The Greens in Palerang

Archive for the 'Planning' Category

Future Directions for NSW Local Government

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Thankyou for the opportunity to make a submission on Future Directions for NSW Local Government. I do so as spokesperson for Braidwood Greens and from the standpoint of Palerang councillor, 2004-2012. It has been endorsed by Braidwood Greens members.

This submission deals with the two main issues of funding and amalgamations, but it also touches on a number of other matters, especially those related to democracy.

The preamble on page 4 gets straight to the the big issue of funding, referring to “a local government system facing major financial problems with apparently little awareness of just how serious the situation has become. ”

Local councils cannot fail to be aware of how hard it is to fund the programs they are expected to run and the services they provide, and Palerang is no exception.

The paper states that new directions must allow local government to provide “better services, infrastructure and representation for the communities it is intended to serve.

“The Panel’s goal for local government is therefore:
A more sustainable system of democratic local government that has added capacity to address the
needs of local and regional communities, and to be a valued partner of State and federal governments.”

This goal is laudable, but it is hard to see how it will be achieved without the funding that is so desperately needed.

Nowhere in the sustainability and finance section of the preamble, or anywhere else, does the paper mention increased funding from external sources. Nowhere does it recognise the imperative for state and federal governments to stop cost-shifting. It is all about redistribution of existing funds and reassessing the current state government policy on rate-pegging. Indeed, the whole argument for amalgamation seems to be predicated on the basis of insufficient resources for the current number of councils. (more…)

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…)

Greens in Eden-Monaro hope for bright future in oyster farming

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The Greens in Eden-Monaro have welcomed Australia’s Oyster Coast’s adoption of and commitment to Environmental Management Systems (EMS), highlighting the importance of EMS as an integral part of all industries in Eden-Monaro.

After attending the launch of Australia’s Oyster Coast at the Narooma Oyster Festival on the weekend, Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro Catherine Moore said that the EMS adopted by the group with the support of Southern Rivers Catchment was a positive and proactive step towards ensuring the healthy future of an industry based on an oyster native to the area, the Sydney Rock Oyster.

“But a holistic view across the whole region is needed, and the industry will be threatened unless other industries also meet the most stringent environmental criteria in their own practices.

“Time and time again, the ALP and Coalition have failed to recognise the importance of environmental protection which ensures the viability of small producers working for sustainability. Instead, they have preferred to kowtow to and subsidise large destructive and unsustainable industries like mining and woodchipping. (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…)

Braidwood Greens submission on the draft PLEP

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Along with many other groups and individuals in the Palerang Local Government Area (LGA), Braidwood Greens made a submission to Palerang Council on the Palerang Local Environmental Plan (PLEP). The exhibition period closed on March 8.

To read the full submission from Braidwood Greens to Palerang Council on the draft PLEP, click on the link below.

Greens in Eden-Monaro response to Coalition Dams proposal

Friday, March 1st, 2013

(300 words for the March edition of the Snowy River Echo)

It appears from media reports that most of the 100 dams proposed to be built by the Coalition at a cost of $30 billion are planned for northern Australia, however I understand that the Welcome Reef Dam on the Shoalhaven River has also been mentioned. That proposal has caused uncertainty for farmers since early last century, due to the large tracts of valuable farmland that would be inundated. Much of that land is now owned by the Sydney Catchment Authority.

The 100 dams proposal does not take into account the health of rivers and their ecosystems, or the negative economic and environmental effects caused by previous projects, like salinity in the Murray and the trashing of the once mighty Snowy. Rather, it appears to be based on the premise that Australia can only thrive and prosper if there is ongoing growth. It is time we focused on quality of life with a view to an economic system that will take us into the future, sustainably.

The Australian Greens Water and Inland Aquatic Environments policy states that “we have a responsibility to restore, maintain and protect Australia’s rivers and freshwater environments as part of our natural heritage and future prosperity” and later, that “the Australian Greens want legislation and regulations that protect our catchments, rivers, wetlands, estuaries and groundwater systems, including a permanent prohibition on new large-scale dams on Australian rivers.” (more…)

Opportunity for a new beginning at Snowy Hydro

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The departure of long-serving CEO Terry Charlton should be trigger a rethink of how publicly-owned Snowy Hydro Ltd can serve the people of Australia, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

(’Search commences for new Snowy Hydro CEO‘ Snowy Hydro Media release, 28 Feb)

Dr Kaye said: “Dr Charlton’s tenure has been marked by a bitter battle over privatisation of the national icon, on-going alarm about the environmental consequences of corporatisation and a serious deterioration in public confidence.

“Downstream irrigators have been up in arms over the management of water releases from both the Tumut and Murray generators that has inflicted substantial damage on the river banks to the north and west of the scheme.

“Since corporatisation, squeezing every last dollar out of electricity sales has trumped almost any environmental consideration and the needs of the irrigators.

“The Snowy River is still struggling and the upper montane environment has taken a hammering. (more…)

Media conference transcript - Christine Milne and Larissa Waters

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Subjects: Warragamba Dam, climate change adaptation, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), coal seam gas

CHRISTINE MILNE: The Prime Minister’s announcements today concerning money to be spent on flood mitigation around the country demonstrates why we should have been dealing with climate change so much earlier. The reason that we are having so much Commonwealth money having to be invested in mitigation is the failure of both state and federal governments for a long period of time to listen to the scientists, to listen to Sir Nicholas Stern when he said the cost of not acting on climate change is going to far outweigh the cost of acting.

And that’s precisely what we are seeing. Since 2010 $6 billion has been spent in Australia trying to clean up after flooding, after extreme weather events. The Prime Minister’s statements today, the promise of extra money, the decision to put $50 million into the Warragamba dam and $50 million into other flood mitigation projects is couched in terms of insurance premium and cost of living. And it’s absolutely true that insurance premiums have gone through the roof in areas which are vulnerable to extreme weather events. What we need to do now is to recognise a) that we need to act on climate change and we need to maintain the National Climate Change Adaptation Research facility as a source of good information on which to make informed decisions about where best to spend the money so that we do protect communities into the longer term. It is essential that it’s not just the insurance industry dictating the terms, but that in fact that the science is in there so that people can make informed decisions and I’m calling on the Prime Minister to use some of that money to continue to fund the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility so it can work in conjunction with communities in interpreting the climate models so that we get the best value for money and real resilience built into the system. The Insurance Council of Australia in its submission to the extreme weather events inquiry that I established said that we not only needed to invest in mitigation from flooding to bring down premiums but also we needed to harmonise land use planning. And also building codes because if you are really going to anticipate the consequences of extreme events you have to make sure that you upgrade the building coded, you have to make sure that planning permission is not being given to building areas that are vulnerable to flooding in the first place, and then money is available to assist people in whichever way you can. (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:
  • Social and economic justice
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Peace and non violence
  • Grassroots democracy
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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