Debate resumed from 13 November; motion of Mr BARBER (NorthernMetropolitan):
That this house calls on the government to implement a permanent ban on the exploration or development of unconventional gas fossil fuels across Victoria.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. It relates to the plight of koalas that have been living in commercial blue gum plantations in south-west Victoria, as raised in the ABC's 7.30 Report on 22 July 2013. I am relying on the transcript of that program, which reported that ironically the blue gum plantations that are now part of failed management investment schemes have become places of refuge for koalas as their natural habitat dwindles, but as the plantations are harvested the native animals face deadly threats. They are turning out to be temporary and dangerous homes as the koalas often suffer serious injury and even death when the timber is harvested.
In state parliament last night, Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik called on Minister Ryan Smith to incorporate the disused Pioneer Quarry site into the Arthurs Seat State Park.
Peninsula Waste Management (PWM), owned by the R E Ross Trust have applied to Mornington Peninsula Shire to convert the old quarry into a tip for municipal, industrial, commercial and asbestos waste. There appears to be no plan for recycling at the proposed tip.
"While R E Ross himself operated quarries, including the Hillview quarry in Dromana, one of the three core purposes of the R E Ross Trust, established under his will, is ‘nature conservation with particular regard to the purchase of land for the protection and preservation of flora and fauna’,” * Ms Pennicuik said.
“The old quarry site is adjacent to Arthurs Seat State Park – a haven for eagles, kites, swamp wallabies, and many other species. It is a special and beautiful site on the escarpment with sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay," Ms Pennicuik said. "It is clearly no place for a tip."
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- By leave, I move my amended motion 589:
That this house expresses its concern that the Minister for Environment and Climate Change has granted coastal consent for the construction of a boat ramp at Bastion Point, Mallacoota, known as 'Option 3b' despite --
(1) the Gippsland Coastal Board opposing it;
(2) 87 per cent of submissions to the 2007 inquiry EES opposing it;
(3) the October 2008 independent panel report on the ocean access boat ramp, Bastion Point Mallacoota, recommending that a minor improvement to the existing boat ramp is as much as should be done at Bastion Point; and
(4) The Department of Sustainability and Environment and Department of Transport recommending an alternative option H2;
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has called on the State government not to make more National Park rangers redundant. A new round of offers was flagged last week, targeting 54 Parks Victoria staff on top of 66 who took redundancies in October.*
"If more park rangers go, who'll be looking after our parks? We need them there to protect the parks and help out the many visitors," said Greg Barber MLC
"If we cut the number of park rangers, I predict more illegal rubbish dumping and shooting, arson and vandalism. Eventually, some popular areas could even be closed due to lack of maintenance and supervision."
"Our parks contain our most precious ecological assets. This government talked a lot about our 'neglected' public land when they were in opposition but this just proves they don't care about the environment."
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- On Monday, 10 December, I addressed a rally at Parliament House organised by the Save Bastion Point campaign to send a message to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change to not support the option 3b proposal for the construction of the boat ramp at Bastion Point as applied for by the East Gippsland Shire Council. The Save Bastion Point campaign has gathered almost 2000 signatures on its petition to ask the minister not to grant coastal consent to the council for the boat ramp. Bastion Point in Mallacoota is recognised by the National Trust for its outstanding landscape and environmental values and sits within the spectacular marine and coastal environment of the Croajingolong National Park, which is recognised by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve.
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber has called for action on dead carp fouling drying lakes.
"As shallow lakes dry out, we are starting to see a mass die-off of carp because the Victorian government hasn't taken any action since the last time it happened. In fact, they have made cuts to environmental management staff."