The Greens in Palerang

Archive for the 'Submissions' 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…)

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.

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…)

Native Vegetation Regulation and Environmental Outcomes and Assessment Methodology Review

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The Braidwood Greens are committed to the protection of high conservation value native vegetation, fauna, flora and the hydrological systems that support them. We believe that community involvement in decision-making is critical in securing sustainable food production, use of natural resources and ecological conservation to ensure the sustainability of regional Australia.

The objectives of the Native Vegetation Act Objectives of the Act are:

a) to provide for, encourage and promote the management of native vegetation on a regional basis in the social, economic and environmental interests of the State, and
b) to prevent broadscale clearing unless it improves or maintains environmental outcomes, and
c) to protect native vegetation of high conservation value having regard to its contribution to such matters as water quality, biodiversity, or the prevention of salinity or land degradation, and
d) to improve the condition of existing native vegetation, particularly where it has high conservation value, and
e) to encourage the revegetation of land, and the rehabilitation of land, with appropriate native vegetation

Native Vegetation Regulation

To date the native vegetation framework in NSW has not achieved its main objectives. This is because:

  • High conservation value native vegetation such as threatened flora, significant habitat for threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) continue to be cleared without environmental assessment through the use of permitted clearing provisions such as Routine Agricultural Management Activities (RAMAs) and Regrowth, on private and public lands.  (more…)

Dargues Reef mine approval – at what cost?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s announcement today that the Dargues Reef gold mine at Major’s Creek near Braidwood can go ahead is hardly surprising, says Catherine Moore, Palerang councillor and 2010 Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro.

“In their ongoing support for whatever the mining industry throws up, both the ALP and the Coalition continually disregard the myriad of concerns raised by communities about air, water, land-use, quality of life and biodiversity issues,” she said.

“The best opportunity for our community (apart from an appeal on the decision) is strong representation on the Community Consultative Committee. With the regulator sitting at a desk hundreds of kilometres away, history has demonstrated that it will only be ongoing community vigilance that ensures all the conditions are adhered to.

“Applications for this committee close on October 5.

“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…)

Dargues Reef gold mine – the community needs to mobilise

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Now that the State Government has given approval for the Dargues Reef gold mine at Majors Creek, the community needs to mobilise immediately to decide whether it wants to appeal the decision via the Environmental Defenders’ Office, says Palerang councillor and 2010 Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro, Catherine Moore.

“The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has found in favour of the mine, based on the recommendation from the Planning Department, despite the large number of excellent submissions from the community at the August 23 Braidwood hearing which clearly demonstrated the shortcomings of the proponent’s environmental assessment,” says Catherine.

“Given that the Minister has left it up to the Department to make the recommendation and the main departmental bureaucrats involved have absolute support for mining, it is easy to see now that the decision was never going to go any other way.

“It is of great concern that no extra conditions have been imposed as a result of this whole process. (more…)

The Role of Global Warming

Monday, January 17th, 2011

After the hottest and wettest year in recorded history, the seas off northern Australia are also currently warmer than ever before. This heat has led to increased evaporation and so, rainfall.

Sceptics and defenders of the coal industry may dispute this scientific data, but they don’t. Instead, they are arguing that there should be no debate - not, at least, until some undefined time in the future when the cataclysm has passed and its injuries are behind us. 

A week after the “inland tsunami” struck the Toowoomba region, with the flood crest having passed in Brisbane, and Rockhampton beginning to recover, Australia’s newspapers are now carrying letters expressing frustration at the absence of debate on the causes of the floods across the nation and, indeed, in Brazil, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Like the drought, heatwaves and bushfires these floods are predictable calamities and worse is in store as the planet is heated by human actions.

We may collectively choose to do nothing about the rapidly increasing of burning of coal, here and overseas, from coal being mined in Australia by wealthy corporations largely owned overseas. However, that choice should not be made without informed debate. If there is a later time better for this crucial debate to begin, let the critics name it.

Bob Brown
Australian Greens Leader 

Palerang Council’s submission on Dargues Reef Gold Mine, Majors Creek, November 4 Council meeting

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Big Island Mining Pty Ltd has lodged a major project application and environmental assessment (EA) under part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for the extraction of up to 354 000t of ore per year from an underground gold mine, together with construction and operation of associated infrastructure, including a temporary waste rock emplacement, run-of-mine pad, processing plant, tailings storage facility, site access road and ancillary infrastructure. The EA was publicly notified from 29 September to 1 November 2010. This report presents a submission on the project. Council has been given an extension to 5 November 2010 to lodge the submission.

Palerang Council considered its submission on the mine at its November ordinary meeting held in the National Theatre, Braidwood on Thursday November 4.

Councillors Moore, Turley and Cockram declared that it may be perceived that they had a conflict of interest as they were part of a group (Braidwood Greens) that had lodged a submission, but as they had not written the submission, nor were they office-bearers, they were comfortable about being able to take part in deliberations.

No councillor with share-holdings declared a conflict of interest.  (more…)

‘Black Hole’ public consultation must stop - Arkaroola the latest example

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Greens MLC Mark Parnell has called for the standard release of all public submissions online when the Government asks for public input into decision making.

The call comes as the public submissions to Seeking a Balance, the review into mining in the Arkaroola ranges, remain unpublished despite the consultation period closing last month.

“It’s pretty simple really - all submissions to any Government public consultation process should automatically be published online,” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“At the moment, the public spends hours and hours giving their feedback where it effectively ends up in a great big black hole.  They never get a response to the issues they’ve raised, or any sense of whether what they have said has had any impact,” he said. (more…)

Braidwood Greens submission on food labelling

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Food Labelling Review Secretariat
Department of Health and Ageing
MDP 150
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on this important issue.

If this review of food labelling law and policy is genuine about considering options to (1) reduce the regulatory burden in food labelling (2) without compromising public health and safety, the Braidwood Greens believe that full and accurate labelling is essential.

In the same way that people have a right to choose whether or not they eat food containing any animal products, so should they have a right to choose whether or not they eat food containing GM organisms, or irradiated or novel foods. (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.

The Greens