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NSW State Election 2019
Questionnaire Response
Blue Mountains Electorate
This webpage contains a tabulated response to the Society's Questionnaire to candidates for the electorate of Blue Mountains.

You'll find responses to the electorate of Penrith here.

Answers have been extracted from the candidates response. No editing of answers has been made except for some minor formatting to preserve how the answer appears in the pdf submitted.


Candidate's Response As Submitted

This section contains the completed questionnaire as received from the candidates. Subsequent adjustments have been provided by emails from the candidate.

Blue Mountains Candidate Response Rec'd Adjusted
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
pdf 18 Feb 20 Feb
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
pdf * 20 Feb -
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
pdf 25 Jan 8 Mar
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice Party)
pdf 27 Jan 6 Mar

* The Liberal response received is the NSW Government response from the Minister for the Environment (Gabrielle Upton, MP). It doesn't follow the layout of the questionnaire and is more of a statement to the various questionnaire headings. We have included it as best we can.


Tabulated yes/no Response

This section contains a tabulated response to the yes/no part of each question.

Note the link to the detailed response - for example  Q3.1

Q1. Protect Our World Heritage National Parks

Question Trish
Doyle
Owen
Laffin
Kingsley
Liu
Greg
Keightley
Q1.1  Do you support increasing the National Parks and Wildlife Service budget by $150 Million by 2022?
yes - yes yes
Q1.2  In regard to threatened species in the GBMWHA, would you commit to the following goals?
a) Ensure that biodiversity within the GBMWHA is maintained
yes - yes yes
b) Ensure that no threatened species becomes extinct within the GBMWHA
yes - yes yes
c) Ensure that no non-threatened species becomes threatened within the GBMWHA
yes - yes yes
Q1.3  If elected will you work to ensure that inappropriate tourism development – such as large scale up-market accommodation – does not occur within our national parks?
yes - yes yes
Q1.4  Plans of Management for a number of national parks in the south of NSW are being amended to allow horse riding within declared wilderness areas.
a) If elected will you work to ensure these amendments are reversed?
yes - yes yes
b) Additionally will you work to ensure that horse riding is never allowed in any declared wilderness areas in NSW?
yes - yes yes
Q1.5  A project is currently underway to raise Warragamba Dam by 14 metres.
Do you support this project?
no - no no
Q1.6  Do you oppose Western Sydney Airport?
yes - yes yes
Q1.7  Do you support not allowing flights below 13,000 feet above the ground over declared Wilderness Areas?
yes - yes yes

Q2. Expand Our National Parks

Question Trish
Doyle
Owen
Laffin
Kingsley
Liu
Greg
Keightley
Q2.1  Do you support the protection of the 39,000 hectare Gardens of Stone Stage 2 area as a state conservation area?
yes - yes yes
Q2.2  Do you support the acquisition of Radiata Plateau and for it to be added to the Blue Mountains National Park?
yes - yes yes
Q2.3  Do you support the acquisition of these strategic additions to the Blue Mountains National Park?
yes - yes yes

Q3. Appropriate Local Development

Question Trish
Doyle
Owen
Laffin
Kingsley
Liu
Greg
Keightley
Q3.1  Do you support the immediate inclusion of the R6 Residential character conservation zone in the Blue Mountains LEP 2015?
yes - yes yes
Q3.2  NSW needs stronger laws that stop the destruction of important native bushland and wildlife habitat.
a) Do you support a review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme specifically with a view of conserving native vegetation?
yes - yes yes
b) Do you support an end to deforestation and excessive land clearing?
yes - yes yes
Q3.3  Do you support tackling invasive species as described in the questionnaire?
yes - yes no
Q3.4  Do you support a permanent exemption from the Medium Density Housing Code for the Blue Mountains?
yes - yes yes

Q4. Climate Change And Coal Mining

Question Trish
Doyle
Owen
Laffin
Kingsley
Liu
Greg
Keightley
Q4.1  Do you accept that anthropogenic* climate change is real and severe?
[* anthropogenic - caused by humans or their activities.]
yes - yes yes
Q4.2  Do you support no more issuing of new coal exploration licences and coal mining leases?
yes - yes yes
Q4.3  Do you support the phasing out of fossil fuels and supporting affected communities?
yes - yes yes
Q4.4  Do you support ensuring IPC panels include people with suitable environmental qualifications, in particular terrestrial or aquatic ecology, when assessing developments which impact on threatened species and communities?
yes - yes yes

Q5. Waste And Recycling

Question Trish
Doyle
Owen
Laffin
Kingsley
Liu
Greg
Keightley
Q5.1  Single-Use Plastic Bags and Products Containing Microbeads.
a) Do you support a ban on single-use plastic bags?
yes - yes yes
b) Do you support a ban on products containing microbeads?
yes - yes yes



Tabulated Full Response

This section contains a tabulated response to the full part of each question. No editing of answers has been made except for some minor formatting to preserve how the answer appears in the submitted pdf.

Q1. Protect Our World Heritage National Parks

Q1.1 The National Parks and Wildlife Service Budget

Do you support increasing the National Parks and Wildlife Service budget by $150 Million by 2022?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
The Berejiklian Government has cut funding to the National Parks and Wildlife Service by over $120mil. There has been a 26% drop in staff.

I will continue to argue and advocate for the restoration of additional funding for management of our GBMWHA.

My advocacy will continue to involve seeking funding commitments from both Ministers and Shadow Ministers; raising awareness of the reasoning behind the need and request; and, supporting the allocation of resources to strengthen and enrich the NPWS. It must be returned to a protection agency and I will work hard with the Society to achieve that outcome.

Please see one of my many speeches in the NSW Parliament on staff and resource budgeting for the NPWS: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1323879322-96551

Labor is committed to rebuilding the NPWS. Labor will have more to say in the lead to the election but there will be more money for the NPWS under Labor.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
Note: This is the response to Q1.1 - 1.4.

On 4 February 2019, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government announced that if re-elected in March this year we will invest nearly $150 million to deliver world-class facilities for our national parks and make it easier for everyone to enjoy our natural environment.

This investment will improve accessibility on over 1,000 national park walking tracks, with more than 200 of the most popular trails being substantially upgraded, including in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA).

This builds on our 2018-19 Budget commitment to invest $1.9 billion to protect our environment and heritage, including $632.3 million ($2.5 billion over four years) for national parks, walking trails and public parklands.

There are more than 870 national parks and reserves in NSW and there are many reasons why there are different categories of protected areas. In addition to their role in conservation, national parks and reserves provide an important opportunity for nature appreciation, enjoyment and improving public awareness of our environment.

When assessing the merits of any proposed adaptive reuse, tourism or infrastructure activity, the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 includes checks and balances to ensure a possible proposal is appropriate for the environment and heritage values of the park, and for the community.

Further, a statutory Plan of Management sets out how a national park will be sustainably managed to protect and enhance its environmental, cultural and community values into the future. A plan requires consultation with the community, statutory committees, and approval by the Minister for the Environment.

A two-year trial of horse riding on trails in wilderness areas in four national parks was undertaken in 2014-16. It found there were minimal impacts from horse riding and that wilderness values were not adversely impacted. A report was published in July 2017 and is available on the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Wilderness horse riding trial webpage.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to conserving and protecting our unique biodiversity across NSW, and the biodiversity in the GBMWHA is no exception. In particular, the Government has invested $100 million over five years into the Saving our Species program, making it one of the largest conservation programs of its kind in Australia. Projects in the GBMWHA include nearly $200,000 being invested towards securing the Wollemi Pine – four strands of which are found within a few remote canyons in the Blue Mountains.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Collaborate with BMCS to fine tune Greens policies
- Advocate for an expansion of NPWS to be the primary conservation body
- Establish Regional Parks Authority (Ministry of Environment)
- Amend Wilderness Act – relevant protection clauses
- Support volunteer community groups helping in NP area and stop commercialisation + inappropriate activities
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I would support increasing the NPWS budget by $150 million by 2022 in order to facilitate better management with the addition of more front-line staff. Along with the changes proposed by BMCS, I would also like to see a greater focus in the areas of compliance and enforcement.

Q1.2 Threatened Species in the GBMWHA

In regard to threatened species in the GBMWHA, would you commit to the following goals? If elected, what actions would you take?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I will work alongside BMCS, the Minister, NCC, Colong and other conservationists to secure protection measures for threatened species and biodiversity. At front of mind, in my political and community advocacy will be:
Restoring bushland and forest; dealing with land-clearing problems; creating habitat for koalas; protecting ecosystems by dealing adequately with invasive species; refraining from selling off public land and ensuring principles of ecologically sustainable development are adhered to.
The natural environment is of utmost importance to me on a personal and professional level. I also recognise the fundamental role it plays to the state of our health as people, for NSW, our cultural Indigenous heritage and our economy, our tourism sector and our future.
Advocating for such measures will be part of my agenda if re-elected.
Labor will ensure that there is a clear plan to support the retention and recovery of threatened species within GBMWHA, including dealing with invasive weeds and pests and species specific action. We will ensure that impact on threatened species are taken into account when managing activity within the park.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q1.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Legislate to end logging in public native forests and expand the National Parks estate
- End deforestation and excessive land clearing
- Legislate to establish a land and biodiversity fund
- Increase funding to the Save our Species Programme
- Put limits on biodiversity offsetting
- Improve funding for invasive species management
- Implement national strategy of conversation of Australian biodiversity in GBMWHA
- Strengthen legislation that protects biodiversity
- Oppose actions to weaken native vegetation act
- Ensure Indigenous Australians have important government and representative role
- Ensure no shooting in National Parks
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I would work alongside Local, State and Federal Government agencies in consultation with environmental and conservation groups, to ensure protections for native flora and fauna currently in place are maintained and enforced and move to legislate for tighter controls on habitat destruction.

Q1.3 Inappropriate Development in our National Parks

If elected will you work to ensure that inappropriate tourism development – such as large scale up-market accommodation – does not occur within our national parks?
Explain how you will do this.
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I will continue to argue against inappropriate tourism development which negatively impacts our National Parks. Especially critical is working with the environment protection and conservation movement to ensure measures are in place to analyse and question proposals that have adverse and negative effects on our parks.

Please be assured that I will always challenge the incompatibility of tourism and heritage conservation, where inappropriate development is concerned.

Impacts can be managed effectively if we aim for responsible tourism around conservation principles without commercialising and monetising every aspect of ‘enjoyment’ in our National Parks.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q1.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Ensure community engagement on zoning alterations, revise predevelopment process
- Reform legislation on DA at Local Councils
- Reform rules at Land and Environment Court to not penalize public interest applicants
- Revise use of regional Planning Instruments “Biodiversity and Nature Corridors”
- Collective advocacy with BMCS to Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
There is no place for inappropriate tourism development such as large scale, upmarket accommodation within our National Parks. I would petition both Local and State Government to maintain current legislation which prohibits such development and lobby for the NPWS to have adequate funding so as not to have to rely on income from inappropriate development.

Q1.4 Horse Riding within Wilderness Areas

Plans of Management for a number of national parks in the south of NSW are being amended to allow horse riding within declared wilderness areas.
If elected will you work to ensure these amendments are reversed?
Additionally will you work to ensure that horse riding is never allowed in any declared wilderness areas in NSW?
Explain how you will do this.
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I spoke in vehement opposition to the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Bill 2018. Please see my speech on this important issue here: http://trishdoyle.nationbuilder.com/kosciusko_wild_horse_heritage_bill

Labor has committed to repealing this Bill if elected to Government in 2019.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q1.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Ban activities inconsistent with the National Parks and Wildlife Act
- Establish Plan of Management under Wilderness Act
- Advocate for alternative “horse riding” venues
- Collaborate with local council to bring in appropriate “banning ordinance”
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
These Amendments permitting horse riding in Wilderness areas should be reversed immediately and I would work to ensure that horse riding is never allowed in any declared Wilderness area in NSW. I would seek to inform the Government of the destruction caused by hard-hooved, non-native animals on Australia's biodiversity in order to influence the reversal of the Plans of Management.

Q1.5 Raising Warragamba Dam

A project is currently underway to raise Warragamba Dam by 14 metres.
If you don’t support this project, and if elected, what steps will you take to prevent this from happening?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Labor’s position on the Warragamba Dam Wall raising has not changed since 1995 when the Carr Labor Government rejected the proposal. Steps I have already taken to oppose this Warragamba Dam wall raising project and prevent this atrocity from happening, include:

* successfully advocating within my own party and amongst colleagues to oppose the project
* focusing instead, on highlighting the inappropriate developer grab on the Nepean and Hawkesbury plains
* raising awareness of the destructive elements of said proposal
* working with the ‘Give a Dam’ campaign alongside our Indigenous peoples and our local BM Con Sock to protect our wild rivers, BMWH listing and cultural heritage sites.

Further to these points, Labor will have more to say on the Warragamba dam wall closer to the election.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has the highest single flood exposure in Australia. The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government supports the dam proposal in order to reduce the significant risk that exists now for downstream communities.

For example, if a flood similar to the valley's worst since European settlement happened again, hundreds of lives would be in danger. Around 90,000 people would need to be evacuated and around 12,000 homes would be affected.

In preparing Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy, all options to mitigate flood risk were carefully assessed, including regional road upgrades, new dams, river diversions, dredging the river and raising Warragamba Dam. Options to operate the existing Warragamba Dam differently were considered as well as changes to the operation of the overall water supply system.

Raising Warragamba Dam by around 14 metres was found to be the most effective infrastructure option for reducing regional flood risk. It balances the safety of thousands of people living and working downstream with the impacts of temporary inundation on the upstream environment.

Raising the Dam for flood mitigation purposes will not allow one additional dwelling to be developed above what is already permissible. There will be a rigorous EIS process conducted in mid-2019. It’s important that we find a balance between environmental concerns and the lives and property of people who already live downstream.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Work with Justin Field MLC, The Colong Foundation and their Give A Dam campaign, the BMCS, The Gundungurra peoples, and other community groups to block the project and voice objection to the project on environmental and cultural heritage grounds.
- Support and promote, through media and Parliament, any direct actions, campaigning and submission writing in the lead up to the Environmental Impact Statement and project approval phases.
- Support Rights of Nature campaign group for Cox’s / Kowmung River
- Reveal lobbying by developers
- Develop alternative water management strategies
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I do not support the raising of the Warragamba Dam. If elected, I would join with environmental groups and scientists to strenuously lobby both the sitting Minister for Environment and Minister for Infrastructure to reject ANY proposal to raise Warragamba Dam. My opposition is based on the undeniable scientific evidence against the proposal and the dire need to protect the area's wild rivers, cultural heritage, threatened species and biodiversity. I am acutely aware, through my involvement with Western Sydney Conservation Alliance, of the previously undiscovered flora and fauna which has been discovered during preliminary ecological surveys for the proposal. Raising the Dam wall would be a disaster!

Q1.6 Western Sydney Airport – Not Needed or Wanted

Do you oppose Western Sydney Airport?
If elected, what would you do to influence the abandonment of this project?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I will continue to raise awareness of the ill-effects of this project and encourage decision makers to hear alternative proposals for ‘jobs’ and ‘transportation’ that are sustainable and not environmentally disastrous; healthier, economically viable alternatives such as High Speed rail and real jobs for the west.
In the previous couple of years I have taken delegations of RAWSA and BMCS representatives to speak with the Opposition Leader and several of my Shadow Ministerial colleagues about my community either opposing or having serious concerns with the WSA/BCA proposal.
In 2015 I organised for my electorate to participate in feedback on the draft EIS, via provision of a template and forwarding 80% of the near 5000 submissions opposing or raising concerns about the proposed airport.
I have placed numerous Notices of Motion for debate on the floor of the Legislative Assembly in the NSW Parliament; made statements and heard/shared concerns from our community with Government, Opposition, FOWSA - informally, spoken at rallies and advocated clearly and consistently within my own Party Caucus room. Please see an example of one of my speeches on this issue: https://www.trishdoylemp.com.au/badgerys_creek_airport
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
Note: This is the response to Q1.6 - 1.7.

The NSW Government supports the Commonwealth Government’s investment in a new airport for Western Sydney. The flight paths for Western Sydney Airport will be finalised much closer to operations commencing in 2026. This will include public exhibition and community consultation on the preferred design.

Construction of the Western Sydney Airport provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to catalyse new investment and attract great new jobs for people in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Through the Western Sydney City Deal, the NSW Government has partnered with the Commonwealth Government and the eight local councils of the Western City, including Blue Mountains City Council, to invest in a range of city-building initiatives that will improve the prosperity, sustainability and liveability of Western Sydney.

This includes more than $18 million for Blue Mountains projects as part of the City Deal Liveability Fund.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- The Greens is the only party with a "no WSA" policy
- Focus on increased investment in public transport in Western Sydney
- Focus on longer term transport policies especially High Speed Rail development from Melbourne – Sydney - Brisbane ( incl regional cities in between, which would completely obviate the need for an airport in Western Sydney .. and lower demand for air travel on the Eastern seaboard
- Force public commitments from both candidates and major parties for opposition to WSA, no 24 hours, reduce emissions and carbon foot print, flight paths, noise protection, and waste water runoff from the WSA.
- Seek full economic study to evaluate the HSR public and industry benefits, funding arrangements, regional development, etc
- Advocate for a full review of the EIS and seek moratorium of time period
- Coordinate with BMCS and other campaign partnerships
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I oppose Western Sydney Airport. If elected, I would fight hard to encourage the Government to abandon the construction of Western Sydney Airport in favour of less environmentally damaging infrastructure such as High Speed Rail. In the event that the project goes ahead, I would ensure that minimal environmental impact occurs with a focus on aircraft movements being concentrated away from the Western aspect of the proposed airport, including GBMWHA, our residents and unique environment, strict time curfews and maximum flight altitudes on approach and departure. Having said that, I would reiterate that I would work strenuously to ensure there is no airport for Western Sydney and to focus attention on optimal use of existing flight infrastructure at Kingsford-Smith Airport..

Q1.7 Western Sydney Airport – Flights Over Wilderness Areas

Do you support not allowing flights below 13,000 feet above the ground over declared Wilderness Areas?
If elected, what would you do to influence this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
My response and activity on a political level, regarding this issue, has been to argue and advocate for a better outcome on behalf of our community. This includes seeking protection for wilderness areas so that over-flight of our GBMWHA is limited.
I will work with my state colleagues and my federal counterpart to minimise on-the-ground noise by seeking to have NO flights below 13,000 feet above the declared Wilderness Areas
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q1.6
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Greens policy advocates minimisation of social and environmental impacts
- Advocate for review of EIS
- Greens NSW maintain a No WSA Policy which voids landing or take off at low altitudes
- Ensure that noise monitoring is rigorous and transparent
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I absolutely support the prohibition of aircraft movements below 13,000 feet over declared wilderness areas. If elected, in conjunction with organisations such as BMCS and Blue Mountains City Council, I would lobby the Government to ensure that any science, along with the opinions those most affected (Blue Mountains residents and environmental protectors) are uppermost in the decision making process.

Q2. Expand Our National Parks

Q2.1 Gardens of Stone

Do you support the protection of the 39,000 hectare Gardens of Stone Stage 2 area as a state conservation area?
If yes, and if elected, what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I have been working with BMCS and the GoS Alliance to advance the protection of this spectacular environment. I have visited this precious area on a number of occasions over the last handful of years. Furthermore, I have been liaising with the Shadow Minister for Environment and advocating within the NSW Labor Parliamentary Party to secure Labor’s commitment to the protection of the Gardens of Stone (Stage 2 proposal) as a state conservation area.
Labor will have more to say on this issue closer to the election
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
Note: This is the response to Q2.1 - 2.3.

The NSW Government acquires land for national parks to reflect and protect the wide variety of landscapes and environments in NSW. New parks and additions to parks are created through land acquired by purchase, donation or transfer. All land suggested for new or additional park land is assessed and approved before it is acquired.

On 4 February 2019, the NSW Government announced its newest national park which covers 3,680 hectares and contains some of the Southern Highlands’ best koala habitat. This new national park will ensure that a vital koala wilderness area south of Sydney is preserved.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Creation of Conservation Nature Reserve
- Greens policy supports “immediate protection of the Gardens of Stone” as conservation area
- Expand and develop safeguards on coal mining expansion
- Seek ban on Manildra's mining production license approval process
- Set higher standards for Justification Threshold
- Budget for re-training and redevelopment of employees and mining industries to reduce community impact at Portland and Lithgow
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I do indeed support the 39,000 hectare Gardens of Stone Stage 2 area as a State Conservation Area. The Gardens of Stone, Stage 2 is an area of critical, State significance. As I own conservation land in close proximity to the Gardens of Stone, I have a personal vested interest in this internationally significant landscape. Fortunately, I have developed contacts in the area which have further reinforced my determination to work for the conservation of the Gardens of Stone. I would lend my utmost political and personal support to groups such as BMCS and Lithgow Environment Group in their efforts to lobby Government to enact Legislation to provide permanent protection for Stage 2 Gardens of Stone.

Q2.2 Leave Radiata Plateau Wild

Do you support the acquisition of Radiata Plateau and for it to be added to the Blue Mountains National Park?
If yes, and if elected, what steps will you take to further this campaign?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
For some years I have personally supported the campaigning efforts to secure the Radiata Plateau and add this last piece of the World Heritage Area to our BM National Parks estate. I will continue to argue the case for such important undeveloped escarpment land to be conserved and protected forever. I am aware that such a land acquisition would be treasured, particularly for significant Aboriginal heritage – the traditional pathway into the Megalong Valley.

Labor will have more to say on this issue closer to the election.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q2.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Greens Policy supports this addition as part of the expansion of the National Estate
- Act with advice by BMCS on the following issues :
Ban private development
Accelerate Public ownership
Other relevant issues
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I wholeheartedly support the acquisition of Radiata Plateau in order that it be added to Blue Mountains National Park. I will investigate the possibility that funds could be acquired from the Developers' Offset Scheme to be used to acquire this critically significant area. If elected, I will petition the Government to allocate funding for the permanent acquisition of the Radiata Plateau, the addition of the Plateau to the Blue Mountains National Park and for its permanent protection.

Q2.3 Strategic Additions to the Blue Mountains National Park

The Society has identified the following strategic additions:

See Society’s Proposed Strategic Additions webpage

Do you support the acquisition of these strategic additions to the Blue Mountains National Park?
If so, and if elected, what steps will you take to further this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I support the acquisition of strategic parcels of land to our National park estate.
Steps I will take to further this outcome include, as with other important issues, strong and relentless advocacy and representation.
This will no doubt require joint collaboration with Governments, BMCS, private landowners and Crown Lands.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q2.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Greens policy calls for expansion of the National Estate
- Encourage BMCS to take the lead with Greens support to host or cohost the proposal
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I strongly support the acquisition of these strategic additions to BMNP. Being a local resident for 35 years and a wildlife rescuer and carer for 20 years, I am very familiar with the four areas that BMCS proposes adding to the NSW Government estate. These four areas are significant and require protections both for biodiversity and for the enjoyment of residents. From my own experiences, I am acutely aware of the lack of protection of flora and fauna on private land and the need for a higher level of conservation status to be applied. Some plants and animals, including threatened species, only exist outside National Parks so have no permanent protection. Areas which accommodate such plants and animals must be transferred to National Park status.

Q3. Appropriate Local Development

Q3.1 Residential Character Conservation Zone (R6)

Do you support the immediate inclusion of the R6 Residential character conservation zone in the Blue Mountains LEP 2015?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
NSW Labor’s shadow minister for Planning has recently committed to a comprehensive package of planning reforms.

I will work with my colleagues toward R6 being included as a unique zone in the Blue Mountains LEP 2015 NSW planning system.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The NSW Government recognises the importance of character to local areas and neighbourhoods and as such has developed guidance for local councils and other relevant planning authorities, state agencies and communities about the tools available to them to incorporate local character into strategic planning and detailed planning for places.

The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is working with Blue Mountains City Council on identifying areas where an overlay may be possible.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Collaborate together with all relevant partners, and councillors to fine tune the submissions to Department of Planning and any amendments to the legislation
- Ensure ‘across the board’ Greens MP support at State and Federal levels
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I think it is essential that R6 Residential Character Conservation Zone be accepted and implemented in order to protect the large lot residential areas adjacent to Mountains villages. Leafy, large lots are not only beautiful and lend themselves to the character of an area but also keep our air clean, are a reminder of our cultural heritage and, experiencing this first hand during thousands of rescues and releases with my work in WIRES, can confirm these lots are essential habitat for native animals and birds and reptiles. I strongly support and will advocate for, the immediate inclusion of the R6 Residential Character Conservation Zone in the Blue Mountains LEP and will work with Council and the NSW Minister for Planning to try to ensure this occurs.

Q3.2 Deforestation and Excessive Land Clearing

Do you support a review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme specifically with a view of conserving native vegetation?
Do you support an end to deforestation and excessive land clearing?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
In the past term of Parliament I have sought, via representations to the various Environment Ministers, a review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme, particularly a close investigation of the destructive results of its application/interpretation.
I will work with my colleagues, across the political spectrum and across a range of agencies, to achieve conservation of native vegetation and to halt excessive land clearing.
Labor will have more to say about this before the election.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The NSW Government has modernised the state's land management and conservation laws. The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 and supporting regulations commenced in August last year. The laws have a clear purpose – to maintain a healthy, productive and resilient environment.

This legislation also establishes strong offences and tougher penalties for illegal clearing and harming threatened species. In addition, the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code contains a range of protections and safeguards for the environment. For example, clearing is not permitted on sensitive lands including core koala habitat.

NSW Government policies that regulate the clearing of vegetation in urban areas provide a robust framework for councils to protect urban bushland and trees while supporting landholders to manage their properties.

The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme allows land-owners in nominated areas to clear certain vegetation on their property without council permission, but it does not give them permission to harm threatened or protected species, such as koalas.

The NSW Government has also put in place initiatives such as Five Million Trees which aims to increase Greater Sydney's tree canopy to 40 per cent by 2030 by planting more trees in streets, parks, bushland areas and yards.

As outlined in the NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap, the NSW Government is committed to the long term and ecologically sustainable management of NSW’s forests. The Forestry Legislation Amendment Act 2018 provides increased penalties for breaking the rules from $1,100 to $15,000 and introduces other enforcement tools, such as remediation orders and temporary stop work orders.

In addition, the new Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) commenced on 16 November. The Coastal IFOA replaces outdated rules that had been in place for nearly 20-years and sets more efficient, effective and enforceable rules to better protect threatened plants, animals, habitat, soils and waterways.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Legislate to repeal the Liberals’ land clearing laws and protect existing tree cover across the state.
- Ensure the protection of existing canopies and expand tree planting at street level and in parks and reserves
- Increase funding for compliance activities
- Seek policing mechanisms to stop excessive activities
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I fully support a review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme specifically with a view of conserving native vegetation. I also support an end to deforestation and excessive land clearing.

The retention of vegetation on the urban interface is essential. It is not only important habitat, being home for native animals and birds, but is also part of the character of living in the Blue Mountains. Established vegetation also contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases helping to keep the Earth cool. I would advocate to the NSW Government for an immediate review of the scheme with a greater focus on more effective monitoring, compliance and reporting.

In relation to achieving an end to deforestation and excessive land clearing, I will continue to lobby against the leniency of laws and their loopholes, and mismanagement, which allow this to happen. Drawing upon years of involvement in the Western Sydney Conservation Alliance and furthermore, since attempting to achieve conservation outcomes on a 500 acre property, I am acutely aware that legislation must be amended to conserve, enhance and protect our valuable biodiversity across all sectors of business, agriculture and development. I have personally experienced significant loss of remnant and high conservation value native vegetation by Local Government and private individuals significantly negatively impacting the ecological and financial value of my land. I have tested the approvals and compliance process at a high level many times and, on each occasion, it has failed.

I have witnessed, repeatedly, the disregard of scientific evidence (REF) and the loopholes of the Native Vegetation Act and the Local Land Services Act. I am particularly well versed and passionate on this topics, have a good knowledge of both of these acts and hope to be an effective advocate for improvement.

Q3.3 Control Invasive Species

Do you support tackling invasive species as described in the questionnaire?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Labor will invest in national parks in order to deal with invasive species. We have committed to an eradication program. Michael Daley and Labor have declared war on weeds and pests in NSW, with an additional $50 million in funding to help fight a devastating environmental and economic scourge that is ravaging vast areas of NSW. Labor also announced it would implement key recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission’s Weeds review by establishing:
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The NSW Government is committed to addressing the negative impacts of invasive species on the environment, economy and community. A clear goal under the NSW Invasive Species Plan is eradication of invasive species where possible.

The Plan supports the NSW Biosecurity Strategy 2013–2021 and identifies key actions to help prevent new incursions, eliminate or contain existing populations and effectively manage already widespread invasive species.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- The establishment of a $5 million High Risk Incursion Response Fund
- The introduction of 3 yearly State of Biosecurity reporting
- The adoption of a ‘permitted list’ approach to the sale of plants
- The establishment of an Independent, statutory State Biosecurity Committee
- Joint responsibility for biosecurity to be given to both the Agriculture and Environment Ministers
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
The AJP strongly opposes the use of lethal methods to control populations of non-native species such as hunting and especially the use of 1080 poison which the AJP will seek to ban. The AJP believes non-native animals are in these environments through the irresponsible actions of some land holders, pet owners and hunters. Consequently a compassionate approach is needed to managing them.

The AJP will support further research into non-lethal population control measures for non-native animals and will seek to replace lethal measures with desexing, immunocontraception, relocation and other emerging technologies. The AJP will also seek to educate Australians regarding the damage that can be done by abandoned animals such as cats, dogs and other predator species, horses, pigs and non-native fish, amphibians and reptiles.

The AJP believes the use of language such as "feral animals" and "eradicable species" serves to demonise these animals and encourages acts of cruelty against them.

Q3.4 Medium Density Housing Code

Do you support a permanent exemption from the Medium Density Housing Code for the Blue Mountains?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Labor has committed to a comprehensive package of planning reforms.
A Labor Government would scrap the Berejiklian Government’s “Planned Precincts” policy which has allowed local communities and councils to be overridden. The Greater Sydney Commission will be directed to work to fix the problems caused by the mismanagement of the planning system.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The Government in principle supports Blue Mountains Council’s intention to provide for the special character of its local areas through appropriate means.

Discussions have been held with council officers and it was agreed that consideration would be given to Council mapping special character areas and introducing clauses into Council’s local environmental plan that will guide development in these special areas.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Ensure Greens MP’s support votes
- Ensure BMG Councillors support votes
- Follow the lead of BMCS and Council to defend the current approval and assessment process on ‘appropriate developments’
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
A permanent exemption from the Medium Density Housing Code for Blue Mountains is essential. If elected I will represent the views of both BMCC, BMCS as well as the residents of the Blue Mountains and advocate for the exemption at the highest level of the Government. I would encourage and facilitate a strong alliance between Blue Mountains City Council, BMCC, the residents of the Blue Mountains and all interested parties with firm representation of our interests. I hold very strong views on the need for the exemption, once again due to having to relocate and attend to displaced animals, birds and reptiles as a result of medium density development and the resulting habitat loss which has already taken place. I can cite many examples which have impacted the survival of native animals, birds and reptiles as well as the amenity of the local area. Without the exemption, other unacceptable impacts would include increased traffic congestion, increased carbon emissions and a sharp increase in population, more commercial centres and the perennial discussion about fast food outlets etc.

Q4. Climate Change And Coal Mining

Q4.1 Climate Change

Do you accept that anthropogenic* climate change is real and severe?
[* anthropogenic - caused by humans or their activities.]
What steps will your party take towards addressing climate change?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Most educated, compassionate people will agree that climate change is one of the main pressures on our environment, globally. The ALP has worked solidly, via its LEAN (Labor’s Environment Action Network) agenda to work on policy that prioritises climate change action. This includes (but is not restricted to) a target of cutting pollution by 45% and delivering 50% renewable energy by 2030; and, it includes a commitment to a new Federal Environment Act that protects and preserves oceans, rivers, coasts and bushlands.
In December 2018, NSW Labor made adjustments to its shadow portfolio and acknowledged climate change as an issue the community is demanding all governments tackle. Taking action on climate change is critical to our future. Blue Mountains local, former Mayor and MLC Adam Searle is now Labor’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change. I look forward to working alongside Adam, our community, the BMWHI, BMCS and our nation - to advance serious action on climate change. Labor has recently announced measures to cut household power bills by up to $1000 a year, due to new initiative to put solar on 500,000 households over the next decade. There is expected to be up to $500 million savings each year in total when the roll out is completed. This package also cuts greenhouse gas emissions by almost 3 million tonnes each year - equivalent to taking a million cars off the road. Further to this, I must say (as a parent and former teacher) how encouraged I am by climate action taken by thousands of students across Australia - demanding Governments do something. Students have clearly demonstrated they care about this critical issue and want us to act for their futures.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
Note: This is the response to Q4.1 - 4.3.

All exploration and mining activity in New South Wales (NSW) must be conducted in accordance with an authority issued under the Mining Act 1992. Certain exploration and mining activities also trigger the requirement for additional approvals and other NSW legislation may also apply.

All mining proposals are assessed under an independent, rigorous and merit based planning system. Approved mines must also comply with stringent performance measures and monitoring by NSW Government agencies.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to action on climate change. The NSW Climate Change Policy Framework includes objectives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and for NSW to be more resilient to climate change.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is also taking a broad range of actions to produce the right conditions for favourable energy outcomes. One action is creating the NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy. The strategy is the NSW Government’s plan to facilitate priority transmission infrastructure which can deliver least-cost energy to customers to 2040 and beyond.

In December 2018, we completed the actions announced as part of the Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP), which was released in 2013. The plan contained 24 actions to increase renewable energy generation in NSW, at least cost to energy customers and with maximum benefits to our state. All 24 actions have been completed, creating a strong and durable basis for the continued growth of the renewable energy sector in NSW.

As at January 2019, 90 projects totalling almost 18,500 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy projects have either been approved or are progressing through the NSW planning system. This represents close to $26 billion in investment.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is also investing a total of $1.4 billion from 2017 to 2022 to improve our energy security, place downward pressure on bills and reduce emissions.

In 2018 the NSW Liberals & Nationals government announced a major clean energy package to support an orderly transition to a modern energy system and deliver better energy outcomes for households and businesses. The package included the: The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has also recently committed to take the pressure off household energy costs and lower emissions by supporting the rollout of up to 300,000 new solar energy and battery storage systems with no upfront costs through interest-free loans.

The Empowering Homes program will be open to owner-occupiers of a house with an annual household income of up to $180,000. Loans of up to $14,000 per solar-battery system and $9,000 per battery systems will be available.

This new initiative will help to unlock up to $3.2 billion in clean energy investment over 10 years, helping to boost NSW’s renewable energy and reduce emissions. The batteries will add up to 3,000MWh of storage when the program is fully rolled out.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Greens to implement and promote Rights of Nature policy and study to lead towards its eventual legislation
- Ministry of Climate Change to be properly funded, revamped and lobbied
- Greens policies at both Federal are State levels are already published
- Ensure 100% renewables by 2030 is maintained
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I accept that anthropogenic climate change is real and severe. The AJP believes that urgent action is required to address climate change and believes that if people switched to a plant-based diet there would be a direct and immediate effect of the emission of greenhouse gasses by the agricultural sector. The AJP will also seek:

1. To rapidly transform to a carbon free energy infrastructure.
2. To rapidly transform Australian agriculture to allow reforestation by reducing grazing
3. To prohibit any fossil fuel expansion
4. Implement a carbon tax on both the coal and animal agriculture industries
5. Direct carbon taxes into clean energy solutions, sustainable plant-based food agriculture systems and education
6. Protect existing forests and marine habitats from further destruction

Q4.2 Coal Mining Exploration Licences and Mining Leases

Do you support no more issuing of new coal exploration licences and coal mining leases?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Personally, I am very aware that I need to work hard within any Parliament, regardless of who is in Government – including my own team - to achieve such an outcome relative to ending ‘new’ coal exploration licences. My voice is needed in the NSW Legislative Assembly and the Labor Party caucus room.

My focus will be on working across the political divide to legislate for a an emissions reduction target – moving toward a zero plan. We need to move the ‘talk’ of supporting the renewables sector to a practical ‘walk the talk’ level:
What do the jobs of the future, environmentally friendly jobs, look like?
How do we encourage communities and families, reliant on the old mining industry for their livelihoods, to walk the transition path to renewables?
Where do the collaborative conversations with the mining, the education, the trade union, the political and the environment movements, need to happen? And how?
Please see attached my recent speech on this issue, for your information: http://trishdoyle.nationbuilder.com/lithgow_jobs

Further to this, our Shadow Minister has stated: An elected Labor Government will reinstate a neutral or beneficial effects test. To maintain public confidence, we believe that there should be no further regulatory approvals given for mining in water catchments until the Chief Scientists investigations are complete.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q4.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Advocate for substantial environmental levies as a form of turnover tax, license review and audits for existing mines for future remedial costs and restoration of nature
- Advocate to put a cap on existing coal mine production with limits on production levels, total bans and no further expansion
- Seek introduce appropriate legislation ( or amendments) to ban new licenses and leases
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I do not support the issuing of any new coal exploration licences or coal mining leases. If elected, I would oppose any application for new licences or leases in relation to coal. We must have a binding target of zero fossil fuel emissions put in place expeditiously to ensure the survival of the planet. Personally, I have been effected by mining for the last thirteen years through my investment in a conservation property in the Lithgow Local Government Area so have become well aware of the impacts on the environment and of people. Until then, I would be vigilant in Parliament and make it my business to be aware of applications and the loopholes and deviations from correct processes which allow the approval of such applications. I would demand correct processes and credible scientific rigour.

Q4.3 Phasing Out Fossil Fuels And Supporting Affected Communities

The next NSW government needs to - What would you do to ensure your party take these actions, if elected?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
See response to Q4.2

and

More than 13,000 jobs will be created under a Daley Labor government plan to guarantee pricing for enough renewable energy to provide clean and cheaper electricity for more than three million homes in the state in the next decade.

This is a move that signals to the market that NSW is serious about energy security and climate change.

Labor will deliver a total of 7 gigawatts of new, renewable energy – enough energy to power more than 3 million homes in the state (as many homes as NSW has today) – by 2030, ensuring NSW has secure, clean and affordable energy.

A Daley Labor government will deliver the guarantees through a series of competitive tenders and long term contracts – known as reverse auctions which drive the price of new-build renewable energy down and reduce the price of electricity.

This package includes the creation of a new State Owned Corporation to deliver a further 1 gigawatt of renewable energy generation and storage over the next decade.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
See the response to Q4.1
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Greens are policy linked already but will engage with LibLab to discuss 100% reduction by 2030, zero by 2040
- Advocate for orderly funded transition to include retraining, relocation subsidies, community consultation and pilot sustainable industries within former coal mining areas and coal towns Portland, Lithgow etc
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I fully support the action to phase out fossil fuels and assist communities affected by this transition to clean, reliable, renewable energy. As an elected official, I would immediately request information relating to the Bylong Coal Mine and any other pending applications with a view to petitioning the Government to reject these applications. I would also request to be included on any committees whose brief is the phasing out of fossil fuels and considerations of effective compensation for any affected communities. The conservation of the North Western edge of the GBMWHA is critical and a coal mine cannot be a consideration nor can any further coal mines in the state of New South Wales.

Q4.4 Independent Planning Commission Members

Do you support ensuring IPC panels include people with suitable environmental qualifications, in particular terrestrial or aquatic ecology, when assessing developments which impact on threatened species and communities?
If elected what steps will you take to achieve this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
Regardless of the flavour of Government elected, I will work with Ministers responsible for Planning and Environment, to have the appropriate people with relevant and suitable qualifications to sit on IPC panels.
This should occur where developments impact threatened species and communities, vulnerable ecosystems, and our environment at large.
Please note that Labor has committed to a review of the entire planning system.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to ensuring that the IPC panel includes qualified individuals that ensures environmental issues are able to be properly considered.

Members of the Commission are appointed by the Minister for Planning based on their qualifications and considerable expertise in a diverse range of planning-related fields.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Ensure all IPCs include an expert in environmental management and for the expert to have an environment qualification relevant to the Development that they are reviewing – marine, biodiversity, terrestrial, forests
- To ensure that Climate Change Impacts form part of every IPC decision
- Increase transparency of the IPC’s and their decisions
- Implement a planning inquiry with Terms of Referenece to review IPC assessment processes on species, communities, climate change and biodiversity.
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I agree that the involvement of suitably qualified members is absolutely essential. The panel cannot make a truly informed decision without Commissioners with ecology or biodiversity expertise. The absence of such participants gives greater opportunity for business to influence decisions without the application scientific rigour. The Commission should be weighted towards environmental protection rather than business and profit. The real and potential impacts on threatened species and their communities is dire. As an elected representative, I would ask for a review the panel and how panel members are appointed. I would also put forward recommendations for a greater proportional involvement of credible members who are suitably qualified in aspects of ecology and biodiversity.

Q5. Waste And Recycling

Q5.1 Single-Use Plastic Bags and Products Containing Microbeads

Do you support a ban on single-use plastic bags?
Do you support a ban on products containing microbeads.?
If elected, what would you do to influence this?
Trish Doyle  (Labor)
I believe that we, as a society and community, and I as an elected representative, have a collective obligation to take sensible, necessary and reasonable steps to protect the environment for generations into the future.

Penny Sharpe, Shadow Minister for the Environment and NSW Labor’s Deputy Leader, has introduced a bill into the NSW Parliament, to ban the use of single-use, lightweight polyurethane bags.

If Labor is elected, the single-use plastic bags will be banned. If not, I will continue pursuing action on this matter.

I have spoken on many notices of motion and petition debates, around this issue, over my first term of government. I have tabled petitions on behalf of a number of concerned residents, including that collected by the Kindlehill school children and have also actively participated in local campaigns such as promoting and using ‘Boomerang Bags’.
Owen Laffin  (Liberal)
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government recognises that single–use plastics can negatively impact the environment. It is great to see the concerted efforts of the community and major retailers in NSW who have acted to reduce the use of plastic bags.

As you may already be aware, major retailers including Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farm Markets and IGA volunteered to phase out lightweight plastic shopping bags from their shops from the middle of 2018. Major supermarket chains have been the largest providers of single–use plastic shopping bags in NSW and the NSW Government commends their proactive steps to address this important issue, without the need for a ban.

In 2016, Australian environment ministers announced a voluntary phase-out of plastic microbeads. This commitment is on track with 94 per cent of cosmetic and personal care products now microbead–free. The NSW Government remains committed to the national process to eliminate the final six per cent.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is taking action on litter – a major source of plastic pollution. Plastic bags make up a very small percentage of our litter volume. Before the introduction of the NSW container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, drink containers made up nearly 50 per cent of the litter volume in NSW.

We introduced Return and Earn as part of our priority action to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020. The overwhelming response from the community means we have already exceeded our target. Over 1.3 billion eligible drink containers have already been returned across NSW. Eligible drink container litter volume has dropped by 44 per cent and NSW’s overall litter volume has dropped by 48 per cent.
Kingsley Liu  (Greens)
- Seek and promote a ‘Plastic Free’ community status
- Mandate biobags as standard for local council use
- Support a ban on all single use plastics, not just plastic bags
- Overhaul the waste management system in NSW and invest in recycling at the state level
- Support the refuse, reduce, recycle campaigns across the region
- Set up a local educational campaign for schools and community on identifying and removing microplastics from the environment, reduce their impact on waterways and marine species.
- Support emerging waste separation and treatment technologies
Greg Keightley  (Animal Justice)
I certainly support a ban on single use plastic bags. I also support a comprehensive ban on products containing microbeads. The adverse impact on human and animal well-being of plastics is well-documented.

If I was elected, my aim would be to ensure a ban on all single use plastic bags including biodegradable and degradable bags. I would also involve myself in community awareness raising programs whose aim is to influence consumption of these, and all plastic, products. I have seen, first hand, the impact that all variations of plastic products have on avian, terrestrial and aquatic beings. Given the opportunity, at a Government level, I would propose a more comprehensive ban on single use plastic bags, products containing microbeads and eventually all non essential, non recyclable plastic products. I would support a mandatory industry program, ensuring that new Legislation closes the loopholes and ensures compliance.