Environment

I believe we need to protect our unique environments. The picturesque landscapes are a major attraction of the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu, our Coast & Vines region and Kangaroo Island. I have been fighting to make sure our environment stays stunning!

This means:

  • Getting a fair deal for the Murray River, Lower Lakes and Coorong
  • Keeping risky big oil out of the Bight
  • Insisting the Government act on climate change
  • Ensuring we preserve prime agricultural land from too much residential development and retain our region’s agricultural landscape
  • Keeping plastic out of our oceans

Saving the Murray

My focus has been on making sure the very end of the River has a voice. When the River suffers, it dies from the mouth up. The Murray Darling Basin Plan needs to be delivered in full and on time.

All decisions must be based on scientific evidence and not by vested interests. Most critically, there needs to be greater State and Federal Government transparency and accountability – everyone who uses the River needs to have confidence in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Results:

  • Holding the Government to account on water buyback overpayments
  • Driving greater transparency and accountability in the Basin Plan
  • Securing a Murray Darling Basin Authority regional engagement officer based at Goolwa for the Lower Lakes and Coorong region
  • Sending the Government back to the drawing board on the flawed Northern Basin Review
  • Securing a commitment from the Prime Minister to make the River Murray a standing item in every COAG (Council of Australian Governments) meeting
  • Securing a commitment from the Prime Minister to make the River Murray the subject of a special biannual Senate Estimates process

Media Releases:

Speeches and Questions in Parliament:

I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:

  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority regional engagement officers in South Australia
  • Murray Mouth dredging
  • Murray Darling Basin plan and climate change
  • Barwon-Darling allegations
  • The environmental special account
  • Murray Darling Basin Plan standards and auditing
  • Automation of the barrages on the Lower Lakes

Climate change

Action on climate change is urgent and necessary. Former Prime Ministers of both major parties have called for action. The current Government needs to step up for the good of our environment, society and the economy.

Constant changes in Federal policy makes bipartisan consensus on climate change more important than ever. I see my role on the crossbench as encouraging this consensus, and helping support action on climate change.

Results:

  • Working with Independent MP Zali Stegall to introduce the Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 into Parliament
  • Successfully forcing the Government to regularly release its climate change and emissions data
  • Created the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action group as a platform to engage and inform Parliamentarians about the impacts of climate change
  • Hosting a clean energy roadshow for businesses throughout the electorate
  • Securing a $110 million equity loan for the Solar Thermal Plant in Port Augusta
  • Delivered the electorate-wide Micah Community Climate Petition to Parliament
  • Introducing a motion into Parliament calling on the Government to urgently take serious action on climate change
  • Delivering the Young Mayo climate change banner to the Minister for the Environment
  • Lobbying the Federal Government to take action on coastal erosion

Media Releases:

Speeches in Parliament:

I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:

  • Australian emissions projections
  • Vehicle emissions standards
  • Energy efficiency
  • The One Billion Tree program
  • Australia's Future Fund and fossil fuel investment
  • Murray Darling Basin Plan and climate change
  • CoastAdapt project; funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
  • Coastal hazard management

Fighting for the Bight

Big oil in the Bight is just too risky. Even though we are told the likelihood of an oil spill is low, the proposed deep-water drilling methods are largely untested and the outcome of any spill would be catastrophic for our communities. Our environment is not replaceable. Local tourism and livelihoods also depend upon our environment, coasts and oceans being attractive and productive.

Results:

  • Securing anti-drilling exclusion zones for the Southern and Western Commonwealth Marine Parks
  • Working with the community to successfully deter BP and Equinor from drilling the Bight
  • Ensuring big oil is aware of community opinion on drilling in the Bight
  • Negotiating greater protections for Commonwealth Marine Parks
  • Introducing a Private Member's Bill that would grant National Heritage status to the Great Australian Bight

Media Releases:

Speeches in Parliament:

I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:

  • Offshore drilling and environmental plan regulations
  • Commonwealth marine parks

Preserving and restoring our unique landscape

I believe that the character of our environmental landscape and our prime agricultural land should be protected from overdevelopment. I support the Mount Lofty Ranges UNESCO World Heritage Bid that seeks recognition for the Adelaide Hills and Mount Lofty Ranges as unique agrarian landscapes.

Results:

  • Advocated and secured the following additional environmental funding for Mayo:
    • $40,000 for Willunga Environment Centre to support a long-term rehabilitation of the 'Aldinga Washpool' wetlands
    • $85,000 for Trees for Life to rehabilitate waterways at Lions Park in Currency Creek and at Meadows Creek Reserve
    • $20,000 for Conservation Volunteers Australia to protect and boost the population of the endangered Western Pygmy Possum on the Fleurieu Peninsula
  • Successfully secured $150,000 for 15 environmental projects across Mayo in the 2019 Community Environments Program (a list of the grant recipients can be found here)
  • Hosted and launched the Mount Lofty Ranges UNESCO World Heritage bid in Parliament
  • Supported the passage of the register for foreign agricultural water ownership

Media releases:

Speeches in Parliament:

Keeping plastic out of our oceans / recycling

When I visit schools and talk with children across the electorate, the number one issue they talk to me about is the environment. Recycling and plastic waste are particularly prominent issues. After speaking with students from Kangaroo Island Community Education (KICE), I decided to champion a national ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags in Parliament.

Results:

  • Delivering a motion and speech in the House of Representatives urging hold-out State Governments to implement a container deposit scheme
  • Delivering a motion and speech in the House of Representatives urging hold-out State Governments to implement a plastic bag ban
  • Directly lobbying the Victorian and New South Wales’ governments to implement a ban
  • Victoria has now announced its intention to implement a ban
  • Supporting Kangaroo Island’s plastic bag free campaign
  • Delivering keynote address at Parliamentary launch of the ocean conservation movie, ‘Blue

Media Releases:

Speeches in Parliament:

I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:

  • Recycling (the Never Waste a Crisis report)
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