September 2014

The horrid Noosa on Weyba development is still working its way through the courts. It is by no means dead, and while it may change form it will remain a threat for years to come.

Regardless of what happens to that proposal, the well-being of Lake Weyba remains subject to the capricious decisions of the Minister for Local Government. There is no way to appeal against these decisions, and if the LNP-aligned Sunshine Coast Council sees a way to make a buck out of Lake Weyba we can't expect any support from an LNP state government.

What do you do? Vote Green! You'll get a tireless advocate for the sensible boundary change which will bring the entire foreshore of Lake Weyba into the Noosa Council by moving the boundary to encompass Eumundi, Doonan, Verrierdale, and Weyba Downs.

For more information please visit and support the Friends of Lake Weyba

Scouting camp at Aldershot

Aldershot is a former industrial town located eight km north-west of Maryborough, between the Bruce Highway and the North Coast railway line.

In 1888 the Queensland Smelting Co Ltd built a smelting works burning coal from Howard to produce high-grade refined copper, lead, silver and gold.

Aldershot had a primary school (1892), a post office, but no hotel. The smelting works closed in 1906, when smelters were erected in north Queensland, closer to ore bodies. The bricks from a smelter chimney were reused for a fence at a Maryborough flour mill.

After closure of the smelting works Aldershot had a census population of 34 in 1921. In 2006 the census recorded 516 at the old town site (in the former Hervey Bay city) and 406 at another Aldershot location in Maryborough City. The township was included in the federal electorate of Wide Bay at the last redistribution in December 2009.

In 2011 the census recorded a combined figure of 1043 at these locations, with 569 at the old town site and 474 at the other Aldershot location. The latter figure is entirely comprised of males, this location being the site of the Maryborough Correctional Centre (2003).

The community of Aldershot now faces its greatest challenge. The Colton Coal Mine operated by Northern Energy Corporation, will be open dug just three kilometres from the town and will be 24 hour operation.

The Noosa and Hinterland Greens are concerned that the people of Aldershot will be seriously impacted by dust, noise and lights at the mine all night, property devaluation, the destruction of the amenity of the area, and the consequent effects on their health.

The people of Aldershot have united to protect their community. For more information visit Aldershot and District Against Mining (ADAM).

If you wish to contribute to a fair and sustainable Aldershot please join us.

Greens urge Bishop to back on-ground teams to fight Ebola in West Africa

The Greens have called on the Australian government to join the growing international response to the Ebola crisis by sending a large scale on-ground team to West Africa to undertake medical and logistical work.

"The Australian government should be part of the international team that have committed logistical and health personnel to the region," Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"While Foreign Minister Julie Minister Bishop might argue that Australia has not been asked to put in a medical team she should take note of WHO chief Dr Ian Norton* who has called for such assistance in West Africa.

"Last week I met Médecins Sans Frontières project co-ordinator Brett Adamson. His reports about how health workers are overwhelmed with patients, the large numbers of orphaned children and so much personal hardship, reinforced that the Australian government needs to immediately join the international response.

"Australia has a responsibility to play its part in this massive health and social crisis by joining the teams from Britain, China, the USA and Cuba.

"We have had a commendable record of helping the Philippines after Typhon Haiyan and Indian rim countries after the 2004 tsunami. Now is the time to extend our support to West Africa," Senator Rhiannon said.

LNP Government bullying refugees with Cambodia deal

The deal between the Australian and Cambodian governments will put the lives of women and young girls at extreme risk and should not go ahead, the Australian Greens have said.

"It is shameful that the Abbott government is forcing refugees to choose between cruelty on Nauru and cruelty in Cambodia," The Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"There is nothing optional about this deal. It's like the bully in the schoolyard, asking if you want a punch to the face or a kick in the guts.

"The cost of cruelty is extremely high and now the Australian tax payer is being signed up to an open-ended deal with one of the most corrupt nations on Earth.

"The government has already blown billions on detention camps in the Pacific and now they're giving more tax payer dollars to Cambodia.

"My primary concern is for the young, unaccompanied girls on Nauru who simply won't be safe in Cambodia.

"Human rights organisations have said the incidence of rape and sexual exploitation is on the rise in Cambodia, especially for girls and young women. The moment these girls step off the plane, they will be put at risk."

Galilee Basin coal mines don’t stack up economically or environmentally

Galilee Basin coal mines don’t stack up economically or environmentally The global Carbon Tracker Initiative analysis shows the Galilee Basin coal mines are high risk for investors.

“The Galilee Basin mega coal mine proposals are as financially disastrous as they are environmentally catastrophic,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

“Global demand for coal is dwindling and hauling millions of tonnes of it hundreds of kilometres before shipping it through our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef makes absolutely no sense economically or environmentally.

“This global report finds the Galilee Basin coal mines are already unviable under a low-demand scenario.

“It’s no wonder that the big names have all pulled out of the Abbot Point coal port expansion, including Rio, BHP, Anglo American Coal and Lend Lease.

“If the Galilee Basin was a country, burning its coal would make it the seventh largest emitter of CO2 from fossil fuel burning on the planet.

“Instead of ticking off on these mega Galilee Basin coal mines, the Abbott Government needs to listen to the tens of thousands of Australians who marched on the weekend for climate action to save our children and grandchildren’s futures,” Senator Waters said.

Greens giving Queenslanders the power with a state Renewable Energy Target

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters and Queensland Greens energy spokesperson Scott Thomson today launched the Greens' policy for a Queensland Renewable Energy Target (RET), at the Brisbane Climate Action Rally.

"We need a Queensland RET to ensure that the great take up of renewable energy in our Sunshine State continues, regardless of Tony Abbott's attacks," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

"Queensland has the most solar panels in the country - we reached more than 400 000 solar panels on Queensland homes this week, more than 20 per cent of households.

"Queenslanders are taking control of their power bills with solar panels, creating thousands of local jobs in solar installation.

"Under the federal RET, having a solar panel on your roof reduces your bills by about 65 per cent and installing a solar panel costs $2600 less.

"The Greens want to make sure that Queenslanders can continue to save money through solar, regardless of Tony Abbott's attacks, by developing a state RET, with the target set at 90 per cent by 2030.

"Under our plan, solar household programs would be expanded so that people with low incomes and people in rental accommodation and public housing would be able to benefit from having solar panels," Senator Waters said.

Queensland Greens energy spokesperson, Scott Thomson, said the Queensland RET would lead a transition away from the current fossil fuel monopoly network to a sustainable, distributed network model.

"Instead of the big electricity companies wasting money on expensive 'poles and wires' networks, driving up Queenslanders' bills, a renewable energy model would be more distributed and localised, reducing transmission losses and costs.

"Our state RET would encourage more solar installation and wind farm construction, creating local jobs.

"While the Newman Government is planning to deregulate electricity, giving the big electricity companies the power to set our power bills; the Greens want to give the power to Queenslanders, so they can save on their power bills through renewable energy," Mr Thomson said.

Expansion of terror laws risks democratic freedoms

Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Abbott Government's laws will seriously overturn a number of democratic rights and restrict civil liberties.

"These new terror laws will extend security agency powers that numerous government reviews have already said are unnecessary and even counter-productive," Senator Wright said.

“We can remain vigilant against the threat of terrorism without overturning the fundamentals of our justice system.

“From what we know of the government’s proposed terror measures, long-established legal rights like the presumption of innocence will be trashed and Australians may be detained and possibly convicted simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"We cannot be a voice for freedom on the international stage while restricting freedom at home."

Unity will combat terror in the Middle East and at home

Greens Leader Christine Milne has called on Australians to stand together against terrorism threats on home soil, saying unity, not war, will deliver lasting peace.

"The best way to keep Australians safe is to bring them together, not blindly follow the US into an unwinnable war in the Middle East," said Senator Milne.

"Are we going to another war in the Middle East because the terror alert has been raised, or the other way around?

"Australia should support the new Iraqi government to be inclusive and de-escalate sectarian tensions, at the same time making sure our own community is inclusive.

"We need to think about tolerance in Australian society and how successful our multiculturalism has been.

"We ought to come together to make sure that people who need to be punished are punished, but don't let fear take over.

"We don't want to victimise, alienate or make people vulnerable to inducements from overseas.

"ISIL is a disgraceful organisation and the barbarity with which they act is appalling. We need to cut off their money and supplies, make sure borders are sealed and support an inclusive government in Iraq, not just drop bombs.

"It is important to deal with terrorism at its source and we need a long-term strategy to do so. Instead, Tony Abbott is following the US into a multi-year war with no strategy and no independent foreign policy."


LNP's Reef Plan is plan for its demise from dredging, dumping and coal

Our precious reef

The draft Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, released today, does nothing to stop the onslaught of dredging and dumping already applied for along the Reef’s coast and the mass export of coal through the Reef to exacerbate climate change, say the Australian Greens.

“The plan ignores the fact that exporting millions of tonnes of coal out through the Reef will exacerbate climate change, the biggest threat facing this iconic World Heritage Area,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

“The plan adopts the Queensland Ports Strategyhref>, which doesn’t protect the Reef from capital dredging and dumping projects in Cairns, Townsville and Gladstone – the very ones that the World Heritage Committee has expressed concern about.

“Like the Queensland Ports Strategy, as well as not protecting the Reef from dredging and dumping already applied for, the plan does not restrict future dredging and dumping at any major ports, which are classified as Priority Port Development Areas.

“The Abbott and Newman governments are once again giving the big mining companies absolutely everything they want, while trying to fool the rest of us into thinking something has changed.

“All this plan delivers is vague targets without firm actions or new funding commitments to achieve them.

“Queenslanders won’t be fooled – this plan does nothing to stop the onslaught of dredging and dumping already applied for in our Great Barrier Reef.

“We need an immediate and permanent ban on dumping in the Great Barrier Reef and I currently have a bill in the federal Parliament to achieve this.

“We’ve already had three warnings from the World Heritage Committee that the Reef could be placed on the ‘In Danger’ list and we might not be granted another chance.

“If the Abbott Government genuinely doesn’t want the Reef to end up on the ‘In Danger’ list, which would be a disaster for the tourism industry, it should support my bill for an immediate and permanent ban on offshore dumping in this precious World Heritage Area,” Senator Waters said.

The Noosa and Hinterland branch of the Queensland Greens covers the federal seat of Wide Bay, the state seats of Noosa, Gympie and Maryborough.and the local government areas of Noosa, Gympie and Maryborough.

We are a growing and active branch with members across the Wide Bay region. Our meetings are held monthly and are a social as well as politically active. Members, supporters and friends are most welcome.

You can join the Queensland Greens HERE

You can also join us on Facebook or Twitter

You are also welcome to contact our Convenor directly via email or phone 0421 00 1956

You can follow Joe's campaign for Noosa at the campaign website
And on Facebook

A copy of Joe's latest Campaign Brochure can be found here

Engaging in war helps drive extremism at home

The Australian Greens accept the advice of ASIO on threats to Australia but say we cannot ignore the impact of military engagement in Iraq and the Middle East in increasing the risk at home. Back in 2004, Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said Australia was at increased risk because of our involvement in the Iraq war, and Greens Leader Christine Milne says the same applies now.

"We cannot bring Australians together and combat extremism at home by blindly following the USA into yet another Iraq war," said Senator Milne.

"It is not as simple as extremists hating us because of our way of life. They are also fuelled by our past engagement in Iraq with the Coalition of the Willing. Fighting US led Western imperialism is a rallying call for jihadists.

"We cannot ignore the fact that arming sectarian militia and dropping bombs in the Middle East will do absolutely nothing to combat extremism and violence at home in Australia and may make it much worse.

"The Prime Minister calls Iraq and the Middle East a witches brew of complexity and violence. That is why he should focus on bringing Australians together.

"Extremists need vulnerable young people to feel isolated and alienated in order to win them over. We shouldn't make that easier for them. We should focus on strengthening our community ties and policies of inclusion.

"The Prime Minister must focus on making sure all Australians are included in our wonderful multicultural society. The problem isn't Islam or Christianity, it is the discrimination and hatred that drives social isolation and violence," Senator Milne said.