Posts

Your South West Voice in Parliament: February 10-16

Diane has returned to Parliament for 2020 last week as the business of the Legislative Council resumed for another year.

While much of the political circus dies down over the Christmas parliamentary recess — a blind spot even a Prime Minister can befall — Diane has maintained a busy schedule throughout the first six weeks of the new decade. This pace has not let up with the return of WA Parliament either, as Diane has continued her customary travel right across the large South West Region.

In the final week of recess alone, Diane stopped in Albany, Margaret River, Bunbury and Busselton — with a visit back to Perth in the middle of her itinerary for commitments with The Greens (WA).

Prior highlights in the period prior to this included visiting the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Peace Boat, attending One Day in Fremantle, and time spent in Manjimup, Denmark and Bridgetown — amongst others.

While parliament and committee meetings mean retaining a presence in Perth for three to four days a week during sitting weeks, the weekends remain time for the South West.

With so much to achieve in 2020 — including repealing the Forest Products Act, seeking royalties for regions funding for regional landcare groups, championing sustainable agriculture and pursuing equitable water management practices in the face of climate challenges, Diane remains your Green South West voice in Parliament.

Evers: Government Consultation a Pipe Dream

South West MLC Diane Evers has accused the McGowan Government of leaving a Great Southern community high and dry on consultation, after Water Minister Dave Kelly delayed plans to visit the region and discuss the September announcement of a major climate change relief project.

Minister Kelly had announced Water Corporation plans to build a pipeline stretching more than 60 kilometres between Denmark and Albany to improve climate change-affected water supply in a move that was reportedly a surprise to the Denmark council and community.

After a request by the Shire of Denmark to Minister Kelly asking to visit the Shire and explain why the project was announced without local government consultation, a planned visit has been rescheduled to end of January — nearly five months after the project was announced.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for water, said moves to shore up water supply in the area were necessary but that the Government’s level of engagement, both with the Denmark community and the issue of climate change, was severely lacking.

The move comes at a time when numerous water deficiencies have been declared by the WA Government, most recently in the Shire of Lake Grace on Wednesday, December 4.

Ms Evers said the poor consultation and broader inaction on climate change was a symptom of a State Government unwilling to take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis and protect the livelihoods of regional Western Australians.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“Minister Kelly’s September media release made it sound like the Denmark community should be delighted to be receiving a ‘subsidy’ for their water supply — despite the Government failing to mention that the subsidy is funded by Royalties for Regions.

“This sleight-of-hand trick to cover the country water subsidy with Royalties for Regions allocations is nothing less than a cruel joke, one I will not let go unnoticed.

“To add insult to injury, the Minister has now delayed his expected visit to Denmark to late January, nearly five months since the September announcement.

“Not only has the Government made a decision to paper over the immediate impacts of climate change by funding a pipeline without community consultation, they didn’t even have the sense to discuss the project with the Shire of Denmark Council.

“Nor has the Albany Council been consulted, as taking water from the Albany aquifer will put more pressure on its community too.

“The McGowan Government quietly acknowledges the scientifically proven impacts of climate change, yet does nothing to significantly address its causes nor reduce emissions.

“Instead, climate change is treated in the political arena change as an abstract villain, as if humans have nothing to do with its creation.

“Why doesn’t this government pull its head out of the sand and do something to cut emissions instead, instead of opposing Net Zero Emissions targets proposed by the WA Greens that were backed by over 50 WA scientists?

“Instead, the Government’s recent issues paper on climate change shows just how obstinate they are in being effective.

“This is just another example of this Government’s disregard for people and the environmental catastrophe of climate change — and on top of the government’s inaction on emissions limits, it is a recipe for disaster.

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Evers Pulps Government Claims amid Sale of Disgraced Mills

South West MLC Diane Evers has slammed the McGowan Government’s claim the WA native logging industry has “sustainability credentials” after it was announced an interstate company had purchased two disgraced South West mills.

The sale of Auswest Timbers’ Greenbushes mill and Nannup Timber Processing to Queensland-based company Parkside Timber has come after scandals at both mills in 2019, with the state’s two largest timber processing facilities under fire for accusations of wastage, ongoing investigations and one confirmed breach of contract.

Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forests, said it was clear native timber logging had lost its social licence, with the Forests Products Commission (FPC) unable to prevent the industry from operating within existing regulations. She also drew contrast to the Victorian Labor Government, who recently announced a transition plan to end native logging in the state.

Ms Evers contested statements attributed to a media release from Forestry Minister Dave Kelly, which proclaimed the strength of WA’s forestry industry, and said FPC’s own reporting of the industry’s health contradicted the Minister’s spin. The media release pointed to a forestry industry that supports more than 6,000 jobs, despite the native forest sector directly employing less than 500 people according to a 2017 FPC-funded report — many of those in transport roles only.

Recent annual report figures also revealed it costs more money to log WA native forests than is made in return, with an accounting write-down of $134 million to the value of these forests made as an amendment to the 17/18 financial year, avoiding an enormous current-year deficit.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“I am shocked and appalled that the McGowan Government would claim ‘sustainability’ and champion the sale of two saw mills that have contributed to the wanton destruction of our precious native forests.

“The economics of this industry do not stack up.

“This move lacks evidence and — more critically — common sense.

“At a time when Federal Labor Opposition is shamelessly attacking The Greens on climate, it is remarkable that this announcement can occur without irony.

“On one hand we are seeing the daily impacts of climate change, knowing that native forests play a critical role in the battle to preserve our environment, as well as protecting endangered native animal species and biodiversity.

“On the other hand, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, given this Government’s commitment to keeping its head in the sand on issues of ecological importance — with the environmental vandals in the Liquefied Natural Gas industry benefitting greatly in this regard.

“This is a missed opportunity for the McGowan Government to cancel these existing bad contracts and sensibly transition the WA forestry industry to a socially accepted, sustainable model focussed on plantation timber, something Victorian Labor had the sense to realise.

“Native forests are placed at catastrophic risk when there is a push for more logging and emphasis on selling timber overseas, especially if the Perth market can’t take it all up.

“Log sizes are ever-decreasing, there are ongoing investigations into the Nannup facility and — when over-stocked — we have seen high value timber sold for low-value use as charcoal.

“However, you can be certain the Government needs these businesses to remain viable in order to be able to proffer ‘more jobs’ to voters — even when the truth is that native forests are more valuable left standing.

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Environment Court Legislation to Enhance Nature Protections

South West MLC Diane Evers will resume efforts this week to instigate a radical overhaul of state environmental protections, when she introduces the Environment Court Bill 2019 to Western Australian Parliament today.

Ms Evers has launched a concerted effort in recent weeks to effect positive changes on environmental legislation in WA and said she had observed too many systemic failings in her role as The Greens (WA)’s spokesperson for regional development to not act.

The establishment of a new expert court, independent of government, is aimed at reforming a current appeals system Ms Evers described as ‘failing people and the environment’. In determining applications, the Environment Court would be explicitly required to consider the public interest in its decision-making, with proceedings to be open to the public.

Ms Evers said judicial change would stop environmentally harmful projects from advancing development through a system that had become siloed and bureaucratic, festering a common strategy of development-by-stealth. These changes could be bolstered by the Court permitting fresh evidence to be presented that was not before an original decision-maker.

The introduction of this Bill precedes next week’s Second Reading in Parliament of the Rights of Nature and Future Generations Bill 2019, also introduced by Ms Evers last month.

Diane Evers is The Greens (WA) spokesperson for environmental portfolios such as forestry, fisheries & marine, wetlands and water. 

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“WA has a unique environmental appeals system that, unlike other Australian states, are not decided by a specialist independent tribunal or court.

“This system is clearly broken and is failing people and the environment — a common sense approach to the legal consideration of our environment must be found.

“Too often we see development pass through a convoluted and non-transparent bureaucratic process, which ends in the Minister determining the appeal – the same person in charge of making final decisions about these approvals.

“This Bill will reform the existing environmental appeals system through the creation of a new, independent and specialist body that acts as both a merits appeal tribunal and a court for judicial review applications under existing environmental legislation.

“These roles will be appointed by the Governor, keeping the Environment Court independent and free from undue political and administrative interference, with efficiency and efficacy of the utmost importance.

“Public interest would be of fundamental importance to the Environment Court, something that is not a requirement in the current environmental appeals system, which lacks these significant principles on which appeal decisions should rightly be made where the community is affected.

“The Court would also operate transparently, including through conducting public hearings — the current environmental appeals system is administered behind closed doors, excluding the public from participation and visibility over these key decisions.

“Current reforms of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) proposed by the State Government do not address issues with environmental appeals, despite calls from many Western Australians for third-party appeal rights reform, including conservation groups, the National Environmental Law Association and the Law Society.

KEY POINTS:

  • The proposed Environment Court is to be made up of both judges, being legal practitioners of at least 8 years’ experience, and specialist members with experience in relevant fields such as planning, environmental science, cultural heritage and natural resource management.
  • The Environment Court would sit at an appointed Chief Judge’s direction.
  • Appeals against decisions of the Environment Court in relation to questions of law or judicial review proceedings would be made to the Supreme Court.
  • The Bill requires that the Court act according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of cases before it, rather than being bound by technicalities and legal forms which cause undue expense and delay, with most of the community unable to understand without significant legal assistance.
  • The Bill makes specific provision for people to appear before the Court with or without legal representation, maximising access to justice regardless of access to lawyers.

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

People Power at Core of Community Conference

South West MLC Diane Evers will continue her strong support of regional communities and Rural Regeneration when attending Linkwest’s ‘People. Place. Partnerships.’ conference this week.

As The Greens (WA) spokesperson for regional development, Ms Evers will be in attendance on day one of the conference, before providing the opening address on day two.

Linkwest is the peak body for Community, Neighbourhood, Family, Resource and Learning Centres in WA, and Ms Evers said she was looking forward to speaking to its role as the head, heart and spirit of this vital network. Diane has previously advocated in Parliament for funding of Linkwest and Community Resource Centres.

Linkwest’s ‘People. Place. Partnerships.’ conference will run from October 16-18. Ms Evers will balance her attendance at this event with her duties during a parliament sitting week.

QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:

“I am honoured to give the opening address on day two of Linkwest’s conference and I will recognise the incredible strengths and bonds that exist in the regions.

“So often throughout the South West Region and beyond I see thoughtful, committed people who work daily to change their communities for the better.

“In tumultuous times, the action taken by individuals in each of the 160+ Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres throughout WA local communities is vital.

“We would not find such strong, vibrant and inclusive communities, making regional WA so special, without these efforts.”

Visit Linkwest’s website for more information about the People. Place. Partnerships. conference.

GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070

Evers Springs Into View

Diane Evers MLC donned the hi-vis two days in a row this week during visits to development sites of contrasting uses.

Beginning on Tuesday, Diane joined her Greens colleagues Tim Clifford MLC and Alison Xamon MLC for a sneak preview of the Western Australian Museum, scheduled to open in the Perth Cultural Centre in late-November 2020. Despite plenty of work to be done prior to completion, Diane was impressed by what she saw.

Diane was back into the South West Region on Wednesday, joining a large tour of the Greenbushes Lithium Stage Two mine and acknowledging the need to balance society’s utilisation of modern technologies with the need to protect the planet. Diane urged operating company, Talison, to get sustainability offsets right, enact best-practice rehabilitation post-mining and ensure good use for residual material – while continuing to call on the State Government to work towards the of transport material on rail.

On Thursday, Diane is back on farm with Lower Blackwood Landcare at its Spring Field Day. Showcasing four properties in Rosa Glen, as well as the great diversity of sustainable farming enterprises in the area, Diane looks forward to discussions covering issues such as:

  • Grazing & pasture management
  • Agritourism
  • Small batch production
  • Regenerative & sustainable agriculture practices.
Diane with fellow The Greens (WA) colleagues Tim Clifford MLC (left) and Alison Xamon MLC (right).
Diane with fellow The Greens (WA) colleagues Tim Clifford MLC (left) and Alison Xamon MLC (right) at the Western Australian Museum development site on Tuesday, 8 October.
Diane visits the Greenbushes Lithium Stage Two mine on Wednesday, October 9.

EversGreen: October ’19

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

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.

Diane

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.

Learn More

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!

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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
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
Parliament:

Questions:
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

Motions:
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
Statements:
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

Click here for a full web version of this newsletter.

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.

Diane

LEWIN BLOCKADE: NATIVE FOREST PROTECTION CONTINUES!

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!

SOUTHERN FORESTS IRRIGATION SCHEME: A GATHERING OF THE CLAN

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.

Read More

BUNBURY TO GREENBUSHES RAILWAY LINE: THOUSANDS CALL FOR FREIGHT ON RAIL

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!

Read More

VOLUNTARY ASSISTED DYING: BELINDA’S BRAVE WALK

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.

Learn More

EXTINCTION REBELLION: DECLARATION OF REBELLION RALLY – WA PARLIAMENT

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.

Learn More

REGENERATIVE MEDIA: IN CONVERSATION WITH BARRY GREEN

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

YOONDADADUP LAKE JASPER: UPDATED WEBSITE TO HOLD PREMIER TO ACCOUNT

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.

Read More

GREAT WALK OF PEACE: WALK FOR FORESTS BEGINS!

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.

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE: SWCC SURVEY

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.

READ DIANE’S RECENT MEDIA RELEASES

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.

Diane

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

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