The Greens have condemned the Forestry Corporation of NSW for threatening endangered species by logging the habitat of the great glider in Tallaganda state forest.

They are calling on state and federal governments to urgently act to scrap the Regional Forest Agreements to end native forest logging and protect endangered species.

Australian Greens’ spokesperson for forests Janet Rice said: 

“This forest and these gliders are national heritage – the Commonwealth has a responsibility to protect them, particularly in light of how much forest burnt in 2019 in NSW and Victoria. 

“It shouldn’t be up to the vandals of the NSW forestry commission to send greater gliders closer and closer to extinction. 

“If we want zero extinctions as Tanya Plibersek has promised then we need to end native forest logging across the country immediately.

“Forests are going to be under even greater threat from fire in the future with more extreme conditions due to global heating.

“The Regional Forest Agreements have allowed for decades of reckless destruction of native forests across Australia, pushed native wildlife to the brink of extinction, endangered our water supplies, heightened bushfire risk, and made the climate crisis worse.

“Native forest logging is a dying industry and there’s no way around it. 

“We need a permanent, national ban on native forest logging and a just transition plan for forestry workers.” 

NSW Greens’ spokesperson for forests Sue Higginson said:

“The NSW Government must immediately pause all plans to log Tallaganda Forest. We can not allow Greater Glider extinction logging and make no mistake, that’s what this is. 

“There are dozens of Greater Glider den trees in Tallaganda that are proposed to be logged, but Forestry Corporation have only mapped a single tree for habitat protection across the 5,000 hectares that they want to destroy.

“Forestry Corporation are legally required to conduct pre-logging fauna and flora surveys but they can not have done this adequately as their report has drastically under-assessed the Greater Glider habitat and population in this area that is critical for the survival of the Greater Glider.

“I’ve called on the NSW Minister for Environment and the Environment Protection Authority to use their powers and issue an immediate stop work order for logging operations in Tallaganda State Forest until an independent review of the Greater Glider habitat can be undertaken.

“The NSW Government has committed to zero extinctions in NSW but the continued logging of critical Greater Glider Habitat, one of only two remaining in the state, is a blatant failure to take the necessary actions to prevent the extinction of Greater Gliders.”


Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is urging all South Australians to support the YES campaign as it kicks off in Adelaide today.

“Today’s YES campaign launch is a historic moment for our country, and it’s taking place in Adelaide because South Australia is a crucial state in this referendum.

“SA is the make or break state in this referendum. The positive polling results we have seen today show the Yes vote leading narrowly, but that it can’t be taken for granted.

“There will be no “maybe” box on the ballot paper. It is either Yes or No. Yes for doing what is right, or No for continuing the wrongs of the past.”

“SA was the first State to give women the vote and now we can take Australia forward again. 

“Now that the official YES campaign has kicked off, I urge all South Australians to get involved and help us get this really important reform across the line.

“Over the coming weeks, we will be out and about around the state campaigning to make sure South Australia returns a strong YES vote.”

Senator Hanson-Young will be attending the announcement of the date event in Adelaide this morning.


The Greens have warmly welcomed the announcement of the referendum on 14 October and recommitted their support for the campaign for Yes.

South Australian Senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Barbara Pocock represented the Australian Greens party room at the government’s announcement in Adelaide this morning, and Greens Leader Adam Bandt campaigned in Melbourne this morning and will visit Adelaide on Friday.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said:

“As the first political party to endorse the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, the Greens are proud to support the campaign for Yes.

“First Nations people are the experts on First Nations policy. When they give advice, governments must listen and act.

“A successful Yes vote at this Referendum is a step towards justice for First Nations people, and towards the solutions that First Nations people have been fighting for for decades.”

Greens portfolio holder for First Nations and Yamatji Noongar woman, Senator Dorinda Cox said:

“A successful Referendum will amplify First Nations voices. Our voices will be heard, and the government will have a responsibility to listen and act.

“First Nations self-determination will lead to better outcomes in housing, health, education and more.

“Together we demand a future where no matter who we are, we are all treated equally, and First Nations people are no longer left behind.

“I want to see this happen in my lifetime, for my children, for my Elders, for my mob, for every First Nations person and for every Australian. We must not squander this moment.

“The Greens were the first party to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. The first step is a successful Yes at the Referendum in October.”

Joint statement on the nuclear-powered submarine propulsion challenge

The Opposition is calling on the Prime Minister to stand up to his union mates and reaffirm Labor’s commitment to AUKUS.

Reports that the Australian Education Union (AEU) are considering boycotting a STEM program, inviting high school students to participate in a competition to design nuclear-powered submarines (the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Propulsion Challenge), are concerning.

Australia is less than four years away from Submarine Rotational Force-West (SRF-West) at HMAS Stirling. We face a massive task ahead to prove to our partners that we can safely own, operate, maintain, and regulate nuclear-powered submarines.

We all have a responsibility to encourage young Australians to get involved in this nation-building task and educate them about the benefits AUKUS will have for generations to come.

But commentary coming out of Labor and the unions is unsettling and puts our requirement to be ‘sovereign ready’ at risk.

The Prime Minister must show leadership by standing up to the AEU and guarantee that the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Propulsion Challenge will go ahead.

Getting accreditation right so teachers can focus on teaching

The Minns Labor Government is giving more time back to teachers and principals to focus on helping their students in the classroom by scrapping the need to re-demonstrate their accreditation practice to the regulator every 5 years.

The burdensome task of accreditation maintenance will be simplified under the changes, bringing NSW into line with other states and territories. From November, teachers will simply need to declare to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), that they have completed the required professional development aligned to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Principals will no longer need to sign off on a teacher’s practice every 5 years under the revamp, but schools must continue to notify NESA if they have determined a teacher fails to meet the necessary Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

The move is part of the Minns Labor Government’s drive to ensure teachers in government, Catholic and independent schools are spending more time teaching and less time on administrative tasks.

Since coming to office the Government has halved more than 70 mandated changes to policies and processes in public schools, put on hold new pilots, and hired more than 400 new administrative staff to relieve teachers of some of the tasks that were taking them away from the classroom.

Teachers still need to complete the 100 hours of professional development every 5 years. Completing professional development ensures teachers are up to date with relevant content, skills and pedagogy, and supports their professional growth.

The changes place a greater emphasis on the importance of ongoing professional development and recognise that fully accredited teachers are qualified, meet child safety requirements and have already met tough standards to be accredited.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“It is vital that we set high benchmarks for teachers entering the profession, but once they are in the classroom we also play a role in ensuring they want to stay. Removing unnecessary tasks from teachers’ to-do lists is one way we are doing that.

“Under the previous Liberal National Government teachers were overburdened with admin tasks which took them away from what their core role – to bring education alive in the classroom.

“This is sensible policy that is based on respect for the profession, where appropriate verification and standards are in place.

“We want teachers who have already demonstrated they meet rigorous standards to focus on doing their job – not spending unnecessary extra hours proving that they are doing it.”

Minns Government signs MOU to deliver safe staffing

The Minns Government has taken a significant step forward in delivering its commitment to repair the budget to help rebuild essential services by signing a memorandum of understanding with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association to progress the roll-out of Safe Staffing Levels in NSW public hospitals, starting with emergency departments. The implementation of Safe Staffing Levels means more nurses and midwives working in our hospitals.

This is a once-in-a-generation long-term reform to how we deliver essential hospital services and will be rolled out in staged way working with frontline workers and their representatives.

As part of this staged approach, Safe Staffing Levels will be implemented across emergency departments, intensive care units, maternity services, regional and community hospitals, and wards currently covered by the existing Nursing Hours Per Patient Day system.

Safe Staffing Levels will improve health outcomes, reduce waiting times, take pressure off NSW hospitals and help retain experienced nurses and midwives in the NSW Health workforce.

This is another step in the Minns Government’s plan to turn around 12 years of Liberal National Government neglect that saw the on-time commencement of treatment in NSW Emergency Departments fall to all-time record lows just last year (BHI April to June 2022) – with commencement of on-time treatment (combined figure across all triage categories) at just 62.8%.

The MOU sets out an agreement for both parties to work in good faith to develop a process and timeframe to implement Safe Staffing Levels, which will be enshrined in the Public Health System Nurses’ and Midwives’ (State) Award. It also includes important principles around data sharing and access to information.

The MOU builds on the Minns Government’s announcement in April of the Safe Staffing Levels Taskforce to chart a pathway forward on this major reform.

The Minns Government has committed to hiring an additional 1200 nurses and midwives during our first term in order to implement this important reform in our hospitals.

These changes build on the NSW Government’s abolition of the wages cap for frontline workers, delivering the largest pay increase for the workforce in over a decade.

We can make these important changes to support frontline workers because the Minns Labor Government is making the difficult but responsible decisions with spending.

NSW faces rampant inflation, rising interest rates and the largest debt in the state’s history, but we are committed to ensuring that the state is prepared to get on top of these challenges.

It’s why the Minns Labor government is setting out a long-term plan to gradually repair the budget in a sustainable way, to reprioritise spending to where it is needed most, and to rebuild the essential services that we all rely on.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said:

“We made a promise to the people of NSW to implement Safe Staffing Levels in NSW public hospitals, and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.

“This will make a world of difference for health workers like Suzie who I met in Penrith. She became a midwife after a career change but was already burnt out as a result of understaffing on her shifts.

“Our government is getting on with the job of implementing our commitment to repair the budget while rebuilding our essential services.”

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:

“By managing our finances responsibly, we can deliver the essential healthcare services our community deserves and reinvest in our frontline workers.

“The former government left NSW with a record level of debt and more than $7 billion worth of promises they could not pay for.

“The Minns Labor Government is making the prudent and necessary decisions to fix the fiscal mess left by the former government and ensure we can fund the essential services people rely on.”

Health Minister Ryan Park said:

“We are focussed on fixing wait times for healthcare and improving health outcomes for our community.

“We are also committed to supporting the more than 53,000 nurses and midwives who form the backbone of the NSW health system.

“Safe Staffing Levels will support better health outcomes for patients while also attracting and retaining more skilled nurses and midwives in the NSW health system.”

Nominations open for NSW Women of the Year Awards 2024

Nominations for the 2024 NSW Women of the Year Awards open today.

Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said the NSW Government was looking for the most empowering and inspiring women and girls in the state.

“These awards recognise the invaluable contribution to community, industry and society that women in NSW have made through their hard work, dedication and passion. The awards honour our inspirational women with the recognition they truly deserve,” Minister Harrison said.

“We want to continue to empower the next generation of young women to be limitless in delivering positive changes through fortitude in their fields of expertise. We can only achieve this by shining a light on the contributions and achievements of women in our communities.”

The annual awards will put the spotlight on women and girls whose determination, bravery, skill and passion should be celebrated and shared, inspiring others to achieve great things. They celebrate the role models who challenge inequality, innovate and inspire.

The 2024 award categories are:

Nominations are also open to recognise and honour young girls in the Ones to Watch Showcase. It will put the spotlight on the rising stars of our community, showcasing 10 exemplary young girls between the ages of 7 to 15 years old.

Minister Harrison said: “The Ones to Watch showcase will spotlight the next generation of inspiring young women by recognising the potential, resilience and determination of girls who are shaping the future.”

The winners of the awards will be announced at the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony on 7 March 2024 as part of NSW Women’s Week 2024. Nominate someone now.

Nominations close 11:59pm, Sunday 8 October.

Where are they now? Spotlight on 2023 Winners

Premier’s Award and Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award winner, Lynda Edwards

Since winning the 2023 Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year and Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award, Lynda Edwards, has dedicated her time to volunteering and advocating for fairness, inclusion and the financial rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The awards have opened opportunities for Ms Edwards to continue to advocate for improvement in the way financial services engage with, assist and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The awards gave me a better platform with which to talk about financial literacy in our communities. Not only with key stakeholders and politicians but also with the general community,” Ms Edwards said

“Since the awards, I have had many requests for speaking opportunities, such as the Ruby Hutchison Lecture in Sydney and a National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS) meeting, attended by ACCC, ASIC, and the state and territory fair trading agencies on how regulators can work most effectively with financial counsellors.

“It is important that we recognise women in our communities. No matter how big or how small, or how hard or easy it is, almost everything a woman does for her family or community makes a huge difference.

“By acknowledging our women, we are letting our women, and also our communities, know that they are valued and important. We are setting the scene for many women and girls in the future.”

One to Watch winner, Haniya Syed

Haniya Syed continues to advocate for and inspire girls to consider STEM studies, including recently delivering a robotics club at her school and competing at a robotics competition for the First Tech Challenge. Ms Syed continues to excel in her technological expertise, recently releasing a first prototype that aids the dental health of children.

“I encourage everyone who knows a remarkable young woman to nominate them for the One to Watch Showcase. This showcase is excellent in acknowledging their work, achievements, and contributions, as it is perfect in inspiring and supporting them to do more for the future,” Ms Syed said.

“It is important to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of girls in NSW for empowerment, promoting gender equality, and overcoming stereotypes to create a more inclusive community that promotes women in STEM.”

Community Hero Award winner, Mary Hollingworth

Mary Hollingworth was Chair of the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering and a long-time volunteer with the Rural Women’s Network. She is an active member of multiple organisations and has delivered hundreds of events in regional NSW.

Ms Hollingworth said her award has opened new pathways to further volunteer work through a range of women’s conferences, speaking opportunities and deepening links with valuable community networks.

“The Community Hero Award validates the role of willing, dedicated community volunteers, especially in rural areas. This acknowledgment has given me confidence in the ongoing role of volunteers in the wider community,” Ms Hollingworth said.

“So many wonderful women contribute willingly and generously every day through NSW. They are mostly flying under the radar, unappreciated and rarely acknowledged.”

Young Women of the Year Award winner, Chanel Contos

Leader of the Teach Us Consent movement, Chanel Contos said winning the award gave her the opportunity to spread her work across borders, working with state and federal governments in Australia and with teachers internationally.

Her grassroots education in schools aims to significantly reduce sexual violence towards young girls and women. Her new book, ‘Consent Laid Bare’, will be released next month.

“I have continued to work closely with governments at a state and federal level to eradicate normalised sexual violence. I have also had the opportunity to present the work that has been going on in Australia at some schools in the UK and at teacher conferences in London,” Ms Contos said.

“Almost all the work I do aims to amplify the voices of young women, so I felt privileged to be recognised in such a special way. Women and young girls often involve themselves in community action, social good and volunteering with little to no recognition or pay for this extra work. Young women are such a passionate group who deserve to have their voices amplified.”

Labor’s dodgy figures don’t add up for Penrith

Shadow Minister for Sport Eleni Petinos has called on the Minns Labor Government to come clean on the figures behind their decision to cancel the full redevelopment of Penrith Stadium.
“Penrith is a critical city centre located in the heart of the Western Parkland City, the closest established CBD to the new international airport and the gateway to the Blue Mountains,” Ms Petinos said. “The Penrith community deserves to know if the Minns Labor Government is being fair dinkum or playing with figures to justify their decision to walk away from delivering the redevelopment that the stadium needs.”
“Labor must release the full costings behind this decision, to explain how a stadium just over half the size of Allianz Stadium can cost around $100m more and nearly three times more than Commbank Stadium which cost $330 million.”
“Given the low value of the recreational zoned land occupied by the Paceway, there is a genuine concern that Labor has deliberately inflated the price to justify cutting the project.”
Ms Petinos said the new local Labor MP needs to be honest with her community and clearly spell out what the future of the Penrith stadium looks like.
“Karen McKeown needs to detail how the funding will deliver the needed Penrith stadium upgrades, and whether it will provide the sporting facilities that the community deserves,” said Ms Petinos.
“The Minns Labor Government has also left the future of the Penrith Paceway under a dark cloud. With no prospect of a rezoning for other uses and no funding for a relocation the future of the Paceway now hangs in the balance.”
“Rather than trying to roll out rubbery figures to justify their decisions, the Minns Labor Government needs to be honest with the community.”

Statement – Independent Investigation into Murray Affair

Premier Chris Minns must commission an independent investigation into the Josh Murray affair including Minister Jo Haylen’s failure to disclose any conflict of interest under the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

The Code states:

A Minister must not, without the written approval of the Premier, make or participate in the making of any decision or take any other action in relation to a matter in which the Minister is aware they have a conflict of interest.

Minister Haylen’s refusal to answer questions in Parliament, refusal to front the media and refusal to appear before tomorrow’s Legislative Council hearing mean serious questions about her conduct and obligations under the Code are unanswered.  

This is a test of Premier Minns and his Government’s commitment to transparency, integrity, and accountability.


I am pleased to announce the Governor-General has accepted my recommendation to appoint Adam Fennessy PSM as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Mr Fennessy is an accomplished public sector leader including as the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries and then the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning between 2013 and 2017. Mr Fennessy was the Victorian Public Service Commissioner between 2020 and 2022. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2018 in recognition of his outstanding public service to government departments in Victoria.

Mr Fennessy is currently the Dean and CEO of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

With his strong subject matter knowledge in primary industries, including well-established relationships with industry, and significant experience in organisational transformation, Mr Fennessy will be able to make an immediate contribution to the strategic leadership of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the broader Australian Public Service.

The five year appointment begins on 18 September 2023.

The office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry was vacated on the retirement of Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO, on 4 August 2023. On behalf of my government I thank Mr Metcalfe for his dedicated service and leadership, including as Secretary of three Departments of State since 2005.