Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Victoria’s Baillieu government hands out coal mining leases on coastal and agricultural land

So who is benefiting from the Baillieu government’s assault on the environment?

Big Mining. In spades….

Hundreds of brown coal mining leases have now been issued by this government for the very areas out of bounds to wind farms — coastal regions and areas of significant environment value….Oh, and Victoria’s prime agricultural land, 

.. The overriding advantage of wind farms is that agricultural production or grazing can continue unimpeded. Open-cut coal mines can never be converted to agricultural land and coal seam gas wells are notorious for leaking toxic chemicals into aquifers…..

How ‘Red’ Ted Baillieu hoodwinked Victorian votersIndependent Australia, Sandi Keane, 7 Oct 11 It’s hard to know where to start on the transformation of Ted Baillieu from the champion of small-l liberalism to the worst environment Premier on record. Conservative politics these days displays little conscience about robbing future generations of their heritage…..

cattle are OK in National Parks but not so wind farms. Draconian new legislation, Amendment VC82, prohibits wind farms from being constructed in National Parks, near the coast or any area thought to have “environmental value”.

The earlier Amendment VC78 by the Baillieu government already gave local councils the power to reject wind farms. Interestingly, if you read through the legislation, you’ll see that the designated “no go” zones for wind farms are the very same areas of the state singled out by the Landscape Guardians whose agenda appears to be stopping wind farms from replacing coal fired power. For more facts on the Guardian’s phony health claims, their links to the mining industry and the climate skeptics in the Liberal Party, read here.

Investment in renewables in this state is now in freefall. The loss to the Victorian economy is expected to be around $3 billion from wind farms alone. In the same week, Energy Minister, Michael O’Brien, announced the virtual end of solar investment and manufacture in this state. Energy conscious residents who installed solar panels on the promise that the cost would be offset by a 60 cent feed-in-tariff have now seen this cut to 25 cents.

What incentive is there now for anyone in Victoria to go solar? What a backwater this state has become in less than 12 months.

Having just returned from Europe where wind farms are accepted everywhere and growth in both wind and solar on the rise, the comparison between our backward looking conservative politicians in Australia and the progressive conservative governments in Europe couldn’t be more striking.

Any idea that Baillieu will honour Victoria’s legislated 20% reduction in Co2 emissions by 2020 also appears dead and buried with Baillieu and his Ministers now calling the target “aspirational”.

So who is benefiting from the Baillieu government’s assault on the environment?

Big Mining. In spades.

The mining industry has been repaid handsomely for the millions of dollars it contributes to the Liberal Party through “blind” trusts. Until Australians demand total transparency on political donations, vested interests will continue to dictate their own agenda with the following dire consequences:

On March 3 this year, The Age reported that a controversial scheme to mine and export brown coal(regarded as today’s asbestos and shelved by the Brumby government in 2009) had been dusted off by the Baillieu government. When Big Mining saw the coming bonanza with the election of the Baillieu government, it responded with a flurry of activity.

Hundreds of brown coal mining leases have now been issued by this government for the very areas out of bounds to wind farms — coastal regions and areas of significant environment value….Oh, and Victoria’s prime agricultural land, ……

The overriding advantage of wind farms is that agricultural production or grazing can continue unimpeded. Open-cut coal mines can never be converted to agricultural land and coal seam gas wells are notorious for leaking toxic chemicals into aquifers…..

How any government in this day and age could, in good conscience, destroy precious prime agricultural land to mine a dirty commodity like brown coal, a designated sunset industry, is testament to the power that Big Mining has over conservative governments in Australia. Just as the mining mafia funds the Institute of Public Affairs to spruik its anti-global warming propaganda and support phony astroturf groups like the Landscape Guardians to stop windfarms replacing coal, so it funds the Liberal Party to ensure maximum profits flow to the pockets of its CEOs and Directors living outside Australia…..

Winning by just one seat, Baillieu had no mandate for a wholesale assault on the environment. But Ted Baillieu has no such vision for the preservation of the natural world nor plans to leave a legacy for future generations. His short-term, self-serving, agenda is to shore up future preselection support from the extreme right of the party. The decent bloke we once thought we knew, the man we thought of as another Hamer, the man whose small-l brand of liberalism would save the moderates in the Liberal party from history’s dustbin has turned out to be just another Tony Abbott.

(Sandi Keane will be speaking at the 7th Australia Wind Energy Conference being held in Melbourne in mid-December. For more details, click here.)

October 7, 2011 - Posted by | politics, Victoria

1 Comment »

  1. Rubbish! How do we know what Abbott will do until he is there?
    That is the one critical problem for democracy.
    Look at the redhead? Did she show her true colours before knifing her way to the PM-ship?
    mike

    Like

    Comment by mike | November 23, 2011 | Reply


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