WestConnex boss admits trucks will continue to use local roads

Greens NSW Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has labelled today's reports of admission by the WestConnex Development Authority's Chairman, Tony Shepherd, that trucks would continue to use Parramatta Road, even after the WestConnex is completed, as further evidence of the project's lack of credibility.

Dr Faruqi said:

"Mr Shepherd's admission that truck movement on WestConnex are hard to control is completely contrary to previous claims that 'by putting much of the traffic underground, particularly trucks, Parramatta Road can be transformed'.

"The government's continued claims that WestConnex will take 3,000 trucks off Parramatta Road have lost all credibility.

Gas pipeline will destroy jobs and push up bills

Plans for a massive gas pipeline to connect NSW to Northern Territory fields and create a national market will devastate the state's renewable energy industry, push up greenhouse gas emissions and impose much higher longer term household energy costs, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Gas plan to power nation', Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August, page 1, http://j.mp/gas140826)

Dr Kaye said: "Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane wants a gas-dependent future for NSW's economy.

Minister abandons women’s multicultural services in NSW

Greens NSW Multiculturalism and Status of Women spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi stated that in NSW Budget Estimates this week NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello revealed he will not make representations on behalf of two struggling multicultural women’s-only services, which will likely see the removal of essential support for many vulnerable women.

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“The Immigrant Women’s Speakout and Muslim Women’s Support Centre provide essential services for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds facing life-threatening situations such as homelessness and domestic violence,” Dr Faruqi said.

Reverend Fred Nile’s Uninformed Attack on Women’s Rights Must Be Denounced

Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has condemned Reverend Nile’s attempts to draw links between abortion and breast cancer during yesterday’s Budget Estimates hearing.
 
“Following Senator Abetz’s lead, Reverend Nile is using discredited science to push his agenda. Linking abortion to breast cancer is misleading and creates unnecessary concern in our society. 
 
“It should be denounced as an attack on women and their reproductive rights.

Reverend Fred Nile’s Uninformed Attack on Women’s Rights Must Be Denounced

Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for the Status of Women, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has condemned Reverend Nile’s attempts to draw links between abortion and breast cancer during yesterday’s Budget Estimates hearing.

“Following Senator Abetz’s lead, Reverend Nile is using discredited science to push his agenda. Linking abortion to breast cancer is misleading and creates unnecessary concern in our society.

Baird's Reforms Fail To Address Corruption Scandal

This afternoon, NSW Premier Mike Baird, announced an amended Ministerial Code, which means NSW Ministers who breach the Ministerial Code of Conduct will in future be subject to the full authority of the ICAC.

The new Code also includes tighter rules for disclosure of pecuniary interests of Ministers and their immediate family, as well as a ban on Ministers holding or acquiring an interest in any company or business.

Greens MP Jamie Parker says Premier Baird still fails to address the core issue of corruption.

Greens raise concerns about Government approach to community services delivery and funding

The State Delegates’ Council of the Greens NSW has called on the NSW Government to review and improve its approach to resourcing and delivering vital community services for vulnerable people, including children at risk and women in need of refuge.

Airport access fee cap won’t address underlying issues

Greens NSW Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has welcomed reports that the station access fee for Sydney airport train stations will be capped at $21 per week for Opal card users, but says that real problem is the access fee itself.

Dr Faruqi said:

“A weekly cap is welcome news for airport workers and regular travellers, but the reality is that there shouldn’t be an access fee in the first place.

Sydney Uni reputation damaged by coal mine funding

Sydney University's $1 million investment in the controversial Whitehaven coalmine will mean enormous damage for the institution's reputation unless they move quickly to withdraw the investment and apologise to impacted Aboriginal elders and locals, the Greens have warned.
 
Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "Sydney University Vice Chancellor Michael Spence has a responsibility to immediately withdraw the investment in Whitehaven to end support for this destructive coalmine and help protect the name of one of Australia's leading education centres.
 
"The University has broken its own Investment Policy, which requires funds to be consistent with its environmental, social, and corporate governance principles.

Minister Hodgkinson admits to being industry mouthpiece on coal seam gas

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham was astounded to hear the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson read an AGL press release to answer a question about the ability of coal seam gas to coexist with the dairy industry.

Mr Buckingham asked Minister Hodgkinson whether she had read the report of the parliamentary inquiry into coal seam gas, and particularly the evidence given by North Coast dairy co-operative NORCO that they could not coexist with coal seam gas.  NORCO recently reported on their rapid expansion of its dairy exports to China.  Minister Hodgkinson answered by reading verbatim from this AGL press release.  

"It's appalling that the Minister for Primary Industries resorts to literally being an industry mouthpiece by reading our an AGL press release to answer a serious question," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.