The Greens in Palerang

Archive for June, 2013

Shocking evidence of Old Growth Forest destruction

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

North Coast Greens MP, Jan Barham, has called for the Government to act on photographs that show the logging of Old Growth Forest in Koreelah State Forest on the Far North Coast.

“During question time in Parliament today, I tabled photographs showing the devastation that has happened to six hectares of Koreelah’s Old Growth Forest. These trees are irreplaceable and their destruction is a travesty,” Ms Barham said.

“I’ve asked whether the Environment Minister is aware that this logging has taken place, and that a further 17 hectares is at risk from planned operations. The Government must investigate and announce what action it will take to protect the biodiversity and heritage of our Old Growth Forests from any further planned destruction.”

The photographs, which were taken during a recent inspection by the North East Forest Alliance, show the aftermath of intensive logging that has felled trees approaching 2.5m in diameter. The forest provides habitat for threatened species and its destruction creates a risk of invasive species such as Lantana taking hold.

“I’m utterly shocked to see evidence that the destruction of Old Growth Forests is still happening. The public puts its trust in government to preserve and protect our natural environment. The loss of these great forests is like stealing from future generations,” Ms Barham said.

(Photographs taken at compartment 27 of Kareelah State Forest available from Jan Barham’s office on request)

Senate backs Greens motion as whaling case commences in ICJ

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Senate has backed an Australian Greens motion recognising the start of legal action in the International Court of Justice against Japanese whaling and urging the Government to ensure any resources needed to enforce a positive ruling are provided.

“The start of this case is an important day for the decades-old fight against whaling,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Senate recognised this, supporting the Greens motion and noting that this case will be keenly followed by all those Australians who oppose the continuation of whaling.

“It is also significant that the Senate backed our calls for the Government to consider what resources will be provided to enforce a positive result.

“This court case is an important marker in this long campaign, but it is important to remember that the Japanese Government have a track record of ignoring or bypassing international treaties, regulations and requests. The Government therefore needs a plan to enforce the findings. (more…)

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…)

Greens launch team for Abbott Senate contest

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Only the Greens stand in the way of Tony Abbott gaining absolute power of the parliament, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said in Canberra today.

“I’m here today with all of the Greens’ lead candidates to deliver the strong message that a vote for the Greens is a vote against Tony Abbott controlling the parliament.

“The last time the Coalition controlled both houses of parliament we ended up with Work Choices.

“If the current polls hold up then we could see an Abbott controlled Senate or one where extreme conservatives hold the balance of power.

“We are in real danger of Tony Abbott gaining control of the Senate which is why it’s so important for voters to return Scott Ludlam in Western Australian, Sarah Hanson-Young in South Australia and Peter Whish-Wilson in Tasmania.

“We also need to return Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne as a strong voice in the House of Representatives for the Greens.

“We have outstanding candidates in all our other seats, who show talent, passion and care for Australia’s future: Cate Faehrmann in New South Wales, Simon Sheikh in the ACT, Janet Rice in Victoria, Adam Stone in Queensland and Warren H. Williams in the Territory.

“We’ve completed our Senate team today with the announcement of well-known musician Warren H. Williams as our Northern Territory Senate candidate and welcome him to our team.

“Warren grew up in the Territory and has spent a lot of time working closely with local communities standing up for Aboriginal rights and fighting to protect the environment and caring for people. He understands the challenges the NT faces and the issues that matter to Northern Territory voters,” Senator Milne said.

The 2013 Federal Budget and Eden-Monaro, Greens’ perspective - for Bega District News

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

The National Disability Insurance Scheme be will be of great assistance to rural and regional people with disabilities, who frequently have fewer choices than people from more highly populated areas. Increased school funding is also welcome as again, rural and regional areas are often struggling to provide the programs and facilities that are available in the city. Redirecting the baby bonus to family payment is also an improvement, as is a fairer superannuation payment system, with those on $37,000 or less now paying no tax.

However, despite these positives, The Greens believe that the Government has missed some golden opportunities to build a safer, cleaner, more just and compassionate society.

The Government is only implementing 39% of the reforms proposed by Gonski, which has led to the labelling “Gonski Lite”. While the welcome boost to schools education is the biggest for years, generous funding of private schools continues while the cuts to tertiary education will force students further into debt and impact on universities’ vital research. Tertiary students in Eden-Monaro will suffer greater impact as they often have to leave home or travel long distances to study.

Labor will spend $10 billion in this year’s Budget subsidising the biggest mining companies to look for and burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. This is equivalent to $66 million for every electorate in the country – money that could have been spent in the community. The subsidy for fuel use by the mining industry is projected to increase by $352 million in the next financial year. (more…)

Greens applaud community effort, but say governments are failing when it comes to the environment

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Without the efforts of community groups and sustainable industry groups, there would be nothing to celebrate today, World Environment Day, according to  Greens candidate for Eden-Monaro, Catherine Moore.

“Politicians are failing the community when it comes to looking after the environment, but people working in their communities – in environment groups and industries committed to sustainability – are another story altogether,” says Catherine.

“Right now in this country, we have a number of state governments including in NSW looking at opening up National Parks to logging, mining, grazing and shooting.

“To his credit, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke is at least recognising that the Federal Government may need to step in to protect National Parks from inappropriate activities like these. He needs all the encouragement we can give him.

“But the Federal Government still has on the table plans to hand over environmental powers to the states, and plans by Tony Abbott go even further. (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