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For those following – @corybernardi @Senator_Patrick @PaulineHansonOz – here's a thread with key stories from the @GuardianAus investigation of Angus Taylor, Josh Frydenberg & endangered grasslands, as revealed by @_LisaMCox & @annefdavies. This is #grassgate: THREAD👇
We first revealed the meeting between Taylor, Frydenberg's office and environment officials took place at the same time a company Taylor part-owns was under investigation for poisoning the grasslands he sought a briefing about theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate
Next, Josh Frydenberg's office sought advice from environment department on whether protections of the grasslands could be watered down without seeking the advice of the threatened species scientific committee & whether that could be kept secret theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate
A compliance officer from the unit investigating the alleged illegal land-clearing – by a company part-owned by Angus Taylor – was at the meeting with Taylor, Frydenberg and senior environment department officials theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate
In that link you can see the Freedom of Information docs in full that @GuardianAus obtained for these stories. Note: the emails show Frydenberg's office specifically requested the department's assistant secretary of compliance attend the meeting theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate
On same day @GuardianAus revealed Frydenberg's office asked about weakening protections, Taylor's sister-in-law, a NSW Nationals MP, faced qs over whether she tried to influence endangered grass species listing on land part-owned by Angus Taylor theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate
Next, it was revealed NSW Nationals MP Bronwyn Taylor, Angus Taylor's sister-in-law, personally lobbied the NSW government over alleged illegal clearing of native grasslands on property she owns #grassgate theguardian.com/australia-news…
Last week the government tried to fend off Angus Taylor inquiry with 'constituents' letter said to have come from a concerned farmer. But the letter was actually from the NSW Farmers Assoc, written nearly six months after the meetings were held #grassgate
Confusion over the letter, that purported to show Taylor was acting on behalf of constituents & not himself, led to crossbench voting down a Labor motion for a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of Taylor and then environment minister Josh Frydenberg theguardian.com/australia-news…
On Saturday, @GuardianAus revealed expert who gave go-ahead for Angus Taylor's company to spray pesticides on critically endangered grasslands also wrote report for NSW Farmers Assoc about how environmental listing of same species was impeding agriculture theguardian.com/australia-news…
On Sunday, @Senator_Patrick changed his mind & said he would support an inquiry because of FOI documents revealed by @GuardianAus, & after realising the date on the letter was six months after the meetings happened, making the letter "of little relevance" theguardian.com/australia-news…
Final notes: Angus Taylor has said he sought the meeting in his capacity as the Member for Hume. But most of the grasslands occur in the Eden-Monaro electorate, not in Hume. #grassgate #auspol
The grasslands had been protected under the EPBC Act since 2000. They were upgraded from endangered to critically endangered in 2016, but the requirement for environmental assessment for certain levels of clearing had been in place for more than a decade. #grassgate #auspol
Today, 29 July, Angus Taylor has made a statement addressing questions over the grasslands saga. Follow live updates in the #politicslive blog with @AmyRemeikis theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate #auspol
@AmyRemeikis Labor's motion calling for Angus Taylor to be referred to a Senate inquiry over his conduct in the grassland saga was defeated 32 votes to 33 on Monday afternoon theguardian.com/australia-news… #grassgate #auspol
Angus Taylor says unnamed Yass farmer, not his family, spurred grassland meetings. #grassgate #auspol theguardian.com/australia-news…
LATEST from @_LisaMCox and @annefdavies: Complaint from Angus Taylor's brother prompted environment probe, former senator says #grassgate #auspol theguardian.com/australia-news…
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