BARRABUP PROTEST, OLD-GROWTH DEFINITION AND DIEBACK PREVENTION
The big ticket item that kicked off this period was the Save Barrabup Rally on the steps of Parliament House with a fantastic show of Nannup community members and supporters arriving to table their petition calling on the Environment Minister to classify the Barrabup Forest as a High Value Conservation Forest and end logging in the area. Click here to watch.
With hundreds attending on the day and more than 3000 signatures on the petition, the rally shone a spotlight on this very important subject. I was very pleased to table the petition to the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs for consideration.
The ensuing Government report confirmed the Forest Products Commission had failed to notice old growth forest at Barrabup before illegally bulldozing some of it in preparation for logging.
Further, it appears the Government recently changed the definition of old growth, without any community oversight or consultation. Strong criticism of these changes were made public in embarrassing inter-departmental communication records which I was able to obtain through Parliamentary process.
On a lighter but equally serious note, it was my recent honour to open the WA Dieback Information Group (DIG) Conference in September. Dieback is an issue close to my heart, as in 2006, I worked with South Coast NRM when we received substantial funding to research dieback and install boot cleaning stations. It was fantastic to join my voice with those of researchers and scientists dedicating themselves to protecting our precious WA ecology from the threat of this deadly pathogen.
STANDING UP AGAINST THE GASFIELD
I was pleased to join my voice with peaceful protesters in Bunbury recently to protest the McGowan Government’s approval of a large conventional gas exploration permit across the Bunbury, Dardanup, Donnybrook and Capel areas. The Government is stating that they are sticking to their election commitment not to ‘frack’ in the Southwest but I am pushing to enshrine this commitment into legislation.
I hear the message from farmers, families and our communities who want to protect land, water, health and agriculture into the future. As MLC for the Southwest I support a gasfield-free South West. I’ll also be working with my colleague Tim Clifford MLC to advocate for better strategy and investment into renewable energy for our state into the future.
Make sure your voice is heard in the Governments’ upcoming Fracking Inquiry: www.frackinginquiry.wa.gov.au
FREE RANGE EGGS
I was pleased to see fines of $750,000 plus $300,000 in court costs awarded by the Federal Court against Snowdale Holdings announced recently, which sends a very clear message across the industry that deception over free range labelling is not acceptable. Snowdale Holdings duped Australian consumers for many years by producing eggs that did not meet free range standards. The WA Greens have long supported truth in labelling and for Australian consumers to have information that they need for their purchasing decisions. As well as consumers, I’m keen to support small farming enterprises in WA to profit from their hard work and dedication to sustainable farming practices. Click here to read more.
SHARKS, PENGUINS AND SHEARWATERS
After a community call-out on the effectiveness of the Government’s shark deterrent rebate scheme, I’ve been asking questions in Parliament and putting the pressure on the government to support devices that work for surfers. The government has increased the rebate program but we want to see more options for surfers. I’ve also heard your concerns around the death of local penguins and shearwater birds and have been asking the hard questions to ensure the safety of our precious marine life in the context of large development proposals, climate change and over-fishing.
FOOD! GLORIOUS BUSH FOOD!
It’s no secret that I am in love with the latest bush food trend. I was honoured to dine with guests at a Fervor bush foods degustation dinner in late August. The group works with indigenous leaders in a culturally engaged way to offer degustation dinners which showcase uniquely Australian and local bush foods. I believe the bush foods movement is an incredible opportunity for indigenous groups and small business agriculture and tourism in regional WA and am putting my support behind this amazing and fast growing industry.
I was delighted to cut my first ribbon as a Member of Parliament recently to launch the healthy, local and sustainable Culcha Kitchen mobile food van in Albany, which is also collaborating with the very groovy team at the Wilson Brewing Company: yet another amazing and environmentally conscious small business that’s new and booming in the Great Southern.
NOWHERE TO GO: PROTECTING OUR ENDANGERED SPECIES
Community outrage over the destruction of trees that were home to critically endangered possums in Busselton recently to make way for a car park shows people in the Southwest want action to preserve Busselton’s natural assets and wildlife. I was moved when I saw the footage of the mother and joey western ringtail possums clutching the end branches of the tallest peppermint tree as the tree was slowly lopped, until they eventually had nowhere else to go.
The mother and joey were the last of six critically endangered western ringtail possums known to occupy a small stand of mature trees, including four peppermints and a sheoak, at the corner of Duchess and West streets. The possum and the trees have all now been removed to make room for what will initially be a single story, and later multistory car park for the expanded Busselton Central Shopping Centre.
I share residents’ dismay at the loss of mature trees and disturbance of an endangered species that is unique to WA’s south-west and south coasts. Due to drying climate, land-clearing, logging and feral species negatively affecting our forests, western ringtails increasingly rely on peppermint trees in urban or suburban areas for habitat and food: You can support the conservation effort for the possum via SWCC.
SOUTHWEST AND BEYOND
My office has been grateful to hear from you and the Southwest community on a number of issues regarding planning approvals processes and concerns in recent months. I was very pleased to assist the PUMA2GO community group in Dunsborough in opposing the building of a petrol station that is against the wishes of the local community.
I’ve also been engaged in discussions around developments in Albany, potable water supply in Northcliffe, waste water recycling in Denmark, construction waste management in Busselton as well as ALCOA’s recent bauxite mining and export operations.
I’ve been working with members of the community to address concerns around the Mangles Bay Inland Marina and Housing Estate in Point Peron. This included drawing the Minister for Environment’s attention to the work of the Peron Naturaliste Partnership into the vulnerability of Mangles Bay and the impacts of climate change.
I really enjoyed attending the PrideFEST Southwest and Pride Northbridge events and was thrilled to celebrate the wonderful ‘Yes’ Vote with the Australian Greens on the streets of Melbourne last month.
|Summary of my activities
Opening of Busselton Admin and Civic Building | The State Budget Breakfast | BCEC Indigenous Football | Collie Health Service Redevelopment Launch | Sustainable House Day Margaret River | Donnelly River Mill Museum Opening | Philosophy café, Kate’s Place Albany | PGA Convention | Dieback Working Group Conference | Film Screening “I, Daniel Blake” | Arthur River Soils Field Day | Mad Hatters Tea Party Albany | Opening of Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence | Sprint into the garden – Create No Waste Festival | Albany Marriage Equality Rally | Food for Thought | Take Back The Future (Scott Ludlum farewell) | Diwali & Hindu New Year | Gas film in Mandurah | ACBC & CCCA China National Day Celebrations
|Events Attended (cont.):
Oddysea at Sensorium Theatre | WA Spatial Excellence Awards | Black Swan Theatre: “I Am My Own Wife” | BCEC Perth’s Infill Housing | Aboriginal Business Showcase | Aboriginal Art Exhibition | Walk Together for Freedom Rally | WA Greens AGM | Greens Institute Conference “Everything is Connected” | PrideFEST Southwest | Gas-field Free Southwest – Peaceful Protest | Albany Agricultural Show | Greens National Conference Hobart | Pride Parade, Northbridge | Dalyellup School Students at Parliament House | Fiona de Garis Performing Lines WA | Press Gallery Christmas event | BCEC The Price is Right | Greater Bunbury Greens Gathering
Southwest Catchments Council | Australian Society for Medical Research | Briefing: Appropriation Bill | Media on Mars | Tallison Lithium mine Tour – Greenbushes | Nannup Mill | LNG Marine Fuels Institute | UWA Corporate Communications | DWB Advisory | Briefing: ALCOA | Chamber of Commerce and Industry | Briefing: Dieback | City of Albany | Briefing: Salaries and Allowances Amendment | Briefing: Jobs Bill | Briefing: Potable Water Supply Northcliffe | Senator Janet Rice | RFA PLU Mechanical Fuel Load reduction | Briefing: Cyber security | RPELA (Shark Deterrent Devices) | RAC Southern Ports Authority Working Group | Briefing: E-Conveyancing | Auditor General: Tourism Review | Briefing: Kidman Resources
|Questions in Parliament:
Rockingham Little Penguin Colonies | ALCOA Forest Clearing | ALCOA Bauxite | Mangles Bay Inland Marina FPC Saw Logs | Denmark Waste Water | Barrabup Forest | Old Growth Forest | Shark Deterrent Devices | Fracking Inquiry | Payroll Tax | Rottnest Marina Proposal | Community Resource Centres | Permit 1333: Use of Poisons