Greens animal working group – 1 year old and going strong!

In February 2013, the Greens NSW created the Animal Welfare and Protection Working Group (AWPWG).

The group was designed to bring together members of the Greens who care about animals and are keen to work together to push for change.

Since then members of the group have been working alongside Greens MPs to progress animal campaigns and issues within the party and the community.

Key achievements over the past year include:

Greens Welcome Government Getting on Board with Light Rail Plan for Western Sydney

Greens NSW Spokesperson for Transport and Western Sydney, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has welcomed reports that the Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejeklian, will move to include the Parramatta Light Rail concept in future transport plans, but warned that concrete plans needs to be made. The Greens have been advocating for money that has been committed for the wasteful and unnecessary WestConnex tollway to be used for the light rail.

"It is refreshing to see that there is some interest in this government for real public transport solutions for Western Sydney, even while they are wasting billions on the WestConnex Tollway and the North West shuttle service to Chatswood.

"However, the sincerity of these reports remains to be seen - the Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, has previously ridiculed the Parramatta Light Rail proposal in parliament.

"The Greens have been consistently pushing for the Parramatta Light Rail plan that will deliver real intra-Western Sydney transport solutions.

Greens will call for papers on Santos MOU and aquifer contamination incident

Jeremy Buckingham Greens mining agriculture spokesperson will introduce a call for papers into parliament under Standing Order 52 seeking all information regarding the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government and Santos and the EPA's handling of the revelations that Santos contaminated an aquifer in the Pilliga with uranium and other heavy metals.
 
"The Greens want to know why it took a year for this information about the aquifer contamination to become public.  Why the fine was so paltry?  Why the media were not properly alerted by the EPA?," asked Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Ground water contaminated with uranium 20x limit & other poisonous elements - game over for coal seam gas

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW government to halt all coal seam gas projects after the NSW Environmental Protection Authority found that gas company Santos had seriously contaminated ground water with toxic elements such uranium, arsenic, lead, and boron at its coal seam gas Bibblewindi water treatment plant near Narrabri.  Uranium has been detected in the aquifer at 335 micrograms per litre, which is 20 times safe drinking water levels.

"This is game over for coal seam gas.  Here is definitive proof that unconventional gas, such as coal seam gas pollutes aquifers with extremely toxic elements," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"It is totally unacceptable for ground water to be contaminated with radioactive uranium 20 times the safe drinking water limit.   Poisonous elements such as arsenic, lead and boron have also been mobilised and concentrated by coal seam gas extraction and then leaked into the aquifers.

"The gas industry often states there are no 'proven' cases of gas extraction leading to aquifer contamination.  Well here is the proof.

"The Greens call for the Santos Narrabri project and other coal seam gas projects in NSW to be halted immediately.  Other aquifers cannot be put at risk of serious pollution.  This type of contamination represents a serious health risk to humans and animals.