• sheep in paddock

    Justice for Animals in NSW at last

    8th August 2019

    Today I secured an inquiry into animal welfare investigation and enforcement powers.   Details of the inquiry are here.

  • Land clearing

    Land clearing

    7th August 2019

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:38): I direct my question to the Hon. Bronnie Taylor, representing the agriculture Minister. Will the Minister confirm that up to 100 landholders who face prosecution for illegal land clearing have been granted amnesty for these serious environmental crimes, while at the same time the Government has introduced $400,000 fines for farm trespass? How can the Government justify this double standard when we know that land clearing causes immense harm to animals and the environment, while no animal‑activist trespasser has ever been found to cause any such harm?

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women) (12:39): I thank the honourable member for his question. As it relates to the portfolio of a Minister in the other place, I will take the question on notice and seek advice.

  • Animal Justice Party logo

    Unity Principles

    Together, NSW MPs Mark Pearson and Emma Hurst have developed a set of unity principles to guide their decision making within State Parliament.

    We believe in the in core principles of Kindness, Equality, Rationality and Non-violence. We believe it is our duty to take the ethical path and create a humane national identity by building a society in which both animals and people – including First Nations people, people of colour, immigrants, those living with disability, LGBTQI+ people and those from all class backgrounds – are free to live out their lives as they choose. We understand the way to do this is to support sustainable and ethical practices that raise the status of animals, strengthen our economy, lower our housing, healthcare and transport costs and ensure we create a bright future for our animals and our children.

    Animal Rights

    Our top priority is to ensure all animals are treated ethically and have the right to live out their lives free from cruelty, exploitation, abuse, and torture. We believe that non-human animals deserve human representation in politics to protect this right, and ensure that they are considered in parliamentary and political decision making.

    Environmental Justice

    We believe that every person and animal in our community has the right to clean air, clean water and access to shared public lands. Thus, we believe it is our responsibility to protect our climate and environment by ending the exploitation of natural resources for corporate gain and supporting a sustainable Australian future.

    Economic Justice

    We believe that every person should have access to a means to support their family and live a dignified, healthy and productive life. To do this we understand that citizens of NSW and Australia must have the ability to share in the wealth and resources of the economy, as well as a right to adequate housing, healthcare, transport, food and water.

    Worker’s Rights

    We believe in an ethical and sustainable economy without animal exploitation that is driven by transparency, accountability, security and equity. We believe both men and women should be paid equitably, with access to healthcare, childcare, paid leave and a healthy work environment. We believe an integral part of this is establishing a living wage so families and their companion animals can live in safety and security.

    Civil Rights

    We believe strongly in civil rights within the Australian community, including voting rights, religious freedoms, and protections for all our citizens regardless of their race, gender, culture, age or disability. Only with strong civil rights do we have strong rights for animals.

    Ending Violence Against Women

    We believe that women’s rights are human rights and violence against women is a direct and harmful violation of these rights. We believe it is our moral obligation to dismantle the gender inequalities faced by women, allowing all women regardless of age, race, culture, disability or biological sex to live their lives free of all forms of violence and abuse.

    Reproductive Rights

    We believe strongly in the reproductive rights of women and that all women should have safe access to quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, disease protection, and science based sex education. Within this we believe all people should have access to safe, legal, affordable birth control and abortion options regardless of income, location, race, culture or education.

    LGBTQI+ Rights

    Flowing from our core value of equality, we believe LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. We understand it is our responsibility to support, expand and protect the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. We believe that each one of us deserves the power to control our own body and live free of gender norms, expectations or stereotypes if we so choose.

    Disability Rights

    In line with our core value of equality, we believe that disability rights are human rights. We recognise the importance of breaking barriers to inclusion, access, choice, and control faced by those living with disability in our community. We work to assist people with disability and their companion animals to be included in and contribute to all aspects of Australian life.

    Asylum Seekers

    We believe in the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers regardless of status or country of origin. Acting on our core principles, we believe that those seeking asylum must be treated ethically, kindly, and with respect, and may not under any circumstances be removed to countries outside of those approved by the UNHCR.

  • waterfall

    NSW 2019 Budget and mental health funding

    20th June 2019


    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:11): My question is directed to the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women. Have funds been allocated in the budget specifically for the treatment and care of people in the community suffering an acute episode of psychosis or another serious mental health presentation, whether it be the first time or not?

    The PRESIDENT: I call the Hon. Walt Secord to order for the first time. I call the Hon. Bronnie Taylor to order for the first time.

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women) (12:12): I thank the honourable member for his question about community mental health services in the budget. I note his keen interest in mental health as he was a psychiatric nurse for many years. There has been a record spend on mental health in this budget of over $2 billion. That is something to be extremely proud of. Over the next 10 years $700 million is allocated to mental health infrastructure projects. Myriad community programs are happening across the State. Having a history in health I understand the importance of primary care; I know how important those services are. The Government is doing really well in terms of acute admissions but we need to look at community-based services. Extensive spending has occurred in those areas as well.

    I was at St Vincent’s Hospital recently to announce its mental health plan over the next four years. That hospital is looking at having an acute centre for admission within its emergency department and step‑up, step‑down beds. In answer to your question, the Government is announcing 2,600 of those step-up, step‑down beds. That is the secret to going forward in mental health. Your question is very pertinent because we will get better outcomes if acute admissions are managed well and people have support when they return to their community. The member would know that because he is a professional in that field.

    We all want to keep people out of acute care in hospital and manage them instead in the community. That is really important for people’s mental health and their outcomes. I am happy to say that this Government is investing in that area. As Minister for mental health it will be an absolute priority for me during this next term of government.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:14): I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for her answer. Could the Minister elucidate on what funding is going into the acute treatment and care of mentally ill people who are assessed when the treatment is to be done in the community, not in a hospital bed?

    The Hon. Trevor Khan: Point of order: My point of order is that the member’s supplementary question is a restatement of his previous question.

    The PRESIDENT: It is a restatement of the previous question with an additional new part to the question. I do not believe it is a supplementary question seeking an elucidation of part of the answer given. The supplementary question is out of order.

  • pig awaiting slaughter

    How we treat the many other species with whom we share this planet

    18th June 2019


    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (18:40):I congratulate Ms Cate Faehrmann on her notice of motion last month acknowledging No Meat May, the campaign founded in 2013 to encourage people to avoid meat for a month. The motion rightly discussed the serious environmental impacts of global meat consumption and how reducing our consumption of meat is the biggest way to reduce our carbon footprint.But why stop at the consumption of meat when there is so much more we can do? Humans are the only species that continues to breastfeed into adulthood by consuming the milk of another species, so what about our consumption of dairy milk? The impact of the dairy industry on the environment is astounding. For instance, it takes approximately 4,000 glasses of water to create one glass of milk. What about the animals? The Australian dairy herd consists of approximately 1.5 million cows. Just one of those cows produces around 57 litres of manure a day—that is 20 tonnes of manure per cow, per year. Where once cows grazed in paddocks all day, Australian dairies are becoming more intensified. This means storing all that manure in large methane-emitting lagoons and having to truck in manufactured feed exacerbates the environmental impact of the industry.

    Research shows that, without meat and dairy consumption, the global use of land for agricultural purposes could be reduced by 75 per cent. We could feed the world with plant-based protein and at the same time give land back to our struggling and fast-disappearing wildlife. But along with the environmental impacts of the meat and dairy industries is another issue that we as a society should consider; an issue that for a long time now has been a stain on our collective soul. That is how we treat the many other species with whom we share this planet—and, specifically, the many species whom we have declared to be nothing more than “food” animals. The scope and scale of the misery we inflict on these sentient creatures is impossible to fathom.

    For instance, in Australia alone each year we breed, confine and slaughter over five million pigs, five million turkeys and 650 million chickens—all for no reason other than we like the taste of their flesh. Along with the seven million cattle we slaughter for food each year, 750,000 young male calves are classified as “waste” products of the dairy industry and are also sent to slaughter. Nine million hens are imprisoned in cages for their short, unnatural lives to produce eggs. Another seven million hens are in barn and free-range systems and meet the same grizzly end as battery hens once they are no longer considered profitable. For every hen born into the egg industry, a male day-old chick will be put through an industrial shredder whilst still fully conscious or piled into bins and gassed to death—once again, simply because it is “waste”.

    The various levels of government and industry representatives continually tell the unsuspecting consumer that “Australia has the best animal welfare standards in the world”. But the reality is far from this. Food animals are routinely exempted from protections in animal welfare legislation, such as the requirement for exercise, and are instead covered by codes of practice or standards and guidelines—otherwise known as codes of cruelty. This means the bar is set so low that it is near impossible for users to fail to meet the so-called “standards”. That is why industries get away with performing painful operations such as castration, teeth clipping, de-horning and tail docking, all without any pain relief. So, yes, by all means let us encourage people to join in on initiatives such as No Meat May, but there is so much more we can do. As Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission, a farmed animal sanctuary, says, “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?” I would add: Why wouldn’t we for 12 months of the year, not just one?

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