Member for Ballina calls on the Premier to act to save the Ballina Marine Tower

NSW Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has asked NSW Premier Mike Baird to deliver the shortfall in funding needed to start construction on a new Marine Rescue Tower.

“I had a very encouraging conversation with Premier Baird late yesterday. He is extremely sympathetic to the great work of our marine rescue and our desperate need for the new tower to be built,” Ms Smith said.

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Restore NSW Marine Sanctuaries: Greens

Greens Marine Environment and Fisheries Spokesperson and Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has called on the Baird Government to show leadership and abandon plans to revoke marine sanctuary protections across 10 sites in NSW to allow shore-based fishing.

The Baird Government yesterday launched a community consultation into plans to permanently remove sanctuary protections from 10 beaches and headlands in four of the state’s marine parks including two sites in the Cape Byron Marine Park in the Ballina electorate.

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Ballina MP to sit on Parliamentary Shark Inquiry

Greens Spokesperson on Marine Environment and Fisheries and Member for Ballina Tamara Smith will be a member of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Management of Sharks in NSW Waters.

The Parliament’s multi-party Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Development, of which Tamara is a member, has initiated the Inquiry.

Ms Smith said, “This will be an important inquiry to assess the current shark management programs in NSW and compare that with experiences in other jurisdictions.  

“I hope to come out of this inquiry with a strong, evidence based list of recommendations to Government about the best way to keep people safe and also ensure we preserve healthy and biodiverse oceans.

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Resources for shark surveillance and research welcome

Greens Spokesperson on Marine Environment and Fisheries and Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed a commitment of $250,000 in funding for surveillance, research and public education to help the Ballina community respond to recent shark activity on the North Coast.

Ms Smith said, “The community has been calling for support and this new money will help us to learn more about local shark behaviour and ensure the public has the best information to help reduce the risk of future shark incidents. 

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Bill to make the Northern Rivers gas field free to go to a vote in Parliament next week

Legislation that would prohibit coal seam gas activities in the Northern Rivers will be voted on when the NSW Legislative Council returns next week and the Greens are supporting Lock the Gate’s call for members of the public to get on the phones and email and demand their representatives vote for a gas field free Northern Rivers.  

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “I have been working on this legislation with our mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham since the election and now is the time for the Parliament to take the action the community wants and to make the Northern Rivers gas field free. 

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Ballina jobs summit sets task list for local MP

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has thanked the local community for coming together to look at long-term solutions to grow sustainable jobs across the region.

Reporting back from the Jobs Summit held last week, Ms Smith said, “The Summit was a great success and the overwhelming feedback was that it was an important thing to do and people came away with a shared understanding of where the priorities for growing sustainable jobs lie.”

 

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Greens say shark nets an outdated non-solution to shark safety

Greens Member for Ballina and spokesperson on Marine and Fisheries, Tamara Smith has called on the NSW Premier Mike Baird to rule out expanding the state's Shark Netting Program after Government MP and Nationals member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis flagged it as an option following recent attacks near Ballina and Lennox Head. 

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AGL’s decision shows that CSG is unviable

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has pointed to AGL's decision to divest coal seam gas assets in Western Sydney and the Hunter Valley as a clear sign the industry is unviable on the North Coast.

AGL today announced it would sell a number of coal seam gas licences under the NSW Government's buy-back plan and will not proceed with it Camden Northern Expansion.

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A change to the law needed to cancel CSG licences

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has said the failed CSG-buyback plan demonstrates legislation is needed to cancel coal seam gas licences across the Northern Rivers. 

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “We are now at the 30 June deadline on the Government’s licence buyback process and it is clear that PEL 445 has not been bought back and Metgasco is continuing to pressure the Government to give it police protection to start drilling again. We need a circuit breaker.

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Government must keep Ballina Budget Promises

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has called on the Baird/Grant Coalition Government to keep their election promises for the Ballina Electorate in this year’s State Budget which will be handed down tomorrow.

Ms Smith said, “The Government made a number of significant promises to the electorate of Ballina for important community services and infrastructure, and I expect them to live up to those promises in the Budget. I supported many of the commitments made by the Government during the campaign.

Government’s Election Promises

During the 2015 Election Campaign the coalition made a number of major promises to the Ballina electorate including the following:

Promise

$ committed

Details

Ballina High Schools

$40m

Commitment to upgrade high schools in Ballina

Alstonville High School

$1.5m

Grant for upgrades to the school from the Innovative Education, Successful Students program

Waterlily Park – Ocean Shores

$250k

Upgrades to the park to include new play equipment, pathways, shade and eating areas as well as dredging the lake and cleaning the drains that flow into the park.

Byron Central Hospital

TBD

$1.5m was included in 2014/15 Budget to start construction. Total estimated cost is $80m

Boating infrastructure

$2.78m

10 projects under the state-wide $14m per year NSW Boating Now program were identified in the Ballina electorate.

Recycling Centres in Ballina and Byron

$220k

Commitment under the Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative which is a $465.7m fund over 5 years.

Green Bin Program for Byron Bay

$745k

Commitment under the Waste Less, Recycle More Initiative which is a $465.7m fund over 5 years.

 

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