Greens welcome PEL 445 buyback as the ‘first step’ to a coal seam gas free Northern Rivers

NSW Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith and NSW Greens Mining Spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement they have bought back PEL 445, but have also called on them to provide certainty around the other active PELS in the region.

“The deafening roar from the community is being heard, and the buyback of PEL 445 is an important first step in stopping coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers,” Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said.

 “The Greens have always stood with the community in their fight to protect the Northern Rivers from coal seam gas, and will continue to hold the Government to account,” Ms Smith said.

Government closes the door on Northern Rivers PEL buy-backs

NSW Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has slammed the Liberal National Government for closing the petroleum exploration licence buyback scheme without closing a deal for a CSG free Northern Rivers. 

Today's announcement comes despite the Member for Lismore Thomas George promising PEL 445 would be bought back in the dying days before the election.

North Coast should be part of Shark Summit Trials

Greens Spokesperson on Marine Environment and Fisheries and Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has called on the Government to hold some of the trials into non-lethal shark deterrent technologies in Ballina.

A range of non-lethal technologies will be discussed at an International Shark Summit in Sydney on Tuesday this week.

Ms Smith said, “Ballina is on the front line of a new approach to sharks, an approach that recognises conservation of these important creatures has to go hand in hand with protecting ocean users.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.”


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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