- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Land and Water Commissioner appointment must not be a political fix

JEREMY BUCKINGHAM - MEDIA RELEASE - 22 November 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining and agriculture Jeremy Buckingham has called on the NSW Government to rule out appointing National Farmers Federation President Jock Laurie to the position of Land and Water Commissioner.

"The Land and Water Commissioner will have significant responsibilities and needs to be totally independent.  It should not be a political appointment," Mr Buckingham said.

The Greens understand that the Government is considering appointing the current National Farmers Federation boss Jock Laurie for the position of Land and Water Commissioner.

"Mr Laurie is closely linked to the National Party and this year said
he would not rule out seeking preselection to run for the Nationals in a
federal seat.

"Such a political appointment risks a conflict of interest.  The
Commissioner will be required to be the arbiter between landholders and
miners and such a sensitive position must be filled by an independent
person.

"When the Government announced the position they made clear that it
would "complement the Federal Government’s newly established interim
Independent Expert Scientific Committee".  The appointment needs to have
a solid background in land and water science.

Mr Laurie said on Landline earlier this year in relation to the
establishment of the Federal Government's Independent Expert Scientific
Committee:

"..you need to go and get some independent people; so not company paid
people, you need to get some independent people who understand the
issues, can actually go and give you some proper advice and give the
governments around Australia some proper advice when it comes to water
and the actual impact on water."

Mr Buckingham said: "The Government should take Mr Laurie's advice and
find an independent person with the appropriate skills to take on this
important role as an advocate for landholders and a protector of water
in the state."

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

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