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 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 Steve on August 31, 2011
Yesterday’s find of an apple midge and leaf litter in one of the first apple consignments from New Zealand is evidence that the risk of disease and insect incursion is high and requires an increase in the reach of the inspection service, Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne said today.
“Although swooping on a small amount of leaf matter and a single apple leaf curling midge among the first consignments may be touted as a victory for Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, I am deeply concerned about what may have passed undiscovered in other consignments.
“Such a find so early in the trade does not augur well for the future.
“The current practice of inspecting just 600 pieces of fruit from each consignment holding up to 140,000 apples or pears is inadequate leaving the majority of the consignment uninspected.
“The onus is now on AQIS to implement a more stringent monitoring system for incoming produce that goes far beyond the current practice and requires inspection of cartons as well as fruit.
“I am therefore calling on the government to significantly improve inspection services and inspect at least 600 cartons in addition to the fruit.
“The presence of leaf litter and an insect on fruit has vindicated Australian apple and pear growers who for decades have warned against the dangers of importing produce from countries with diseases and pests not present in Australia.
“While Tasmanian growers wait anxiously for a decision on New Zealand apples entering the state, they are now seeing what will transpire should the decision go against them. The fact remains that allowing New Zealand apples into Australia will lead to unwelcome pests and diseases, including Fire Blight.
“The World Trade Organisation has made it clear that Australia must open its doors to New Zealand apples and pears, so now it is up to our state and federal governments to implement every possible measure aimed at keeping pests and disease away from our shores.”
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 Steve on July 1, 2011
The Australian Greens are calling on the federal government to alter the powers of the Foreign Investment Review Board to include water licenses.
It comes amid an overwhelming response from everyday Australians toward the acquisition of prime farming land by foreign companies and shows the Federal government must act to ensure water allocation licences in the Murray Darling Basin and other part of the country are protected.
“Australians don’t want foreign companies buying up prime agricultural land so they can be turned into mining sites and they do not want water allocation rights acquired by parties not interested in protecting future flows,” the Greens’ water and Murray Darling Basin spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
“The Greens want the federal government to publish a list of foreign owners of water licences, not just land ownership.
“We also want the Foreign Investment Review Board’s powers to be strengthened to include assessing water licenses, because currently the board does not examine this vital part of Australia’s future.”
Posted by Steve on June 10, 2011
The Queensland Greens say that Minister Mulherin’s release of the report on the Noosa Fish Health Investigation Taskforce (NFHIT) is not good news for residents living near farms.
The NFHIT Report states that the majority view of the taskforce was that agrichemicals were not implicated in the deaths and deformities of fish at a fish hatchery which adjoins a macadamia farm, while the government’s veterinary scientist and an independent veterinary scientist found that they were.
‘Biosecurity Queensland is basically saying that if you live near a farm that uses chemicals, it is up to you to take precautions to prevent your land and water from becoming contaminated,’ according to Queensland Greens spokesperson Libby Connors.
‘It praised the macadamia farmer’s practice with respect to his spraying but is broad to the point of being misleading about the actions that the Sunland Fish Hatchery must take.
‘Recommendation 6 states that the owner “must continue to implement biosecurity and management protocols as adopted during this investigation” (p.12).
‘These instructions were issued in 2008 but are not repeated in the report.
‘They instruct the owner to not drink any Gilson Road water; to not swim in any block tanks or dams on the property and to not do any hand or face washing from Gilson Road water.
‘They clearly recognise that spray drift of chemicals is a genuine problem even when used correctly, as all parties have acknowledged throughout the investigation.
‘Given that the residents of Gilson Road are dependent on tank water, as is the nearby village of Boreen Point, it is hardly reassuring for residents of the Noosa hinterland.
‘Biosecurity are leaving our rivers and streams and our residents in limbo.’
Posted by Steve on December 10, 2010
Australian Bureau of Statistics employment figures for Queensland which were released yesterday and show that more jobs were lost in Queensland than created are no surprise, according to the Queensland Greens.
‘Each time the Premier or Treasurer announce some new mining or gas drilling development in regional Queensland, it increases uncertainty for existing agricultural and tourism sectors,’ Queensland Greens spokesperson, Libby Connors pointed out.
‘Why would anyone invest in agriculture or related agrifood businesses when the Premier publicly states that she intends to protect only ‘the best of the best’ of Queensland’s cropping lands?
‘We’re in the midst of a good rainfall season but these major sectors of the Queensland economy are being hemmed in by new coal mines and gas wells in the state’s richest agricultural lands.
‘The outlook is not much better for tourism. The Australian dollar is one factor but so is the expansion of coal ports north and south of Queensland’s finest coastal resorts in the Whitsundays and proposals for coal mines and coal seam gas near Wide Bay.
‘No tourists want to view the beautiful Queensland coast through coal heaps, coal dust and gas infrastructure.’
‘Reckless expansion by one sector of the economy is endangering and narrowing the state’s economic base but both major parties have no vision about how to develop a diverse economy in a post-carbon world.’