Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

“Don’t leave Dracula – Murray Darling Basin Authority Water management – in charge of the Blood Bank”

Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, 21 Jan 19 MDBA Water management: “Don’t leave Dracula in charge of the Blood bank”
KEY POINTS

  1. Support for a Royal Commission
  2. Representation at the decision making table of MDBA
  3. Acknowledge Legal Rights of First Nations as determined in Mabo (2)
  4. Explain why different standards are set for First Nations’ Organisations
  5. Demand Criminal Prosecutions be an integral part of Royal Commission findings

Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) Deputy Chair, Ghillar Michael Anderson and NBAN Director Cheryl Buchanan announce NBAN’s support for Sarah Hanson-Young’s call for a Royal Commission into the mismanagement and over extraction of the waters of the Murray Darling Basin. [The Guardian, 16 January 2019]

NBAN has now learnt that the disaster that we are experiencing in the Murray/Darling Basin is a perfect electric dry storm of massive fish kills and drying riverbeds.

It is NOT caused just by the drought but is also a culmination of man-made mismanagement; corruption at the highest levels; and major development without scientific evidence-based planning in the formative years of the MDBA.

NBAN has great difficulty in understanding why the so-called experts water planners would attempt to normalise our current circumstances. First Nations now demand urgent answers and to be included in all future top-level water planning within the Murray Darling Basin……..

NBAN is critical of the fact that NSW Water planners admit that from 2012 to 2018 they did nothing to properly prepare for evidence-based planning in relation to water management in the northern basin, and that their assessments in terms of quantities of water are based on hypothetical values and assumptions. Now there is a mad rush to review water planning on the basis of A, B and C water licencing in the Barwon/Darling and there is a suggestion to amalgamate these water licences into two or one licence. NBAN’s problem with this is that there are too many vested interests in the process calling for this to happen. Water planning from NBAN’s point of view needs to be reviewed so as to plan on the basis of what real volumes of water are in each valley catchment. With all the science and technology we have in today’s society there is no excuse for hypotheticals and assumptions.

From NBAN’s perspective these admissions clearly demonstrate that there are failures by the Water Ministers responsible for due diligence in their portfolios and departments.

Playing the blame game and shirking responsibility will not help our dying rivers. Clearly, corporate water users, irrigators and mining companies are driving the agenda. For example, the Broken Hill pipeline is for the mining interests rather than the community. Then we need to take into account the Proposed Uranium Mining near Menindee.

The Board of the MDBA is made up of members who have vested interests. A clear example of this is the Chairman, Brian Andrews, (former Speaker of the House of Representatives under PM John Howard) who is an orchardist dependant on irrigation waters from the Murray River in South Australia.

NBAN further expresses deep concern for the integrity of politicians and MDBA authority members. Clearly, there is an inference in recent media reporting that what is currently going on in the MDBA is a major defrauding of the public purse, which can never be condoned. This is in tandem with water theft by irrigators who were never investigated and escape prosecution for their criminal acts. As the Sydney Morning Heraldreported on 8 March 2018:……….

Also there was the warning of water theft by irrigators in the northern basin by a former MDBA staffer Maryanne Slattery, who now works for the Australia Institute, testified to this effect at the South Australian Royal Commission, based on satellite imagery tracking the fate of environmental water flows. This experimental project called Data Cube was rudely interrupted and shut down by MDBA, because Ms Slattery was exposing the theft of environmental water by illegal diversion. It was also reported MDBA staff were denied by the MDBA Board the right to give evidence to the Royal Commission and Minister Littleproud refused to co-operate with the Commissioner, Brett Walker QC,

The greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, is correct to call for a Commonwealth Government Royal Commission into the water management and expenditure of public funds in the MDB. The question that is on everybody’s lips right now is: What have they done with the $13B. Clearly, cotton growers and irrigators are getting money for nothing and continue to live on their lands drawing on other Commonwealth funds under Works and measures programs through ‘Toolkit’ measures for water efficiency.

NBAN is seriously concerned about what was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 9 March 2018 in . In this article it was reported that:Cry me a river: Mismanagement and corruption have left the Darling dry.

Surely, what Barnaby Joyce has done is criminal. When the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) bought Yulara village, the Commonwealth financial regulators questioned why the ILC acquired the village resort for $60M above market price. To this end the Commonwealth government chastised the ILC and lowered the market price to its correct value, thereby denying the right ILC to sell their interest at the price they paid for it, which denied them millions of dollars.

This demonstrates that there continues to be two standards: one for First Nations Peoples and one for non-First Nations Peoples. What makes this worse is the fact that sitting politicians are involved in a major profiteering scam on a scale never seen before in this country.

Clearly having people like the Minister David Littleproud being given the portfolio of Agriculture and Water and coming from the same location where Barnaby Joyce first gained his start in Politics at the Commonwealth level does raise serious concerns about the integrity of portfolio allocations in the Commonwealth government. People like Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud can be accused of not disclosing their full interest in farming and irrigation. There is much to be desired in these appointments as Barnaby Joyce and Littleproud are sitting members of the national party. They are elected to look after the interests of their constituents and in the case of the appointment of Barnaby Joyce and Littleproud to the Water portfolio is likened to the appointment of Dracula being appointed to be in charge of the Blood Bank.

This demonstrates that there continues to be two standards: one for First Nations Peoples and one for non-First Nations Peoples. What makes this worse is the fact that sitting politicians are involved in a major profiteering scam on a scale never seen before in this country.

Clearly having people like the Minister David Littleproud being given the portfolio of Agriculture and Water and coming from the same location where Barnaby Joyce first gained his start in Politics at the Commonwealth level does raise serious concerns about the integrity of portfolio allocations in the Commonwealth government. People like Barnaby Joyce and David Littleproud can be accused of not disclosing their full interest in farming and irrigation. There is much to be desired in these appointments as Barnaby Joyce and Littleproud are sitting members of the national party. They are elected to look after the interests of their constituents and in the case of the appointment of Barnaby Joyce and Littleproud to the Water portfolio is likened to the appointment of Dracula being appointed to be in charge of the Blood Bank.

On the 16th, the NBAN Delegation then met Dr Lindsay White, Director Northern Basin Section, Lindsay White is also responsible for Wetlands, Policy and Northern Water Use Branch Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, and Hilary Johnson, Director, Southern Basin Section, Southern Water Use, Aquatic Science and Community Engagement Branch Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

NBAN advised the CEWO that within the river systems we have sacred waterholes where our creative water spirits live. These culturally significant water spirits are dependent on regular flows. For First nations Peoples these flows are what we call cultural flows. Without the modern development pre-Christmas rainfalls would have replenished these waterholes and they would have sufficient water to take them through the current drought or until a new rain event within the northern regions. But, with modern development and mis-management these water holes are under serious threat and our Native Fish will lose their refuges. Past river recordings prior to development demonstrate that this is the case with these waterholes. It is important to understand that these Waterholes are critical fish refuges and serve to protect species diversity and are responsible for repopulating rivers in recovery after flooding.

The Delegation sought clarification of the role of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holders. What shocked the delegation was the limitation of the CEWO, because the First Nation held the view that CEWO were responsible for not just managing environmental water flows, but also were responsible for the actual purchasing of any water requirements. Instead we were advised that the purchasing responsibilities lay with the Minister and the Department of Agriculture. Under the Current circumstances much of the responsibilities associated with managing environmental water needs lay at the feet of the Ministers responsible.

The NBAN delegation now demand that First Nations People’s must be at the table in all future water and environmental planning at all levels of government.

In calling for the royal Commission, NBAN demand that criminal prosecution be part of the terms of reference to hold those responsible, accountable, and to bring transparency into the murky process that has persisted to this day.

NBAN Sources: nationalunitygovernment.org/content/mdba-water-management-dont-leave-dracula-charge-blood-bank
pdf: nationalunitygovernment.org/pdf/2019/NBAN-Media-Release-17-January-2019.pdf

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January 21, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Australia’s environment – a winner at National Labor Party Conference

Labor will strengthen the law to protect Australia’s Environment and Heritage – TONY BURKE

Environmental wins at the National Labor Conference, Independent Australia By Stephen Williams | 13 January 2019 Stephen Williams questions national co-convenor Felicity Wade of the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) about new Labor policy.

“………Our goal was to ensure climate action was no longer an issue to be used tactically, becoming instead an article of faith. We believe a deep-rooted response to the environmental challenges of the 21st Century is essential to the long-term survival of a modern social-democratic party.

At the 2015 Labor National Conference, LEAN won the commitments to 50% renewable energy and 45% emission reductions by 2030. But it was just a few days ago, at the 2018 National Conference, that our real goal was won. Watching the debate on the floor, there was confidence and enthusiasm. Labor not only believes climate change is real, but that it is core business.

Party heavyweights lined up to affirm their commitment to turning around the “climate emergency”, as one of the motions described it. The continued challenge of the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland is still outstanding. LEAN believes that while Labor will continue to support existing coal operations for some time, allowing a new, huge coal basin to be opened up is both risky and undermines perceptions of our commitment to climate change.

LEAN’s next task is to rebuild commitment to the natural environment in the same way. On issues of the natural environment, it is more about remembering something lost, rather than embracing something new. Visionary environmental policy has a Labor history and this week’s commitment to a new environment Act and an independent Environment Protection Authority are the first steps in reclaiming this.

The current environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC), is from the Howard era. It is primarily a tool to facilitate development, not to protect the environment. What’s more, it annoys business, and costs money by creating delays and confusion, little of which translates into good environmental outcomes. The only proactive aspects of the Act create lists of environmental threats with no power to protect anything or make a difference to real-world outcomes.

Since the EPBC Act was legislated in 1999, the number of threatened species and ecosystems has increased by 30%, with three animals going extinct. About 7.4 million hectares of threatened-species habitat (more than the size of Tasmania) has been cleared. Only 0.3% (21 of 6,100 developments assessed by the Act) have been rejected for unacceptable risks to the environment.

Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions in the world and is the only developed nation in the world’s top ten land-clearers. About 3,000 Australians die each year due to air pollution, plastics clog our waterways, while the community’s efforts to recycle are not matched by government-led national responses to ensure the waste is re-used.

We need more power at the federal level to stem these losses.  ……..

When asked by our campaigners how they felt about climate change policy, the message they sent back to the party was unequivocal: 370 local ALP branches endorsed our call for 50% renewables by 2030 and credible emission-reduction targets.

Having achieved the policy outcome at the 2015 National Conference, we applied the same methodology to our call for a complete overhaul of Australia’s environmental laws and institutions. And thanks to Bill Shorten, who personally advocated for the reforms, Labor committed to these outcomes at the 2018 National Conference………https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/environmental-wins-at-the-national-labor-conference,12270

January 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

From uranium mining to nature conservation – Kakadu National Park to get $216 million boost,

Kakadu National Park to get $216 million boost, SBS News, 13 Jan 19,     The federal government will invest $216 million in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park to improve road access and tourist facilities. The World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park will receive at least $216 million in funding to improve to improve roads and tourist facilities no matter who wins this year’s federal election.

Labor has pledged $220 million for Kakadu if it wins government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced the coalition’s $216 million package for the Northern Territory site during a visit to the town of Jabiru in Kakadu……https://www.sbs.com.au/news/kakadu-national-park-to-get-216-million-boost

January 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Australian govt manages Kakadu National Park, and must upgrade it, and the town of Jabiru

Show Kakadu the money, insists Moss,https://www.news.com.au/national/northern-territory/show-kakadu-the-money-insists-moss/news-story/d3494eb0e5093466e2becebe1b1ad9bf11 Jan 19

IT is time the Federal Government made clear what its funding plans are for Kakadu National Park and the town of Jabiru, Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said yesterday

IT is time the Federal Government made clear what its funding plans are for Kakadu National Park and the town of Jabiru, Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said WEDNESDAY.

Ms Moss said she is regularly quizzed about the Federal Government’s intentions.

“We have been advocating for a really long time and we have a blueprint that we presented to the Federal Government that has been done in conjunction with Aboriginal traditional owners and we want to make that we see the tired infrastructure upgraded and the complete transformation of Jabiru,” Ms Moss said. “The township is transitioning out of being a mining town into a really pumping tourist town that supports the surrounding communities.

“In line with this we continue to encourage the Federal Government to put the badly needed investment into Kakadu.

“It is a park that is managed by the Federal Government and more needs to be done in Kakadu.

“We love our parks and that’s why we are making investments in Litchfield, Nitmiluk and a whole range of other park estates.

“Kakadu National Park is important to Australia and to our Top End tourism operators. It’s an incredibly important cultural and natural asset for the Territory. This is recognised by its heritage listing.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has committed to working with the Territory Government and Traditional Owners “to ensure the future of Jabiru is settled as soon as possible”, but has not committed to a timeline

January 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Caloundra, South East Queensland an ionising radiation hotspot

Australia records 6,543,223 c.p.m. radiation counts 1-5-2019 

Paul WaldonFight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA    7 Jan 19 Caloundra, a hot spot. 

This is no less than three times that I know of, where this town of more than 42,000 people have been hit with a radioactive cloud, however this time its at a whopping 6,543,223 cpm.

ARPANSA failed to give me an explanation with the previous contamination. Did the media report on it, I don’t know.
I don’t know the cause, but when they can’t control nuclear, they try their best to control the media.Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA https://www.facebook.com/groups/373984659617522/

January 6, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

A third of Australia’s spectacled flying fox population wiped out by extreme heat waves

Extreme heat wipes out almost one third of Australia’s spectacled flying fox population, ABC Far North , 20 Dec 18, By Sharnie Kim and Adam Stephen An extreme heatwave in far north Queensland last month is estimated to have killed more than 23,000 spectacled flying foxes, equating to almost one third of the species in Australia.

The deaths were from colonies in the Cairns area where the mercury soared above 42 degrees Celsius two days in a row, breaking the city’s previous record temperature for November by five degrees.

Ecologist, Dr Justin Welbergen from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (Western Sydney University) is collating the numbers of bat deaths and said it was the second-largest mass die-off of flying foxes recorded in Australia and the first time it had happened to this species.

“These are certainly very serious wildlife die-off events and they occur at almost biblical scales,” he said……..https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-19/heat-wipes-out-one-third-of-flying-fox-species/10632940

December 20, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment | Leave a comment

Bushfire threat to vital koala habitat

Salamander Bay bushfire threatens homes, vital koala habitat in Port Stephens, ABC 11 Dec 18  An entire koala population in Port Stephens could be wiped out after a fire devastated their habitat near Port Stephens, an animal rescue group fears.

An estimated 16 hectares of the Mambo Wetlands, north of Newcastle, was scorched on Monday night, according to Port Stephens Koalas.

The reserve is about 40 per cent of the vital koala habitat.

The blaze broke out near the Salamander Bay shopping centre about 6:30pm and dozens of firefighters spent the night backburning to protect homes.

It burnt away more than 80 hectares of swampy scrub, which made access difficult for fire crews.

The fire flared up to a watch and act level at 3:00am, but weather conditions eased in the early hours and the blaze was brought under control.

Carers from the rescue group today surveyed the damage and fielded calls about stranded and injured wildlife.

Simone Aurino, senior carer at Port Stephens Koalas, said the reserve was one of the most important areas in the Tomaree Peninsula.

“It has a viable breeding population and its central to all the other habitats,” she said.

“It’s a really, really essential habitat.”

Ms Aurino said the blaze would lead to significant flow-on effects which may not be known for some time.

“It has the potential to wipe out the population in this area, it’s really quite devastating,” she said.

“The habitat’s been changed, so the animals are going to move…….https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-11/bushfire-threatens-vital-koala-habitat-in-port-stephens/10605160

December 13, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, environment, Victoria | Leave a comment

Release of Federal Inquiry Report into community contamination from toxic chemicals

On Monday December 3rd a cross-party Parliamentary Inquiry will release its report into the Defence Department’s management into PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases. To date 90 sites and communities in every single state and territory of Australia have been contaminated by this toxic and banned chemical which was used in firefighting foams and has leaked into the environment.
A seven-year study of 69,000 US residents by an independent panel of scientists concluded these body of chemicals were connected to developmental issues in infants and children, increased cancer risk, high cholesterol levels, hormone disruption and lowered immunity.

For years contaminated communities were kept in the dark about their homes being contaminated. For the last four years they have fought tirelessly for their own Government to take responsibility for compensation and clean-up of their polluted properties.

The Inquiry report will detail physical, emotional and financial toll living in a contaminated community has created along with listing recommendations.

Contaminated communities are tired of years of inaction and false claims.

“To date, the Australian Government is a world leader in managing PFAS contamination.”

Letter from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to Williamtown residents. March 2018

Fact–  More than 170 countries have signed a treaty which ban PFAS related chemicals – Australia refuses to.

Fact– PFAS is not only still leaking off Defence bases, airports and industrial sites all around Australia in States such as Queensland it’s still in use at over 200 sites.

Fact – Defence and the Government continues to refuse to provide blood testing for residents at a number of contaminated sites. It will not release collated blood testing results from other sites.

Fact:– Contaminated communities are told not to drink water or eat food from their properties but the Government is dismissive of the international research detailing the health risks of PFAS.

Fact – The Inquiry hearings saw both the Defence Department admit they would welcome a third party stepping in to better manage the PFAS contamination and the Federal Government unable to point to who was coordinating the national response to it handling it.
Contacts: Lindsay Clout, CAP President –  0437 300 377             Chris Fogarty  –  0420 928 824

December 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) determined that a Shorten Labor government must overhaul federal environment laws

Labor to face pressure on environment policies after embarrassing stuff-up, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor@murpharoo, 19 Nov 2018   Party members vow to step up push for national environment protection authority at ALP conference Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) has warned the ALP it will not give up on securing a significant overhaul of federal environment laws in the first term of a Shorten government, and a national environment protection authority to police the framework, despite an embarrassing process stuff-up with the draft policy platform.

draft policy platform signed off by the ALP national executive and circulated to conference delegates last month suggested both policy commitments and a national environment commission would be adopted by the party’s national conference in December – but the shadow environment minister, Tony Burke, has now put the brakes on.

Burke has written to the party’s national secretary, Noah Carroll, arguing the initiatives were not signed off by the national policy forum in September, and the specific commitments were included in the draft platform in error.

Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) has warned the ALP it will not give up on securing a significant overhaul of federal environment laws in the first term of a Shorten government, and a national environment protection authority to police the framework, despite an embarrassing process stuff-up with the draft policy platform…….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/19/labor-to-face-pressure-on-environment-policies-after-embarrassing-stuff-up

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Chifley Research Centre calls for a new and independent Australian environmental protection framework

Labor to face pressure on environment policies after embarrassing stuff-up, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor, 19 Nov 2018    “………Environmental approvals are always a sensitive and divisive political issue, but the internal pressure to strengthen the framework from grassroots ALP members in the run-up to the national conference will be fuelled by a new report from the Labor thinktank, the Chifley Research Centre, to be published on Monday.

The new report, prepared in conjunction with Lean, calls for a new legislative framework to replace the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act “in order to enshrine federal government leadership in issues of national and international environmental importance”.

The Chifley report also calls for the creation of a national environment commission. Chifley’s executive director, Brett Gale, said the commission would have an independent institutional structure and be “responsible for a new development approvals process that would get rid of the current system with its long delays and lack of clarity around development approvals”.

“It would provide open and transparent approvals to set guidelines, thus delivering better outcomes for the environment, communities and business,” Gale says.

He says the commission would have a policy focus, conduct Productivity Commission-style inquiries into major environmental issues, and be an advocate for the environment in the national debate.

The Chifley report says community confidence in the environmental protection framework will be enhanced if an independent regulatory agency led commonwealth development approvals “aided by greater clarity of expectations and design of the approvals process at the outset”……….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/19/labor-to-face-pressure-on-environment-policies-after-embarrassing-stuff-up

November 19, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Federal government’s water gift to Adani exposed

Green Left,   Margaret Gleeson, 15 Nov 18  The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland said new documents raise fresh questions about why the water impacts of Adani’s huge North Galilee Water Scheme will not be assessed under federal laws.

“Queensland is suffering through a severe drought. Despite this, state environment minister Melissa Price decided in September not to apply the “water trigger” assessment on Adani’s proposal to extract river water for up to 60 years, expand a dam and build a pipeline to transport the water to its mine.

This was despite federal environment law dictating that coalmines that are likely to have a significant impact on water resources must undergo a full environmental assessment.

On November 7, the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) said that new documents released under a Freedom of Information request raised fresh questions about why the water impacts of Adani’s huge North Galilee Water Scheme — its pipeline from the Suttor River in Queensland to its Carmichael mine site — will not be assessed under federal laws.

The ABC reported that it had seen documents showing that the federal environment department ruled against water experts from the Department of Agriculture and Water who recommended applying the water trigger to Adani’s plan to pump 12 billion litres of river water to the Carmichael mine. …

“Community groups have questioned why the project’s impacts to water resources will not be assessed under the “water trigger”. The documents received by Lock the Gate confirm the community’s concerns.

A submission from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources advised that the North Galilee Water Scheme could “have a significant impact(s) on a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal development, protected under the EPBC Act”.

A submission from Geoscience Australia also called into question Adani’s own referral documents to the federal government, indicating the company failed to consider groundwater dependent ecosystems, despite there being a large number in the affected area.

EDO Qld principal solicitor Sean Ryan said the contents of the documents were “concerning”.

“These new documents raise serious questions as to why the water impacts of this project are not being thoroughly assessed under federal laws,” Ryan said. … ”

ReadMuchMuchMore at the #GreenLeft Sourcewww.greenleft.org.au/content/federal-government-water-gift-adani-exposed

November 17, 2018 Posted by | environment, Queensland | Leave a comment

Call to Melissa Price, Minister For Coal, (sorry, I meant Environment) to explain why Adani project is OK about water

November 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

16 October 2018 ‘A group of Traditional Owners from the Northern Territory are in Sydney this week
to challenge Origin Energy over claims it has consent for controversial gas fracking plans
across some of the Northern Territory’s most pristine
landscapes, waterways and iconic tourism regions.

Traditional Owners, the Protect Country Alliance and supporters will address
a press conference prior to the AGM, coinciding with the launch of a national campaign
calling on Origin to drop plans to frack the Northern Territory. …

Stuart Nuggett [TraditionalOwner] has travelled from the remote township of Elliott
to attend the AGM on behalf of his community, a region at the heart of Origin’s fracking permit acreage:
‘“Our communities haven’t been given enough information about what Origin is planning for our region.
We are worried about the risks fracking brings.
I have concerns over what the impact could be on water. Water is life.
I want the company to listen to our concerns and act on them.”

May August is an Alawa grandmother and Traditional Owner
for land under the Origin exploration permits:
‘“We don’t want fracking to start in our area because we have seen
the damage Origin and other companies have done elsewhere in Australia. … ‘

dontfracktheterritory.org/media-release-native-title-holders-launch-campaign-challenging-origin-energy-over-nt-fracking-consents/

October 23, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

What can we expect of Australia’s new Environment Minister?

It looks like being Melissa Price – who seems to have a good background in environment, and even believes in climate change!     On the other hand, she previously worked for Crossland Resources, (they may or may not be connected to Crossland Uranium Resources).

WA regional MP Melissa Price set to be new federal environment minister , WA Today By Nathan Hondros, 26 August 2018  Western Australian MP Melissa Price will be promoted to the environment portfolio as part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cabinet shake up.

Ms Price, who represents the North West seat of Durack – the largest single member electorate in the world, assisted former environment minister Josh Frydenberg in the role and is understood to have supported Mr Morrison for the Liberal party leadership……..

Ms Price was a lawyer before entering parliament, working as general counsel for CBH Group and Crosslands Resources Ltd.

She has served on parliamentary committees for Agriculture and Industry, Indigenous Affairs, Infrastructure and Communications, and Northern Australia.

As assistant environment minister, Ms Price has been responsible for climate adaptation and resilience, biodiversity, chemicals, waste, air quality and ozone policy, and was the director of Australia’s national parks. https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/western-australia/wa-regional-mp-melissa-price-set-to-be-new-federal-environment-minister-20180826-p4zzuh.html

August 26, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

The punishing effect on Australia’s environment by rapid population boom

Environment the biggest loser as Australia’s population hits 25 million https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/environment-the-biggest-loser-as-australias-population-hits-25-million,11748   Michael Bayliss 

Australia’s population growth has several disadvantages, one of the main ones being environmentalimpact, writes Michael Bayliss.

AUSTRALIA IS ON THE CUSP of a major demographic milestone. Our population will reach 25 million by mid-August this year.

We were never expected to reach this “milestone” so soon. In 1999, then Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock said that there was no need for a population policy as the nation was on course to reach 23 million “by the middle of next century”.  Not only have we surpassed 23 million, but we are now heading to reach 40 million by 2050.

The consequences of rapid population growth are many. Housing security, job security, traffic congestion and infrastructure are all concerns increasingly felt by many Australians feeling the pressures of growth. It has been reported that population has become a primary political issue among voters this year.

Another casualty of population growth is Australia’s natural environment. If we agree it is impossible to have a healthy economy on a dead planet, then we should be paying more attention to the impacts of growth in our national backyard.

Australia’s population ballooned quicker than any other developed country on the planet from 1990 to 2017, during which time we have grown by 50%. At the same time, Australia is leading the developed world in terms of rapid land clearance. This is no coincidence.

Australia’s leading ecologists agree growth is a major driver of species loss and degradation of habitats in our country. Successive State of the Environment Reports (at both national and state level) have recorded ongoing deterioration of all environmental indicators; increasing population density, urbanisation and settlement patterns have all been cited as leading causes of this deterioration.

The koala and emu, both Australian icons, are fast becoming the poster animals of the victims of urban sprawl and the clearance of native habitat. It is no coincidence that their habitats overlap with the areas of most rapid urban expansion, for example the peri-urban areas around Sydney and Brisbane. It is anticipated that the continual urban expansion in NSW and Queensland will result in a crash of wild koala populations within several decades. We won’t solve this problem by putting solar panels on the new housing estates or hybrid cars on our roads. Endless urban growth corridors will wreck native habitats, regardless of how “green” these new developments are — and most new suburbs are anything but green.

If the impact on other species is not a strong enough motivator for change, perhaps we should consider the impacts of growth for future generations. Take Melbourne, Australia’s fastest growing capital city, for example. Continued urban sprawl will reduce the city’s food bowl capacitysignificantly — from 40% now to around 18% by 2050.

Last year, our emissions grew by 1.5%, whilst the population grew by almost the same amount. The figures speak for themselves. If we grow by the size of a new Canberra every year, our emissions will go up regardless of how innovative we are or how many plastic bags we no longer use.

This highlights the many difficulties for rapidly growing nations such as Australia to meet their responsibilities under the Paris Agreement. For example, to meet the agreement, Australia will need to reduce national emissions by 30% over the next three decades. Adding an extra 50% to our population over the period will make this monumental task even more difficult to achieve and likely to mask any gains achieved in fuel and energy efficiency over the same period.

The “creeping normalcy” of both densification (more apartment blocks) and urban sprawl are easy to overlook against our busy pace of life. At 1.5% per annum, population increase can appear gradual against the rapid rate of change in our world. But the changes over a decade leave a tangible and permanent legacy on our landscape. The remaining strands of forest and open space on the urban fringe will be swallowed by housing estates while productive farmland is converted into roads and concrete. The hasty planning and development that accompanies rapid population growth locks future generations into high carbon living.

t is often asked as to what is Australia’s optimum population size. Whilst this can be difficult to quantify, most of us can agree that Australia cannot grow at 1.5% per annum indefinitely — the laws of physics do not allow for exponential growth on a finite space.

The idea that Australia is a continent of empty plains and that we can solve the problem by moving inland does hold up to scrutiny. Australia is the world’s second driest continent and our only major river system, the Murray-Darling basin, has a fraction of the water flow compared with other major river systems, such as the Mississippi. We are also one of the least fertile continents on earth, with only 6% of our land area arable, mostly around our capital cities and on the coast. It is these very areas that are being encroached on by urban development. It is not viable to densify much of Australia and to suggest so makes almost as much sense as developing Antarctica.

It is critical that as a nation we can move beyond the assumption that we need to keep growing for growth’s sake. It is necessary that we reduce and level off our carbon emissions, the rate in which we destroy our ecosystem and native habitats and the rate in which we concrete over our food bowls. This requires a transition to a post-growth economy, where our per capita consumption andour population remain stable. Only then can any improvements to technology and efficiency have any lasting impact.

August 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment