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Lee Rhiannon MLC


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									          Parliamentary Report No 44
                       Dec 2007 – Feb 2008
Lee Rhiannon, Greens MP
Parliament House Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2OOO
Ph: 9230 3551 Fax: 9230 3550
Email: lee.rhiannon@parliament.nsw.gov.au

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this report with me prior to the SDC
            please contact me – phone and email details above.


The NSW Parliament has not sat since the last SDC. Parliament will resume on 26

Political party donations

The Greens work exposing political donations has gained considerable coverage in
recent weeks thanks to the hard work of our Democracy4sale team. Data on the
2006/2007 donations is now on the Greens donations website:
www.democracy4sale.org Once again the hotel industry and property developers have
pumped millions of dollars into the major parties in the lead up to the NSW 2007 state
election. Data from the Australian Electoral Commission reveals NSW Labor picked up
over $2 million in donations from some of Australia's biggest developers.

The Democracy4sale team exposed the Australian Hotels Association fundraiser that
raised $492,820 for Labor.

The Greens work for reform of the donations process is building with the NSW
Parliamentary Inquiry into political funding, that we campaigned for during the last state
election, set to start in March. Please consider putting in a submission – deadline
February 15. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/partyfunding

With all the attention on political donations I reiterated our call for a ban on corporate
donations and a cap on election expenditure. It is interesting that the NSW Liberals
are also calling for caps but they have undermined their plan as they fail to effectively limit
spending by big business and cashed up advocacy groups in the lead up to an election.
Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                       2

Climate change

When the NSW State Plan Progress Report, that shows NSW will struggle to meet the
required cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, was released we called
for the government to show leadership and start planning for a low carbon economy. We
again urged the government to back clean renewable and energy efficiency technology,
increased use of public transport and work on a transition program for coal communities
so they can access retraining and financial assistance.

The booklet produced by the parliament offices, “2 degrees to midnight – NSW Greens
MPs’ guide to climate change action”, has been well received and we still have copies
if any local groups want to boost their stocks.


My office continues to receive complaints about dust problems around Muswellbrook
in the Upper Hunter caused by the large number of open cut coalmines. I renewed the
Greens call for the office of the Environmental Protection Authority to be reinstated to
Muswellbrook. The Minister’s response was that the Newcastle office could look after it.
The NSW government should be using money it makes from the coal industry, which is
currently at a record high, to enforce the conditions under which Hunter coalmines are
allowed to operate. Research my office has undertaken of the coal industry’s record of
non-compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution licences found
that the 27 mines in the Upper Hunter region have a very high rate of non-compliance.
We are continuing to campaign for no new coalmines.

I visited Mudgee in January to join with about 50 locals to give support to Rob Carol who
was in court for standing up to Peabody Energy, a US mining multinational, engaged in
24-hour mining operations and harassing locals who stand up to them. I have worked
with Mr Carol and some of his neighbours for about four years. It is clear that the 24-hour
mining operations and the associated dust and noise levels are seriously impacting on
the health of many of them. The NSW Industrial Noise Policy needs a major overhaul as
the Iemma government is using this out of date document to justify unacceptable levels of
noise in coalmine operations that are damaging the health and well being of Mr Carol and
other locals. http://lee.greens.org.au/index.php/content/view/2403/50/

LGBTI rights

I am working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI)
Working Group on a range of activities for 2008 including a civil union private members
bill, backing adoption campaigns and organising a Mardi Gras 78er event. A top priority is
to reduce violence directed against the queer community. I will move in the NSW
Parliament a private members bill for same-sex and transgendered civil unions, and
together with our federal colleagues we will continue to campaign for marriage rights for

Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                       3


Premier Morris Iemma’s plan to upgrade domestic violence services is in tatters
following his government’s decision to abolish 24 anti-domestic violence workers’
positions. In 2006 he declared war on domestic violence and gave a personal pledge to
find new solutions. Now he has sacked the workers who are doing just that. The Premier
has employed a number of policy workers but that is no excuse for getting rid of front line
positions. I called for 24 jobs to be reinstated.

Industrial relations

When NSW fire fighters held a recent stop work meeting over the meagre wage rise the
government has offered them I congratulated the workers and their union for their action.
The fire fighters have been forced to take strike action because Treasurer Michael Costa
expects public sector workers to effectively take a pay cut. It is unacceptable that he
expects public sector workers to settle for a 2.5 per cent pay rise when inflation is running
at 3.6 per cent and MPs received a 6 per cent pay rise.


When the usual contingent of police sniffer dogs turned up at the Homebake Concert I
called for these kind of operations to be scrapped and government resources redirected
to catching the Mr Bigs of the drug world. The NSW Ombudsman has questioned the
sense of these kinds of operations, finding no evidence that sniffer dogs disrupt low level
drug dealing, have a deterrent effect on drug users or reduce drug related crime.

Transport and Ports

On a few occasions in the last month I have criticised the NRMA for their pro-motorway
and anti cycling activities. The current NRMA are certainly not serving the interests of
their members who would benefit from less congested roads that would result with
improved public transport and cycling facilities. It is unfortunate that the NRMA has
resorted to distorting data about bike use and travelling times to boost their case for more
road expenditure. I called on the NRMA to serve the interests of their members not the
road lobby and develop policies that respond to peak oil and the inevitable petrol
shortages. I also reiterated the Greens are calling for five per cent of the RTA’s budget to
be allocated to cycling facilities and for the restoration of the position of General
Manager, Bicycles and Pedestrians Branch of the RTA. This position was abolished when
Mr Michael Costa was Roads Minister.

In the wake of the T-card fiasco I called on the NSW government to simplify Sydney’s
bus and rail zones to encourage more people to use public transport and to ensure
integrated ticketing succeeds. Deputy Premier, John Watkins, has to accept some of the

Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                      4

blame for the T-card project falling over. The failure of the NSW government to simplify
the number of transport zones and make them consistent between rail and bus services
has contributed to the collapse of integrated ticketing for Sydney.

The NSW Opposition’s plan to create a separate public transport planning authority is a
step in the right direction provided it is not an excuse to restructure the state’s buses,


Responding to the NSW government's gaming review I called for the reduction in the
number of gaming machines by two thirds within ten years and entering into ‘buy
back’ arrangements with existing licensees.

Animal welfare

Following the tragic death of a circus worker on the NSW north coast I called for the
elephant that killed the man, Arna, and the other elephant in the circus, Gigi, to go to
Western Plains Zoo. This has been a long-term campaign by the Greens and a number of
animal welfare groups for circus elephants to be retired to Western Plains Zoo. It is tragic
it happened under such sad circumstances but it is an important breakthrough for these


World Youth Day to be held in Sydney in July has been mishandled by the NSW
government which has sunk excessive amounts of public money into the event, has failed
to disclose all the deals that have been done and have put in place an APEC style law
and order regime to manage the event. I have called on the NSW Government to come
clean and disclose the full extent of all deals made with the Australian Jockey Club for the
use of Randwick Racecourse for World Youth Day including the hand over of public land
to the AJC. When parliament resumes I will continue to pressure the NSW government to
come clean on the expected final bill for World Youth Day and to ensure that a safe sex
message is provided to participants.

www.democracy4sale.org Average usage per day:

Month             Hits       Pages        Visits
Feb-08               9605       1550           275
Jan-08               1860        954           228
Dec-07               1515        879           239
Nov-07               3620       1278           227
Oct-07                 589       323             73

Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                                       5

The above graph shows hits on 1 February 2008, the day the AEC releases latest annual donations figures.

www.lee.greens.org.au Average usage per day:

Month          Hits            Pages          Visits
Feb-08                  3694           1872            434
Jan-08                 11281           7380            916
2008                    9883           6366            827
Dec-07                  4019           2510            499
Nov-07                  4537           2720            546
Oct-07                  1677           1058            212

All media releases - http://lee.greens.org.au/index.php/content/view/1531/94/
      Date            Issue                                                          Media outlet
      7.12            Gaming review                                     ABC Radio News, 2SM, AAP, Nova,
                                                                      MMM, WS, 2UE, ABC News online, SMH
                                                                      online, Ch 10 News, interview ABC News
      7.12            Sniffer dogs and Homebake                            Village Voice Online, AAP, Daily
                                                                        Telegraph online, news.com.au, The
                                                                                   Australian online,
      8.12            Sniffer dogs and Homebake                        2Sm, Nova, MMM, 2UE, 2GB, Ch 9 and
                                                                           Win TV, AAP, ninemsm online,
                                                                            livenews.com.au, SMH online,
      8.12            Political donations and gambling                                City News
      9.12            Sniffer Dogs and Homebake                        ABC Radio News, ABC online, National
                                                                                     Radio News
      10.12           Sniffer Dogs and Homebake                                 2UE evening talk show
      10.12           State Plan Progress Report – emissions and                2SM, 2UE, Nova, MMM
                      air pollution
      10.12           Tcard – contingency plans/budget estimates                 SMH, smh online,
      11.12           Govt talks Tcard with rivals                                     SMH
      12.12           Coal communities - hard done by                                  SMH
      12.12           Water and coal mining in the Liverpool Plains          The Northern Daily Leader
      12.12           World Youth Day                                              Radio 2GLS
      12.12           Harbour Tunnel costs                                    ABC, 2SM, ABC online
      13.12           Harbour Tunnel costs                                       ABC news online
      13.12           World Youth Day – APEC like powers              SMH, Adam Spencer 702, ABC Radio
                                                                      News, ABC Online, Viginia Trioli 702,
                                                                      Radio 2UE, 2SM, Nova, Ch 7, Ch 2,
                                                                      Australian online, MX

Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                                6

        14.12      BHP Billiton mining at Caroona                                  SMH
        15.12      Xmas time public housing eviction                         Daily Telegraph
        16.12      Profile on Corrective Services head Ron                  Sunday Telegraph
        18.12      Regulation of Solariums                                 Inner West Courier
        28.12      Lee Rhiannon profiled as a ‘Hot Chick’                        SX News
5/6.1              Profile of Fred Nile                                            SMh
10.1               Elephants and death of circus trainer                            2DU
        10.1       Bike facilities and NRMA                                      2SM, 2UE
        10.1        DPP considering Phil Koperberg case                          2UE, 2SM
        11.1       Bike facilities and NRMA                             SMH, National Radio News
        11.1       Cracked water pipes                                       Daily Telegraph
        14.1        Dust in Upper Hunter from mining                             2HD, 2KO
        15.1        Dust in Upper Hunter from mining                     ABC Upper Hunter, 2SM
        15.1        Support for Fairfield Gambling summit                Fairfield City Champion
        15.1        Blog in Daily Telegraph on Cycling                       Daily Telegraph
        16.1        Calls for EPA office in Hunter                               HV news
        18.1        Donations opinion piece by David Humpries                      SMH
        23.1        Robert Carroll court case – coal                        Mudgee Guardian
        24.1        Minister for Environment plan to make the    2SM
                    NSW Parliament a green friendly building
        24.1        Greens stance against homophobic             Sydney Star Observer
        24.1        Push for civil unions bill                   Sydney Star Observer
        24.1        Push for civil unions bill                   SX News
    25-28.1         Support for Tcard inquiry                    Australian Financial Review
        26.1        Profile of NSW Government                    Elisabeth Wynhausen, The Australian
        28.1        Opposition’s donations reform plan           ABC Radio news, 2UE
        29.1        Barry O’Farrell’s position on donations      Letter, SMH
        30.1        Liberal’s position on donations              Daily Liberal
         1.2        Donations –Feb 1 figures                     2SM, ABC Radio News
         2.2        Donations – Feb 1/Hotels and AHA             SMH 2SM, 2UE, 2WS, MMM, 2DAY FM,
                                                                 Nova, 2HD
         2.2        Donations – Call for ban on corporate        2SM, 2UE, 2WS, MMM, 2DAY FM,
                    donations                                    Nova, 2HD, Livenews.com.au
         4.2        Domestic Violence – cutting workers          2SM, 2UE, MMM, 2WS, SBS, 2GZ and
                                                                 Star FM Dubbo
         5.2        World Youth Day and AJC deal                 SMH, AAP
         5.2        NRMA’s plans for the F3 Newcastle to         ABC Radio Newcastle, KO FM, 2HD,
                    Sydney motorway                              Newcastle Herald, Newcastle edn of
                                                                 Daily Telegraph
         5.2        Greens no privatistation campaign            ABC Radio Newcastle, KO FM, 2HD,
                                                                 Newcastle Herald, Newcastle edn of
                                                                 Daily Telegraph
         6.2        Newcastle-Sydney transport corridor issues   Opinion piece Newcastle Herald,
                    and NRMA                                     Newcastle ABC Morning Show, Maitland
                                                                 Mercury, 2HD, KOFM
         6.2        NRMA’s calls to extend the F6                Wave FM, ABC Radio News Illawarra
         6.2        Clean coal                                   ABC Radio News Illawarra
         7.2        NRMA’s calls to extend the F6                Illawarra Mercury, ABC Illawarra
                                                                 morning program
         8.2        Tunnel for Auckland and Cross City Tunnel    Radio Live NZ Morning Program
         8.2        Iemma’s spending on China trip               2SM

Lee Rhiannon Parliamentary Report No 44                                                                  7

    Mudgee for protest by coal communities people at Mudgee Court House in support of Rob Carol
    Newcastle for meetings with MUA Veteran Association and Rising Tide
    Newcastle for protest against third coal loader

   State Delegates Council
   Ku ring gai Greens local group meeting
   Greens NSW end of year function
   Wentworth Election Campaign Committee wrap up function
   LGBTI Working Group
   Burwood-Strathfield Greens local group
   No Privatisation Working Group
   IR Working Group

   Briefing from Motorcycle Council
   Briefing from NSW Charter Group

    MUA Veterans Association, Newcastle

    Sydney Girls High presentation day
    NCC end of year function
    Protest at Chilean Consulate in support of Mapuche indigenous rights
    Justice Action end of year function

    Committee on Electoral Matters – current inquiry into the 2007 state election.
    General Purpose Standing Committee No. 4 for transport estimates

Staff – Alison Orme, Susie Gemmell, Linda Wilhelm. Jemma Bailey is on maternity leave. Keiller MacDuff
will replace Jemma while she is on leave.
Volunteers – Norman Thompson coordinates the Democracy4sale project. Linda Wilhelm also volunteers
one day a week. James Bourne volunteers each Tuesday and Thursday. Louise Callaway volunteers on
Thursday. Kerri-Ann Jones volunteers on Fridays.

Ph 92303551 Fax 92303550
Lee Rhiannon                                           lee.rhiannon@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Alison Orme – adviser                                  alison.orme@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Susie Gemmell – adviser                                susie.gemmell@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Jemma Bailey – adviser                                 jemma.bailey@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Linda Wilhelm - office administration                  linda.wilhelm@parliament.nsw.gov.au


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