Category Archives: Uncategorized

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:

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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.”

AGL should ditch Gloucester gas after recognising CSG unwanted, unviable

Jeremy Buckingham Gloucester

MEDIA RELEASE - 6 July 2015

The Greens NSW coal seam gas spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today said that AGL’s decision to ditch their controversial coal seam gas expansion plans for Sydney’s west and the Hunter Valley is a recognition that coal seam gas is unwanted and unviable, but their failure to also ditch their Gloucester gas project was a missed opportunity to repair their corporate reputation and was a decision that they would have to return to in the near future.

“This decision is recognition by AGL that coal seam gas is unwanted and unviable in the face of resolute community opposition and a growing renewable energy sector,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The writing is on the wall for coal seam gas as communities around the country refuse to accept the risks to their land, water and the climate.

“This is a great victory for the communities that have been opposing coal seam gas and reflects well on the direction the new CEO Andy Vesey is taking with AGL.

“But it is also a missed opportunity for AGL to repair their battered corporate reputation by ditching their risky Gloucester gas plans.

“The community opposition to this crazy project will continue to grow and this latest announcement will only strengthen the people of Gloucester’s resolve not to be the only place in NSW destroyed by this toxic industry.

“The $193 million write down of this project is a recognition that coal seam gas in Gloucester doesn’t stack up and the Greens look forward to AGL packing their bags in the near future.

“The buy-back process should not be a cash cow for the gas industry and the Greens believe that AGL’s worthless licenses should be handed back without compensation,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101


When it comes to water, Nationals put communities and environment last

Jeremy Buckingham and dying Darling River horizontal

MEDIA RELEASE - 3 July 2015

The Greens NSW water spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today said that the decision by the NSW Government to rename the NSW Office of Water as DPI Water showed the people of Broken Hill that when it comes to water the National Party put the needs of communities and the environment last.

“This is yet another slap in the face for the people of Broken Hill from the National Party.  This name change is a message from the new Water Minister that the main focus of the government when it comes to water is the needs of primary industries and that communities and the environment are expected to take a back seat,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Once again we see the National party rolling over for their mates at Cotton Australia and making it absolutely clear whose side they are on.

“This latest insult follows the news that Minister Niall Blair is considering putting Broken Hill onto bore water as a permanent solution so that farmers upstream can continue to take more than their fair share of water.

“The Greens believe that the Minister and the Government have a statutory responsibility to ensure an adequate water supply for communities and the environment.  While irrigation is important, nothing is more important than clean reliable drinking water,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101


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