Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Ejected from Parliament

Last Thursday I went to NSW Parliament House to see the Moratorium Bill on CSG knocked back in the Legislative Council and the petition with 20,000 signatures debated in the Legislative Assembly. I am pleased I did as it was hardly reported in the media.

Labor had agreed to support The Greens’ Moratorium with some amendments but they needed two more votes. It was hoped that National Party members would cross the floor after pressure from constituents in areas where coal and coal seam gas mining is poised to expand rapidly. But none did.
The Shooters & Fishers Party and the Christian Democrat Party were also lobbied but they said that they would not support the Bill at this stage as the Legislative Council’s Coal Seam Gas Inquiry was not completed.

The findings for this inquiry are due to be released 3 May 2012 the same day the government set as the deadline for submissions for two recently released Regional Strategic Land Use Plans showing where exploration for minerals, coal and coal seam gas can be undertaken. Is this fair or is this part of a strategy to plan backwards?
On my first day in parliament I was ejected by the ushers in the Legislative Assembly when they cleared the gallery after an angry outburst from many of the spectators. My friends and I remained seated along with another group of women who had not joined in the shouting. But when the speaker asked for the gallery to be cleared, we all had to leave and the other women grumbled about travelling all the way from Dubbo, only to be ejected from parliament, which was similar to watching a school playground overrun with bullies.

The speaker, Shelley Hancock, did an exceptional job trying to stop the members from shouting, name calling and interrupting other members, like a teacher or mother calling her class or children to order.
I was at first shocked and disillusioned. It was only later that I wanted to shout at these greedy little boys, blaming everybody else but themselves for this mess. What are they going to tell their grandchildren? At least we will be able to say we tried.

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