After a marathon sitting that lasted until 4am on Thursday morning, the law to ban greyhound racing in New South Wales was finally passed, making it illegal across the state from next July.
This is an historic moment that comes after many years of campaigning by community groups, animal welfare activists and ordinary people who have been appalled by the reports and inquiries showing terrible breaches of animal welfare.
Thanks to everyone who supported this campaign, and if you are interested in finding out how to adopt a greyhound, you can find more information here. We're told they make great pets.
Please read my speech in parliament during the debate on the passing of the Bill. (More below)
Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith today condemned the decision by the new Federal Government’s Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to approve the Pacific Highway route through the habitat of Ballina’s koala colony.
“I join the many thousands of koala activists and koala lovers across our region, Australia, and internationally in condemning this decision. It is very disappointing that alternative routes do not seem to have been seriously considered,” said Ms Smith.
“Mr Frydenberg could have insisted the Baird government examine other options for the highway. It seems he approved the four-lane expressway's new route near Ballina on the NSW North Coast on July 19, the day he was sworn in, according to koala groups such as Friends of the koala. The NSW Roads and Maritime Services made the approval public only on Monday – a month later.”
Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith has joined in condemning the plan by the Turnbull Government to strip more than $1 billion from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen also failed to rule out passing the cut yesterday morning on RN Breakfast.
"Labor talks about clean-energy but is failing to back it up with any action and instead is refusing to commit to supporting ARENA. Stripping $1 billion in funding would leave emerging technologies with very few other places to go to get grants to test out their business ideas,” said Ms Smith.
Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith will be seeking a meeting with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to discuss shark mitigation alternatives following the announcement that the shark barrier trial at Lighthouse Beach will not go ahead.
“The company installing the barrier, Eco Shark Barrier advised DPI that it was unsafe to install due to adverse environmental conditions. It is the third time they have tried to install the barrier,” said Ms Smith.
“I will be meeting with Mayor David Wright, the Department of Primary Industries and other stakeholders as soon as possible to discuss alternatives to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers at Lighthouse Beach.”