Category Archives: Agriculture

Baird & Barnaby should negotiate Shenhua exit from Liverpool Plains

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MEDIA RELEASE - 29 March 2016

Greens Mining and Agriculture Spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham today called on Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to actively negotiate an exit strategy for Shenhua to hand back their coal exploration licence over the Liverpool Plains, in light of Shenhua’s Announcement of Annual Results forecast for a continuing structural decline for coal and scaled back capital investment in overseas projects.

Shenhua’s Announcement of Annual Results forecasts:

“Global demand for coal is expected to manifest a downward trend in 2016 as impacted by the slackened global economy growth, structural adjustment of energy, slow energy consumption growth and climate change. The coal supply will be excessive, and prices of thermal coal will remain low.”

“Even the world’s biggest coal miner has recognised that there is no need for new coal and it’s up to Barnaby Joyce and Mike Baird to create certainty for the farmers of the Liverpool Plains by negotiating an exit for Shenhua,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“It’s economically and strategically foolish for the Coalition and Labor to fail to acknowledge that the future is renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, not giant coal mines in our food bowl.

“Barnaby Joyce has failed to use his significant power as Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture and Water Minister.  Unless he can negotiate a swift and fair exit for Shenhua and save the Liverpool Plains, the voters of New England should throw him out.

“It’s unacceptable for this coal mine proposal to hang over the Liverpool Plains, causing uncertainty and stress, and hindering investment in agriculture.”

Upper House votes for a hemp food industry for NSW

jeremy hemp

MEDIA RELEASE - 25 February 2016

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the support of the NSW Legislative Council after it voted 17-16 to adopt a motion calling on the Government to work with other Australian governments lift the ban on hemp food products.  The Government opposed the motion but Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats and Labor voted with the Greens in favour.

“The ban on hemp food products in Australia is nonsensical, as Australians are missing out on a healthy and nutritious food source, and Australian farmers are missing out on profiting from a valuable crop and growing market,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“For years now Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has delayed making a decision on legalising hemp foods by commissioning endless reports and reviews.  2016 should be the year that a decision is finally made.

“I hope that Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair will get over this embarrassing loss and takes on the naysayers within the Government to get a win for farmers and consumers.

“Hemp foods have extremely low levels of THC and it is impossible to get stoned from them.  Just about every other country in the world allows the consumption of hemp foods and Australian farmers are missing out on huge potential.

“Despite their supposed support for a hemp food industry, the Government opposed the motion.  However, the motion was supported by the Greens, Labor and CDP MPs to be successful.

“The Shooters MPs, fresh after cynically adding “Farmers” to their party name, failed to turn up to this important debate about agriculture in NSW, and failed to vote on the motion.  It’s a shocking start for these pretenders.”

Notice of Motion:

  1. Mr Buckingham to move—
  2. That this House notes that:

(a) the current ban on the sale of hemp food products is costing Australian farmers a slice of a billion dollar global industry,

(b) Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world where the sale of hemp food is illegal,

(c) approval for the sale of hemp food products is supported by Food Standards Australiaand New Zealand (FSANZ),

(d) the 2012 FSANZ report for approval states that:

(i) hemp has no psychoactive properties and, therefore, could not be detectable in drug tests,

(ii) there is no evidence of adverse health effects in humans at low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol exposure,

(iii) hemp grows in a distinctly different way to marijuana and would be easilydetectable by drug enforcement agencies,

(iv) no countries have reported any problem with mixed messaging regarding drug law enforcement, and

(e) the current ban on hemp food products is impeding the development of a sustainable hemp fibre industry.

  1. That this House calls on the Government to:

(a) work proactively with the Federal and other State and Territory Governments to lift the ban on hemp food products in Australia, and

(b) assist farmers in the development of a sustainable hemp food and fibre industry.


Enough talk: Greens call for action on right to say no at COAG meeting

Jeremy & compressor station
You can help! Send a message to state and federal energy ministers calling on them to support the right to lock the gate:

MEDIA RELEASE - 3 December 2015

The Greens NSW mining and agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on Premier Mike Baird and NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts to support a national framework to give landholders and traditional owners the legal right to say no to coal and gas companies coming onto their land.

Minister Roberts will be attending a meeting of COAG Mining and Energy Ministers on Friday (4 December) and the issue of a landholders’ right to say ‘no’ will be on the agenda after Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg confirmed in October that he would “bring the state ministers together to plan a way forward.”

This follows recent statements from Nationals leader Warren Truss, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Nationals senator Fiona Nash calling for landholders to be able to veto exploration and extraction on their properties.

“The public overwhelmingly support farmers and traditional owners having the right to protect their land and water from coal and gas companies and Friday’s COAG meeting is an opportunity to finally make this a reality,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“The time for talk is over.  Mike Baird and Anthony Roberts need to go into the COAG meeting on Friday with a concrete proposal to give landholders and Traditional Owners the legal right to say no to coal and gas mining on their land.

“Landholders have had enough of politicians at a federal and state level narrow casting about the right to say no but then comprehensively failing to deliver on their promises.”

“Coal seam gas and coal exploration is highly disruptive to farming activities and risks polluting the land and water.  It is time for the NSW Government to stop the political deception and support legislation to enshrine the right to say no.”

Senator Richard Di Natale, Australian Greens Leader, said COAG must act urgently to give landholders in every state and territory legal rights to say no to coal and gas mining on their land.

“We Greens have legislation in the federal and state Parliaments to give landholders the legal rights they deserve to protect their land, water and climate.

“The Nationals say one thing in regional communities and the media and then do the opposite in Parliament.

“Communities are sick of the empty promises and the Greens are standing with them to demand that COAG finally acts to fix this injustice,” Senator Di Natale said.

Contact (Jeremy Buckingham): Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

Contact (Richard Di Natale): Andrew Blyberg – 0457 901 600


Cobbora coal mine farce a lesson in bad government – Labor should apologise

MEDIA RELEASE - 20 November 2015

The Greens NSW mining and agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said today that the decision to abandon the farcical Cobbora coal mine was good news for the local community and climate, but highlighted just how tragically bad the decision was by the former NSW Labor Government and called on Labor Leader, Luke Foley to apologise for the farce.

“It’s a tragedy that the local community and farmers have been destroyed for a farcical coal mine that has now been canned, and NSW Labor should apologise to both the local community and also the taxpayers of NSW for the hurt and cost,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Cobbora coal mine was always a dud, with the NSW Labor Party hoping that a state-run coal mine fuelling privatised generators could bail them out of their political dilemmas on electricity privatisation.

“The farming community has been decimated and agricultural infrastructure destroyed, while taxpayers had to pay $300 million to Origin Energy to renege on the supply contracts tied to this dud mine.

“While it is good that this tragedy is coming to an end, we have other tragedies just beginning, with new coal mines proposed for the fertile Liverpool Plains, the Bylong Valley and the Southern Highlands.

“It’s time the government said, ‘No New Coal Mines’ and implemented a strategy to phase out fossil fuels and build renewable energy.”

Upper House calls on Premier Baird to meet with Liverpool Plains Youth  

MEDIA RELEASE - 12 November 2015

The Greens NSW mining and agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said he hoped that Premier Mike Baird would heed the official call of the NSW Legislative Council, which today unanimously passed a motion calling on the Premier to meet with the Liverpool Plains Youth association when he visits Tamworth next Friday.

The motion, which passed this morning, reads:


  1. That this House notes that:

(a) the Premier, the Honourable Mike Baird MP, will be visiting Tamworth on 20 November


(b) the Liverpool Plains Youth are a group of young people from the Liverpool Plains region who are committed to showcasing, celebrating and protecting the Liverpool Plains region for the future, and

(c) the Liverpool Plains Youth have written to the Premier requesting that he meet with them

when he visits Tamworth so that they can discuss the impacts that the Shenhua Watermark and BHP Caroona coal mines will have on the future of the Liverpool Plains if they are built.

  1. That this House calls on the Premier to meet with the Liverpool Plains Youth and listen to their concerns.


“The Liverpool Plains Youth have been doing a fantastic job in raising awareness about the importance of the region and agriculture, and advocating to protect the land and water from new coal mines,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“These young people will hopefully still be farming the Liverpool Plains long after any mines have been wound up and long after the world has weaned itself off coal and onto renewable energy.

“It’s important that the Premier hear the views of the young people who will be directly affected by these mines and I urge him to meet, listen carefully and act to protect the Liverpool Plains.”

NSW Government renegotiating $200 million success fee for Shenhua coal mine

Tim Duddy, Richard Di Natale _ Jeremy Buckingham

MEDIA RELEASE - 29 September 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the government to come clean about their negotiations with the Chinese government owned Shenhua coal mining company after answers to Budget Estimates questions on notice revealed that the $200 million success fee was being renegotiated.

The government answered (174):

“The Department has initiated commercial in confidence negotiations with Shenhua to finalise and discuss a number of outstanding issues associated with its development application.  The timing of the payment of the State’s success fee, when the Division grants the mining licence, is part of those discussions.”

Infamous former mining minister Ian Macdonald, accepted a $300 million success payment to the government for the Shenhua Watermark exploration licence, to be followed by a $200 million success payment to the government on grant of the mining licence.  It is this last payment that is currently being renegotiated.

“The Shenhua coal mine in the heart of the fertile Liverpool Plains is an issue of national significance.  The NSW government should reveal exactly what they have promised Shenhua, and whether they are negotiating to facilitate the mine or to protect the Liverpool Plains,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Most credible economists conclude that building the greenfield Shenhua Watermark coal mine does not make sense financially in the current global coal market and at current coal prices.

“It would be treacherous for the NSW government to now renegotiate the $200 million fee to help facilitate the construction of a mine that is already a dubious financial prospect.  It would mean an exploration licence is not worth the paper it is written on if it can be changed at a whim to suit the mining company.

“The community has long been concerned that these very large payments to governments impact on the assessment process and create an inherent conflict of interest – and that’s putting it politely.

“Minister Roberts should make it clear to the public exactly what the NSW government is hoping to achieve in these negotiations,” Mr Buckingham said.

Buckingham joins tractor convoy to protest Shenhua coal mine

Tractor convoy

MEDIA RELEASE - 21 August 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today will join Liverpool Plains farmers on a convoy of tractors driving from Gunnedah to Breeza, to protest the Shenhua Watermark coal mine proposed for the fertile agricultural area.  Mr Buckingham has spent the week at AgQuip in Gunnedah where the mood is firmly against coal and coal seam gas.

The tractor convoy leaves Gunnedah at 1pm and will drive to the Breeza Hall for a BBQ.

“The Greens are standing shoulder to shoulder with the community of the Liverpool Plains to oppose the Shenhua coal mine and I’m proud to join this tractor convoy as an expression of determination that people power will stop this mine, if governments fail,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“I’ve spent the past few days at the AgQuip festival and I can tell you that farmers from all over NSW are dead-set opposed to mining in good agricultural areas.

“We’ve given away many thousands of ‘Farms Not Coal’ stickers, which will be soon be appearing on utes, trucks and cars around the state.

“There is a steely determination among the community that this Shenhua mine must not go ahead.  If they try to build this mine it will be the Farmers’ Franklin, with thousands of people willing to put themselves on the line to protect the land and water.

“The Greens continue to deepen links with farming and country communities and fill the void left by a weak and subservient National Party.”

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