The Victorian teals how-to-vote card was approved after legal action – as it happened

The NSW natural disaster authority bill passed the upper house on an amendment

Lisa Cox

The NSW upper house has passed legislation to create a new natural disaster authority which environmental groups have warned will have unprecedented powers to clear land, including in national parks.

The bill passed Thursday afternoon, with the government and opposition backing several crossbench-driven amendments.

The new “reconstruction authority” will be dedicated to disaster preparedness, recovery and reconstruction and will have the authority to respond to disasters as they occur and to take action to avoid or mitigate future disasters.

It will be a new body that will report to the minister for planning. The Greens succeeded in moving an amendment requiring the new authority to assess and consider the impact of climate change on disasters when preparing disaster mitigation or adaptation plans.

An amendment by independent MLC Justin Field that left out requiring any development approved by the new authority to avoid or minimize clearing of native vegetation was also supported.

But several other proposed amendments, including excluding national parks and other protected areas from the bill and giving the national park service the power to veto development within national park areas, were rejected.

MLC Greens Cate Faehrmann said the government was disappointed and Labor had rejected "the reasonable protection for the broad powers afforded to ministers (planners) in this bill": The potential for abuse of these powers by future governments is enormous. I fear that the present destructive development may be pushed through ecologically sensitive land by opportunistic governments in the future. The bill will return to the lower house and is expected to be passed tonight.

What we learned – Thursday, November 17th

With that, we'll finish up the blog for tonight. Thanks for reading, we'll be back tomorrow to do it all again.

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And the Victorian Civil and Administrative Court has overturned the state election commission's rejection of an independent's voting card. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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