Permit 1333: Use of Poisons

EversGreen: May-August ’17

Hello to you dear members! My first three months as a Member of Parliament have been exciting but have flown by. It has been a very steep learning curve and I have been very quickly coming to terms with how Parliament works, given an inaugural speech, had my first debate on the all-important Loan Bill 2017, presented petitions on GM crop compensation and the Fremantle Port, raised a motion on the reinstatement of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003 and asked many important questions of the Labor government.

FORESTS AT THE CORE: SAVING BARRABUP

While touring the Southwest, I visited the Barrabup Forest to view the native jarrah forest that Forest Products Commission (FPC) began logging without proper assessments having been completed. The decimation of the surrounding area is quite disturbing. I have asked a number of questions to the Government on the Barrabup Forest, which is home to many threatened animals and plants and I am continuing to seek answers from the Government on why it continues to log native forests when it is clearly doing so at a loss.

Our native forests are under multiple stresses not just from logging but also Phytophthora dieback and declining rainfall,  and the state must take action to manage them for the ecological health of the forest, taking into account the various needs of different forest types and locations. Find out more about the Save Barrabup Campaign by watching the video on their Facebook group, or contributing to the campaign.

SOUTHWEST EVENT RESCHEDULED

Recently I have been considering hosting a weekend get-together for members of the electorate at the Donnelly River Village. Whilst I was hoping to have this event in November this year, unfortunately that weekend won’t work for many of our key people and volunteers so I’ve decided to postpone to early 2018. I’ll keep you informed as we finalise the details.

MOVING FORWARD

This incredible journey gives the South West and the Greens many opportunities to influence government and make a positive difference. If you have any suggestions for events, site visits, meetings or actions, please contact my office.

Moving forward I am focusing heavily on the State Budget: my team and I are going through every detail as I am keen to represent the Finance and Treasury portfolio thoroughly. Now that I’ve got my bearings and my team together I suggest you watch this space for more exciting happenings in the months to come!

And though it’s not my portfolio, it is important to me that we do our very best to spread the word to vote “Yes” in the upcoming Marriage Equality Plebiscite.

Summary of my first 100 days
May 22 – August 30, 2017
Questions in Parliament:

Gas extraction | GM crops | Pt Peron Development | Barrabup Forest | Forest Products Commission | ALCOA | Public sector staffing numbers in the South West | Gourmet Escape | Sharks | Dieback | Penguins | Food Irradiation | Roe Highway | Land Clearing

Motions on Notice:
Reinstate the GM Crops Free Area Act

Debates:
The Loan and Supply Bills | Sharks | Drug Trafficking | Local Government Vehicle Registration

Member’s Statements:
Climate Change | The Barrabup Forest

Events attended:

Food Film in Margaret River | Albany Car Classic | Aboriginal Small Business Albany | Bush Foods Seminar Albany | Truffle Kerfuffle – Manjimup | RAC Event Bunbury | Torbay Catchment Group | Uranium Protest | Harvey Health Service Reno’s Opening | Nyungar Country Art Exhibition Bunbury | Small Business Research Report Launch | South Coast Snapshot Launch | Western Ground Parrot Film | Community Health Roundtable Bunbury | Greens event – Bunbury | Community Health Roundtable Busselton

Events attended (cont.):

Community Health Roundtable Margaret River | Greens Event – Margaret River | Community Health Roundtable Manjimup | Greens Event – Balingup | Barrabup Forest Site Visit | Candlelight Vigil for Detainees | CCWA Plastic Free Event | Plastic Free Sewing Bee – Albany | Talk with year 6 classes at Aquinas School | Sustainable Procurement Seminar | Launch of Kultcha Kitchen – Albany | Bush Food Dinner by Fervor – Porongorups | Equalitea – Marriage Equality Action – Albany | Energy Research Report Launch | Frack Free Rally | Black Swan Theatre 2018 Launch | Opening of Busselton Admin and Civic Building

Meetings and Briefings:

Finance | Budget | Forests | Housing Point Peron/Mangles Bay site visit | Albany Greens | Kojonup Organic Farmer | Amnesty International | Constituent re ALCOA | August Margaret River Clean Community Energy | Small Business Innovation | South Coast NRM | Albany Council | Denmark Council | Denmark Chamber of Commerce | Mt Barker Council | Timber Miller | WAFarmers | Royal Life Saving | Mandurah Councillor | Hon Jeremy Buckingham NSW MLC | GM Free Farmers | Great Southern Grammar at Parliament House | South West Catchment Council