Government breaks election commitment on noxious weeds, selling out the bush

MEDIA RELEASE – 2 May 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on agriculture Jeremy Buckingham condemned the O’Farrell Government, particularly the National Party, for breaking its election commitment to remove the current exemption for public authorities under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. The gutless Labor Party voted with the Government against Greens amendment that would have made state authorities such as the RTA, Forests NSW and National Parks subject to the same rules as private landholders and farmers.

Currently public authorities are held to a lower standard than private landholders when it comes to noxious weed control requirements, and are exempt from all liabilities.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals ‘Controlling Noxious Weeds’ Policy 2011-2015 document said:

We will: Introduce mandatory weed management requirements in which departments, agencies and statutory authorities will be subject to the same rules and regulations as private landholders for efficient control of noxious weeds on lands managed by them. (p.3)  

“It’s shameful that given the opportunity to actually vote in parliament to implement a promise they made at last year’s election, the government chose to break their promise,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham. 

“It’s yet another sign that the National Party is failing country NSW.  They’ve said one thing to voters before the election, but when push comes to shove they’re rolling over to their Liberal masters.

“First they’ve abandoned their promise that certain agricultural and sensitive environmental areas will be off-limits to mining, now they’ve abandoned a core promise on fair weed control.  What use are the Nationals?

“This is another example of the Greens representing the interests of farmers and country NSW,” he said.

The NSW Farmers Association called for the removal of the exemption in their February 2011 submission to the ‘Noxious Weeds Act 1993: Statutory Review Issues Paper’.

According to the Local Government & Shires Association, weeds cost NSW over $1.2 billion in lost production and control costs every year.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

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