• The price of eggs

    Day old chicks buried alive

    30th May 2019


    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (12:17): My question is directed to the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales. On 2 April 2018 day-old chicks were buried alive after a truck transporting more than 100,000 vulnerable animals crashed near Yass. On 7 April 2018 the members of the public who found the buried-alive chicks made a detailed cruelty complaint to the RSPCA. On 12 April the then Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon. Niall Blair, told the Chamber that his department had also reported the matter to the RSPCA and it was carrying out investigations. The statutory time period for investigating this incident has now expired. What was the outcome of the investigation into the department’s complaint about the burying alive of those newborn animals?

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women) (12:18): I thank the honourable member for his question. As it refers to a Minister in the other place, I will take it on notice and get back to him as soon as possible.

    Government response 20th June 2019:

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women)—The Minister provided the following response:

    RSPCA NSW investigated the incident and there were no offences identified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 [POCTA].




  • Grey Nurse Shark and diver

    Shark nets and tags

    4th June 2019


    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (16:42): My question is directed to the Hon. Bronwyn Taylor, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales, the Hon. Adam Marshall. It concerns the use of shark nets in New South Wales waters. TheShark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program 2017/18 Annual Performance Report states that of the 403 animals entangled in the nets during the reporting period, 369—or 92 per cent—were non‑target animals. They included 20 grey nurse sharks, of which 10 were released alive. The grey nurse shark is one of Australia’s most endangered marine species, so it is essential that we know whether those animals survived after being entangled in the nets. TheShark Meshing Program 2017/18 Trigger Point Review Report states that released grey nurse sharks should be tagged with pop‑up satellite archival tags from early 2019 onwards to measure—

    The Hon. Damien Tudehope: Point of order: While I understand the point of the question, the manner in which it has been framed is argumentative, in that it is providing a detailed description of the point that the member wants to make. The member should be directed to ask a question and not to give an argumentative description of factual material which gives rise to the question.

    The PRESIDENT: The point of order is that the question contains argument. The member has only three seconds left to ask his question. I will allow him to finish asking his question in the last three seconds; then I propose to look at the question and rule on it. I do not wish to take too much of question time. The member has three seconds to complete his question.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question is whether tags were attached to grey nurse sharks this year— [Time expired.]

    The PRESIDENT: I refer members to a past ruling of then President Johnson in 1986, which was cited by then President Harwin in 2007 and by me in 2018. It is a lengthy ruling: to summarise, a question should be specific; it can contain a little bit of foundation; it should not, of course, become a speech or debate; and it should not contain argument. I do not believe the question asked by the Hon. Mark Pearson contains argument. It is quite lengthy; much of the foundation probably was not necessary. It is up to the Minister how she answers a question. If the Minister believes that she can answer the question or take it on notice, I will allow the question this time. I indicate to the Hon. Mark Pearson that he needs to shorten his questions in future.

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women) (16:47): I thank the honourable member for his question and for his commitment to sharks. As the question relates to a Minister in another House, I will take it on notice and get back to the member in a timely manner.

    Government response 6th August 2019:

    In reply to the Hon. MARK PEARSON (4 June 2019).

    The Hon. BRONNIE TAYLOR (Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women)—The Minister provided the following response:

    The Department of Primary Industries [DPI] has not historically tagged grey nurse sharks. In 2018, the Fisheries Scientific Committee requested that DPI collect data about grey nurse sharks that have been caught and released from nets.

    One grey nurse shark caught at Bondi was tagged with a pop-up satellite archival tag on 11 February 2019. These tags do not monitor movement for 10 years like those for target species (Whites, Tigers, and Bulls), instead they are short term indicators of post-release survival. After a designated time, the tags automatically “pop-off” the shark, float to the surface and transmit a location signal so that they can be collected.

    Similar tagging will continue in the 2019/20 shark meshing season.

  • feed lot

    The future of meat

    9th August 2019


    I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move:

    1. That this house commends the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for the Foreign Correspondent episode “high Steaks” that aired on 6th August 2019 which discussed the future of meat.
    1. That this House notes that:
    • “Alternative” meats derived from plant protein are now a multibillion dollar industry struggling to keep up with demand.
    • “Clean” meats derived from cell cultures are currently in development and will change how we view meat forever.
    • Conservative estimates suggest that 60 per cent of meat eaten in 2040 will be not derived from animal slaughter.
    • Alternative meats use approximately 87 per cent less water, 96 per cent less land and 89 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to their water guzzling. Ecoli infested and cruelty-riddled animal-meat industry competitors.
  • 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.

  • 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.

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