Parliament Update Monday 4 December 2023
In the final week of Parliament for 2023, Robert and Mark were at it again fighting government incompetence and extreme fringe politics. And there was no lack of nonsensical decisions and crazy ideology which, if allowed to go unchecked would continue to impact on shooters and hunters, fishers of all descriptions and people in rural and regional communities. There was so much garbage that Robert and Mark found themselves leaving Parliament House after midnight more than once.
When a Ferry is not a Ferry is a Ferry
Late on Tuesday night in an Adjournment Speech on the much bungled Kamay Wharf project, Mark opened with the famous quote from Sir Walter Scott's poem Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Mark walked the house through the morass of lies, mistruths, and misdirections begun in the 4,500 planning document, then budget estimates responses stumbling about not being able to decide whether the wharf would support ferry services or not. Convoluted statements by expert witnesses emerge greenwashing the impact on sea grasses and fish populations. A report by the Recreational Fishing Trust even created a new science for the project….The Science of Gamay! Finally, Mark pointed out the figure that NSW taxpayers would be expected to swallow. No less than $78 million on a wharf that would ruin the marine environment just a few select local indigenous people could maybe run a ferry service. No one but Mark and SFF are fighting for the environment and fishers by calling out both this government and the previous government on this sunken wreck of ferry proposal.
Time Wasting & Faux-Sexism With The Greens
In a Committees Reference motion, Independent Mark Latham rightly moved that the Procedures Committee look into shortening Notices of Motion because, since the election in March, the Greens have used Notice Of Motions as quasi-adjournment speeches and wasted whole sitting days in meaningless virtue signalling. Immediately Greens MLC Abigail Boyd accused Mr Latham of sexism for criticising her party's time-wasting. She clumsily also moved an amendment that blotted out Mr Latham’s motion and inserted a paragraph with the goal of limiting free speech. This became too much for Robert and he called out her and her colleagues nonsense. The president then put the amendment which clearly failed and, in a master stroke of timewasting, the Greens called for a division. When all the members came down the whole house was on the opposition side apart from the 4 Greens members on the Government side, making it absolutely clear everyone is sick of their time wasting. Mr Latham’s motion then passed easily and it is hoped the Procedures Committee will put them in their place with 90-second limits for Notices of Motion.
More Broken Policy on The Murray Darling Basin.
On Wednesday in a Question Without Notice Robert raised the issue of the Murray Darling Basin Plan water buybacks and its potential impact on communities, the Minister said that her government was against the buybacks and committed to looking further at options with the sustainable diversion limit adjustment mechanism [SDLAM] projects. Mark seized on this having interrogated these extensively in the last parliament exposing how in 2021 they were so far behind that they were never going to be completed. He stated that there was very little confidence that any of the new options, or the revisitation of the SDLAM projects, would go anywhere to help the Murray Darling system, farmers along it and other issues like job losses, loss of economic capacity, loss of productive capacity, loss of food production, increased food prices, given that the department has failed to do that in the initial attempt.
Mark then openly condemned former SFF member and Member for Murray, Helen Dalton, who was not even interested in asking those questions in 2021 and instead wanted him to ask questions about John Barilaro’s dead father. It was clear that Mrs Dalton cared nothing for water buybacks in her community and she was conspiring with the Greens on excluding irrigators from inquiries., while Mark and SFF were working to help communities. He highlighted the Independent Member for Murray’s hypocrisy, whining on social media about water buybacks when she did nothing 2 years ago to help them. SFF will continue to fight for farmers who are impacted by the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Dangerous Lab-Grown False Meat
Later in the day, Robert put a motion addressed growing concerns about lab-cultured meat in NSW by submitting a motion calling for a thorough review, addressing cruelty, health risks, and environmental impact. Concerns include animal cell use, genetic engineering, health issues, cancer risks, contamination risks, animal cruelty, and more, much more! Robert called for a ban if the review reveals any risk, with producer regulation to protect consumers. Robert emphasised the need to ensure the safety of consumers and support our NSW farmers.
Mark followed it up highlighting the impact upon farmers and the wider regional communities. Nonetheless, all other parties opposed it. Including the National Party which advocated that lab-grown meat could be used to fight “malnutrition in the third world.” Mark quite rightly cited it as their new policy, “Poison for the Poor,” illustrating that the only party who really cares about the country's meat industry is SFF.
Overt Discrimination of Veterans by FAR
On Wednesday night Robert hammered the disgraceful treatment of Australian Veterans by the NSW Firearms Registry. It has long been a practice that applicants attempting to gain or renew a licence who apply for a discount using their Veterans Gold Card are plunged into an exhaustive series of doctors and psychologists appointments, even if they’ve held a licence for over 50 years and have a spotless record of conduct. Some of those even have their licence revoked. Robert openly condemned the discriminatory practices and vowed to keep fighting and end this hypocrisy.
Reindeer Games With The AJP
After what could only be described as a blonde moment by the AJP, the Hon. Emma Hurst asked the Minister for Agriculture how much taxpayer funds were being used for the display of live reindeer this Christmas in NSW and how could she be assured cruelty would not occur. The minister was unaware of such spending and took the question on notice. Robert later in the evening called the AJP out, saying if her research assistants had done their job and simply looked at the Australian Zoos Exotic Animals Register they would’ve immediately discovered there are no reindeer or caribou in the entire country. He said if there were he would have shot and eaten one by now as during a trip to Sweden he ate reindeer there and found it delicious. He recommended it to the Treasurer, who is visiting Scandinavia during the break, and told Ms Hurst that she should eat reindeer rather than fake meat poison.
Rounding Out The Year
Mark gave the Christmas Felicitations speech, humorously stating he was looking forward to his real turkey, not the lab experiment the Greens and Animal Justice were advocating. He saluted the forestry sector and its tenacity and once again ridiculed Senator Muhreen Faruqi. Mark acknowledged the fishing and shooting community, stressed what an important part it plays in well-being and hoped that he could get the Premier out to bust some clays. He thanked the elders and mentors in the shooting and fishing communities and emphasised their role, thanked the party for their support and spoke of the new parliamentary team who are working so well. Finally, he thanked the staff of Parliament House and wished them a safe Christmas and New Year with their families.
A couple of external matters
Mark was invited to attend the Reckless Renewables Rally in Martin Place on Thursday Morning. He spoke at length about the sham that wind farms, solar installations and other renewable projects are, the damage they’re doing to the environment, and rural and regional communities, the cost to the taxpayer and the terrible impact that have via modern slavery. Groups attended from Port Stephens and the Illawarra against the offshore windfarms, others from Queensland opposing high voltage lines, and numerous small communities like the Gundary Plain Community and Western NSW farmers against proposed solar farms. No other party is fighting for this like SFF.
Meanwhile, Robert has fielded continual calls from members and supporters about the poor conduct of the firearms registry, most notably on the topic of telescopic rifle stocks. Robert sent two separate letters to Police Minister, Hon. Yasmin Catley, and will be meeting with her.
If you’d like to know more about what’s happening in Parliament or the community with SFF please email [email protected] or call us - information can be found here