Court ruling impact disastrous for non-GM farmers and their markets, say Greens

The Court of Appeals’ decision in the Steve Marsh case is a blow to everyone who stands against GM crops and the impact will be disastrous, according to Greens WA Spokesperson for Food and GMOs Lynn MacLaren MLC.

“This most recent decision proves that our State laws don’t protect non-GM farmers or their markets,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The vast majority of farmers are non-GM or organic so the impact on their industry will be incalculable. We need urgent law reform to provide the necessary wide-scale protection.

“This ruling comes at a time when the State Minister has said he intends to repeal the Genetically Modified Crop Free Areas Act by the end of the year. Read more »

Govt reveals: 90 jobs to be cut from Department of Parks and Wildlife

Questions by Greens Biodiversity Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC tonight have confirmed massive cuts to the State Government department responsible for managing WA’s wilderness and  biodiversity.

“I am appalled to hear that 90 full-time equivalent jobs will be cut from the Department of Parks and Wildlife in 2015, given it comes on top of successive whittling away of that Department’s staffing and resources over many years,” Ms MacLaren said.

“A total 30 of those positions lost will be cut from the Department’s Science and Conservation Division. 

“This occurs as the Government has massively increased this Department’s spending on prescribed burning.

“It is no joke to say that the Department  of Parks and Wildlife would now more accurately be called the Department of Burning. Read more »

Transport Minister cannot back up Freight Link pollution claims

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has blasted the Transport Minister for failing to answer simple questions based on his Department’s own publicity on Perth Freight Link for a second week in the row. 

“Today in Parliament I asked the Minister to direct me to any studies the Government has done to support Main Roads’ much-vaunted claim that the Perth Freight Link will reduce vehicle exhaust fumes and greenhouse gas emissions and to my surprise, the Minister said he could not answer,” Ms MacLaren said. 

“This defies belief; I based my question on a May 2015  Main Roads factsheet which states the Link will reduce fuel exhaust and carbon dioxide emissions.  Read more »

Premier contradictory over Cottesloe shark proof enclosure omission

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says the Premier's lack of interest in funding a shark-proof enclosure at Cottesloe Beach is inconsistent with the way he singled out Cottesloe Beach as requiring protection from shark hazards last year when he was promoting drum lines.

"The popularity of Cottesloe Beach was specifically cited by the Premier in his application last year for Federal environmental approval to run a three-year drum line program," Ms MacLaren said.

"The Premier, whose Department wrote the application, mounted a spurious argument about WA's tourism industry under threat by sharks, including at Cottesloe, to claim the drum lines were 'in the national interest'.

"So his latest comments that Cottesloe 'doesn't necessarily need' an effective shark hazard protection tool such as a shark-proof enclosure are contradictory, to say the least. Read more »

Greens and Numbat Task Force win appeal over threat to State’s emblem

The WA Greens, along with a handful of other appellants, have won a landmark appeal which will force the EPA to assess a Wheatlbelt landfill proposal that threatens WA’s iconic species, the numbat. 

"Our successful appeal means the EPA cannot pass the buck on this project and will now have to closely examine the well-documented concern that landfill sites such as this create habitat for scavenger and feral predator species, including cats, foxes, Australian ravens and rats which can devastate vulnerable native fauna populations," WA Greens Biodiversity Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC said.  

"This is a fabulous outcome for WA's mammalian emblem, the numbat  - full marks to the dedicated volunteers from the Numbat Task Force who first brought attention to the danger this tip posed to the numbats of Dryandra Woodland, in the Shire of Cuballing.  Read more »

State Government blank on Freight Link funding as Senate Inquiry proceeds

Welcoming the Senate’s support today for a Greens-initiated inquiry into the Perth Freight Link, Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has also blasted the Barnett Government for being unable to explain how it will fund its ever-growing contribution to the Link.

“It is exactly because of this kind of obfuscation from the State and Federal governments  in response to serious questions that I welcome this national inquiry initiated by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Ms MacLaren said.  

“A year ago, Minister Nalder said the State Government contribution to the Link would be $260 million, with a private investor to pay another $390 million and the Commonwealth, $925 million.

“But no private investor was interested, so the cost to the State rose to $650 million, prompting the obvious question, from where in our cash-strapped State Budget has the Barnett Government drawn the extra $390 million?

Read more »