Media

In Their Own Words...

Liberals | Labor | Greens | Premier Will Hodgman | Labor Leader Bryan Green | Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor

Celebration of Tasmanian Literature in World’s Largest Tasmanian Book Collection

Just Tassie Books
19.01.10 5:49 am

Celebration of Tasmanian Literature in World’s Largest Tasmanian Book Collection

Tuesday 19 January 2010

A diverse range of Tasmanian authors will gather today, at ‘Just Tassie books’ in Hobart, in a celebration of Tasmanian literature. Senator Bob Brown, author of numerous books on Tasmania, will launch the event. Other author’s attending the event include Max Angus, Dan Sprod, Richard Lord, Helen Gee, Graeme Broxam, Mick Lawrence and Joan Goodrick.

Surrounding the authors will be the world’s largest collection of Tasmanian books ever available for sale to the general public. The collection includes some of the most sought after and rare Tasmanian books.

Owner of the collection Duncan Cullen says, “We have more than 2500 titles covering all facets of Tasmania’s bounteous history. It is such a superb collection of books.  Of course the authors of all this wonderful work deserve to be acknowledged, hence today’s celebration.”

“The books are such a valuable testimony of Tasmania’s story.  I wanted all of it to be available to everyone.  I had to open a shop to house them, then people can come and browse and buy.” Cullen said.

Mick Lawrence, nationally renowned local surf icon and author who last week released his first book says “The home of this book collection is a place for stories and to discover our place.”

Senator Bob Brown will be available for comment on the evening.

The celebration will take place at:

Just Tassie Books
248 Elizabeth St
Hobart (near Warwick St)

Between 6 pm and 8 pm.  Speakers Senator Bob Brown and MC Helen Gee will commence from 7 pm.

0 comments

Books | What's On

SRB MEDIA RELEASE - TONY MULDER WORKS ON BACKFLIP SKILLS

Save Ralphs Bay, Jane MacDonald.
19.01.10 4:43 am

Download pdf version at: http://www.saveralphsbay.org/pdf/SRBMedia19Jan10.pdf

“Aspiring Liberal politician Tony Mulder seems to be practising his backflip skills prior to the state election”, said Save Ralphs Bay spokeswoman Jane MacDonald.

During the lead-up to local government elections last October, Ald. Mulder was asked if he personally supported a ban on canal estates within his municipality.  Ald. Mulder’s reply was, “Yes, canal developments are not necessary and environmentally inappropriate.”

Asked if he supported a statewide ban, Ald. Mulder replied, “Yes, for the same reasons.”

Yet at last Monday night’s Clarence City Council meeting, Ald. Mulder voted against Ald. David Traynor’s Motion, ‘That LGAT lobbies the State Government to introduce a ban on all canal-style developments in the State of Tasmania’.  (LGAT is the Local Government Association of Tasmania)”.

“Tony Mulder knows there is widespread opposition to canal estates in the Tasmanian community”, said Ms. MacDonald. 

“Why did he put himself on the record in October as supporting a statewide ban on this style of development and then vote against a Motion designed to promote such a ban?  As he is now an endorsed Liberal candidate for Franklin, is this the voice of Alderman Tony Mulder, or is he following a line prescribed by the Liberal Party?  Clarence City Council ratepayers have the right to know.”

Save Ralphs Bay Inc. calls on Tony Mulder to make his position clear on the issue of canal estates and whether Tasmania should follow NSW and Victoria
in banning these developments. 

Canal housing estates are banned in New South Wales and Victoria because of their damaging environmental consequences. 

—Save Ralphs Bay Inc. : http://www.SaveRalphsBay.org

0 comments

Politics | Local | Environment

Australian Democrats recommit themselves to the fight for same sex marriage

Julia Melland President, Australian Democrats
19.01.10 3:46 am

Media Release, January 18, 2010

Australian Democrats recommit themselves to the fight for same sex marriage

The Australian Democrats have recommitted themselves to fighting for gay and lesbian Australians to have the right to marry.

National President of the Australian Democrats, Julia Melland backed up comments from Tasmanian President James Irvine that the Australian Democrats will keep fighting hard for same-sex marriage. “The Australian Democrats worked hard to help make being gay legal in Tasmania and we’ll keep working until all LGBTI Australians have full equality - including the right to marry,” Ms Melland said.

The comments followed news of a new party in Tasmania that will oppose same-sex marriage and other ‘trendy’ policies.

“There is no justification for keeping Australians oppressed or as second class citizens on the basis of sexual orientation, the majority of Australians support gay marriage, and it does not impact anyone else’s life at all if a same-sex couple are married. In short, I think it is time for those opposed to get over it and stop telling others how to live their lives.”

“Our position on same-sex marriage is backed up by all of our 5 core beliefs - freedom, equality, sustainability, representation and responsibility. This is one fight we won’t back away from and one of the reasons we are working so hard to rebuild the Australian Democrats.”

The Australian Democrats began an intensive rebuilding process last year which included the re-establishment of the Tasmanian Division in December. Ms Melland said that while all policies of the party are under review, the LGBTI Equality policy position is likely to be stronger than ever before once the new policy is formulated.

“The surge of new members and energy in the party in recent months has emboldened those working on the policy review and we look forward to restoring the Australian Democrats position as forward thinkers, leading the way with inspiring and ambitious policy. I expect that the revised LGBTI policy will demand nothing less than full equality - including marriage - and for those rights to be extended now.”

The Australian Democrats respect the fact that some religious communities may have reservations about gay marriage. Under no circumstances will the party support religious communities being compelled to sanction gay marriages, as that would be as much a violation of their rights as the current prohibition on same sex marriage is to gay and lesbian Australians.

0 comments

Politics | State | Society

NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PARTY SLAMMED OVER ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE STANCE

Rodney Croome, TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP
18.01.10 2:30 pm

Media Release
Sunday January 17th 2010


NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PARTY SLAMMED OVER ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE STANCE


“Legal inequality and discrimination are neither ethical nor sustainable.”
- Rodney Croome


Gay activists have dismissed claims by the public officer of the new, Tasmanian, pro-environment Ethics and Sustainability Party, Kathleen Petrovsky, that same-sex marriage is “radical” and “trendy”, and they want a meeting with Dr Petrovsky to discuss the issue.


Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said that same-sex marriage has widespread public support.


“According to opinion polls, same-sex marriage has the support of 60% of Australians, not to mention support from Tasmanian Labor Party state conference and numerous large Australian corporations and unions - it is anything but “radical”, Mr Croome said.


“We will be seeking a meeting with Dr Petrovsky so we can make the point that legal inequality and discrimination are neither ethical nor sustainable.”


In today’s Sunday Tasmanian Dr Petrovsky said, “we feel there are some people who see the Greens as too radical”. After labelling the Greens’ same-sex marriage policy “radical” and “trendy”, Dr Petrovsky said “we don’t believe in changing society and its rules. We believe in the mother, father, children kind of nuclear family. I’m not into gay marriage. I keep telling them (the Greens) to get rid of some of those policies.”


Mr Croome called on Dr Petrovsky to state her party’s positions on other issues such as same-sex parents raising children, and financial and workplace entitlements for same-sex partners.


“I’m sure the young voters Dr Petrovsky says she wants to appeal to will be interested in exactly how deep her party’s prejudices run.”


A national Galaxy Poll conducted in June last year found that 60% of Australians believe same-sex partners should be able to marry, with support highest among young voters. In July last year the Tasmanian Labor Party state conference overwhelmingly endorsed same-sex marriage. Organisations that recognise the same-sex marriages of their employees include Telstra, Westpac, ANZ and the MUA. During the Christmas / New Year period, same-sex marriages were supported by governments in traditionally-conservative Portugal, Mexico and Argentina.


The Tasmanian state election is expected to be held on March 20th this year.


The original Mercury story can be found at
http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/01/17/122035_election.html

3 comments

Politics | State | Society

TASMANIAN DEMOCRATS CRITICISE NEW PARTY’S STANCE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE

Australian Democrats – Tasmanian Division
18.01.10 6:03 am

The Tasmanian Division of the Australian Democrats have criticised the Ethics and Sustainability Party’s position opposing same sex marriage as being neither ethical nor sustainable.

In the Sunday Tasmanian, leader of the Ethics and Sustainability Party, Dr Kathleen Petrovsky, described the push for same sex marriage as a ‘trendy’ policy and said they would oppose it. Australian Democrats Tasmanian Division President James Irvine said it wasn’t trendy, it was the right thing to do.

“How a party claiming to be ethical can support keeping part of our population as second class citizens is beyond me. There is no justification for it.”

“Additionally, it is not sustainable to oppose same sex marriage. Marriage encourages stability, and through stability families can make more long term plans including things like investing in their homes to reduce their environmental footprint. It’s not sustainable policy position either as the world is marching towards allowing gay couples to be legally married and 60% of Australians already support same sex marriage.”

Mr Irvine said that if the support base for the Ethics and Sustainability party is largely professionals, as was reported, that there would undoubtedly be a strong backlash from many of the members of the new party. “The support base for the Australian Democrats in Tasmania also includes many professionals, and they are often the ones pushing hardest for us to continue fighting for same sex marriage, regardless of whether they are personally gay or not.”

“So far the Ethics and Sustainability Party has proven themselves to be unethical, unsustainable, and out of touch with its own base,” Mr Irvine said.

“The Australian Democrats policy on full equality for gay and lesbian Australians has been well established for many years and we will continue the fight until all obstructions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians are overcome.”

James Irvine, Tasmanian Division President
Find out more at http://www.democrats.org.au or http://www.tas.democrats.org.au

Kathryn Crosby
The Rebuild Team
Australian Democrats
(e): .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

17 comments

Politics | State

Fox’d, a novel by B.P.Franklin

Green Place Books, 3 Ormsby Grove, Toorak 3142 Australia Phone : (03) 9 826 1503 Mob: 0413 029 662
17.01.10 7:35 am

The State is at war over the Fox Who brought the fox to island Tasmania?

Find out who - meet the remarkable characters who make Tasmania special Join the Sandy Bay social set at a ‘fabulous’ party and gossiping at Hadleys Entertaining and racy comedy fiction that spies its way across the island of Tasmania, from Hobart through Campbell Town to Stanley, down the east coast through Swansea and Wineglass Bay to Port Arthur, and on up to the high country and Lake St Clair - all at danger from the feral fox.

‘Strong writing voice, confidently handled, certainly have a great ear for dialogue’ - Editor, ABC Books

‘Engaging narrative, enjoyed confident writing style’ - Editor, Allen & Unwin

‘Concise effective descriptions, never too wordy, capture scenes and people perfectly, convey flavour of the people and the personalities involved’
- Editor, Tasmanian Publishing House

2 comments

Books

Christmas present for beekeepers

Bob Davey (President) Saveyourleatherwoodhoney Association
17.01.10 7:06 am

Since the last press release we have been involved in negotiations between the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association and Forestry Tasmania, for the creation of a beekeeping reserve in the Derwent District of the Southern Forest. This process began over 2 years ago, and has resulted in a Community Forest Agreement being entered by the two parties, which creates a substantial apiary reserve, limits for the foreseeable future any timber harvesting and preserves all commercial leatherwood trees in the area affected.

The reserve, (Special Management Zone), comprises an area of 10500 ha around Lake Gordon, (the Wedge Block). The limitation on timber harvesting allows only small areas of the State Forest to be clearfelled where Leatherwood exists. In the area containing the main stands of leatherwood no more than 25ha of timber harvesting is permitted each year. These areas have been calculated to allow all destroyed Leatherwood stands to regenerate over a rotation period of 80 years. Apart from the limitation on timber harvesting where Leatherwood exists, there is to be a “no burn” practise implemented in the limited areas where harvesting is allowed, to give the Leatherwood resource the maximum opportunity to regenerate over the rotation period.

This Agreement covers the last substantial stands of accessible commercial Leatherwood in the South of the State. With proper monitoring and compliance, beekeeping and pollination in the South of Tasmania are now able to continue into the foreseeable future, at least at their present levels. However, anticipated increases in pollination requirements as required will not be met, unless more of the resource is located and made accessible to the beekeepers.

This Association, while itself not being a party to the Community Forest Agreement, has been active as broker and chief negotiator on behalf of the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association .
The mapping of the Commercial Leatherwood stands in the Reserve is continuing and is to be continually upgraded as soon as previously unknown Leatherwood is located by either the Beekeepers or Forestry Tasmania planners. This process has commenced and significant areas have already been located and added to the plan for protection this year. As soon as the plan is amended a copy of the same is made available to the Beekeepers for information and approval. The Plan is posted on Forestry Tasmania`s website and forms part of the compulsory assessment process which must occur before the production of each Timber Harvesting Plan.

The Beekeepers will continue to be responsible for monitoring the harvesting activities, that is, compliance with the Agreement. The Agreement provides for regular meetings between the parties to upgrade the resource maps, discuss the operation of the Agreement and be briefed on the likely coupes to be harvested, all before the final Timber Harvesting Plans are prepared and approved. It also includes a dispute resolution procedure including a provision for independent Arbitration.

Now that the Agreement is in place, it is for the Beekeepers to carry out the ongoing monitoring of its implementation. This Association will only become involved again, if a breach of the Agreement occurs and cannot be resolved by negotiation or arbitration.

We are now turning our attention to the entire Huon District and the Florentine and Tyenna Blocks in the Derwent District, where there still remains some significant stands of the Leatherwood resource. The 3 year plans for these areas have now been received and are being reviewed by the Beekeepers involved. After the review process has taken place, it is intended to again commence negotiations with Forestry Tasmania, with a view to reaching agreement to preserve the Leatherwood in those areas.

All of the above is intended to ensure that the Southern Beekeepers have a secure, and hopefully expanding resource sufficient to sustain their operations in the South, and most importantly, permit the continuation of pollination services to farmers, horticulturalists and seed growers. The reaching of the Agreement for the Wedge Block is a significant step towards this necessary resource security.

The relevant Minister, David Llewellyn MHA, has been supportive and instrumental in this result. We thank him for that.

We particularly thank all our members, the media and other supporters, for their help and support which has been, and will continue to be critical to the ongoing success of our work.

0 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

Warwick Raverty and the pulp mill

Ethics & Sustainability Party
16.01.10 4:57 am

Warwick Raverty has reconsidered the TCF/ECF effluent pollution equivalence section of his media release today and based on now no longer having day-to-day access to the latest published data from TCF/ECF pulp mill effluent environmental impact studies, has modified the media release reasonably significantly. The previous version did reflect his views on the matter prior to retiring from the pulp industry but could possibly now be out-of-date considering the rapid pace of change in environmental studies worldwide.

The updated media release is viewable at the end of http://www.esparty.org

Regards,

Peter Wilson

Interim Vice President of Communication

Ethics & Sustainability Party

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

http://www.esparty.org

0 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

St Giles Open Day

Wendy Summers, St Giles
15.01.10 7:23 pm

(and Kayak Jack Cheque Presentation)

Date:              Saturday, 16th January 2010

Time:            10.00am-2.00pm

Venue :          St Giles, 65 Amy Road, Newstead

NB : The presentation of funds raised during the recent

Kayak Jack adventure will be made to St Giles at 11.30 am.

St Giles Open Day

Create public awareness of our services and facilities
Staff will be available to show visitors through the facilities and answer questions in relation to how our services assist the community

Activities

Free Face Painting
Pony Rides
Jumping Castle
Hungry Clowns
Spray on Tattoos
Monster Garage Sale
Sprint Car display
Sausage Sizzle
Devonshire Teas

0 comments

What's On

Solidarity with the people of Haiti!

Melanie Barnes Socialist Alliance
15.01.10 6:31 pm

The Hobart Branch of the Socialist Alliance has expressed its complete solidarity with the people of Haiti after the extremely destructive earthquake, which has killed at least 100,000 people and has urged all Tasmanians to give all they can to the relief effort.

“Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, so for this to happen seems unfair and cruel to the extreme. The images and scenes emerging from the devastation have touched all the people of the world and Tasmanians are no different. We are urging all supporters of the Haitian people to donate what they can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, which has given concrete aid to Haiti’s grassroots democratic movement since its inception in March 2004 and who will give aid to those most hit by the earthquake.”  Said Melanie Barnes, Socialist Alliance candidate for Denison.

In 2004, Haiti suffered a coup, where the popularly elected president Jean Bertrand Aristade was overthrown and was kidnapped with the support of the US and French governments. This was done, in part, because Aristade wished to raise the minimum wage above its paltry low level.  Haiti now suffers under foreign occupation, sanctioned by the United Nations.

“Obviously the first priority should be the relief effort but this should not blind us to certain realities, which has meant more people died than needed to. Haiti’s, inability to deal with the earthquake is a consequence of the poverty the nation faces but that poverty has emerged out of two centuries of brutal colonial and post-colonial oppression by the United States. Every attempt of the Haitian people to assert their independence, both politically and economically, has been brutally suppressed. So, while immediate aid is needed, the biggest aid the Australian people can give is help facilitate the self-empowerment of Haiti’s people and help bring about the nations true independence. The first step of which would be to end the foreign occupation” continued Barnes.

To donate to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund go to: http://www.haitiaction.net

0 comments

News

WEST COAST COUNCIL CONDEMNED BY TOXICS GROUP

Isla MacGregor Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania
15.01.10 8:14 am

ROSEBERY HOME BUYERS KEPT IN THE DARK OVER POISONS

The Toxic Heavy Metal Taskforce Tasmania is outraged that the West Coast Council is failing to notify property buyers about known levels of heavy metal contaminants on properties in Rosebery.

Spokesperson Isla MacGregor today said “We wrote to the West Coast Council late last year asking about what information Council provided to property buyers about known levels of heavy metal contaminants on Rosebery properties and are very disappointed with the response we received from Council.

Since several residents have now been diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning it is very important that any new property buyers in the area have a right to know about the potential risks from arsenic and other heavy metals.

In areas of Hobart that are contaminated by heavy metals (lead, cadmium and zinc)  from previous smelting activities of the zinc works at Lutana,  people buying property in affected areas receive a pamphlet, put out by the EPA/DHHS , with Council Certificate 337 as part of the conveyancing process.  The inclusion of this pamphlet with Cert 337, came about as a result of community pressure on the Government to make this information routinely available.

The DHHS and EPA appear to be operating under a double standard since the release of the Final Report on the Rosebery toxic heavy metals investigation.  One standard for the city people and another for the remote mining communities.  The West Coast Council are falling in behind and keeping mum on the issue.

Our Taskforce’s inquiries have ascertained that Real Estate Agents on the West Coast are unaware of the inclusion of pamphlets with Cert 337 for purchasing properties in affected Hobart suburbs.

The Local Government Association needs to take responsibility for ensuring uniformity in standards between Councils about contaminated freehold properties and protection of consumer rights” said Isla MacGregor.

Download:
Lutana_Info_Bulletin_2009.pdf
Lutana_Info_Bulletin_2009(2).pdf

0 comments

Politics | Local | State | Environment | Health

Tasmanians preparing for more protests

Lucy Landon-Lane, Pulp the Mill
15.01.10 6:17 am

WHAT: Peaceful Community Protest Information Session

WHEN: 11 am – 2 pm Sunday January 17

WHERE: “Maluna Malaka” 11 Waterton Hall Rd Rowella, 2kms from pulp mill site

Pulp the Mill is gearing up for another year of peaceful protests, and will begin by educating more Tasmanians about how they can participate in protests organized by Pulp the Mill.

“After last year’s three successful actions created by Pulp the Mill, we have had a very positive response from the community.  People are keen to join us in future actions, but we need to ensure that all participants understand the principles of peaceful community protest, to create a basis for trust.” says Lucy Landon-Lane, spokeswoman for Pulp the Mill.

“It is also essential that people comprehend the legal implications of joining us,” she said.

Peter Cundall will also be taking part in the information session.  “The overwhelming majority of Tasmanians are opposed to a massively-polluting, evil-smelling pulp mill, inappropriately sited in the Tamar Valley or anywhere in the State. We will never stop protesting peacefully against the mill and the undemocratic, disgraceful way the pulp mill approval legislation was fast-tracked through Parliament.” he said. 

“Potential Joint Venture Partners, State and Federal Governments can expect further civil disobedience unless the PMAA is repealed, a Royal Commission into the corruption surrounding the pulp mill process is established, and plans to build this mill in the Tamar Valley location are withdrawn,” said Ms Landon-Lane.

Participants will also be able to see the land clearing that has occurred on the mill site.

Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Website: http://www.pulpthemill.org/index.html 

DIRECTIONS (it takes around 45mins from Launceston):

East Tamar Highway: Drive towards Georgetown to the Batman Bridge turnoff, cross the bridge and take the first road on the right: Rowella Rd.  Follow the signs to Lavender House, drive past Lavender House then turn right onto Waterton Hall Rd.  “Maluna Malaka”  is the first gate on the left, number 11.

West Tamar Highway: Go north from Exeter, turn onto Batman Bridge Road and pass the Sidmouth shop.  Take the first main road on the left after the shop: Rowella Rd, and follow directions as above.

2 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | What's On

Out of the Forests and into a Better Future

Now We the People (Tasmania)
14.01.10 10:56 am

SOLUTIONS RALLY
Out of the Forests and into a Better Future

Now We the People (Tasmania) will be staging a rally to offer solutions to the economic, environmental and social problems facing Tasmania

Saturday February 20, 11.00 am on the lawns of Parliament House, Hobart

Speakers: Sen. Christine Milne, Pete Hay, Peter Cundall, Lucy Landon-Lane, and others to be confirmed.

Tasmania is rich with sustainable green energy sources: wind, hydro, solar, tidal.

Our carbon footprint could be neutral.

Come along and express publicly your desire for a cleverer, kinder, more sustainable Tasmania!

To be followed by informal discussion groups.

6 comments

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment | Society

End the Slaughter

Jon Sumby
14.01.10 10:23 am

image

Sea Shepherd support rally
11 am, this Saturday the 16th at the Abel Tasman memorial at Salamanca.
Bob Brown will speak, Xavier Rudd may play plus others.
Hope to see you there and please pass the attached around

2 comments

Politics | National | Environment | What's On

Socialist Alliance Candidates say: Free the Brighton arrestees, put Bartlett on trail for cultural v

Melanie Barnes
14.01.10 6:06 am

In response to the first of many cases around those arrested defending Aboriginal cultural heritage, the Socialist Alliance has called on the government to drop all charges against the protestors and immediately halt its construction of the Brighton Bypass.

”It’s ridiculous that members of Aboriginal community and their supporters have been charged for “trespass”, when all they were doing was trying to protect their heritage from being destroyed by an arrogant and out-of touch government who has a history of trying to push through projects regardless of how unpopular it is. It is reasonable and responsible in the wake of cultural vandalism to try and prevent that destruction. Bartlett should be facing a judge about why he is willing to destroy an Aboriginal heritage site, not those who defend it. If the law cannot recognize the difference between those who destroy heritage and culture and those who protect it, then it confirms Charles Dickens saying that “the law is an ass”, said Melanie Barnes, Socialist Alliance candidate for Denison in the state election.

Bartlett’s attempt at talking tough and setting two-week deadlines is an obvious attempt to intimidate campaigners to back down.

“When you have archeologists comparing the site to Pompeii, it shows how utterly important it is that this site is protected. If Bartlett goes ahead with the project, it will show that this Labor Government doesn’t care about Aboriginal heritage, Aboriginal people nor about history itself. If the bypass can be diverted to ensure that a European heritage house isn’t disturbed, then why can’t the same be applied to Aboriginal heritage? Or better still, why not put the $250 million towards the construction of a fast speed train network between Hobart and Launceston, as a way to both reduce pollution and road fatalities” said Jenny Forward, Socialist Alliance candidate for Franklin.

Both candidates have vowed to continue campaigning against the destruction of Aboriginal heritage and for Aboriginal land rights, both during the election campaign and afterwards.

0 comments

Politics | State | Environment | History | Legal

Free Speech and Tasmania’s Forests On Trial

Hogan Gallery
14.01.10 5:38 am

image
Picture: Matt Newton. Background on TT: HERE: They arrest angels in Tasmania

Opening night This Friday Night.
At Hogan Gallery, Smith St, Fitzroy Melbourne.

Free Speech and Tasmania’s Forests On Trial

Freedom to Speak A Corporate Unmasking
Gunns 20 Fundraising Collaborative Art Exhibition – 20 Artists
15 Jan - 28 Jan 2010

Opening Night 6pm 15 Jan 2010

A selection of the artists involved in the exhibition

Kevin Perkins

Born in 1945 in Launceston, Tasmania, furniture designer-maker, Kevin Perkins takes inspiration in conservation issues and a sense of place elicited by the history, traditions, forests and wildlife of his
home-state. Perkins is passionate about demonstrating the rich diversity of Tasmanian timbers - in contrast to bland plantation timbers - and continues to highlight the natural beauty of these materials through the strong sculptural forms of his work. He studied Joinery at Technical College in 1965 and studio sculpture in 1973. He has established a reputation over four decades as Australia’s foremost maker of fine timber furniture. He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, recently including Material Culture (2005) at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Convergence (2005), which toured to Hobart, San Francisco and Chicago. Perkins’ work is included in many important collections including the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Tasmanian Wood Design Collection, Launceston. His collaborative commissions date back to 1980 and include the extraordinary refurbishment of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Perkins retired from teaching in 2006, after lecturing at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart, for twenty-five years, to work full-time on his own furniture production.

Matthew Newton

Matthew Newton is an independent photographer based in Hobart. He works with both moving and still images. He has shot documentaries that have been broadcast nationally and regularly photographs for editorial and news publications throughout Australia.
http://www.matthewnewton.com.au

Awards
Finalist National Photographic Portrait Prize 2010
Finalist Hutchins Art Prize - works on paper 2009
Finalist Olive Cotton Portrait Prize 2009
Finalist Head On Portrait Prize 2008
Finalist Walkley Awards for Journalism excellence 2007
Finalist Leica/CCP Documentary Award 2007

Rob Blakers

Rob has worked as a landscape photographer in Tasmania for almost 30 years and has seen both extraordinary beauty and profound loss in the island’s wild places.  The quest to find images that might represent the loveliness and the tragedy of the endangered natural world underpins Rob’s photographic work.
http://www.robblakers.com/

Elizabeth Barsham

Elizabeth Barsham has had paintings hung in the Blake Prize and other major exhibitions. Her paintings have won many awards and have been acquired by private collectors world wide.  Elizabeth teaches Adult Education classes in drawing and painting, and you can see recent work on her website,
http://www.tasmanian-gothic.com .

Andrew Donohoe

Andrew Donohoe is a printmaker living in the Upper Huon Valley. His work is influenced by the natural environment and the magnificent and majestic forms of the Ancient threatened and quickly vanishing
forests.

Michael Schlitz

Michael Schlitz is a printmaker based in Huonville, Tasmania. He makes work about, environmental and psychological issues he encounters in this region.

Wolfgang Glowacki

Wolfgang is a multi award winning nature and wilderness photographer based in Hobart, Tasmania. He is passionate campaigner for the protection of wild places and his images have been used in many campaigns over that last seven years in Tasmania. See his work at
http://www.wolfgangglowacki.com.au.

Selena de Carvalho

Selena de Carvalho is Tasmanian based artist and maker of things. She moved to Tasmania in 2002 and has (not in-) bred with an Apiarist allergic to Bees.

Aviva Hannah

Aviva Hannah is an eco-scientist and artist, a visual ecologist.  She has participated in many exhibitions and protests in relation to deforestation in Tasmania. Aviva Hannah also travels and performs
whilst journaling and drawing.

John McColl

John McColl has been sculpting professionally in the mediums of ceramic, wood, bronze and ferro cement for the past 28 years. Being a passionate surfer, he draws much of his inspiration from the natural world.

Marcus Tatton

Trained as a furniture designer, Marcus has worked as a full time sculptor in Tasmania over the last 15 years.  He camps in the clearfell coupes and carves large hollow vessels from waste logs insitu.  Marcus also creates public sculptures in cast concrete, steel and other industrial waste.  The works are mostly shown in National sculpture forums like Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi, NSW and Helen
Lempriere Sculpture Award in Victoria.

Nishant Datt

Nishant is a photographer and forest defender based in Tasmania, originally from India.  Nishant documents Tasmania’s threatened wilderness and forest defense actions, from the frontline, often from
a tree sit perch.

Peter Van Der Pasch

Peter is a photographer, aborist and forest defender based in Tasmania, with a passion for trees and wilderness. Peter documents life in the tree tops and on the frontline and forest actions.  Peter
is based in Tasmania, originally from New Zealand.

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Arts | Economy | Environment | What's On

ANTI TASMANIA TOMORROW BANNERS TRIAL RUN

Greg Brown AEU President Secondary Colleges/PY10
13.01.10 4:02 pm

David Bartlett and his Labor government to be made accountable for their disastrous Tasmania Tomorrow experiment

The Post Year 10 Division of the Australian Education Union has produced a series of banners which will be displayed around Tasmanian roads in the lead up to the March state election.

The banners read: SAVE OUR COLLEGES. BRING BACK TAFE.

The first salvo in what is shaping up to be a bitter pre-election campaign to bring an end to Tasmania Tomorrow, David Bartlett’s failed education experiment, will be fired tomorrow (14/01/10). In a trial run, the new banners will be on display at 10.30am outside the Engineers Building near 1 Davey Street, Hobart.

The AEU Secondary Colleges President, Greg Brown, said: “Our anti Tasmania Tomorrow banners will be displayed at peak hours from now until the state election. David Bartlett is continuing to use students as guinea pigs in his Tasmania Tomorrow experiment. The Secondary College Sector and TAFE Division of the union have voted overwhelmingly to hold him and his government accountable for the damage that they have done to Tasmanian Post Year 10 education. This is the first in a long list of activities that we will be undertaking as the election approaches.”

Where: 1 Davey Street, Hobart (near the Engineers Building

When: Thursday (tomorrow) 14 January 2010 at 10.30am

Politics | State | Education | What's On

ARSENIC CONFIRMED IN ROSEBERY PETS’ TESTS

Marsha Stejskal Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania
13.01.10 10:21 am

13th January 2010
Kay Seltitzas spokesperson for the Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania has today released results of pathology tests on domestic cats that lived in Rosebery.

“Last year, Marsha Stejskal had her two cats tested by independent pathology laboratories in Melbourne and California and we have decided to release these results today for the first time.

The results of blood tests and hair analysis have confirmed that Marsha’s two cats are poisoned with arsenic and other heavy metals.

Marsha Stejskal had intended to also get faecal tests but the pathology laboratory advised that due to the positive results for arsenic in the blood this would be unnecessary and costly.

Marsha’s cats are both now seriously ill and suffering from intermittent severe diarrhea and neurological disorders including paralysis and fits.

I have had a family of dogs, three of which died with terrible deaths, one of whom had been diagnosed by my vet with copper poisoning.  Although I am now living away from Rosebery my two dogs Sam and Sass also suffer from the symptoms of arsenic and other toxic heavy metal poisons.

Our Taskforce want the Minister for Health Lara Giddings to ensure that a new Population based Health and Environmental Survey in Rosebery includes an independent Animal Testing Program which residents who have concerns about their pets health conditions can have their pets thoroughly tested.

DHHS advice to residents to restrain their pets from drinking seepage in the Rosebery township may not be good enough.

Residents,  or would be residents of Rosebery have a right to know if the town is a safe place to have or to take pets” Said Kay Seltitzas.

Politics | Local | State | Economy | Environment | Health | Legal

Action on Climate Change firmly put on the state election agenda

Climate Action Hobart
12.01.10 10:47 am

Climate Action Hobart launches benchmarks for Tasmanian Climate policy


Hobart Local community group Climate Action Hobart launched an exciting new initiative today called Ten Steps for a Safe Climate - Tasmania’s contribution to preventing dangerous climate change.


Ten Steps for a Safe Climate presents ten actions that the newly elected Tasmanian Government can immediately implement to drive Tasmanias transition to a sustainable low-carbon future.


Tasmania must do what it can to help avoid dangerous climate change. We have developed these ten steps to assist all Tasmanian politicians and political parties in their responsibility to secure a safe climate for Tasmanian families now, and into the future said Jess Wright spokesperson for Climate Action Hobart.


This initiative has been supported by climate and sustainability groups from communities around the state. It has been developed with input from community members, industry experts, Tasmanian business owners, and members of the Tasmanian scientific community.


The Tasmania community is expecting the newly elected Tasmanian Government to adopt and implement these ten steps for a safe climate said Ms Wright.


The adoption and implementation of these policy points will increase opportunities for all Tasmania to lead happier and healthier lives and avoid the risks associated with climate change for Tasmanian families said Phil Harrington, renewable energy expert and spokesperson for Climate Action Hobart.


Ten Steps for a Safe Climate includes reducing emissions by 60 percent by 2020, producing 100% renewable energy by 2020, protecting existing native forest carbon stores, reducing energy use and investing in sustainable cities and low-carbon commuter transport.


Climate Action Hobart believes that the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks to produce a global climate deal in December makes it even more urgent for State Governments to start taking serious actions to avoid the risks of climate change.


The time to act is now. Tasmania could be a beacon of hope for the world and lead by example by adopting and implementing these ten positive steps for a safe climate concluded Ms Wright.


Climate Action Hobart will be commenting on Tasmanian political partys existing and any new announced climate policies on their website http://www.climateactionhobart.org including throughout the state election campaign.

Climate Action Hobart (http://www.climateactionhobart.org) formed in March 2009 as a group of concerned community members to promote community involvement in achieving strong climate policy in Tasmania.

Politics | State | Economy | Environment

FLORENTINE FOREST COMMUNITY INFORMATION DAYS

Inger and Lynda
12.01.10 7:56 am

Derwent Valley residents invite you to join them at

FLORENTINE FOREST COMMUNITY INFORMATION DAYS

Join knowledgeable people in a friendly community atmosphere and learn about the many values of the Upper Florentine Forest.

Starting at 11am, meet 21km west of Maydena on Gordon River/Lake Pedder Road.

We welcome photographers, bird watchers, botanists, bushwalkers and all others interested

BYO picnic lunch, water, sturdy footwear, binoculars and cameras.

Bring friends and carpool. Children welcome.

SUNDAYS 24th January and 28th February

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Environment | What's On

Restraint, not pork barrelling

Tom Ellison, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
12.01.10 7:18 am

FUTURE generations will still be paying for the Bartlett Government’s election promises, according to a Tasmanian analyst.

Tom Ellison, general manager of advisory firm Wills Financial Group, said the State cannot afford to be plunged further into debt by a Government determined to hang on to power at any cost.

``What Tasmanians, and Tasmanian businesses are seeking, is leadership,’’ Mr Ellison said.  ``People are looking for a sign that the current Government is prepared to face the challenges of the next decade, not just those of the few weeks remaining before the State Election’’.

``The Howard Government lost power after squandering billions of dollars in the year before losing power,’’ Mr Ellison said.  ``It seems David Bartlett hasn’t learned from that.

With the Budget still under pressure for the life of the forward estimates, Mr Ellison said the focus should be on fostering the growth of small business, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

``Small business is the key driver of the State’s economy.’’ 

``Yet the Bartlett Government seems preoccupied with relying on infrastructure spending to keep the economy afloat,’’ Mr Ellison said.

``Building roads and bridges with Commonwealth funding might provide a short-term economic benefit for the State,’’ he said.  ``But infrastructure spending is a one-off; once completed, the jobs dry up.’’

While recognising that public service job cuts are off the agenda for now, Mr Ellison said further rash election commitments in coming weeks would force future Governments to slash the size of the public sector.

``Tasmania is a small State, with limited capacity to generate revenue,’’ he said.  ``What we need is restraint, economic responsibility, and a clear economic vision from Government,’’

``Without that, we face a bleak future; saddled with debt, and limited capacity for future Governments to ensure Tasmania remains the best place in the world to live.’’

Writers | Tom Ellison | Politics | State | Economy

Will Gunns burn native forest timber in its pulp mill power station?

Vica Bayley, Wilderness Society
11.01.10 6:59 am

The Wilderness Society today questioned the wood supply for the power generator attached to Gunns’ proposed pulp mill and reinforced the fact that for the community to have full confidence the pulp mill will not use native forests, all relevant wood supply deals must be renegotiated.

Gunns information shows that the pulp mill’s power generator would burn 500,000[1] tonnes of forest products. It currently has a separate wood supply deal with Forestry Tasmania to supply up to 200,000[2] tonnes of wood products for burning in a wood-fired power generator. 

“If the Tasmanian community is to believe Gunns’ claims that its proposed pulp mill will be 100% plantation based then the company must rule out using any native forests in the project, including the wood-fired power generator,” said Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Campaign Director for The Wilderness Society.

“To demonstrate it is genuine, Gunns must take immediate steps to renegotiate the native forest wood supply agreements.”

Tasmania currently has three native forest-fed power generation proposals waiting for investment. Forestry Tasmania are proposing two - one at Southwood and one in the north-west, while Gunns has one as a component of the pulp mill proposal.

“Native forest-fired power generators would only continue industry’s dependence on the conflict-ridden logging of native forests and would undermine the job of building a clean, clever reputation for our state,” said Mr Bayley.

“Native forest logging has proven impacts on threatened species, water catchments and climate change. Generating electricity for public consumption by burning these forests is bad for both the environment and the future direction of Tasmania.”

“Gunns must take steps to rule out native forest-fired power, to protect Tasmania’s image and help give credibility to its plantation-based pulp mill claims,” concluded Mr Bayley.

Website: http://www.wilderness.org.au

[1] http://www.gunnspulpmill.com.au/iis/default.php

[2] http://www.forestrytas.com.au/uploads/File/pdf/Gunns%20SOPSA.pdf (page 11)

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

TASMANIAN LOSSES ON POKIES PASS $200 MILLION FOR 2009

Kim Booth MP Greens Gaming spokesperson
11.01.10 6:13 am

http://www.tas.greens.org.au
The Tasmanian Greens today revealed that Tasmanians lost $17,614,674 on poker machines during the month of November 2009, taking the total Tasmanian losses on poker machines in 2009 to more than $200 million, with the loss figure from December still to come.

Greens Gaming spokesperson Kim Booth MP said Tasmania cannot afford the huge amounts of money being siphoned out of families’ pockets by poker machines, and again called on the Bartlett Government to implement a $1 per bet limit on pokies to reduce loss rates, and to remove pokies from the suburban pubs and clubs where they are inflicting serious economic and social harm.

“The latest figures reveal that Tasmanians lost more than $17 million on pokies during November 2009, which has now taken Tasmanian losses on poker machines to $202,382,939 for 2009, with the loss figure from December yet to be revealed,” Mr Booth said.

“Tasmania is facing the appalling reality of losing over $220 million in 2009 to the scourge of pokies and Labor needs to do more than just fiddle around the edges of the problem, as it did with last year’s Gaming Control Amendment Act (2009), it needs to take some real action by reducing loss rates and removing pokies from Tasmania’s pubs and clubs.”

The Tasmanian Gaming Commission releases the monthly pokies loss figures in arrears.  Thus the December 2009 losses will be released at the end of January this year.

Treasury and Finance website reference:
http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/dtf/dtf.nsf/alls-v/CD36BFC11D136484CA2575E10006E703

Politics | State | Economy | Personal | Society

Greens’ Fairer Energy Concessions Policy Welcomed

Our Island Our Voices The campaign for a Fairer Tasmania
08.01.10 12:39 pm

The Our Island Our Voices campaign for a fairer Tasmania has today welcomed the release of the Tasmanian Greens “Fairer Energy Concessions” policy initiative.

Campaign spokesperson Jo Flanagan said the policy initiatives would, if implemented, directly assist thousands of low-income Tasmanians meet the rising cost of essential energy services.

“With the price of electricity and gas expected to increase dramatically over coming years, it is vital we have effective safeguards in place to protect low-incomes Tasmanians from fuel poverty, where they unable to afford energy for basic things like heating and cooking.” Ms Flanagan said.

“The Tasmanian Greens policy contains a number of new safeguards to assist Tamanians on a low-income meet the rising cost of energy that we would like to see implemented by whichever party wins Government on March 20.”

“These include a committment to provide additional financial support to pensioners and health care card holders, as well as families with multiple children, acknowledging that larger families have greater energy use then an average household.”

“Importantly, both the Greens and Labor have now promised to index the concession provided to low-income households to assist with the cost of electricity to future price rises for these essential services.”

Politics | State | Economy | Personal

CALL FOR INDPENDENT MEDICAL SPECIALISTS TO HEAD UP THE NEW ROSEBERY HEALTH INVESTIGATION

Marsha Stejskal Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce Tasmania
08.01.10 12:25 pm

image
Rosebery residents

The Toxic Heavy Metals Taskforce has today called on the Minister for Health Lara Giddings to appoint two independent medical specialists to head up the new Rosebery Health Investigation into heavy metal poisoning.

Spokesperson for the Taskforce Isla MacGregor has today said

“Our Taskforce has no confidence in the current Director of Health Dr Roscoe Taylor or his Deputy Director Dr Chrissie Pickin to establish an effective new health investigation in Rosebery given the failure of the previous investigation.

Our Taskforce want to see the appointment of a well qualified physician with experience in neurology and a clinical toxicologist with RECENT “HANDS ON EXPERIENCE” in the examination of patients with diagnosed heavy metal poisoning particularly arsenic, lead and cadmium.

We are aware that specialists with this expertise may not be available in Australia.

THE ADVICE OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO LOCATE SUCH MEDICAL EXPERTS RATHER THAT ‘ACADEMIC’ PROFESSORS WITH NO REAL CLINICAL EXPERIENCE.

THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF TASMANIA NOW RECOGNISES THAT THE ROSBERY RESIDENTS ARE SUFFERING FROM SERIOUS ILLNESS.

RECENT SPECIALIST CONSULTATIONS HAVE CONFIRMED THE SERIOUS NATURE OF THE ILLNESSES.

The last investigation in Rosebery was clearly a waste of taxpayers money and given the number of people now diagnosed with serious health effects from heavy metal poisoning any new investigation will need to be fully resourced and appropriate medical specialist appointments made.

It has been unacceptable given the failure of the previous DHHS investigation that Dr Taylor has publicly attacked poisoned residents for not cooperating with the DHHS investigation.

THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH APPEARS TO HAVE NO REAL UNDERSTANDING OF HIS DEPARTMENT’S FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND OR RELATE TO THE RESIDENT’S IN A HUMANE WAY.

THE RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO BE DISTRESSED BY THEIR ILLNESS AND THE FAILURE OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO COPE WITH AND RELATE TO SICK PEOPLE.

[THERE ARE NUMEROUS REFENCES AND EXAMPLES IN THE PROJECT TEAM’S “ROSEBERY” REPORT WHICH DEMONSTRATE THE ABJECT FAILURE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT’S ABILITY TO CARRY OUT A PROPER, MEDICALLY-BASED INVESTIGATION WITH COMPASSION AND MEDICAL EXPERTISE.

If the Rosebery community are to have confidence in any new health investigation in Rosebery they will need to have access to a Health Advocate to ensure that communication with the Department is open and effective. Our Taskforce has made this request to Dr Roscoe Taylor for him to appoint a Health Advocate for Rosebery residents as soon as possible.”

Politics | State | Environment | Health

Gunns moves towards Common Ground

Rod West, Our Common Ground
07.01.10 6:06 pm

Today’s announcement by Gunns shows Tasmania does not have to choose between jobs creation and forest protection.  By using our plantations Tasmania can have both.

Spokesperson Rod West said “Our Common Ground has said since its inception that world timber markets are changing.  Gunns announcement is proof of this.”

“We welcome Gunns’ move to make the proposed pulp mill one hundred percent plantation based. This is an important step forward,” added Mr West.

This is in line with the growing market demand and shift within the global timber industry towards plantation based products, not those derived from the destruction of native forests.

Mr West said that “It’s positive to see Gunns starting to put old fights behind them and we encourage Gunns to make the same kind of transition in the rest of its timber operations.”

“Gunns ought now complete this transition by getting out of native forests. This will also remove the conflict over the logging of these forests.”

This will be the kind of solution Tasmania needs so we can have secure jobs and our beautiful native forests.

The fibre a mill processes is an important part of sustainability, but not the only part.

First, Gunns will need to address the mill’s location in order to resolve the conflict around the mill. All opinion polls show that Tasmanians do not support a mill in the Tamar Valley.

Second, the management of it’s plantations also needs to be reviewed. In particular, they must start implementing integrated catchment management framework. This includes ending the use of pesticides which contaminates surrounding land and water.

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

PREMIER BARTLETT CHALLENGED TO ENCOURAGE GUNNS TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP OUT OF NATIVE FORESTS

Paul Oosting, Wilderness Society
07.01.10 6:03 pm

Following its welcome of Gunns’ announcement to rule out using native forests in its pulp mill, The Wilderness Society today challenged Premier David Bartlett to work with the logging industry, conservation groups and the community to help Gunns make the transition out of its current dependence on native forest logging and into the existing plantation estate.

“Premier Bartlett’s comments that welcome the plantation commitment for the pulp mill highlight the reality that native forest logging is environmentally destructive and not acceptable in today’s market places,” said Paul Oosting, pulp mill campaigner for The Wilderness Society.

“While Gunns’ claims that the pulp mill will not use native forests, the company’s ongoing operations are logging, burning and woodchipping native forests across the state, including oldgrowth and rainforests.”

“The shift of the pulp mill feedstock to plantations represents the future direction of the timber industry and Premier Bartlett must work with all stakeholders to help the Tasmanian industry meet international standards by moving away from logging native forests.”

In the last financial year Gunns exported 3.1 million tonnes of woodchips, the majority from Tasmania’s native forests. The Wilderness Society asks “If the Premier supports the pulp mill only consuming plantation timber, why does he want to keep a wood supply agreement that is based on providing native forest woodchips to Gunns?”

“Until Tasmanians see Gunns’ native forest wood supply deals renegotiated and ancient forests properly protected, Tasmania’s forests will continue to be logged, burnt and exported overseas and they won’t have confidence that native forests will never be used in the mill,” said Mr Oosting.

“Premier Bartlett needs to ensure there is a solution for the entire logging industry, where forests are protected and the industry achieves a social licence by shifting into the existing plantation estate,” concluded Mr Oosting.

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Environment

Nordea Backs Away From Gunns’ Pulp Mill

Paul Oosting, Wilderness Society
07.01.10 4:59 pm

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE 7 January 2010

trong>

For the first time, Nordea bank announced today that it would not finance the Gunns’ pulp mill in Australia if its widely publicised environmental impacts were not curbed. 

The announcement, made by Nordea via Twitter, came in response to a two-day blitz of public pressure. The campaign kicked off with an action from global campaign network Avaaz.org, and triggered engagement from thousands of Scandinavian citizens including many Nordea customers and shareholders. 

“Avaaz.org members across Scandinavia have sent over five thousand emails and Twitter messages to Nordea in just the last two days to protect vital forests in Australia,” said Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel. “Many were customers threatening to take their business elsewhere if Nordea financed a pulp mill that will destroy some of the most important forests in the world.” 

Nordea Communication Director Rune K. Sjøhelle responded to Avaaz’s public Twitter petition today with the announcement that Nordea “would not finance a project in the form presented in the media so far.” (See full text below and at http://act.ly/1kz ).

However, campaigners are working to ensure that Nordea lays out clear and strong environmental standards to use in evaluating whether to finance the mill. 

“Until last week, Nordea was one of the only banks in the world that hadn’t ruled out financing the project in its current form,” said Paul Oosting, pulp mill campaigner for The Wilderness Society. 

“Now Nordea must make clear the specific standards by which they would evaluate the project,” said Mr. Oosting.

In response to public outcry, more than 15 leading banks around the world - including all those in Australia - have publicly declined to finance the mill. One Scandinavian company, Södra, has said that it would only consider the project given specific safeguards. Campaigners say that Nordea’s safeguards must be at least as strong as Södra’s and include moving the proposed mill to a more suitable site where it won’t impact human health and local fishing, farming and tourism.

“Gunns Ltd must not be permitted to shop around for a financier with the lowest environmental standards,” said Mr. Oosting. “Nordea should join Södra and insist that any pulp mill development be totally chlorine free, Forest Stewardship Council certified, fully assessed to community standards, draw 100% on existing plantations rather than native forests and be situated in a different location. 

“It’s clear that Nordea is listening to its customers,” said Mr. Patel. “Now it’s time for Nordea to do the right thing and earn its customers’ applause.” 

The campaign illustrates the growing reach of global civil society groups to shape the actions of international corporations. 

“This campaign started with Australian Avaaz members asking Scandinavian members to take action,” Mr. Patel noted. “With new high powered global citizens’ movements like Avaaz, corporations and banks will face responsibility everywhere for what they do anywhere.” 

Full statement from Nordea:

Nordea has not made any decision or commitment to finance the project in Tasmania.

When customers approach us regarding new projects, we obviously consider whether it is possible to provide financing for the project according to our policies and procedures. Social and environmental impacts are always included in our evaluation of new projects, and we do not finance projects in conflict with international norms.

We cannot comment on potential customer relationships. However, we would not finance a project in the form presented in the media so far.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, Nordea is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the UNEP FI, the Equator Principles, and supports the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises.

Rune Kibsgaard Sjøhelle

Head of External Communications

Nordea Bank

Resources:

Nordea Communication Director Rune K. Sjøhelle responds to twitter petition: http://act.ly/1kz

Avaaz.org action page: http://avaaz.org/en/no_pulp_mill/

More information: http://avaaz.org/nordea

Avaaz.org is a global campaign network of 3.8 million citizens who take action for a more just and peaceful world. “Avaaz” means “Voice” in many languages.

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

GUNNS UNABLE TO SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES

TAP Into A Better Tasmania
07.01.10 8:19 am

TAP Into A Better Tasmania say Gunns Ltd’s recent announcement that pulp mill feedstock will now be sourced soley from plantations continues to ignore the community’s principal concern in relation to the proposed pulp mill: its Tamar Valley location.

“The fact Gunns now intend using only plantation timber doesn’t alter the fact the Tamar Valley is completely the wrong place to build their proposed pulp mill. The community has repeatedly said so for five years, and people won’t suddenly change their minds now,” said Anne Layton-Bennett, a spokesperson for TAP Into a Better Tasmania.

TAP say plantations themselves are not universally endorsed by the Tasmanian community. While controversial State Government approval enabled these monocultures to be established on prime agricultural land, plantations are now increasingly being criticised for the economic and social damage they cause to rural communities. As well as job losses, plantations are widely regarded as responsible for the degradation and destruction of water catchments due to an excessive need for irrigation, and pollution from the forest industry’s aggressive use of pesticides and aerial spraying. 

“The health of both people and wildlife is already at constant, serious risk from the toxic chemicals used on plantations. Hazardous chlorate chemicals that would be used by the proposed pulp mill will further increase the threat to our health and wellbeing,” Ms Layton-Bennett said.

“Gunns will never receive the community’s support for its proposed mill while the company arrogantly continues to ignore people’s concerns about pulp mill effluent and emissions. Toxic effluent will poison the marine environment on a daily basis with its cancer-causing dioxins, and foul gas emissions will pollute the air we all breathe – as far away as 60kms from the pulp mill site,” she said.

“TAP does not believe a pulp mill will benefit the Tamar Valley economy in any way. Quite the reverse. It will inevitably have a detrimental effect on the region’s exceptional tourism attractions, as well as its internationally recognised reputation for fine wines and fine foods. This dirty, polluting mill will result in jobs and employment opportunities being lost, along with the region’s priceless clean, green reputation,” Ms Layton-Bennett concluded.

Politics | Local | National | State | Forestry | Gunns | Economy | Environment

CD LAUNCH CONCERT- THE PROPHET: MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE POETRY OF KAHLIL GIBRAN

Joseph Tawadros
07.01.10 7:13 am

image

When: Thursday 8pm, 21st January, 2010

Where: St. Stephen’s Church; 189 Church St, Newtown

Solo Oud: Joseph Tawadros

Poetry Reading: Professor Ahmad Shboul

Tickets: $25 Adult/$20 Concession

Bookings: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

http://www.birdland.com.au/catalogue/category634/p57351

THE PROPHET: MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE POETRY OF KAHLIL GIBRAN CD with 32 page colour book AVAILABLE NOW!

http://WWW.BIRDLAND.COM.AU

JOSEPH TAWADROS

Prolific Composer and Oud Master at 26

THE PROPHET

MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE POETRY OF KAHLIL GIBRAN

Joseph Tawadros never ceases to amaze and at 26, this young Australian is heading to great heights. With a Freedman Fellowship under his belt, two young Australian of the year nominations, two limelight awards, four ARIA nominations and six albums to his name. He continues to appear at festivals and concert halls throughout the world, dazzling audiences with his brilliant technique, his passionate musicianship and his joyous style of performance.

In his latest release, Joseph goes totally solo in a special recording, transporting us into another world with the magical sounds of the Oud (fretless Egyptian lute). “It is my most important recording to date”, Joseph says. “I’ve been looking for the right time to record a solo album and I believe this recording has come at exactly the right time. It is a vulnerable and transparent body of work which hides none of my emotions and feelings as a musician and person. It really scares me, but excites me at the same time; something which is all apart of the beauty of music making and growth.”

Kahlil Gibran’s much loved book, The Prophet is the inspiration behind Joseph’s 6th album. This literary classic, philosphically addresses topics such as Love, Pain, Work, Reason and Passion, Children and Friendship through poetry, and Joseph has composed music relating to each topic.

“The book was such an inspiring source and I was so taken by Gibran’s comforting views on life. The compositions seemed to flow naturally to me after reading Gibran’s amazing book.” Asked about his book in 1923, Gibran replied ‘It wrote me’. “I feel exactly the same way about these compositions, ‘they wrote me’ and I’ve learnt so about myself as a musician and human.”

It also comes in a very special package too, with a 32 page full colour hard cover book featuring Gibran’s poems accompanying the CD. This album is a remarkable body of work which showcases a young Australian composer of musical maturity way beyond his years. It places Joseph squarely in the ranks of the world’s greatest Oud players and is destined to become a classic in its own right.

Born in Cairo in 1983, Joseph came to Australia at 2 years of age. By the age of 12 he was a seasoned concert performer, playing alongside his teacher Mohamed Youssef. He was encouraged to explore the musical parameters of the instrument and the traditional Egyptian Taqasim, a performing style based on modal improvisation. Tawadros has since developed a truly unique and distinctive personal style, and his compositional freshness and virtuosity are both evident on THE PROPHET.

Joseph has performed with many celebrated artists such as Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Song Company, Ivry Gitlis, Camerata Salzburg, Slava Grigoryan, Zakir Hussain, Sultan Khan, Mamadou Diabate, Riley Lee, Katie Noonan, Lior and Neil Finn to name a few.

“One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia…with a dazzling technique dispensing hair raising tempos…his writing displays a real depth of emotion…revelling in a zest for life and celebration” - The Australian

“Tawadros is a master of his instrument, an excellent composer and an inspired improviser, worthy of being a headline act at any world music festival” - Advertiser

“The brilliance of our own Joseph Tawadros has ensured most music lovers are aware of the magic to be generated on that fretless lute, the oud…Intense and evocative with passages of hurtling virtuosity”- Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.emix.com.au

Arts