Your Greens in State Parliament May 6 - May 15

Robin was away for week 1 visiting remote communities in the Kimberley, this made it was tough going for Lynn. In his absence Lynn bolstered our team by adding two experienced research officers to help us review the budget on Tuesday. We will be sharing a detailed analysis during Budget Estimates Week, June 13-17.

Lynn took up the mantle to debate Robin’s Disallowance Motion against relaxed clearing regulations (Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2013) arguing to retain native vegetation and continue protection of our biodiversity over the merits of reduced red tape. The other side of the chamber’s argument (paraphrased) was; “Trust us, we won’t abuse the right to clear up to 5ha per year per property.” The problem (the Labor party agreed) with the new rules is that no-one has oversight of the impact of such clearing. Lynn argued that we had invested so much in landcare and re-veg due to overclearing, it was wrong-headed to lift controls. Our motion to disallow the new regs failed.

Later in the week, a seemingly innocuous Liberal debate on a trip to Japan has opened up a can of worms about what constitutes a “parliamentary delegation,” who invited who, and how involved was a waste-to-energy proponent. More to come later regarding this.

Our Greens business time on May 15 brought attention to the state’s response to climate change and also opened debate on our private member’s Biodiversity Legislation (Priority Reforms) Bill 2014[LC 64–1]. Former Environment Minister Hon Donna Faragher and Minister Hon Helen Morton said our priority reforms aren’t necessary in light of the Government’s commitment to update the Wildlife Conservation Act this term. They said that in preparing the legislation the government will consider the suggestions in our bill. The ALP had some criticisms and support for specific clauses, and said they would support our Bill should it come to the vote. The debate remains open, as we approach an extinction crisis, the Government’s own update of the legislation is still nowhere to be seen.

Robin continued and finalised his attempt on a debating motion. Most motions are attempts to belittle one side of politics or the other, this motion sought to elicit views about future directions of the parties in the need for the state to adapt to and mitigate current and projected impacts of climate change. The Nationals were the only party that understood the intent of the motion with Labor and the Libs reverting to old style adversarial or self-congratulatory comment.   

Lynn spoke strongly in support of an ALP motion to call an urgent inquiry on the Gender Pay Gap in Western Australia, the aim of which would be to develop a strategy to close it. The Government and Nationals opposed the inquiry for reasons we could not quite fathom.

Lynn asked questions about federal funding plans for Roe 8; contracts for logging; saw-log recovery rates; protection for Anstey-Keane damplands; groundwater monitoring near a Bassendean contaminated site; housing funding for people with disabilities; climate change strategy funding; planning buffers for Latitude 32; the threatened species listing of the Great White Shark; the progress of coastal management zone shark mitigation strategies; the shark-sighting beach closure policy; and brought attention to the activities of the Fisheries Director-General aboard a drum lining vessel.

Robin supported the Electoral Amendment Bill 2014 [LC 59–1] and Ports Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 [LA 35–1B]. Lynn supported the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Bill 2013[LA 23–2] and theCriminal Code Amendment (Unlawful Possession) Bill 2013. She also attended a briefing on the Auditor General’s Suicide Prevention Strategy report.

The long awaited Mental Health Bill and Disability Services Amendment were introduced and will be debated in June. Also coming up are:

Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 [LC 44–1]

Custodial Legislation (Officers Discipline) Amendment Bill 2013 [LA 47–1B]

Mental Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013[LA 54-2]

We now have advice via a Minister’s media comment that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs is developing an Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014that will be presented to Parliament later in 2014.

Bills being dealt with or to be debated

Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Bill 2014

Appropriation (Consolidated Account) Capital 2014-15 Bill 2014

Appropriation (Consolidated Account) Recurrent 2014-15 Bill 2014

Asbestos Diseases Compensation Bill 2013

Biodiversity Legislation (Priority Reforms) Bill 2014

Climate Change Readiness (Coastal Planning and Protection) Bill 2013

Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Bill 2014

Criminal Investigation Amendment Bill 2014

Criminal Law Amendment (Home Burglary and Other Offences) Bill 2014

Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Amendment Bill 2014

Custodial Legislation (Officers Discipline) Amendment Bill 2013

Declared Places (Mentally Impaired Accused) Bill 2013

Disability Services Amendment Bill 2014

Free Range Eggs Labelling Bill 2013

Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2013

Local Government Amendment Bill 2013

Mandatory Testing (Infectious Diseases) Bill 2014

Mental Health Bill 2013

Mental Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Mines Safety and Inspection Amendment Bill 2014

Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Revenue Laws Amendment Bill 2014

Road Traffic Amendment (Alcohol Interlocks and Other Matters) Bill 2014

Road Traffic Amendment (Keeping Safe Distances from Bicycles) Bill 2014

Royal Perth Hospital Protection Bill 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013

Statutes (Repeals) Bill 2013

Succession to the Crown Bill 2014

Swan and Canning Rivers Management Amendment Bill 2014

Taking Property on Just Terms Bill 2014

Travel Agents Amendment and Expiry Bill 2014

Unclaimed Money (Superannuation and RSA Providers) Amendment and Expiry Bill 2013


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