Buckingham ejected from Upper House after Minister uses racist slur to defend Needles Gap dam

MEDIA RELEASE – 19 June 2014

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham was today ejected from the Legislative Council until the end of the current sitting by President Don Harwin, after a fiery exchange about the proposed Needles Gap Dam during Question Time.

Mr Buckingham asked Minister Duncan Gay to name one potential user of the proposed Needles Gap Dam.  Mr Gay quoted from an anonymous online commenter on a Central Western Daily article called ‘Leafman’ who wrote: “We just cannot go back to running around the bush with spears and boomerangs!”

“It’s offensive for the Leader of the Government in the House to use what is clearly a racial slur to attack those who question the need for this dam,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“It made my blood boil to hear representatives of the government use that kind of offensive language to make a political point.  By all means criticise the Greens, but to use this racial slur is utterly wrong.

“Minister Gay should withdraw that statement and apologise.

“It’s astonishing that the Minister had to resort to quoting from an anonymous online troll to justify a $150 million dam.  The government still cannot state exactly who will use this dam and what it is for,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916


  • So on what grounds can the President evict the Greens rep and can it be contested?


  • Mentioning people using spears and boomerangs is hardly a racial slur. However, Duncan Gay shows himself as a complete waste of space. And the Speaker also doesn’t look too good, but I couldn’t hear what he said.


  • The Belubula “river” is a crick, I saw this muddy little creek at Canowindra bridge a few weeks ago about 30 klms downstream from this proposed dam. It could take 20 years to fill, there’s already a much larger dam upstream. what happens to the downstream water users whilst this dam fills if it ever does.
    If this area needs a make work scheme a dam’s not it.


  • Little and desparate people do and say silly things and this government is really desperate. They simply do not know what their policies are much less being able to explain them to anyone else. All we can know for sure is if you are a big and/or polluting industry this government will look after you. If you are chronically ill thus often impoverished, a single mum, a pensioner or a person looking for employment, you will not be looked after. This government has introduced a class system into this free country of Australia. It should hang its collective head in shame, or better still give up governing altogether.


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