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Department of Environment Blocks Release of Documents Related to "Grassgate"

Angus Taylor is a federal MP for the Liberal Party representing the seat of Hume. Mr. Taylor served as Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction under the Morrison Government from 2018 to 2022.

Liberal Party MP Angus Taylor wearing a suit and tie with the text "Angus Taylor" foregrounded.

In October 2022, after a four-year-long battle with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), the Australian Information Commissioner ordered the release of 11 documents regarding an investigation into illegal land clearing undertaken by Jam Land Pty Ltd. The company is part owned by Mr. Taylor via his family's company, Gufee, with his brother Richard serving as one of it's directors.

The DCCEEW has recently taken legal action to block The Guardian Australia from reviewing these documents. First drafted in 2017, the documents are believed to include information pertaining to the department's visits to the Monaro plains in late 2016 and early 2017. The department was investigating damage to 30 hectares of native grasslands owned by Jam Land Pty Ltd which were sprayed with herbicide, in what has been described in the media as the "Grassgate" incident.


In 2017 Mr. Taylor met with environmental officials and the office of then-Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to discuss the laws which protected the grasslands in question while the investigation in the Monaro plains itself was in progress. Mr. Taylor did not declare his financial interest in the company at these meetings and received briefings from the Department of Environment following the investigation.

According to Michael West Media, Mr. Frydenberg’s office then sought advice around how difficult it would be to remove the native grassland protections. Mr. Taylor claimed that these meetings were not in relation to the investigation into Jam Land and that he was instead acting on behalf of his constituents.

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