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.
AUSTRALIAN GREENS NATIONAL CONFERENCE: INAUGURAL COUNTRY GREENS CONVENE
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.
SOUTHERN FORESTS IRRIGATION SCHEME: OPPOSITION GROWS TO DAMMING RIVER FLOWS
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!
BUNBURY TO GREENBUSHES RAILWAY LINE: PETITION EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS!
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.
OLD GROWTH METHODOLOGY: CENTURIES-OLD TREES CAUGHT BY CURRENT PROGRAM
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.
PRESCRIBED BURNING CONFERENCE: UNDERSTANDING NEW APPROACHES
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!
Summary of my activities
|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