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Stop Stuffing Around Bureaucrats and Provide Real Drought Funding

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“It’s disappointing that the Government has decided to shuffle public service positions, and spend more money creating new offices within offices instead of providing real drought support,” said Member for Barwon Roy Butler. 

Mr Butler’s comments follow the sacking of Jock Laurie, the government’s drought coordinator, to make way for the new Office of Drought Response. 

“The drought coordinator’s position was set up to listen to farmers and communicate their views to government – to make sure their concerns surrounding drought had been heard.

Barwon MP fighting for desperately needed drug rehabilitation centres in western NSW

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Member for Barwon, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to take action and establish more residential rehabilitation centres in the west of the State.

Drug related crime figures, presentations to emergency departments, and Ambulance call outs for drug related incidents are all on the increase.

In the Far West, amphetamine use and possession has increased by 61 per cent between April 2017 and March 2019 – the highest increase in the State. 

Member for Barwon calls for immediate independent audit of Rural and Regional Public Hospitals

Kate Schwager 0 992 Article rating: 2.0

Barwon MP Roy Butler has renewed his party’s call for an independent audit of rural and regional public hospital services and staffing.

This call follows the deeply concerning revelations in the Four Corners report Health Hazard

Mr Butler says the government needs to undertake an immediate independent audit of rural and regional public hospitals to determine what services are missing or lacking from hospitals; and the distribution of the health workforce across the State. 

“It’s time to make the health, welfare and safety of people across rural and regional NSW a priority,” said Mr Butler.

Mining watchdog suspends Narrabri Coal's exploration licence

Northern Daily Leader - Jamieson Murphy

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THE state's mining watchdog has suspended the exploration licence of Narrabri Coal, for building unauthorised tracks in the Pilliga Forest.

The long-wall mine, which forms part of Whitehaven Coal's operations, was found to be in breach of its licence following a state-wide compliance blitz in June.

More than a dozen hollow trees, which provide important habitat to native animals, were knocked down. The unauthorised paths also failed to divert around environmentally sensitive areas.

Resources Regulator head honcho Anthony Keon said the mine's actions showed a "comprehensive failure" to follow "fundamental regulatory obligations".

"The construction of the unauthorised tracks resulted in significant environmental harm," Mr Keon said.

"Exploration activities are subject to strict conditions in order to ensure appropriate environmental protections.

Citizen science group, the Leard Forest Node, has been monitoring the mine's "progressive incursion" in to the Pilliga forest for a couple of years, spokeswoman Anna Christie said.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, the Narrabri Coal mine has been flying under the radar for several years," Ms Christie said.

She was glad to see meaningful action taken against the mine, rather than just "a fine and a tap of the wrist".

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The suspension will remain in place until the mine conducts a full review of its compliance systems and can satisfy the watchdog that appropriate controls have been put in place.

Five other joint-venture partners also had their exploration licence suspended. The licence holders acknowledged the offending behaviour and offered to suspend all drilling and clearing activities.

The mine will be able to continue operating, however the suspension stops it from expanding or investigating new sites.

Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn accepted that on this occasion the company failed to properly obverse its exploration obligations

"Based on our inquiries to date, the circumstances and communication failures that led to this outcome are unacceptable," Mr Flynn said.

"Whitehaven took immediate corrective action following the Regulator's site inspection, suspending all exploration activity and commissioning an independent audit and investigation to determine necessary corrective actions.

"The company is committed to ensuring all relevant issues are identified and addressed before exploration activities at Narrabri can resume and will continue to cooperate fully with the NSW Resources Regulator to achieve this outcome."

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