The Greens in Palerang

Archive for February, 2010

Northwest rail project - Coalition’s M2 compo clause bungle

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Commenting on the clause in the M2 motorway contract that could result in compensation being paid to operator, Transurban, Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said the northwest rail line is an essential piece of infrastructure that should be fast tracked not held up because of a poor decision by the Coalition when they were in government.

“The former Coalition government in the early 1990s should never have agreed to the clause in the M2 contract that allows the motorway operators to claim compensation if their profits are impacted by a nearby public transport project,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“If the NSW government has to pay compensation because of a poor motorway decision by a previous Coalition government that should not be used as a reason to prevent construction of the northwest rail project. (more…)

Macdonald concocts his own ‘scientific’ assessment against River Red Gum report

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Minister for Forestry Resources, Ian Macdonald, today refuted the findings of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), which reported that Forests NSW, under his stewardship, had logged red gums in the Riverina region 70% beyond sustainable levels. The NRC report was commissioned by
former Premier Nathan Rees to ascertain the true state of the red gum forests.

Mr Macdonald was responding to a question in Parliament by Greens MLC Ian Cohen: on what basis does the Minister argue that logging forests
70% beyond sustainable levels equates with world’s best practice?

“In 2007 the Minister described Forests NSW management of Riverina Red Gums to the House as achieving the ‘highest international environmental order’,” said Ian Cohen.

“I asked the Minister whether he stood by the assertion that Forests NSW has engaged in environmental management of the “highest international environmental order” in light of the Natural Resources Commission’s findings. Mr Macdonald was dogged in his response. (more…)

Arts funding must be for all, not only for established arts say Greens

Friday, February 19th, 2010

The Greens have criticised the State Government for withdrawing funding from Community Cultural Development NSW, the peak body for community
arts and cultural development in NSW.

“The effect of this de-funding will be that arts funding in NSW will now be focused on the flagships of Australian arts funding such as Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and their like. While these are wonderful and important institutions, they interact with only a very small segment of our community,” said Sylvia Hale, Greens MLC and spokesperson for the Arts.

“With the withdrawal of this funding the NSW Government is reneging on its 2006/07 agreement with Federal arts funding body, The Australia Council, to support community based arts programs in NSW. The loss of funding from Arts NSW means the automatic loss of funding from The Australia Council. (more…)

Minister double counts jobs, discounts public dissatisfaction

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Figures released today of jobs allegedly created as a result of approvals under Part 3A of the Planning Act may have been significantly inflated by double counting, according to Greens spokesperson for Planning, Sylvia Hale, MLC.

“The table for the period 8 September 2008 – 31 January 2009 (sic — presumably meant to be to 31 January 2010) states that a total of 36,589 construction jobs have been created, and 41,712 operational jobs, totalling 78,301 in all,” says Ms Hale.

“Of these 78,301 jobs, 13,013 construction jobs and 10,671 operational jobs resulted from approval of concept plans, that is, a total of 23,640 jobs.

“But concept plans in themselves do not result in any jobs for anyone other than those who draw the plans up. Before one brick can be laid or one operational job activated, concepts plans, which provide only a broad overview of a project, are translated into project applications, which, if approved, may then lead to the creation of construction and operational jobs. (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…)

ICAC inquiry doesn’t let Government off the hook, say Greens

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The Greens have criticised the narrow scope of the ICAC investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegations contained in the McGurk tape.

“The inquiry has been a narrow exercise that examines a recorded conversation between a dead lender of last resort and a property developer,” said Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens Spokesperson for Planning.

“What it has failed to examine is the corrupting potential of political donations and access to senior government figures by developers and their lobbyists. (more…)

Statement to Council on Majors Creek goldmine

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It is beholden on us at the local government level to ensure that activities like mining do not make it impossible for our residents to live in their own homes. It is appalling that a mining company’s activities override the rights of people to live simply and comfortably and have adequate sleep. The general situation with mining in this country, which has a long record of destroying farmland, damaging ecosystems, polluting waterways, destroying Aboriginal sites of significance, sucking out huge amounts of underground and riverine water and generally impacting negatively on communities, is unacceptable to anyone who puts social justice and quality of life before gold and the dollar and I hope that we will do everything we can to lessen the impact of this particular goldmine on our residents.

Catherine Moore, Questions and Statements, February 4 Council meeting

Swinburne survey finds Australians very ‘uncomfortable’ with GM foods

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Australians remain very uncomfortable about eating genetically manipulated (GM) foods despite government and GM industry claims of growing acceptance. Swinburne University’s fifth National Science and Technology Monitor has found most people well informed about GM but still very mistrustful of the institutions that commercialise GM foods.

“A major target of public mistrust is Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company that owns patents on over 90% of all commercial GM soy, corn, canola and cotton crops that are grown,” says Gene Ethics director Bob Phelps.

“Monsanto’s management and shareholders should be ashamed of ranking absolutely last among the 541 trans-national companies assessed by the annual Geneva-based Covalence reputation index. It is a barometer of how the ethics of big businesses are perceived throughout society. Monsanto consistently fails ethics 101. (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.

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