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Roy’s Round-Up

Roy Butler MP

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It has been another busy fortnight, one week sitting in Parliament, and since Parliament rose, I have been in Canberra talking water and energy with federal actors. I also managed to slip down to Eden Monaro where Matt Stadtmiller is running for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party in the by-election. Matt and I spent a couple of days talking to locals and looking at the impact of recent devastating fires. We also turned to locals for advice on what needed to happen to prepare for the next fires.

In early July I am heading out to Coonamble, Walgett and Lightning Ridge. I hope to speak to plenty of people, and report back on the work we have been doing relevant to their communities.

Please keep your guard up on Coronavirus, as we see people moving around more and more, social distancing and hand hygiene is our best defence to keep the virus at bay. You have done an amazing job, hopefully in coming months we can see zero cases, and get back to a more normal life.

'If you've never seen a gas drilling site up close, they're not pretty'

Opinion - John Tough

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After years of delays, the NSW state government has approved the expansion of the controversial Narrabri gas project, despite opposition from many in the local community. 

The project, which was opposed by the vast majority of submissions during the consultation process, could involve up to 850 new coal seam gas wells being drilled on 1,000 hectares of a 95,000 hectare site covering the Pilliga forest and nearby farm land.

If you've never seen a gas drilling site up close, they're not pretty. 

Towers being raised across the countryside, orange flames from gas flares, glaring floodlights, constant noise from the grind of the drill - and that's not even touching on the potential for land and water pollution from fugitive emissions during the drilling process.

Roy's Round-Up 6 June 2020

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It’s been a big week in Parliament. 

The Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill came on incredibly fast in the Legislative Assembly. Thank you for your public support of the position we took, it helps to show that Government members are out of touch with community sentiment. 

The next opportunity to raise concerns is through the Independent Planning Commission process. I will be making a submission, advocating for the strongest possible protection of groundwater for the sake of communities and agriculture. I encourage you to do the same. 

Transparency around government decision-making is another casualty of Covid-19

The Guardian - Katherine Murphy

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In one of those strange circle of life things, about three years ago, I had a conversation with Greg Combet about how Australian politics could pull itself out of the death spiral of rolling leadership coups.

Combet – one of Labor’s brightest stars – had burned out during the leadership feud between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and with the grinding effort of legislating a carbon price in a minority parliament. Given he was a substantial loss to public life, I was interested in his thoughts about how things might become less toxic.

Part of the problem, Combet thought, was Canberra’s parliamentary culture was too insular, and the pace of governing was too punishing. One way to combat that would be adopting the American model, where people were recruited from outside the political system to serve in the cabinet or the executive. Recruiting high-powered outsiders from diverse backgrounds to mingle with the political lifers for a term of government would refresh the gene pool in the 2600 postcode, and allow some members of a government to focus exclusively on policy-making rather than having to juggle portfolio and representative responsibilities.

Chorus of criticism for defeat of coal seam gas moratorium, but NSW Government holds firm

ABC New England / By Patrick Bell and Lucy Thackray

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Farmers in north-west New South Wales are furious at the defeat of a bill to temporarily put a stop to Coal Seam Gas activity in the state.

The Bill passed the NSW Upper House late on Wednesday night, and the Government unexpectedly brought it to a vote in the Legislative Assembly yesterday afternoon.

It was defeated 38 votes to 36.

The legislation had the support of Labor, the Greens, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers (SFF) and other independents.

The Deputy Premier John Barilaro has accused the SFF of having "sold out jobs in regional NSW to align themselves with the Greens, not because of outcomes, but because of politics".

Key points:

  • The State Government defeated a bill that would have temporarily stopped all coal seam gas activity
  • Farmers in the state's north-west are worried about the implications for the impending Narrabri Gas Project
  • The government insists it has the community on its side

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