EversGreen: July ’20

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As we embark on phase four easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia, we are cautiously approaching a new normal and I wish everybody the best during this transition. This new normal allows for a greater focus on community and environmental issues. I will continue doing all I can to represent the voices of the South West Region as we work towards a post-COVID recovery that rebuilds our future.

A major and ongoing issue in our South West forests relates to water rights, with the unfair and inequitable Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme rearing its ugly head once more in June. My thoughts remain with this already-long and painful community fight to save the Donnelly River. To stop the SFIS I need your help. You can read more about last month’s developments in this newsletter and sign up for our campaign to Stop The SFIS.

As I seek to remain connected to regional communities with upcoming regional visits and the continued fight to speak out for what matters, I’m delighted that my Regional Regeneration Facebook group continues to grow. At the time of writing, we have surpassed 300 members, coming together to discuss ideas about how to drive positive change in regional WA. If you haven’t yet joined, please feel welcome and invite your networks. This online community allows for an opportunity to share knowledge and I do hope you’ll join us as we hold important discussions about what affects us and work towards realising not just a new normal, but a better normal for our regional communities.

There are so many issues that affect us at global, national and local levels, such as environmental destruction, the need for new approaches to land management, impacts of housing stress, and the preservation of human rights. I am encouraged that so many people remain engaged with these matters and provide hopeful energy for parliamentarians like myself to represent them.



I have been painfully reminded in the past month of the inequity and unfairness motivating the community fight to stop the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme. This battle against the SFIS has already been long and painful, with the Donnelly River at risk from an inequitable water trading scheme that is 85 percent funded by taxpayers but locks out 85 percent of farming businesses. 302ha of good forest is going to be destroyed due to the SFIS, with 160ha inundated and 142ha cleared for pipelines.

My office became aware of approved drill testing occurring for this scheme during June, with significant community concern that these works were undertaken without the required hygiene controls to prevent the spread of dieback. I brought this matter to the attention of Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and the Regional Development Minister Allanah MacTiernan during parliament sitting weeks and called for the State Government to suspend such testing until the pending Environmental Protection Authority assessment is completed later this year. These current actions are akin to the previous government moving ahead with clearing land for Roe 8: unnecessary carnage for a road that was never built.

We need to ensure the public awareness and governmental pressure is increased. The SFIS must be stopped. We must not sell water from the Donnelly and we must protect catchment farmers. I encourage you to stay updated with our campaign to support impacted local communities and to help us Stop The SFIS.

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FIGHT FOR OUR FORESTS: Email the Ministers

The current native forests logging regime is destroying our biodiversity hotspots in the middle of a climate and extinction crisis. Logging our native forests not only destroys critical ecosystems but also hampers the development of higher value, sustainable industries such as tourism and honey production, as well as ignoring the value in Noongar cultural and educational practices.

By continuing the operations of the Forest Products Commission, WA Labor and the Liberals are propping up an unprofitable and destructive native forestry industry, frustrating our transition to a truly sustainable timber industry.

This is why I am calling on the WA Labor Government to repeal the Forest Products Act and protect our native forests — and am calling on you to support me by emailing the Ministers for Forestry, Environment and Regional Development to demand an end to the destruction of our state’s remaining native forests.

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HOUSING STRESS: Stimulus Steps Not Enough

Homelessness and housing stress in regional Western Australia is in a crisis, with the waiting list close to a decade in some places. While I welcomed the McGowan Government’s Social Housing Economic Recovery package as a necessary step for regional public housing and an increase in job creation, those measures did not go far enough to address long regional waitlists for accommodation.

I spoke in Parliament last month about homelessness in regional areas, something that concerns me greatly. In regional Western Australia, one in 10 women have experienced homelessness at some time in the past five years. This is unacceptable. Currently, there are 700 women on the public housing waitlist in the South West Region alone. In the Augusta-Margaret River area, there are 78 public housing dwellings, but, unfortunately, this is not enough.

In a region where there is up to a 10-year waitlist for public housing and housing is unaffordable for 63 per cent of residents, there are much-needed South West organisations such as Just Home Margaret River providing housing advocacy to vulnerable or disadvantaged members of the community, and they need support. I ask that in this wealthy state, the government does much more to help vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, particularly in the regions where social support services are often hard to come by.

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INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS AND CIVIL RIGHTS: Community Rallies for First Nations Voices

Few issues are more important than the continuing racial injustice in our country. Tragically, cultural and civil rights have been entwined with environmental catastrophe as a consequence of the wanton destruction of two 46,000-year-old culturally significant caves at Juukan Gorge in late May. In response, during June I stood with our First Nations people to rally outside the Perth offices of Rio Tinto in protest against this cultural vandalism.

I also attended the Perth Black Lives Matter rally days later, which drew thousands to Langley Park to harness global energy to address issues that directly affect First Nations people here in Australia. My WA Greens colleagues and I have worked to ensure these matters are raised in State Parliament and First Nations voices are heard, as ongoing struggles with systematic abuse, incarceration, marginalisation, and disenfranchisement from their culture and histories continues.

Subsequently, in Parliament I have sought to ensure a simple truth of civil rights was placed on the record. Black and First Nations peoples’ lives matter and I support my WA Greens colleague Robin Chapple’s call for the prevention of further devastating destruction of First Nations People’s heritage in WA. Not a single Aboriginal Heritage Site has been protected since the early ’90s and the people of Western Australia have lost scores of caves, artefacts and sacred spiritual places in that time. Robin subsequently moved in Parliament during June that we debate the failure in Australia — including here in Western Australia — to protect some of the world’s oldest cultural heritage sites, despite efforts by traditional owners to prevent their loss.

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PRESCRIBED BURNING: Prescribed Burning Practice Review Needed

The way we currently manage the bush through prescribed burns is not working. Burns that are conducted outside of scientifically guided best practice are damaging our unique and fragile ecosystems. Bart Lebbing of the Denmark Fire Study Group let me in on a letter they wrote to the Minister for the Environment with deep concerns around the current burning regime. I thought it was so reflective of many people in the South West that I read it in parliament for all to hear.

I’ve invited the Members of Parliament to come down to the South West, and visit these forests toexperience the value of what we need to protect. I truly hope they take up the invitation. You can join the call for a review into the practices used for prescribed burns in Western Australia by signing this petition.

EversGreen: June ’20

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I write to you while wishing you all the best as we step into the new and exciting post-COVID recovery in Western Australia. As we embark on phase three easing of restrictions and the announcement that the country has entered a period of recession, I hope you and your loved ones are coping as well as can be. While so many major unprecedented factors continue to impact us on a daily basis, I will strive to continue doing all I can to represent the voices of the South West Region — beginning with an increase in my own safely managed visits through the region over the coming months.

Last month saw the fight against an unprofitable native logging regime continue, with two significant native forest flashpoints emerging throughout May. The first occurred when the Treen Brook 12 forest coupe near Pemberton was set upon by Forest Products Commission (FPC) contractors for clear-felling, with the local environment and communities facing a severe impact. The second was in Dalgarup forest, near Bridgetown, where two 11th-hour reprieves — as a result of community action — prevented a forest of recognised significance being lost to these same environmental vandals.

I entered politics because, after witnessing the ongoing destruction of our native forests, I knew I had to do something. I wanted a seat at the table to be able to drive change for the better. I can’t do this alone. I need you to join me as I call for the McGowan Government to put an end to native logging and dissolving the Forest Products Commission. The native logging industry is publicly subsidised and actively damaging our natural environment. All of this at a time when the importance of protecting our natural areas has never been more urgent.

The importance of protecting our mental health is also so important and I was proud to support the regional offices of the national youth mental health foundation, headspace, by participating in The Push-Up Challenge! Across Australia, over $5m was raised to enable headspace to continue supporting young people to deal with the negative influences on their mental health. Given the intense events affecting us as a planet right now, young people need this support more than ever and I know the offices of headspace in AlbanyBunbury and Mandurah will continue to carry out this invaluable work.

There has been much to share from the South West, Parliament and beyond during May – including my updated website to include the numerous submissions my office has made on environmental and constituent matters. This page will remain updated with more information and archives, do take a look and see how you too can contribute. Though first, take care of yourself, go for a walk, enjoy the sunshine, breathe deep and think about what you are grateful for in your life.


FIGHT FOR OUR FORESTS: Protest for Protection at Dalgarup

There was some wonderful breaking news in late May with a major breakthrough for Dalgarup Forest. The site had been one of ongoing protest throughout the month, as community vigilance and action prevented FPC contractors from leveling this jarrah forest. In a win for direct action, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) announced a new old-growth assessment on May 14. Sadly, we already saw trees lost in Dalgarup forest, with only 10-12ha remaining by the time of DBCA’s decision.

While the subsequent assessment found no additional areas of old-growth, a statement from Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the area contained an unusually high number of ring-barked trees and would be partly preserved as a silvicultural reference site.

That fact remains that the methodology for determining old-growth still needs to change. WA Forest Alliance and its passionate forest defenders have shown once again that our native forests are under threat and must be protected. When a tree falls in the woods, these are the people who make a sound — and I thank them so very much. Full credit for the successful protection of sections of Dalgarup forest must go to every single person involved in raising awareness about the issue: from the WAFA and its tireless convener Jess Beckerling, to forest defenders like Nelson Gilmour who shared a live insight into the frontline, to everybody else in the community who stepped up to highlight the vandalism of our native forests by contacting Ministers and engaging in the conversation.

Thank you. It is your efforts that sustain me to pursue these issues in Parliament and apply the necessary pressure to the Forestry and Environment Ministers.

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FIGHT FOR OUR FORESTS: Family Businesses Suffer as Karri Forest Felled

The serious issue of native logging in the South West was not limited to Dalgarup Forest, after the Cernotta family, who operate a commercial beekeeping business and boutique accommodation venue, contacted my office regarding scheduled logging nearby in the Treen Brook area just outside of Pemberton. These business owners wrote to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly as far back as March to express how they would suffer first-hand due to the FPC’s logging of South West native forests.

After the Cernottas received weeks without reply from the minister’s office, I wrote to Minister Kelly in April and asked the McGowan Government questions in Parliament during May. When considering the assessment and quantification of the financial loss associated with issues raised by impacted businesses, such as the Cernotta family’s, the Government’s response to my questions included the line that it “considered the employment impact on the associated harvest contractors and log customers”.

Native forests make up a quarter of WA’s timber industry and this portion of the sector is not profitable. Instead of weighing the employment impact on contractors and customers up against the catastrophic impacts on small, local businesses, these considerations would be best served towards ending native forest logging and transitioning those affected towards sustainable alternative industries. Subsequent concessions made in operations by FPC to local businesses were little more than a facade, obscuring the full environmental and economic harm of its operations.

Our forests provide so much value standing — value for the economy, value for biodiversity and value for the planet. During a climate crisis that has been compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, tourism businesses and the small businesses that support regional centres need to be protected, all while ensuring we do more to retain what maturity we can in native forests that have seen over a century of destructive logging.

Native logging has no future in Western Australia. We need to end native logging and abolish the FPC.

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FIGHT FOR OUR FORESTS: Native Forestry a Burning Issue Nationwide

There has been some good news when it comes to forests in Australia! On May 8 I presented the short film Lifetime Guarantree live on Facebook, followed by a panel discussion with its director (and Balingup local) Sophia Armstrong. This documentary covers the protest actions to stop a train and raise the issues of South West karri forest being logged and exported to make cardboard. If you missed it, please go back and take in the broadcast for yourself!

Meanwhile, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements began on May 25 and evidence is growing that logging native forests drastically increases their fire risk. As community and business outrage grows as examples of appalling practices in the native forest sector emerge, peer-reviewed science is now directly contradicting one of the popular counter-arguments of the logging industry: that environmental changes to the forest sector would negatively impact the safety of communities by increasing bushfire risk.

Finally, over in Victoria, for the first time in 20 years forestry operations may have to be assessed under national environmental laws after the federal court ruled VicForests had breached laws related to threatened species.

The momentum for significant and lasting change in the unprofitable native timber industry will not be overlooked. Just because this happened in Victoria, doesn’t mean it can’t happen in WA. We can do more to protect our native forests and the biodiversity within.

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FREIGHT ON RAIL: Movement Continues Along the Right Track

WA loves trains and in some late-breaking news, I am pleased the McGowan Government is taking further steps to maintain its commitment to the recovery of Tier 3 rail lines. I have been a long-term campaigner for the re-establishment of freight on rail in regional Western Australia and I met with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union WA Branch (RBTUWA) state secretary Craig McKinley in May.

The RBTUWA recently campaigned to seek support from both state and federal governments to reopen of Tier 3 rail lines in regional Western Australia and successfully lobbied WA Labor’s state executive to call on the Government to commission an independent investigation of the economic and environmental impacts of Tier 3 line closures on the WA economy and its future development. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti later announced the engineering assessment in response to questions from Farm Weekly and said the proposed assessment would look at the potential cost and time required to bring the grain lines back to an operational standard.

The RBTUWA, along with stakeholders such as the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance, have done a fantastic job in pushing the Government to match its words to action through the announcement of this assessment. The time has come to restore the balance between investment in unnecessary and unsustainable road infrastructure and the longer-term benefit of maximising use from existing rail networks. The directors of CBH Group have also just announced that they, too, support the engineering assessment.

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NATURE, LIFE AND THE REGION: Regions and Rights of Nature Stay on the Agenda

The increased need to work remotely in recent months has resulted in some exciting new digital initiatives! As well as hosting the Lifetime Guarantree online film screening and panel, last month I also facilitated an online discussion panel on women in local government. Featuring five amazing women who have worked to improve their councils, this panel provided a broad range of tips and experiences for many more prospective new councillors. Having had my own personal experience as both a councillor and council employee for the City of Albany two decades ago, I enjoyed hearing about how much local government is changing.

Meanwhile, my Regional Regeneration Facebook group continues to grow! At the time of writing, we are close to reaching 200 members who are coming together to discuss ideas about how to drive positive change in regional WA. I’d really love to see this community continue to grow. If you haven’t yet joined, please feel welcome — and invite your networks!

In Rights of Nature news, I spoke with Yarnwaves on the RTRFM 92.1 ‘Understory’ program to discuss the Australian-first Rights of Nature Bill I introduced to Parliament last year and the broader environmental legislation movement that’s occurring worldwide. The Bill provides an opportunity for Western Australia’s remarkable natural environment to be given legal standing while also acknowledging our connection with, and responsibility to, future generations. At the heart of this legislation are people and the environment — the rights of nature and future generations should be held by all.

SHARK MITIGATION: Shark Trial Not So Smart

I spoke with the Augusta Margaret River Times last month about the McGowan Government’s 12-month SMART drumline trial extension. The Government believes this additional period will help determine the efficacy of the shark mitigation program, despite a two per cent success-rate costing $6million to the taxpayer so far. Spending $3million per great white shark tagged does not strike me as effective research or expenditure.

While the trial proceeded last year despite community concerns, with concessional oversights enacted as a result of public pressure, I see no evidence that extending the length of the trial will yield significant information

EversGreen: October ’19

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Well, wasn’t September a remarkable month for climate action? The month began with my Greens colleague Tim Clifford MLC calling on WA Parliament to debate whether to join a global movement of truth and declare a climate emergency – a motion that was watered down by amendments in a disgraceful manner by the McGowan Government.

The climate crisis is an emergency. Privately, WA Labor agrees with this, but in Parliament, they play political games. I believe humans can do better. I believe your State Government should do better.

One place where government is recognising the urgency for action is in the Great Southern! The Shire of Denmark became the second regional WA council to declare a climate emergency in September, proposing targets of a 50% reduction on current shire emissions by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050. I congratulate both the Shire and Tim Clifford for standing up on behalf of Western Australia — the call to recognise this emergency grows louder by the day.

Finally, on a personal note, I was so pleased to see the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill pass the lower house last month. I am proud to support this Bill — and for the valued commitment to the issue shown by The Greens (WA) spokesperson on end of life choices Robin Chapple MLC. I will do my part in ensuring the Legislative Council recognises how important this Bill is to the 88 per cent of Western Australians who support the choice to end suffering at the end of life.



There was good news for Community Resource Centres (CRC) in the past month, as the State Government confirmed in Parliament that funding will continue for two more years through to the end of the 21/22 financial year, without going through a reapplication process. This allows CRCs time for forward planning, as they work hard to meet the needs of communities.

Earlier in September, I asked the Government about its funding evaluation for Linkwest, the state association for community, neighbourhood and learning centres in Western Australia. The Government’s response was that it is still “considering” an evaluation report, despite less than six weeks before its funding is set to cease.

As the peak body supporting CRCs, this vital service cannot provide security to either its staff or the community as a result. I will continue working to push the Government to ensure clarity to Linkwest and the WA Community Resource Network – they deserve better.

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The Greater Bunbury Greens group hosted its Q&A forum, Green Communities Going Forward, on Saturday, 28 September. With The Greens (WA) members and supporters from the Forrest electorate in attendance, this forum was a terrific opportunity for the local membership to come together – all welcome!

I was joined on the Q&A panel by Nerilee Boshammer, Forrest candidate at the 2019 election; Pam Townshend, Margaret River Shire President; Dr Naomi Godden, Margaret River Shire Councillor; Sophie Greer, Director The Greens (WA); Elliot Sawers, Campaign Advisor to Senator Jordon Steele-John; and the wonderful Bella Burgemeister, local youth activist.

The future is bright when so many good people can come together in our regional centres!

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Of course, a highlight of September was the hundreds of thousands of school students and workers across Australia who took to the streets, young and young-at-heart alike, to demand urgent action on the climate crisis.

Climate change affects all of us and it will take all of us to stop it. The major parties are unable to take the action we need – but seeing our young people in the streets to demand climate justice at the Bunbury – Global Strike 4 Climate on September 20 provides so much hope for the future.

I thank all those who came together in the spirit of hope and regeneration. Whether it is Greta Thunberg internationally or the South West Region’s own young activist leaders, like Bella Burgemeister from Bunbury, the youth of today will not stand for the failings of yesterday! We all have the opportunity to help fix the world as best as we can — and these are the people we must do it for.

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I was struck by upsetting news in March, when the State Government announced that the Department of Transport (DoT) would proceed with the gazettal of Warriup Swamp-Lake Mullocullup for recreational water-skiing, with its sacred cultural significance virtually ignored. I’m thankful the community has not given up hope, with a new petition now being circulated, calling on the DoT to rescind the gazettal.

If you care about sites of cultural significance to First Nations people and protecting our wetlands from potentially harmful ecological impacts, I encourage you to print copies of this petition, collect at least 20 signatures and return it to the principal petitioner John Hassell.


In August, I visited Glenoran Pool with 110 members of the local community, most of whom were strongly opposed to the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme. The Southern Forests Irrigation Cooperative’s representative made assurances that the upcoming environmental approval processes would be well-communicated to those affected by this water trading scheme.

The reality? In late September, a two-week public comment period commenced for the scheme’s referral for federal environmental review under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Communication from the Cooperative consisted of a single-line website post.


An excellent win for the South West environment and community as a mining lease application at Lake Muir was withdrawn last month.

A big congratulations to Geoff Evans and his collaborators, who liaised with my office on this issue. After securing assurance from the Premier that Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake, Yoondadadup Lake Jasper, will be returned to D’Entrecasteaux National Park after the settlement of South West Native Title negotiations in 2020, this is yet another demonstration of hope leading to successful outcomes.


It was so great to attend the Regenerative Agriculture Conference: Investing in our Food Future at Perth Stadium last month — what an exciting time to join with other farmers and industry stakeholders to look at sustainable, effective ways to manage agriculture for the benefit of our produce AND the environment.

This conference has inspired me and many others to get to work sharing farmers’ stories of success using regenerative methods. This is agriculture as it must be – industrial agriculture has had its day. The world must be fed using methods that don’t deplete our landscape or diminish the quality of our food.

By the way… conferences can be no plastic. My name badge was made from paper and string, with scannable access to conference materials. I love it!

Summary of my activities
September 2019

Events & Rallies:
50th Anniversary of Equal Pay Legislation Event | Social Reinvestment WA: Reducing incarceration for unpaid fines | Annual Australasian Study of Parliament Group Dinner | Bunbury Greens Coffee Morning | Guest Speaker – Koolbardies Group Mandurah | Forrest Greens – Bunbury | Planet Zero Summit | Regenerative Agriculture Conference. | Craig Sinclair Album Launch : “Is This Goodbye?” | WA Youth Orchestra – The Planets | O’Connor AGM, Albany | Voluntary Assisted Dying Rally at Parliament House | School Climate Strike

Lake Mullocullup – Water Skiing | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme – Stewart Tree | Bunbury Outer Ring Road –Southern Section | Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – Regenerative Agriculture Organisational Chart. | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Point Grey Marina | Community Resource Centres | Mining – Gingilup-Jasper Wetland System | Water Licenses – Allocations – Warren Donnelly Area. | Environment – Western Australian Biodiversity Audit | Forest Products Commission – Contracts of Sale

Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations – Seventy-seventh Report – “2017-18 Budget Cycle – Part 2: Annual Report Hearings” | Natural Resource Management Groups | Select Committee into the Effect of Red Tape on the Western Australian Economy | Joint Audit Committee – First Report – “Second Review of the Financial Management Act 2006” | 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” | Climate Change
Forest Products Commission – Annual Report | Point Grey Marina – DevelopmentsMeetings & Briefings:
Agricultural Produce Commission Legislation Briefing | Animals Working Group, WA Greens | Various meetings with constituents on the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Meeting with NRM Experts | Meeting with Country Greens

EversGreen: September ’19

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Parliament resumed in August after a substantial winter break and it is wonderful to get back into the swing of things with some important strides both inside the Legislative Council and out.

Without doubt the most exciting thing to happen inside the chamber was to table a petition on behalf of 3,334 members of the South West community who are calling for the disused Bunbury to Greenbushes rail line to be returned to use. The principal petitioner, Therese, even made the journey up from the region via the Bunbury to Perth train line! I love trains and I hope the State Government gives proper consideration to how we can better manage freight haulage in the South West.

Outside Parliament, there were other journeys in the month of August — such as the one made by Belinda Teh, walking from Victoria to WA Parliament to raise awareness about the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, which was introduced into the lower house last week. I’m positive about the Bill’s chances to pass the lower house and look forward to supporting it, along with my Greens (WA) colleagues, when the time comes.

Last month I saw a community come out in the rain to demand answers to how a $70 million State- and Federal-funded water trading scheme can favour a few landowners, over the needs of the environment and the farmers in the catchment where the rain falls. I saw a community rally in rebellion against extinction on the steps of Parliament and another community celebrate the protection of native forests and old trees of significance, from logging.

I saw community, of diverse backgrounds and personal experiences, time and time again. This is what I will take back to Parliament once more, this week. Thank you to everybody who continues to turn out in this spirit.



Wonderful news from the committed and passionate WA Forest Alliance (WAFA) — Lewin stands!

According to WAFA, the Lewin forest blocks in the Southern Forests Region, along with the Channybearup, Barrabup and Nelson blocks, have been taken off the imminent list of forests scheduled for logging, after it was announced earlier this year they would only be protected until the end of August.

This magnificent, ancient forest would have been levelled over the past few months if it wasn’t for the incredible passion of those who defended it by occupying a campsite blockade throughout the winter months.

Thank you to the dedicated crew at WAFA – along with all those who supported the peaceful protest at Lewin throughout the blockade!


In August my office was informed of heavy-handed intimidation tactics being employed against some of the almost 1,000 people who signed a petition requesting the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS) be stopped.

Information in the publicly available petition to WA Parliament, which I tabled in June, was alleged to have been used by backers of the SFIS to identify and target those who signed the document.

The claims came ahead of a community gathering at Glenoran Pool on August 23, which drew over 100 people. It was an important day, with frustrated landowners turning out during working hours – and in the rain – to demand answers from the water trading scheme’s representatives.

There were many questions, but few answers. The local community must be heard and the unfair, poorly consulted scheme stopped – and should any complaints be made and proven regarding the harassment of petitioners, I hope the Legislative Council exercises powers to hold these offenders to account.

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I love trains – and as recently as July, I was hopeful of gathering a thousand (or more) signatures on a petition to parliament to reopen the railway line between Bunbury and Greenbushes, keeping in mind that WA Parliament does not accept anything other than hand-written, physical copies of petitions.

Well, thanks to the incredible efforts of the principal petitioner Therese Dignam, in August I tabled a petition in Parliament on behalf of 3,334 concerned members of the South West community, who wish to improve road safety by seeing haulage from the Greenbushes lithium mine put on rail.

For a physical petition spanning such a large area, this was a significant show of public support and I thank Therese for her substantial efforts – she even made the trip from the South West to Parliament via train!

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On August 6 my colleague Robin Chapple and I joined Perth woman Belinda Teh on the steps of Parliament House as she completed the final steps of Belinda’s Brave Walk.

Western Australia, through this Bill, has a unique opportunity to finally allow for compassion, dignity and respect for terminally ill people, and that it is people like Belinda who give so much and campaign so hard for change.

The only words to say are thank you: thank you for campaigning so hard for voluntary assisted dying laws in WA and thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly.

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I was proud to join The Greens (WA) climate change spokesperson Tim Clifford at the Extinction Rebellion-organised ‘Declaration of Rebellion Rally on August 15, along with Robin Chapple and Alison Xamon.

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

I thank those who turned up in the spirit of peace and non-violence.

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I joined Barry Green from Radio WA and Western Tourist Radio for a conversation about regeneration: be it in rural areas, in agriculture or even in how we consume our media in this era of connectivity.

After a series stops throughout the region last month, this chat was a terrific encapsulation of many of the issue that continue to crop up.

I encourage anybody – whether in the South West Region, Perth or beyond –to visit http://www.touristradio.com.au/ and explore Barry’s Western Australian, independent holiday network, including Harvest Highway and Boronia Farm.

Listen Now


The hard-working D’Entrecasteaux Coaltion has recently updated its website, as efforts continue to ensure Premier Mark McGowan follows through with his government’s intentions to return Yoondadadup Lake Jasper into the surrounding national park.

I have recently asked questions in parliament on this matter and we await progress in South West Native Title negotiations early next year, which have been flagged by the State Government as the primary obstacle to finalising this important action.

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I was pleased to see Fox, one of the organisers of the upcoming Great Walk of Peace, during August.

Fox and a group of passionate forest protectors concluded their fundraiser in the last few months and will be creating dynamic energy towards affecting change when they begin their journey from the Great Southern Region to Perth in late September.

Some of the visions for the walk include exposing the threats to Old Growth Forests which are continuing despite the efforts of so many, whilst showcasing the magnificent communal, supportive spirit that exists behind The Great Walk Network.

I look forward to joining the group at some point along their journey — visit their website for more information.


Should you Adopt it? What’s Missing?

The State Government, via the Department of Primary Industries and Resource Development (DPIRD), has started looking into the practices of Regenerative Agriculture.

The South West Catchment Council has been funded by StateNRM to conduct a survey to find out what the key barriers are that might stop farmers and others from actually taking up regenerative agriculture. The results will be provided to DPIRD to help guide their future priority research.

The survey is anonymous and does not ask for any personal or financial information. If you recognise the growing knowledge of this practice’s benefits, please contribute to the survey.


Harassment Claims in Scheme Saga

Summary of my activities
August 2019

Events: Prescribed Burning Conference UWA | Launch of UWA 2030 | Noongar Country Exhibition and Family Day at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery | Apex Bunbury Sleep Out | Gelorup Farmers Markets | National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Day of the Children at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre | Arrival at Parliament House of Belinda’s Brave Walk | A Night Against Extinction – EDOWA | 2019 WA Local Government Convention and Trade Exhibition | Opening Night of ‘Medea’ | Australian Society for Medical Research – Science Lands in Parliament Event | South Coast NRM Forum | DAVID HOLMGREN’s – Retrosuburbia Roadshow | Science in the Cafe: Living with fire in the Great Southern | OZ Opera’s touring production Madama Butterfly | Balingup Medieval Carnival | Dowerin Field Day | Lifetime Guarantee Film Screening | Official opening and naming of our residential therapeutic community Rallies: WA Declaration of Rebellion Rally | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme Community Action in Manjimup
Meetings: South West Agro Forestry Network | Constituent on South West Rail | Constituent on Lake Mullocullup | Land Save Organics | Shire of Murray and Peel-Harvey Catchment Council on Point Grey
Briefings: Local Government Committee | Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill | How to keep yourself a Stressed Parliamentarian– mindfully | Access to State-Managed Mental Health Services | Fraud in Local Government | Hear how Western Power is advancing its network and what it means to you | Briefing by Dr David Grube | Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP)
Questions in Parliament: Forest Products Commission – Woody Biomass | Forest Products Commission – Competitive Neutrality Policy | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme – Water Catchment, Volume and Run-Off | Forest Products Commission – Auswest Timbers Contract of Sale | Water Licences – Purposes | Water Licences – Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Environment – Wetlands Coordinating Committee | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme – Aboriginal Heritage Survey | Bunbury Outer Ring Road Route – Southern Section | Lithium Rail Supply Chain | Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme | Forest Products Commission – Alcoa Timber | Mining – Gingilup-Jasper Wetland System | Biomass Energy Plant – Collie | Environment – Banksia Road Waste Facility, Dardanup | Lake Mullocullup – Recreational Use | State Of the Environment Member’s Statements: Bunbury-Greenbushes Rail Line – Lithium Mining | Extinction Rebellion Rally – Parliament House Prescribed Burning | Deliberative Democracy
Motions: 2019-20 State Budget – Surplus | 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” | Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – Machinery-of-Government Changes | Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations – Seventy-Seventh Report – “2017-18 Budget Cycle-Part 2: Annual Report Hearings” | Joint Audit Committee – First Report – “Second Review of the Financial Management Act 2006”

EversGreen: July ’19

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

It is so good to be writing after the winter Parliamentary recess. Often, this time can be a fallow period for MPs, with an entire five weeks passing between sessions of the Legislative Council.

However, for The Greens (WA), July saw an opportunity for us to join with our national colleagues to take stock of a successful federal election, where our primary vote increased! Despite the Morrison Government being returned, this is not a claim either the Coalition or the Australian Labor can attest to.

On a personal and local level, it was wonderful to participate in the inaugural Country Greens Working Group during the conference. The regions are a heartland for so many caring and concerned environmentalists, farmers and members of the country community who see the value in taking sustainable, regenerative approaches to how we live in this vast land.

On a disappointing front, July saw the shocking confirmation that, due to inadequate methodology, centuries-old trees can be lost to logging in our native South West forests. You can read more about that below.

Meanwhile, opposition to the unfair Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme continues to grow on the back of a petition I tabled in parliament in June, while I also look forward to tabling a petition on behalf of the South West community advocating for freight haulage from the Greenbushes lithium mine to utilise new and existing rail infrastructure.

Beyond these exciting updates, there was also time for non-parliament activities. My husband Tony and I were fortunate enough to visit one of our daughters in Broome (along with meeting more Country Greens — woohoo!), while at the beginning of the month I took a trip to my birthplace of Chicago, to visit my Mum and extended family.

I look forward to sharing more in September, after the wheels of State Parliament have begun turning again. I’m sure there will be plenty more to report.



I joined my fellow Greens members and colleagues, as well as interested public attendees, in Adelaide for the Australian Greens mid-year National Conference on July 20.
As part of the conference I was delighted to participate in the inaugural session of the Australian Greens/Country Greens Working Group.

An untapped desire exists within the regions to build hope and grassroots power – I anticipate country connections will be strengthened both within the Greens and with the country as a result.

Read More


I tabled a petition in Parliament back in June, with nearly one thousand signatures opposing the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme.

Since then I have received a very special poem from an 11-year-old self-identified farmer, Maggie, and have shared the poem on my website. I do hope you’ll take a look.

I am also making plans with the Don’t Dam the Donnelly community group for further action during August.

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated with the August action, or click the link below to keep up to date with the latest media on the SFIS – as well as Maggie’s poem!

Read More


I have been advocating for over a year for the State Government to look into and consider supporting measures to put freight from the Greenbushes lithium mine back on existing, unused, tier three rail lines.

When Parliament resumes this week, I will table a petition with more than 2,700 signatures.

This is an excellent result and just another step towards finding a solution that improves road safety and reduces road damage from increasing truck transport.


I spoke with the Busselton Dunsborough Mail last month after the discovery that a marri log sitting in a South-West timber mill was carbon-dated and found to be between 230 and 290 years old. These are the conditions that WA’s native forest management and measurement of Old Growth forest allows for. It simply isn’t good enough.

Read More


To close off July and begin August, my staff and I attended the 2019 Prescribed Burning Conference at the University of Western Australia on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

I have called for a thorough review of bushfire mitigation practices in the state in the past, and advocate for the need to consider a range of factors in our strategic approach to the practice. Any prescribed burning of forests and woodlands should be done only on ecological principles following independent, peer-reviewed risk assessments and incorporating land use planning, residential design and community preparedness into risk reduction strategies.

I look forward to considering my learnings from the conference and communicating them in Parliament — which resumes this week!

Learn More

Summary of my activities
July 2019

Activities during Parliament recess:
Visited family in Chicago | Adelaide: Visited Greens State MPs & attended Australian Greens Conference | Facilitated the Country Greens workshop | Small Business Development Cooperation Bill Briefing | Visited Family in Broome | Meet with Country Greens in Broome | National Tree Day in Broome | Prescribed Burning Conference UWA | Meeting with Save the Nullaki Members regarding Nullaki Lime Mine SAT case

EversGreen: April-June ’19

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

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

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

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

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

Thank you!



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.


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


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.


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


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.


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 


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


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.


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


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 2019

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

Triple M | ABC South West


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

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

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

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!



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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

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

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

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,



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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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


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

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

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

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

EversGreen: July-September ’18


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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

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”