Premier shows his true colours to Fremantle

Premier Barnett’s attack in Parliament on the City of Fremantle this week is a transparent attempt to shift blame for his own intention to break a promise to move the Department of Housing to central Fremantle, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

“The Premier is wiping his hands of the people of Fremantle; his actions this week show he no longer cares about the future of Fremantle or the people that live here,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The Premier is attempting to blackmail the City of Fremantle by saying he won’t deliver on the Government’s promise to move the Department of Housing to Fremantle because the City of Fremantle has dared to criticise the Perth Freight Link.

“Of course Fremantle and every other affected local government should be researching and opposing the Perth Freight Link – it is a $1.6 billion taxpayer-funded project for which there is no public business case that will rip apart the southern suburbs.

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Failure to fund shark network could leave Government with blood on its hands

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has warned that failure to maintain WA’s network of expensive satellite-linked ‘early warning system’ shark monitors in the ocean could lead to the Government being blamed if a shark bite occurs.

 “If someone is bitten by a big shark off a Perth, South-West or Albany beach and it turns out that Fisheries’ monitoring device at that location was not working through lack of maintenance or replacement, then the question will be – would that person have been bitten if the early warning system was functional,” Ms MacLaren said.

“We are talking about high-tech, specialised electronic gear weathering rough ocean conditions; gear requiring maintenance by trained individuals and presumably, regular replacement. Read more »

Government leaves $2.5 million white elephant in the ocean

Now that the State Government has finally admitted today that no more sharks will be tagged as part of the Government's much-vaunted shark tagging and tracking program the Greens say a $2.5 million public asset will be left to weather in the ocean.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said, "The Department of Fisheries' long-term shark tagging and tracking program was one of the few aspects of the Government's shark hazard policy last year that made sense"

"But now it seems that having spent $2.5 million establishing this acoustic receiver system that it calls 'world-class' and 'cutting edge' on its SharkSmart website, the Government now plans to walk away from doing any further research, other than publishing data already collected.

"The term 'white elephant' comes to mind when I think of those expensive receivers left in the ocean without anyone to maintain them.

"This decision means we are getting nothing like the benefits we should be getting from investment in a $2.5 million public asset. Read more »

Greens condemn cuts to “world class” shark research

Planned cuts to WA's “world-class” shark tagging, tracking and research program, hidden in the detail of the State Budget, have confirmed the depth of the Barnett Government’s contempt for science on large sharks, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

 “In slashing staffing and funding for ongoing research using its Shark Monitoring Network, the Barnett Government has removed any remaining vestiges of credibility to the claim that it is interested in a scientific assessment of the population of white sharks off south-western Australia,” Ms MacLaren said. 

“This decision removes any scope for this Government to claim in the future that it has evidence that white shark numbers have recovered sufficiently to allow them to be killed. Read more »

Recreational hunting on public land gets shot down

Lynn MacLaren, Greens MLC has welcomed the State Government’s announcement today, rejecting the recommendation for a recreational hunting trial in WA.

“I’m delighted that the Government has publically stated its lack of support for recreational hunting in national parks and conservation reserves and announced its decision against conducting a two-year trial,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The Greens have always completely opposed recreational hunting as a method of pest control and for good reason: not only is it ineffective, but it can cause tremendous suffering for animals. Read more »

National ‘free range’ eggs standard in Ministers hands today

“On the heels of findings from the consumer advocacy group Choice, State Ministers will today consider adoption of a national standard for “free range” eggs,” said Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren.

“Choice demonstrated on Wednesday that many consumers are being duped by false labelling and highlighted the urgent need for legislation for the labelling of free range eggs,” Ms MacLaren said.

“It is shocking that only around 25 per cent of ‘free range’ producers interviewed actually comply with the code of practice for stocking density. 

“Consumers assume all free range laying hens have space to move with access to the outdoors, with shaded areas and shelter from rain.

“Consumers can pay up to twice the cost of caged eggs to purchase a more ethical product, is it too much to ask that they get what they paid for?   Read more »