Category Archives: Featured

Greens call for no new coal mines as NSW Government moves to stop Drayton South

MEDIA RELEASE – 15 December 2016

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today congratulated the NSW Government on their decision to stop the farcical Drayton South coal mine, but urged them to act to cancel the Shenhua Watermark project, the Kepco Bylong proposal, the Southern Highlands Berrima coal mine and the proposed Wallarah 2 coal mine on the Central Coast, saying NSW does not need any new coal mines.

“The Greens have been calling for Drayton South to be cancelled for years, and we congratulate the NSW Government on finally making the decision to end the uncertainty for the thoroughbred industry in the Hunter Valley” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“This project has exposed the failure of the current NSW planning system, where there are no red lights and multinational mining giants can continue to push coal projects even though they are uneconomic, opposed by the community and will cause irreparable environmental harm.

“Coal is the whale oil of the 21st Century and NSW does not need any new coal mines.” Mr Buckingham concluded.

On the Shenhua Watermark coal mine in the Liverpool Plains, Mr Buckingham said:

“Farmers on the Liverpool Plains, facing the prospect of the Shenhua Watermark mega mine being built in our food bowl, deserve the same degree of certainty about their future as has been afforded the thoroughbred industry today and I urge Mike Baird to cancel this mine.”

On the Hume Coal Southern Highlands Berrima proposal, Mr Buckingham said:

“It is unacceptable that Southern Highlands communities still have the threat of the Berrima coal mine hanging over their head and Mike Baird should cancel this mine too.”

On the KEPCO Bylong coal project, Mr Buckingham said:

“The beautiful Bylong Valley, home of Peter Andrew’s Natural Sequence Farming, is still set to be destroyed by KEPCO’s coal proposal.  The Bylong Valley has a large area of highly valuable biophysical strategic agricultural land and Mike Baird should cancel this mine too.”

On the KORES Wallarah 2 coal mine in the Central Coast, Mr Buckingham said:

“The drinking water catchment for the Central Coast is still threatened by a coal mine which the Liberals promised would never go ahead.  Today Mike Baird has given certainty to the Hunter Thoroughbred industry, but when will he give certainty to the over 300,000 people on the Central Coast and cancel the Wallarah 2 coal mine?”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0439 460 691

 

Cancer scandal grows: Skinner can’t dodge Special Commission of Inquiry any longer

MEDIA RELEASE – 20 September 2016

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW Government to support a Special Commission of Inquiry into the management of cancer treatment in NSW after a damning report revealed that the scandal has grown once again and serious clinical governance issues have been identified in the Western Local Health District.

“Every step of the way, Minister Skinner has sought to downplay this scandal, avoid responsibility and dodge a Special Commission of Inquiry which would ensure this widening scandal is thoroughly investigated,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“At every juncture, this scandal as grown, more patients are impacted and the scope of the investigation has proved to be too narrow.

“That is why the Greens have been calling on Minister Skinner since March to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry with appropriate independence, protection of witnesses and powers to restore confidence in the NSW Health.

“The report released today has found serious and alarming clinical governance issues in the NSW Health system, including a failure to keep adequate records and important clinical protocols being ignored.

“The scandal has widened to at least 28 more people; a new review is being conducted at St Vincent’s and the limited nature of the inquiry means we have no idea how big this scandal really is.

“It is wrong for Minister Skinner to try to wash her hands of the actions of Dr Grygiel simply because he was a private practitioner, when the report makes it crystal clear that this is not just about one bad doctor; it is about the governance of the NSW Health system of which she is in charge.

“This has gone on long enough and if Minister Skinner refuses to support the establishment of Special Commission of Inquiry into this growing scandal then she should resign and Mike Baird should put a Minister in place that will,” said Mr Buckingham.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

NSW must follow Victoria’s lead and ban fracking

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 August 2016

The Greens NSW Resources and Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham was ecstatic to hear the news today that Victoria will permanently ban exploration and development of unconventional gas, including coal seam gas and fracking, and called on Mike Baird to follow suit and ban fracking in NSW.

“The Greens are calling on Mike Baird to end the uncertainty for communities by following Victoria’s lead and banning coal seam gas and fracking permanently and setting a course towards a renewable energy future,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“This is an incredible victory for those farmers, Greens and environmentalists who have worked together to highlight the risks of unconventional gas and demonstrate the clear community opposition to toxic gasfields.

“NSW demonstrated that the community opposition to coal seam gas was a powerful community and electoral force and the Victorian Government has clearly recognised that with this decision today.

“I was pleased to recently tour regional Victoria with my Greens colleague Ellen Sandal to talk about the dangers of unconventional gas.

“NSW Labor already opposes coal seam gas in certain areas of NSW, they should go one step further and adopt a complete ban policy like their Victorian counterparts,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

ban onshore gas torquay

 

Historic victory as Caroona coal license cancelled

MEDIA RELEASE – 11 August 2016


On the NSW Government decision today to buy back the Caroona coal exploration licence in the Liverpool Plains for $220 million, Greens Resources and Energy Spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said:

“This is an historic victory for farmers, Greens and the community who have fought a decade long campaign to save the Liverpool Plains from coal mining.

“The Greens have stood with landholders every step of the way to protect our land and water and we will continue to campaign to stop destructive coal mines.

“The NSW Government have today woken up to the reaility that new coal mines are unviable and the Greens are calling on Mike Baird to commit to a transition plan away from coal.

“The next step must be the cancellation of the neighbouring Shenhua Watermark mine which continues to threaten the Liverpool Plains, as well as KEPCO’s Bylong project and Hume Coal’s Berrima proposal.”
Contact: Max Phillips  – 0419 444 916

 

NSW Health scandal: Special Commission of Inquiry needed or Minister should go  

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 August  2016

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW Government to support a Special Commission of Inquiry into off-protocol treatment of cancer patients in NSW after a damning final report into the issue released today revealed that the scandal has grown and St Vincent’s Hospital lied to the public.

“The Greens are calling on the NSW Premier to immediately establish a Special Commission of Inquiry to ensure this widening scandal is thoroughly investigated, with appropriate independence, protection of witnesses and powers to restore confidence in the NSW Health system,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“At every juncture in this investigation so far the extent of underdosing has grown and the number of patients affected has increased, so that we now have at least two doctors and three local health districts implicated.

“Minister Skinner has now also made it explicitly clear that St Vincent’s lied to the public and lied to the Ministry and that there are significant failures of middle and senior management which have led to this crisis.

“The Minister seemed remarkably unconcerned about this deceit and its unacceptable that those who have lied may still be in their roles at St Vincent’s.

“The Greens are also concerned that only now, almost 6 months after this scandal was exposed by the media, will the Minister be seeking written assurances from all Local Health Districts across NSW that underdosing has not been occurring elsewhere.

“This should have been one of the Minister’s first moves when this issue was brought to her attention in February this year.

“It is also utterly unacceptable that those patients and their families in Bathurst and Orange and across the Central West will have to wait another month at least to find out whether they have been impacted by this scandal.

“To avoid further cover-ups either Minister Skinner supports the establishment of Special Commission of Inquiry into this growing scandal or she should resign and Mike Baird should put a Minister in place that will.  That is what the community demands,” said Mr Buckingham.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

More to do on medicinal cannabis: Greens

MEDIA RELEASE: 1 August 2016

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the NSW Governments announcement of increased access to medicinal cannabis, but called on Mike Baird to go further and allow doctors to proscribe medicinal cannabis to anyone with chronic pain and not just to seriously ill patients who have exhausted other options.

“After years of campaigning, the Greens welcome the NSW Government’s move to finally allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis to some seriously ill patients,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“This is an important first step in ensuring access to an effective medical treatment which provides relief from pain and suffering, but the Greens are concerned that access has been restricted only to seriously ill patients who have exhausted other options.”

“There is already overwhelming international evidence that medicinal cannabis can provide relief from conditions like nausea, pain and muscle spasms and the Greens will continue to campaign for medical cannabis to be available to all patients suffering chronic pain, and not just as a last resort.

“The Greens have bills before the New South Wales and Commonwealth parliaments that would achieve the necessary reform to allow greater access to provide relief from pain and suffering.”
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

EPA’s paltry fine for Wollongong Coal spill no deterrent to future offenses

MEDIA RELEASE – 15 July  2016

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said that the EPA’s announcement today that Wollongong Coal would only face a token fine of $30,000 following the significant spill of coal from the Russell Vale coal mine into Bellambi Creek last December raises concerns about whether the EPA were serious about stopping multinational coal companies polluting waterways.

Wollongong Coal which owns and operates the Russel Vale Colliery is owned by Indian multinational Jindal Power and Steel.  Russell Vale is currently in ‘care and maintenance’ and it is understood that a dust suppression spray at the mine broke last December, causing a large amount of water to saturate a coal stockpile and causing the coal to spill into Bellambi Creek.

“This fine is a drop in the ocean for a multinational coal company which has annual revenues in excess of $200 Billion and will not act as a deterrent to further environmental destruction,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“Just last month I visited the Bellambi Creek and saw for myself that the water is still polluted by coal, six months after the spill last December.

“If the EPA is serious about stopping multinational coal companies polluting our precious waterways then they should instead commence court action against Wollongong Coal, as they have done with Centennial Coal after a similar incident at the Clarence Colliery polluted the Wollangambe River.

“I am very concerned that the ‘care and maintenance’ regime at the mine is inadequate and that a much stronger message needs to be sent to coal companies in NSW that pollution incidents from mothballed and closed mines are unacceptable.”

“If the operators of the mine, Wollongong Coal, are unable to prevent such a spill occurring, then they should certainly not be given approval to expand the mine or build coal washeries in the future.

“With the global coal market in structural decline, the standard of care and maintenance and rehabilitation of coal mines will become increasingly important,” Mr Buckingham said.

Video of Jeremy Buckingham at Bellambi Creek inspecting coal pollution: https://www.facebook.com/jeremybuckingham/videos/1211661628853023/

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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