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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Senate vote confirms Greens only party standing up for farmers against big mining

Posted by Steve on March 6, 2014

Senator-Lariisa-Waters

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

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 »

Greens launch first stage of campaign to defend media diversity in Australia

Posted by Steve on February 3, 2012

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam today launched a campaign urging the Government to strengthen media cross ownership laws and protect diversity in the Australian mass media.

Senator Ludlam said the recent Fairfax raid by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart was just an example of the ongoing concentration of media ownership in Australia.

“This is not about Mrs Rinehart’s personal world view. It’s about the mass media in Australia being run by a tiny handful of people which is getting smaller and smaller.”

“Eleven of Australia’s twelve capital city daily papers are owned by either Fairfax or Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd. The remaining newspaper is effectively controlled by the owner of Channel Seven. It stands to reason that the concentration of media ownership in this country has gone far enough.”

“Disturbingly, Australia is already ranked 30th in the world for press freedom. By comparison, Canada is 10th and New Zealand is 13th.” (Reporters Without Borders – Press Freedom Index 2011/2012)

Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has bought almost 14% of Fairfax Media, adding to her 10% stake in Channel Ten. The reach of Fairfax extends beyond the city mastheads the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age into regional towns right across Australia.

“The weakening of Australia’s media ownership laws by the Howard Government has had a negative impact on the integrity of public debate in Australia, a situation that will worsen if further concentration of ownership is permitted.”

“With the support of the Australian Greens, the Government can take the urgent action required to protect diversity in media ownership in Australia. We have asked the Australian people to write to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy through our website – http://www.greensmps.org.au/media-ownership – to urge him to take action before it is too late.”

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

Posted by Jim McDonald on

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

http://www.ga.gov.au/oceans/ea_ons_Nmbr.jsp

http://www.ga.gov.au/energy/province-sedimentary-basin-geology/petroleum/offshore-eastern-australia/nambour.html#map

http://www.ga.gov.au/provexplorer/provinceDetails.do?eno=22361

“http://www.ga.gov.au/energy/province-sedimentary-basin-geology/petroleum/offshore-eastern-australia/maryborough.html

http://www.nrm.se/en/menu/researchandcollections/departments/palaeobotany/collections/databases/jaustralia/jaustralialandsb.13786.htm

http://widebaygreens.org/2011/05/the-greens-call-for-a-moratorium-on-coal-seam-gas/

http://widebaygreens.org/2012/01/standing-up-for-the-noosa-biosphere-means-standing-up-for-the-sandy-straits-biosphere/

http://widebaygreens.org/2010/05/queensland-beautiful-one-day-open-cut-coalmines-the-next/

http://actiononcoalandgas.org/

Mining tax needs fixing to protect state royalties

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.

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

Govt must act to protect water licenses from foreign ownership

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.”

Mining and gas expansion will lead to further job losses

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.’

Join our Action on Coal and Gas...

How You Can Get Involved...

We would love to hear from you, what you consider our priorities should be to ensure our community remains special and sustainable. Please feel welcome to contact our Convenor Steve Haines directly at steve@noosagreens.org or mobile 0421 00 1956.

Larissa's Maiden Speech