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.
LINKWEST & COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRES: CRC FUNDING CONFIRMED, AS LINKWEST WAITS
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.
GREATER BUNBURY GREENS: GREEN COMMUNITIES GOING FORWARD
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!
SCHOOL STRIKE 4 CLIMATE: NATION-WIDE CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION NOW
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.
WARRIUP SWAMP LAKE MULLOCULLUP: NEW PETITION TO PROTECT SACRED CULTURAL SITE
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.
SOUTHERN FORESTS IRRIGATION SCHEME: FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESS BEGINS
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.
LAKE MUIR: COMMUNITY WIN AS LEASE APPLICATION WITHDRAWN
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.
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE: THE REGENERATION GENERATION INVESTING IN OUR FOOD FUTURE
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
|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
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