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Adjournment Speech - Stop the WA Shark Cull

A couple of weekends ago it was a terrific privilege to stand side by side with thousands and thousands of Australians—in particular, West Australians—at Perth's Cottesloe Beach to protest against the Western Australian shark kill policy. This is an appalling policy of Premier Barnett. The majority of Western Australians understand that the ocean is the natural habitat of sharks, yet Premier Colin Barnett and minister Greg Hunt are mutually complicit in this bad policy. Greg Hunt has approved it with absolutely no evidence that it will prevent any deaths. He signed an exemption to the relevant act on 10 January, but he waited 10 days before making it public. I am not sure about the reason for this secrecy. Maybe it is another example of the general veil of secrecy which we are used to with the Abbott government, but I suspect that he felt that, without the delay, he would have been exposed for having made the decision in a rush without any evidential basis for having done so. Continue reading

Bush Fire Victims Asbestos and Arsenic Risks

WA Senator Louise Pratt urged WA Authorities and Perth Hills residents impacted by bushfires this week to heed the lessons of the Blue Mountains bushfires when they return to their homes. It’s very clear to me that people are keen to return home and see the damage to their properties. I understand the need to go and see the damage first hand. I grew up on Traylen Road in the middle of the zone that has been devastated by fire. I don’t know if the house my father built there many years ago still stands”.  However, I want to make sure people take the right precautions to manage the risks. Authorities here in WA have been very vigilant in reminding residents of the dangers of hot zones with fires burning, debris, fallen electricity lines and unstable structures. Continue reading