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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sunshine Coast Greens stalwart receives OAM

Posted by Jim McDonald on June 12, 2012

Des Ritchie OAM with the late Bob Borsellino from Noosa Branch and Garry Claridge from Maleny Branch at Narelle McCarthy's Fairfax campaign launch, Coolum 2010 (Photo: Jim McDonald)

Noosa and Hinterland Greens congratulate Maroochydore Greens stalwart, Des Ritchie, on receiving the Order of Australia medal. Des has been an active conservationist for decades and among his various positions was President of SCEC. He received the Medal for service to the performing arts, conservation and the environment in Queensland.

Positions Des has held include:
For service to the performing arts, and to conservation and the environment in Queensland.

  • President, Queensland Folk Federation, since 1996.
  • President, Sunshine Coast Environment Council, 1991-1993; Vice-President, 1994; Life Member, 1994; Coordinator, 1989-1991.
  • Volunteer, Maroochy Waterwatch; volunteer water quality tester, 1994-2007.
  • Former Managing Director, Sunshine Coast Landcare Environment Action Program.
  • Participant, South East Queensland 20/20 Planning Program; represented the Queensland environmental and community sector; involved in the development of several National Parks and reserves.
  • Community Representative, Maroochy 2025.
  • Community Visioning Project, 2003-2005.
  • Inaugural President, The Meeting Place, in the mid 1980s.
  • Former Member, Ethics Committee, Sunshine Coast University.

Awards/recognition include:

  • Champion of Conservation, Queensland Conservation, 2009.
  • Environmentalist of the Year, Sunshine Coast Environment Council, 1997.

Congratulations, Des.

Jim McDonald, 12 June 2012

Vote 1 Jim McDonald – policy statements

Posted by Jim McDonald on March 19, 2012

Catch up with Noosa Greens Candidate Jim McDonald and read what he says on various election topics.

Jim has covered a wide range of issues during the election. They include:

  • My 30 second pitch to Mary-Lou Stevens “In the elevator” on ABC Coast FM:
    Noosa voters should vote for me because I am an experienced advocate with vision.
    I’ll introduce a Private Members Bill for a plebiscite so that Noosa residents can decide on de-amalgamation.
    I want a prosperous Noosa that is prepared for the new economy and for climate change, with regional food security, a Coast served by light rail and connecting to fast trains, a region with its own renewable energy sources, and jobs in clean industries.
    I’ll push to get the Noosa GPs After Hours Service put back in the hospital to take pressure off emergency services.
    I’ll oppose any exploitation of the coal reserves under the Coast.
    And I don’t owe vested interests any favours It will be the people I owe.
  • Jim mcDonald

Jim has been activiely campaigning to get some decent representation of Noosa into the parliament. More information available on the following sites:


Address on the Environment: Noosa Parks Association

Posted by Jim McDonald on February 25, 2012

First of all, I’d like to acknowledge the Gubbi Gubbi people whose ancestors husbanded this land for aeons before my ancestors set off in ships to this continent.

I would also like to acknowledge the significant efforts of the Noosa Parks Association for 50 years of working to preserve what all generations can enjoy in a sustainable balance of environment and controlled development in Noosa and the hinterland.

This is a balance which, after all this time, remains under threat, especially from the Regional Council. Two of the three previous councils encouraged large scale high rise, transforming Caloundra, Mooloolooba, Maroochydore and Coolum while Noosa  followed Bali’s lead in keeping buildings in a perspective that respected the landscape. And the danger is ever greater because Noosa is under-represented by this Council.

I see it as my task – if I am elected – to ensure that our priorities for Noosa prevail. In addressing the five questions, I’d like to put them into a broad context because they are closely interrelated. That context includes ensuring food security in our region – and I include the Mary Valley beacuse many of you would have campaigned against the Labor proposal for Traveston Dam.

The environmental principles were clear:

  • preserve unique or endangered species,
  • promote the health of the river, and
  • protect the world heritage Ramsar wetlands in the waters of Hervey Bay and around Fraser Island.

Yet some of my political opponents who presented themselves as Traveston warriors for the lungfish, the turtles and Mary River cod are silent as the Labor Government dishes out coalmining and CSG exploration permits along Munna Creek that flows into  the Mary at a major turtle area.

”]Munna CreekI am looking at first causes here about greenhouse emissions: the gasses sequestered in coal seams that extend through our electorate.

Huge areas have been explored at Tiaro along the Mary. In the Tin Can Bay hinterland, drilling has occurred at the junction of Coondoo Creek and Tanunda Creek that flows into the Mary River estuary. Coalmining is imminent near the Susan River outside Maryborough. It also flows into the estuary and dolphins are not unusual in that river. This is not just something that is happening outside our region. It has imminent concern for those of us in Noosa who worry about the possible degradation of the  environment in our region. Because drilling has been carried out at Wolvi. And that’s in our neighbourhood. Indeed the coalfield that is being explored along the Mary River extends from Bundaberg down to Point Arkwright and from the Blackall range out to sea.

These are resources that the coal and gas industries want so much to get their hands on that they don’t care if they encroach on farms or suburbs, as the industry has done in America. And as it is doing on Queensland farms and in Sydney suburbs. Now.

So a Labor Government which gives free reign to miners and drillers, and an LNP which thought protection of the Mary Valley was important at the last election, will allow the ultimate degradation of our environment sustaining some of the most intensive greenhouse gas production industries. The scientific and anecdotal evidence is incontrovertable for responsible legislation. The least that should be done right now is a moratorium on CSG and the immediate cessation of coalmine expansion. No more coal mines! I will take this up in the Parliament as it is Greens policy.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Sunshine Coast Council must oppose coal and gas exploration on the Sunshine Coast

Posted by Jim McDonald on February 3, 2012

The Greens candidate for the Sunshine Coast, Dr Jim McDonald, has challenged the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to oppose any coal and gas exploration on the Sunshine Coast.

He said that a statement of principle by the Council opposing coal mining or coal seam gas [CSG] extraction in the region would demonstrate its true concern for the environment.

“Not many people know that the Maryborough Basin, which is presently being prepared for coal mining and CSG in the Mary Valley, extends down to Point Arkwright. I’d be very concerned that open land in Verrierdale, for example, might be exploited for coal or gas.

“People south of Coolum might not know that there is another coal basin, the Nambour Basin, that covers the rest of the Sunshine Coast. These basins with coal reserves extend from the Blackall Range out to sea.

“It is essential for the future integrity of the Sunshine Coast environment and its attraction as a desirable region for people to live in and raise their families that the open land never be degraded by these industries.

“It is generally thought that the coal mining and CSG issues facing farmers and communities in the Darling Downs and NSW have nothing to do with the Sunshine Coast. But exploration has already extended as far south as Wolvi.

“It is no accident that mining magnate, Mr Clive Palmer, is eyeing off the Sunshine Coast.”

Dr McDonald said that he has repeatedly asked LNP MPs to oppose coal mining and CSG in the Mary Valley. He said their silence spoke loudly of their support for the mining industry in our neighbourhood.

He accused the LNP of hypocrisy. “The LNP yelled loud and long against the Traveston Dam and they joined with Mary River activists and The Greens in opposing the dam. Yet when coal companies are exploring the length of the Mary River for coal and CSG, their concern for the environment disappears.

“Every major tributary of the Mary River is being explored, and their concern over Traveston for the health of the Mary River and its unique species has disappeared.

“The Sunshine Coast Regional Council must stand firm against these activities extending into the Sunshine Coast and I urge Mayor Bob Abbott to send a clear message to Labor and the LNP that the Council will lead the community in opposition to mining the Coast.

“The Noosa Greens have actively opposed coal mining along the Mary River and its tributaries. We are concerned for the health of the river, the Mary River Cod, the lungfish and the Mary River Turtle. Coal mining and CSG will threaten the world heritage sea grasslands at the mouth of the river if coal mining is approved.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate, Noosa


Media Release: Greens ready for March election

Posted by Jim McDonald on January 25, 2012

The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald welcomed the announcement for an election date by Premier Anna Bligh, this morning.

Dr McDonald said that the LNP and Labor leaders had descended to a schoolyard level of debate on the election date.

I have no doubt that the decision will be controversial concerning the decision to push back the Council elections, but people have been confused between coverage of State and local government elections.

The Greens policy supports fixed terms and the adoption of that principle will take away the demeaning argy bargy that we have seen this week between Campbell Newman and Anna Bligh.

However, the biggest problem we face in Queensland is that no party once in government seriously commits to any long term action planning.

People often say to me that The Greens can never win government so it is a wasted vote. But voting for The Greens is a vote for the future. We must leave behind the dysfunctional ratbaggery that has characterised the Queensland Parliament and deal with long term issues beyond the three-year electoral cycle instead of short-term, populist programs.

If I am elected to the Parliament for Noosa I can focus my contribution in representing Noosa on the solutions requiring long-term strategy and action, such as a commitment to the infrastructure planning and programs necessary to prepare for the effects of climate change in the region and economic prosperity for Noosa in the post-carbon economy.

This is not something you ever hear from Mr Elmes or the Young Labor candidate from Brisbane.

Because I am not constrained by the vested interests that support Labor and the LNP, my focus will be on the benefits for the whole of the electorate and the region rather than select groups and the coal and gas industries.”

Dr McDonald said, “The Noosa and Hinterland Greens Branch are organised and ready for the long campaign.”


Jim McDonald campaigning for the Greens

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa
Media Release, 25 January 2012

Australian Youth Climate Coaltion thank the Greens

Posted by Steve on November 13, 2011

Beginning of a new era as Clean Energy Future bills pass into law

Posted by Steve on November 8, 2011

Today is an historic day for Australia and a boost to global efforts to reduce emissions as the Senate passes the Clean Energy Future legislation, according to the Australian Greens.

“Today is the day that Australia lays the foundation for a whole economic transformation and it’s the day we start serious action to tackle the climate crisis,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

“It is a day when the parliament placed the well being of future generations front and centre.

“This is an exciting day in Australia. Laying this foundation stone means it is the beginning of building a clean, zero carbon economy and seizing the opportunities of creating jobs and investment and putting our economy on a 21st century track.

“Where the old CPRS that we rejected was a full stop at the end of the campaign to tackle climate change, this package is an opening paragraph. We have a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead to make the best use of the opportunities we have created.

“But today is also the beginning of the end for Tony Abbott.

“We have had to put up with a 12 month scare campaign from Tony Abbott and the big polluters, based mostly on lies and exaggerations.

“All that negativity is now out the window. There will be a psychological shift in Australia as people see less tax coming out of their pay or more in their support payments and then look to see how they can positively contribute to the task of tackling the climate crisis.

“Tony Abbott staked his entire political career on destabilising the Gillard government and on defeating the legislation to put a price on carbon pollution.

“He has failed on both counts and, instead of standing and facing the music, he has cut and run.

“Australia can now celebrate the passage of this historic package of bills, seize the opportunities it presents, and hold our heads up high internationally as our efforts for the first time bolster global negotiations and help to support carbon prices around the world.

“I will be travelling to Durban to attend the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where Australia’s efforts will be welcomed and celebrated.”

An open letter to Drew Hutton facing court for trying to protect our land

Posted by Jim McDonald on August 22, 2011

Good luck on Thursday, Drew.

There is no doubt about the immorality of CSG extraction and coalmining on productive land and in people’s homes, but the laws are not geared towards what is best for Australia’s food security, nor what is best for the aquifers and the Great Artesian Basin, nor for the atmosphere as methane leaks, nor for the destruction of family lives and the peace of communities. On these grounds alone you have an absolute reasonable excuse.

The work you have done for the farmers and communities of the Darling Downs is sowing seeds across the country sustained by your’s and the farmers courage to stand up against multi-nationals and Australian companies out for a fast buck whatever the damage they do.

Drew, you should be proud of what you have achieved for all of us in bringing the pernicious industrialisation of our land and its resources to the public consciousness. I am!

Jim McDonald

Carbon price agreement: Historic first step towards a clean energy economy

Posted by Steve on July 10, 2011

The Australian Greens, the Labor government and the Independent MPs today announced an historic agreement on a climate action package that will put a $23 per tonne price on carbon pollution, as was first proposed by the Greens, support householders and invest billions of dollars in clean, renewable energy.

This package, which the Greens have helped shape, is the first vital step towards tackling the climate crisis and building a cleaner, healthier, more secure Australia for all of us.

Major steps forward on emissions reduction targets, support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and landscape carbon, closing coal-fired power plants, limiting the use of international offsets and a floor price mean that pollution cuts that were pushed into the distant future under the government’s original plans will now be pulled forward into the next few years.

While a climate action package designed by the Greens would have been more ambitious straight away, what we have achieved is a firm foundation for the future. Where the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme acted as a ceiling on action, constraining our efforts for decades to come, this carbon price package acts as a platform on which stronger action can be built in the years ahead.

The carbon price agreement:

• Lifts Australia’s 2050 emissions target to 80%, lays the foundations for science-based climate action in the coming years and supports the effort to reach an ambitious global climate agreement;

• invests $10 billion in renewable energy, establishes ARENA, supports energy efficiency and starts planning for a 100% renewable energy future;

• helps the most vulnerable Australians;

• will begin to close coal-fired power stations and prevents the building of new commercial coal-fired power stations;

• ensures that emission intensive industry compensation will be based on rigorous independent analysis as soon as possible;

• limits the use of international offsets;

• begins to shift transport onto a cleaner base;

• makes voluntary action to cut emissions count; and

• invests $1.7 billion in protecting biodiversity and supporting farmers.

The Greens put climate action back on the political agenda after a federal election campaign during which it was a low priority for both Labor and the Coalition. By establishing a Multi-Party Climate Change Committee to deliver a carbon price as a condition for Julia Gillard to continue as Prime Minister, and by negotiating strongly and in good faith, the Greens have delivered a truly transformative package for the Australian community, economy and climate.

With this first step agreed, the Greens will continue to campaign for the much stronger action we need to effectively and efficiently tackle the climate crisis.

Germany leads the way in phasing out nuclear power

Posted by Steve on May 30, 2011

The Australian Greens have welcomed the German government’s decision to completely phase-out the use of nuclear power by 2022. Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam said the decision to shut down all 17 of Germany’s reactors was another sign that the nuclear industry was in serious decline worldwide.

German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced the decision today calling it “irreversible”. Senator Ludlam said the centre-right government in Germany “has grasped the facts about nuclear power and has listened to the German people”.

“Germany already sources 18% of its power from renewable energy, and recognises that that growing sector is the way of the future while nuclear power is a dead end.”

Germany’s decision is part of a series of moves by governments around the world to back away from nuclear power or abandon it entirely.

On March 16th the Chinese State Council put an embargo on approvals of new reactors two days after Switzerland’s Energy Minister suspended replacement approvals for three nuclear plants.

Italy has announced a one-year freeze on plans to relaunch nuclear power, which is currently banned in that country.

On March 13th the Austrian Environment Minister demanded that nuclear power be phased out across Europe. The European Union agreed on March 25th to conduct ‘stress tests’ at all 143 European power plants and the French President said any French plants that fail will be closed.

Poland will now almost certainly hold a national referendum on the government’s plans to build a nuclear power plant.

The Japanese Prime Minister has closed one additional vulnerable power station, announced a moratorium on new proposals and foreshadowed a complete rewrite of Japanese energy policy.

“Those members of the Labor, Liberal and National parties who advocate nuclear power need to wake up. This discredited, moribund and dangerous industry is finished,” said Senator Ludlam.

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