D-Day looms for Barnaby Joyce
MEDIA RELEASE – 8 July 2015
The Greens NSW agriculture spokesperson said the federal government’s looming decision on whether to permit the giant Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains was a test whether Barnaby Joyce can deliver and protect the prime agricultural resources of the Liverpool Plains, or whether he’s a patsy to the Liberal and mining industry. Environment Minister Greg Hunt is set to make a determination by 9 July.
Questioned on the issue on 25 February 2015, Minister Joyce told Parliament:
“I acknowledge that the only area we now have to deal with it is under the water trigger, but we can only deal with it in a specific area. We are looking at this. We are doing our very best in the very limited area we have, because of state legislation and because a corrupt Labor Party minister set this up.”
“D-Day for Barnaby Joyce now looms. Not only is he agriculture minister and a senior member of the National Party, but Joyce is the local MP. His constituents on the Liverpool Plains and the broader farming community expect him to act protect some of the best agricultural soils and water resources in Australia,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“This decision is a test for Barnaby Joyce. He’s called this mine ‘an absurdity’ and a ‘grave mistake’, but what good is an agriculture minister and local MP who can’t convince his own government or the state Coalition government to act?
“Crocodile tears, mock outrage and hand wringing will not protect the black soils of the Liverpool Plains from the giant Chinese state-owned coal mine proposed and it is time Barnaby Joyce did something a bit brave.
“The Shenhua Watermark coal mine represents a complete failure of the political system with politicians from all sides shirking responsibility. It has cruised through the assessment system despite the majority of people and politicians hating the idea of mining in the heart our best farming country.
“People will look back at the lack of action and think what a bunch of gutless cowards those politicians were.”