C38 S1 20100519 All by wangping12


									                                            Legislative Council
                                            Wednesday, 19 May 2010

THE PRESIDENT (Hon Barry House) took the chair at 2.00 pm, and read prayers.
                                      Statement by Minister for Environment
HON DONNA FARAGHER (East Metropolitan — Minister for Environment) [2.02 pm]: The death of six
dolphins in the Swan River in 2009 highlighted the fragility of our dolphin community. The house will recall that
in December last year, I asked the chief scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, to investigate the dolphin deaths. In her
report released on 7 May, Professor Beazley said three of the dolphins, including a dolphin that died in 2007,
were believed to have died from ulcerative skin lesions, caused by a virus commonly referred to as tattoo skin
disease. A fourth dolphin died from a fungal infection of the brain and a fifth dolphin suffered from
bronchopneumonia, although this dolphin also had severe fishing line entanglement. Two dolphins were too
decomposed to determine the cause of death.
Professor Beazley said the dolphins appeared to have died after an inflow of fresh water associated with rainfall
events in winter and spring. The reduced salinity may have caused cellular damage to the outer layer of the skin,
leading to increased susceptibility to viral attack. Professor Beazley’s report acknowledges that contaminant
levels in the dolphins were high; however, she said that it was not possible to determine whether other factors,
including exposure to contaminants and stress induced by human activities had predisposed the dolphins to
The chief scientist made eight recommendations in her report and I have undertaken to implement all of them.
This will result in an immediate assessment of the dolphin community frequenting the river to provide an
accurate estimate of the number and population structure; the establishment of a photographic record of the
dolphin community and to determine the incidence of tattoo skin disease in the population; the creation of report
cards to monitor estuarine health in conjunction with the Department of Water and the Department of Fisheries;
a commitment of $60 000 for emergency collection and post-mortem examinations in the unfortunate event of
other dolphin deaths, to understand factors contributing to disease and mortality; the promotion of river-friendly
fishing practices, including biodegradable bait bags, and to support the recovery of tangled or broken fishing
lines; the expansion of the Dolphin Watch program, whereby volunteers are trained to identify individual
dolphins and report their behaviour; and the establishment of a working group, which will include
representatives of science institutions, government agencies and the community, to investigate the ongoing
health of the dolphins in the Swan River and report to me by the end of the year.
This state government is committed to the protection and preservation of the Swan and Canning Rivers. That is
why it has recently committed another $3.3 million to projects that are part of its multifaceted strategy to
improve the health of the river system. They include $1 million for another oxygenation plant for the upper
reaches of the Canning River and $800 000 on river restoration and erosion control projects as part of the Swan
River Trust’s riverbank program. A big portion of the funding will go to local government and community
groups, including to the Perth Region NRM to conduct 800 audits of small and medium-size businesses to ensure
that they are not contributing to the contamination of the river system.
The Swan River faces many pressures, many of them historic and many of them induced by human activities.
This additional funding has been specifically targeted at projects that we believe can make a significant
difference to improving the health of the waterways.
Consideration of the statement made an order of the day for the next sitting, on motion by Hon Ed Dermer.
                                  FREMANTLE PORT — LEAD EXPORT
Resumed from 5 May on the following motion moved by Hon Sally Talbot —
         (1)      That this house condemns the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Mines and
                  Petroleum for their lack of openness and accountability in relation to their decision to allow
                  lead to be transported through 22 suburbs in the metropolitan area on its way to Fremantle and
                  calls on both ministers to explain why they have not made all details in relation to lead
                  shipments public.
         (2)      That this house also calls on the Minister for Environment to explain why, since environmental
                  approval was given by her for Magellan Metals to transport containerised lead carbonate
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                  through suburbs to the Fremantle port, so little has been revealed to the thousands of families
                  living in and around suburbs along the proposed transport route.
HON LJILJANNA RAVLICH (East Metropolitan) [2.07 pm]: I welcome the opportunity to continue my
remarks on this very important issue; one that affects 22 suburbs and hundreds of thousands of Western
Australians. The motion is in two parts and today I will focus on the second part, which states —
         That this house also calls on the Minister for Environment to explain why, since environmental
         approval was given by her for Magellan Metals to transport containerised lead carbonate through
         suburbs to the Fremantle port, so little has been revealed to the thousands of families living in and
         around suburbs along the proposed transport route.
Members might remember that a list of conditions was associated with the approval process for Magellan Metals
to export its product from Wiluna to Fremantle port. The minister reassured members that these were the most
stringent conditions ever attached to any project of this kind. Along with many other people I had a degree of
scepticism. In our heart of hearts we recognise that the most stringent conditions can be applied, but there is no
guarantee that those conditions will be met. Accidents happen and while it is good to apply precautionary
principles to many things that we do, particularly to a project such as this, the fact is that people are people and
people sometimes take shortcuts and make mistakes and so on and so forth. Sometimes the consequences can be
very serious.
I will go to the conditions but, more importantly, to what we already know is happening with the way in which
the company is adhering to the conditions set by the government that it has to meet. I refer to the “Annual
Environmental Summary 2009”, dated March 2010; therefore, it is current. The summary reveals that there was
an investigation into Magellan Metals. That investigation relates to an incident that occurred at North Quay rail
terminal on 26 October 2009. This is one of a number of issues surrounding this particular initiative. On
26 October 2009, at approximately 11.00 am, the terminal supervisor, who was in the process of preparing the
terminal for the arrival of train 2194, noticed that container TTNU1811510, located in bay D15, had a tear in the
side. Having identified that the container was placarded with a dangerous goods diamond, the supervisor
implemented the emergency procedure pertaining to a dangerous goods incident.
The summary contains a great deal of factual information about this particular incident, but I do not want to go
through that chapter and verse. This container arrived. It was found to be damaged. The initial inspection of this
container confirmed that the tear in the container sidewall had not resulted in damage being sustained to the
bulker bags contained therein, and that there had been no spillage of the product. However, the fact is that there
could have been a spillage. We may not be so lucky next time. There are some very interesting elements to this
incident. The driver of the suspect road train was initially interviewed by the terminal supervisor. In that
discussion, the driver claimed that he was unaware that he had struck the container. Originally, it was reported
that the container had been all right when it had left its departure point. Yet at the terminal there was clearly a
problem with that container, because it had a tear in the side.
As I have said, the driver of the road train was unaware that he had struck the container. However, in accordance
with the company’s policy, the driver was immediately removed from operation for the remainder of the day to
assist with the incident investigation. Mandatory drug and alcohol testing was conducted on the driver, and the
results were negative; so he was cleared and there was nothing to account for in that regard. The driver of the
truck was employed by a contract carrier that had been engaged by Intermodal Link Services, which provides the
transport services at this terminal. Upon hearing of the incident, and after reviewing the relevant details and
surveying damage to the transport equipment, the contract carrier terminated the driver’s employment. What is
interesting about this incident is that the driver, having had disciplinary action taken against him by the contract
carrier, is now not willing to assist in further investigation into the matter. The contract carrier has advised that
the driver maintains that he did not reverse his truck into the area and he did not hit any containers, and he is not
willing to provide a written statement. We have here a serious situation in which a container has been damaged,
which could potentially have resulted in a spill. We have a driver who has been sacked, and who maintains that
he did not reverse his truck into the container area and he did not cause any damage to the container, and he is
not willing to provide a written statement. What is also very mysterious is that even though this incident was
recorded by the security cameras at Fremantle port, the quality of that camera footage was very poor, because the
incident had occurred some distance away from the camera, and it was, therefore, not possible to confirm
whether the truck had reversed or had remained stationery.
Given those circumstances, we might think that there has to be some explanation as to why this incident
occurred. The analysis of the situation, which was done by Sean Dunlop, and which formed a very important part
of the annual environmental summary, states in part —
         Based on the information and vision available from the security cameras, the evidence would indicate
         the truck driver in question has reversed his vehicle into the respective container.
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The simple fact is that this gentleman has said that he did not hit anything. Hang on! Something is wrong here.
The analysis goes on to state —
         The driver has not noticed the proximity of his rear trailer to the DG container stacks and, whilst in the
         process of reversing to provide clearance for the forklift to enter the storage bay, the trailer has struck
         the container.
On what basis would Mr Sean Dunlop have come to that conclusion, given that the driver has not admitted to
having hit anything, and has not been prepared to provide a statement? It raises a whole heap of questions. What
is this all about? What is going on here?
The situation is even worse than that. There are also some unanswered question about whether this container,
which had a tear in the side, had been brought with that tear all the way from Wiluna to Fremantle port. If it was
possible for that container to be brought from Wiluna to Fremantle with that tear in the side, is it possible that
other containers may be brought from Wiluna to Fremantle in the same way? There needs to be a thorough
investigation into exactly what happened at Fremantle port with this dangerous goods incident that occurred at
North Quay rail terminal on 26 October 2009. It is not good enough in this day and age to say, “Our security
cameras cannot pick this up; so in terms of where we are stand, this event never happened”.
I will move on. As part of the conditions set down by the minister, there is a requirement that an audit be
undertaken for the packaging and transportation of lead carbonate. The audit report for Magellan Metals is very
interesting indeed. It states that the approach that was used in the audit was as follows —
              •    Document, evaluate and review whether the associated systems and processes are
                   appropriately designed to achieve the organization’s objectives for compliance. This includes
                   comparison of the controls in place against those stated in HHE management program for
                   packaging and transportation of lead carbonate concentrate.
              •    Discuss with relevant personnel and develop an understanding of the processes and procedures
              •    Ascertain staff awareness of their roles and responsibilities in regards to HHE management
                   program for the packaging and transportation of lead carbonate concentrate.
The findings in the audit report are then classified and given a rating. The ratings are very simple. There are
three different ratings. They are as follows —
         Compliance: Indicates that the criterion has been met.
         Non-Compliance: Indicates that the criterion has not been met.
         Not able to verify: Indicates that the organization has documented procedures in classification will
                 only be used in limited circumstances and where applied, the reasons for the finding will be
                 explained by the auditor.
In other words, it is difficult to ascertain at this stage.
What is amazing about this audit report—the initial process audit for the packaging and transport for lead
carbonate concentrate—is that four non-compliances were identified during the audit. We have a problem with
not only the containers but now also four noncompliance orders. A key part of the conditions was that the
concentrates contain a certain amount of moisture to ensure that the particles are not airborne and therefore
cannot escape and cause injury and harm. The first non-compliance states —
         There is no evidence to show that the moisture content of the lead carbonate concentrate in the sealed
         bags is maintained at 7.5% between the time the shipping container leaves the mine site until the time it
         is removed from the State, as the bags must remain sealed and the containers locked, before reaching
         customers overseas.
This is what happened. Magellan placed its pre-existing 23 000 square metre stockpile of lead carbonate
concentrate in bags before the condition to have a minimum 7.5 per cent moisture content was finalised. I hope
the minister is listening to this. As such, some concentrate had a moisture content of less than 7.5 per cent, and
Magellan added an appropriate amount of water to each bag before they were placed in the shipping containers
to bring the moisture content up to a minimum of 7.5 per cent. However, after the addition of water the moisture
content of the bags was not measured to verify the moisture level was at or below 7.5 per cent. If I was a
minister, I would be very concerned about this.
Hon Donna Faragher: You weren’t concerned about anything when you were a minister.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: This is the minister who gave us assurances. The minister can get up and have
her say about anything she wants. She might explain how she is going to rectify this and provide assurances to
those hundreds of thousands of people in those 22 suburbs that she jokes about.
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Hon Donna Faragher: That is just ridiculous! I have never joked about it at all.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The minister said that all those people knew about it but Ljiljanna Ravlich had
to explain it to them.
Hon Donna Faragher: You are the one who is so flippant about this issue all the time.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Quite clearly, the minister is very upset. She should calm down.
The PRESIDENT: Order! That is a conversation of continuous interjections, not a debate.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I have the second example of non-compliance. We have already established this
major breach relating to the moisture content. The second non-compliance states —
         The containers pass through a wash-down facility where the top, bottom and sides of the containers
         were washed. However, as the containers are loaded on skeletal and flat-bed trailers, there are areas on
         the bottoms (where the container meets the trailer) of the containers that appear to not get washed.
That makes perfectly good sense. If they are going to be put through a washing process, they are going to be
sitting on something. Unless they are turned around, the whole lot will not be washed; only five sides of the cube
will be washed. It is a bit like washing one’s body and forgetting to wash one’s face. At the end of the day, one
cannot guarantee that one’s face is clean. One would have to wash all of one’s body. Likewise, when we are
dealing with a cube, all six parts of the cube have to be washed. Once again, there is potential to cause a risk to
innocent people in those 22 suburbs because, quite clearly, there is no total elimination of lead particles as part of
the process.
Then we have the third audit finding of non-compliance, which states —
         The storage area at Leonora had poor security. The doors to the site were left open and there was no site
         security monitoring in place.
I wonder whether the minister knows this and whether she has done anything about it. When the minister has an
opportunity to have her say —
Hon Donna Faragher: I already have.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The minister can get up at any time and explain what she has done. She did not
tell us whether she knew about this. The minister told us that she is open and accountable. She wants us to
believe that but we did not hear about any of these audit findings of non-compliance when she got to her feet,
just like the people in those 22 suburbs did not know that the lead was being transported to their suburb until we
took it to them and asked whether they knew that. The minister claims to be open and accountable but she did
not get to her feet and explain these audit findings to the house. She gave us an assurance that everything was
fine. Clearly, things are not fine.
I want to quickly go to the last non-compliance audit finding, which states —
         None of the engaged contractors at Port of Fremantle (Patrick, ILS and DP World) had any written
         procedure in place for inspection of container integrity.
Am I missing something or is it the case that what the minister is telling us as opposed to what is happening in
reality are two different things? If that is not bad enough, we also have baseline data that is very concerning. The
one thing I will say to Magellan is that at least this information is publicly available on its website.
Hon Donna Faragher: You required that that be made publicly available. I did. Your government wouldn’t
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I am just amazed. The minister could have got to her feet and explained all this
to the house. She chose not to explain any of this.
I want to quickly explain baseline lead levels. Magellan is required to carry out a range of sampling under the
conditions that have been set. There is a range of ways of sampling and a range of samples. One of the key
ministerial conditions of Magellan’s approval to transport sealed shipments is that lead monitoring results during
transport operations must not exceed baseline levels. That is very important. By identifying the existing lead
levels along the 1 250 kilometre road and rail corridor from the mine site to Fremantle port, the state
government’s regulatory authorities and Magellan have been able to set defined local lead baseline levels that
must not be exceeded during the transport process. The locations for this testing include 21 dust sampling sites
along the rail corridor—given that we are talking about 1 250 kilometres, it is probably not a huge sample—five
air quality sampling sites at Fremantle port; 19 rainwater tank sites along the rail corridor; 251 soil sites along
the road and rail corridor, 15 drainage sumps at Fremantle port; and 20 marine sediment sites at Fremantle port.
The baseline data is very interesting. We have data for what is known as “benthic sediment sampling”. We also
have sampling data available on drainage sump sampling; high-volume air sampling; soil sampling—a lot of soil
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sampling has been going on, which is very interesting; static dust sampling, which I suppose is dust that does not
move; and rainwater tank sampling. The one thing that members can be sure of is that a lot of sampling has been
going on. What is really concerning is that there is what is known as a “lead trigger level”. The lead mg/kg must
be a percentage of lead to everything else. The idea is that at a certain point —
Hon Jim Chown: I did not quite grasp that. Can the member go through it again?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I would love to, but the point is that the lead trigger level is already established;
it is baseline data. The lead trigger level for all these samples, whether it is for sediment sampling, sump
sampling or air sampling et cetera, may have different ratios, but there is an established baseline. The benthic
sediment sampling was done in April 2009 and it shows that the lead trigger levels were quite high at the points
at which they were sampled. I do not have enough time to go through it in detail —
Hon Simon O’Brien: You don’t understand it anyway.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The minister can get up and have his say. He would like this to go away. We
want an inquiry about what happened at that port, for which the minister is responsible.
Hon Simon O’Brien: I am, thank heavens. It is a very well-run port.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: We would like to know, and surely the minister would like to know, what
happened to that container and why it was not picked up on the security camera.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Don’t you know everything? You get up here and make all sorts of claims, even though
you don’t know what you are talking about.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The minister is not interested. The drainage sump sampling was conducted four
times in October 2008, March 2009 and August 2009. That sampling indicates that there is cause for concern. I
intend to have this information properly analysed because that would be the sensible thing to do. I appreciate that
I do not have a chemical or scientific background.
Hon Simon O’Brien: What sort of chemical background are we talking about?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: We know that there is no chemistry between me and the minister, and that is all
we need to know! That is enough chemicals for me.
It would be very wise to have the data analysed by a scientist who works in this area, which is exactly what I
intend to do, so that I can better understand it. The minister, the government and certainly the Premier are
turning a blind eye to this. They are pretending that there is not a problem when in fact there is a problem. At the
very least, we need an explanation about how the findings in the report about the incident at Fremantle port
could have been reached, given the driver of the truck chose not to provide any evidence. We want to know what
Fremantle port has done about that.
HON WENDY DUNCAN (Mining and Pastoral — Parliamentary Secretary) [2.34 pm]: I welcome the
army cadets from Kalgoorlie who are in the public gallery this afternoon. They have spent the day in Parliament
House. I enjoyed meeting them over lunch and hopefully they have had a good day. I thank them for joining us.
Hon Peter Collier: Kalgoorlie is a great place to visit. I go there regularly.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: It is one of the best places on earth.
A government member interjected.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: All the good people were born in Kalgoorlie!
We have heard a lot in this debate about trust and who can be trusted with the shipment of lead from the mine at
Wiluna and the process involved in transporting the lead to Fremantle port. I would trust this government a
thousand times more than the last one. At least very strict monitoring is now in place. The whole process is
different from what occurred in Esperance, which was absolutely scandalous. There is no doubt that the previous
government was asleep at the wheel when that lead was transported to the Esperance port. In response to the
incident in Esperance, we received many promises from the then Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Hon
Alannah MacTiernan. She asked the people who had been adversely affected to get in touch with the government
and promised that the government would pay them compensation. She also promised to provide extra monitoring
and resources to deal with the children who were affected, but that did not happen. She promised to conduct a
wide-ranging review of the extent of the contamination but that did not happen.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Reverse osmosis filters.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: That is right. She promised to provide water purifiers to all affected families. As the
local member of Parliament, whenever I contacted the minister’s office about her promise to provide people with
water purifiers, the minister said that she was waiting for a list of people who wanted them. I sent her a list and
after several weeks had passed I reminded her that she had promised to provide people with a water purifier. The
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minister again said that she was waiting for the list of people who wanted them. That went on several times. The
people were then told that they had to go to the port to get a water purifier but when they went to the port, the
port rang the minister and told her that the port did not have any water purifiers. The minister then told them that
they had to go to the shire. That was the run-around the people of Esperance were getting at the time of the
contamination scandal. Where was Premier Alan Carpenter at that time? He did not show his face down there
once. As soon as the new government came into power, the Premier; Hon Simon O’Brien, the Minister for
Transport; Minister Jacobs, the Minister for Water; Hon Brendon Grylls, the Minister for Regional
Development; and I visited Esperance. The first thing we did when we got into government was to attend a
community meeting.
Hon Peter Collier: Did the shadow environment minister go?
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: No, we did not see the shadow environment minister down there.
Hon Simon O’Brien: She was presiding over the election wash-up.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: That is right. When we talk about trust, I can tell members who the people of
Esperance trust. They certainly do not trust the members of the previous government. Hon Sally Talbot, in her
speech at the beginning of this debate, mentioned the high lead levels that were tested in and around Fremantle.
She said that there were already high lead levels there but she neglected to say that isotopic testing of that lead
indicated that none of the lead was from the Magellan mine. The opposition is putting seeds of doubt into
people’s minds. Hon Sally Talbot did not tell the whole truth, which is that the very thorough testing did not
identify any Magellan lead at the Fremantle port. Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich has spoken in considerable detail about
the testing and monitoring that took place to ensure that it was safe to transport lead.
Hon Sally Talbot interjected.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: I think Magellan Metals did the testing.
Hon Sally Talbot interjected.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: While on the subject of being open and transparent, the results of the monitoring are
available on Magellan Metals’ website. The people of Esperance had great difficulty trying to get information
about the contamination in their town; indeed, it was like drawing teeth. No matter which government
department they went to, the lead contamination was someone else’s fault and someone else’s responsibility.
We have talked at length about how Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich used her great forensic ability to discover the 22
suburbs that will be affected by the transportation of lead. One needs very good forensic skills to read emails. I
refer to Magellan Metals’ “Community Consultation Summary”, which states that from February 2008 to
January 2009 —
             •    Fact sheets outlining the sealed shipment process were provided to State Members of
                  Parliament whose electorates included the transport route for placement in their offices and
                  distribution to local residents.
Further, between February 2009 and August 2009 —
             •    An electronic mail-out informed Members of Parliament whose electorates include the
                  transport route, and relevant State Governments agencies and regulators, of the final conditions
                  for the sealed shipment process.
Members have to be very forensic to discover that their suburb has a railway line passing through it and a
transport route; and they have to be very forensic to read an email sent to them by Magellan Metals, which states
“This is what is being planned and these are the conditions being imposed. Your suburb is on the transport route;
if you have any concerns, please contact us. This is all the information available to you. These are the conditions
that we are operating under.” I commend Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich for her forensic abilities. I will take a leaf out of
her book and read my emails.
Hon Helen Bullock described Esperance as a small port. I am aware that she visited Esperance recently. I
commend her for doing so. However, Esperance is not a small port. It is the deepest port in southern Australia.
The next deepest port in Western Australia is Port Hedland. The port of Esperance is 18 metres deep. It is
capable of taking cape-class vessels with a 200 000 tonne capacity. It is not a small port. It is very important to
the economy of Western Australia. The trouble with the whole sorry episode that happened in Esperance under
Labor’s watch is that the port was put under incredible financial pressure. It had to go to court and face the
music. Sure, it had some responsibility in the matter; obviously, so did Magellan. However, plenty of other
agencies failed in their duty to ensure that the people of Esperance were not poisoned.
I turn to the transport of lead through Fremantle, which is a totally different proposal to the one that gave rise to
the situation in Esperance. The government has learnt a lesson and it has the ability and determination to ensure
that the safety of people in Fremantle and along the 1 200 kilometre transport route is paramount. The bags’
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doubled-lined walls have a plastic moisture-proof internal lining and tough woven polyester external lining to
prevent the escape of concentrated moisture. The concentrate in the bags is required under ministerial conditions
to have a minimum moisture content of 7.5 per cent or above and have the consistency and non-dusting
characteristic of damp sand. The bags are sealed and placed inside steel shipping containers. The bags have been
approved by the United Nations as suitable for this transport. They are able to withstand pressure six times their
filled weight and have passed drop and topple tests. They also meet the requirements of the Australian Flexible
Intermediate Bulk Container Association. Strict environmental conditions have been placed on the transport of
this product. I believe that Magellan Metals has a lot to answer for and that it must prove that it can be a
responsible corporate citizen in Australia. It knows that if it cannot export this product safely, it will not have a
mine. Magellan is very open with the community about how this project is going.
I return to the response of the Liberal-National government to the lead contamination issue in Esperance. The
people of Esperance had been crying out for attention, assurance and action. It was only when the Liberal–
National government came to office and after the Premier visited Esperance that we have seen action and that the
Esperance Cleanup and Recovery Project began. From the beginning the people of Esperance asked for a proper
analysis of the extent of the contamination. What did we get apart from a few water filters for families who had
the intestinal fortitude to go from one agency to another until they found themselves a jug? Some rainwater tanks
were cleaned. When the roofs of people’s houses were cleaned prior to the Liberal-National government coming
to power, they were cleaned just one metre up from the gutter. When the rainwater tanks were retested after a bit
of rain, what did they find? They found more lead. Surprise, surprise! I thought rain went into rainwater tanks
from only a metre up the roof. No, everything on the roof goes into rainwater tanks. The people of Esperance are
taking great comfort from the clean-up process that is now taking place at considerable expense to the
government. More than 400 premises have been sampled. It has been established that about 90 per cent of those
places are in need of some attention for cleaning, either roof surfaces, roof spaces or internal or external
cleaning. Speaking of roof spaces, when the people in Esperance begged the previous government to clean up the
mess, it refused to consider roof cavities because it knew that they would be expensive to clean. Under this
government, roof cavities are being tested and cleaned. The major cleaning project commences in June–July.
Approximately 200 cleaning jobs are ready to go. The Esperance Cleanup Recovery Project team is committed
to using local labour and contractors. Surely, there has to be a silver lining in this very sorry lead cloud. At least
jobs are being generated. A lot of work is being done. This project will continue for quite some time. I believe
that the people of Esperance are satisfied with the commitment of this government to cleaning up the mess of the
previous government, which is why I will not be supporting the motion. Given the lessons that have been learned
from the previous government’s incompetence, the stringent requirements placed on the transport of lead through
Fremantle, the heightened awareness of us all watching the export of this product and Magellan Metals’
commitment to do things better this time—it is the first to admit that it did not cover itself in glory—I believe
that this product will be safely exported through Fremantle. As the minister said, the minute that she has any
evidence that it is not going to be safely transported, it will stop. She said that in her —
Hon Sally Talbot: That is trivialising it. You talk about them not covering themselves in glory. I think you
would agree that it was a catastrophe.
Hon WENDY DUNCAN: It was a catastrophe. I have called it a scandal, and it was a scandal. I support the
containerised transport of this product. Members need to understand that far more dangerous products are being
transported on our transport systems and railway lines than this product. At least this product is not flammable
and does not move through the environment as quickly as some others can. They all need to be managed
carefully and they all need to have very strict environmental conditions. I am convinced that that is the case in
this instance.
I commend the current government for the work it has done to hear the request of the people of Esperance to
have the previous government’s disaster cleaned up. That is progressing. It will take some time yet and a
considerable amount of money, but the commitment was made by the Premier, and the people of Esperance
greatly appreciate that.
HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [2.51 pm]: I rise to speak to the motion after hearing from
several speakers. I implore members to put the people of Fremantle and those who live along the transport route
front and centre in the debate and abandon this blame game of government and former government. When in
government, the two parties supported the proposal; when in opposition, they opposed it. There it is; it is on the
Hon Simon O’Brien: What does the third party say?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: The third party is saying that Western Australia’s children deserve better.
It is very appropriate to review how lead is transported in and exported from Western Australia, the transparency
of the process and the emergency response plan. The first shipment of lead carbonate skulked out of the port of
2840                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Fremantle, as we have heard, on 29 September, bound for a smelter in China. Twelve containers rolled into the
port on 24 September and eight more arrived the next day. The bolt-locked steel containers held about 450 dry
metric tonnes of lead concentrate. We learned all this after the ship departed and from people who were watching
the Toronto Stock Exchange. Members would not be alone in wondering why we are transporting lead carbonate
through a densely populated metropolitan area and from the Fremantle port. The original proposal for this was
the mining and refining of lead on-site and transporting lead ingots. What happened to that original proposal,
whereby this substance could be considered somewhat safer?
The City of Fremantle, in its original response to the proposal that this substance would be put through its port,
noted that the mine was expected to account for approximately three per cent of the total world lead mine
production. The development of a refinery could allow processed lead carbonate to be transported in a
potentially less hazardous form. Department of Environment and Conservation representatives indicated at a
meeting on 17 July 2007 that the report by Magellan Metals Pty Ltd needed to indicate why a lead refinery was
not going to proceed. On page 3–1 of the proposal, it is clearly indicated that the refinery option at the mine site
was too easily dismissed. What are we talking about? The significance of the safety and environmental risk
factors of a lead refinery was soon surpassed by the risk of transporting lead carbonate. For those people who are
still trying to catch up with the science of this, what is lead carbonate? It is very brittle crystals that come from
the weathering of lead sulfide. It is in the form of fine dust, which is much more dangerous if it is in the air we
breathe or the water we drink. The Esperance parliamentary inquiry showed that the transport of lead carbonate
produced a fine dust that blew around the town, and the full extent of that danger is still not known. I am going
to look into some of the citizen science. If the Minister for Transport missed that article, there is an article in
which citizen science measures how that is filtering through the food chain.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Which publication is that?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I will tell the minister in a minute.
The lead in petrol and paint was rightly banned on the grounds of public health risks. If this proposal goes
through—we know it has—hundreds of thousands of people will be potentially exposed to this fine dust. Our
children are most vulnerable to lead carbonate when it is in the air and water. They are in danger from even a
very low level, as we saw. It is a brain toxin. It has been taken out of petrol and paint for that reason. It can cause
reproductive dysfunction, foetal damage and delayed neurological and physical development. In adults it is
associated with high blood pressure, heart attacks, kidney and liver damage, and strokes. It is a serious public
health issue that we need to take seriously. It was not until the 9 500 bird deaths in Esperance that the alarm was
raised. Members need to remember that this was going on for some time; lead was stockpiled in Esperance.
Eventually, the Esperance Port Authority was fined $525 000 for the lead contamination. A $5 million bond has
now been paid by Magellan for the privilege of exporting lead through the port of Fremantle. I ask members:
what is the price of poisoning our environment?
I will now read from an article headed “Esperance lead contamination may be entering a new phase” written by
Nic Dunlop, who is the environment and science coordinator at the Conservation Council of Western Australia.
It is in its magazine The Greener Times, if members want to look it up. He showed that although overall lead
levels on bird feathers continued to decline to around 10 times the background level, the rate of change had
slowed over the years that it had been measured. He goes on to state —
         Meanwhile, lead levels in the resident insectivorous species had slightly increased. It was also noted
         that the partially insectivorous silvereyes were now carrying more lead than the nectar-feeding
         honeyeaters: a reversal of the situation in the earlier years. This was potentially the first indication of
         bioaccumulation, the build-up of lead contamination in the food chain.
         … In the earlier years, the birds accumulated lead carbonate dust particles on their feathers by
         physically sweeping foliage and other surfaces. By now, however, much of the deposited lead may be
         becoming incorporated into the soil and in areas of high concentration, taken up by the plants. These
         would be grazed by insects which in turn are eaten by predators, such as insectivorous birds.
The point is that the level of bioaccumulation in the soil is yet to peak. Hon Wendy Duncan has gone into great
detail about the efforts that the government has made to clean up the incident in Esperance. It will be some time
before we can truly say that that environment has been restored to its earlier balance.
I make the point that this state, under successive governments, has failed to ensure intergenerational equity by
basing its decisions on the precautionary principle. This was a risk too high. We took it. Hopefully, we learned
from it. Now it is appropriate to look at how we have changed our systems and whether we have changed them
to the point at which it is safe to transport lead through Fremantle. I really appreciated Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich’s
detailing of the incident at the port in which the container was pierced. It is a very important point that due to
human error, or for some reason that we have not yet been able to determine, this container was compromised.
The shipping system that was put in place, which the Minister for Environment has championed as the best ever,
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state-of-the-art, safest way to transport and export this substance, is still subject to accidents. Those accidents are
what the people of Fremantle are most concerned about. Once exposed to the environment, the people of
Fremantle—and indeed, as we have heard, the people of 22 suburbs along the route—will suffer that same risk
of damage to health that the people of Esperance have so far survived.
Hon Simon O’Brien: What is the answer—not have trains running through suburbia?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I really welcome the fact that this government is looking at rail safety and looking at
improving rail safety. It was noted by the City of Fremantle, when the proposal to transport lead there was
raised, that the number of train derailments over the past five years had been particularly high. I counted nine
train derailments from January 2005. The first one was near Koolyanobbing—in fact there were two in
Koolyanobbing at that time. There were train derailments on 22 February 2006 west of Kalgoorlie; on 27 March
2006 south of the Kalgoorlie–Boulder area; on 4 and 5 August 2007 on the Rio Tinto railway in the Pilbara; and
in March 2008 near Merredin. On 23 September 2008 the Esperance Port Authority had a rail incident, on
30 January 2009 Kalgoorlie had one, and on 29 January 2009 there was a derailment in Tom Price that was
widely reported on the front page of the newspaper. The one that concerned residents in Fremantle occurred at
South Beach. At the time we questioned the record of industrial accidents—how could we build some kind of
confidence that the government was looking after our safety? I welcome improved rail safety but we have to take
that precautionary principle.
Hon Simon O’Brien: If I may, how does one employ that precautionary principle? Do we stop running trains,
because that is where the member’s argument leads us?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: One of the suggestions that I made earlier on is that we should have been refining
this substance at the point it is taken out of the ground. We should have been making it into ingots and then we
could transport it safely. An ingot falls on the ground, we pick it up—it does not go into the water supply and it
does not disappear into the airways. That is really the safest way that we can deal with this.
Hon Robin Chapple: Under the original proposal.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: That was the original proposal. I question the authorities who accepted that change
from the refinery, to exporting and transporting carbonate through our state. Hon Robin Chapple will have a bit
more to say about that.
What we can do to make this safer and try to build community confidence that people will not be poisoned is to
release this information and make it more accountable. Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich pointed out that the accident at the
port was a serious one, but who knew about it? Why are all those high lead levels occurring? We need to have
more transparency; in fact we need much greater transparency —
Hon Simon O’Brien: Was anyone injured or poisoned in that incident?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: The minister is correct in acknowledging that.
Hon Simon O’Brien: It is a rhetorical question.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: No-one was poisoned. In fact, as the minister well knows—I do not know if the
Minister for Mines and Petroleum knew this when he responded in his speech—the container was safely taken
back to the mine site, opened up at that site and inspected. It was seen that the bags were not opened up at that
Hon Helen Bullock: The container was.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: But the container was. The risk was there. This government is very much into risk
management. That is what we are talking about—and that risk was there.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Those precautions clearly worked.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: Luckily, this time.
Hon Simon O’Brien: There is no “luckily” about it.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: It was very lucky because we do not even know how that container was pierced.
Hon Simon O’Brien: The precautions were there to protect in the case of an incident. An incident happened and
there was no spillage.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: The driver did not hit the container.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: There are things that we can do better. I have mentioned two already. We also want
some independent monitoring. Who is monitoring the sampling that Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich detailed? There are
21 dust sampling sites, two air quality sites, 19 rainwater tanks along the route, 251 soil sites and 15 drainage
sumps at the port. This is all great stuff—I am so glad that we are taking samples from all these different
places—but who is monitoring the sites and are the compliance inspections being transparently reported? What
2842                                [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

kind of accountability is put into this? That is what we can improve upon. That is why I welcome this motion
from Hon Sally Talbot. I support it strongly. I think that I have made every point I can possibly make in a short
amount of time. I encourage members of government to take this motion seriously and try to improve the
systems that we have. We should use this opportunity to look carefully at what is not quite good enough and
improve these systems so that the people of Fremantle can feel a little bit safer with this hazardous cargo in their
HON SIMON O’BRIEN (South Metropolitan — Minister for Transport) [3.05 pm]: I welcome the
opportunity to debate this motion. It is one in a series of predictable and predictably silly motions that have been
placed on the notice paper —
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: So the minister thinks this is a silly motion?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: It was placed on the notice paper by opposition members who have a fair bit of front
in trying to raise some matters for debate, such as the one that we are dealing with now. It is a silly proposal, as
this motion calls on this house to condemn the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Mines and
Petroleum for their lack of openness and accountability. They have been perfectly open about everything they
have done, about every decision that they have made, about every process that they have been required to follow,
and indeed have followed. There is no lack of openness or accountability on their part; therefore, the first part of
this motion fails.
The second part of the motion also calls on the Minister for Environment to explain why so little has been
revealed to families living in and around suburbs along the proposed transport route about matters relating to
Magellan Metals and environmental approvals, and so on. What is it that is lacking here? Certain people in the
Australian Labor Party have taken it upon themselves lately to try to scare and alarm everybody that they
possibly can along the transport route and beyond by running a blatant scare campaign, an unjustified scare
campaign —
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: That is not true.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: It is very true.
I do not know what else is meant to be revealed. The government has publicised the terms that are to be met by
the firm transporting product along this particular route. Indeed, I cannot think of any other commodity that has
had to meet such extraordinary standards set by the Minister for Environment in order to be transported on our
rail network. It is quite unprecedented for this product. Do members know what—I welcomed it at the time —
Hon Robin Chapple: I would suggest that Kevin Minson set the benchmark back in 1993. I will talk to that
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Back in 1903?
Hon Robin Chapple: 1993.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: Not when you were born!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: The other Kevin Minson.
By any measure, the standards that are required to be met by Magellan in transporting lead concentrate from the
mine site to the port site are quite extraordinary; and I think rightly so. I observed, when in opposition, that the
former Mayor of the City of Fremantle, Peter Tagliaferri, started a campaign against lead being shipped out
through the port of Fremantle. I certainly made my views clear, given the history of this company in the
production and shipment of this product, that we would not have a high degree of confidence in what it was
doing and we should view such changes in port of loading with a significant degree of caution. In the end, the
differences between the systems are quite significant. In Esperance, Magellan product was being shipped
basically in open transport units. Moreover, when it was being loaded in bulk, it was done in such a way that a
lot of particulate matter—dust—found its way into the air. There was a lot of spillage of product and the
contamination that rightly concerned the community of Esperance occurred. Conversely, the lead concentrate
that is exported through Fremantle is the same lead concentrate; it is not a different product. The Minister for
Environment put in place some extraordinary measures to ensure that there is no chance at all of contamination
occurring from this product in the course of its transportation from the place of production to the place of
shipment. If anything, this motion should be congratulating the Minister for Environment for persevering with
what I am sure this company sees as quite draconian and over-the-top levels of safety—the sorts of measures that
subsequently have been shown to be 100 per cent reliable. Indeed, there was a derailment of a container that
suffered some considerable knocking around and, lo and behold, not one skerrick of lead escaped. We get
beyond the range of the hypothetical.
I can remember Hon Donna Faragher being routinely asked in this place and elsewhere to guarantee, absolutely,
that there would never be any spillage of this lead, or questions of that order. She was asked that question over
and again.
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Hon Sally Talbot: She was asked whether it was safe.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Being cautious and reasonably circumspect, she pointed out that hypothetically one
can never give absolute guarantees about anything, and that was a very prudent answer to give. There could not
possibly have been any other way of moving this product with greater security of its containment than the regime
that is currently being employed. Unless members want to adopt the view that materials of any kind should never
be transported, they must understand that it is appropriate to transport materials, whatever they may be, that are
needed in commerce and industry, so long as the most stringent of safety measures are observed. If that is not
done, we will very quickly find that our society comes to a great, screaming, shuddering halt. I sometimes
wonder whether that is on some people’s agendas.
This house heard from Hon Wendy Duncan, who, incidentally, is a very long-time resident of Esperance and has
an interest in this issue, about the way that this government has conducted itself in relation to lead matters in
Esperance. Hon Wendy Duncan knows what she is talking about. I have been to Esperance several times and
have seen her involvement in the community. I suspect that the mover of this motion does not have that much
familiarity with Esperance. I doubt that she has even been there. How can a member move a motion like this
with such confidence and say what she said if she has never been there? However, we have the testimony from
Hon Wendy Duncan who lives in Esperance to rely on.
Hon Helen Bullock: This motion has nothing to do with Esperance; it is about Fremantle.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I will come to Fremantle soon. Members heard all about Esperance.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: You are not very interested in the issues about Fremantle or the 22 suburbs.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I will come to that. I notice that the mover of the motion is completely silent when
asked whether she has been to Esperance. I am guessing that the answer is that she has not.
Hon Sally Talbot: You can guess whatever you like.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: What is the answer then? Has the member been there?
Hon Sally Talbot: You obviously were not listening.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Yes, I was.
Hon Sally Talbot: We will have this conversation again. Keep going. I am making notes. Keep going.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: That is big of the member.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: Don’t stop such a riveting speech.
Hon Sally Talbot: If you had listened to what I said about Esperance, you would not stand there making smart
comments. It is just as much a challenge for you as it was for us.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Mr Deputy President, may I address you?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Hon Matt Benson-Lidholm): Minister, you have the call. Continue please.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Considering the history surrounding this issue, the opposition has one heck of a gall
raising this matter. It was Premier Alan Carpenter who was on site to celebrate the opening of the Magellan
Hon Ken Baston: I was there.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Hon Ken Baston was also there and it was a glittering occasion.
Hon Ken Baston: You are correct, he was there.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: At that stage it was proposed that the product be converted into ingots. That is where
this project had its genesis and that is how the government of the day sold it as a great triumph of downstream
processing. Of course, nothing of the sort happened and since then the question has been asked again and again.
The initial promotion of this project by the then Labor government was not founded on a reasonable expectation
at the time and this motion, similarly, is neither reasonable nor, ultimately, believable.
The question that has been asked is what this means for Fremantle and, despite the interjections, I have been
referring to Fremantle in my remarks. I want to go to the question of safety along the route through the
22 suburbs that are mentioned in the motion. I wonder how many members opposite who represent some of these
electorates have actually been to all these suburbs.
Hon Robin Chapple: I have been there.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: An elephant stamp to Hon Robin Chapple who has been to all the suburbs.
Hon Alison Xamon interjected.
2844                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: No, it does not and it makes me wonder why some members do not do it.
Many of the 22 suburbs along the route, including Fremantle, are in my electorate. We are told about the threat
that the export of this material poses to everyone living within cooee of the railway line in that area. However,
when we ask members who have been doing their reading and research to define what the threat is, we cannot
seem to find out. This is the amazing thing.
What is the innate danger with Magellan lead being transported in the manner in which it is being transported? In
the event of a derailment, what is likely to happen? Firstly, let us work out whether the product is likely to be
Hon Robin Chapple: Definitely.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: One incident has occurred, and incidents do happen. Was the product breached? Was
any lead concentrate released from its container?
Hon Robin Chapple: There was a derailment.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I will take up that point, but before I do as Hon Robin Chapple wants to participate by
interjection, unruly or not, I will put a question to him. Was any scrap of lead released? No.
Hon Robin Chapple: There has been a derailment. I am referring to derailments.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: There have not been any incidents by which any lead has been released from its
packaging. But what if any lead had been released? Seriously, what would be the consequences of that? It is not
nerve gas. It is not mustard gas.
Hon Robin Chapple: It is pretty similar.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Is the member saying that it is pretty similar to nerve gas?
Hon Robin Chapple: Have you ever heard of the Mad Hatter? Do you know where that comes from?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Lead concentrate is a mineral compound. It is a partly processed product. It does have
a certain toxicity when ingested. It does build up, as heavy metals do, in human body tissues. That means that a
prolonged and sustained exposure can have a greater aggregate effect on the body, and a range of ills can
manifest themselves. But it is not the case that some exposure, particularly some brief exposure, in the same
suburb to a small amount of lead concentrate, is going to lead to what some members opposite—who seem to
think that we should not even run trains through suburbia—emotionally refer to as poisoning. That is what
members opposite are talking about. They are seriously saying that if there is any exposure in any suburb to a
small amount of lead, for a brief period of time, under circumstances in which the most extraordinary packaging
provisions have been breached, people are going to be poisoned. That is what is being proposed by members
opposite. If that is not what is being proposed, what the heck is being proposed? What is the big danger here?
The biggest danger that exists from this product, or any other product, being railed through suburbia, and the one
that reflects the most likelihood that injury or mayhem will visit itself, is a derailment—not a derailment and a
spillage of this particular product, but a derailment as in a physical accident whereby rolling stock and the heavy
goods that it is carrying leaves the railroad confines and is projected onto a crowded roadway or somewhere else
outside the rail reserve. That can happen. In different places from time to time those things have happened. It is a
risk. Mercifully, it is very rare for that to happen. Certainly in the Western Australian context, given the rail
safety standards that we exhibit in this state, we have not experienced the catastrophic consequences of such an
incident as have visited themselves on some places in other countries. Nonetheless, that is the sort of threat that
we are facing.
If that is the sort of threat that does exist, does that mean that we should stop railing goods to ports? No, it does
not. Of course it does not. We recognise that road traffic produces some casualties. That does not mean that we
should do away with heavy vehicles and cars and roads, as some people might want to do. The fact of the matter
is that society has made its judgement to balance the requirement to move goods by various modes against the
risks. Society does all it can—as do governments—to reduce those risks to the barest minimum that it can
achieve, always striving for an absolute zero in prescribing safe standards of conduct in the carriage of goods and
so on. In the case of the lead concentrate that is being moved to Fremantle port by Magellan Metals, the
standards that have been prescribed and that are being complied with are way in excess of what would normally
be applied to such a product being moved on that route. However, that does not stop the transportation of this
product from being the subject of a beat-up by those who are opposed to it.
Hon Sally Talbot: So is it safe?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Clearly it is safe. If members opposite want to pretend that people are not safe in their
beds at night and want to run that sort of scare campaign, that just shows the colossal amount of political
immaturity on the part of this opposition. It just underscores their irrelevance.
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Several previous speakers made the observation that commodities that are substantially more dangerous than
lead concentrate are being moved around the state on our roads and on our railways. The thing that worries me is
that there are probably people involved in the political scene in this state who will say, “There’s an idea! Why
don’t we start creating a scare campaign and pick on those commodities as well? That’s one way in which we
might be able to somehow make ourselves a little bit relevant.”
Hon Nick Goiran: And why wouldn’t they do that?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: What concerns me about that is that we will get some people who are soft enough in
the head to actually start doing that. I did not think anyone would be silly enough to pursue this lead transport
issue in the way that the mover of this motion has. But clearly there are people like that. So I worry about what
will be next. What other chemicals that are essential to create the wealth that keeps our community in prosperity
is the opposition concerned about? Is the opposition concerned about caustic acids being transported around the
state? Are we going to see motions from the Greens, or are we going to see motions from the Australian Labor
Party trying to out-green the Greens, condemning that?
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: You’re trivialising things here! You should stick to the motion!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Are we going to see that? Mobile bombs are being driven around our suburbs all the
time. I think that is being done safely. But occasionally there is a threat. The mobile bombs that I am referring to
are, of course, petrol tankers. Regularly, every day of the week, petrol tankers full of highly inflammable and
explosive product make thousands of trips around our suburban streets—around our houses and around our
schools. They also make thousands of trips around Fremantle and through all those 22 suburbs that Hon
Ljiljanna Ravlich is concerned about, even if she has not visited them all.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: And of course the hundreds of thousands of people who live in those 22 suburbs. That
is what I am really concerned about. I am concerned about their welfare, and I am disappointed that you have no
regard for them.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: The member cannot come to that conclusion from what I have said. What the member
has totally failed to do is identify what makes this lead concentrate—which is in double bulker bags that are
sealed inside containers—a threat to those people. The member cannot say what the threat is. The member just
has this vague notion that somehow people should be told that they are being placed at risk. Why does the
member want to tell them that? It is because the member perceives that there is some sort of shallow political
advantage in doing that. That is a disgrace. It is irresponsible, and it is hypocritical. It is also counterproductive
to the long-term interests of the very people whom the member claims to be supporting.
Hon Norman Moore: Maybe it is the Greens versus Labor in Fremantle!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Yes. Maybe it is an ALP–Greens battle in Fremantle sort of thing. I do not know.
Hon Norman Moore: Who can be the greenest!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Yes—who can be the greenest in Fremantle! I know who the losers will be in all this.
It will be the people of Western Australia, who want a bit of commonsense applied to this particular area of
public policy. We want to get away from the childish tactics that we are witnessing from the opposition at the
moment—the banalities, the trivialisation of what should be seen as important issues and the downright
bitchiness of a string of motions that were all moved over a year ago, all condemning ministers, without rhyme
or reason, about matters that had not even been allowed to develop before notice of the motions was given.
There is no capacity for any right-minded person to support this motion. We have heard many members speak in
support of this motion but they have not been able to articulate the actual threat that is being posed by the way
this product is transported. The opposition is totally incapable of articulating the actual threat. It is prepared to
get out there and tell people that they will be harmed or poisoned or their children will be damaged in their very
beds because of the so-called threat, yet it cannot tell us what the threat is. At the same time, it ignores the fact
that there is so much other product that it recognises must be moved around at the same time, even though it has
much more toxicity than lead concentrate. There is no basis for supporting this motion. I look forward to seeing
it roundly defeated.
HON JON FORD (Mining and Pastoral) [3.31 pm]: The government has premised its defence of the motion
on justifying its decision to continue with Fremantle as a port of export, saying the Labor Party was going to do
it so the government is going to do it. That is not the essence of the motion. The other thing that the government
has said is that we did a very bad thing on our watch by allowing the people of Esperance to be contaminated by
lead. We took responsibility for that at the time. The government cannot blame us for a disaster in Esperance and
then use that to justify its decision to move lead through Fremantle. The government is saying that we made the
decision and we carried out the research, which it accepts, but it has tweaked it up and put a couple more
restrictions on it that will make it better. The government has not said why it has not made a different decision.
2846                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Out of all the people who have been arguing, I heard only Hon Simon O’Brien try to justify that decision; that is,
that the risk has been made so low that it is safe to do it. That is okay. I can accept that.
I will get to a risk-based scenario. We are having a long-running debate. The Minister for Mines and Petroleum
indicated that he is talking about going to a risk-based assessment type system, which is contemporary and
involves all sorts of risks across society and the world. We have heard that probably the best mitigation against
loss of containment is not to have a loss of containment, so the lead is turned into ingots. We have not heard why
the government has decided that we should not do that. We could transport lead anywhere around Perth, or
anywhere else for that matter, if it was in the form of ingots, with a canvas tarp over the back of the container.
Maybe there is a cost imperative and the balance of transporting it through Fremantle or anywhere else in ingot
form does not add up, or additional infrastructure would need to be put in place. We have not heard the
justification for that. We have not heard why we are transporting lead through a high population area. If we are
going to keep it in carbonate form, one of the risks that the government would have to identify if it did a risk
assessment is how many people are possibly exposed to a disaster. After all the conditions that the government
has put on the transport, it is a mitigation against a disaster. We have seen what happens with that. It does not
matter how good a mitigation is put up, sometimes there is a disaster. We saw that with Varanus, where best care
was taken by everybody but there was a massive explosion, which lead to a huge economic drain but luckily no
loss of life.
Hon Simon O’Brien: What disaster is available for this?
Hon JON FORD: There is the potential for disaster if there is a loss of containment in an area, depending on the
wind conditions of the day, how long it takes to get the emergency services there, where the accident occurs and
how the lead can be detected and cleaned up. I will give an example. I was talking to a uranium company the
other day. I have been talking to a lot of uranium companies. They tell me that it is better to clean up uranium
than lead. They use lead as an example. If they spill uranium, they just use a Geiger counter to go right down to
the instant particle and pick it up so they know it is cleaned up. Hon Wendy Duncan talked in great detail about
the problems of cleaning up lead carbonate, and I believe she was right. It is a silly notion that just one metre of a
gutter would be cleaned and not the full roof. We heard from Hon Lynn MacLaren about the way lead can get
into the food chain. It all depends on the size of the possible accident. Hon Simon O’Brien was saying that the
mitigation—I like his argument—will actually stop the chances of having a major accident but we have not
heard a worst-case scenario, we have not heard a justification of cost analysis and we have not heard why we
have not gained a zero risk, which is to ingotise. It just seems to me that after we talked about all those
mitigations of the double bags and the sealed containers, if it is that safe, why are we not putting it through
Esperance still, because that would pose a much smaller risk than putting it through a longer supply chain and it
being transported through a more populated area? There might be an argument for that.
The last risk-based analysis I did on logistics was on the supply train to the Northern Endeavour, a vessel that is
a two-and-a-half to three-hour flight from Darwin off the Australian coast. The interesting thing about doing that
mitigation was that in all the operations, people are sitting on a bomb; they are sitting on two Titanics worth of
oil and gas. Small groups of people are flying out. Out of all that danger that these people are surrounded by, the
riskiest operation is the helicopter flight. How does one mitigate against that? We can mitigate against it by
minimising the number of people who are exposed to the flights out to the facility. That can be done by time
frequencies and controlling the number of people on the vessel at any time. The Minister for Transport talked
about the fact that we transport all these other dangerous materials around Perth, and that is perfectly true. It is a
simplistic argument because all sorts of mitigations are associated with that. The design of a petrol tanker is such
that even if one had a catastrophic failure, it would be controlled. We have seen that when we have had tanker
fires. It is a very tight restricted area. There are segmented tanks so that even if one is ruptured, the petrol does
not all rush out in one go. There is another way we mitigate, and the Minister for Transport would know all
about it because I think he is the minister responsible for dangerous goods. It might be the Minister for Local
Hon Simon O’Brien: The minister for mines also has responsibilities, as you know.
Hon JON FORD: That is right. Dangerous goods are a good example of risk mitigation. A lot of risk mitigation
relates to the quantity of goods that are transported. We can mitigate the risk by making the transport of certain
materials very, very small or in quantities that are stable, easily managed and packaged. We have seen that, of
course, with the lead. All we have heard publicly from the government, until the Minister for Transport just
talked about it, was that the former government said that it was okay and therefore it is still okay and that this
government has put a bit more thought into it. That does not win the argument about accountability. The
government has not explained why we are not ingotising the lead and penalising Magellan Metals, which was
very irresponsible, by making sure that it ingotises the lead. There might have been a good reason for that but we
have not heard why lead is being transported through a Western Australian port. I understand that uranium must
be transported around populous areas. I believe that it is much more dangerous to transport lead than it is to
                                     [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                          2847

transport uranium. The solution for the transportation of uranium is to transport it around the least populated
areas. It will be transported either through Darwin or Port Lincoln. Why are we not transporting lead across the
Nullarbor Plain to an isolated port in Port Lincoln? Instead, we will transport it through our most populous port,
which is Fremantle. If the government can answer those questions, it will have a valid argument. Why will lead
not be transported through the industrial port at Port Hedland? There is a good argument for shipping it through
Port Hedland. It is an industrial port and has a lot of experience in managing dust and dangerous goods. In
addition, only a small number of people live along the transport route. In some places no-one lives alongside it.
The lead could also be transported through Karratha or Geraldton. I have already talked about Esperance. It
could even be transported to Bunbury, although Bunbury, Perth and Geraldton are very populous areas. There
might be a reason for that. The Minister for Transport is the only minister who has tried to argue that point.
Everyone else has argued that the former government set the ratings on the Environmental Protection Authority
and that this government has put in place a few more things. At the same time, the government has criticised our
management of the transportation of lead. If we were so lousy at managing the risks for Magellan in the first
place—that proved to be the case because it was an absolute disaster—the government cannot use that as
justification for moving lead through the port of Fremantle. The people of Fremantle are rightfully concerned
about that possibility. The government must simply tell the people the reasons for its decision to transport the
lead through Fremantle port and tell them about the mitigating measures it has put in place. It is no good toing
and froing. Hon Lynn MacLaren said that we change our views depending on which side of the house we sit. I
am trying to not do that. It is no good turning this into a you said, I said argument. Members opposite are in
government and have access to all the information. The government must have received some analysis about
why it will not transport the lead through Esperance. I can think of a reason why it will not be transported
through Esperance. The background lead level is so high that it would probably be impossible to put an effective
monitoring regime in place. That is probably a decent reason to not do that. However, the lead could be
transported through Esperance in ingots because monitoring would not be required.
We have not heard about the alternative choices. The government has not tried to justify its decision by
identifying the other considerations that it made. That is the big issue. If the government could address that, we
would not be having this debate. The government is saying to the people of Fremantle, “Look at this hopeless
bunch of losers in the Australian Labor Party. Look at what they did to Esperance.” At the same time, the
government is saying that everything is okay because the members of the former Labor government approved
the conditions for transporting the lead through Fremantle and therefore the public should trust them. The
government cannot argue that there will not be any accidents. We know they will happen. We have not heard
about the details of the emergency management plans but we have heard about the way the lead will be
packaged. We have not heard why the lead will not be ingotised or why it cannot be transported through other
ports. That is a question of accountability. The government must be accountable for its decisions. The
government can point its finger at us. I am sitting on the opposition benches. Yes, we stuffed up and we lost the
election. Members opposite are in government now and they must explain their actions. That is the essence of
the motion. The Minister for Transport said that there was no case for condemning either the Minister for
Environment or the Minister for Mines and Petroleum for their lack of openness and accountability in relation to
their decision to allow lead to be transported through 22 metropolitan suburbs. Why will the lead not be
transported through other ports and why will it not be transported in ingots?
Hon Simon O’Brien: The reason it must go to Fremantle is that it is the only port where container ships
regularly call. It is as simple as that. That is our container port and we want it transported in containers for safety
Hon JON FORD: As I said earlier, one minister is showing some reason. We have not heard it from any of the
other ministers. The motion states, in part —
         That this House also calls on the Minister for Environment to explain why, since environmental
         approval was given by her for Magellan Metals to transport containerised lead carbonate through
         suburbs to the Fremantle port, so little has been revealed to the thousands of families living in and
         around suburbs along the proposed transport route.
If the transportation of lead is so safe, the government must tell the people why it has not been transported
through other ports. The government cannot just say that it supported the former government’s decision even
though this government has been bagging us. People should not be expected to go into a company’s website to
get information. The government is the regulator and is responsible for people’s safety. People rely on the
government to give them that information. I urge the house to support the motion.
HON ALISON XAMON (East Metropolitan) [3.47 pm]: I am glad that I finally have the opportunity to speak
to this motion, which is very important. It has been very interesting listening to members relay their perspectives
on the sad and sorry history of lead exports, particularly in regard to Magellan Metals. Magellan originally
applied to export lead through Geraldton port but it later received permission to vary that approval and was
allowed to transport lead through Esperance, subject to the original conditions. That is a very key point because
2848                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Magellan provided incorrect information about Esperance port. The ministerial approval for the variation did not
refer to the original bulletin. Because of the failure of the monitoring and compliance measures, which was a
particular focus of attention, Esperance became contaminated by lead dust. We know that thousands of birds
died, that children in Esperance were found to have dangerously high levels of lead in their blood stream and that
the inner harbour was contaminated. A parliamentary inquiry ensued as a result of the seriousness of this matter.
However, Magellan applied to transport lead through Fremantle before the parliamentary inquiry into what had
happened in Esperance had been finalised. The residents of Fremantle and the southern and eastern suburbs
along the railway line have been consistently vocal in their opposition to the exporting of lead in any form.
I note that Hon Paul Llewellyn moved an urgency motion, prior to my time in this house, to review the original
minister’s decision to approve the export of lead through Fremantle. He pushed quite hard for Magellan’s
original plan to transport the lead as ingots to be reinstated if it was found that the lead needed to be transported
through Fremantle. Despite Premier Barnett swearing that lead would not be exported through Fremantle if the
Liberal Party was elected, the decision to do that was signed off by this government last year. It is clear that
community concerns about lead export had not been adequately addressed at that time. Whether or not we like it,
we must acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust in Magellan Metals to do the right thing and, sadly, as a
result of what happened in Esperance, there is also a lack of trust in the Department of Environment and
Conservation and the Department of Health to perform adequate monitoring and compliance activities. I make it
very clear that that it not a reflection on the good and hard-working individuals in those departments; rather, it is
reflective of the lack of resourcing made available for those purposes. In that environment we need to be
particularly careful to address community concerns about this issue. I am not going to repeat everything that has
been said in this house, but that is going to be the focus of my concerns. I thank Hon Sally Talbot for raising this
important issue. It is not a silly motion. It is important, because we know that lead will be travelling through a
great deal of Perth before it reaches Fremantle. There has been a great focus on Fremantle. But from an east
metropolitan perspective—this is the area on which I will focus—lead will be passing through a great many
suburbs before it arrives at the Fremantle port. For the Minister for Transport’s benefit, I am happy to outline the
suburbs in the east metropolitan area that it will travel through. I assure him that I have visited every single one
of those suburbs!
Hon Simon O’Brien: I know you have; and you’ve used Public Transport Authority services.
Hon ALISON XAMON: I certainly do use the PTA; and, as fine a service as it provides, it could be better.
On its way to Fremantle the lead will go through Gidgegannup, Brigadoon, Baskerville, Millendon, Herne Hill,
Middle Swan, Stratton, Swan View, Midvale, Bellevue, Midland, Guildford, Hazelmere, High Wycombe,
Forrestfield, Kenwick, Thornlie and, of course, two national parks. I will not go through the south metropolitan
suburbs. We are aware that there are many more. My concern is about the transport of lead along the whole route
from the mine until it is safely out of the country. Safety must be considered from the beginning to the end. We
must ensure that the conditions of the operations are sufficient and, importantly, that we have adequate
monitoring and compliance regimes. Moreover, the communities along the train lines must be satisfied that their
safety has been fully addressed. I note that in the case of Esperance the form of lead to be transported was
changed, which gets to the crux of the problem. Magellan did not specify to the Environmental Protection
Authority exactly what it was intending to do and, further, it made those changes without community
consultation. Clearly, we want to ensure that that does not happen again. I am hopeful that the conditions on
Magellan are tighter, clearer and enforceable, and that everyone involved better understands the inherent risk of
transporting these sorts of hazardous materials. I recognise that in an industrialised world we need to transport
lead and other hazardous materials. That makes it all the more important that we mitigate the risks as far as
possible and ensure that they are treated with the care and caution they deserve. It is on that basis that the
concern of the Greens (WA) about the transport of lead via rail has been about the form of the lead that is to be
transported. Again, that is where we come back to our concerns about ingots as opposed to dust. I am also aware
that a number of dangerous substances go through Fremantle port on a daily basis and that lead is only one such
The Education and Health Standing Committee handed down clear recommendations after its inquiry into what
happened in Esperance. It referred to the need to ensure that community consultation processes are thorough,
that the community has an opportunity to provide input on any variations to approvals and that the community is
represented on any committee or board at the ports. I understand that that was recommendation 6. I have
mentioned the suburbs in the east metro that are part of the lead transport cycle. Members are aware that
thousands of families outside Fremantle have a legitimate ongoing interest in their safety and in ensuring that
there is adequate monitoring and compliance in the transport of lead. The Fremantle Port Authority works with
the Inner Harbour Community Liaison Group, which was established prior to the lead contamination issue in
Esperance and the outcomes of the parliamentary inquiry. It comprises representatives of various interested
community and business groups in Fremantle. I understand that one of the topics that it has been discussing is
the export of lead through the port. I have heard various views about the effectiveness of this committee, but at
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2849

least it offers a forum in which community and business interests can be heard. I can juxtapose that with what
does not exist in the east metropolitan area. I am also aware that Magellan employees and freight operators have
various formal and informal processes in place that allow them to raise their concerns about lead and how it is
shipped and handled. Of course, such workers also have union organisers if they are required. I have every
reason to believe that the relevant unions are working hard to ensure the safety of their members in the mining
and transporting of the lead, to the extent that they are given adequate information. However, residents in the
East Metropolitan Region and further back along the railway have no ongoing participation in this process. They
are not an active part of the workforce, nor are they part of the Inner Harbour Community Liaison Group. The
only information to which they have access in the regular course of events is that that is distributed by the
government or the media. The only chance they have had to raise any concerns was to make submissions to the
EPA during the few months that submissions were open. That is different from the regular two-way flow of
information that is happening at the port of Fremantle. Any concerns that are being felt by residents in the east
metro region have no way of being voiced or addressed within the framework of existing community
consultation. The information exchange between freight operators, miners and the community in this region has
no natural pathway. Given the events in Esperance and the level of community interest in lead transport and
export, the expectation exists that this government should be taking a proactive role in informing the community.
That is entirely valid. I urge the government —
Hon Simon O’Brien: What would you like us to inform them of that they’re not already aware of?
Hon ALISON XAMON: It must be acknowledged that, because of what happened in Esperance, there is quite a
lot of concern and fear about what is passing through their suburbs.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Do you want us to reassure them?
Hon ALISON XAMON: Part of it is about reassurance; part of it is about setting up a process for people in the
other regions. As I have outlined, people in Fremantle and people working around the area have various
opportunities to feed into the process. There are a lot of families and residents living along the train line who
may share those concerns. Their fears may or may not be valid; however, the point is that they should be given
the opportunity for a full and frank exchange so that they can feel assured that they are being heard and that their
safety is being represented. It is important to acknowledge that that has not fully occurred. I urge the government
to develop a process to engage the communities along the transport route in its entirety in an ongoing way. The
level of community concern about the transport of lead is high and it is likely to remain high. We have to be
realistic about this, especially in the absence of information. One of the ministerial conditions for the export of
this lead is that Magellan Metals arrange for an independent auditor to check that the ministerial conditions are
complied with and that no lead is escaping. I suggest that that auditor should report publicly to a group with
relevant community representation. I am saying that it needs to happen beyond simply Fremantle and include the
rest of the route. I urge the minister to expand that range of community representation beyond the Inner Harbour
Community Liaison Group so that we can include representatives of the communities along the entire transport
HON ROBIN CHAPPLE (Mining and Pastoral) [4.00 pm]: Firstly, I think we need to understand where this
problem came from. In the early days, the proposal in 2001 by Magellan Metals Pty Ltd and its parent company,
the Toronto-listed zinc miner, was to develop a smelter on-site and, over a nine-year mine life, send lead of
approximately 99.7 per cent purity through the port of Geraldton as ingots after being refined. That is where the
project started. It carried on in various iterations for a number of years, with Iverna eventually watering down the
proposal to have a refinery by saying that initially it would export lead concentrate through the Geraldton port
and, after a two-year life, it would move on to the development of a smelter. During that early period, there
seemed to be some issue with getting access to the gas that it required for the smelter. Certainly, there were
indications that if the company did not get its way, it would go overseas and mine elsewhere.
I just want to go back to Esperance, because I was a consultant in a previous life, and I worked with Hon Kevin
Minson on the development of the export of iron ore through the port of Esperance. We need to note that the port
of Esperance set world’s best practice in October 1993 when its dust level commitment was set at a “no dust”
level. It was the first port anywhere in the world to have negative displacement in conveyor transfer points and,
indeed, in the sheds that held the iron ore. Completely new standards were set for the export of iron ore through
the port of Esperance—781 licence. Unfortunately, these new conditions that were established at Esperance were
not carried on throughout the industry. Eventually, the Geraldton proposal by the corporation fell over. What we
referred to as an ironclad future for Geraldton and for the export of ingots through Geraldton became a
beneficiation plant west of Wiluna that was to send material through the port of Esperance. It is interesting to
note that even the 2002–03 proposal was identifying that lead was going to be exported through Geraldton and
also would be in ingot form.
Hon Simon O’Brien: I am listening even if the mover of the motion isn’t!
2850                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: Moving on from there, the next big problem that the people of Esperance faced was
that when Magellan decided to use the port of Esperance, the community, the chamber of commerce, the local
shire and many others hoped and pleaded with the then government that the same standards that were established
for the iron ore shipments from Koolyanobbing through Esperance would be applied to the export of lead. It was
most probably the correct call, because, as we have identified, lead has left an incredible legacy for the
community in Esperance. Unfortunately, the licences were not up to the standard established by Hon Kevin
Minson and became a “dust will be minimised” condition, which is interesting when we consider the toxicity of
What we really need to identify is that if a proponent threatens a government and says that it will walk away
because of a rent resource tax or whatever else, it must be challenged. That is what the port of Esperance did
over the “no dust” licence. The chamber of commerce, the shire and the community said to Portman Ltd, “We’re
more than happy for you to walk away. We don’t want your iron ore through the port of Esperance unless you
commit to our conditions.” The Portman miner at that time said, “All right; we’re going.” A day later it
committed to spending $16 million to comply with the requirements of the community. The very same thing
could have happened with Magellan Metals, if the government of the day had said, “You committed to ingots,
and ingots it will be. If you’re not committed to do it in ingots, we’re more than happy for you to come up with
another proposal and we’re more than happy to hand your lease over to somebody else.” The government and the
departments need to be on their mettle, so to speak, and ensure that regulations are of the highest standard and
that the commitments outlined in a corporation’s documents for the initial proposal are retained. Many other
issues affected the proposal to develop the lead smelter, including various commitments to building roads
associated with the development.
Question put and negatived.
The Chairman of Committees (Hon Matt Benson-Lidholm) in the chair.
                           Standing Committee on Legislation — Fourteenth Report —
          “Inquiry into the Jurisdiction and Operation of the State Administrative Tribunal” — Motion
Resumed from 21 April on the following motion moved by Hon Ken Baston —
         That the report be noted.
Consideration of report adjourned, on motion by Hon Sue Ellery.
            Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations — Twenty-second Report —
                                       “Budget Estimates 2008/09”
Resumed from 13 August 2009.
Consideration of report lapsed.
                  Quarterly Financial Results Report — Statement by Parliamentary Secretary
Resumed from 12 March 2009.
Consideration of statement lapsed.
             Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations — Twenty-third Report —
                       “Annual Hearings in Relation to the Budget Estimates 2009/10”
Resumed from 8 September 2009.
Hon GIZ WATSON: I actually wanted to speak to the one before but I was obviously about 10 seconds too late.
The CHAIRMAN: Sorry; you need to be a bit quicker off the mark.
Hon GIZ WATSON: Has that item been adjourned?
The CHAIRMAN: No; it is gone—kaput.
Hon GIZ WATSON: Mr Chairman, I do not even have a copy of the report in front of me. I do not know
whether I can get one. I probably do not have a lot to say about it. I will make a brief comment. I have reports 24
and 25 in front of me but not 23.
The CHAIRMAN: Honourable member, you will need of course, prior to starting, to move that the report be
                                     [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                       2851

Hon GIZ WATSON: I will do that right now. I move —
         That the report be noted.
The twenty-third report of the Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations related to the annual
budget estimates of 2009–10. It is a fairly standard report from our standing committee. We obviously now have
carriage of the annual estimates hearings as a matter of course. It is worth noting that the committee made the
following comments —
         4.3      The Committee was pleased with the conduct of the hearings, the level of attendance at the
                  hearings and Member participation. A good cross-section of questions were asked by both
                  Government and non-government Members and a large number of issues were canvassed in
                  the course of the proceedings.
         4.4      The Committee was not satisfied with the quality of the answers to questions on notice
                  provided by a Ministry …
The committee has followed that up with that particular ministry. Otherwise, members felt that the conduct and
productivity of the 2009–10 annual hearings was useful to the house. The committee’s final comment was —
         4.5      The Committee is committed to continually reviewing and refining its processes to ensure that
                  an effective and worthwhile estimates process is conducted.
No doubt members will be aware we are about to have this year’s annual estimates hearings. It is probably an
opportune time to remind members that if there are departments that are required to attend those hearings, they
should let us know by the end of the week.
Hon Simon O’Brien: Does the member want to know any agencies we do not prefer? I have a short list!
Hon GIZ WATSON: We are open to any input. Would the minister like to put that on the record now or just
send us a letter?
With those comments, I commend the motion that the report be noted.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I welcome the opportunity to make some comments in relation to the twenty-
third report of the Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations. In doing so, I congratulate
Hon Giz Watson for her excellent stewardship of the committee. She provides very good leadership. She has
certainly established a framework that I think will see us well into the future in the way that we deal with the
budget through the estimates process.
There is no doubt that we have moved to a model that is much more adaptable. We shifted from having three
designated days confined simply to the examination of the budget papers and then bringing in a number of
agencies for an hour or two at a time—which had been a longstanding way of dealing with estimates
historically—to a model that is much more adaptable. We now have a day to deal with the budget papers and we
have the ongoing committee hearings. We have a combination of ongoing hearings and the annual hearings. I
think we get a much better result from a combination of the two. There is no doubt in my mind that in terms of
some agencies there really is a need to drill down into a range of issues to do with the appropriation of public
Committee interrupted, pursuant to temporary orders.
[Continued on page 2859.]
                                     Sitting suspended from 4.15 to 4.30 pm
                                      QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
244.     Hon SUE ELLERY to the parliamentary secretary representing the Attorney General:
I refer to the impact of the Attorney General’s failure to fund the full digitalisation of birth, death and marriage
certificates in Western Australia.
(1)      Is the minister aware that people seeking information for job clearances to work in the Pilbara and other
         regional areas get an automated message from the department telling them that they have only two
         options—apply by mail with certified ID documents or turn up in person to the Perth office with ID and
(2)      Is the minister aware that a Victorian arriving in Tom Price can get a birth certificate by going online
         and paying only $26.60?
(3)      When can Western Australians expect to have online access to birth, death and marriage certificates?
2852                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The Attorney General advises the following —
(1)      The registry’s automated phone message provides the following options to obtain Western Australian
         certificates —
         (a)      apply in person to the Perth Registry Office;
         (b)      apply in writing to the Perth Registry Office; or
         (c)      apply in person at various court house locations throughout the state. These regional locations
                  are available from the registry’s website and delivery times depend on the location and postal
                  delivery times.
         Customers also have an option to speak to a registry officer if they wish to do so.
(2)      Persons born in Victoria can apply for a birth certificate on line; however, the applicant must also
         separately post his or her identification documents to the Victorian registry to assist in confirming his or
         her entitlement to the certificate. The identification documents are matched with the online request
         before the certificate is posted back to the applicant. I understand that whilst the certificate fee in
         Victoria is currently $26.60, the cost of the Western Australia certificate fee of $44 is similar to the fee
         in New South Wales, being $44, and the ACT, being $42.
(3)      The current priority is to convert two million paper-based birth, death and marriage records to computer
         format. This project commenced in December 2008 and is expected to take five years to complete.
         Once the conversion project has been completed consideration will be given to online applications for
         birth, death and marriage certificates.
                                PILBARA DRAFT REGIONAL WATER PLAN
245.     Hon SUE ELLERY to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Water:
I refer to the 2008 draft Pilbara water plan that states “The West Pilbara water-supply scheme has reached a
point where demand within the geographical area of the scheme is greater than long-term reliable supply. The
Port Hedland water supply has reached a point where demand is close to available supply.”
(1)      When will the plan be finalised?
(2)      What actions has the minister taken to date to address the water supply shortages identified in the plan?
(3)      What is the total cost of water supply projects to alleviate the shortages faced by the coastal Pilbara
         towns, and has appropriate funding been sought?
(4)      How will the expansion of cities in the Pilbara be realised when population growth in existing coastal
         towns is constrained by long-term water supply issues?
Hon HELEN MORTON replied:
I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question.
The Minister for Water has advised that —
(1)      The draft Pilbara regional water plan is currently being updated and finalised for release shortly.
(2)      The Department of Water and the Water Corporation continue to assess the source potential of the
         Pilbara coastal aquifers and work with industry to achieve water efficiency gains at ports.
(3)      A number of options are being evaluated and the cost will be confirmed when the water supply projects
         are finalised.
(4)      A cross-government land availability working group and the infrastructure coordinating committee are
         considering the full range of water, energy and land needs to deliver Pilbara cities.
246.     Hon KATE DOUST to the Minister for Energy.
I refer to the minister’s answer to my question without notice 177 on 4 May regarding Western Power’s
statement of corporate intent.
(1)      Can the minister confirm that Western Power’s 2009–10 statement of corporate intent was received by
         his office on 15 February 2010, but has not yet been tabled?
(2)      Is the minister aware that this statement must be agreed upon by the minister and the board of Western
         Power by 1 July 2010?
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2853

(3)     Does the minister agree with the draft statement of corporate intent; and, if not, for what reason?
(4)     If the minister does agree with the draft statement of corporate intent, is he aware of section 102 of the
        Electricity Corporations Act 2005 directing the minister to table this document in each house of
        Parliament within 14 days of agreement?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank the member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(4) Yes, I am aware of all the points that Hon Kate Doust raised. When Hon Kate Doust originally asked
        the question there was a little confusion, perhaps prompted by me. Hon Kate Doust asked whether the
        2009–10 statement of corporate intent had been tabled or whether I had received it. I needed to have
        received it in the previous few days. That was not the case.
        What happens with a statement of corporate intent, is that once I receive it I must get the concurrence of
        the Treasurer. It needs to be tabled only after I have received the concurrence of the Treasurer. The
        Treasurer refused to give his concurrence to the 2009–10 statement of corporate intent because the
        access agreement 2, or AA2, had not been resolved. As members would be aware, the AA2 was
        resolved only a matter of months ago.
Hon Ken Travers: Only a matter of months ago!
Hon PETER COLLIER: Sorry, if I can finish the answer.
The PRESIDENT: Order! Minister, address your remarks through the Chair and then there will be absolutely no
reason for anybody to interject.
Hon PETER COLLIER: I appreciate the robust outburst by Hon Ken Travers. I expect it from Hon Ljiljanna
Ravlich, but not from him because he does not understand what I am talking about.
Several members interjected.
Hon PETER COLLIER: I am sure the member does not. Why has it not been tabled? I will accept an
The PRESIDENT: Order! You will not.
Several members interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Order! A question has been asked. We are trying to get an answer and there are no
supplementary questions asked in this chamber.
Hon PETER COLLIER: Thank you, Mr President.
I will answer Hon Kate Doust’s question. The 2009–10 statement of corporate intent has not been agreed to. I
still do not have the concurrence of the Treasurer due to the fact that the access agreement, AA2, was not
resolved. It had nothing to do with the government; it was to do with the regulator. The regulator determines the
access agreement. The funding model that was determined from the access agreement is being finalised. Once
that is done and I get concurrence from the Treasurer, I will table the 2009–10 statement of corporate intent.
In regards to the 2010–11 statement of corporate intent, I received that statement on 15 February and when
concurrence is agreed, that will be tabled.
247.    Hon SALLY TALBOT to the Minister for Environment:
(1)     Can the minister advise if the $145 000 in grant savings that was announced as part of this year’s
        Treasurers Advance Authorisation Bill comes from the low emissions energy development fund?
(2)     If not, from which grants programs does the amount come?
I thank the member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(2) Yes.
                      FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN 2004–2013 — YIELD LEVELS
248.    Hon GIZ WATSON to the minister representing the Minister for Forestry:
(1)     Given that the average annual allowance cut for a sustainable yield of karri bole logs—other than first
        and second grade sawlogs—is 117 000 cubic metres, will the minister confirm that this amount set
        under the “Forest Management Plan 2004–2013”, has been exceeded every year since the FMP came
2854                                [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

        into operation by amounts that vary from 23 719 cubic metres, or 20 per cent, in 2005–06 to 41 341
        cubic metres, or 35 per cent, in 2006–07?
(2)     Why has this unsustainable level of cut been allowed to persist for five years?
(3)     Does this unsustainable level of cut mean that —
        (a)      the karri forest is being over cut by 20 to 35 per cent;
        (b)      the FMP is not being complied with; and
        (c)      Western Australia does not have ecologically sustainable forest management?
(4)     Will the minister ensure that the Forest Products Commission advises Australian Forestry Standard
        Limited of its failure to comply with the FMP and ascertain whether this constitutes a breach of the
        Australian Forest Certification Scheme for sustainable forest management that requires a suspension of
        the FPC’s certificate, AFS–01–21–13?
Hon ROBYN McSWEENEY replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
(1)     Yes. The annual quantity of karri other bole volume has been greater than 117 000 cubic metres in each
        year since 2004.
(2)     It has been recognised that there are inconsistencies in the forest management plan. I refer to the
        Department of Environment and Conservation’s “Supplemental Advice to the Conservation
        Commission covering the causes for the higher level of karri other bole volume”. As part (1) of the
        question points out, the FMP in action 11.1 specifies a maximum quantity of karri other bole volume
        that is available each year. At the same time, under action 16, to realise the productive capacity of the
        forest, the FMP requires FPC and DEC to develop schedules for the treatment of stands of trees to
        promote growth of timber that can be used to produce sawlogs, and requires that those treatments are
        undertaken. The DEC supplemental advice indicates that the average available quantities for karri other
        bole volume in the FMP are no longer correct because much greater yields are being realised from
        scheduled operations when compared with original predictions. DEC’s advice is that this is because of
        the following: higher yields in thinned regrowth stands due to a higher proportion of karri in the karri–
        marri mix than was forecast; higher yields in thinned regrowth stands due to higher site quality stands
        being thinned than was forecast; higher yields from two-tiered stands due to a larger area being
        harvested than forecast; an increase in the minimum size of sawlogs being accepted from first thinnings
        in regrowth stands; inclusion of some crown wood—not bole wood—in the recorded level of
        production; and inclusion of some regrowth marri in the recorded level of production. DEC
        recommended that, due to the range of factors where forest yields have improved, the upper limit of
        yield should increase to 170 000 cubic metres per annum. DEC also states that this will have a positive
        effect on future karri sawlog supply.
(3)     (a)      No.
        (b)      There are two actions in the FMP that cannot both be complied with. Choosing to comply with
                 action 16.1 is entirely in the spirit of the FMP, and DEC’s supplemental advice supports this.
        (c)      No. Western Australia’s forest practices conform with the requirements of ecologically
                 sustainable forest management, and its forest products are certified to meet the Australian
                 forestry standard.
(4)     No.
249.    Hon KEN TRAVERS to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Regional
My question was addressed to the Minister for Transport, but I understand it has been transferred to the
parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Regional Development. What criteria were used to
determine the additional postcodes that were included in the recent expansion of the Country Age Pension Fuel
Card scheme?
Hon WENDY DUNCAN replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question. Only those postcodes that fall within the Regional
Development Commission Act 1993 boundary were considered for the Country Age Pension Fuel Card. The
criteria used to determine the additional postcodes included in the recent expansion of the Country Age Pension
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2855

Fuel Card scheme were based on information contained in the Public Transport Authority’s publication “Perth
Public Transport Area Map”, which defines areas that have adequate access to good public transport services.
                                          MINE SAFETY INSPECTORS
250.     Hon JON FORD to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:
(1)      Who is entitled to raise a mine safety concern with a mine safety inspector?
(2)      Is there any individual in Western Australia who is excluded from raising a mine safety concern with a
         mine safety inspector?
Hon NORMAN MOORE replied:
(1)–(2) I am not sure whether this is meant to be a tricky question, but I would have thought off the top of my
        head that anybody who has a concern about a particular safety issue would be entitled to raise it with a
        mine safety inspector. If there is some regulation that prohibits that, I will look at that and change it.
        Clearly, anybody who feels that there is an issue with safety on any work site should be entitled to raise
        it with a departmental safety inspector, or, indeed, I would expect that that person would raise it with
        their employer.
                               KARRATHA–DAMPIER ROAD — WIDENING
251.     Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE to the Minister for Transport:
I refer to the proposed widening of the Karratha–Dampier road north of Cinders Road in the area referred to as
the cutting.
(1)      Will the minister table a map of the proposed expansion of the easement and any battering areas that
         may be proposed for this expansion?
(2)      What is the reason for the proposed widening or battering of the road beyond the current easement?
(3)      What has been done in respect of the proposed widening of the road impacting on the national heritage–
         listed area and its rock art?
(4)      What level of engagement in respect of the proposed widening of the road has been undertaken by the
         relevant government agencies with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, which has a legal entitlement
         to land in the area under the terms of the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement?
(5)      If no engagement has been undertaken with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, why not?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
(1)      Yes. I table the attached map.
[See paper 2045].
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: The answer continues —
(2)      Road safety.
(3)      Main Roads is following due process in seeking all necessary approvals required for this important
         safety project. Environmental studies were carried out in September 2003, and an environmental impact
         assessment was prepared in 2005 for the project after a comprehensive environmental study. As the
         proposed alignment impacted on Aboriginal heritage sites, section 18 approval was received in 2005 for
         the alignment. Dampier Highway continues on to Dampier Road, with Burrup Road forming a T-
         intersection. A clearing permit was received in 2006 for the whole project. Based on the studies in
         2005, there was no need for federal referral to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and
         the Arts under the commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, or
         to the state. The section of the road under discussion was listed as a national heritage area in July 2007.
         Design changes to the Burrup Road intersection, and the time lag between the original environmental
         assessment and the current planned works, resulted in an updated environmental impact assessment.
         Early in March 2010, DEWHA advised that stage 2, Dampier Highway – Burrup Road intersection, and
         stage 6, the causeway, required federal referral. A federal referral document to DEWHA was submitted
         on 15 March 2010. The section 18 approval required for the revised proposal for the Dampier Highway
         – Burrup Road intersection with Dampier Road continuing on to Burrup Road was submitted on
         19 March 2010.
(4)      The Department of Indigenous Affairs has advised Main Roads that the Murujuga Aboriginal
         Corporation is represented by Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation—NAC, Yaburara and Coastal
         Mardudhunera—the YACMAC, —
2856                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: You should at least practise it before you get it so that you can pronounce it properly!
Hon Norman Moore: Coming from you, that is a disgrace!
The PRESIDENT: Order! I am sure the minister will provide the spelling of those names to Hansard.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I will give it to Hansard in writing. The answer continues —
         Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo—WGT, and Yindjibandi, and all of these groups have been consulted during the
         heritage study.
(5)      Not applicable.
252.     Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development:
(1)      Is the minister aware that Great Southern Institute of Technology has been issued with 127 safety
         infringement notices?
(2)      What occupational health and safety impact is this having on staff and students?
(3)      What action is the minister taking to address these matters?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich for this question. She just keeps on giving.
(1)–(3) The story about the Great Southern Institute of Technology was run by a couple of media outlets about
        a month ago. We have looked into it and I have been in touch with Great Southern. Over 120 different
        incidents occurred. If the member wants to know about all the incidents, I would highly recommend
        that she puts her question on notice. Suffice to say, I am very comfortable in my dialogue with the Great
        Southern Institute of Technology. It is taking all possible steps to ensure that there are no problems with
        occupational health and safety. It is an excellent institution; there are no bones about it. If the member
        feels that it is deficient in specific areas, I highly recommend that she identifies those areas rather than
        ask me a generic question on over 100 different incidents.
253.     Hon MATT BENSON-LIDHOLM to the minister representing the Minister for Education:
(1)      How many teachers are employed at Katanning Senior High School?
(2)      Are there currently any teacher vacancies at the school; and, if yes, what are they?
(3)      How are these vacancies being managed?
(4)      Have there been any cuts to teacher numbers at Katanning Senior High School; and, if yes, what
         positions have been cut and why?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)      There are 31.15 full-time equivalents.
(2)      No.
(3)      Not applicable.
(4)      No.
254.     Hon PHIL EDMAN to the Minister for Transport:
I refer the minister to the government’s ongoing dialogue with Greyhound Australia on its existing service from
Perth to Broome. Can the minister please update the house on the negotiations with Greyhound Australia of its
continued servicing of this route both now and into the future?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN replied:
I thank the honourable member for his question. I am pleased to advise that, after discussions between the Public
Transport Authority and Greyhound Australia today, Greyhound Australia has committed to continuing to
service the route until September, during which time further discussions will take place between the government
and Greyhound on the route’s long-term viability. Greyhound Australia is a private company and, like every
other private company, is impacted upon by cost pressures and other externalities. Greyhound has previously
indicated to this government, as it did to the last government, that the provision of services along this route at its
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                     2857

current level is unsustainable. Under the former government, it reduced its services from seven days a week to
five days a week, and more recently to four days a week. In light of decreasing patronage, Greyhound has had to
make hard, and I am sure, reluctant business decisions.
At this time I would like to place on the public record the government’s thanks to Greyhound Australia for its
continued support to communities on the route, despite this reduction. No-one in this chamber is questioning
Greyhound Australia’s commitment to providing good services to regional Western Australia. However, this is
just one issue in which cost pressures, falling passenger numbers and reality collide. I would note that the
government has been trying to work through this issue with Greyhound. It might be helpful if some members
opposite stopped playing politics and got out of the way.
Several members interjected.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Mr President, I am addressing the Chair. The government will continue to represent
the best public transport outcomes for the people of Western Australia as we work through this issue and others
like it. I reiterate what I said on 19 March this year: my ministerial door is open to those who wish to come and
discuss any difficulties that they are having. I hope that we can find some long-term solutions to the issue for
Greyhound and for its customers. I will not be prejudicing the interests or the finances of the people of Western
Australia to do it.
255.    Hon LYNN MacLAREN to the Minister for Community Services:
(1)     What is the Western Australian government doing to prepare for the potential introduction of the
        commonwealth government’s income management legislation?
(2)     What is the state government’s position on the proposed new income management system?
Hon ROBYN McSWEENEY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)     The Australian government’s proposed new model of income management will occur only in the
        Northern Territory at this stage. The commonwealth government has not approached me or the Western
        Australian government about any proposed changes it may have or any new model that it will introduce.
        The legislative amendments to the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform
        and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009 could enable the commonwealth
        government to introduce such a scheme in WA in the future. I have been proactive and I have written to
        Jenny Macklin asking that income management, as we know it in Western Australia—it is unique to
        Western Australia—remain in Western Australia and that there not be any other form of income
        management over the top of it.
        In WA, income management as a child protection measure is used to address child neglect and is
        different from and separate to the Northern Territory model. The WA model will continue in its current
        form and will not be affected by the proposed new legislation. I will explain that further in a minute.
        Under the proposed new legislation, individuals who are subject to the WA income management for
        child protection model could also receive a matched savings payment of up to $500 for a person on
        income management if they can demonstrate the completion of an approved money management course
        and a personal savings pattern. This payment can only be claimed once and is 100 per cent income
        managed. Those individuals could also receive an incentive payment of $250 for a person who has been
        on voluntary income management for a continuous period of six months.
(2)     The state government supports income management for child protection as one of a suite of strategies to
        promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. We strongly support the income
        management model that we have now, which is voluntary income management and also forced income
        management. Our trigger is that children have to be neglected.
        The fact sheet put out by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous
        Affairs states that the commonwealth legislation will commence from July 2010 and will initially cover
        the whole of the Northern Territory. It says that future implementation elsewhere in Australia will be
        informed by the evidence gained from this evaluation of that Northern Territory model. Who knows if it
        is going to come in over the top of Western Australia? I hope not. I will do my level best to keep the
        neglect trigger.
        Under the new model, disengaged youth aged from 15 to 24 years who have been in receipt of one of
        the following trigger payments for at least 13 out of 26 weeks—that is, the youth allowance, Newstart
        allowance, special benefit or parenting payment—are covered. Long-term welfare recipients aged 25
        and above and younger than age pension age who have been in receipt of one of the following trigger
2858                                [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

        payments for at least 52 out of the past 104 weeks on the youth allowance, Newstart allowance, special
        benefit or parenting payment, and people subject to income management under the disengaged youth
        and long-term welfare recipient categories will be able to seek exemptions from Centrelink. If they are
        referred by the child protection authorities, which is what we have, and are vulnerable welfare payment
        recipients as assessed by a Centrelink social worker, like we have, they will not be eligible for
        exemption pathways, despite having access to ongoing reviews and appeal rights. Individuals referred
        by child protection authorities and Centrelink social workers will be subject to income management if
        they are in receipt of the youth allowance, Newstart allowance or parenting payment. As I said, the
        federal government has not engaged me in any conversation on the income management that it wants to
        put forward. If it does want to introduce it around Australia, the devil is in the detail and I will be
        watching very closely.
256.    Hon ED DERMER to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
Some notice of the question has been given.
(1)     When was a risk assessment last completed for the expansion of future career firefighter deployment in
        Western Australia?
(2)     As part of that assessment, was consideration given to the deployment of career firefighters in the
        Pilbara and the Kimberley; and, if so, what is the time frame for that employment?
(3)     What factors other than population growth and future industrial development are taken into account in
        this risk assessment?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
(1)     November 2009.
(2)     Yes. A specific time frame is still to be determined.
(3)     The Fire and Emergency Services Authority’s planning takes into account a medium to long-term
        outlook that considers a range of factors, which includes but is not limited to existing facilities,
        equipment and infrastructure; the nature of hazards; the type and frequency of incidents; demographics;
        emerging technologies; major infrastructure developments; special risk areas; and response times.
                            WATER CATCHMENT AREAS — SALE OF LAND
257.    Hon LINDA SAVAGE to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Water:
(1)     Has the government sold, or is the government planning to sell, any land designated as a water
        catchment area?
(2)     If so, where is this land and what are the conditions of the sale?
Hon HELEN MORTON replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question. The Minister for Water has provided the following
response —
(1)     No.
(2)     Not applicable.
                            JANDAKOT AIRPORT — PROPOSED EXPANSION
258.    Hon ALISON XAMON to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Water:
I refer to the Jandakot groundwater mound. The minister responded to question on notice 2164 stating that the
Department of Water had written several times to the commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water,
Heritage and Arts regarding the expansion of Jandakot Airport.
(1)     What representations has the Department of Water made to the commonwealth Department of the
        Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts regarding the expansion of Jandakot Airport?
(2)     Will the minister table those letters, representations and submissions?
(3)     If no to (2), why not?
Hon HELEN MORTON replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question. The Minister for Water has provided the following
response —
                                      [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                   2859

(1)-(2) The Department of Water made several representations that related to the Jandakot Airport expansion
        through correspondence and a meeting with the commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water,
        Heritage and the Arts. I table the letters and a policy document. They include a letter dated 24 October
        2008 to Jandakot Airport Holdings consultant, Mr Rhys Houlihan, from VDM Environmental. The
        letter was also forwarded to the director of the commonwealth and territories section, environmental
        assessment, of DEWHA for noting. The Jandakot groundwater protection policy was presented to
        representatives of DEWHA during a meeting held between the Department of Water and DEWHA on
        26 November 2008 at which the potential risks to the groundwater source from the potential
        commercial development of Jandakot Airport were discussed. A letter with the Department of Water’s
        comments with regard to the Jandakot expansion—assessment reference 2009/4795—was provided to
        DEWHA on 6 April 2009. The proposed development at the Jandakot Airport within the P1 public
        drinking water source area was not supported by the Department of Water.
(3)      Not applicable.
[See paper 2046.]
259.     Hon HELEN BULLOCK to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to the special district allowance for firefighters in Kalgoorlie.
(1)      Are there any plans to increase the quantum of that allowance, given that it has not increased for some
(2)      If yes, will this be considered as part of or before the forthcoming enterprise bargaining agreement
(3)      If not, why not?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
(1)      No. The Kalgoorlie allowance increases each year on 1 July in accordance with the consumer price
         index for Perth.
(2)      Not applicable.
(3)      The Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia does not believe an increase is
260.     Hon ADELE FARINA to the minister representing the Minister for Health:
(1)      Are there any state-funded residential occupational therapist positions currently vacant in Broome,
         Karratha, Port Hedland or Newman?
(2)      If yes, where and for how long have the positions been vacant?
(3)      Why have the positions not been filled and what has been done to rectify these vacancies?
(4)      What is the estimated number of people requiring occupational therapy services for each town?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN replied:
I thank the member for some notice of this question.
(1)      No.
(2)–(3) Not applicable.
(4)      The estimated number of people requiring occupational therapy services for each town is as follows:
         Broome, 50; Karratha, 65; Port Hedland, 60; and Newman, 25.
Resumed from an earlier stage of the sitting. The Chairman of Committees (Hon Matt Benson-Lidholm) in the
               Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations —Twenty-third Report —
                   “Annual Hearings in Relation to the Budget Estimates 2009/2010” — Motion
Committee was interrupted after Hon Giz Watson had moved the following motion —
       That the report be noted.
2860                                [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I welcome the opportunity to continue my remarks. I made some comments
about the committee’s approach. I believe that the changes have had quite a positive impact to enable committee
members to drill down and get some detailed information. Clearly, under the annual hearing model alone, it was
very difficult to get that level of detail. This committee provides a very good opportunity to do that and I believe
that we have got the balance right.
The way in which the agencies are called to the committee is also a very good process. I received an email today
from one of the clerks of the committee to ask which agencies members of Parliament would like to examine as
part of the estimates hearing. Members of this chamber therefore have the opportunity to list the agencies that are
of interest to them and of which they would like to ask questions. I believe that is most appropriate. There is no
doubt that interests of members in this chamber are diverse and that members show a breadth of understanding
about what is going on right across the public sector. I am always amazed by the participating members on the
committee in particular who have identified an agency in which the member is interested. I am amazed by the
extent to which members go to formulate questions and the depth of their knowledge on issues about which they
are particularly keen to pursue. It makes the whole system of Parliament a much stronger institution when
members are prepared to do that amount of work to get the absolute best out of the process that has been put in
place. That benefits not only them, but also the constituencies that they so ably represent. It is a big pat on
everyone’s back, including Hon Simon O’Brien’s, because everyone makes a very good contribution to the
budget process, the estimates hearings and, in particular, the annual hearings. We look forward to Hon Simon
O’Brien’s contribution on his portfolio. I just hope that we get the opportunity to have the minister and some of
his colleagues appear before the committee for the 2010–11 budget estimates hearings, which will start shortly.
In relation to the ongoing hearings, it is important for members to understand that, as members of the Legislative
Council, they are welcome at the ongoing hearings of the Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial
Operations. They are quite welcome to take their place on the committee as members of the Legislative Council.
They, too, can prepare a range of questions or a line of inquiry and pursue those questions and that line of
inquiry and get the information that they require.
We have an excellent process. There are people in this world who at times question the value of the Legislative
Council and the value of the outstanding work that Council members do on committees. I know that that issue
comes up every so often, but I think that the state would be worse for not having that very important second set
of eyes on so many issues and for the Council not acting as a house of review and not being able to engage in the
process of scrutinising and analysing the expenditure of public moneys on an agency-by-agency basis.
I want to quickly touch on questions on notice. Because the committee system operates under time constraints
and because there is so much interest by committee members, it is not always easy for everybody to ask all the
questions that they want to ask of the relevant minister or the minister’s representative; therefore, it has become
common practice to allow members to formulate some questions and put those questions to the agency in the
event that they do not have time to ask those questions during the hearing. That is a very good thing, but some
people have in the past formulated too many questions. It is very important that we keep a balance with all these
Hon Peter Collier: Who would have done that? Who has given too many?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I do not know who has given too many questions, but I know of some people
who have in the past formulated too many questions.
Hon Kate Doust: Ray Halligan.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Hon Ray Halligan is a good case in point.
Hon Kate Doust: He used to pump them out.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: He was like a question machine! Hon Ray Halligan used to ask too many
questions, and so the committee has recognised the impact that this might have on the workload of agencies.
Although we like to ensure that agencies are accountable, we recognise that there needs to be some balance in
the system. Consequently, after some discussion, it was decided that we would move to a model not of unlimited
questions, but of what is fair and reasonable. The minister is shaking his head.
Hon Peter Collier: Do you think your questions have been fair and reasonable? You have given dozens and
dozens of questions.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Hon Peter Collier seems to have his wires crossed. He is trying to assert that
somebody on this side of the chamber might have asked too many questions or, indeed, unreasonable questions.
Hon Peter Collier: Did Ray ask questions?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Yes, Ray did. That is why we had to make some changes.
Hon Peter Collier: He was on that side, too.
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2861

Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Had Ray not done that, we would not have had to have made those changes. We
could have had an entirely different system, but because Ray did that, he backed us into a corner and we had to
make some really hardcore decisions. The point is that we have endeavoured to get the balance right and I think
that we have done that well.
Hon Peter Collier: I will remind you of that next time.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I also want to quickly touch on some of the areas that we have drilled down into
in the work on the budget estimates for 2009–10. Many subjects were covered during the hearings. For example,
transport was one such area. It is unfortunate that the Minister for Transport is away on urgent parliamentary
business. Certainly, we looked at the allocation of revenue from fees and charges in the transport portfolio. There
is no doubt that there is an argument about what is a charge, what is a tax, what is reasonable, what is not
reasonable and so on. We had a very close look at the transport portfolio. We looked at the allocation of revenue
from the Perth parking management levy, which members might remember was quite contentious. There was
debate about whether it was a levy or a tax, whether it was reasonable, what would be the likely impact on the
public and so on. The Commissioner of Main Roads also appeared and a range of areas of interest were
canvassed with him. The health portfolio was another area that was covered. We know that the health department
consumes 25 per cent of the budget; it is in the order of $4 billion annually. That agency has major cost drivers.
Successive governments struggle with the issue of cost and how it can offer a good health service for a fair price
that Western Australian taxpayers are prepared to pay. Certainly, health, education and law and order are critical
agencies. The three of them combined take up close to 75 per cent of the annual appropriation every year, and
virtually the rest of the agencies carve up the remaining 25 per cent.
I could go on and on, because this is a very exciting committee. My learned colleague Hon Ken Travers and I are
proud to be members of this committee. Of course, Hon Philip Gardiner is also a member. He is nodding his
head because he is clearly also proud to be part of that committee.
Hon Ken Travers: And I am proud to serve on the committee with Hon Philip Gardiner.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: And I am proud to serve with both members and the chair of the committee.
Hon Ken Travers: And our fifth member; don’t forget our fifth member.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Who is our fifth member?
Hon Ken Travers: Hon Liz Behjat.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Yes, we are very proud to serve with Hon Liz Behjat. Given all the pride and
love that has been shared by this committee, we look forward to the annual budget estimates hearings for 2010–
11. We hope it will be as satisfying as it was last year.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: It is always a hard act to follow Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich, but I will try my best. I would
like to acknowledge all the members whom I serve on this committee with, as well as those whom I have served
with in the past. A couple of my former committee members are absent from the chamber on urgent
parliamentary business. My time on the committee has been a very interesting time. In noting a report like this,
we should recognise first and foremost that the estimates process is a very important part of the accountability
processes of the Parliament for the executive. It is one of the few areas, in reality, in which we are able to exert
some accountability over the executive on the finances. People who understand the Westminster system know
that it is very important that the Parliament provides scrutiny by examining what is going on within the
executive. This committee is one of the foremost areas by which that can occur. It is not by accident. It was the
clear intention of this chamber that the Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations have a non-
government majority. It was written into the standing orders at the time of the establishment of the committee, at
the express request of the current Leader of the House, that this committee have a non-government majority.
Although it has a non-government majority, it is fair to say that the committee operates on a cooperative basis.
We have a Greens chair, which means we always operate on a consensus basis in the way we approach matters. I
do not think I am divulging secrets of the committee when I say it is very seldom that the committee has to take a
formal vote on matters—it is done by agreement. That is a sign of maturity, and the importance all members in
this chamber place on the role of this committee to subject the executive arm to the required scrutiny.
In my time in this place the estimates process has been subject to constant review. We have often, to put it
bluntly, struggled to find the most effective way to exercise the review function. We are slowly but surely
developing and evolving a fairly good process for the way the estimates committee is able to scrutinise the
government’s finances. We have condensed hearings so that we have short annual hearings. The committee then
conducts ongoing hearings. There have been similar reports before the chamber about the ongoing hearings that
are conducted by the estimates committee. The ongoing hearings mean that the committee can look at issues in
more detail and take more time to look through the issues. The annual hearings are intended to focus on the
budget papers, and not on the overall financial operations of the committee. Our budget estimates process has
2862                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

now been condensed to one day. That is very different from the way in which the other place operates. I think
that is a good thing. If we are going to be a mirror image of the other place, there is probably not much point in
having us. We need to find new and different ways to scrutinise the government. The Standing Committee on
Estimates and Financial Operations operates in that way. The annual estimates hearings have been brought down
to a one-day hearing because we have the ongoing committee hearings as well as other mechanisms by which we
can subject the executive to scrutiny. Having recently gone through the Treasurer’s Advance Authorisation Bill
and the appropriations bill to approve previous years’ Treasurer’s Advance Authorisation Bills, there is an
argument that there is a role for our estimates committee to play in the scrutiny of those bills. That would be a far
more productive use of time for not only this chamber but also the committee, the parliamentary secretary, and,
importantly, the senior staff within the Department of Treasury and Finance. That may be something, along with
the parliamentary secretary, members of the committee can have a conversation about at a future time.
It is very important that we remember that when the system of ongoing committee hearings was set up, it was
done with the understanding that we would move away from the system that applies in the other place. In the
other place during estimates hearings, the government comes in with a list of questions and it tries to occupy the
crease with dorothy dixers. The opposition tries to get in as many questions as it can. There is a view that that
can become a very unproductive process. In this place we opted to move away from government-initiated
questions. For the first couple of years of the one-day annual hearings, it is fair to say we did not hear
government-initiated questions. It is noted at point 4.2 of the committee’s report that dorothy dixers started to
creep in with certain ministers. When it is a legitimate issue within a member’s electorate, government members
should be able to ask questions. That does not mean that the government should be initiating questions and
pretending they are initiated by backbenchers when they are clearly dorothy dixers. One of the telling points of
that is when a member asks a question and the relevant minister immediately says, “Hang on. Yes; I’ve got a file
for that one.” They have it already laid out. I say to ministers that it is a bit of a dead giveaway when he or she
has the answer. Thankfully, we have not seen it yet where the member comes in and has the answer written
below the question! I have seen that happen elsewhere in the past.
Hon Liz Behjat: Speaking from experience, no doubt.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: No, I am not. I have never done dorothy dixers, I can assure the member.
Several members interjected.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: Go and look through Hansard. I once asked a question of the government when I was a
government member and everyone accused me of asking a dorothy dixer. It was nothing of the sort. It was
actually a question to put the government under pressure, but the opposition missed it at the time.
Hon Kate Doust: I remember.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: The parliamentary secretary at the time remembers! The other side just missed it
The point was to try to find efficiency in the operation of this committee and efficiency in the use of people’s
time. The difficulty is that if we do not have goodwill in that regard, the corresponding response will mean that
we need to extend the amount of time for estimates. Opposition questions will still be asked, but we will just be
sitting around the chamber for an awfully lot longer than I think is absolutely necessary. If there is goodwill,
those things can be accommodated.
I refer to point 4.4 of the committee’s report. I think there might have been a bit of an issue about this earlier. I
know Hon Giz Watson made mention of it. Some of the answers provided to the questions taken on notice have
been inadequate and unsatisfactory. If ministers provide smart alec answers—that is all I can call them—or try to
narrow the question down to the most carefully constructed, narrow interpretation of it and then give an answer
to that rather than being cooperative with the committee in providing the answer, it forces the committee to say,
“All right; we’ll get the minister to sit before the committee so that when he or she gives a smart alec answer, the
committee can ask a further question and so on.” The end result of that is it is not a productive use of the
minister’s time, it is not a productive use of the agency’s time and it is not a productive use of the committee’s
Hon Peter Collier: In the same vein, as an example, after budget estimates last year we got over 30 pages of
questions from Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich. We answered all of them. A number of them were not specifically related
to the budget papers at all. A lot of those questions were purely time-wasting issues. I take on board what the
member has said but at the same time it needs to be reciprocated.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: I understand the point that the minister is making. I do not think that members should be
submitting questions for the sake of it. The minister might see a question as nothing more than a time-wasting
exercise. However, the member who asked the question will find the answer useful in determining the way in
which the government is operating and spending money.
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Under Hon Giz Watson’s leadership, I am confident that reasonableness will prevail when the issue of
submitting questions on notice is considered. Hon Giz Watson is held in high regard across the chamber and she
takes these issues seriously.
I understand the point that has been made. Often the incredibly detailed and comprehensive questioning is the
result of members not getting proper answers the first time the question is asked. I will be up-front here—when I
do not get a proper answer in the first instance, I respond by submitting another 25 questions to try to get the
answer I want. In fact, I received an answer to a question yesterday, and I have spoken to the minister
responsible since then, that did not provide the information I asked for. It was a nonsensical answer. It was not a
question asked through this committee; it was a question asked through the ordinary questioning process.
Questioning is an important part of the parliamentary process. I understand that there will always be some debate
around whether questions are necessary. As a committee, we must take our responsibilities seriously. It is very
important that we get proper answers to questions.
It is my view that if a question asked by this committee is not answered properly and the information that is
requested is not provided, it should become an issue under section 82 of the Financial Management Act. If a
direct question is put to a minister and the minister does not answer it, it is a refusal to provide the information in
accordance with section 82 of the Financial Management Act. That probably has not yet been tested, but I assure
ministers that if opposition members continue to get the answers they have been receiving to some questions,
they will be pushing to have that matter tested. It may not be a refusal in the sense that the answer is a straight-
out no. However, if a direct request is made for information and it is not provided, it is a refusal and will be
captured by section 82 of the Financial Management Act. Therefore, even though the minister may give a smart
alec answer, he or she should comply with section 82 by providing the answer. I suggest to ministers that if, as
we go into the next round of annual estimate hearings, they fail to provide answers to questions, they should
ensure that they are complying with section 82 of the Financial Management Act.
In the not too distant future we will enter into another round of estimates hearings. As this is the second year of
this government, it will be interesting to see how the asking of dorothy dix questions and the answering of
questions by the ministry pan out. I take on board the comments of the Minister for Energy about questions. I
certainly note his comment and it is something that the committee will continue to monitor and address.
Questions are not asked to waste the time of ministers. To be honest, my experience is that there is a purpose to
most questions that are asked, although it might not be obvious.
I do not know whether the Minister for Energy has yet discovered that sometimes the answers that are provided
to him in answer to questions asked by members of the opposition are enlightening. Has the minister had that
Hon Peter Collier: I have on numerous occasions.
Hon KEN TRAVERS: On receiving an answer to a question often one finds it enlightening. As a parliamentary
secretary I worked very closely with a couple of ministers and I often found it enlightening to read the answers
that came from the agencies. I also used to change answers. Often the department is more concerned about
keeping information from the Parliament than the ministers or parliamentary secretaries are. It is an interesting
phenomenon that some of the smart alec answers come from the agencies. I recall on a number of occasions
saying that the answer was unacceptable. A member asks a legitimate question and he or she deserves a proper
and legitimate answer. It is an element that we should take into account. Sometimes ministers find the answers to
questions incredibly informative. With those comments, I support the report being noted.
Question put and passed.
              Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment 1074/33 — Leighton Beach and Environs —
                                  Statement by Minister for Child Protection
Resumed from 18 March 2009.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I move —
         That the report be noted.
I would like to comment briefly on this report, because this metropolitan region scheme amendment marked a
very important time in the South Metropolitan Region’s political history. The Leighton Beach development has
shown that community participation can be very effective in changing what might be seen to be a good plan in
black and white on paper, but once the community becomes involved, it can become an even better plan. It
becomes a way that we can shape the community to the way people like it.
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What the Leighton Beach MRS amendment did for the community in North Fremantle and Fremantle was to
make the residents value their beach more. It taught them a lot about coastal setbacks. A new government policy
about coastal setbacks was initiated out of this amendment.
We are now seeing at Leighton Beach the development of a transit oriented development at the train station that
incorporates park land. The purpose of this MRS amendment is to rezone that area into parks and reserves. The
original proposal was to have quite a bit of development in that area. It was going to be mostly urbanised with
apartments. People were afraid of losing their beach and being cut out by a wall of apartments. What we have
before us now is really the final stages of a very sensible plan. This plan will establish 14.4 hectares of park land,
which is largely at the north end. If members are familiar with that area, it is where the Beehive Montessori
School and the heritage building, called the McCall Centre—the old cable station—are located. We will now
have in that area forevermore, hopefully, a good parks and reserves area. The report goes into quite a bit of detail
and lists all the people who made submissions about the proposal. One of the groups that made a submission was
the Leighton Action Group. That group basically spearheaded the campaign to make the proposed development
more community driven and not just another suburb on the beach. The submission that was made by that group
pointed to two outstanding issues. The first outstanding issue is that there is a very steep cliff at the northern end
of the proposed development, near the Montessori school. The area around that cliff used to be the site of the
Mosman Park tip. The cliff itself is not like the beautiful limestone cliffs that we find near other metropolitan
beaches. It is, in fact, a contaminated site. When this parkland area is developed and landscaped, that group
would like that site at the northern end of Leighton Beach to be remediated and cut back from the coastline so
that we establish the 100 metre setback that is now part of the state coastal planning policy.
Before I come to the second outstanding issue, it is worth noting that although there were a great number of
submissions about this proposal, only a couple of submissions raised issues about the proposal as it stands. The
proposed development is generally supported by the community. The second outstanding issue is Sandtracks
Beach. That beach is at the southern end of the area that is covered by this metropolitan region scheme
amendment. This beach is often inundated from the ocean and covered by rocks. The groyne that was put in near
Rous Head has never really worked. The Leighton Action Group would like some coastal engineering works to
be done to widen the beach in that area, or basically to infill part of that beach to stop the erosion that is
occurring at the southern end of that beach.
This is a great metropolitan region scheme amendment. It is inestimably better than the original proposal. If
members can think back to December 2000 when this development was initially proposed, they will remember
that it was an election year. The campaign to claim that beach from what was really an out-of-scale proposal
actually led to a change of government from a Liberal government to a Labor government. I recall standing on
the beach during that huge campaign, with over 1 000 people on the beach, and Hon Alannah MacTiernan
championing our cause. It was a great moment for the community. We really felt that we were being heard and
that the Australian Labor Party was going to deliver a much better result than the one that the then Liberal
government was presenting to us. It is worth noting that SOS Cottesloe—the Cottesloe residents and ratepayers’
association—made a submission about this proposal. The Heritage Council of Western Australia also made a
submission. It raised the point that there is an opportunity at the northern end of this proposed development to
develop an interpretive centre for the McCall Centre, which is a former convict mining depot. The Heritage
Council would like some archaeological monitoring to be done during the parkland landscaping so that this
area—which we have managed to save from becoming just another Perth suburb on the beach—can be
developed into a heritage tourism precinct.
In the short amount of time that I have had to review this report, I would say that metropolitan region scheme
amendment 1074/33—Leighton Beach and environs—is a good step forward in urban planning. It also certainly
takes into account the environmental concerns that we need to consider in our communities. I commend the
motion that the report be noted.
Question put and passed.
                  Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation — Thirty-fourth Report —
                                   “City of Joondalup Cats Local Law 2008”
Resumed from 10 September 2009.
Hon GIZ WATSON: I move —
         That the report be noted.
I cannot resist the opportunity to speak on this motion and to pick up on one of my perennial themes—that is, the
issue of cat management. This particular report of the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation was
tabled in this house in September 2009, so it has been with us for a while. I note that my colleague Hon Robin
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Chapple was the deputy chair of the committee for this inquiry. The issue that was considered by the committee
was whether this local law was in breach of the provisions of clause 3.1 of the Local Government Act. The
report of the committee states on page 6 —
         6.1      The Committee took the view that clause 7 raised a question about the extent of the legislative
                  power delegated to local governments. In particular, the Committee considered whether the
                  clause sought to widen the scope of clause 3.1 of the Act by legislating for a matter that went
                  beyond the accepted notions of local government to make local laws for the good government
                  of persons in their district.
That is very interesting. Members would no doubt be aware from both public debates and debates in this place—
and, indeed, from the bill that I introduced into this Parliament in 2003—there is a lot of impetus to put in place
laws to regulate the number of uncontrolled cats in this state. One of the things that is fundamental to cat control
in any state, and particularly Western Australia, is the sterilisation of cats. That would make a great difference in
lowering the enormous number of unwanted cats in this state. Members are probably aware that the Cat Haven,
which is the main organisation that deals with unwanted cats, has to euthanise approximately 9 000 unwanted
cats and kittens every year. That is a very undesirable situation for any person who is a cat lover or has a concern
for wildlife, or, indeed, holds both those concerns. Local authorities have for a considerable amount of time tried
to use the provisions that are available to them under their local government powers to introduce local laws, with
varying success.
One of the provisions that the City of Joondalup was considering was compulsory sterilisation. The Joint
Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation found that this would be in breach of the City of Joondalup’s
powers. The committee states in recommendation 1 of its report that —
         The Committee recommends that the City of Joondalup Cat Local Laws 2008 be disallowed.
Interesting, the committee states in recommendation 2 of its report that —
         The Committee recommends that the Minister for Local Government give consideration to introducing
         a Cat Bill into the Parliament dealing with such issues as the sterilisation of cats in certain
I have had correspondence from numerous local government ministers. I almost lost count with the last
government of how many local government ministers there were. Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich I remember. I think Hon
Jon Ford was also the local government minister for a while. They all —
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: Everyone wanted it!
Hon GIZ WATSON: No. They did not want it. That was the problem. Local government ministers basically
said we should leave this to local councils to make their own decisions.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: No—I meant everyone wanted to be a local government minister!
Hon GIZ WATSON: Yes, obviously. Absolutely. It was passed around like in pass the parcel. It was obviously
a very desirable portfolio. The point I was making is that the issue of dealing with statewide laws to manage cats
was constantly shuffled back to the local authorities, as it was thought that it was something the local authorities
should deal with. As members are probably aware, I spent an enormous amount of time and energy consulting as
many people as I could who were interested in this topic to work out the best way of reducing the number of
unwanted cats and reducing the impact of unwanted stray and feral cats on native fauna in particular. There was
a level of frustration with the recognition that statewide legislation was the best way to do it, and this report
reconfirms that. The state government refused to draft and enact any legislation. I acknowledge that it is difficult
to get legislation that might suit every area in this state because there is a big difference in cat management
between Wiluna and Peppermint Grove.
Hon Robin Chapple interjected.
Hon GIZ WATSON: I gather that there are much bigger cats in Wiluna. They are huge. They tend to be a bit
smaller and cuter in Peppermint Grove.
It is interesting to go back to this committee report. Page 7 states —
         6.7      On closer examination, however, the Committee noted that clause 7: —
which is the one to do with sterilisation in local law —
                  •    imposes requirements on residents to fund and have carried out a surgical procedure which
                       alters the condition of their private property;
Have members ever thought about that? If one requires the sterilisation of a cat, they require an expenditure of
funds to alter the condition of their private property. I had not really thought about cat sterilisation in that
capacity. It continues —
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                  •    takes effect in relation to cats that may never leave their owner’s residence or pose a risk
                       to wildlife;
                  •    produces an outcome, sterilisation, that is not linked only to the district, but continues to
                       impact on a cat owner for the rest of the cat’s life wherever they choose to live should they
                       leave the local government area; and
                  •    deals with policy matters of statewide concern and interest which require the consideration
                       of the State Parliament.
That is certainly something that I agree with. It is worth highlighting the committee’s conclusions. The report
states —
         7.1      The Committee concluded that clause 7 was an attempt to widen the scope of the general
                  function found in section 3.1 of the Act. The Committee was of the view that clause 7 goes
                  beyond the accepted notions of local government in that it imposes a law on a highly
                  controversial and emotive subject which has significant implications beyond its district. Clause
                  7 results in a permanent effect whether the owner of the cat in question continues to reside in
                  Joondalup or in another area. Potentially, this would lead to inconsistency of application
                  throughout the State. Further, the Committee did not consider that the scope of the general
                  function extends to local governments legislating for matters that, by virtue of their potential
                  unique and controversial nature, and their impact at a State level should be debated by the
                  State Parliament.
         7.2      The Committee has also formed the view that in providing the wide powers found in section
                  3.1 of the Act, Parliament did not contemplate that they would be used to impose compulsory
                  sterilisation of animals. In forming this view the Committee noted that the Parliament had
                  specifically turned its attention to granting powers to local governments to deal with animals
                  which may be private property, by way of impoundment, disposal and destruction.
It is interesting that we can deal with destroying them but not sterilising them. That is obviously the conclusion
that the committee came to. The report continues —
                  The Committee also considered that Parliament would not have contemplated that section 3.1
                  of the Act would authorise the making of local laws about matters of statewide concern that are
                  more appropriately addressed by the State.
That was the conclusion. The other thing that I found interesting to read in this report is that the City of Albany
took an interest in this matter. I am very aware of that area’s concerns about the number of cats and the impact
on local wildlife. The major concerns that I have heard over the past 13 years at least come from local areas
where significant areas of bushland are immediately adjacent. Joondalup is interesting because if we look at the
impact of stray and unwanted cats, the maximum impact is at the point where relatively undisturbed bush is
pushed back by development. Joondalup and Wanneroo are areas in which we hear a lot of concerns about the
impact of cats, and also the major regional centres of Geraldton, Bunbury and Albany. I had many
communications with both residents and the shire authorities in those areas about the frustration of being unable
to control the number of unwanted cats.
I will tell members a quick story. I have a property in Albany. I was there one Christmas with a friend who also
shares that property. A cat appeared on her veranda. The cat was heavily pregnant, obviously a stray but
probably not totally neglected. That cat was about to have kittens. My friend did the right thing and rang all the
neighbours within a 10-kilometre range asking if they had lost a cat. Nobody had lost a cat or was interested in
this cat. She could not bear to deal with it so she asked me to ring the council and find out what to do with this
cat. When I rang the City of Albany council, the first thing the ranger said was that it does not deal with cats like
this and I needed to get on to my local member and ask that person to get statewide legislation. I said that it was
very funny he should say that. We had a very interesting conversation about the need for statewide legislation.
That was approximately six years ago. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in this regard.
Hon Robyn McSweeney: What happened to the moggy?
Hon GIZ WATSON: I am afraid it has gone.
Hon Robyn McSweeney: How did we dispose of our moggy?
Hon GIZ WATSON: I went to the vet and signed a form to say that I had tried to locate the owner. I handed the
cat over and the vet euthanased the cat and then handed it back in a bag, and I took it back and buried it. It was
very unpleasant. I would not want anybody to do that. That is why we need some legislation that reduces the
number of unwanted cats. Other people in the country just put a brick in a bag and throw them in a dam, which is
bad. People take steps to dispose of these cats. They shoot them and do all sorts of things, particularly in the
country. This is where we have stray and unwanted cats that impact on native fauna. The reason my friend was
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very upset about this cat is that she not only found the cat but she found all the feathers and everything else that
the cat had just eaten. People have to take some action on their properties.
Hon Robyn McSweeney: Pussy was hungry.
Hon GIZ WATSON: Yes, it was hungry. What is the option—keep it alive so it can have another five kittens
that nobody wants as well? That is the dilemma.
As much as I understand that the committee had to reach a conclusion based on an interpretation of the powers
of the Local Government Act—I am sure that the committee’s recommendation is correct that that was beyond
the scope—it has clearly pointed out the need for statewide legislation. I can only reiterate that the support for
statewide legislation is very strong, especially from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
and from cat welfare organisations, particularly the Cat Haven, which has run a very long and commendable
campaign to have statewide legislation that requires the compulsory sterilisation of cats. I should remind
members that if we have compulsory sterilisation of cats, one can get a licence to be a cat breeder; it does not
mean that nobody can breed cats. It just means that we dramatically reduce the number of unwanted litters of
cats. We have to remember that cats can have three litters a year and they can breed at four months, so they are
very, very prolific. If they are not sterilised, there are major impacts, not just on the native fauna, particularly
birds, but also on the health and welfare of the cats themselves.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again, pursuant to temporary orders.
                                     Sitting suspended from 6.00 to 7.30 pm

                           WESTERN AUSTRALIA ACTS
                                    Assembly’s Message — Motion to Concur
On motion by Hon Norman Moore (Leader of the House), resolved —
         That the date for presentation of the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Review of the
         Racing and Wagering Western Australia Acts be extended to 15 October 2010.

                                 ROAD TRAFFIC AMENDMENT BILL 2010
Report of committee adopted.

                                REVENUE LAWS AMENDMENT BILL 2010
Resumed from 18 May.
The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Hon Michael Mischin) in the chair; Hon Helen Morton (Parliamentary
Secretary) in charge of the bill.
Clauses 5 to 7 put and passed.
Clause 8: Section 2 amended —
Hon KEN TRAVERS: Briefly, I think the committee should note that this is the clause that delays the abolition
of transfer duty on non-real business assets. It is worth noting that duty reduction that was intended to assist
small business and the like was due to come in during 2010. With the passage of this and the next few clauses,
we will defer that until 2013. As I have said, it is an interesting impost on business.
We look forward to seeing the budget tomorrow. It has already been highlighted today that this government will
get significant increases in goods and services tax revenue over the next four years. It will be interesting to see
how much new expenditure is in the budget tomorrow. At the same time as the government is getting increased
revenue, it is seeking to impose tax burdens on small business and ordinary families. I do not think that this
house should allow this legislation to pass without noting that.
Hon HELEN MORTON: I reiterate what I said in my response to the second reading debate; that is, the delay
in the abolition of the transfer duty on non-real business assets until 1 July 2013 is still consistent with
requirements of the intergovernmental agreement on federal financial relations and will result in additional
estimated revenue of $355 million over those three years.
Hon Ken Travers: It is a tax increase for the next three years.
Hon HELEN MORTON: It is the abolition of duty; it is a decrease.
Clause put and passed.
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Clauses 9 to 12 put and passed.
Title put and passed.
                         REVENUE LAWS AMENDMENT AND REPEAL BILL 2010
Bill reported, with amendments.
                                  REVENUE LAWS AMENDMENT BILL 2010
Bill reported, without amendment.
                                              RAIL SAFETY BILL 2009
                                                     Second Reading
Resumed from 24 November 2009.
HON KEN TRAVERS (North Metropolitan) [7.42 pm]: The Rail Safety Bill 2009 makes provision for rail
safety and other matters that form part of a system of nationally consistent rail safety laws and, as a consequence,
repeals the Rail Safety Act 1998. It amends some other acts and, according to the long title, is also for some
other purposes. Essentially this bill will provide some national uniformity to the way in which we apply rail
safety. As is clear from the long title of the bill, the Rail Safety Act 1998 is already in force in Western Australia.
This will replace that legislation with uniform legislation that, although not identical in each state, will have a
large degree of national conformity. It is interesting to note that this has come out of a fairly long COAG process
of seeking to improve rail safety across Australia and to create uniformity where possible, so that operators who
operate between states—there are some—can operate within relatively consistent frameworks. I also noticed that
the government has signed up to a further COAG agreement that will eventually result in a single national rail
regulator, based in South Australia and operating under legislation that will be passed in the South Australian
Parliament. I hope that we get to that point sooner rather than later, but we nonetheless need to pass this bill first;
it will be replaced in the long term. That should certainly colour some of our comments in this debate, but it is
also important that, as a Parliament, we put on the record the general direction in which we would like rail safety
to move.
It is a bill that is designed to achieve conformity in the many separate jurisdictions throughout the country that
have separately operating rail safety regimes. Like a lot of things in life, there are elements of compromise
within the legislation to try to achieve uniformity. Some will say that this bill does not go far enough in some
areas, and others will say that it goes too far in other areas. There are questions that we need to keep asking
ourselves. Does it advance and improve rail safety as a total package? In my analysis of the bill, it does. Does it
bring in new, improved safety provisions to certain areas of the legislation, such as consultation with employees
and their representatives on occupational health and safety matters, and a hierarchy of enforcement and
sanctions? Yes, it does. We have to recognise that there needs to be balance. I understand that not everyone will
be satisfied with this legislation, but I think it is about looking at it on balance. In noting that, it is interesting that
although it is very technical and complex legislation, a number of people have nonetheless taken a keen interest
in it during its passage through this Parliament. The Joint Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation has
conducted an inquiry and has presented an extensive report. I expect members of that committee will probably
speak about that report during the course of this debate and will make a number of comments and
recommendations during the committee stage.
In a number of areas this legislation will be different to the uniform legislation. One of the main areas concerns
provisions for no-blame independent investigations. That recognises some of the existing provisions we have in
the current Western Australian Rail Safety Act. Provisions relating to periodic returns and the installation of
safety or protective devices also pick up on the existing framework we have in Western Australia and allow for
safety concerns to be addressed through independent investigations. I could go through all the others, of which
there are quite few, but the Minister for Transport has already covered most of them in his second reading
There is a long history behind our arrival at this point, and to my way of thinking, it would be productive to
spend most of our time on this legislation in the committee stage, as we can go through the individual clauses
about the concerns that have been raised and seek to have the government explain why it has adopted the
approach it has.
With those general comments about the policy of the bill, I indicate that the opposition will support the Rail
Safety Bill 2009. As I say, we will ask a range of questions, and it will provide an opportunity for those issues to
be put on the record in this Parliament as we travel through the legislation. There are a range of issues that this
house should consider as we go through the passage of the bill in detail.
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HON ALISON XAMON (East Metropolitan) [7.48 pm]: The Greens (WA) will also be supporting this
legislation. I understand that the Council of Australian Governments agreement on this legislation, as mentioned
by Hon Ken Travers, has been several years in the making. The initial motivator for change was in response to a
number of rail accidents and the recognition of a more coordinated response to rail safety legislation across
jurisdictions. Clearly, this is something that the Greens will be supportive of. Our commitment to rail as a mode
of transport is not secret, so any moves that will improve its success, particularly in relation to safety, should also
be supported.
We also note that a number of other motivators to this legislation have emerged such as removing impediments
to economic activity. The Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review noted in its report
that safety and removal of economic impediments became the main drivers for the uniform legislation. Having
said that, I note that some amendments have been proposed by the legislation committee. The Minister for
Transport and the Greens suggested picking up one of those amendments from the legislation committee, which
we believe would tighten up the success of this legislation further. Obviously, we will discuss this more when we
go into committee.
A number of important points were raised by the legislation committee to which I am sure we will be getting a
reply from the minister on the record. I note that Hon Adele Farina is in the chamber and is likely to speak to that
committee report so I will not go into too much detail other than to make a few points about the report. BHP
Billiton is currently outside the Rail Safety Act and the Department of Transport is trying to bring it in. This
would be a good move. Some questions were raised, such as: if accreditation is applied for in other jurisdictions,
are fees to be applied and collected by the WA regulator, particularly from operators who work in multiple
jurisdictions and how will the fees be distributed? The concept of a principal regulator was raised but is not
expressly covered in the bill. I would appreciate the minister commenting on that.
The committee’s report also states —
         …the absence of formal recognition of the roles of the rail safety regulator panel and the principal
         regulator does not give sufficient regard to the institution of Parliament.
         …the ability of the Rail Safety Regulator Panel and the Principal Regulator to direct the Western
         Australian regulator on accreditation matters has the potential to derogate from State sovereignty.
These are obviously important points. I am hoping that we can have some discussion about that. Has any
regulatory impact statement been prepared for the predicted revenues and budgets for the office of rail safety or
the WA rail safety regulator; and, if not, why not? Given that the bill permits one jurisdiction to demand
additional conditions over another jurisdiction, how does this introduce consistency across jurisdictions and
reduce red tape and compliance costs? Co-regulation will continue to be the basis upon which rail safety
regulation will proceed. The office of rail safety will continue to operate on a full cost recovery basis with
revenue coming from rail safety accreditation fees. The Greens certainly support a co-regulatory system and are
firmly of the view that responsibility for workplace and public safety cannot be contracted out. We are on the
record as supporting cost recovery mechanisms. This is a positive. However, we also note the comments in the
report from Mr Bruce Chan from the Department of Transport who said in March this year —
         I think there is always the risk of a national regime being implemented where it ends up it is easier to
         go down to the lowest common denominator than aiming for, say, best practice.
Clearly, when we are talking about issues of safety, we need to ensure that that will not be the outcome in
adopting this uniform legislation.
Lastly, I note that in the second reading speech the parliamentary secretary clarified that where a conflict arises,
the Occupational Health and Safety Act will prevail. However, I also note that in the second reading speech it
was identified that a memorandum of understanding would need to be developed between the office of rail safety
and the Department of Commerce to ensure effective coordination and cooperation. I am hopeful that in his reply
the minister will advise the house of the expected time frame for the creation of this MOU—perhaps it has
already commenced—as it is obviously quite important. I will speak more during the committee stage.
HON ADELE FARINA (South West) [7.54 pm]: I rise to speak to the committee report as chair of the
committee. I would like to begin by thanking my colleagues on the committee. We expected this to be a fairly
easy review of uniform legislation; however, as it transpired during the course of the hearing we identified issues
that caused the committee to have some concern, which are detailed in the report. I would also like to take this
opportunity, before I go into the detail of the report, to acknowledge the work of the staff who supported the
committee during the inquiry and review into this piece of legislation, particularly Anne Turner, Mark Warner
and Grant Hitchcock, who did research work for the committee as the committee was busy dealing with a
number of bills at that time and we were under the pump. Special thanks to Grant Hitchcock for his assistance
and research on this report.
2870                                  [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

This bill was referred to the committee pursuant to standing order 230A and the committee conducted its hearing
on 3 March with representatives of the Department of Transport. The transcript of that hearing is provided as an
appendix to the report. The committee also went through its normal process of advertising in The West
Australian asking for submissions on the bill. As members are aware, the establishment of the committee to
scrutinise uniform legislation arose from the concern that the executive is in effect exercising supremacy over
the state Parliament when it enters into agreements that have the practical effect of binding the state Parliament
to enact legislation that gives effect to a uniform scheme or an intergovernmental agreement. The committee’s
role is to scrutinise the extent to which the uniform bill impinges on the sovereignty of the state Parliament and
to ensure that the uniform bill meets the objectives of the national scheme, and the intergovernmental agreement,
and does not go beyond what was intended in the intergovernmental agreement. We also look at applying the
scrutiny principles to the bill and to inquire into matters that are raised in submissions. Obviously, when matters
are raised in submissions from members of the public, in undertaking its inquiry and review into the legislation,
it is imperative that the committee look at those issues.
The background to this bill is that it arose out of safety concerns in the rail industry due to a number of accidents.
The transport ministers decided to bring about a uniform scheme that would provide a nationally consistent
approach to rail safety regulation across the country. However, what became apparent to the committee in
reviewing the Council of Australian Governments documentation was that, although the initial objective was rail
safety, during the course of those negotiations, the focus of COAG seemed to move a little bit away from rail
safety and more to other issues, which is of concern to the committee. It is clear from the supporting
documentation to the legislative proposal that Western Australia took exception to this shift from rail safety to
rail productivity. I would like to commend the role of the former Minister for Planning and Infrastructure in
particular throughout those COAG negotiations in trying to keep the focus on the initial intent of this uniform
scheme; that is, rail safety. It was through her efforts and tenacity that a lot of the debate and content of this bill
was able to be refocused back onto rail safety issues. She was also able to secure a number of concessions for
Western Australia. I think it is important to acknowledge those efforts by the former minister. In particular, the
Western Australian government was able to retain the right to —
         provide legislative coverage “in any way considered appropriate for its own situation” for:
                   •   sections 28 and 29 in the Model Bill - the general duties provisions applicable to rail
                       operations; and
                   •   section 112 on restoring rail infrastructure and rolling stock to original condition after
                       action has been taken.
Various sections from the Rail Safety Act 1998 which are not in the model bill but which are necessary to give
the Office of Rail Safety sufficient power to secure safety are included. A range of definitions have been
incorporated to ensure that that high safety hurdle is maintained. Also, power of entry clauses are aligned to
occupational health and safety legislation in this state. Of Western Australia’s 12 proposed variations, the
National Transport Commission accepted nine, which was an excellent success for the former minister. The three
areas that were not approved as variations by the national transport commission were interim accreditation,
rolling stock lights and directions to provide a program of remedial safety work. That third variation was
dismissed as it was already in the NTSC’s rail safety bill, which is the model bill. To that extent, it can be argued
that the state’s sovereignty is being upheld because we were able to achieve nine of the 12 variations sought by
the state. However, it can also be argued that to the extent that three of the 12 variations were not supported, the
sovereignty of the state Parliament has been abrogated because the state was unable to succeed in getting
approval by the Council of Australian Governments transport ministers’ meeting variations that the state
considered to be important safety issues. On balance, the committee found that, substantially, the bill is
consistent with the supporting documentation.
At the hearing with the departmental officers, the departmental officers informed the committee of the intention
to establish a rail safety regulators’ panel, which would be tasked with ensuring the uniformity of the regulations
across the nation. That was a surprise to the committee because it had not received any information about that in
any of the supporting documentation that had been provided to the committee at that point. The committee noted
also that a panel of rail safety regulators is not expressly established or defined in the bill, yet the panel will meet
and decide upon what is not a notifiable occurrence under clause 3(a)(i) of the bill and part of its job would be to
take such occurrences to the Australian Transport Council for endorsement and then from the ATC to the
National Transport Commission to be drafted as regulations or as additions to the current model regulations. In
further correspondence, the department expanded on the role of the rail safety regulators’ panel, saying that it has
undertaken work to see how it can better achieve a one-stop-shop arrangement; that is, a single entry point to rail
safety regulators—the national operators—for managing regulatory issues such as accreditation and auditing.
Further, we heard that the intention was to establish principal regulators who would become the first points of
call and coordinators for regulatory activities for multijurisdictional rail transport operators. The principal
regulator for a particular rail transport operator will be the regulator of the jurisdiction in which the rail transport
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operator is principally based; typically, that is the jurisdiction in which the corporate management of the safety
management system is undertaken. The principal regulator’s role will cover accreditation issues, audits,
consistency in approach to audit and compliance activity findings and the exchange of information.
It was curious to the committee that, given the integral and important role of the rail safety regulators’ panel and
that the bill before us establishes a national scheme, the whole structure of the rail safety regulators’ panel did
not rate a mention in the bill. There is no legislative framework for the authority of either the panel or the
proposed principal regulators. This was a concern to the committee. The bill purports to establish a national
scheme yet it seems that the very components of the national scheme which make it function as a national
scheme and which try to ensure that there is consistency in the conditions imposed across the states at the point
of registration are not incorporated in the bill. It seems very odd to me. This is an issue that we are seeing more
and more frequently in the Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review, where what would
normally be in a bill we are now finding is not even in regulations. We have seen a move where a lot of the
structural content was being moved from the legislation to the regulations because it is a lot easier to change in
the regulations than having to bring legislative amendments back to Parliament. What we are now seeing is that
these structures that make the scheme work are being defined as administrative in nature only, and they are not
included in the legislation at all. This raises grave concerns for the Parliament with principles of scrutiny and
parliamentary sovereignty. The position of this Parliament is that we have supremacy over the executive. The
role of the Parliament is to be able to monitor and to influence any decisions that are being made by the
executive on legislation. What we are seeing with this move to not include structural detail in the legislation and
to include it as an administrative process and structure is that we are actually removing the ability of the
Parliament to scrutinise that structure and also to amend that structure in the event that it is not operating as it
was intended to operate. It is really important that members in this house understand that this is what is
happening more and more with uniform legislation. It is a matter of great concern. Obviously, while things are
going well, no-one worries too much about the fact that the structure that is managing and guiding this whole
process is not in the bill, but when things start to go wrong and members of Parliament are held to account, and
the government is held to account, and if they are ask why a better job is not being done in a particular area, the
government and the Parliament are greatly restricted in saying that they will change it, end it or make it better.
The content is not in the legislation. The Parliament has no capacity to scrutinise and to make changes as may be
necessary over time.
It is also the case that what we are told today about the intent of the administrative arrangement is not necessarily
what will be carried out. We have no capacity to guide, influence or control that, because it is an administrative
process in which this Parliament has no role to play and of which it is completely unaware. I just raise that for
the attention of members because it is a really critical issue that we are seeing here. A lot of the content about
what is really part of this national scheme is not in the bill. I understand from the subsequent evidence that was
provided by the departmental officers that these matters are still being considered by the ministerial council, that
the panel is not yet in place and that the concept of principal regulators is not yet in place. However, the whole
scheme that is proposed by this national bill that is before us is very much dependent on those matters being put
in place. The aim of this bill is to ensure that rail operators do not need to go through a regulation process in each
state, which might impose different conditions. The aim is to ensure that similar conditions are imposed in all
states and that there might be one port of call where people go to one state and once it has been approved by that
state, it is really just a tick off by the other states, because the intention is that the conditions are all the same. If
that is the case, then the role of the panel and the principal rail regulators becomes very important, because it is
that panel where those negotiations and discussions will occur about which conditions will be imposed and
which ones will drop away because there has not been a majority consensus. Members need to be aware of that
The committee also raised the concern that if this whole administrative structure did not form part of the bill and
there was no guideline for how it was going to operate and what influence it would have over the process, we
might see a situation in which legal issues arise because the principal regulator in a particular state might be
unduly influenced to drop certain conditions in order to meet the requirements of conformity that form part of
this national scheme. The committee was assured by the departmental officers in information provided
subsequent to the hearings that that was not the intention and that each of the state regulators would have the
authority to impose whatever conditions they thought were necessary, and that the intention of the panel was just
an administrative process by which they would talk and seek to reach agreement, and that no directions would be
given by the principal regulator to any of the state regulators that they must not impose a particular condition
because the rest of the states do not agree. It is fine to say that, but it would become a real issue in a legal
situation if a state regulator did not impose a condition on the basis of the discussions that occurred in this
administrative body, which felt that a particular condition was not really necessary, and that condition became a
critical factor in a rail incident. I can tell members now that with all of that detail lacking in the legislation, I do
not want to be the state rail regulator.
Hon Simon O’Brien: I have no intention of appointing you as the state rail regulator!
2872                                  [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon ADELE FARINA: That is good! The state rail regulator could find himself greatly exposed because of the
legislation’s lack of information and structure and the legislative protection that I think the state regulator should
have, which should all be in the legislation. That is an issue of concern.
Fundamentally, the committee saw that there was a tension in the national scheme that was quite contradictory.
On the one hand, the bill seeks to ensure uniform accreditation conditions in each jurisdiction, yet the
mechanism for achieving this—the panel and the principal regulators—do not form part of the bill. There is an
inherent tension in the bill before the house. To add to this, the later advice of the department that the
jurisdictional regulators will act independently under the legislation further raises a question about the extent to
which the legislation will achieve the objective of common accreditation across the nation, because if the
regulators act independently and do not agree on a set of conditions, we will not achieve the whole purpose for
which this uniform scheme is being put forward to the Parliament—that is, common conditions across
The committee found a real concern about the absence of formal recognition of the roles of the rail safety
regulator panel and the principal regulator, and that the absence of this information from the bill does not give
sufficient regard to the institution of Parliament. The first recommendation of the committee is that the minister
advise the Legislative Council whether it is intended that the roles of the rail safety regulators’ panel and the
principal regulator will be given statutory recognition in regulations; and, if so, identify the regulation head of
power in the bill in order to effect that. It is clearly not in the bill. At the very least, the administrative
arrangement needs to be in the regulations so that there is some capacity for Parliament to scrutinise how those
bodies will operate and to disallow regulations if it has any concerns.
The committee also recommends that the responsible minister advise the Legislative Council how the objective
of discontinuing different accreditation conditions in each jurisdiction will be achieved by the bill, because if the
regulators in each of the states are authorised to make their own independent decisions about which conditions
should be attached, clearly the objective of the bill to ensure that common conditions apply across all the states
falls away. There are real questions about whether the bill as it is currently drafted will actually achieve what is
intended. The proposed accreditation process provides for rail operators to comply with a set of conditions across
all jurisdictions. However, those rail operators need to be accredited in each jurisdiction. From the evidence at
the hearing, the committee was informed that for Western Australia the proposed accreditation process may
result in three operators—Rio Tinto, Robe River and BHP Billiton—being accredited in the eastern states and
not in Western Australia; thereby impacting on the financial viability of the office of the Rail Safety Regulator in
Western Australia and its current level of service. The committee heard at the hearings that the office of the Rail
Safety Regulator is not funded out of consolidated revenue; it is funded fully from the recovery of fees from
industry. It therefore raises serious concerns that if, through this process of accreditation, those companies can be
accredited in the eastern states rather than in Western Australia through the WA office of the Rail Safety
Regulator, that might impact on the revenue of that office to conduct the duties for which it has responsibility.
The committee heard evidence from the department’s officers—following the committee raising that concern—
that they did not think that was likely to happen because registration would still be required in WA and a fee
would be paid, even though all the assessment work could be done in the eastern states. At the end of that
hearing process the committee was still very unclear on exactly how this proposed new process will operate. I
am sure that members of the house will be very interested to hear the minister detail how that process will
operate and also to hear him provide some comfort to the house and to members that the effect of passing this
legislation will not be a decrease in revenue for the office of the Rail Safety Regulator in Western Australia and,
therefore, an incapacity for that office to conduct its duties and responsibilities under its legislation.
The committee was of the view that the bill remains unclear on what happens if one jurisdiction has additional
conditions to another jurisdiction; and, given that there is flexibility for the regulator to require additional
conditions, how the bill then introduces consistency. I trust that the minister will address this when he addresses
the Parliament on the bill.
The committee looked at a number of issues relating to the clauses of the bill. I do not intend to refer to all of
them; I will address the key clauses only. As I indicated earlier, the committee always looks at the question of
whether a bill derogates from state sovereignty. As explained earlier, in relation to this bill it was a difficult issue
to decide because the state looked for 12 variations from the national committee. The state achieved nine of
those 12; therefore, from that point of view the committee felt that by and large the state sovereignty had been
protected to that extent. However, one could equally argue that, given that three of those requirements of the
state were not been given the okay, state sovereignty has been derogated to that extent.
Interestingly in the bill there is a provision at clause 5(2) to (6) that is not in the model bill, which provides for
the minister to exempt specified persons or railways from the bill on certain conditions, and that the person must
not contravene a condition imposed on the person. This was a curious provision on which the committee sought
to get some clarification. It is the committee’s understanding that a number of operators and rail lines were in
                                      [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                          2873

place before the Rail Safety Act 1998 came into being and they sit outside that act; therefore this provision seeks
to ensure that the minister can continue to impose conditions when necessary on those bodies until such time as
they are brought into compliance with the current scheme. On balance the committee felt that that was a
delegation that was probably necessary under the circumstances. We took heart from the fact that all indications
were that this would be a very short-term application of this provision and that the matters would be resolved to
bring all the groups within the provision of the bill.
The other issue I would like to talk to relates to clause 78. Clause 78 is copied from the model bill. It requires rail
safety workers to produce a form of identification when requested to do so by a rail safety officer. The penalty
for not doing so is $2 000. The committee observed that proposed clause 26(4) requires rail safety officers to
carry an identification card but allows them to produce it as soon as practicable, which is different to the
requirement for rail safety workers. Proposed clause 140(3) allows an independent investigator or authorised
officer to produce his or her certificate of appointment as soon as practicable after a request. Again, this standard
is very different to that imposed on the rail safety worker. Under this bill the rail safety worker has to present
their ID on request.
The committee tried to understand why this was necessary. The advice that we received from departmental
officers is that in a situation involving a rail safety incident, it is important that the rail safety officer and other
authorised persons on site know what qualifications the rail safety workers possess in directing them to do
certain tasks in relation to correcting the rail safety issue. On the face of it, that seems fine. However, I still do
not quite understand why their qualifications would not be known if they have employed those workers. One
would think that would be something within the employer’s knowledge at the point of employing those rail
safety workers. I accept what the department says, that it is sometimes a very confused and high pressured
situation. Maybe people have been injured and they need to get the rail up and the safety hazard resolved as
quickly as possible. There may be a situation where it is necessary to have ID on the workers. However, the
department has not yet resolved how all the skills information that a worker possesses will be placed onto this
ID card, or the form that the ID card will take. The committee raised with departmental officers some other
methods that might be more useful, such as electronic communication of that information so the onus was on the
employer to ensure that the people who had responsibility on site knew the skill sets of the individual workers
rather than placing that onus on the individual workers. If a worker had accidentally left his or her ID card at
home as he or she raced out the door to attend to an emergency, that worker could be stopped from doing
whatever it was that they were needed to do on site. It seems very odd that such a high burden is being placed on
rail safety workers to have ID cards with them at all times and that the impost for not doing so is a fine of up to
$2 000. It is interesting to note, however, that rail safety officers, independent investigators and authorised
persons can produce their ID card at some later date. They do not have to have it on them at all times. It is rail
safety officers who direct rail safety workers to do certain tasks. I would have thought in those circumstances the
rail safety worker would want to ensure that the person directing him or her to do a specific task had the
authority to do so.
Members of the committee felt there was good argument in why people in higher authority should have ID on
them as well. The committee does not quite understand why different standards are being applied to the worker
as opposed to more senior officers. The minister should explain to the house why there is this distinction and
why it is that rail safety officers, independent investigators and authorised officers are allowed to produce their
ID at a later time, yet rail safety workers are given no such opportunity and have the impost of a $2 000 penalty
in the event the ID is not on their person at the time they are asked to produce it. I would be interested to hear the
minister’s comments on that issue and the justification for that disparity of approach. The committee has made a
recommendation that clause 78 be amended to make the impost on rail safety workers consistent with rail safety
officers, independent investigators and the like, and that the same rule applies to everyone. It is difficult to
understand why workers employed because of their special skill set to undertake rail safety work need to carry
their ID card with them at all times, yet people who are directing them and giving them orders do not need to
have an ID card on them all the time. If it is the case that the rail safety officers, independent investigators and
authorised officers do not know the workers, hence necessitating the need for the workers to carry an ID at all
times, it would follow that the rail safety workers would not necessarily know the rail safety officers,
independent investigators and authorised officers and whether they have the authority to give directions.
Nevertheless, they are expected to follow directions by these officers without even being able to ascertain
whether the unknown person issuing the directions has the authority to issue directions that the rail safety worker
must follow. An explanation on why this inconsistency applies is required from the government. The
government has foreshadowed, through the supplementary notice paper, its intention to move an amendment to
clause 78, and that the government does not support the amendment proposed by the committee. When one looks
at the reasons that are being offered for the government’s amendment, as opposed to the committees’
amendment, if it were not so serious, one would find it quite funny. In any event, I will address this later when
the minister moves his amendment. I will provide more detail then. It is really important that a very clear reason
be given why we should impose an impost on workers that is not being required of other people on the scene
2874                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

who have greater authority and are directing those workers. It seems incredibly inequitable to put an impost on
workers that does not apply across the board.
The other issue relates to clause 83(2), which is a unique provision to include in a bill, which attracted the
attention of the committee. The subclause states that the level of investigation a rail transport operator undertakes
must be determined by the severity and potential consequences of a notifiable occurrence, as well as by other
similar occurrences, and its focus should be to determine the cause and contributing factors, rather than to
apportion blame. The committee noted this subclause is copied from the model bill, but the statement, “its focus
should be to determine the cause and contributing factors, rather than to apportion blame”, has the character of a
policy statement, not an enforceable law. The committee is of the view that to say that the focus of an
investigation “should be determined” rather than “must be determined” leaves blame open, and that such a policy
statement is better suited to an objects clause in the bill rather than as a provision. The department agreed that
this clause is an advisory or guidance clause and not substantive. The rationale for its conclusion is that it is a
model bill, and that object clauses are no longer a preferred drafting practice in Western Australia. The
committee remains unconvinced that this is a reasonable explanation for including this clause in the way that it
has been drafted in the bill, particularly as the clause is not enforceable. I would be interested to hear from the
minister how this provision can be enforced and by whom.
Clause 88 allows a rail safety officer to search and inspect places and things at railway premises. It is copied
from the model bill and the clause does not provide for the occupier to observe the search and inspection. When
comparing this with clause 146 of the bill, in which situation the occupier is entitled to be present during an
inspection by an independent investigator, the committee felt that there was an inconsistency in approach.
Therefore, if the occupier, by law, could be present under clause 146, then clause 88 should be amended to also
provide the same ability for an occupier to be present during a search. The committee has made a
recommendation to amend clause 88 to bring that into effect. I note that the government has indicated support of
the proposed amendment, and I welcome that position.
In relation to clause 96, the committee noted that the model bill expressly provides for magistrates to issue
search warrants, yet the bill uses the term “justice”, meaning justices of the peace. That term has been carried
over from the Rail Safety Act 1998 and the committee queried the significant variation from the model bill.
Members will remember that in this instance we are dealing with a national scheme. We are being asked to pass
legislation that is consistent with the model bill. In this instance, the bill before the house is not consistent with
the model bill. It is actually proposing that we use justices of the peace rather than magistrates to authorise
search warrants. The model bill requires magistrates to give that approval.
The committee noted that the 2004 Kennedy royal commission recommended that applications for search
warrants be made to magistrates and other designated persons rather than justices of the peace. It cited incidents
of search warrants being forged, obtained on false and misleading information and blank warrants being signed
by obliging JPs. It described JPs as invariably laypeople with no particular legal skills, who often seem to
achieve a state of inappropriate familiarity with police officers with whom they deal regularly. The question of
who should issue search warrants was raised by the former Standing Committee on Legislation during its inquiry
into the Criminal Investigation Bill 2005, the Criminal Investigation (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2005 and
the Criminal and Found Property Disposal Bill 2005. Those committee reports make reference to a range of
evidence that supports the proposition that magistrates should issue search warrants, not JPs. I will not detail all
those items of evidence, but they are detailed on pages 22 and 23 of the report and I recommend that members of
the house read those pages to understand the issue.
During the debate on the Criminal Investigation Bill the then former government indicated that it would not be
looking at magistrates as opposed to JPs issuing search warrants, because of the additional resources that would
be required. It is reported in the committee’s report that the then former opposition, the now government, in the
debate on the Criminal Investigation Bill 2006 made the following comments —
         That the opposition —
The now government —
         — will make moves in due course to tighten up the issuing of search warrants by JPs, and if it is at all
         feasible, we will move all the way, as proposed by Hon Giz Watson, to require magistrates to issue such
         search warrants.
The committee draws to the attention of the house that retaining the current practice of JPs rather than
magistrates issuing search warrants fails to give statutory effect to the recommendations of the Kennedy royal
commission and it does not meet the standard set by the commission, which is to minimise corruption
opportunity between JPs and those who apply for warrants. This is an important issue that warrants the attention
of the house.
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The committee acknowledges that the decision to retain JPs is a policy decision of the government’s and to use
magistrates may have resourcing implications. Although an agreed local variation, the use of JPs is contrary to
the model bill. The Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review did not feel that it could
take it any further than that because it is largely a policy issue; however, I do think that given the very strong
views expressed by the then opposition—the now government—to that bill that I referred to on the issue of who
should be issuing search warrants, an explanation from the government is warranted on why it has varied the
approach from the model bill and has not been consistent with the undertaking that it previously gave to ensure
that search warrants are issued by magistrates, not justices of the peace.
Hon Ken Travers: It will be an interesting explanation.
Hon ADELE FARINA: Clause 118 again raises a very interesting situation, whereby a rail safety officer can
give an oral direction instead of a written notice about a safety matter to a rail safety worker. The clause requires
the rail safety officer to tell the person to cease and desist from doing an act and the reason why that person must
do so. If the person does not comply with that direction, the person could face a penalty of up to $28 000. That is
a substantial fine in anyone’s language, and the substantial nature of that fine attracted the attention of the
committee. The report states —
         The Committee noted that the rail safety officer is neither compelled to advise that non compliance is an
         offence, nor that the fine at the time of the oral direction is $28,000. This is in contrast to the prohibition
         notice in subclause 116(4)(e) which sets out that the notice must contain the penalty. So too with an
         improvement notice in subclause 111(4)(e).
The committee questioned why, when a written notice is issued, the written notice is required to specify that it is
an offence not to comply with that direction, with a penalty of X amount of dollars, yet when providing an oral
direction to the same effect there is no requirement for the rail safety officer to indicate the amount of the fine to
be imposed. Given the amount of the penalty that could be imposed for noncompliance, the committee really felt
that it would provide greater gravitas and focus to rail safety workers if they understood that if they did not
follow the direction and were potentially in default of the legislation—an offence—the nature and size of the
penalty that could be imposed would definitely focus their minds. The committee was of the view that it would
be appropriate for the rail safety officer to inform the rail safety worker of the penalty as well.
The advice from the departmental officers was that to require a rail safety officer to detail the nature of the
penalty was too big an impost, which seems to me to be completely contradictory to the situation in which a
notice is issued. If that detail can be provided in a written notice, I find it difficult to understand why it cannot be
provided orally. Given that I am running out of time, I might need to leave it there and actually explore this issue
further during the Committee of the Whole stage. I wanted to address a number of other matters, but I need to
leave those to the committee stage.
Hon Ken Travers: There is always the short title debate.
Hon ADELE FARINA: I did not intend to subject members to this twice!
Another issue I need to highlight is the issue that this legislation is supposed to be a no-blame legislation under
the objects, yet it has a cost-recovery provision, which suggests that if costs are able to be recovered, blame
needs to be apportioned. That was an issue that resulted in some debate by the committee and is covered in the
report. I hope that the minister will explain how those two can live in parallel and how clause 127(6) can be
reconciled with the no-blame policy objective of the bill. With those words, I will sit and await the minister’s
response on those issues that have been raised. I will raise the other issues with the minister during the
committee stage.
HON SIMON O’BRIEN (South Metropolitan — Minister for Transport) [8.39 pm] — in reply: I thank
members for their contributions to the second reading debate and their support for the proposition that the Rail
Safety Bill 2009 be read a second time. Contributions made by several members are helpful to the house in
working through the many and varied issues that are encountered in the bill.
As has been observed, this regime will replace an existing regime. In many ways, in fact, it adopts the current act
and simply adds some other provisions to it. It was observed by the previous speaker, for example, that the
minister responsible for the genesis of this bill and indeed her successor—bless him—have been absolutely
certain about rejecting what I think Hon Alison Xamon referred to as the danger of applying the lowest common
denominator. Where we believe that we have rail safety provisions that are superior to another jurisdiction’s,
ours will be the ones that prevail in this state. That has been recognised in not only the bill that is before us but
also the contributions made by previous speakers and I thank them for that.
The Rail Safety Bill is subject to standing order 230A and our Chairman of the Standing Committee on Uniform
Legislation and Statutes Review tabled the forty-sixth report accordingly. As usual it is a very comprehensive
report by that committee. A very high standard was set by this committee in the previous Parliament —
2876                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Several members interjected.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: That is what you get, Mr Deputy President, with some decent chairmanship! I am glad
to see that those standards have endured, although I might add that reports are a bit more fun to advance in
opposition than they are to receive in government. However, that is something I will leave to the Leader of the
House to offer some observations about because he has certainly told me a few behind closed doors.
I received the Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review’s forty-sixth report with all the
respect that is due to the committee and its report. Once again, it has done a thorough job and it has raised some
useful matters of interest for discussion, consideration and debate and we will do all those things through a
couple of mechanisms that are available to us in the house. Hon Adele Farina indicated in her concluding
remarks that there were some further elements that she had not had the chance to canvass just now because of the
matter of time, but we will no doubt get on to those in the committee stage when we go through the bill clause by
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: Aren’t you going to respond to anything she has raised?
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: I am responding to the second reading debate, if the member will allow me to do so,
and we can do that using a number of frameworks. Firstly, we can go through each clause, as members in the
house know, plus we have a supplementary notice paper that contains some particular amendments that will form
the basis of debate and inquiry at that time. Also, we have the committee’s report that I was trying to refer to just
now, which highlights a number of matters that the committee wishes to bring to the house’s attention, to
challenge or to deal with in some other way. The government is also required to give a response to that report.
By letter dated 21 April 2010, under a covering letter to the Clerk, I provided the government’s response to
report 46. That tabled paper will also form part of our considerations. Contained in that letter are many of the
matters that have been identified in terms of picking them out and providing the explanations. As has been
observed, it is probably better to deal with many of those issues as we go through the individual clauses, just to
put the explanations in context. But I will just touch on some matters that were raised so that a response that is
appropriate for a second reading debate can be given—although I notice that the second reading has the support
of both sides of the house and will inevitably pass, or will indicatively pass—and we can deal with matters of
detail at a further stage.
Hon Ken Travers: You know that there have been ministers who have talked oppositions out of supporting
bills, though!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: That is why I am keen to complete my remarks. I want you to stick with me, Ken!
Hon Ken Travers: I am trying!
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: It is not hard! You are so light on!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: May it please gracious members opposite —
Hon Ken Travers: Just remember, minister; pick on Ljil and you pick on us all! That is except for Peter, of
course; he has got special dispensation!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Observation has been made by a number of members, and also by the committee,
about variations to the model bill. Frankly, I am sure that my predecessor and I would make no apologies for
that, because those variations are made for very good reasons—either to exclude some bits of the model bill or to
include some extra bits that we felt would enhance and preserve the system in Western Australia. Those
variations have been discussed in a number of places, and we will, no doubt, come to a number of them. I would
point out, though, that some of the variations have come about as a result of extensive consultation over a very
long period of time. There was genuine engagement with the sector in Western Australia. It is the case that this
has been a work in progress over successive governments. When Hon Anthony Albanese was in Perth last Friday
for the Australian Transport Council meeting, which I hosted, he made the very good point to those of us who
were around the table as ministers from the various jurisdictions—the states and the territories, and New
Zealand, were all represented—that at any given ATC meeting, which are generally held about six months apart,
some of the faces are going to change. I have found that to be very true. It was quite alarming, actually. I have
been around for about 18 or 20 months as part of this government, and I have gone from being the new kid on
the block to the old boy uncomfortably quickly, because of course everyone gets a turn, not only to arrive but to
depart. That makes it a bit difficult, however, when we have a matter that endures over several years and needs
the concerted drive of a ministerial council to make sure that it gets there in the end. This matter has endured for
quite a few years. One of the hurdles that can be encountered is a change of government. I was keen to ensure
that there was some further consultation directed by me in the second quarter of 2009, because I wanted to revisit
with affected parties in Western Australia some of the concerns they had previously identified. I am very glad
that we did, because we came up with some good submissions. We held a couple of public forums and received
seven submissions from a range of groups, some that one would expect—such as the Public Transport Authority,
                                     [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                         2877

the Australasian Railway Association and operators like Asciano Limited—but also some from smaller, tourist
and heritage-type operators, who were understandably a bit concerned about being caught up in a legislative
regime that was tailored more for national level operators than for little tourist railroads that run limited
operations on either their own railway lines or on part of our network here in Western Australia.
We reviewed a number of issues that had been raised and as a consequence of that made some further final
amendments to the bill. I was confident by the time I had to take it through cabinet that it did, in fact, represent
the best interests of the sector. It was something that the incoming government could faithfully pick up from the
previous government’s time and I could approach the house with confidence that we had attended to some
matters that were of genuine concern and recognised as such. I will not spend too much time on these, as they are
matters that have already been dealt with, but there were provisions within the bill for terms of imprisonment as
penalties; frankly, I concurred with the view that emerged during the consultation process that such penalties
were inappropriate for the sorts of offences that we were talking about. There was an amendment to clause 188
to reinstate a national model bill exemption for volunteers, which was a major concern. It is one thing to have
professional rail operators working for a big national rail company, but what about volunteers working, for
example, on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway, or some other group that clearly could not meet the
requirements that were being contemplated in clause 188. Indeed, there were a number of other alterations to the
bill—for example, to make more decisions reviewable when operators have concerns about decisions that have
been made.
I am fairly confident in approaching the committee stage—we will not get to it now, because I am going to move
to go to another item of business—that we will be able to address those considerations clause by clause,
including a discussion of clause 5 and the need for ministerial capacity to provide exemptions from the regime.
That is perhaps, with respect, a discussion that is best reserved for clause 5 during the committee stage, if that is
all right; I see the member indicating that it is. A similar situation applies to clause 78. According to the response
that I have tabled, we will go along with the suggested amendment, although we propose to change the wording
slightly to achieve what we believe is the outcome that the opposition wants. We will have a discussion about
justices versus magistrates approving search warrants. I notice that a number of identical amendments on the
notice paper deal with that.
Hon Alison Xamon: It is the same issue.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: Yes, it is the same issue recurring. No doubt we will have that debate in sufficient
detail to satisfy everyone.
Hon Ken Travers: It’s a shame you don’t get onto it today; it could be your second backflip for today!
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: There have not been any backflips.
Hon Ken Travers: There will be, once we get onto that.
Hon SIMON O’BRIEN: We will see.
Another specific question asked by Hon Alison Xamon related to the time frame for the memorandum of
understanding between the Office of Rail Safety and the workplace safety authorities. The development of a
revised MOU to reflect this regime as opposed to the current regime is in progress. It has not been completed
yet. It will be premature to complete that before the bill is passed.
I am aware of the time and a desire to move to another order of the day. If the house will indulge me, I propose
to conclude my remarks on the second reading at this stage, without in any sense taking for granted the views
that have been expressed by members. I assure the house that we will take as long as anyone requires in the
committee stage to address those matters of details that have been raised and all the rest. I thank the house in
anticipation for its support of the second reading and commend the bill to the house.
Question put and passed.
Bill read a second time.
                            — DISALLOWANCE
Pursuant to standing order 152(b), the following motion by Hon Robin Chapple was moved pro forma on
30 March —
         That the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Levy Amendment Regulations 2009, published in
         the Government Gazette on 22 December 2009 and tabled in the Legislative Council on 3 March 2010
         under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery levy Act 2007, be and are hereby disallowed.
2878                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

HON ROBIN CHAPPLE (Mining and Pastoral) [8.59 pm]: I rise tonight to speak to the disallowance in my
name. There are many aspects to this that I want to touch on tonight, but I am cognisant that there may be other
speakers so I will not take up too much of the time of the house outlining my concerns. I think we need to go
back to the fundamentals of this regulation. It is a regulation to introduce a massive tax—something that is never
contemplated by any system when developing regulatory frameworks. I think we need to go back and touch on
the sixteenth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs entitled “Municipal Waste
Management in Western Australia”, which reviewed the legislation. We have to remember that recommendation
3 of the committee recommended the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 be amended to limit
the Department of Environment and Conservation’s access to the funds from the landfill levy to offset actual
administration costs of the landfill levy and other specified purposes set out in regulations. I think we need to
realise again that regulations were never intended for this purpose. The question was asked many times during
the debate in both this place and the other place why the funding arrangement was not established in the
principal amendments to the waste avoidance legislation. We were consistently told that it was Crown Law’s
view, which we never got to see, that there was a need to introduce the legislation and then, by regulation, create
a taxing provision.
The Waste Avoidance Resource Recovery Levy Amendment Regulations that we are dealing with are actually
quite simple, but their implication is absolutely disastrous. Regulation 12(1) states in part —
         R        is, if the first day of the return period is —
                           (a)       before 1 January 2010 — $3;
                           (b)       on or after 1 January 2010 — $12;
That four-fold increase is a massive increase by anyone’s standards who has ever had anything to do with
regulations. The principle of regulations is that, in fact, they should not be a taxing agent. They should not accrue
an interest over and above the consumer price index. Quite clearly, this is nothing more than using a regulatory
framework to actually generate extra funds. Regulation 12(2) is to delete the passage that begins with “R is” and
ends with “9” and insert —
         R        is, if the first day of the return period is —
                           (a)       before 1 July 2009 — $7;
                           (b)       on or after 1 July 2009 and before 1 January 2010 — $8;
                           (c)       on or after 1 January 2010 — $28.
That is a massive increase and something I am sure former members of this house who have had a long
experience with delegated legislation and attendant legislation would be horrified to see. It sets very dangerous
precedents. I can talk about much of the deliberative debate that was held when this house dealt with the Waste
Avoidance and Resource Recovery Bill, but I think we need to understand the principles of regulation. It gives
me a great deal of concern that we are generating these sorts of funds through a regulatory provision. It is
something that was not anticipated under the Westminster system, the Canadian model, the New Zealand model
or any other models that I am aware of, with the exception of regulations that pertain to matters in the United
States, where in fact regulations are used for specific taxing matters.
I wish to make a few comments that are important to put on the record. Mr Desmond Pearson, the Auditor
General, and Mr Glen Clarke, Executive Director, Office of the Auditor General gave evidence to the Joint
Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on 14 September 2005 that —
         The principle of tax or a fee is established and debated and put in place for the long-term, but the year
         by year variations are done routinely and are subject to review by —
The delegated legislation committee —
         which has the power to move for a disallowance if there is a problem with its application. That is why it
         is very important.
We also need to understand comments made to the Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation and
reported in its thirteenth report, tabled in 2004, which are —
         The common law and s 46 of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 impose strict legislative
         requirements in relation to taxes. A tax may only be imposed by an Act of Parliament, and such an Act
         must deal solely with the tax and no other matter.
It is quite clear that there is almost a uniform understanding that regulations do not raise taxes. I need to point
out that the bill that we passed here made specific provision, albeit against the comments of many people in this
chamber and the other chamber, to enable regulations under that act to be made to generate a taxing
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2879

Hon Ken Travers: It still does not make it legal.
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: It does not. It is not ultra vires the principal act but it certainly goes against every
sentiment of regulations established anywhere around the world.
Hon Ken Travers: Also, whether it is still a legal tax is another point.
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: We are aware that the Western Australian Local Government Association and other
people have been looking at this. I do not think the game is up yet on the question of whether it is legal in the
long run, but I think some very strong principles are established under international law that say that this sort of
thing is not in the interests of good governance. This always was and always will be the great waste robbery. It is
a matter on the public record.
Hon Ken Travers: That is very clever.
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: It is very, very clever and it is appropriate.
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: I thank members. Do they want me to repeat it?
Hon Sally Talbot: Yes.
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: The great waste robbery. It is interesting that we have a department and a government
that are hell-bent on generating tax by, in my view, a fraudulent method. I say it is fraudulent because it is not
honest to members of the general public, to the waste avoidance entity or the Department of Environment and
Conservation, which this government had failed to fund properly and therefore had to resort to the great waste
robbery to prop up its budget deficit. The general public is paying for this by what they can put into their green
bins and by the amount industry has to pay to deal with its waste. This is not in any way, shape or form about
minimising waste. This is nothing more than a revenue-based Multanova. The levy gathers income for the state
government because it failed to properly manage its budget in the lead-up to the last budget. Much has been said
in the debates in this and the other place about what has gone on.
My principal argument is that this sets one of the most dangerous precedents that this Parliament may face when
dealing with attendant or delegated legislation. I would hate to think that a future government, whether it is this
government or the next government, would ever use this form of deceitful approach of accruing taxation for
general revenue. I think I have made my point very clear. I understand that other members wish to talk on this. I
reiterate that the government is using regulations for the wrong purpose.
HON DONNA FARAGHER (East Metropolitan — Minister for Environment) [9.11 pm]: I will respond on
behalf of the government to this disallowance motion. I constantly find it amazing how members on the other
side of the house can do miraculous backflips when it suits them. We have seen evidence of that from the Greens
(WA) tonight. I do not intend to speak for long on this disallowance motion. However, I put on the record my
amazement that the Greens, of all people, have moved this motion, given their previous supposed support for the
Hon Ken Travers: How is that a backflip?
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: I will get to that. I appreciate that there is a difference of opinion across the
chamber about the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment Bill 2009, which was passed last year.
It is fair to say that the legislation was very well debated in this house. I think it was debated for 24.5 hours.
Some members on this side of the house are still getting over Hon Sally Talbot’s 10-hour tedious speech.
However, I do not intend to recanvass all those matters because they were very well canvassed when we dealt
with the legislation.
Hon Ken Travers: You are just trying to inflame the chamber, aren’t you?
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: I am making a simple statement. I remind the chamber that these regulations,
which are the subject of the disallowance motion, address only the rate of the levy. All other aspects of the levy
regulations remain unchanged. Hon Robin Chapple said a moment ago that the levy is not about reducing waste.
I remind the chamber that the landfill levy and the regulations that provide for it have been in place since 1998.
They provide a financial disincentive to take rubbish to a landfill and encourage people to reuse or recycle their
waste. That is fully supported by this government. It is clearly not supported by the Greens anymore. I am sure
that we will hear from Hon Sally Talbot in a moment. I have no doubt that we will see another backflip and that
she will not support it either. We will wait with bated breath. The fact is that the previous levies for putrescible
and inert waste were far too low. In comparison with the levy in other states, the Western Australian levy was
very low. The levy in New South Wales was and continues to be many times higher than the Western Australian
levy. I think that the levy in New South Wales is around $58 per tonne. I understand that that will again increase
on 1 July. Victoria’s municipal and industrial waste levy will rise to $30 per tonne from 1 July. South Australia’s
levy is currently around $25.20 per tonne. By increasing this levy, Western Australia’s levy, albeit not as high as
New South Wales, will be far more consistent with the levy in other states.
2880                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

Hon Robin Chapple has stated that these regulations will have disastrous consequences. I can advise the member
that since the introduction of these amendment regulations, the early indications are that there has been a
reduction in both putrescible and inert waste. That is a good thing.
Hon Adele Farina: Is it being illegally dumped in forests?
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: No, it is not. There is no indication from the department that that is happening.
Several members interjected.
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: Members do not like to hear that waste is actually being reduced, and that is
exactly what the levy was designed to do.
Hon Ken Travers: That is not what the levy was designed to do; it was designed to raise money to cover your
budget blow-out.
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: I remind Hon Ken Travers that the levy has been in place since 1998.
Hon Ken Travers: Yes, but the increase —
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Hon Michael Mischin): Order! I have just called order on several occasions to
enable the minister to provide her speech in response. Proceed.
Hon DONNA FARAGHER: Thank you, Mr Deputy President. I do not intend to speak for much longer
because I know that other members want to speak.
I reiterate that I find it quite bizarre that the Greens (WA) have moved this motion. Hon Robin Chapple has said
that these regulations represent an incredulous increase. I remind Hon Robin Chapple of what he said in this
house on 18 November 2009. He said —
         It is very important at this stage in the debate to make it clear to this place, to the Parliament in general
         and to the public that the Greens (WA) are not opposed to a landfill levy or, indeed, the proposed
         increased landfill levy; at least, we do not have a problem with the level it is being set at.
That is why I have stated that I find it incredible that we have now had a backflip. I am not making it up.
Members can look at the Hansard of 18 November 2009. I will read it again. He said —
         It is very important at this stage in the debate to make it clear to this place, to the Parliament in general
         and to the public that the Greens (WA) are not opposed to a landfill levy or, indeed, the proposed
         increased landfill levy; at least, we do not have a problem with the level it is being set at.
Given those comments, I am not sure why the Greens, and particularly Hon Robin Chapple, are now against the
increase in the levy, given the levy’s objective of reducing waste disposal to landfill. It is quite absurd to say the
least. For all those reasons, the government will not support the disallowance motion.
HON SALLY TALBOT (South West) [9.18 pm]: Honourable members will be glad to know that I do not
intend to speak for very long on this motion.
Hon Ken Travers: I could move an extension that the house sit beyond 9.45 pm!
Hon SALLY TALBOT: I thank Hon Ken Travers. There are a couple of things about this measure that I have
not yet said, and I am confident that I will be able to say them in the next five minutes or so.
We on this side of the chamber will support the disallowance motion moved by Hon Robin Chapple. I am happy
to inform Hon Robin Chapple that we in the Labor Party find nothing inconsistent in the remarks he has made
this evening, or indeed in the moving of this disallowance motion. However, the vacuous drivel that we have
heard from the Minister for Environment this evening shows that she has absolutely no idea about what we are
supposed to be debating here.
Hon Donna Faragher: No. I think you’ve actually got the problem; not me. It’s about the levy.
Hon SALLY TALBOT: This is about the regulatory mechanism. Whoever wrote the minister’s speech for her
this evening either was obviously misinformed by her about the item on the notice paper or has no more
understanding than the minister has about what it means to move a disallowance motion.
Hon Donna Faragher: Forgive me if I don’t take advice from you. If that was the case, we would always get
things wrong!
Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich: You should take advice from Hon Sally Talbot because she is a doctor.
Several members interjected.
Hon SALLY TALBOT: I do want to respond to that interjection so that it gets into Hansard.
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                        2881

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order, members! Hon Sally Talbot has the call.
Hon SALLY TALBOT: Thank you, Mr Deputy President.
Hon Ken Travers interjected.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Ken Travers will have the opportunity to speak in due course.
Hon SALLY TALBOT: The absolute nonsense that we have heard from the minister this evening just places on
record and formalises for us, and confirms for us in fact, that she has not the faintest grasp of those many hours
of argument that went on in this chamber. When this house moved to the other chamber, we carried it on there.
She has not understood one word of our objections to this disgraceful stunt that she pulled on us. Has it occurred
to honourable members that it is actually very fitting that we should be debating this disallowance motion this
evening on the eve of the budget, which will be brought down tomorrow? Tomorrow is the anniversary of this
disgraceful stunt that this Minister for Environment tried to pull on this Parliament and on the people of Western
Yet another way in which the minister has indicated to us this evening that she has not the faintest idea of what
the issues are is that she is telling us that the increase in the levy is reducing the amount of waste going to
landfill, yet her own budget figures betray the fact that she has absolutely no expectation of that happening. It
will be very interesting this time tomorrow evening, when I suspect we will be poring over some very depressing
statistics in the budget on that particular measure.
Can I just quickly get to the point of this disallowance motion? What we saw in this trick that the government
pulled on us a year ago was a 300 per cent increase in the waste levy and the effective end of hypothecation of
that levy to the waste account. If that was the best the government could do on budget night a year ago, it is a
very poor show and it has only been confirmed for us over the past 364 days that there has been not one
innovative move made about waste avoidance and resource recovery in Western Australia during this very sad
time that this minister has been driving the cart. We have seen none of the innovative moves that were enabled
by the acts that the Labor government put in place. Why have we not seen the minister walk into this place and
talk about container deposit legislation?
Hon Donna Faragher: Did you talk about it? Did you introduce it? No.
Hon SALLY TALBOT: Why have we heard absolutely nothing from this government about extending
producer responsibility? The industry is sitting there waiting for the government to move, and it has done
absolutely nothing.
This minister has not even grappled with the relatively easy task—stakeholders in the industry have talked to her
about this on many occasions over the past 18 months or so—of bringing into line the volumes in the two
methods for assessing waste. They, of course, are captured in these regulatory amendments. The reality is that
we have two waste streams in this state and we have two different ways—one by volume and one by weight—of
calculating the amount of levy that is paid. It is an absolute nonsense. Very simple regulatory changes would
have brought Western Australia to the front of waste avoidance and resource recovery in this country. Sadly,
after 18 months of this mob being in charge, we have only gone backwards. That is why Labor is supporting this
disallowance motion.
HON KEN TRAVERS (North Metropolitan) [9.25 pm]: I am glad I was given the call. When the Minister for
Environment sought me to interject on her and I was obeying the instructions of the Deputy President
(Hon Michael Mischin), I am glad that I have now got the call.
I want to make one point in this debate. Tonight the minister suggested that this levy was about trying to reduce
waste and it was not about the government using the 300 per cent increase as a way of covering the
government’s budget black holes, its unfunded election commitments and its uncontrollable expenditure. If that
was the case, then why was it that when it produced its budget figures last year it did not provide for a decrease
in the amount of waste going to landfill? Why did it not, minister? When the former chair of the Waste Authority
appeared before the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs he said that he knew that would
happen, but the government did not understand that. The government continued to incorporate into its budget
figures a belief that there would be no reduction in waste even though the rest of us knew that if the fee was put
up it would probably lead to that. That is not why the government did it. The government did it because it needed
to come up with money to fund its uncontrollable expenditure growth—no other reason. That is why the
Greens (WA) have moved a disallowance motion tonight. They support increases in the levy if it is about
reducing waste. They support increases in the levy if it is put into alternative waste management processes. They
support it if it is about encouraging recycling and reuse. What the Greens do not support, and what we do not
support, is the government’s view that waste levies are there to fund this government’s inability to control
expenditure across all government agencies. That is why it should be disallowed tonight. We have to send a
message to this government that it is not appropriate to use levies like this to fix up the Liberal Party’s unfunded
2882                                  [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

election commitments. It is not appropriate for the government to continue to put the burden on ordinary
working families in Western Australia to fund its uncontrolled and unaccountable expenditure. A 300 per cent
increase is the burden this government has put on families. That is who will pay it. It had nothing to do with
reducing waste when it was put on. To come into this house and suggest anything else is, very borderline,
misleading the house. The facts are clearly there, and they were in the budget papers at the time. To suggest
anything else is just nonsense.
HON ROBIN CHAPPLE (Mining and Pastoral) [9.28 pm] — in reply: Hon Ken Travers did a marvellous
job. In fact he seemed to know our policies better than we do!
For the record, the Greens (WA) support a waste levy. We support a waste levy that generates a redirection in
waste. We support a waste levy that actually goes back to the area that it was generated from for the purposes of
minimising waste, expanding waste recycling and expanding container deposit legislation—doing all the things
that are necessary in this state to minimise waste and to stop waste being put in the ground. If the Minister for
Environment is raising this money to encourage waste being put in the ground so that this government can make
money out of waste, that is not our ideal. Our ideal is to ensure that waste is minimised and that the money raised
goes into the waste avoidance and resource recovery account. By amendment, we tried to make sure that the
money raised went back into the waste avoidance and resource recovery account. The minister was well aware of
our proposed amendments.
Several members interjected.
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: And it was very well introduced by the former government, I think. The key issue
that I tried to raise tonight—the minister misinterpreted my comments when I said that this is very dangerous
legislation—is that it is not the legislation; it is the process of moving to a regulatory regime to raise tax. That is
not something that is accepted by any jurisdiction around the world, with the exception of the United States of
America. It is a principle that we do not use regulatory regimes to raise taxation. That is the point that I was
making, because that sets an incredibly dangerous precedent, not only for this government but for any future
government that might seek to raise taxation by using regulatory powers. The hairdressers’ levy might be
increased by 300 per cent and the money put into railways! A government could do all sorts of things.
Hon Ken Travers: It would not even have to spend it; it could use it to balance the budget—just to use an
Hon ROBIN CHAPPLE: This is such a dangerous precedent. I hope that future members in this place will read
this Hansard and read into it the notion that regulations should not be used as taxing powers. I make that point
very strenuously, because it is certainly the principle that exists everywhere else in the world, and this house and
this government have trampled all over a normal procedural process. On that basis, I commend my disallowance
motion to the house.
Question put and a division taken with the following result —
                                                       Ayes (12)

Hon Matt Benson-Lidholm      Hon Adele Farina              Hon Linda Savage                Hon Giz Watson
Hon Robin Chapple            Hon Lynn MacLaren             Hon Sally Talbot                Hon Alison Xamon
Hon Sue Ellery               Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich         Hon Ken Travers                 Hon Ed Dermer (Teller)
                                                       Noes (17)

Hon Ken Baston               Hon Wendy Duncan              Hon Col Holt                    Hon Max Trenorden
Hon Liz Behjat               Hon Donna Faragher            Hon Robyn McSweeney             Hon Brian Ellis (Teller)
Hon Jim Chown                Hon Philip Gardiner           Hon Michael Mischin
Hon Peter Collier            Hon Nick Goiran               Hon Helen Morton
Hon Mia Davies               Hon Alyssa Hayden             Hon Simon O’Brien

                             Hon Helen Bullock                                Hon Nigel Hallett
                             Hon Kate Doust                                   Hon Norman Moore
                             Hon Jon Ford                                     Hon Phil Edman

Question thus negatived.

                                              Receipt and First Reading
Bill received from the Assembly; and, on motion by Hon Robyn McSweeney (Minister for Child Protection),
read a first time.
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                                                   Second Reading
HON ROBYN McSWEENEY (South West — Minister for Child Protection) [9.37 pm]: I move —
         That the bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this bill is to amend the Planning and Development Act 2005 in order to streamline and improve
the planning approvals process. The proposed legislative amendments are part of a series of changes to planning,
environmental, mining and other legislation that have been steered by the Premier’s task force on approvals,
development and sustainability.
The Liberal–National government is committed to ensuring that economic growth and activity in Western
Australia is not unduly hindered by an unwieldy or unresponsive approvals process. The proposed amendments
will create greater efficiency and consistency for state government priority projects, and certainty for investors
who are considering new ventures in important economic infrastructure, industrial development and urban land
and housing.
This bill introduces significant planning reforms while also including minor and clarifying amendments to the
planning act.
The key elements of the bill are to establish development assessment panels—DAPs—which will provide more
effective and efficient processes than is currently the case for significant urban, industrial and infrastructure
developments; significantly extend the use of existing strategic instruments such as improvement plans and
schemes to strengthen state and regional planning; enable the state to collect data on local development decisions
to monitor the effectiveness of reforms to the approvals process; provide a mechanism for local planning
schemes to be updated to implement state planning policies; and streamline and clarify existing provisions and
processes to improve the efficiency of the approvals process.
In conclusion, this bill is a true reform package. The provisions range from minor and clarifying amendments to
more substantive measures which, in the view of many, are long overdue in Western Australia. I remind the
Council that these measures are in line with the best practices for planning and are welcomed by the key
stakeholders of the land use planning system in this state. I commend the bill to the house.
Debate adjourned, pursuant to standing orders.

HON SUE ELLERY (South Metropolitan — Leader of the Opposition) [9.40 pm]: I want to make some
comments about a function I attended earlier this evening. I was delighted to accept an invitation from the
Governor to attend a function at Government House to celebrate and recognise the work that has been done in
Western Australia on some breakthrough medical research in the area of muscular dystrophy. The work was
done by Professors Steve Wilton and Sue Fletcher and their team. They are two Perth researchers who have
developed a new way to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which primarily affects boys. What is new about
the treatment is that each application is specific and unique to the patient. It is a patch, if members like, that fills
in for faulty genes, muscle by muscle. His Excellency the Governor Ken Michael and Mrs Michael were very
generous with their hospitality and they wanted to draw attention to the research and celebrate it. They wanted to
do that, I think, for several reasons: firstly, because WA is leading the world in this kind of research; and,
secondly, because there needs to be a debate in the community about how this research will progress further in
Western Australia. Tonight’s event was a way of doing that.
Tonight we learnt from Professor Byron Kakulas—who is well known to members in the chamber—that
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the leading incurable disease amongst children. People might be quite surprised
to hear that, but because of the significant work that has been done in, for example the areas of leukaemia and
brain cancers in children, muscular dystrophy is now, unfortunately, the leading cause of death and the leading
incurable disease. It is a very cruel, degenerative disease.
Western Australia has led the way in the research for some time. Professor Kakulas, as I think most members
remember, led the way in the research that he conducted on quokkas. He was one of the first recipients of
research funds from, for example, Telethon fundraising. His research began at a time when he was discouraged
from conducting that research and he was told it was hopeless and he should give up and not pursue that line of
research. We are lucky that he ignored that advice and has gone on to achieve the fantastic things he has. At
Government House this evening he described to us how the new breakthrough by Professors Wilton and Fletcher
is a form of molecular bypass. I am not a scientist, I do not have a scientific background, and I cannot claim to
do it justice tonight, but he describes its place in the world of research into muscular dystrophy as equivalent to
the contribution of the Wright Brothers to aviation. That is how significant this piece of research done in
Western Australia is to developing a way of managing the symptoms of this cruel disease.
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Trials have commenced in London, but Professor Wilton raised very enthusiastically and very fervently tonight
his aspiration to find a way to conduct trials in Perth in such a way that there would not be an exorbitant cost to
the families of the boys involved in participating in that trial. Each patient, if we like, will be a single trial
because the nature of the treatment is that this patch, which delivers the treatment, is designed to meet the
specific DNA of the patient in receipt of it. There is a way to proceed to trial in Western Australia, which would
cost each boy’s family about $200 000, obviously putting it well out of the reach of ordinary Western
Australians. Professor Wilton is looking for champions to assist him to find a way to facilitate those trials
happening here in Western Australia. He is of the view, which I share, that the state government could certainly
play a role in facilitating that in some way. I will take the opportunity that he gave me tonight to visit with him to
examine in greater detail the research that he has been doing and to better arm myself to put the proposition to
government that I really think this is something that we ought to take advantage of. We have led the world in
research in this area and the world is looking to us. We have the researchers and, to use the movie expression, we
have the technology. We need the commitment to bring it together and to find a way to ensure that those trials
can happen in Western Australia so that we can maximise the benefit this state can get from the research
breakthroughs that have happened already for not only the treatment for the families involved, but also our
scientific and biotechnical industries and all the flow-on industries that go around this kind of research.
Tonight I was also pleased to meet Mrs Lesley Murphy and her son, Connor, who has muscular dystrophy. They
both appeared with the two professors in a recent episode of Catalyst on ABC on 22 April. I really encourage
members who have not seen it to do so. It is available online and I had a quick look at it when I came back from
the function tonight because their conversations with me were so enthusiastic.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association was represented tonight. It provides dual functions: to raise funds for the
research and to provide services to the families who deal with what must be the devastating shock of being told
that their son aged about three to five has been diagnosed with this condition and who know what that means for
their life expectancy and for the daily challenges of ensuring their child has a life that is fulfilled and dignified.
This is kind of serendipitous, to use somebody else’s word, but in the past couple of days I have had the
opportunity through my electorate office to talk with a family in my electorate whose son has muscular
dystrophy. Amongst all the other things that they have to do, they are struggling to try to get their son’s school to
ensure that he can attend school excursions in the same way that his peers do. The nature of his wheelchair is
that most buses used for school excursions are not big enough to fit his wheelchair and all the other students on
it. Therefore, the arrangements that are made are either that his parents take him in their own car and make
changes to their working lives accordingly, or that the school hires a separate bus. The school is trying its hardest
but the best it can do is to hire a separate bus, which means he has to travel behind all his peers. All the fun,
excitement and debriefing on what has been learnt on the way back from an excursion are lost to him because he
is in a separate vehicle. His mum really feels that he is not getting the best that he possibly can. I think she is
right and I will take that issue up with the government because I think we can do better in that respect.
Again, I express my thanks to the Governor and Mrs Michael for their hospitality tonight. I commend the work
that is being done by the two Western Australian researchers and I commend the association for the support it
provides to families with boys with muscular dystrophy.

                                                MINING SAFETY
HON ROBIN CHAPPLE (Mining and Pastoral) [9.50 pm]: I rise to speak tonight about some mining issues. I
want to try to explain to people some of the operations that take place in an underground mine. I do so from
some level of personal experience. I also want to identify some of the risks that are being faced in some of our
mines as a result of some inappropriate activity that is taking place in those mines.
Most underground mines are allowed to lie fallow when mining has been concluded. In many cases, those mines
cannot be revisited, because scale and other loose elements will be hanging from the faces of those mines, and
that makes it incredibly dangerous to go back into those mines. I want to talk in particular about the OK mine at
Norseman. That mine was closed by Western Mining after it gone down to a significant level—I think about the
27 level. In the process of creating that mine, a number of stopes were created. A stope is a void. It may be quite
large. It may be many metres high and many metres in diameter. Once a stope has been created, it is very
difficult to go back in and work that area, because the miners are working under a pillar of rock—a capstone—
which can give way under any blast circumstances. So, once a stope has been mined out, people should not try to
go back into that mine. As a mine is developed, declines are created that are circular in nature and that go down
past the various stopes and holes in the ground. After a period of time, the entrances are backfilled, or, in some
cases, the stopes are backfilled. I happened to be at the Bronzewing mine about three days before the stope
collapsed and three workers were killed. So, even backfilling stopes can be particularly dangerous if it is not
done well.
                                     [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                          2885

One of the issues is that once a stope has been created, it should be locked off and people should not go back in
there. When people go down a decline that has been used previously, they mesh the walls of the tunnel and put in
rock bolts. Those rock bolts may be of varying lengths, depending on the area. These days, they use rock bolts
that are three metres long, which is the standard. These bolts go into the rock, and they hold the mesh against the
wall so that if any rocks do fall off the wall, the mesh will hold them in place. It will still be necessary to go back
and fix up the rock fall, but the rocks will not fall on people.
When people go back into an old mine, they are faced with a number of problems. One of the problems is that
the mine working will have old mesh, which in many cases will be rusty, and it will have old style rock bolts,
which in some cases may be only 300 millimetres long. In the case of the OK mine, work is being done on one
of the levels—I think the 12 level. In fact, the area has not been what we call rattled or scaled back. That is
where the loose rock that is there from a previous working is chipped off so that new rock bolts can be put in and
new fencing or constraints can be put against the rock wall. What has happened in this particular mine is that old
supplies have been left down one of the shafts. So the workers are actually moving ahead of the re-rock bolting
of the deep declines to retrieve material to do the safety work. As they are doing that, they are finding, lying on
the ground, plates with sections of black bolts of around 300 millimetres long. That means that the rock face is
unsafe, because the old rock bolts are coming out of the wall. Many of these unfortunate people are very young
and inexperienced, and they probably should not be moving ahead of the work in the way that they are. The twin
boom offsiders, who are part of the drilling team, are clearly in many cases moving well ahead of the
reconfigured mine tunnels in a manner that is not permitted under the act. They are doing so to access stockpiles
of bolts, plates and mesh. The service crews are expected to go way beyond what is being rehabilitated into old
shafts to retrieve polythene pipe. Some of the operators have even had to go down as far as the 17 level—bearing
in mind that we are talking about the 12 level, which is one of the levels on the way down—to check on the
water at the bottom of the pit. The original mine that was mined by Western Mining went down to the 21 level; it
is filled with water from that level to the 17 level. Dust occasionally appears up the shaft from the bottom of the
mine, which indicates that there are already rock falls occurring at the bottom of the mine. This is a mine that
Western Mining declared too dangerous to operate and walked away from, and Western Mining was a very
competent miner in its day.
Mine management is attempting to break into an old stope—which is also rather dangerous—on what we refer to
as the 237 level. If members can imagine it, somewhere outside this chamber there is a giant hole, but we do not
know where it is. They do not know where it is, because when Western Mining left the mine, the units that
contained all the documentation were vandalised and all the old mine plans were burnt. When the new miner
took over, he had no idea where all the old workings were. He is sending drilling crews in to drill 30 metres into
the wall to see if they can find the old hole. However, they are drilling forwards, sideways and upwards; they are
not drilling downwards, so they do not know whether, in fact, they are actually working on top of the old stope.
These are the sorts of things that are happening at this particular mine. I am raising these points and concerns
tonight for the reason that I am trying to provide some guidance and education to the house about what happens
in some mining areas. My background is that I originally worked for Hancock at Wittenoom—cough, touch
wood—in the old days; I then went on to work for BHP, so I have some degree of experience in mining. One of
the problems I alluded to in an article in today’s Kalgoorlie Miner is that I do not think it is corporate ethos that
is the problem; I think it is actually to do with the boom. Many of the competent staff of small to medium miners
are going off to the major operations in the Pilbara and picking up good work and good money there. As a result,
we are unfortunately getting a whole batch of new, younger miners who are inexperienced in some of the ways
of the old men of mining, and are actually being encouraged to do things that are, in my view, fundamentally
very dangerous. That is not to say that the management ethos is wrong, but at the line management level, where
it is all about production at any cost and where the management staff are all fairly new, duties of care that have
developed out of the long experience of the traditional older miners are being lost. I will ask a question of the
minister tomorrow to try to get further details about this. We must understand that mining can be an
exceptionally safe industry if it is properly managed at the occupational health and safety level. One of the issues
that recently came to my attention is that if one is driving to work on a mine site and has a fatal accident, it is
unfortunately not regarded as a mine accident.
                                                 GRIFFIN COAL
HON COL HOLT (South West) [9.59 pm]: I want to briefly express some concerns that have been relayed to
me by the people of Collie in the South West. They have some ongoing concerns with Griffin Coal and the
administration of that company. Members of the community and employees of that company want some
certainty about what is happening with that company. I know that it is a private company but my concerns will
be expressed from the point of view of how the community is feeling. It wants some certainty about what will
happen with Griffin Coal sooner rather than later. It has been in administration since January 2010. At the time
2886                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

everyone in WA expressed a great deal of concern, centred around things such as—from the government’s
viewpoint—the state’s energy capacity and ensuring that we had a continual supply of coal. There was huge
concern about what it meant for the Griffin Coal employees and their families who have made their homes in the
South West and in Collie. It impacted on the Collie community as well as the local government and all those
service industries that support the coal industry in Collie. They were the main concerns at the time.
On 15 May a report showed that Griffin Coal’s debts total at least $700 million. Other reports have indicated that
the figure is perhaps even higher than that. I noticed in the report that about $9 million is owed to employees for
things such as holiday pay and entitlements. It will be good to see some certainty that those employees will get
the benefits that are owed to them.
As the administrators have pointed out throughout the whole process, it is a complex business to sort out. This
may well be one of the reasons those administrators have received some criticism in the past for their lack of
transparency and failure to reveal any new financial data or costs and cash flow figures as they were asked to at
the creditors meeting on 16 April. I guess that same complexity is one of reasons the time line for the sale of
Griffin keeps slipping out and shifting. It was reported on 22 April that the sale could occur in June. On 15 May
another article suggested that the administrators expected to have a short list of buyers by early August, with the
aim of selling the company by October 2010. It looks to me as if that certainty that we were searching for for
Griffin Coal employees and the community is a little way off yet.
It has been reported that 80 to 100 buyers—both international and local companies—are interested in Griffin
Coal, which I was quite surprised about. I have been approached by a buyer who is interested in it. I guess that
buyer will have to wait, like all the others, to get on that short list of potential buyers to look at the Griffin
company more closely. The sale will then give some certainty to the employees and the community of Collie.
In conclusion, I encourage the administrators of Griffin Coal—obviously, it is a private entity and it has a
number of debtors and creditors to worry about, along with the daily operation of mining coal and delivering
coal to a variety of clients—to expedite any concerns it has and move ahead with the process of identifying a
buyer for Griffin Coal so those employees can look at getting that $9 million in entitlements that is owed to them
and the Collie community can know that a part of the industry that makes Collie a vibrant place has a certain

HON LJILJANNA RAVLICH (East Metropolitan) [10.04 pm]: I want to get on my feet tonight and express
my concern about a couple of answers I received from the Minister for Training and Workforce Development,
first in relation to a question I asked about his catching a charter flight down to the Great Southern Regional
College of TAFE. I was quite satisfied with the fact that he had chartered the plane and gone down to the Great
Southern Regional College of TAFE, but I was not particularly impressed with the fact that the minister stayed
there for only 30 minutes. I know —
Hon Robyn McSweeney: I was there.
Hon Peter Collier: That was not your question at all.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: We know he was there for only 30 minutes. He went down to announce yet
another re-badging of a college. Quite frankly, it is probably a waste of taxpayers’ money because it was just a
name change. There are more fundamental issues to be dealt with in training and at TAFE colleges than name
changes. The minister wants to be the minister for name changes. It is not good enough because it has been
reported to me that this minister chartered the flight, was at the Great Southern Regional College of TAFE for
about 30 minutes and did not bother to even look around the college. He made it quite clear to the people who
were there when he said, “I have to go now; I have to get to Kalgoorlie because I have a tennis reunion on.” This
is a college that has had 127 —
Several members interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Order! In terms of the comments coming from the sidelines, there is a provision in the
standing orders to put things right if members feel they have been misquoted. Otherwise we will hear the
member on her feet.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Thank you very much, Mr President. You are a good man. The Great Southern
Regional College of TAFE has been issued with 118 improvement notices following an inspection of that
college in November 2009.
Hon Peter Collier: It was 127; you got it right the first time.
                                     [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                         2887

Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: That is right 118 improvement notices have been returned and nine notices are
awaiting compliance, so the minister is correct.
Hon Peter Collier: Thank you.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Even the former Minister for Commerce in response to the local member, Peter
Watson, MLA, claimed that, in fact, this was an extraordinarily large number of notices to be served on any one
college. The minister will be aware of the importance of occupational health and safety and of the need to make
sure there is a safe working environment for the teachers and students at the college. When I look at the reasons
for some of the notices and the types of hazards, I would have thought the minister’s first priority was not to nick
off after half an hour and head up to his tennis reunion. His priority should have been to have a meeting on this
Hon Ken Travers: Did you take a charter to your tennis reunion? My nephew drove to that.
Several members interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Order! The amplification in this chamber works very well, you do not have to shout.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I am reading from an uncorrected Hansard proof about how, when the minister
got on his feet yesterday, he went on and on about what a great fun time he had had in Kalgoorlie. He said he
saw people he had not seen for 35 years—wonderful salt of the earth Kalgoorlie people who were there. He said
that he could not pick up a racquet because his Achilles tendon is not 100 per cent, but he had a few ales on
Saturday night and it was a wonderful occasion. Clearly, one does not need to have a good functioning Achilles
tendon to have a really wonderful time, as the minister has indicated. We can have a wonderful time without our
Achilles tendon being right. However, the point I want to make —
Hon Peter Collier: I am glad you are finally getting there.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Hang on! These are the sorts of issues that this minister gave no regard to
during his 30-minute flying visit. He flew there and back. Some of the notices were issued for guarding of
machinery or equipment; inadequate or missing labels; maintenance of emergency first-aid facilities; chemicals,
including exposure to fumes and risk of spills; training and risk assessment for hazardous substances; material
safety data sheets not readily available or out of date; electrical testing and potential hazards; slips, trips and
falls; risks of manual handling injuries; access to emergency equipment—can members imagine being in an
emergency and not being able to access the equipment needed?—unsecured gas cylinders, which were probably
rolling around the workshop; spray booth not in accordance with the Australian standards; and, personal
protective equipment not adequately maintained. Can members believe that 127 notices —
Hon Alison Xamon: Are you serious?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: Yes. They are very serious issues. I want to know the detail because they are
just the broad categories that are being defined. Sitting under all this is the detail. That is really what I want the
minister to provide. I have asked the same question of all the TAFE colleges now and I am very keen to see what
comes back from them. I am concerned that this minister chose not to have a meeting on those issues. He may
well have had a meeting about other issues concerning that TAFE college. He flew down there and pulled the
curtain to unveil the plaque that no doubt had his name on it and then he got out of there quick smart without
giving any attention to this because he had to fly to Kalgoorlie so that he could meet up with his old mates. This
minister is all about tennis, tennis, tennis. He is the Mr Tennis of the Barnett government.
Hon Peter Collier: Don’t tell the Premier that.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The number of times that I have heard tennis associated with the member is
amazing. People say, “Peter Collier—tennis.” Do I ever hear people say, “Peter Collier—training”? No.
Hon Peter Collier: That is because you don’t speak to anyone involved in training.
The PRESIDENT: Order! By interjecting, the minister has made a foot-fault.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: I do not want to labour this point, but clearly this minister’s priorities are very
wrong. Instead of going to Kalgoorlie for his tennis reunion, perhaps he should have given some consideration to
how the 700 apprentices who do not currently have an employer will complete their training qualifications. He
might give some attention to how he will deal with the reduction of 3 300 apprenticeships since he became
minister. He might give attention to the thousands of young apprentices who have had their apprenticeships
cancelled. He might give some attention to the occupational health and safety requirements of all the TAFE
institutes that he has now re-badged into a lot of institutions. We do not even know what they do any more. He
may well give some attention to producing the workforce development plan for this state because he has been a
minister now for nearly two years. That is two years in which we have not had a workforce development plan in
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Hon Peter Collier: You didn’t have a workforce development plan when you were the minister.
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH: The minister does not have a workforce development plan and he should be
ashamed of himself because two years have passed and we still do not have a direction for training in this state.
Do members know why? It is because he does not think about training, he does not think about labour market
issues and labour market forecasting, and he does not think about how we are going to be dealing with the
emerging skills crisis, because first and foremost in his mind is tennis, tennis, tennis.
The PRESIDENT: Order! I will give the call to the Minister for Training and Workforce Development. I am a
little concerned—it happened last night as well—that two members rose wishing to make comments during this
period and we have not been able to give them the call, but because of the situation where there have been some
comments directed at the minister, I think it is appropriate that the minister gets a chance to respond.

HON PETER COLLIER (North Metropolitan — Minister for Training and Workforce Development)
[10.14 pm]: Thank you, Mr President. I appreciate the call. I will say at the outset that I would not normally take
up time in members’ statements, but I cannot possibly let that nonsense go without defence. May I say at the
outset how on earth Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich can say anything about training or pass comment about anyone else
involved in training is beyond belief. I would love to know the last time that Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich went to a
state training provider. I would love to know the last time she went to a private training provider. I would love to
know the last time she engaged in discussion with any of the industry groups. One would have to say never.
Let us have a look at what we are dealing with here. We are dealing with an ex, failed Minister for Education
and Training who brought education to its knees, who ignored training and who had nothing to do with
workforce development. She carries on about workforce development and what we are doing in workforce
development. The previous Labor government ignored workforce development. For the first time we have
workforce development on the map in Western Australia. The member puts out media releases that state that this
minister puts a measly $47 million into training. She said that for the first 12 months until she woke up to the
fact that it was not $47 million. She was saying in the media everywhere that all the government was putting in
was $47 million. She asked a question on where the $47 million could be found in the budget. I cannot believe
her ineptness in the fact that she actually asked where the $47 million was in the budget. She forgot about the
$400 million that we put into training delivery and ignored that. When I pointed it out to her and she suddenly
woke up, she thought she had better stop saying $47 million.
When we have this debate on training, I will bring in the media release that she put out on the regulator that said
that because Western Australia decided to look after its own regulation, which is only apt and only right—just as
her Labor colleague in Victoria did—she said that everyone in Western Australia would not be recognised across
Australia. Her lack of understanding of training knows no depths. If she honestly believes that, it shows how out
of touch she is with training. She should go back over her statements, because I have been through every one of
those media releases and I cannot wait until the motion is debated. I have a veritable smorgasbord. I will stand
here and dissect every single one of those media releases. If I can make her look any less competent, which I
would find extraordinary in the extreme, I will. I could not believe that she could get any worse than she was as a
minister, but she has.
May I get onto the question, because she made light of the fact that I had made a comment about my tennis
prowess and what I was doing in Kalgoorlie. I will read the question —
         (2)      Did the minister use a government-funded charter flight to then travel from Albany to
                  Kalgoorlie for the tennis club reunion he publicly referred to during his Albany visit?
         (3)      In what capacity was the minister attending the tennis club reunion in Kalgoorlie?
Let me just make one thing perfectly clear. If the member wants to honestly trivialise the notion that our state
training providers are gaining more status now than they have ever had and more autonomy, and re-badging and
becoming centres of excellence, let her do so, but she will do so at her peril. Any remote element of respect that
she may have in the training sector—that will only be in the union movement because she has no respect
anywhere else in the training sector, I can assure you, Mr President—will have gone completely. Fancy asking a
question like that; I was staggered by the fact that a former minister could ask a question like that without doing
a semblance of research. It is hard to think that any former minister, apart from the former minister who asked
the question, would ask that I would contemplate taking a government plane from Albany to Kalgoorlie so that I
could go to my reunion. Does she honestly think I would do that? I wish she would not judge me by her
standards, because she will always be disappointed.
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                       2889

When I went to Albany, I did go for a tour of the TAFE. It was about the third or fourth time I have been to the
Great Southern Regional College of TAFE. It was a wonderful day, and the only person who does not think it
was wonderful is Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich, and she was not even there. I did go for a tour. I came back to Perth, I
did some more work and I left for Kalgoorlie at six o’clock in the evening on a long weekend. It is terrible, is it
not, that I actually paid for my own trip to Kalgoorlie to go to a reunion? As well as that, on that weekend I went
to an Anzac Day service and came back on Sunday evening.
                                          House adjourned at 10.20 pm

2890                                 [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

                                           QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

                                 Questions and answers are as supplied to Hansard.

2087.   Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich to the Minister for Environment
For each Department, Agency or Government owned corporation for which the Minister has responsibility —
(1)     How many vehicles did each of the abovementioned have in their fleet as at April 2009?
(2)     By how many vehicles has this been reduced by?
(3)     What was the target for reduction of vehicles in 2009-10?
(4)     Has this target been reached?
(5)     If no to (4), why not?
Department of Environment and Conservation including the Office of the Appeals Convener
(1)     The Department of Environment and Conservation has 799 vehicles in their fleet as at April 2009.
(2)     67
(3)     30
(4)     Yes
(5)     N/A
Office of the Environmental Protection Authority
(1)     The Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) was not established until 27 November
        2009. OEPA had ten vehicles at the time it was established.
(2)     Since establishment of OEPA its vehicle fleet has been reduced by one.
(3)     One
(4)     Yes
(5)     N/A
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
(1)     The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority has 21 vehicles in their fleet as at April 2009.
(2)     Nil
(3)     1
(4)     No
(5)     Reviews are underway commensurate with Fleet Steering Committee benchmarks and key performance
        indicators. The aim is to achieve target by 30 June 2010
Swan River Trust
(1)     The Swan River Trust has 10 vehicles in their fleet as at April 2009.
(2)     1
(3)     0
(4)     Yes
(5)     Not applicable
Perth Zoo
(1)     The Zoological Parks Authority has 7 vehicles in their fleet as at April 2009.
(2)-(3) Nil.
(4)     Yes.
(5)     N/A
                                   [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                      2891

2088.    Hon Ljiljanna Ravlich to the Minister for Youth
For each Department, Agency or Government owned corporation for which the Minister has responsibility —
(1)      How many vehicles did each of the abovementioned have in their fleet as at April 2009?
(2)      By how many vehicles has this been reduced by?
(3)      What was the target for reduction of vehicles in 2009-10?
(4)      Has this target been reached?
(5)      If no to (4), why not?
(1)      62
(2)      9
(3)      2
(4)      Yes
(5)      N/A
2123.    Hon Giz Watson to the Minister for Environment
With regards to Yannarie Solar Project proponent PTT, requesting that their Strait Salt project be withdrawn
from assessment by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), I ask —
(1)      Can you confirm that PTT has withdrawn this proposal?
(2)      Can you also confirm that the EPA has terminated the assessment of this proposal?
(3)      Do you acknowledge the high conservation value of the Yannarie Wetland system?
(4)      Will you now protect this system by initiating the vesting of this system as an A class nature reserve
         and marine nature reserve?
(5)      If no to (4) —
         (a)      why not; and
         (b)      how will you ensure that there are not further threats to this system from industrial
                  development, mining or fishing?
(1)-(2) The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has advised me that the project which is the subject of
        EPA Report 1295, was withdrawn by the proponent on 13 January 2010 and the EPA subsequently
        terminated its assessment.
(3)       I refer the Member to my appeal determination where I acknowledged that there were significant
         information gaps resulting in an unreasonable level of uncertainty for the EPA in forming its
         conclusions with respect to a number of the key environmental factors. I remitted the proposal back to
         the EPA for a further assessment with an expectation that the proponent would clarify the uncertainties
         identified with the proposal and provide this information to the EPA .
(4)-(5) Proposals to reserve lands or waters for conservation purposes are considered through standard
        consultation and approval processes set out under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984.
        The Yannarie wetland system is not being considered for vesting as an A-Class Nature Reserve at this
        time. New proposals for development, mining or fishing are subject to approvals processes and
        regulation, including assessment by the EPA if they are likely to have a significant impact on the
2175.    Hon Giz Watson to the Minister for Environment
With regards to the Marine Parks and Reserves Authority Annual Report, 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009 —
(1)      Are you aware that only two and a half percent of Western Australian State waters, are under a high
         level of protection with none of these areas being in the Kimberley and south coast regions?
2892                               [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

(2)    Do you consider that this is enough to adequately protect the very high biodiversity and conservation
       values of Western Australian State waters?
(3)    Do you consider the existing marine reserve system to be adequate to ensure the sustainability of
       biodiversity and conservation values of Western Australian State waters?
(4)    The report states that, ‘The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority (MPRA) considers that the current
       state of development of the Western Australian State marine protected areas system does not achieve
       best practice (and much needed), biodiversity and conservation outcomes. It also does not reflect
       contemporary community expectations for marine conservation, and the substantial benefits that marine
       protected areas bring to all sectors of the community, how does the Minister intend to ensure that a best
       practice (and much needed) biodiversity and conservation outcomes are achieved by way of a
       comprehensive and representative reserve system?
(5)    Has the Minister received advice from the MPRA that the Government should progress the
       implementation of the Geographe Bay/Leeuwin-Naturaliste/Hardy Inlet (Ngari Capes) and the Dampier
       Archipelago/Regnard (Dampier) proposals without delay?
(6)    If yes to (5),when did you receive this?
(7)    Please provide a timeline of when the Minister intends to implement these proposals?
(8)    If the Minister is unable or unwilling to provide a timeline, why is this?
(9)    The report states that, ‘the previous Government committed to a review of the role of marine
       sanctuaries in biodiversity conservation’, when was this report completed?
(10)   Will the Minister now table this report?
(11)   If no to (10), why not?
(12)   With regards to the MPRA’s audit of the Jurien Bay Marine Park management plan that, ‘clearly
       demonstrated that the park is failing to meet the objective of comprehensive protection of its
       biodiversity values through provision of adequate sanctuary zones, and there is qualitative evidence that
       the objectives for the conservation of populations of targeted finfish are not being achieved’ —
       (a)      how are you going to ensure that the objectives of the management plan are met in the future;
       (b)      will you ensure that adequate sanctuary zones are now provided in Jurien Bay Marine Park?
(13)   If no to (12), why not?
(14)   Are you aware off the lack of coordinated and structured monitoring programs in Jurien Bay Marine
       Park as stated in the Annual Report?
(15)   If yes to (14), how will the Minister ensure that future audits are not hampered by this lack of
       coordinated and structured monitoring programs?
(16)   The report notes that, ‘the 10 year audit of the Shark Bay Marine Reserves (which) is several years
       overdue. The delays in commencement of this audit have been exacerbated by lack of funds and
       availability of the required support from DEC’, will the Minister ensure that the DEC is adequately
       funded and has the required support to complete this audit
(17)   If no to (16), why not?
(18)   Are the audits of Marmion Marine Park and the Swan Estuary Marine Park and Adjacent Reserves
(19)   If yes to (18), by how long?
(20)   Will the Minister commit to ensuring these audits are completed as a matter of urgency?
(21)   Regarding funding for management of marine reserves the Annual Report states, ‘Despite these much-
       needed and welcome increases in funding, insufficient resources continue to limit operational
       management and monitoring in all parks and reserves’, will the Minister ensure that sufficient funding
       is provided in the next budget for operational management and monitoring in all marine parks and
(22)   If no to (21) —
       (a)      why not; and
       (b)      what are the consequences of under funding the operational management and monitoring of
                these reserves?
                                    [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]                                     2893

(1)-(4) Approximately 12 per cent of State waters is included in Western Australia's marine parks and reserves
        system established under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984. This includes 10 marine
        parks, two marine management areas and a marine nature reserve. Within this area, around 20% is
        afforded the highest level of protection as marine nature reserve, marine park sanctuary zones and
        marine management area conservation zones.
         In May 2009 the Liberal-National Government established the first marine park on the south coast, at
         Walpole and Nornalup Inlets, and in October 2009 the Government announced that it will establish the
         first marine park on the Kimberley coast, in the Camden Sound area.
(5)-(8) The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority (MPRA) has advised me of its support for progressing these
        two proposals.
(9)-(11) The Marine Scientific Panel submitted its Report on the Scientific Basis for and the Role of Marine
         Sanctuaries in Marine Planning to the Inter Departmental Committee for the Management of the State's
         Marine Protected Areas in August 2008. The report is available on the Department of Environment and
         Conservation's (DEC) website.
(12)-(15)The MPRA reported in its Jurien Bay Marine Park Periodic Audit Report that, in its view, the marine
         park is well managed and key performance indicator targets are being achieved.
         The Jurien Bay Marine Park has the longest running marine park monitoring program in Western
         Australia. This work has been facilitated by DEC and the University of Tasmania and provides
         information dating back to prior to the establishment of the marine park. To date there has been no
         apparent decline of key species, their size or abundance within sanctuary zones and no pattern of
         decline in seagrass abundance across the marine park. There has been no change in water quality.
(16)-(20)DEC assisted the MPRA with an assessment of the Shark Bay Marine Reserves Management Plan
         in 2009 and the MPRA's report is nearing completion. The MPRA, in collaboration with DEC,
         undertakes annual auditing of the implementation of all marine management plans.
(21)-(22)The Government continues to support necessary operational management of the State's marine parks
         and reserves, including research and monitoring activities.

                                 WEST ATLAS OIL SPILL — MONITORING
2179.    Hon Robin Chapple to the Minister for Environment
In reference to the West Atlas oil spill —
(1)      Is an Agency within the Minister’s portfolio actively monitoring the West Atlas oil spill?
(2)      If no to (1), why not
(3)      If yes to (1), which Agency under the Minister’s portfolio is conducting that monitoring?
(4)      What active measures have Agencies under the Minister’s portfolio undertaken to monitor the oil spill’s
         movement, volume and direction, on how many occasions and on what dates?
(1)-(3) The uncontrolled leak of hydrocarbons from the West Atlas rig, located on the Montara oil field in the
        Timor Sea occurred between 21 August and 3 November 2009. The spill occurred in Commonwealth
        waters and was monitored by the designated Commonwealth agency, the Australian Maritime Safety
        Authority (AMSA), from the commencement of the spill until a month after the spill ceased. The
        Western Australian Government Department of Transport is the Hazard Management Agency for oil
        spill response in State waters. The petroleum company, PTTEP Australasia, in agreement with the
        Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), is
        proceeding with a program of post-spill environmental monitoring.
(4)      During the incident response, which occurred between the 21 August and 3 December 2009, the
         Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was in daily contact with the Department of
         Transport which provided the conduit for information gathered by AMSA. AMSA provided
         information on the oil spill's movement and direction on a daily basis.
         DEC regularly communicated with DEWHA, who are responsible for environment and science advice
         coordination and oiled wildlife response in Commonwealth waters, and the Western Australian
         Department of Fisheries which is responsible for fisheries in the area.
2894                               [COUNCIL - Wednesday, 19 May 2010]

        In late October 2009DEC undertook a quantitative baseline hydrocarbon survey in State waters of the
        Western Kimberley from Camden Sound, north and east along the Kimberley coast and islands through
        to Cape Londonderry. A total of sixteen sites on twelve offshore islands and two mainland shores were
        surveyed. No detectible petroleum hydrocarbons were found to be present in any of the samples of
        water and shoreline sediments. Initial analysis of intertidal filter feeders and cultured pearl oysters
        collected during the survey also suggests no detectible hydrocarbons were present. A follow up survey
        by the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority is planned for July 2010.
2199.   Hon Helen Bullock to the Minister for Energy representing the Minister for Education
(1)     Can the Minister confirm that there have been no school lessons at all for the school age children living
        at Patjarr during the first term of this current school year?
(2)     For the school age children who are now living at Patjarr is the Minister of the view that the promised
        two hours per day of School of the Air will can be utilised to make up for the time missed during term
(3)     Will the Minister consider reversing the decision that has removed a professionally trained teacher from
        this Community?
(4)     If no to (3), why not?
Hon PETER COLLIER replied:
(1)     No, this is not true. The three children resident at Patjarr since the beginning of the 2010 school year
        have attended lessons at the Blackstone Campus of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands School for periods of time
        during term one, 2010, because they were visiting the Blackstone Community at that time.
(2)     Students from Patjarr who visited the Blackstone Community attended lessons at the Blackstone
        Campus during Term one. When the children reside at Patjarr they participate in lessons online through
        the Kalgoorlie School of the Air. The online delivery of lessons to the three children of Patjarr is only
        one component of their schooling. Lessons and education programs are also provided through books
        and packaged materials. Lessons provided to these students will take account of any remediation
        strategies necessary to enable the children to progress.
(3)     The three children at Patjarr do have access to professionally trained teachers through Kalgoorlie
        School of the Air and are supervised by a locally employed Education Assistant.
(4)     School of the Air exists to provide for situations where there are small numbers of students. This is the
        case for the small numbers of students that may be resident for periods of time at Patjarr.


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