The Greens in Palerang

Archive for the 'Letters to the editor' Category

Warming such a bad thing?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Letter to the editor, Bungendore Mirror
It’s good as always to have an opportunity to talk more about Greens policy and what matters, in this case in response to correspondent Kerry Bos “Warming such a bad thing?”, Mirror, August 7. I have not reverted to calling global warming climate change – the latter is just what is happening because of the former. There is neither the space nor the need to explain it here. With the vast majority of scientists in agreement about it, and given that it is “science” not “hypothesis”, it is not something to be arguing about, a bit like gravity. Anyone who has kept up with the facts would have noticed that extreme weather events of all kinds have been happening and again, scientists agree that they are caused by global warming. We are heading towards a level of warming that even the most conservative scientists had not foreseen – witness the recent Arctic melt for example – and it’s down to us and our insatiable lust for fossil fuels. That is why there are so many people and organisations working on the issue, trying to find out more and bring about desperately needed change in government policy, with not nearly enough success. It’s way beyond the time to stop arguing about whether or not global warming is happening; we need to recognise our mistakes and do our best to rectify them.

Yes, The Greens have said that $42.7 billion of revenue can be raised. This has been calculated on available information and is part of the raft of our proposals costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office. In regard to the bank levy, the policy specifically talks about a 0.2% levy on bank assets over $100 billion. No, it does not go without saying that the customers would suffer, as it is only the big four four banks who have assets like that. Economic commentators have observed that it is unlikely that these banks would pass on the cost because it would not be in their interests to do so if they wanted to keep their customers.

What matters? Ensuring that people’s basic needs such as food and housing are met (and, for that matter, fair indexation of super for all public servants, not just the military – ALP announcement p. 2), providing quality education to maximise opportunity for work and vocation, looking after the people who are vulnerable and/or at risk, creating a compassionate and peaceful world that is fit for habitation.

Who decides what matters? Doctors, scientists, teachers, social justice and environment groups, people in the community who are concerned about more than what directly affects them personally, recognise the need for change and who would like to see a world worth living in passed on to future generations. These are the people from whom The Greens take their advice in order to develop a policy framework that reflects the issues that most affect us and the planet, and that offers a range of solutions to address them.

Who killed the electric car?

Friday, May 24th, 2013
Maybe if governments and the global car industry had stood up to pressure from the fossil fuel industry a lot earlier, to develop an electric car that could be charged with renewable energy and which used batteries whose content was not more polluting than the lead that used to be in petrol, Ford’s sales might not have dwindled to the point that it needed to withdraw its operations from Australia. And if the Federal Government had adopted a 78% Super Profits Tax like Norway, it could have put some of the funds raised into an Australian electric car manufacturing operation, providing hundreds of jobs for the workers facing unemployment. It’s not too late.

letter to the editor, Canberra Times

Monday, April 8th, 2013

In his comments about Greens policies on population and immigration, my colleague Peter Marshall seems convinced that Tony Abbott will take over government in September (“Triangular problem”, letters, April 8) . Unlike him and, it would seem, the majority of media commentators, I do not see this outcome as inevitable. Yes, the ALP has a way to go to explain some of its policies and actions to the public, and yes, given we live in a democracy the media needs to give adequate space to all parties to explain their platforms. If that actually happened, I believe the most likely outcome would be  a government comprising a healthy mix of views, reflecting the reality of what is Australia today. Bring on proportional representation in all houses of parliament!

Four Corners on Coal Seam Gas

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Letter to the editor

This week’s ABC Four Corners program highlighted the questionable processes used to determine CSG applications in Eastern Australia. ICAC revelations have already cast a permanent shadow over mining, fisheries and forestry decisions made by previous ALP NSW Government Minister Macdonald. A similar shadow is hovering over mining approvals fast-tracked by the previous Queensland government, now referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. It is no wonder that the public has little faith in their elected representatives; no mining application is ever rejected, regardless of community opposition and despite existing legislation that would allow the Federal Government to intervene if it had the will to do so.

Inadequate environmental impact assessments pre-approval and no monitoring post-approval has perpetuated the myth that CSG is cleaner than other fossil fuels, if methane measurements made by Southern Cross University in CSG mining areas are proven to be accurate. To ensure the safety and health of our society and our environment now and in the future, the fossil fuel industry must be made to release its stranglehold on governments, politicians must embrace complete honesty and sever all ties to business for the duration of their term, and there must be a strong national framework of legislation that recognises the crucial role played by the Earth’s ecosystems in our survival. That the Great Artesian Basin itself could become depleted and contaminated as a result of mining, as suggested by Four Corners, is too shocking to contemplate.

Catherine Moore
Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro

Feeding the fear and loathing

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Letter to the editor

In the last week, an almost unidentified leaflet has been landing in letterboxes around NSW and possibly the country. Inexplicably, though perhaps coincidentally, it uses the colours of the Aboriginal flag to tell us that “illegal boat arrivals” are costing tax-payers big money – no less than $12.8 million per boat. The word illegal is used four times, and we are told that $6.6 billion has been “wasted on illegal boat arrival cost blow-outs” between 2008 and 2012. The leaflet has been authorised (see the very small print at the bottom) by one Mark Neeham, whom googling reveals to be the State Director of the Liberal Party of Australia.

A political party that has its sights set on governing the country would do well to come up with some visionary policies. A party with vision would talk about ways to process asylum seekers rapidly onshore, thus saving no small proportion of those billions. Such a party would talk about preventative health measures to save on hospital costs down the track, and adequate investment in public education and transport. Instead, the Liberal Party has opted to continue to create fear and loathing in the Australian community about people whose lives are so unbearable that they are forced to leave their homes and seek asylum in a country that is supposed to be compassionate, humane and fair. A close to anonymous scare campaign such as this one is no less than despicable.

Catherine Moore
Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro

Asylum seekers, persecution and post-traumatic stress

Monday, March 11th, 2013

(letter to the editor, sent to Eden-Monaro media)

Ah how we take our opportunities to freely express our views in the newspaper for granted. Thanks to Amnesty and the newly re-formed Braidwood branch of Rural Australians for Refugees, I was lucky enough on Wednesday night to hear Robin de Crespigny read from and talk about her book “The People Smuggler”, which I am now reading.

Robin referred to the post-traumatic stress being experienced by refugees in detention in Australia and elsewhere and it occurred to me that it is no wonder this is so common. People who come here are fleeing persecution, but Australians are fortunate enough to have no concept of what persecution really means. In many cases, those who eventually make it here have been tortured for doing something as simple as speaking out against an oppressive regime, but they spoke out and continued to speak out because they knew it was the right thing. Eventually they had no choice but to escape and make the often dangerous journey (though nowhere near as dangerous as their lives at home) to a place where people live freely with endless opportunities, But instead of a rapid and efficient process to establish their refugee status when they arrive, they are put in concentration camp-like detention centres with no idea of when they will be released, and many are kept there for years on end. (more…)

We need to change the way we do politics

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Events in Parliament this week demonstrate a new low and point to the urgent need to change the way we do politics. There are serious issues which need to be addressed by politicians in parliaments and councils around Australia, but we have no hope of finding real solutions when debate is tainted by the sorts of exchanges we have seen this week and are seeing more and more on a regular basis. It is no wonder that Australians have lost faith in the people they have elected to represent them.

When the hung Parliament first started operating back in 2010 after the last Federal Election, many people had high hopes that we might be entering a new era of co-operation. Instead, politicians’ behaviour has continued to deteriorate, with the new low epitomised this week by the leader of the Opposition’s gratuitous and repugnant “dying of shame” comments in Parliament, clearly echoing those of talkback radio’s Alan Jones.

But sexism and misogyny are only part of the story, with Coalition and ALP and politicians alike continuing to focus on personality attacks and point-scoring instead of trying, in an adult fashion, to address the many difficult issues we face. (more…)

Five people dead

Monday, March 12th, 2012

(letter to the editor, Canberra Times, published to ** 13 March 2012, published in full in March 14 editions of Bungendore Mirror and Braidwood Times)

My heart goes out to all those whose lives will never be the same as a result of losing their loved ones on the Kings Highway last weekend.  These tragic events are yet another wake-up call to all of us who drive, a graphic reminder that the lower speed limits on some sections of the road, advisory speeds on bends, and unbroken lines on bends and crests are there for a reason. We cannot keep blaming the road, and it is hard to imagine that there will ever be enough money to build a dual carriageway down the Clyde. But we all can, and must, learn a lesson from these events and take the utmost care to drive according to conditions, and if it takes an increased, ongoing police presence on the highway in marked and unmarked cars to make sure we do, that needs to happen.

As a Palerang councillor and resident of the Braidwood area, I travel the Kings Highway frequently and invariably with trepidation, not because of the road but because of the acts of dangerous driving that I witness nearly every time I am in my car, whether they be by people travelling at high speeds, overtaking in unsuitable places or tail-gating, apparently oblivious to the consequences of the car in front having to brake suddenly, for whatever reason. We drivers have a responsibility not just for our own lives and those of our passengers, but for others on the road too, and for the police, the ambulance drivers and the emergency services personnel** who must deal with the consequences of the rush to get to the coast or Canberra and elsewhere a little bit sooner.

Catherine Moore

Enough already

Friday, September 30th, 2011

(letter to the editor, as printed in The Canberra Times, September 30)

Federal Environment Minster Tony Burke’s announcement today that the Dargues Reef gold mine at Major’s Creek near Braidwood will go ahead is hardly surprising. Both the ALP and the Coalition show their unconditional love and support for the mining industry at every turn, regardless of the impacts or potential impacts mining activities have on our air, land and water.

Why do we need to keep mining gold? According to World Gold Council figures (August) there were 30,700.1 tonnes (officially) held in bank vaults. The main beneficiaries from a proposal like Dargues Reef are the proponents and shareholders. The Greens are calling for gold to be included in any resources tax, and so it should be. When water supplies may be irrevocably affected, isn’t it time we asked ourselves what is more important – wealth for a few or guaranteed water and food for many? Like coal, gold should be left in the ground. (more…)

letter to the editor

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

(sent to local papers in Eden-Monaro)

If The Greens receive 55% of the primary vote (today), I will be elected to the Upper House, but more importantly, ten talented men and women from diverse backgrounds will be before me. In the unlikely event that this happens, it will mean that the party that forms government will not be able to push through socially or environmentally regressive legislation as easily. Why is it unlikely? Because as is the case at every election, large amounts of time and resources are being spent on spreading Green misinformation by people and parties who do not want to see any more Greens elected.

If people see the sense in planning for a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future, and think that we actually do need to take action to protect special places, increase the opportunities for biodiversity, set small areas of ocean aside for fish-breeding thus ensuring future fish-stocks, stop workers from being exploited, make sure public education including TAFE is not further eroded, give communities back the right to make good planning decisions, apply the precautionary principle to the adoption of genetically manipulated organisms, properly compensate miners and wood-chippers as we move to renewables, away from native forest-logging and towards existing plantations in order to protect farmland and local industries, ensure water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, etc, etc, perhaps having more, rather than fewer Greens in parliaments is a good idea.

Catherine Moore
2010 Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro and No 11 on Greens Legislative Council ticket, March 26 election

Authorised by Catherine Moore, 1149 Charleys Forest Road, Charleys Forest NSW 2622 for the Braidwood Greens
Braidwood Greens is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Welcome to the website for the Greens in Palerang, who comprise the Braidwood Greens and some members of the Queanbeyan-Monaro Greens local groups. These groups run joint campaigns in the state seat of Monaro, and together with the Eurobodalla and Bega Greens groups, in the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

Green policies are based on the four green principles of: These principles are at the foundation of everything we do, from our local activities and the way we operate in our local group to our representation at the local government level.

The Greens