The Greens in Palerang

Archive for the 'Corruption' Category

Torbay linked to lifting of heritage order on donor’s property

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Former speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly Richard Torbay has been directly linked to the lifting of the heritage listing on a property owned by a major campaign donor.

(‘The developer, the $100k gift and the ‘highly effective’ MP’ Sydney Morning Herald 9 May, p. 1)

Documents obtained by Greens NSW MP John Kaye show that Mr Torbay set up a meeting between the then Planning Minister Tony Kelly and the owners of the heritage-listed property Graham and Georgiana McCullagh.

Six months later Mr Torbay received a $100,000 donation from a McCullagh-owned company. (more…)

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

Barry O’Farrell’s mid-term report card and Green achievements

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

As the O’Farrell government enters the second half of its term, the Greens NSW MPs have put together a report card on the government’s worst failures, and the Greens’ top achievements for a more sustainable and caring NSW.

The O’Farrell government:

  • launched attacks on wages and conditions of teachers, nurses and other public sector workers, and drastic cuts to our workers compensation laws
  • overturned the 26-year ban on uranium exploration in NSW, prompting widespread community concern and condemnation
  • savaged schools and TAFE, stripping a staggering $1.6 billion of funding from public education
  • opened up national parks to recreational hunters for the sake of a political deal with the extreme Shooters Party to enable electricity privatisation
  • broke an election promise to oppose mining in drinking water catchments with approval of massive coal mine in the Sydney catchment
  • gave tunnel vision priority to more tollways with $1.8 billion committed to the WestConnex without traffic modelling or cost-benefit analysis
  • launched a “dob-in a rorter” program that demonised public housing tenants, while failing to clear the maintenance backlog and left tens of thousands on social housing waiting lists.
  • watered down coal seam gas policy, failing to protect our farming lands and water with a weak strategic land use policy
  • proposed child protection reforms that focus on punitive approaches to parents in at-risk families and prioritising adoption under short time-frames
  • eroded civil liberties and failed to deal with police accountability - from the expansion of the sniffer dogs program, the removal of the right to silence and the failure to ensure that police do not investigate police
  • squandered opportunity to transition to low carbon clean energy economy throwing $11 billion of wind industry investment into doubt with unrealistic and unreasonable wind farm guidelines.
  • trashed marine science with the closure of The Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence and continuing the deal with the Shooters Party for a moratorium on new marine parks
  • replaced one pro-developer planning system with another, failing to put planning decisions back in the hands of local communities


Community groups from across NSW present Better Planning petition

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Community groups representing thousands of residents today presented Greens MP Jamie Parker with a 3,000-strong petition, highlighting concerns with the government’s proposed changes to planning laws.

The petition calls for the O’Farrell government to abandon its developer driven planning regime and put local communities and the environment at the heart of the planning system.

Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker said:

“We Greens took a strong stand against the previous Labor government’s moves to strip local councils and local communities of any planning decisions. It seems this current Liberal government’s proposed changes may be even worse.

“The strength of this petition and the level of concern across NSW should be a sure sign to Barry O’Farrell that the people of NSW want a change in direction that puts planning back in the hands of the community. (more…)

O’Farrell should move today for freeze on Macdonald and Maitland farms

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Allegations being investigated by ICAC are serious enough for Premier Barry O’Farrell to ask the Crime Commission to begin proceedings for a freeze order on the assets of key participants Ian Macdonald and former CFMEU leader John Maitland, Greens NSW MP.

(‘Selling off the farm before ICAC’s call’, Daily Telegraph, 18 Feb, p. 1)

Under the Criminal Assets Recovery Act the Crime Commission can apply to the Supreme Court for an order to restrain assets. The Court must grant the order if it believes that there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that assets were acquired as a result of serious crime activity, including corruption.

Dr Kaye said: “Allegations before ICAC involving Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland are serious and potentially involve hundreds of millions of dollars. Reports that both men are in the process of selling their farms must trigger the Premier into action. (more…)

Disclosure laws must pass the Macca and Eddie test

Monday, February 11th, 2013

The Greens have released proposed changes to the requirements on members of the NSW Parliament to disclose their incomes and assets.

(‘’Call for jail for MPs who fail to declare financial interests'’, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Feb 2013, p. 2)

Greens NSW MP John Kaye says that the changes would make it much more difficult for MPs to accumulate assets without the public and their colleagues becoming aware of any sudden influx of wealth. The days of hiding payouts in family trusts or the back accounts of relatives must come to an end.

The declarations proposals go much further than Labor’s plans announced a week ago. The Greens would change the regulations and introduce new laws (see attached) to:

- extend disclosure requirements to the assets, income, loans and trusts involving all family members (i.e. spouse or partner, children, children’s partners, including parents if the member receives any benefit from them);
- require MPs and their family members to explain sudden changes in wealth;
- require all trusts involving MPs or their family members to be fully disclosed;
- oblige an MP holding an interest in a non-listed company that has business dealings with a state agency or a local council, or who has a family member who holds such an interest, to disclose the details;
- ensure that all MPs fully declare any representations to ministers and parliamentary secretaries where the outcome could benefit them or a family member; and
- require members to disclose any gift or benefit received within two years of a parliamentary debate from a corporation or organisation that could potentially benefit from or be affected by the outcome.

All Greens NSW MPs have agreed to make discretionary disclosures to fulfil the standards the party wants to set for all state politicians. (more…)

Bega District News first off the blocks

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Following Julia Gillard’s election date announcement, the Bega District News asked the three known candidates for Eden-Monaro a series of questions. Here are The Greens’ responses.

What are the big issues as you see them in Eden-Monaro for this election year? Which will you be championing in your election campaign?
Climate change remains the biggest issue of our time, and it is already starting to affect everyone, so it will be of great concern if there is any party or candidate who does not take climate change seriously. Recognising how it permeates all our lives through health impacts, electricity and insurance costs for example, and taking positive action by way of investment in renewable energy programs, will filter through to a range of policy areas and benefit everyone in the electorate. While coal and coal seam gas mining does not affect Eden-Monaro directly, its impacts will be felt by all. Continuing to mine and export coal in increasing volumes together with the use of processes that pollute or destroy water supplies is something we need to stop. As with every previous election in which I have been involved, the closure of the chipmill is a major issue. The Greens presented a plan for softwood processing to state government and opposition candidates in the 1999 state election, and some of that has now been taken up, but we need to go further. See later responses for more detail. (more…)

Campaign starter, for Braidwood times

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Climate change remains the biggest issue of our time, and it is already starting to affect everyone, so voters need to feel extremely concerned about any party or candidate who does not take climate change seriously. Greens have fresh ideas which will take us with confidence, rather than trepidation, into the future , and I am looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the things we can do to create jobs in the electorate as part of a new, Green economy. The revelations coming out of the current ICAC hearings in relation to water privatisation reinforce just how important it is to retain public assets in public hands. Greens will continue to maintain a strong position on asylum seekers that is in line with progressive thinking on the issue and which recognises the need for compassion and an increased, speedier uptake of vulnerable people. Politicians must recognise this, together with the role that governments have played in causing people to become refugees in the first place, instead of trying to create an atmosphere of fear and loathing amongst the populace. There’s a lot more to talk about it and fortunately, plenty of time to dissect the issues and hear from all contenders. By the way, Braidwood people will get their first opportunity to do that at the political forum that is being held as part of the Two Fires Festival in April, and I am looking forward to participating.

NSW Planning Review - The Green Paper

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Thankyou for the opportunity to make a submission on the Green Paper. The Braidwood Greens have a strong interest in planning issues, given that Palerang Shire is one of the fastest growing LGAs in NSW and the region is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. In regard to the Green Paper, we are concerned at the focus on growth, the decrease in democracy and the abandonment of ecological sustainability.

We begin by requesting that you note our concerns about the timeline for submissions in relation to the proximity to the NSW Local Government elections. There may be many people who otherwise would have been interested in this review but who will not be focused on this process because of the elections.

We will focus on the Green Paper itself in this submission, rather than on answering the three questions in depth.

1. What are the best aspects of NSW local government in its current form?

Local government being local is the best thing about it. We are opposed to any further amalgamations. Local government has a lot of potential to be even better than it is at present, but it needs to be better funded.

2. What challenges will your community have to meet over the next 25 years?

Pressures for development due to the proximity of Palerang to Canberra; affordable housing when so many new houses are over-sized; difficulty in meeting infrastructure costs; water availability; lack of public transport and busier roads; the need to find work and meet a greater proportion of food needs closer to home.

3. What top five changes should be made to local government to help your community meet its future challenges?
Proper funding and a reversal of cost-shifting. Communities having a real say in developments that affect them, rather than always being overridden by developers. Better co-ordination between government departments to facilitate the DA assessment process. (more…)

Too soon to abandon vigilance on Burma

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The Australian Government will undermine the democracy movement in Burma by encouraging bilateral trade too soon, the Greens warned today.

Greens spokesperson on Burma Senator Scott Ludlam said today’s announcement that the Government is “normalising trade” with Burma is dangerously premature.

“Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced today that the number of Burmese individuals subject to travel bans has been cut from 392 to 130 and trade with Burma would be normalised. Those bans can be restored if reforms do not continue in Burma, but normalised trade links are far more difficult to reverse if the junta refuses to loosen its grip on power. Relaxing sanctions while the military continues to control Burma could sign a death warrant for the democracy movement.

“The recent by-elections saw Aun San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy win 43 of a possible 45 seats. There are 664 seats in Burma’s bicameral parliament and 25 per cent of them are guaranteed to the military. The rest were filled mostly by pro-junta candidates in the rigged general election carried out according to a corrupt constitution. There is still a long way to go before Canberra should be rewarding the military junta with normalised trade ties. If it proves that the by-elections and prisoner releases are a short-term stunt, normalised trade will weaken the position of democracy activists while helping the junta get rich. (more…)

Authorised by Catherine Moore, 1149 Charleys Forest Road, Charleys Forest NSW 2622 for the Braidwood Greens
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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.

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