Greens MPs Jamie Parker and Cate Faehrmann today joined Clover Moore MP to launch a bill to establish a container deposit scheme (CDS) in NSW. The scheme will refund consumers 10 cents for beverage containers they return to a collection depot or reverse vending machine.
Greens MP Jamie Parker said:
Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, today responded to the Labor Party’s back flip on coal seam gas mining, admitting surprise at their new found support for Greens’ policy and reversal on the policy direction they took when in government.
Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, today responded to the Nationals’ blueprint for coal seam gas mining, calling it a half-hearted attempt at policy development which may never influence the NSW Government if it is not adopted by the Liberal Party.
- Event Dates: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 7:00pm
- Location: Sydney
- Venue: Council Chambers, 170 George Street, Liverpool
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon takes part in this debate hosted by Liverpool Council and adjudicated by Mr Eric Kontos, Editor, Liverpool Champion. Lee is joined in the ‘for’ team by MP for Werriwa Laurie Ferguson. Speaking against the tax will be MP for Macarthur Russell Matheson, and MP for Hughes Craig Kelly.
Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says chemical contamination of the Macleay River Catchment caused by a spill from the Straits Hillgrove Mine is not an isolated incident and will happen again if environment protection laws and licencing arrangements are not overhauled.
The Hillgrove Mine near Armidale was fined $50,000 in July 2010 for a similar contamination incident that occurred in April 2009, when 3000 litres of slime containing arsenic and lead was released. A study published by CSIRO found that Bakers Creek, which runs adjacent to the mine, is contaminated with high concentrations of both arsenic and antimony.
"This mine has been prosecuted for licence breaches in the past, and it has been non-compliant for the last ten years. This new spill is yet another reason for a full review of the state's environment protection laws. The capacity of the Office of Environment and Heritage to monitor and enforce these laws also needs to be closely examined," said Ms Faehrmann
Cows sold for slaughter may have contained illegal and dangerous levels of lead because Hunter Water failed act as soon as it discovered paddocks had been contaminated by one of its pipelines, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye ('Cattle sales halted in toxic scare', Sun Herald, 4 September 2011, page 11, http://j.mp/sh110904)
Dr Kaye said: "The state-owned water supply authority knew last December and probably a whole lot earlier that its Chichester pipeline was causing lead contamination on farms with grazing livestock.
"It took until the middle of last month for Hunter Water and the Department of Primary Industries to prohibit the movement of cattle off the affected farms.
"Frightening questions remain about how much lead entered the state's food supply before Hunter Water decided to act.
Australian Greens Senator for NSW and forests spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says the major parties' refusal to rule out federal funding to support the operations of the proposed Eden wood-fired power station, by voting against a motion she put to Federal Parliament yesterday, suggests the proposal could still have life.
The full motion and debate from Hansard is provided below. Senator Rhiannon and NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge are visiting South East NSW next Tuesday 30 August.
"When I visit South East NSW next week with David Shoebridge we will be talking with locals about stepping up the campaign to stop the construction of a wood-fired power station," Senator Rhiannon said.
"The Greens are concerned that the Federal Minister for Forestry Senator Ludwig did not use the opportunity in Parliament to rule out future funding of the Eden bio-mass power station which is still on the Department of Planning's books.
"We know that the Federal MP for Eden-Monaro Dr Kelly has continued to promote the power station, despite electricity generation from native forest feed-stocks no longer being eligible for Renewable Energy Certificates.
"Biomass power has no future in our low carbon energy economy, but both Dr Kelly and Minister Ludwig have failed to bury the Eden proposal.
"The leg up that federal funding would provide could see the station built, driving the continued wood-chipping of our precious South East forests.
Polling conducted by Galaxy Research has revealed widespread opposition to coal seam gas in Australia and puts pressure on Premier Barry O'Farrell to act to protect the NSW environment and communities.
The poll found:
· 70% want coal seam gas mining prohibited in cities & towns
· 68% want a moratorium on coal seam gas
In NSW support for a moratorium was even stronger, with 74% in support and only 17% opposed.
"An overwhelming majority of Australians are concerned about coal seam gas. They want a moratorium on the industry, and they want it banned in their cities and towns."
"It's clear from these results that coal seam gas has not been granted a social licence.
"Coal seam gas mining in cities and towns is a real and immediate issue. AGL have an expansion application before the government for 72 coal seam gas wells near Campbelltown. Dart Energy plans to drill in St Peters, Putty and near Newcastle, and drilling is occurring in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment on the Illawarra escarpment.
Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has successfully moved a motion in the NSW Legislative Council for the release of government documents relating to the Orica chemical exposure incident.
“We need to get to the bottom of why the government's response was so inadequate," said Ms Faehrmann.
"The Greens motion will require the release of all documents such as emails, reports and briefings in the possession of the relevant departments and Minister's offices within 14 days.
"In the mean time, the Greens are calling on the Opposition Leader and the Premier to back the Greens' bill to strengthen the Protection of the Environment Operations Act by requiring companies to immediately notify authorities of licence breaches.
"This is an easy and immediate step that can be taken to improve the situation while we wait for a full investigation and public inquiry," said Ms Faehrmann.
Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says the Labor Opposition is grandstanding on the Orica disaster and should remember that nothing much was different under their watch when it comes to industry pollution compliance and reporting.
“After 16 years under Labor, the Environment Protection Authority lost its teeth and was left with very little resources for compliance,” said Ms Faehrmann.
"The Greens will move for a broad inquiry that examines more than just what can be used to attack the current government.