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“Ask Someone Else” Minister defies his own Act

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 13 Feb 2017

Rather than present evidence that crucial surveys of endangered species in the path of the Roe Highway project have been conducted, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has said go ask someone else.

As a result, the Senate unanimously passed Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlam’s Order for Production of Documents to compel the Minister to provide evidence of completed environmental surveys by 5pm today.

“We’ve been asking for proof these surveys were even done for more than a month.

“There is no reason for the government to withhold the surveys into all potential nesting trees to detect the presence of black cockatoos.

Condition 4 of the federal approval decision for the Roe Highway Extension dictates that this work be completed within 7 days prior to clearing. We’ve seen the disastrous effects of the clearing, but where are the surveys?” asked Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and Senator for WA Scott Ludlam.

“The government has no public interest grounds under which to withhold this work. Unless they are produced by 5pm today, we can only conclude that the Roe 8 project is now proceeding illegally, under the watch of Minister Frydenberg.

 

Text of the Motion, and Senator Ludlam's Letter and Reply, are below.

 

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that –

The Senate –

  1. Notes Condition 4 of the federal approval decision for the Roe Highway Extension which specifies that all potential nesting trees are to be investigated to detect the presence of black cockatoos using hollows within 7 days prior to clearing, and that  the investigation must be undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced person.
  2. Orders that there be laid on the table no later than close of business Monday 13 February by the Minister representing the Minister for Environment the following information;
            a. The date the investigation of nesting trees was completed
            b. How the investigation was undertaken
            c. A copy of the investigation including all results 
            d. The qualifications of the person/s who undertook the investigation
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