Declaration of Rebellion Rally – WA Parliament

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

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

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

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

Australian Greens National Conference and Inaugural Country Greens Working Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lewin Block Long Weekend (and Beyond) Blockade

Lewin Block Long Weekend (and Beyond) Blockade

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

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

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

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

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

An Elemental Journey Through the South West

An Elemental Journey Through the South West

Monday

Environmental Action Discussion

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

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

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

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

Tuesday

Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit

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

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

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

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

  • Views from the Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

  • Ben Elton speaks to the attendees.

  • The Augusta Margaret River Climate Action Summit.

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

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

  • Diane with Ben Elton.

  • Diane with Kelly Slater.

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

Wednesday

Consuming Southern Forests Passions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diane and local growers concerned by the SFIS.

Thursday

Station to Station: Regional Development

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

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

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

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

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

Diane with members of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

Fridays…

…for Future.

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

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

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

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

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



Next Week:

Parliament Duties Resume

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

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

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Diane on the Road: May 27-31

During this non-parliament sitting week Diane will be meeting with constituents and industry stakeholders throughout the South West region.

Engagements for the week commencing 27/5:

  • Monday:
    • Meeting with Dardanup Environmental Action Group
  • Tuesday:
    • Climate Action Summit at Margaret River Pro, featuring Tim Flannery and Ben Elton
  • Wednesday:
    • Meeting with Lower Blackwood LCDC
    • Demystifying Democracy Community Seminar, Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes
  • Thursday:
    • Various meetings throughout the Bunbury, Dwellingup and Mandurah regions.

If you’d like to speak to Diane about an issue that matters to you, get in touch to see if she will be visiting near you!

O, Diane in Canada!

Day One: From Western Australia to Western Canada!

Diane, along with fellow members of State Parliament, is participating in an exchange program to Canada hosted by the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina from April 15 to 26.

As part of this visit Diane will be learning about the Legislature’s chamber, committee operations and overall management of the Parliament in the first week, before being paired with one of its Members in the second week to share information and experiences on constituency issues in their electorate.

On Monday, Diane met members of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan during a reception tonight at the Legislative Building – sadly, the planned gifting of bottles of WA Parliament wine failed due to the combination of some broken bottles and luggage that now needs to be dried!

Day Two

Tuesday was a day spent with the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. Just like the Parliament of Western Australia, Saskatchewan has a beautiful library too, though with the public invited in.

The entire landscape between Regina and Moosejaw features architecture like that seen in the Legislative Building and their First Nations people are featured in artwork throughout – featured in my photo is ‘Big Darkness’.

Day Three

Wednesday was spent with the Regina Greens and candidate Naomi Hunter in the evening, after meeting with Leader of the Opposition, Ryan Meili of the New Democratic Party during the day.

There was also an interesting presentation about measuring Fairness, always an interesting concept!

Meeting with Premier Moe

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

While the federal campaigning goes on back home, I’d much rather be hearing from this ScoMo for the time being!