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Speech: War on Trees

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:43): The New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, is waging a war on trees-quite literally, a war on trees. It is extremely destructive, occasioning great hurt, and right now he is not stopping. In one suburb, Randwick, along Anzac Parade, 400 trees are being turned into woodchips. These are beautiful trees-trees that are habitat to an amazing array of birds, possums and an incredible number of insects. The biodiversity is considerable. Many of these trees are now being destroyed by 'Mike Baird's chainsaw massacre'.

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National MP dumps on his own community with backing of nuclear dump in NSW

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has rejected plans to build a nuclear waste dump at Sallys Flat in western NSW as irresponsible and dangerous and another attempt to breathe life into the discredited nuclear industry.

“Local National MP John Cobb has shown he does not know what it means to be a local member. He should be standing up for the health and well-being of his constituents not giving quick endorsement to a nuclear dump only 65 kilometres north of Bathurst,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Williamtown pollution payout insult – Defence Dept knew pollution on base in 2003

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has said that the small offer of financial assistance by the RAAF to fishers who stand to lose their business due to toxic run off from Williamtown Base is totally inadequate and an insult as the Defence Department have known about the contamination since 2003.

“The RAAF so called assistance package for fishers impacted by the Williamtown toxic contamination is an insult and will do nothing to compensate for lost business or ensure their survival,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Minister Payne and Defence fail, prawn trawlers give leadership on Williamtown clean-up

NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has called upon Minister Marise Payne and the Department of Defence to immediately release plans for containment of the toxic material from the Williamtown airbase and details of compensation for local residents and businesses.

“Prawn trawlers in the Hunter region have decided to delay the fishing season until results from tests along the Hunter River are delivered,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Williamtown)

Through extensive questioning, Lee has ascertained that from 2003 to 2011 the Defence Department failed to inform Williamtown residents of the dangers posed by contaminants used at the airforce base. The contaminants found in run off from the Williamtown Base are perfluorinated compounds, including the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. It is 2015, and toxic chemicals have leeched into water beyond the site. Residents of Williamtown deserve immediate answers. 

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Estimates: Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (Parramatta Female Factory Precinct)

Lee grills The Australian Heritage Council on proposed developments near the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct that would nullify its heritage status and environmental protections. She queries why the National Heritage List, which the Precinct may or may not be on, will not be released until June 2017. 

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Eve Paris Climate Conference - new coal loader set to make Australia laughing stock

The Greens have strongly criticised the decision to approve a fourth coal loader at Port Newcastle as an irresponsible act that will impose a massive health burden on people of the Hunter, damage local wildlife habitat and cause more extreme weather events.

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference this decision to expand coal exports will make Australia an international laughing stock.

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