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Hartsuyker’s strengthens Maclean bats Bill to end bureaucratic buck passing and remove Federal Minister from the process



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Media Contact: Greg Pierce Coffs Harbour: 02 6652 6233 Canberra: 02 6277 4447 Mobile: 0408 532 785

Email: greg.pierce@aph.gov.au

19 October 2010

Hartsuyker’s strengthens Maclean bats Bill to end bureaucratic buck passing and remove Federal Minister from the process

The Federal Coalition has fully endorsed a Bill proposed by Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker which effectively removes the Federal Environment Minister from the approval process to have the Maclean bats removed.

Mr Hartsuyker this week sought the support of the Shadow Cabinet and the Coalition Joint Party Room by summiting a Bill which specifically aims to stop the bureaucratic merry-go-round in having the bats removed.

“The bureaucratic buck passing and sham consultations must stop,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The school community and local residents have had enough of the bureaucratic nonsense.

“They have had enough of the sham environmental assessment and consultation process.

“And they have had enough of the pathetic explanations from both Federal and State Labor Governments.

“The reality is that those who don’t want the bats removed will always point the finger at someone else. And the bureaucratic circus just goes on and on.

“As a result I have strengthened my Private Members Bill which will remove the extreme green Federal Environment Department and the Federal Minister for the Environment from the Maclean bats licence approval process.

“Under the new Bill, which has been endorsed by Shadow Cabinet and the Coalition Joint Party Room, an amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA) 1999 will address the situation at Maclean High School.

“The amendment states:

The Minister is deemed to have unconditionally approved, for the purposes of the Act, relocation of the flying fox colony in the northern New South Wales town of Maclean, in the locale of the Maclean High School, upon completion of State approvals by the New South Wales Government.

“Under this amendment the Federal Minister will no longer have to consider an application to disperse the bats. Once State approvals are sorted, the bats can be removed.

Media Contact: Greg Pierce Coffs Harbour: 02 6652 6233 Canberra: 02 6277 4447 Mobile: 0408 532 785

Email: greg.pierce@aph.gov.au

“By removing the Commonwealth from the licence approval process, responsibility and liability will sit solely with the NSW Government.

“Let’s remember the NSW Government, through Department of Education and Training, currently has an application to disperse the bats lodged with the Commonwealth. I trust this application from DET reflects the will of all State departments.

“And that is why it is important that this Bill proceeds. We have to stop the endless excuses being offered by some politicians and numerous bureaucrats on why we still have tens of thousands of flying foxes in Maclean.

“Both the Federal and State Labor Governments have been negligent on this matter. Their whole focus has purely been to ensure the bats are put ahead of the interests of the people.

“But if the Federal Government is taken out of the mix we have a real chance to get reach action.

“At the Federal Government level the people have been treated with contempt.

“On June 16 I tabled a petition in the Federal Parliament on this issue. Parliamentary convention says the Minister should respond within 90 days. It is now 125 days and still Federal Labor ignores the will of the people,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

ends