Removing bus stops is just another barrier to public transport

Greens MP and NSW Spokesperson for Transport, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the removal of bus stops in the Inner West (Sydney Morning Herald 8/8/14: 'Sydney buses to make fewer stops') a barrier to improving public transport.

Dr Faruqi said:

"Removing bus stops from the inner west is the latest in the long list of bad decisions this government has made to make public transport less efficient and discourage people from using it. This list includes the unintegrated North West Rail Link, the truncation of the Newcastle rail line and the limitations of the Opal Cards.

"The Transport Minister should be actively removing barriers to public transport, not putting more up.

Greens to Launch Bill to Make NSW Shark Fin Free at Manly Beach Tomorrow (12/8)

Greens MP and Environment and Animal Welfare Spokesperson, D/r Mehreen Faruqi MLC, will launch a bill to stop shark fins being prepared in New South Wales restaurants tomorrow (12/8) on Manly Beach at 12pm at the end of the Corso. She will be joined by representatives from the Humane Society International and Eco

Divers as well as supporters in colourful shark suits distributing information to highlight the need to protect sharks from shark finning.

Opal Card an Opportunity to Improve Service, Not Cut Staff

Greens MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has criticised the Government over reports that over one hundred ticketing staff have been fired and more to go during the roll out of the Opal Card, which still has significant problems ('Ticket seller jobs slashed as commuters forced to buy Opal cards, unions claim' Daily Telegraph 11/8/2014).

Dr Faruqi said:

"The Opal Card is an opportunity to provide a more convenient ticketing experience, not an excuse to sack vital rail staff.

"This decision will lead to longer queues and have a significant impact on students and pensioners, who don't even have the option of an Opal Card at this stage.

Parliament and state damaged every day Owen and Cornwell stay in office

If NSW is to recover from the shocking revelations of tainted cash flowing thick and fast into the Liberal party in the Hunter, Andrew Cornwell and Tim Owen should quit politics today, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "Council Assisting Geoffrey Watson's opening remarks on Wednesday were enough for the Greens to call on the two Hunter MPs to deny the allegations or immediately resign from public office.

"The last two days of evidence have made their positions in the parliament untenable.

"Their continued presence is dragging what's left of the parliament's reputation through the mud.

Government Must Protect Biodiversity in Legislation Review

Greens MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called on the Government to commit to protecting our biodiversity and encouraged the public to make submissions to the Biodiversity Legislation Review which opened this week.
Dr Faruqi said:

"One year ago I joined this parliament, shortly after the National Party promised a "comprehensive overhaul" of environmental legislation, which was code for ripping up the Native Vegetation Act and other vital biodiversity protection laws.

"This review can be a massive risk for our environment, especially in the current atmosphere of anti-environmentalism and the ongoing attacks on our protected natural spaces.

"Biodiversity is too important to risk, once it is lost, it is lost forever.

Greens Condemn Racist on Bus

Greens NSW MP and Multiculturalism Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has condemned yesterday's anti-Semitic intimidation and threatening of school students.

Dr Faruqi said:

"The Greens strongly condemn yesterday's anti-Semitic intimidation and threatening of school students in Sydney's Eastern suburbs.

"We will not accept racism or religious vilification in any shape or form.

"It is deeply concerning that children as young as five have been subjected to this racist attack.

"The Greens condemn all forms of violence, racism and bigotry.  Our party is a proud supporter of a multicultural Australian society."

"Clearly more work needs to be done towards building a more cohesive society by promoting an everyday practice of peaceful and equitable dialogue, mutual understanding, respect and social justice between people from different cultures and faiths", she concluded.

Dangerous alcohol promotions given another two years

NSW Hospitality Minister Troy Grant has rejected a recommendation that the controversial liquor promotion guidelines be immediately reviewed, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Pubs could buy 'late trades' under new alcohol laws', Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August, p. 11, http://j.mp/smh140807)

Documents obtained by the Greens in 2013 revealed that the alcohol industry was allowed to make numerous changes to the draft guidelines before they were published. The final version failed to stop deep discounting, promotions that were attractive to children and two-for-one offers on supermarket shopper dockets. (See http://j.mp/liquor2013 for more details)

The five year review of the Liquor Act conducted by Michael Foggo recommended that the guidelines be looked at again this year. The Minister's response, was released yesterday afternoon, delayed any action until 2016. (Minister's response available at http://j.mp/LiquorReview14)

Dr Kaye said: "The NSW government has refused to immediately review the liquor promotion guidelines, despite Mr Foggo recognising that the process and outcome of the 2013 rewrite were inadequate.

Time for the guilty to leave parliament

After sensational allegations before the Independent Commission against Corruption involving Hunter Liberal MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell, Greens MP John Kaye is calling for them to deny they were involved in any attempt to collect and use illegal cash or immediately leave parliament.

Dr Kaye said: "There is no place in a democratic parliament for politicians who take brown paper bags of cash from developers.

"If these allegations are true - and Mr Owen and Mr Cornwell will know - then they should do the right thing and resign immediately.

"These allegations tarnish the reputation of the entire parliament, not just the NSW Liberals.

"Standing aside from their party room is no remedy for the serious allegations heard today.

Minister Roberts brainwashed on CSG

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said it appeared that Resources Minister Anthony Roberts was brainwashed after he visited Santos' Narrabri coal seam gas project and began singing from the company's hymn sheet and praising CSG.  He also rejected Minister Roberts claim the Greens wanted more stringent well integrity for farm water bores as an outright lie.

"I'm very concerned that Minister Roberts appears to have lost his impartiality and has become the Minister for Santos after being taken on a company tour of their coal seam gas facilities near Narrabri," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

NSW Government Must Release Cost Benefit Analysis of WestConnex

Greens NSW MP and Roads & Transport Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has made another call for the Government to release the cost benefit analysis of the WestConnex project following reports of Federal Government support to conduct and publically release cost benefit analysis for major infrastructure projects ( "Abbott Urged to Report Audit Analysis", Australian Financial Review 6/8/14).

Dr Faruqi said:

"Cost benefit analyses should consider and compare the alternatives options that are available to solve a problem - the NSW Government is in the habit of choosing a project based on what looks best on a press release, then retroactively trying to justify it with a secret cost benefit analysis.