The Senate will conduct a snap inquiry into the repeated, unforgivable breaches of environmental conditions at the Beeliar wetlands, after a Greens motion today was supported by the Senate.
"We've seen evidence of dozens of breaches of environmental conditions for the project, which may mean that the project is proceeding illegally. The destruction at the Beeliar wetlands should cease," Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and Senator for WA Ludlam said.
"The heavy handed response to peaceful community protest at Beeliar is in sharp contrast to the repeated obfuscation, indifference and dismissal of the conditions the government itself put in place.
"At the federal level the government has repeatedly ignored due process and transparency, leaving no recourse but an inquiry into these breaches.
"The committee will hold a hearing in Perth late next week."
NOTICE OF MOTION, WEDNESDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2017
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that
The Senate –
- Notes the failure to comply with Senate Orders of 13 February and 14 February 2017;
- Resolves that in order to investigate the subject of the Senate Orders the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for hearing on or before 24 February 2017 and reporting on or before 6 March 2017 —The continuation of construction of the Perth Freight Link in the face of significant environmental breaches;
- That it be an instruction to the committee that it hold at least one hearing in Perth;
- That the following witnesses be invited to appear, and answer questions include:
i. Federal Department of Environment compliance and environmental standards officers
ii. Federal Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg
iii. Federal Legal Counsel to the Environment Minister and Department
iv. The Western Australian Minister for Environment Albert Jacob
v. The Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, in particular senior compliance manager Mr Ian Munro and Mr Paul Zahara
vi. The proponent, Main Roads Department of Western Australia
vii. Leightons Contractors
viii. Subcontractors completing the surveying work, fencing and trapping
ix. Witnesses who have directly documented breaches with federal approval conditions and reported these to the Minister
x. Other witnesses as determined by the Environment and Communications References Committee
SENATOR SCOTT LUDLAM