• SUPPORT FOR THE PROHIBITION OF COAL SEAM GAS BILL 2015

    13th August 2015

    Second reading speech.

    PETROLEUM (ONSHORE) AMENDMENT (PROHIBIT COAL SEAM GAS) BILL 2015

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON [11.53 a.m.]: The Animal Justice Party supports this responsible and important bill, the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Prohibit Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2015. I bring to the attention of the House the fact that every sitting day one of the first statements made by the President is that we have a positive and complete duty to the welfare of the people and children of this State and of Australia. It is time for us to turn our mind to turning our back on the whole industry of petroleum and fossil fuels, because the evidence is overwhelming that this is a deleterious, dangerous and harmful industry. We must turn away from it and look to alternatives in order to ensure the welfare of our people and our children.

    One hastily stitched together report by one scientist is not a robust, rigorous or responsible analysis of an industry’s potentially catastrophic pillaging of the land and the water we all share. As Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile indicated, the best measures are not numerous scientific reports—if there were any—but to go and look at where this type of activity has been occurring. With great respect to Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, he went and looked at what has been happening in areas in Queensland and elsewhere. What we are witnessing is alarming and frightening.

    The Animal Justice Party has analysed all aspects of this industry. The industry demonstrates utter disregard for the health of citizens, including farmers and their children; and the environment, including the health and integrity of our land and water. Looking at the issue from the stance of the Animal Justice Party, there are studies by veterinarians that say very clearly that farm animals that graze on land under which this activity is occurring are already suffering from deleterious respiratory and alimentary problems. There are also impacts on wildlife living in the area.

    This sinister and deceptive form of mining noxiously creeps in under the very land that the people of New South Wales legitimately possess, enjoy, flourish on and derive from. It strikes at a fundamental right of all owners of land, be they farmers, wildlife carers, Indigenous people or many others. It strikes at the right to enjoy, be nourished by and be free from harm from our land and water. Moreover it strikes at our overwhelming, positive responsibility to ensure a safe and protected environment, free from noxious, harmful, poisonous substances that would deleteriously affect our children, the wild animals that enjoy these lands, and the animals that we introduce and rear on these lands, now and in the future.

    The coal seam gas industry must be brought to an immediate halt in New South Wales. The Animal Justice Party supports this very important bill, which goes directly to ensure—and “ensure” is the correct and important word—the welfare and wellbeing of the people, including our children; the animals; and the environment of this land. The Animal Justice Party commends this bill to the House.


    Read the full debate here.

  • POLICE POWERS

    26th August 2015

    Questions without notice.

    POLICE POWERS.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, representing the Minister for Justice and Police. Has the Minister recently consulted with the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Scipione, seeking advice in regard to the implications and possible consequences if the Government appointed prescribed officers who would have more powers than police officers to enter and search commercial premises, remove and destroy items, install surveillance devices, and demand and examine records kept on those premises without obtaining a warrant or having formed reasonable suspicion?

    The Hon. DUNCAN GAY: I thank the Hon. Mark Pearson for his question. I will take it on notice. Despite listening carefully, I found a degree of confusion within the question. I am sure that will be overcome when we carefully analyse it. It did not make a lot of sense as I listened to it. Having said that, we will analyse it carefully. If an answer is available, we will do our best to supply it to the House.


    To date (4th February 2018) no further information received.

  • PROPOSED AG GAG LAWS FOR NSW

    24th August 2015

    Proposed Ag Gag laws for NSW.

    A bill which punishes those who expose animal cruelty and protects those who participate in animal cruelty.  The proposed Farm Surveillance Bill impedes on free speech and the tramples the presumption of innocent until proven guilty.

    The very department that is meant to protect animal welfare is the same department wanting to protect intensive farming practices and animal exploitation.

    Read about it here and here.

  • SOW STALLS

    11th August 2015

    Questions without notice.

    SOW STALLS

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water. Given that members of the Australian pork industry are committed to phasing out sow stalls—a metal cage in which gestating sows can take only one step forward or back and not turn around—by 2017, will the Government legislate to outlaw the use of sow stalls so that all piggeries in New South Wales are mandated sow stall free?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: Gestation stalls, also known as sow stalls, are a form of accommodation used to confine sows during their pregnancy. The industry has recognised that the use of these stalls is no longer supported by the community, and in November 2010 it voluntarily committed to pursue a phase-out by 2017, which is exactly what the member acknowledged in his question. This is a world first initiative. For producers, implementation of this industry-led initiative involves expensive and complex modifications to their farms and practices. Producers deserve support for making these changes and their efforts need to be recognised. I am advised that 70 per cent of the industry has completed the phase-out of sow stalls and the industry is confident that by 2017 the vision of a gestation stall free industry will be realised.

    It is unfair to perpetuate the myth that industry continues to support the use of sow stalls and that they remain standard practice. It completely ignores and devalues what the industry has achieved. Rather, we need to support the industry and continue to work with it through this voluntary reform. I commend Australian Pork Limited in particular for its efforts in this space. This is a clear example of an industry working with its members, understanding community concerns and putting into practice an initiative which, as I outlined, is expensive in some cases to implement. The industry should be commended for such an initiative. We do not always need to jump in and legislate when an industry already understands the issue and is working with consumer groups to get the desired outcome. That is what working with industry can achieve.

    Again, I commend Australian Pork Limited for the efforts it has made with its members. As I said, up to 70 per cent of the industry has already completed the phasing out of sow stalls. If we were to legislate, as suggested by the Hon. Mark Pearson, by the time such legislation was drafted and put through the House the industry probably would have got there ahead of us. We need to recognise that sometimes the answer lies with those who work with the animals. Sometimes the answer lies with industry groups that are looking at what is happening around the world and saying that they can have a sensible discussion about animal welfare and put practices and plans in place to ensure that their businesses are viable. That is a win-win situation.

    We do not have to come in with the heavy stick. We can listen to what the consumer is saying, and we can work with the industry in a way that allows businesses that want to do the right thing, that are legitimately employing people—many of them are in regional communities—to continue to be productive. The industry is saying that it has got this. It does not need someone telling it how it should do this. The industry has the answers. It is working with its members and with consumers. The industry needs to be commended for that.

  • BAIADA STEGGLES EXPLOITING WORKERS AND ANIMALS

    30th June 2015

    Baiada Steggles.

    Exploiting animals and low paid workers.

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