The recommendations of an inquiry into the impacts of tourism would leave NSW National Parks at risk from development and fossicking, warns Greens MP Jan Barham.
"I'm alarmed that the inquiry has recommended allowing the development of tourist accommodation and supporting fossicking within parks. This is a missed opportunity to recognise the importance of reserving pristine natural areas, and the value it contributes to the state's tourism appeal," Ms Barham said.
"The NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce's Action Plan documented that nature and wildlife experiences are a key drawcard for the tourism industry in NSW. We need to maintain the state's reputation for protecting the natural appeal of NSW."
The Drug and Alcohol unit within the NSW Department of Education, destroyed by the O'Farrell government as part of their budget-cutting 2012 restructure, should be reinstated to address the growing impacts of substance abuse on schools, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
('Teachers deal with students' drug and alcohol abuse, report says' Sydney Morning Herald, 6 March, p. 12, http://j.mp/MO263h)
Dr Kaye said: "Since June 2012, schools are being left to deal with the impacts of drug abuse without the support of the experts in the Drug and Alcohol unit.
The Greens have secured Labor's support for an inquiry into Qantas and potential forms of government assistance first floated earlier this week (http://bit.ly/1e09Gik).
Greens transport spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"After a week of constructive negotiations, The Greens are pleased that we've managed to secure support in the Senate for an inquiry investigating potential options available to the government and Parliament to assist Qantas.
"The Terms of Reference to be passed by the Senate tomorrow are almost identical to what The Greens moved in the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, with the support of Senator Xenophon, but were blocked by Labor and the Coalition.
"The Greens don't want to play politics with people's jobs and livelihood.
"This inquiry could be very significant in light of the thousands of Australian jobs that Mr Joyce and Mr Abbott have put at risk.
Greens NSW Spokesperson for Environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has responded to reports that Shoalhaven Council plans to remove over 140 trees, some hundreds of years old and also provides habitat for local wildlife by calling on Shoalhaven Council to suspend tree clearing. Over 1200 people have signed a petition to save a local iconic tree and it is clear that there is no community consensus for the mass removal of trees.
"The removal of these hundreds of year old trees would deal a devastating blow to local wildlife that currently rely on them for connectivity and habitat.