- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Assange fear of US rendition vindicated by ‘enemy of the state’ brand

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam. 27 September 2012.

Australian citizen and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange would face a military show trial if extradited to the United States, the Greens said today.

“It is time Foreign Minister Bob Carr got on the right side of history and took every diplomatic measure possible to bring Julian Assange back to Australia,” said Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

“We have long argued that Washington intends to drag Mr Assange to the United States and throw him into the same anti-legal black hole in which Private Manning and Guantanamo Bay inmates now languish.

“The Greens have urged the Australian Government to do everything it can to prevent the rendition of Mr Assange to the United States to face a show trial, but our efforts have mostly been met by obfuscation and second-rate theatre.  It has long been known a US Grand Jury has been empanelled to seek an indictment on Mr Assange, but the shadow boxing from our own Government has continued.

“Now, declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under American freedom-of-information laws, have revealed the US military has designated Mr Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

“Our Government has repeatedly denied knowledge of any American intention to charge Mr Assange or seek his extradition, but Australian diplomatic cables released under freedom of information over the past year-and-a-half have shown there is an unprecedented US Justice Department espionage investigation targeting WikiLeaks.

“It’s time for the Australian Government to take a strong public stand against Washington’s plans to destroy an Australian citizen because he revealed embarrassing truths about America’s politics and America’s wars.”

ABC article: Mixed reaction to Clarence gas deal

Mixed reaction to Clarence gas deal

Queensland gas field
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:30pm AEST

'A mining company with gas exploration licences for the Clarence Valley has just signed a multi million dollar deal with an energy company.'

'However the Clarence Valley Alliance Against Coal Seam Gas says it is extremely worried about the mining exploration deal.
Spokesman John Edwards said if the project was only for nine wells in the valley, it would not be a major concern.
"But if there's a resource discovered under any of those wells that will mean the companies will then move to the next level, which is a gas field," he said.
"We'll have dozens, possibly hundreds of gas wells clustered around in a very small area, connected to pipelines and roads.
"It's going to be horrific.'

Complete article at ABC Coffs Coast

More at North Coast Voices with pictures of protest outside the office of Chris Gulaptis  

Thursday, 27 September 2012

O'Farrell's band aid solution on compo costs

Media Release - 26 September 2012

The O'Farrell government has failed to restore the right of injured workers to legal costs and instead has put in place a new internal bureaucracy and a panel of WorkCover approved lawyers as a band aid solution to an ongoing crisis in the Workers Compensation system.

See the reports in today's media here: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/new-free-service-for-injured-workers-20120926-26jtz.html

"The O'Farrell government has created an ongoing crisis in the workers compensation system by accepting an amendment by Fred Nile to abolish the right of injured workers to legal assistance, even when they win their compensation cases.

"Today's response from the O'Farrell government is a sticky tape solution to the ongoing problem of seriously injured workers having to go it alone in compensation cases against well-heeled insurance companies.

"Before the O'Farrell government agreed with Fred Nile and abolished the right to legal costs in June this was not an issue and if workers won their case they had their costs paid.

"This new administrative costs scheme will reward those lawyers who serve the interests of WorkCover rather than those who fearlessly act in the interest of injured workers.

"With a 50% cut in the annual allowance for legal costs it is clear that the government's new laws have greatly reduced the legal rights of injured workers.

"The government has been forced to make this allowance because they supported Fred Nile's disastrous amendment abolishing injured worker's rights to recover legal costs.

"This is a marginal improvement on the prohibition on costs contained in the legislation, but it comes with a sting in the tail with the government effectively choosing which lawyers can act for injured workers," Mr Shoebridge said.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Government body pushes pro-hunting propaganda on primary school children

Media Release - 24 September 2012

Following reports that the NSW statutory body the NSW Game Council is distributing pro-hunting propaganda to children, Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge has called on Premier O'Farrell to condemn this use of public funds.

The propaganda is contained on water bottles with a pro-hunting message that were distributed last week at Catherine McCauley Catholic Primary School in central western NSW.

"Mr O'Farrell is cutting jobs in education and health while using scarce public funds to push hunting to five years olds," Mr Shoebridge said.

"We need to know if Barry O'Farrell approves of a publicly funded body promoting hunting to primary school students.

"Pushing hunting on primary school children via drink bottles is clearly inappropriate. The Premier needs to step in and put an end to it.

"This is not the first time the pro-gun Game Council has pushed its pro-gun pro-hunting agenda on primary school children.

"Last year pro-hunting materials were snuck into Neville Public School, without the approval of the Department of Education.

"A push by the Game Council to have children as young as twelve hunting on public land unsupervised was overturned earlier this month after a campaign from the Greens, animal welfare groups and concerned members of the community.

"While the Game Council is supposed to regulate recreational hunting in NSW, this confirms it is little more than a publically funded front for the Shooters Party.

"Both Shooters Party MPs are former chairmen of the Game Council. There are clear links between this statutory authority and this far-right party pushing for an increased gun culture in NSW.

"The Greens are calling for the Game Council to be abolished and for feral animal control to be returned to the hands of professionals in NSW," Mr Shoebridge said.

Voters reject education budget cuts

Media release: 24 September 2012

An opinion poll taken between the 14th and 18th of September shows that the
O'Farrell government's $1.7 billion cut to public schools and TAFE colleges
is deeply unpopular and has many Coalition voters question their decision
to put the Liberals and Nationals into power, according to Greens NSW MP
John Kaye.

('Premier loses support base over big cuts to education' Sydney Morning
Herald, 24 September 2012, page 3 http://j.mp/TmApRl)

Dr Kaye said: "The people of NSW have not bought into Barry O'Farrell's
budget black hole excuse.

"Voters are putting public education and the benefits it brings to the
future of the state ahead of appeasing the rating agencies.

"The O'Farrell government cannot claim to have any mandate to take the axe
to pubic schools and TAFE colleges.

"There was no mention of the cuts during the 2011 election and the poll
shows that the overwhelming majority of voters would have been much less
likely to chose the Coalition is they had known this was going to happen.

"The anger with the O'Farrell government is set to explode as voters
realise that while public schools bear the brunt of the budget cuts, the
private sector has been largely protected.

"The inequality in education funding is about to get a lot worse.

"Voters will be asking why is it acceptable for public education to have to
compromise on outcomes while private schools will see no reduction in state
subsidies and continued increases in their federal funding.

"Cuts to public hospitals are likely to be just as unpopular," Dr Kaye said.

Monday, 24 September 2012

O'Farrell's war on public schools and TAFE cuts jobs and educational opportunities


Premier loses support base over big cuts to education


Media release: 11 September 2012

The O'Farrell government's plan to balance the budget by cutting 1,800 jobs from the public education system is short-sighted, mean and dangerous, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "TAFE is about to lose 5 percent of its workforce. That means 5 percent less public sector vocational education and training and 5 percent less long term economic benefits to NSW.

"TAFE students are being asked to pay more in order to receive less. Class sizes will rise, the ranges of courses will be reduced and time to help individual students will all but disappear.

"This round of job losses comes after the previous Labor government cut TAFE to the bone. After sixteen years in office, per student funding was down 48 percent and fees and charges grew 15 percent ahead of inflation.

"There is no more fat in the system and these cuts will have direct educational consequences.

"The O'Farrell government thinks that public schools and TAFE colleges are a soft target compared to the high volume private school lobby. That's why the public sector is now being lined up for massive funding cuts.

"Teachers rely on the support staff who keep their schools running. Cutting back on the administrative staff who enrol students, maintain records and communicate with parents will take teachers out of the classroom and leave less time for teaching and learning.

"Every dollar of these so-called savings will be felt by school and TAFE students. Larger class sizes and teachers who are distracted by filling the administrative gaps means less time for education.

"Rising TAFE fees will fall on some of the state's the most disadvantaged young people. The evidence is clear that potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be driven away in droves by higher fees. The opportunity to gain skills and contribute to the state's economy will be lost," Dr Kaye said.

UPDATE: SMH article-

Heads the private schools win, tails public schools lose

UPDATE: Link to Coffs Coast Advocate Story - School body slams education cuts

UPDATE: Macleay Argus article, TAFE cuts a rough deal for Kempsey community, say union reps

SMH Story: Tip of the iceberg: warning 1600 more education jobs to go

SMH Story: O'Farrell takes axe to education

Minister Humphries admits Land Use Plan is a dud

Reblogged from Jeremy Buckinghams site

National Party betraying country NSW 21 September 2012... video link --Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham addresses NSW Parliament


Minister Humphries admits Land Use Plan is a dud

18 September 2012

Minister Humphries
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining and agriculture, Jeremy Buckingham today called on the Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries to resign from Cabinet and join the cross bench, after it was revealed that he told farmers in North Western NSW to ‘lock the gate’ because the government’s land use policy had failed to protect their land and water. See: http://bit.ly/QwmceK

“It is clear the Nationals have been smashed by Chris Hartcher and their pro-gas Liberal masters in Cabinet. If Kevin Humphries wants to truly represent the farming communities of western NSW he should resign from Cabinet and move to the cross bench as an independent,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The government has broken its promise by failing to protect any land or water in NSW, and as Minister Humphries acknowledges, the only choice for farmers is to lock the gate and break the law.”
“The Nationals have such a low level of confidence in their own government’s policy that they’re telling farmers to keep locking the gate.”

“The National Party have failed to have any exploration licences cancelled and have implemented a gateway process that can not stop a single development.”

“The Greens Responsible Mining Bill would rule out mining and gas on productive agricultural land and empower local Councils to prohibit mining in certain areas in their Local Environment Plans,” he said.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Agriculture, Coal Mining, Coal Seam Gas, Media, Mining

Erosion management changes rushed: Greens

Reblogged. More at Coffs Coast ABC

Posted Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:54pm AEST
The New South Wales Government has been accused of attempting to rush through far-reaching changes to coastal management.

The Coalition has not wasted time introducing legislation, after the Resources Minister Chris Hartcher announced new sea level guidelines on the day of local government elections.

Under the changes, statewide sea level planning benchmarks have been dropped and landowners will be given more freedom to protect their properties from erosion.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann says it will lead to ad-hoc coastal protection measures and it is being done while councils are still in caretaker mode.

"The Government needs to delay this for six months," she said.

Timber deals to be revealed

Reblogged from ABC Coffs Coast

'Updated Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:23pm AEST

The North Coast Environment Council says it expects to soon have proof that local native forests are being logged unsustainably. 

The state's Administrative Decisions Tribunal has ordered Forests NSW to reveal details about wood-supply agreements in the region.

The council's Susie Russell says that will show if there's any way the government can alter contracts which promise more timber than it can safely supply.'

More at ABC site 

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Protections for Grey Nurse Shark Returned

Prime News Story

NCEC Media Release September 21, 2012

Cate Faehrmann, Greens MLC, at Fish Rock

The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) today welcomed with some reservations the return of the protections for the critically endangered grey nurse shark at Fish Rock and Green Island near South West Rocks and at several other key aggregation sites. There will be a 200m bait fishing ban around these sites.

Mr John Jeayes of the NCEC said the previous ban on bait and live bait line fishing by the NSW Labor government was removed on April 30, 2011, by Primary Industries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson while a three month review of the science and a public consultation period were carried out.

             The new protections for the grey nurse shark include a ban on the use of bait by recreational fishers within grey nurse shark critical habitat at Fish Rock and Green Island, and Magic Point near Sydney. As well bait will be banned within 200m of the key aggregation sites at North Solitary Island, South Solitary Island and Mermaid Reef near Crowdy Head.
           “It is absolutely outrageous that a critically endangered species has had to suffer continual hooking causing injury and even death, for over 16 months while the government worked out that sharks eat fish and that if you put a juicy slab or a live bait in front of the shark it will take it,” Mr Jeayes remarked. “Even now there will be an advisory compliance period of 12 months while fishers get used to the new regulations.”

“That science was already in the Government’s hands and nothing new has been added. The community consultation was also overwhelmingly in favour of increased protection, even 50% of the recreational fishermen who made submissions were for protection measures. The reasons for this delay are obviously political,” he said.

“NCEC would particularly like to thank Cate Faehrmann, the Greens MLC, for her fantastic effort on this and also Luke Foley the Labor environment spokesperson. Compliance and enforcement will now be the issue. Recreational fishermen will still be able to troll, spin, jig and use plastics within the 200 m zone and spear fishermen will still be able to spear pelagics or surface fish like Spanish Mackeral,” he said.

Mr Jeayes said that there have been several instances in the past where the no bait rule was disregarded by fishers and there were some spear fishermen who took any fish they liked, particularly at Fish Rock.

“Conservationists and divers, as well as the Fisheries Department we hope, will be monitoring activity within the zones and if we record instances of flouting the new restrictions we will call on the Government for 1500 m sanctuaries as were promoted by scientific studies in the Fish Rock and Green Island areas.”

“We know most of the fishers using the area will want to do the right thing but they will also need to help to preserve their sport by educating visitors and the occasional rogue fisher., he said.

O'Farrell attacks marriage


The O'Farrell Government has abolished the age-old common law rule of spousal immunity that says that a person cannot be found guilty of failing to disclose a crime committed by the person's spouse or partner.

See today's reporting here:

"This change to the law, unlike the same sex marriage bills being
considered by the Federal Parliament, does damage to the institution of

"This law will make it a blanket rule that, regardless of the
circumstances, it will be a crime to not dob your partner in to the

 "We know very well that there are many women living in violent
relationships who are emotionally unable to leave their partner, let alone
positively inform on their partner to the police.

"This will even make it a crime for a women, who has been subject to
serious and constant assaults at the hands of her partner, to not report
her partner's crimes to the police.

"There are clearly cases where it should be a crime not to disclose,
including where a person is aware of child sexual abuse being committed by
their partner.

"Unfortunately the Government refused to support a Greens amendment which
would have referred this complicated matter for consideration of the Law
Reform Committee.

"This is a complex area of the law and it should have been carefully
considered by the Law Reform Commission before being rushed through

"There is a public interest in protecting close personal relationships and
encouraging trust and confidence between partners, yet this has been
entirely ignored by the government," Mr Shoebridge said.

NSW govt blocks Greens motion to help fatigued paramedics

Dr John Kaye
Media Release: 20 September 2012

The O'Farrell government in the NSW Upper House today blocked a Greens motion calling on the NSW Health Minister to take immediate action to address concerns of fatigue in regional paramedics under new rostering arrangements, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "The O'Farrell Government's new rostering arrangement will place more burden on regional paramedics. Many are already
struggling with high workloads and staff shortages.

“The O'Farrell government has abandoned paramedics who will now face longer hours on call and greater stretches between days off.

"The Greens motion gave the Government the opportunity to commit to working with paramedics to address fatigue and rostering concerns in
regional areas. They refused to do so.

"Paramedics are on the front line of providing emergency health care in
regional communities. Fatigue poses serious risks to both paramedics and
their patients.

"The NSW Health Minster Jillian Skinner must immediately intervene to
ensure that any new rostering arrangements for regional paramedics are
achieved by undertaking thorough and transparent consultation.

"The Health Minister must do everything in her power to protect
paramedics and their patients by reducing the risk of fatigue in the
Dr Kaye said.

Notice of Motion 20th September 2012

Berejiklian to continue Labor's cost blow-outs – Greens

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says compensation payments of up to $10 million to the losing bidders for the running of the North West Rail Link sets a dangerous precedent and is evidence that transport cost blow-outs will continue under the O'Farrell government.

"It's incredible that the companies making huge profits on major
infrastructure will be bailed out by the government for their failed
bids. This money should be spent on projects that will reduce
congestion, not on lining the pockets of already wealthy multinational
companies," said Ms Faehrmann.

"Business invests for possible ventures all the time, sometimes things
don't work out, especially if they aren't suitable for the job.
Bidding for major projects is always a risk and the companies factor
this into their final price.

"Despite what the Transport Minister says, these are not exceptional
circumstances. By her actions Minister Berejiklian is actually sending
a signal to business that the project may not be built.

"The Greens initiated Upper House Inquiry into rail costings found
that NSW was already the most expensive state to build rail in
Australia. One of the factors was the very high contingency factor
built in to rail project bids.

"By compensating companies in this way, the government is effectively
making the taxpayer pay twice – once to the losing bidders and again
to the successful bidder as part of their contingency costs built in
to their final price.

"$10 million would go a long way to funding some of the relatively
inexpensive projects which would be of enormous benefit the community,
like the Greenway that's been shelved because of supposed funding
constraints," said Ms Faehrmann.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Greens welcome dental entitlement bill

Reblogged from the Australian Greens site

Senator Richard Di Natale
The Australian Greens today welcome the introduction of legislation to create a Medicare dental entitlement into the Parliament.

“Creating a new Medicare dental entitlement for kids is a huge win for the health of Australians and an investment in their future, and has come about because of the Greens’ agreement with the Gillard government,” said Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens.

“If Melbourne hadn’t voted Green in 2010, this massive investment in dental health wouldn’t exist,” said Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens.

Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale said that this bill will create a new Medicare dental entitlement for 3.4 million young Australians so that they can go to the dentist just like going to the doctor.

“Enshrining this entitlement in legislation now means that a future government would need to get control of the Senate to wind it back,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The Greens, in the balance of power, will protect it and continue working to expand it into a universal Denticare scheme, so that no Australian will have their health determined by their bank balance.

“I know Joel Fitzgibbon and some of his colleagues have complained that the Greens shouldn’t claim credit for Government initiatives – but clearly they need a history lesson.

“This Labor Government has tried to close the CDDS twice before without putting anything in its place.  The Greens voted it down until we negotiated a comprehensive dental scheme in its place.

And now, thanks to the Greens we have more than $4 billion in new funding for dental health instead.
“We made dental health reform part of our agreement to support the Government after the 2012 election, and we made Medicare funded dentistry a condition of our support for reform.

“Some Labor people might not like it but the reality is that two of this Government’s most significant and lasting reforms – putting  a price on pollution and expanding access to dental care – are in large part thanks to the Greens.

“These two reforms are also proof of the constructive, mature and responsible role the Greens have played in the life of this parliament.”

Campbell Newman’s war on Queensland families and services

Qld Senator Larissa Waters
13 Sep 2012  Reblogged from Australian Greens site

In the wake of ten thousand Queenslanders marching in Brisbane to express their anger over the Premier’s horror Budget, the Greens today warned that the impact on families, communities and the environment could be severe.

“While 14,000 Queensland families are about to be delivered a massive blow, Campbell Newman is playing blame games with the previous Government over his callous and unjustifiable public service cuts,” Australian Greens Senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters, said.

 “With more than four thousand people to be sacked from the health department alone, all Queenslanders will feel the pain from the impact on essential public services.

“On top of the wind back of climate programs, slashing Wild Rivers and environment funding and protections, now more than 200 people will also get the sack from Queensland’s environment department.

“The rollback of the urban footprint for southeast Queensland and the removal of koala protection laws mean that protection for this adored but threatened species is left to the councils, potentially making the koala yet another devastating loss for the people of Queensland.

“Yet the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, is still determined to hand off his powers to Campbell Newman, who has gutted his environment department and plans to push off environment powers to councils – I will be asking Tony Burke if these latest developments are enough to finally make him reconsider.

“The Queensland Government can’t build a tower tall enough to shield Campbell Newman from the public’s condemnation, if he doggedly continues to strike at the heart of Queensland communities and the places and wildlife that are so precious to us.”

Download Audio of Senator Waters' press conference

Greens introduce country of origin labelling bill

Reblogged from the Australian Greens

17 Sep 2012
Australian Greens leader Christine Milne and Deputy Leader Adam Bandt today are introducing new food labelling laws into the House of Representatives and the Senate to help Australians support Australian farmers and be confident about buying food produced in Australia.

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling) Bill 2012 will put in place new countries of origin rules for food labelling based on where food is grown or produced, rather than where it is packaged or processed.

"Australians want to know where the food they buy to feed their families is actually grown, but they know they can't trust current 'Made-in' labels," Senator Milne said.

"Farmers are also being duded by current labelling laws, because they are not based on where the food is grown.

"We need to bring our food-labelling law under the Consumer Act where it belongs and base the labelling criteria on the food's country-of-origin.

"Country of origin labelling will be good for farmers and good for consumers."

"Cheap imported food can masquerade as Australian grown and compete unfairly."

"People don't know when they pick up a can of tomatoes with generic labels from Woolworths or Coles where the tomatoes in the can were grown - that is what people want to know and current labelling doesn't tell them that."

"Something is very wrong with our labelling laws when a company can import cherries, glace them and package them up and label them as Australian Made," Mr Bandt said.

"We know that Australians want to support Australian farmers and, when they can, buy and eat food grown in Australia. Our bill will help consumers make those choices."

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling) Bill 2012 will:
  • Enact Recommendation 41 of the Blewett Review, by creating a specific section in the Competition and Consumer Act that will deal solely with country or origin claims with regard to food.
  • Enact Recommendation 42 of the Blewett Review, that country of origin labelling for food should be based on the ingoing weight of the ingredients and components, excluding water.

Please see attached document for more information on the Country of Origin Food Labelling Bill.
Please also see the transcript of the joint press conference with Christine Milne and Adam Bandt on the this legislation here:

Greens Say Study Misleads on Organic Benefits

Media Statement:

The significant benefits of organic products have been overlooked in recent reports on a Stanford University study questioning the benefits of organically produced food, say the Greens.

"Our health is too important to rely on only one statistical study," said Lynn MacLaren MLC and Greens spokesperson on food.

"As public interest in a healthier lifestyle and buying organic produce increases, it is worthwhile asking what we get for our money. Health-conscience people choose organic not only because of supposed nutritional benefits, but also to avoid pesticides and carcinogens."

"If we're talking of meat products too, organic means being free of hormones, antibiotics and steroids resulting from factory farming techniques.

"To boil it down to just nutrition is to miss the point. Many people don't want harmful by-products in their bodies. Many people don't want these products used on agricultural land that needs to be sustained for generations. Many people don't want these pumped into farm animals.

"The slow food movement, catching on in recent years, is not only about taking time to enjoy food and company while eating, but also about knowing where your food comes from, and taking a measure of responsibility for that.

"City-slickers are increasingly interested in how their food is produced. In days gone by, we would have all known more about that, living closer to the rural origins of our food.

"Many in the organic food community have raised alarm bells over the participation of one of the study's authors, Dr. Ingram Olkin, called into question over claims of links to Big Tobacco, and over the university's financial ties to Cargill, a powerful proponent of genetically engineered foods.

"The Greens 'truth in labelling' campaigns aim to empower shoppers to make ethical choices about what they eat," Ms MacLaren said.

Sniffer dog program expanding despite failures

Media Release - 19 September 2012

Expanded operations for police sniffer dogs across the whole of the Sydney,
Illawarra and Hunter train network and Kings Cross will expose yet more
innocent people to intrusive and humiliating public searches following
false positives by the dogs.

Greens MP and Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"The O'Farrell government has been attacking civil rights from its first
day in office and this expansion of the police sniffer dog program is just
the latest step.

"Governments must balance civil liberties against requests for further
police powers, not simply hand police expanded powers each time they ask.

"The most recent police figures show that sniffer dogs are wrongly
indicating people are in possession of drugs a staggering 80 per cent of
the time. Now the government wants to expand the programme?

"In the first nine months of 2011 police publicly searched 14,102 people
for drugs following positive indications by police dogs, and on 11,248
occasions no drugs were found.

"Hundreds of times every week the police sniffer dog program is exposing
people to ritual humiliation in the form of intrusive public searches, only
to find no drugs and no criminal offence.

"Thousands of NSW citizens, mainly young people out enjoying themselves,
have already been subject to police searches with little legitimate basis.
This number will only increase with these proposed changes.

"Police have to date have failed to answer questions regarding the number
of successful drug supply prosecutions as a result of sniffer dog

"With no assessment of the sniffer dog program's effectiveness and such a
high false positive rate there is no rational basis to expand the program.

"This ongoing failure undermines public confidence in police and causes
unnecessary conflict between police and the public", Mr Shoebridge said.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Greens urge PM to raise human rights and nuclear safety on India tour

Media release: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. 16 September 2012.

The Australian Greens have urged the Prime Minister to use her impending visit to India to speak out on the ongoing repression of Indian communities opposed to nuclear power.

Massive protests against new reactors in India are adding to the global pressure on the slumping nuclear power industry.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the democratic right to protest was being steamrolled by the Indian police.

"In Koodankulum nuclear reactors are being forced on local residents at gunpoint, and uranium fuel loading is imminent despite 10 safety guidelines having not been met.  Brutal repression has been carried out by the police against tens of thousands of peaceful protestors at the reactor.  Two people have been shot dead by police, most recently Anthony Samy just five days ago.  There have been at least five deaths in the struggles against Koodankulam, Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana) nuclear power plants since 2010.

"In 2011 one of India's pioneer nuclear scientists and formerly a member of India's Atomic Energy Commission, Dr MP Parameswaran, said India should suspend its entire nuclear program because of safety risks and the unresolved problem of nuclear waste.

"Earlier this year India was ranked 28th out of 32 countries in terms of the security of their nuclear stockpiles.  Making matters worse, the new Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) has fewer powers and less independence than the previous Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.  The NSRA is a puppet body: answerable to a handful of government ministers who can issue orders to the body, and sack its members."

Senator Ludlam will move a motion for the Senate to call on the Prime Minister to make nuclear safety, nuclear proliferation, and the human right to peaceful protest major issues in her October visit to India.

Media Contact:  Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

More details:

The motion: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/pms-visit-india-repression-peaceful-protest-against-nuclear-reactor-koodankulum

Nuclear safety in India: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/indian-nuclear-security-ranked-among-worst-world-will-labor-persist-uranium-s

The anti-nuclear struggle in India:  http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/greens-urge-uranium-rethink-anti-nuclear-movement-besieged-india

India and nuclear proliferation: http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/labor-backflip-uranium-sales-india-unethical-illogical-and-probably-illegal

CCA article: MNC area facing health cuts

Mid North Coast Area Health boss Chris Crawford with NSW Coalition Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

LOCAL Health Districts such as Mid North Coast Area Health will be the first to suffer from the $3 billion total in funding cuts announced yesterday by the NSW Coalition government.
That's the opinion of Greens NSW MP Dr John Kaye who said the "Health Minister Jillian Skinner has insulated herself from the blame for the O'Farrell government's health budget cuts by passing the buck to Local Health Districts."

Click link for full story --- Reblogged from the Coffs Coast Advocate 

Grafton pic reblogged from North Coast Voices

Monday, 17 September 2012

Greens condemn violent protests on the streets of Sydney

David Shoebridge
15 September 2012

The NSW Greens have condemned today's violent protests on the streets of Sydney and called on all members of the community to support restraint and dialogue and to reject intolerant messages and violent behaviour in our society.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson, David Shoebridge said:

"The Greens NSW condemn the violence we have seen on Sydney's streets
today and the intolerant messages of hate and violence that
accompanied it.

"If we are to have a successful and engaged multicultural community we
cannot tolerate intolerant and violent behaviour by any group.

"It is clear that only a minority of today's protestors engaged in
violence but this in no way excuses the behaviour.

"The film they were protesting may well be offensive, insulting and of
no artistic or social merit, but this can never justify violence or
messages of hate.

"There is no place in our democracy for anyone initiating violence
against the police or diplomatic missions.

"The Greens join with those members of the community who support
restraint and dialogue and reject intolerant messages and violent
behaviour," Mr Shoebridge said.

Media Contact:  0408 113 952

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Secret TAFE documents confirm Victorian TAFEs will close due to savage government cuts - Pennicuik

14 September 2012

Documents labelled 'cabinet-in-confidence' obtained by the ABC expose plans for the closures or amalgamations of TAFE campuses including sell-offs of public assets and further course reductions, staff losses and increases in course fees.

"These documents show what we unfortunately expected due to the savagery
of the government cutbacks to TAFE," Greens spokesperson for Education,
Sue Pennicuik said today.

"Our public TAFEs provide a pathway to over 365,000 Victorians every year.
This government is destroying TAFE, leaving thousands of school leavers
and retrainers with nowhere to go," she said.

"The information should never have been secret in the first place," Ms
Pennicuik said. "TAFE is publicly funded and TAFE campuses around Victoria
have been built with taxpayer's money, so taxpayers have a right to know
what the savage cuts the government has imposed will do to the public TAFE

"TAFE colleges have been forced into this by government cuts that are
totally unnecessary," Ms Pennicuik said. "There has been no blowout in
TAFE enrolments. The blowout has been in the private trainers, due to the
disastrous market contestability introduced by the previous Labour

"The Skills Victoria training market quality report shows that there has
been a 310 per cent growth in private training enrolments and only a 4 per
cent growth in TAFE enrolments. So why is the government making these
massive cuts to TAFE?"

"On top of all this the government has voted down my motion for a
parliamentary inquiry into reports of widespread training rorts by private
registered training organisations (RTOs), which is seeing students ripped
off by RTOs that are running substandard courses," Ms Pennicuik said.

Further comment:  Sue Pennicuik   0409 055 875 / 03 9530 8399

AEU's 2012 State of our TAFEs survey:

 •Over 90% of Victorian TAFE teachers believe reforms to Victoria's VET
system have had a negative effect on the quality of teaching and learning
at their TAFE
 •86% of teachers said they didn't believe they had the time to support
students to the level they require
 •63% of teachers said they had noticed a drop in enrolments from their
Institute this year
 •Those teachers who had noticed a drop in enrolments believed higher fees
(29%) and ineligibility for government support (26%) were the two main
 •60% of teachers said they were aware of questionable practices in
attracting students to courses at private Registered Training

How long before some NSW TAFE colleges are closed?

Inquiry needed before uranium exploration licences issued: Greens

14 September 2012

Greens MP and uranium spokesperson Jamie Parker has called for an inquiry into the impacts of uranium exploration and mining before any licences are issued.
The government's legislation allowing applications to be made for uranium exploration licenses was proclaimed today.

"The Minister is pushing ahead with the expansion of this industry after overturning the 26 year ban on uranium exploration in NSW just months ago, prompting widespread community condemnation.

“The Liberal government is ignoring the well-documented and devastating health, environmental and social impacts on workers and communities.

"The community must have its say on this dangerous industry which has had terrible and long-lasting impacts on communities across Australia.

“The government is deceiving the NSW public if it claims this is about exploration, not mining.

“I am calling for a comprehensive independent inquiry into the impacts and implications of uranium exploration and mining. The government must respond to community concerns and be transparent about how this industry will affect the people of NSW.

"I'm working closely with a coalition of community members, union representatives and activists to mobilise a campaign to stop this damaging industry,” Mr Parker said.

The NSW Uranium Free Charter has broad-based support with community members, unions and activists and is now open to be signed by individuals and organisations:

Media contact: Alison Martin 9660 7586 or 0432 941 533

Japan announces phase out: Another nail in nuclear’s coffin

Australian Greens spokesperson for nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam. 15 September 2012.

The Japanese Government has acknowledged the growing strength of the anti-nuclear movement sweeping Japan and proposed to phase out nuclear power entirely by the 2030s, a decision that will further degrade the prospects of Australia’s uranium miners.

“The phase out shows the writing is on the wall for nuclear power, but the slow pace is a problem.  The unambitious deadline will anger the tens of millions of Japanese people who are demanding that the nation’s nuclear reactors not be restarted at all,” said Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

“The fact that the Government now proposes to restart many of these plants will simply intensify the campaign for an immediate phase-out, a campaign the Japanese Greens will be taking into forthcoming national elections.

“For Australia, the significance of a major trading partner reversing out of the nuclear dead-end and embarking on a massive programme of renewable energy should be a cause for celebration.”

“As Europe moves toward the end of the nuclear age, the United States embraces ‘big solar’, and China steps up its remarkable renewable energy build, the message for Australia couldn’t be clearer:  this is the renewable energy century.”

Media contact:  Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Strata title changes risk opening floodgates to developers: Greens

Media release: 15 September 2012

Changes to strata title arrangements have to be carefully scrutinised to protect owners from developers seeking a quick profit, according to Greens NSW John Kaye

('Law may force flat owners to sell up' Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2012,  page 1, http://j.mp/OpteQt)

Dr Kaye said: "There's no legislation yet but some of the proposals
emerging from the government's consultation are all about allowing
developers bully their way in to strata corporations and strip unit owners
of their sole asset.

"Changing the law to allow a developer to get their hands on an apartment
block after a majority or 75 percent vote of the owners would see many
people forced to sell their most important asset.

"For many people, their strata title is their life's savings. We cannot
support any move that would see it ripped away by a developer.

"Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts needs to prove to the community that
he is not in the protect of the property industry by coming up with a set
of strata title laws that protect apartment owners from predatory
developers," Dr Kaye said.

For more information:  John Kaye 0407 195 455

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Tragic school bus accident: Greens to bring on seat belts bill

Tragic school bus accident: Greens to bring on seat belts bill
Reblogged from Cate Faehrmann's website

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Cate Faehrmann

After yesterday’s tragic school bus accident near Singleton in which an eight year old boy died and several other students were injured, Greens MP and transport spokesperson Cate Faehrmann will begin talks with NSW Government to allow the passage of the Greens Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment (Child Safety on School Buses) Bill 2012. The bill will require school buses to be fitted with seatbelts.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our first thoughts are with the young boy’s family, friends and classmates,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“The media has reported this morning that the boy was thrown through a window upon impact. This is a shocking thing to hear and highlights the urgent need for seat belts to be mandatory on school buses.
“Parents, particularly those living in regional areas, have been concerned about the safety of their kids travelling on school buses for years now. There have been repeated calls by parents for the government to make seat belts mandatory.
A NSW Government Advisory Committee has been considering the issue of school bus safety for almost eighteen months, but no recommendations have been made to government and no action has been taken.
“I understand the report from the Advisory Committee is in its final stages. I urge the government to fast track the release of this report.
“In April this year I gave the Parliament notice that I would bring in a bill to make seat belts compulsory on school buses, starting with those in non-urban areas travelling along the most dangerous route.
“I now intend to introduce this bill urgently and will be calling on all parties, including the government, to support this long overdue and essential step to making school buses as safe as possible.
“The NSW Government has had a number of reminders of the seriousness of this issue, with a number of recent non-fatal crashes.
“All states except NSW and Victoria have made seatbelts on school buses mandatory – usually after a serious bus accident. It will be inexcusable if the NSW Government still refuses to act,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

NSW local council election results

Reblogged from Lee Rhiannon's website

Lee Rhiannon
Blog by Australian Greens spokesperson for local government Senator Lee Rhiannon

Some conservative commentators and members of other political parties would like you to believe that the NSW local government election results show a ‘decline’ of progressive politics. Certainly we would have liked a stronger vote but the facts are that the Greens remain a robust force in local government, out-polling candidates from the major parties in a number of electorates.

Like with all parties, the Greens vote goes up and down but the Greens are here to stay. ABC election analyst Antony Green has commented that Labor is focusing on the Greens vote to try divert attention from their own disappointing result. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Green notes that, “What will worry Labor with Saturday’s results is that its support has slipped further [following Labor’s poor showing in the 2008 council elections] and a pattern similar to last year’s state election defeat has been revealed.”

The Greens ran candidates in 53 of the 152 local government areas. The latest estimate is that between 32-62 Greens councillors will be elected. While the Greens did not perform as strongly in this election as we did in the 2008 local elections, we remain the party of choice for voters in Leichhardt, we are toe-to-toe with Labor in Marrickville and won the mayoral race in Byron Bay. There was a strong showing in some regional councils with the Greens vote growing in Kiama, Armidale and Eurobodalla. The Greens vote also grew in some Western Sydney seats including Fairfield and Penrith. Labor lost control of Blacktown and possibly Bankstown. Despite what Labor says publicly, there is no doubt that behind closed doors the party would remain worried about the strength of the Greens.

In Sydney’s Inner West there remains a direct contest between Labor and the Greens. In Leichhardt, a long-time Labor stronghold, the Greens topped the election with a primary vote of 35.5 compared to Labor’s 30 per cent. In Marrickville, the Greens’ primary was at 32 per cent, just under Labor’s 36 per cent. The swing to Labor at 6.8% was much lower than the 11% swing to the Liberals.

Since Saturday we've conducted an analysis of the overall vote in the council elections for all parties across the Sydney region over the last three elections. The results show it is Labor that should be most concerned and that our vote remains relatively steady. The Greens vote has dropped a little, down 1.4 per cent since 2008 and is up 0.8% since 2004. In stark contrast Labor suffered a drop of 5.5 per cent since 2008 and 8.4 per cent since 2004. At the 2008 local elections the Greens recorded a very strong vote, in part because NSW Labor was so unpopular with voters and embroiled in a string of scandals, for example the corruption of Wollongong.

The Greens vote has bounced around since then and will no doubt continue to go up and down but we have in no way crashed. While we will carefully consider these election results they won’t distract the party from continuing to campaign passionately on the progressive issues we believe in. As Ben Eltham writes in New Matilda: “However much Labor might like to believe it, the Greens are not going away any time soon.”

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

O'Farrell sides with miners and abandons election promise to protect farms & water


11 September 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining and agriculture Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the O'Farrell Government for abandoning its pre-election commitment to rule out certain agricultural and other sensitive areas from mining and gas extraction in its Strategic Regional Land Use Policy.

"Barry O'Farrell has declared war on the farmers of NSW and completely ignored their concerns," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Despite his clear election promise to protect farms and water he has given the green light to the coal and gas industry.  Not one inch of NSW will be off-limits to mining and gas development - instead a gateway will provide a pathway to mining.

"The community expected the O'Farrell Government to rule out mining on productive agricultural lands and sensitive environmental areas.  The government has betrayed this promise today.

"This policy will not stop coal or gas mining on our precious food producing land like the Liverpool and Moore Plains, the suburbs of Sydney or our drinking water catchments.

"The moratorium on fracking has been lifted without the community being shown any evidence from the Government's so called independent scientific studies of this technology.

"The Aquifer Interference Regulation has been downgraded to a mere policy, meaning our precious groundwater sources will not be protected by legally binding regulations.

"It is troubling that all biodiversity land mapping has been removed from the land use plans meaning that the Pilliga and Leards Forests and other sensitive environmental lands are completely left out from these new arrangements.

"The Liberal and National Parties have sided with the miners. The Greens stand with the community calling for the protection of our productive agricultural land, water supplies, environmental assets and the health of the community."

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Residents beware - this next crop of councillors can vote to rezone their own land

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 12:22:17 +1000
Subject: [Greens-Media]

Changes made to the Local Government Act by the O'Farrell government earlier this year give the current crop of council candidates a unique, and troubling, new potential power - if elected they can vote to rezone their own land.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson, David Shoebridge said:

"This law allows large land owners and property developers in NSW to run
for local office so that they can use their own vote to increase the value
of their land holdings.

"The incoming crop of councillors will be able to vote on planning
proposals, including changes to local environment plans, development
control plans and other broad planning matters, that impact on land that
they own, opening the door to wide-scale and legal corruption at a local

"This law allows local councillors to vote on planning proposals even where
they have a direct pecuniary interest.

"Gone are the days when property developers had to buy off local
councillors to get their land rezoned, now they can get elected and do the
job themselves.

"In council elections where the large scale property holdings of certain
candidates is in issue, this law change takes on particular significance.

"As every voter knows there is no effective mechanism to hold any elected
councillor to bare promises they make about their behaviour once elected.

"Residents need to have their eyes open to these new, and unprincipled,
powers that the NSW government has given local councillors when they are
voting this Saturday," Mr Shoebridge said.

What's at Stake? This new law will allow:

 * Councillors who own shops in commercial precincts, or other land
   holdings, to increase the FSR on that land and thereby greatly
   increase its development potential and substantially increase its

 * Rural and regional councillors, particularly in growing towns
   such as Dubbo, Orange, Albury, Wagga Wagga and the like, to vote to
   rezone land they own on the outskirts of town from 'rural' to
   'industrial' or 'residential' and reap potentially very, very large
   personal profits.

 * Councillors who own commercial or industrial land to vote to, for
   example, water down contribution requirements in Council wide parking
   Development Control Plans where there is a change of use, (such as
   changing from low off street parking use of industrial to higher of
   commercial) thereby delivering them hundreds of thousands of dollars
   in savings if they change from a less to a more intense use;

 * It will also encourage property owners and property developers to
   put up their hand to run for Council in September knowing that, if
   elected, they can vote to improve the development yield on their own
   land and personally enrich themselves.  In other words it is an
   invitation to carpet baggers to run for Council.

Media Contact: David Shoebridge on 0408 113 952

Government approves developers voting on own interests

Media Release - 6 September 2012

The O'Farrell government today rejected a motion in the NSW Upper House relating to government legislation which means councillors are now able to vote on items where they have a direct pecuniary interest.

Greens NSW Local Government and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"This government has been delivering for developers from day one.

"The O'Farrell government clearly believes that property developers should be able to get elected to council and then vote on matters where they stand to make financial gains.

"Even during the worst years of the Labor government, when donations from property developers were corrupting the planning system, councillors were not able to vote where they had a direct pecuniary interest.

"The Greens-led campaign closed the door on donations from property developer. Now the O'Farrell government has opened another door to developer greed.

"Over the next four years this government will be responsible for each and every vote by councillors to feather their own nest," Mr Shoebridge said.

Motion as moved by Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge:

That this house notes that:
Local Government and Planning in NSW have a history of inappropriate intervention by developers, resulting in state government intervention in a number of councils, including Cessnock and Wollongong.
Campaigning from the Greens in this area has seen political donations from property developers banned.
Changes to the local government act by the O'Farrell government now allow councillors to vote on planning matters where they have a direct pecuniary interest.
These changes effectively give the green light to councillors to vote on rezoning their own land, to their direct financial benefit.
Proposed changes to the NSW Planning system will additionally deliver for developers by removing the rights of residents to object to, or even be given notice of, developments in their area.
That this house:
Condemns the government for relaxing pecuniary interest laws in NSW and attempting to usher in a developers' paradise in NSW.
Read more about the changes to the Local Government Act here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/05/02/government-legalises-corruption-in-local-councils/

Media contact: 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Energy plan camouflages O'Farrell's ongoing war on renewables

Media release: 7 September 2012

The failure of draft Renewable Energy Action Plan to call off the O'Farrell government's war on rooftop solar and wind power locks NSW into a coal-fired future with jobs and investment set to continue to haemorrhage out of the state, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "This plan has no hope of achieving 20 percent of the state's generation from renewables by 2020.

"The goal is realistic but the plan is a dud. Without a commitment to lowering the barriers that are stunting wind and solar investment, cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and the tens of thousands of new jobs will be nothing but a pipedream.

"Rooftop solar has no future under the Action Plan. It locks in the same set of instructions to the independent regulator that led to absurdly low buy-back prices that are driving away household investors and strangling the industry.

"Despite trumpeting wind generation as the front line technology to meet the renewable energy target, the Action Plan endorses the Planning Minister Brad Hazzard's draconian development guidelines that will see investors seek refuge in South Australia.

"The failure to reverse the O'Farrell government's policy hostility to wind and solar will turn the promised 6,000 new jobs into nothing more than a fantasy.

"Dumping  the draft wind planning guidelines alone would create 4,000 new jobs while setting a sustainable and affordable feed-in tariff could return the rooftop solar industry to its peak employment of 5,400.

"This is a plan for more of the same. It locks NSW into rising greenhouse gas emissions and falling employment in the energy sector. The opportunity to forge a new direction has been sacrificed to appease the fossil fuel industry.

"Parliamentary Secretary Rob Stokes worked hard to produce a new deal for renewables.  It's clear that he was badly undermined by his Minister Chris Hartcher and the fossil fuel lobby who want clean energy technology to remain a boutique industry that does not interfere with their profits," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: Ph 0407 195 455

Saturday, 1 September 2012

O'Farrell floundering on coal seam gas facts


31 August 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today said Premier Barry O'Farrell was floundering on coal seam gas after getting his facts wrong several times this week on approvals, compensation liability for cancellation of gas exploration licences, and on future gas supply.

"Barry O'Farrell is floundering on coal seam gas.  Under pressure over
gas drilling in the marginal seats of Newcastle and Campbelltown, the
Premier has got some key facts wrong," said Greens MP Jeremy

APPROVALS:The Premier claimed Dart Energy's approvals at Fullerton Cove
(near Newcastle) "were granted under the former government" and that
"his hands were tied".

The application to drill for pilot production (Review of Environmental
Factors) at Fullerton Cove was made to the O'Farrell Government in
September 2011 and approved by DITRIS on 5 June 2012.    DART ASX
Statement: http://bit.ly/PvuhzE   DITRIS Statement: http://bit.ly/TBIfRH

COMPENSATION:The Premier has claimed that if his government were to
cancel petroleum exploration licences, then the state would be liable
for billions in compensation.  However, the Petroleum (Onshore) Act
explicitly rules out compensation due to cancellation of petroleum
titles where there has been a breach of conditions or the land is
"required for any public purpose".

PETROLEUM (ONSHORE) ACT 1991 - SECT 22 Cancellation and suspension of
(5) No compensation is payable by the Crown for or in respect of the
cancellation of, or a suspension of operations under, a petroleum title.

MYTHICAL GAS SHORTAGE:It is illogical to claim the Eastern Australia is
running out of gas while at the same time giant LNG export facilities
are being built.  The Parliamentary Inquiry into coal seam gas
recommended a domestic gas reservation policy be implemented to avoid
any future shortages due to the establishment of east coast gas

BHP Billiton Petroleum chief Mike Yeager on 14 May 2012 said his
company had plenty of gas for sale to supply east coast markets:
“We want to make sure that the market knows that the Bass Strait
field still has a large amount of gas that's undeveloped,” Mr Yeager
said. “We have a lot of gas in eastern Australia that's available.
It's more important to let the citizens of Victoria and New South Wales,
and to some degree, you know, even Queensland ... there's plenty of gas
to supply those provinces for - you know, indefinitely."  “We have gas
for sale and we will work with anybody at any time."

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

A submission to the inquiry into the management of public land in NSW

We ask why this inquiry is necessary and worry about all the hidden agendas? Are we entering a time zone in NSW that will go down in history as the holocaust of the little that remains of the once vast NSW natural environment.

There is a constant battle across this planet between humans and nature. A battle that nature is losing at an alarming rate as species after species is depleted to extinction. Australia, as an enlightened nation, has recognised this by choosing to have a policy of Natural Environment Conservation in an effort to try to protect and preserve our diminishing natural assets. There is no halfway house, one either conserves the natural world or destroys it.

Sadly every human plays a part in the destruction of natural life on the planet by just being alive, for we occupy land; we purchase consumer goods; we add to the world's pollution problems; we increase our numbers; we unwittingly destroy the equilibrium of the natural ecosystems.

We plead to the current NSW Government, do not finalise the destruction of what little remains of the Australia we inherited in 1788. Maintain our National Parks and protected reserves. Nature and Sporting Recreation are chalk and cheese and do not go hand in glove. Do not lose the few natural treasures we still have by joining the majority of the peoples on this earth and destroying natural life because we either enjoy doing so or place no importance or understanding in protecting it. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.

As human scientific and intellectual understanding develops so does our responsibility to make the difficult decisions.  Protecting the natural world is difficult and costly work but may offer the future human race benefits undreamed of today. Destroying the natural world is child's play, we can all do it for little cost with our eyes closed and in total ignorance of what benefits we may be taking from the human race.

We plead do not let political games rule your head. However you choose to amend the management of public lands in NSW maintain the policy of Protection and Conservation of NSW natural assets as paramount. Do not mix conservation of our natural flora and fauna species with recreational sports, like shooting and horse-riding, and other activities that impact heavily on the environment.  And please do not remove National Park protection from the few NSW lands that are currently so designated.

Submission from: Trevor and Carol Deane to the state government's current inquiry into the management of public land.

Public Lands Inquiry

Reblogged from Cate Faehrmann's site

A Legislative Council inquiry was established on 23 April 2012 to inquire into the management of public land.

This inquiry is conducted by the General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5. Robert Brown, from the Shooters and Fishers Party is the Chair and I am a member of the committee.
The public is invited to make submissions and there will be public hearings during August, September, October and a final hearing in December. I encourage you to make a submission as the integrity of our National Parks are at stake.
Submissions close: 3 Aug 2012
Final Report Due: 30 Apr 2013

You can email your submission to gpscno5@parliament.nsw.gov.au

The NSW Coalition Government with the collusion of the Shooters and Fishers have already launched attacks on the integrity of National Parks in NSW. This inquiry has been set up to deliberately further undermine their future.

More information on Cate's site


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