Posted by Steve on March 7, 2014
Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt, has hit back at claims from Gina Rinehart that Australia needs a dose of Thatcherism.
“Gina Rinehart is a threat to Australian egalitarianism,” said Mr Bandt.
“Gina Rinehart is full of suggestions about how to balance the budget, but none of them involve her paying a fairer share of tax and all of them involve getting the rest of us to pay more.”
“If Gina Rinehart and Tony Abbott get their way, Australia will have a US-style health system where the quality of your healthcare depends on the size of your wallet.”
“Gina Rinehart has already warned that she wants Australia to be competitive with countries that pay their workers $2 a day.
“If Gina Rinehart thinks Australians are paid too much and have health care that’s too good, she’s welcome to leave.”
Posted by Steve on March 6, 2014
The old parties have voted down the Greens’ bill to give landholders the right to say no to coal and gas, in the Senate today, confirming the Greens are the only party standing up for farmers against the big mining companies.
A Lock the Gate delegation of farmers, traditional owners, tourism operators and winemakers watched on.
“Unfortunately, the delegation from Lock the Gate, of people personally affected by mining on their land, has come to Canberra to see the old parties let them down,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
“Right across our country, people are concerned about coal and gas threatening their land, water and climate and disgracefully landholders have no rights to stop the big mining companies from marching on to their land and doing whatever they want.
“Alarmingly shale gas is taking over Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia and the Greens are the only party standing up for landholders against this dangerous industry.
“Without the right to say no, this David and Goliath situation forced upon unwilling farming families across Australia is even more weighted in favour of big coal and gas.
“The Liberal and National Senators didn’t even bother to participate in the Senate debate, even though rural communities are crying out for landholder rights.
“The old parties also voted down our Senate motion supporting Lock the Gate’s call for national laws to protect food-producing land from coal and gas and to give landholders the power of veto over mining on their land.
“It’s really disappointing that Liberal, National and Labor senators are all ignoring the community and instead doing the bidding of the big mining companies.
“We know that the old parties accept donations from the big mining companies, including the Nationals accepting money from Santos, and it’s sad to see where their priorities lie.
“When Tony Abbott is out in the bush he says that mining companies shouldn’t be allowed on farmers’ land without permission but then he does nothing about it in Canberra.
“The old parties need to wake up and realise we’re at the end of the fossil fuel era and we have viable renewable alternatives that don’t threaten our land, water and climate.
“The Greens won’t give up as a strong voice in Parliament for everyone who eats, drinks and needs a liveable climate,” Senator Waters said.
The Greens’ Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013
Posted by Steve on December 30, 2013
It has been 111 days since the election and Australians are now enjoying the end of year sales, but Tony Abbott’s government has been ticking off a shopping list of 125 environmental destruction approvals for projects.
“Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt are rushing through environmental approvals at a rate of more than one a day,” Greens Leader Christine Milne said.
“They can’t hand back approval powers to the states and weaken environmental protection fast enough for their big business mates, so Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt are rushing through projects with a rubber stamp.
“Open for business is just Tony Abbott’s code for dig it up, cut it down and ship it away. He doesn’t care about protecting the environment.
“Australians expect our governments to closely consider environmental impacts in order to protect threatened species and special places.
“Tony Abbott doesn’t care. He wants to build massive coalmines, coal ports, gas wells and massive developments as quickly as possible.”
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 has been activiely campaigning to get some decent representation of Noosa into the parliament. More information available on the following sites:
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.
”]I 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 »
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.”
Greens Candidate, Noosa
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
Greens Candidate Noosa
Media Release, 25 January 2012
Posted by Steve on September 6, 2011
The federal government should not featherbed the big mining corporations by rebating state royalties, and Barry O’Farrell should get his facts right on the carbon price, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
“The Gillard government is in a bind over its feeble mining tax. Already, $100 billion is being lost over the next 10 years from the public purse. This is money which should be going to hospitals, housing, schools, dental care or developing high-speed rail,” Senator Brown said in Hobart.
“Mining company profits leapt 15.2 per cent to near $25 billion in the three months to June. The states have a right to increase royalties. But the Commonwealth is wrong to repay that money to the miners.
“As far as saying to the states, ‘well, you can’t increase royalties’, that again will cost the taxpayer. Ultimately, unless the government amends its own watered-down mining tax, we may end up with the federal taxpayer subsidising the states and the mining companies getting off scot-free.
“But Premier O’Farrell’s claims on the carbon tax don’t add up. The carbon pricing package negotiated by the Greens will be a boon for clean energy jobs in New South Wales,” Senator Brown said.
“New South Wales has enough clean energy potential to power 3,000,000 homes, remove pollution equivalent to 3,300,00 cars and create 6,600 jobs.”
Clean Energy Jobs in Regional Australia, Climate Institute, 1/3/2011
“It is also notable that both the New South Wales and Victorian modelling has nothing at all to say about the damage that unmitigated climate change would wreak on their economies,” Senator Brown said.
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!
Posted by Jim McDonald on March 23, 2011
Noosa Greens are on an election footing following the leadership coup in the LNP and Premier Bligh’s refusal to rule out an early election. The Greens candidate has already been pre-selected and approved by the Queensland Greens State Council. The Noosa and Hinterland Branch has a campaign team in place.
The Noosa Greens candidate is Dr Jim McDonald who stood for the Greens in Wide Bay during last year’s Federal election.
Jim McDonald, Noosa Greens candidate, addressing a Greens function during the Federal election campaign 2010
Dr McDonald said that the Greens have a good chance of knocking off Labor in Noosa whenever the State election is held.
“Labor continues to disappoint Queenslanders despite the Premier doing a good job during the flood crises and Cyclone Yasi. But no-one has forgotten that Labor sold off some of our most important assets and infrastructure for short term profit.
“The Labor Government has allowed mining and gas interests to run amok in the State at the expense of farmers and productive land. The Sunshine Coast and the Mary Valley face a real threat of coalmining and coal seam gas destroying the region’s environment.
“Labor is encouraging coalmining throughout the Mary Valley and drilling for coal and gas is occurring just outside the Noosa electorate borders at Wolvi. What hope has Noosa got in stopping environmental vandalism if this is the mindset of both Labor and the LNP?
“The Greens are the only Party to stand against the expansion of the coal and gas industry into our region. The LNP has been silent and ineffectual because they support, and are supported by, the mining industry. They have failed rural communities and farmers.”
He said that there were a number of other issues for the election whenever it is called. “The so-called health revolution will pass by our region when the age demographic in the Noosa electorate suggests that pressures will only increase on health services.
“Where is the evidence of planning for a rapid transport system in our region when fuel prices are frequently hitting $1.50 a litre and will certainly increase towards $2.00 a litre?
“I have been pushing for some time for a strategic approach to food production in the region. There is no evidence that the State has any strategy for dealing with food security as the climate changes. Nor is there any evidence of local or state-wide planning for the inevitable transformation into a global post-carbon economy.
“If I am elected as The Greens MP for Noosa, I will work to improve the contribution of the Queensland Government towards making the Noosa electorate a better place to live, to work, to visit, for recreation and the arts, and in which to invest sustainably.”
Jim McDonald is a widower and has lived in Sunshine Beach for 15 years. He was formerly an academic, a union official and high school teacher. His PhD is on management in small and medium sized businesses.
Media release, Tuesday, 22 March 2011