Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Environment

Election 2019 … Who will protect Australia’s environment?

Moonset over the Tarkine’s energetic shoreline.  Pic: Ted Mead

What future government will save the Tarkine’s grand rainforest, stop the insidious Adani coalmine, or protect our fragile reefs and river systems from ecological collapse?  So far in this 21st century there hasn’t been many inspiring revelations from our conservative political parties. So who can we hopefully rely on then?

Given the dire straits that the Australian landscape will face from climate change in the near future, then the 2019 Federal election should be focused on addressing the alarming prognosis of ecological disasters.h

Late in 2018, the shadow minister for the environment Tony Burke released a statement claiming that, Labor, if elected, would introduce new protection measures for Australia’s natural heritage. This would be conducted by creating an Australian Environment Act, and a Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The new legal framework will compel the Australian government to actively protect our unique natural environment and demonstrate national leadership”“Labor will establish a high powered working group of experts including scientists, environmental lawyers and public policy thinkers to refine the clear concepts that underpin this reform”

https://www.tonyburke.com.au/media-releases/2018/12/16/media-release-labor-will-act-to-bring-environment-laws-into-21st-century?fbclid=IwAR1_ezNyh5DZBq0jPdZe7M01yfbDOYPTgJsr7F7NmlX3n4uzUw2hEjLhO10

Based on history, then if a Federal EPA is as easily influenced by politics and big-business as the EPA is in Tasmania then any new so-called protection agency is not worthy of the paper it is written on.

It seems the main thrust of the proposed Federal environment laws will be to revise and strengthen the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and through new legislation attempt to convince Australians that Labor will be proactive on protecting our natural heritage.

Of course one should not assume that the Australian Labor party will suddenly come out of the starting blocks after the 2019 Federal election and immediately dedicate new national parks or establish a broad formal reserves system across the country that is notably protected through a strengthened EPBC Act.

As with most Federal elections Labor will be seeking the middle of the road conservation vote as to sure up a few house of representative seats, which generally will be derived from the city electorates sympathetic to such issues.

Rest assured any environmental campaigns that are located within rural marginal electorates such as Braddon in Tasmania will be strategically avoided.

It is most likely Labor will invest heavily in addressing the Great Barrier Reef predicament. Despite knowing that ocean warming is a global issue, Labor seemingly will continue to support the fossil fuel extraction and burning industries in Australia.  As a result any mitigation attempted by Labor will be minimal and tokenistic.

It is also possible that a future Labor Federal government will protect a large tract of Eastern Victoria’s high-conservation forest, but this invariably will come with another huge payout of taxpayers money to private companies.

The proposed Great Forest Reserve around Melbourne’s water catchment region

Magnificent Shining Gum forest in Eastern Victoria.   Pic: Ted Mead

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/19/logging-of-old-growth-forests-should-stop-victorian-environment-department-says?fbclid=IwAR0TqNK1cOfOnjJ6WZrboQpQREcdX7v3W2ln7axruWTXx3Ur5hRR-carqbo

Either Liberal or Labor come election 2019, are likely to keep pouring endless amounts of money into trying to find an environmental flow solution for the Murray-Darling crisis, which will only worsen as the climate change factors intensify. $8 billion has already been spent on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and still the plan is at risk of failure as the Coorong, an internationally significant ecosystem at the end of the basin, is dying.

Salinity impacts upon the landscape.     Pic: MDBA

Labor, if elected next year, should be congratulated if it finds a means of protecting more of our precious environment for posterity, though at the moment Bill Shorten hasn’t convinced anyone that he stands for anything much of substance, and that his myopic visions don’t appear to reach far beyond the 2019 election-night podium speech.

The state of play

Australia’s visionless politicians, in particular the coalition, continue to pursue endless economic and population growth whilst disregarding the future lack of natural resource availability and sustainability.

The conservatives simply can’t comprehend that we need the remaining good quality ecosystems to be left intact for water, agriculture, moderation of the climate, and indeed for the survival of all life forms on this planet.

Meanwhile the ongoing unbridled resource extraction and mismanagement of our natural resources goes unchecked, and hence the long-term ramifications of such are ignored.

Tasmania has renewed its Regional Forest Agreement through two Liberal Governments signing off without any updated studies whilst still relying on 30 year-old data and assessments.

Another term of the Liberal /National coalition will certainly see the ecological wrecking ball rolled out across the entire country where environmental laws will be further weakened for offshore investment, and concurrently resource extraction projects given priority over conservation of natural heritage.

Insofar as conservation gains across the nation, there seems a weak glimmer of hope through Labor, though at this present moment there’s not a lot to get excited about!

The impending pressures of climate change upon economic frailty, particularly in the agriculture sector, maybe the trigger for governments to act towards mitigation and conservation, though we shouldn’t hold our breath on that one just yet!

Ted Mead has witnessed enough Federal elections in his life to reserve any optimism that Labor will make a strong stand on protecting our natural heritage unless they can see the votes that will give them a majority in the House of Reps. Ted is convinced that there will be more conservation gains in the future as the issues around global warming will pressure governments to act on reckless land clearing, the logging of mature forest ecosystems, and the need to preserve vital water catchment areas. 

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Peter Black .

    April 28, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Here’s a good and very valid comment made in a Guardian article by ‘CountryMember’ which is the heart of the problem, raised by Ted’s article.

    “The Greens have been barking up the wrong tree and should have made some effort to build their brand in the bush instead of concentrating all their efforts on smug bourgeois lifestyles in the latte belt… using short term populism to fight Labor.
    The Greens would be looking at wiping the Nationals out right now you’d reckon if they had supported their grass roots movement in the regions and ‘cultivated’ some positive brand awareness… another golden opportunity squandered by poor vision and weak leadership.”

  2. MjF

    April 28, 2019 at 9:29 am

    A mine footprint 9km x 1.5km covers 1350 ha. A working mine area quoted normally includes all associated infrastructure involved.

    Where does the rest of the reported (up to) 1072 ha of clearing come in ?

    • Lyndall

      April 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Who knows MjF – extra needed for site office; accommodation; outbuildings; vehicles; topsoil/seedbank storage for rehab; tailings etc? I’ve no idea. Could be an error by the reporter too.

      But the main point (imo) about the sneaky approval is that this is despite the critical issues still being unaddressed and possibly unresolvable; contrary to the WA EPA’s rejection of the proposal; and hence the depletion of the underground water and it’s local/regional effects as well as the risk of extinction to certain native fauna are now heading into the unknown with this all-systems-go, courtesy of the devious & infamous serial 1-minute-to-midnight Melissa Price.

      She’s been added to my ‘enemies of the planet’ list which has been growing an awful lot in recent years. I’m still waiting for The Hague International Court to start a new ‘Crimes against Humanity’ category for such operatives.

      • MjF

        April 29, 2019 at 11:25 am

        Incorrect Lyndall. This is not an all systems go situation. Federal approval is conditional on a number of conditions still pending including a Groundwater Management Plan being approved.

        State approvals have yet to be issued with groundwater and subterranean fauna management plans being critical elements in the local approvals process. The WA EPA will take some convincing I think and Cameco will need to come up with the goods on this. Suggesting the stygofauna will repopulate to natural levels in 100 years sounds pretty waffley.

        Re areas, the actuals are mine pit area 726 ha and associated infrastructure up to 1695 ha. Reporting could have expressed this much better. Not sure where the km x km comparison comes from. I’m surprised the pit extent isn’t described in terms of footy fields.

        epa.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/Proponent_response_to_submissions/Attachment%203%20-%20Revised%20subterranean%20fauna%20avoidance%2C%20m

  3. Lyndall

    April 26, 2019 at 9:02 am

    In an ABC News article this morning there’s another shocking decision that has been sneakily pushed through by this negligent Liberal Environment Minister and her equally uncaring Coalition Government:

    It’s been revealed that our otherwise non-existent federal Environment Minister has been busy plotting behind the scenes for a number of questionable developments to go ahead. She also approved a huge uranium mine the day before the government went into caretaker mode with the calling of the election, just like the sneaky last-minute approvals for the Adani coal mine.

    I wonder what else has been approved that we don’t know about yet?

    Here’s a few key points about the WA uranium mine:

    “The Morrison Government signed off on a controversial uranium mine one day before calling the federal election, and did not publicly announce the move until the environment department uploaded the approval document the day before Anzac Day.

    In 2016, the West Australian Environment Protection Agency advised the mine not be approved, concluding it posed too great a risk of extinction to some native animals.

    The former Liberal Barnett government controversially approved the mine in 2017, just weeks before it lost the West Australian election.

    Canadian company Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, is seeking to develop the uranium mine, which would cover an area 9km long and 1.5km wide.

    It would involve the clearing of up to 2,422 hectares of native vegetation.

    It is also approved to cause groundwater levels to drop by 50cm, and they would not completely recover for 200 years, according to Cameco’s environmental reports. … “.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-26/government-approved-uranium-mine-day-before-election/11047252

    Words fail me. These developments lock in terrible environmental consequences. I doubt this approval could be reversed by Labor even if they did win the next election.

    But I do think at the very least the federal Environment Minister’s approvals should be examined – perhaps under a National Integrity and Anti-corruption Commission?

    • William Boeder

      April 28, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      In response to your comment Lyndall I believe the answers you seek will be found among the following allegations contained in my comment.
      Please note, the most appalling of the decisions, agreements, controversial undertakings, and sinister events, that have occured during the past 20 or so years have arrived and subsequently were reliant upon or could be held significent on 2 rather obvious detrimental to Australia pacts that exist right under the noses of most all of Australia’s rational thinking persons.

      So, first one must realize that these allegations are the product of my extensive research and to the very sound deductions thereby enabled, one would be wise to consider each allegation below in their having been comprehensively studied.

      Given the evidence now openly available one will find the substance of my allegations will be hard to discredit as they are ably supported by the identified statistics and factual references contained in a comprehensive report by Australia’s foremost investigative journalist that will not capitulate to either of the 2 major co existing contributories that has already impaired the independence of this Nation of Australia.

      The first of my allegations has concluded that the US based corporations at work here in Australia that historically have not contributed even the barest portion of revenue tax resultant from their enormous corporate gained revenues….yet no annual Australian generated revenues are actively being exported out of Australia despite Australia’s Tax Office along with their incapacity to seek any alteration to their already set in place multi-various legislated regulations.

      Both major Australian political parties have failed to introduce new legislation that could stem the massive amounts of money flowing out of Australia, or, they are simply not being pursued. This also applies to Australia’s top of the list ‘resident’ major corporations.

      https://www.michaelwest.com.au/

      The most conspicuously delinquent proponent of the above-revealed improprieties happens to be Australia’s Liberal party.

      The next shocking truth concerning the same political party, is the revelation of Australia that again happens to be under the auspices of the Australia’s Liberal party.
      Hence my next allegation is effectively based upon the toothless Australian-USA military alliance. If one cares to study the basics underlaying this tenuous alliance they will find the evidence revealed in my comment, being held to task by this same Liberal party that had enabled its American corporation interests (that are Headquartered in America) in that they happen to have an enormous influence relating to the tenuous toothless Bullschitt alliance Australia has with the USA.

      Another factual revelation in my recent study of all the Australian Liberal party negative undertakings that have since arisen during the past 20 years can be tracked back to the Howard years as they directly relate back to the above mentioned 2 nowaday concerns.

      One is left to speculate the actual truth as had not been expounded by “Fibber” John Howard directly relating to the alleged false-flag event of the Port Arthur Massacre.
      There is now far too much evidence that confirm this massacre had been approved by this same notoriously treacherous to Australia former Prime Minster. See below:

      OFF.TER.CONTENT.INTERIOR.10.04.pdf

      Too be continued/

      • William Boeder

        April 28, 2019 at 4:12 pm

        Continued comment and reference/
        Notwithstanding that the USA headquartered mega-corporations, would also be leaning on this toothless USA-Australia military alliance.

        It is also a given that both the Boeing corporation and Lockheed Martin corporations have installed their own Federal government lobbyists in Canberra to actively push their weapons manufacturing selves to gain the favour of Australia’s government.

        The actual unwarranted purchase of Lockheeds martins long overdue delivery of their ferociously expensive F-35 warplane.
        There is nothing at all deficient in Australia’s volume of F-18 warplanes. (Lockheed Martin had advised Australia’s Defense Department the current F-18s could be cheaply disposed of to the Canadian Air Force.)

        One must understand that there are 47 deadly weapons manufacturing corporations in the United States, Grumman being another of the most prominent among these 47…..employ such an enormous amount of people across America….that whatever good bits still remain within the US administration…..are overpowered by the magnitude of these same when it comes down to the multi-million employees engaged by the above described 47 corporations.
        Subsequently the volume of the USA mega corporations (this includes their Banks and other Financial Services Sector including Wall Street heavily rely on their grouped capacity to dictate policies to the USA government administration.

        The American Twin Towers false flag event occurred the very next day after Donald Rumsfeld had publicly announced the unaccounted for multi Trillions of dollars that had been granted to the Pentagon for its further use and distribution.
        The 2nd item on the agenda was to commence
        Fascinating it was to learn that it was not a civilian aircraft the struck the Pentagon’s accounting department but a low level fling American manufactured missile that had wrought the destruction of this referred to section of the Pentagon.

        Now do please understand I have provided the known facts underlying each of these above rather convincing allegations.
        A long journey through the Global Research independent media news stories will identify the necessary information that confirms the content of this comment.
        https://www.google.com/search?q=global+research+news&rlz=1C1GKLA_enAU666AU666&oq=Global+Rearch&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.19919j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  4. Kim Peart

    January 24, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Having run in three elections last year, and seen the power of gambling money dominate the State election and slop over in to the Prosser campaign helping to give the Liberals the seat, I can but wonder if money will drive the Federal vote.

    How about people power with heart-felt issues?

    To send an invitation to every house and business in Prosser, inviting concerned voters to come along to one of six community meetings, and then have no-one turn up in Oatlands, Sorell and Eaglehawk Neck, and just one person in Ross and Bagdad, and a surprising 4 in Swansea, I can report that democracy in Tasmania is like a dead kangaroo in a heatwave.

    High on my agenda was fixing the housing crisis which the Mercury still rabbits on about, but which would not give me any coverage on.

    No other candidate or party organised community meetings around Prosser.

    Did they know?

    All my environmental issues were also dutifully ignored.

    What hope is there when there is no evident democracy in an electorate?

    If anyone would like to look at this problem with me, let’s meet, even via avatars in Second Life, saving travel carbons, to then thrash this problem out.

    A serving Greens senator told me he found a similar response from the electorate when running in an Upper House seat by the Tamar River.

    Even with Green party support, almost nobody came to their community meetings.

    So if people want to make a dent in political thinking they need to talk with those who will actually dare to run.

    I will consider running in Lyons if a hundred people join a campaign to get the message up there.

    There is no other way to make a big enough dent in the Australian political system.

    Now that Australia has a space agency I suggest that space is a potent political tool .. because people are interested in space.

    By connecting a space vision with Earth needs, a campaign would be on a double winner, with a double punch.

    Last year, with housing crises driving homelessness, and the Mercury screaming to high heaven about this, we now find that the State government was continuing to shrink the public housing stock.

    Who is angry?

    I tried writing to the service organisations about the housing crisis, but I was ignored.

    What did I say about democracy in this State?

    If a hundred campaigners were to beat the drum, in public, to create real work with real pay, then that would be a powerful message.

    I know the root cause of the problem and I can see the solution, and I will be writing an article about this.

    It would be great if concerned citizens could move on from blowing hot air, and begin beating the drum and demanding action.

    Until I hear those drums, I will be left wondering if I am standing in an electoral graveyard.

    • Russell

      January 27, 2019 at 10:09 am

      “To send an invitation to every house and business in Prosser, inviting concerned voters to come along to one of six community meetings, and then have no-one turn up in Oatlands, Sorell and Eaglehawk Neck, and just one person in Ross and Bagdad, and a surprising four in Swansea, I can report that democracy in Tasmania is like a dead kangaroo in a heatwave.”

      Quite the contrary, Kim. This, and your lack of votes in all three elections, demonstrated that democracy is well and truly alive, and that people just chose not to turn up because they didn’t follow your fantasy vision to leave planet Earth.

      • kimpeart

        January 27, 2019 at 9:06 pm

        I am wondering, Russell … will you be running in the next Federal election and putting all the issues you spruik to the test?

  5. Rob Halton

    January 23, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Despite the best efforts to stop the 900 ha Riveaux fire at Tahune Airwalk, given the Fire Weather Forecast for Friday looks for grim for the whole fire scenario all the way from the southern end of Lake Pedder where a total of at least seven uncontained fires totaling 7000 ha are burning along the Huon River catchment to the west of Tahune.

    There is a strong likelyhood of these fires joining up and effectively causing spotting eastwards well into the heavily timbered Arve forests threatening the outskirts of the Geeveston township.

    Existing fires are on that potentially severe fire weather NW-SE alignment and I would not be surprised if the burnt area advances to 50,000 ha by the end of Friday this week.

  6. Keith Antonysen

    January 23, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Less than a fortnight ago, and using objective data, a study was published that found that Oceans were warming faster than had been expected. It was suggested that Oceans provide a better reference for showing warming than land based weather stations on the basis that Oceans make up around 70% of Earth’s area. The factor in relation to Ocean temperature is that it only changes slowly up or down. Other recent studies have shown that Antarctica is not in good health, that Greenland is losing ice rapidly, and permafrost is thawing in tundra areas. A denier would have to agree that ice, snow and permafrost need warmth to melt or thaw. These factors really state that coral reefs around Earth, including the Great Barrier Reef, are ultimately stuffed.

    Since Trump took office, fossil fuel emissions have increased in the US.

    It needs to be remembered that there have been a number of ways to account for each nation’s emissions, however nature does not follow such accounting frameworks. Emissions released in the Northern Hemisphere will have an influence on the climate of the Southern Hemisphere.

    Research has shown how fossil fuel corporations knew about the effects of fossil fuels since the 1970s, yet they chose to fund denier agencies to undermine the science! Corporations knew about the science and realised that their profits were at stake … and greed won the day. The science has become even stronger since.

    Greed has also been a major factor in relation to the the Murray Darling system. The LNP did not believe an investigation was warranted, but its politicians have now changed their minds. The chances are that any investigators will be very carefully chosen so the “right” answers are found.

    Labor had said it will create an investigation, so let’s hope they continue with that promise. We need a scientific investigation, not one where ideology is a determining factor in appointments.

    From 2013 onwards, with assessments created by the Abbott “government” and appointments to various government Agencies since, ideology appears to have been a determining factor in appointments.

    In relation to climate change, Mr Shorten does not appear to have grasped the severity of the problem. At least some members of Mr Shorten’s Shadow Cabinet do appear to have an inkling. Mr Shorten has been quoted as saying that Australia is not responsible for the emissions from any coal exported from an Adani coal mine. It gets back to the nonsense emissions accounting where nature bats last.

    The next government will be either an LNP or Labor one, with a hung Parliament unlikely. While the LNP does not know whether it is an extreme neo-con Party or a conservative Party, we will not get much sense from it. We can only hope that Labor takes more interest in science and listens to the electorate.

    Not taking on a major changes designed to curb the worst of climate change is a reflection of having no concern for young family members, or young people in general.

  7. William Boeder

    January 22, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    It is to be noted that the class conscience elitist Tasmanian Liberal party ministers do not care for this state’s people wherein the unrepresented are forever having to contend with the absurd and failing governance by this state’s Liberal party and its blindly led lackeys .. they that engage in the logging of Tasmania’s indigenous crown land forests that delivers some 90% plus of these forests to the state’s hungry wood-chippers. Now how stupid and reckless is this endangering phenomenon, now being pursued so relentlessly by this deplorably failing state government?

    A further interesting fact is that the 3rd-world countries, along with their corrupted government ministers that are dotted around the Globe, have acknowledged the error of their former delinquent, rampant clear-fell logging endeavours, agreeing that this had to be halted. This clearly demonstrates the monstrous failures of today’s Liberal government.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-22/bushfire-ravaged-soil-takes-up-to-80-years-to-recover/10736626

    Another instance of blatant stupidity is the water refilling source of bushfire fighting helicopters over here on the Mid North Coast (as I observed them slurping the residual waters from the Rosebery mine’s tailings and settlement ponds that contain their toxic heavy metal residues) even though the deeply backed up waters of Lake, which extends from Tullah to the Reece Hydro Dam down Corinna Way, are more easily accessible and closer to the location of the bushfires in this region. My polite midday email offering this information, but inevitably, and as per usual, there was no response.

    So who is it, if not the state’s DPIPWE minister, who is coordinating the extinguishing of Tasmania’s out of control bushfires? Is it possible that it is they in the top ranks of the Tasmanian Fire Service? If not they, then who?

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/28/tasmanian-bushfire-still-burning-uncontrolled-in-states-north-west.

    Or could it be the fires themselves? it is not inconsistent to believe that some of the many Tasmania’s former disastrous bushfires are not the only agency that soon thereafter rages and becomes another agency’s responsibility, yet lacking any vestige of control.

    It is important to understand that the early onset of these raging bushfires (Gell River Heritage Listed locale) initially received so little attention and attendance, especially when a control regimen of Tasmania’s major fire fighting assets could have been immediately set in place (I refer here to aircraft fire-bombers) as an alternative to “they may hopefully burn themselves out.”

    Each series of disastrous bushfires in Tasmania begins “with too little, too late, to be in any way an effective manner in which to begin the task of extinguishing “these first under-estimated or be they termed as their neglected onset” of sooner than later that again contributes to Tasmania’s summertime raging out of control bushfires.

    • MJF

      January 27, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Mr Boeder, it would be interesting to know why the tailings pond water was preferred over the (as you say, even closer)
      Lakes Pieman and/or Rosebery waters for the filling of monsoon buckets. Perhaps it was more pressing that the pond water level is lowered at every opportunity.

      As you are in possession of the facts and dates etc, could you, at an appropriate time, take it upon yourself to make an inquiry of the TFS for the reasoning behind ?

      • William Boeder

        January 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

        Hmm, I had guessed it was only a question of time before you, Mr Fitch, would deign to respond to my Comments.

        Last Monday around lunchtime I sent an email to the TFS inquiring about the very same, but the inevitable nil response is all that I can offer you as regards to facts and dates, other than my continuing observation that this same flawed logic was still current during the next four days of this same week ending on the 26th of this month.

        I have just conducted a search through my Gmail facility to locate a copy of the email I sent, but I could not locate it. The email itself should still be held by the TFS email receiving department.

        I also advise that I had map referenced the sites from the available TFS maps of those ongoing bushfires (South of Strahan, then the bushfire that had jumped across the the Pieman road leading on to Reece Dam) as to their proximity to the Rosebery mine tailings dam to realise that the Pieman/Rosebery expansive waters were closer to the fires.

        The response not received is equal to the response I did not receive relating to my emailed inquiry sent during the disastrous Dunalley bushfires that had been initiated by a still alive and burning section of a “privately approved burning permit” issued by this State’s fire authorities at that particular time, but again nil response.

        Unless Tasmania’s fire service authorities are more forthcoming with factual information, one may never obtain those answers sought by you from myself via this state’s authorisation processes.

        Perhaps with your number of insider contacts you might make the same inquiry.

  8. MJF

    January 22, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Magnificent Shining Gum forest in Eastern Victoria” but aka monocultural, toxic, nutrient depleting, community destroying, money-losing eucalypt plantations in Tasmania. Same tree species. So the only essential differences are whether a tree germinates on site from a seed, or is a hand planted, nursery-raised seedling and how long it grows for. Perception sure is subjective.

    Mead continues with his paranoid, green diatribe, exactly where he left off, with yet another link to that bastion of leftist media propaganda, The Guardian.

    • Russell

      January 27, 2019 at 10:03 am

      In that part of Victoria it is endemic. Here it is a weed. There’s a huge difference. Much the same as Cane Toads only belong in South and Central America.

      • MjF

        January 27, 2019 at 1:23 pm

        No.

        P. radiata is a weed, but only where it grows along roadsides and invades native forest outside its planted boundaries.

        E. nitens doesn’t do that. I can see where those with little understanding may confuse the issue though.

  9. max

    January 21, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Election 2019. Who will protect Australia’s environment?
    The short answer is no-one.

    The long answer is that there is no who. There is only one party, and it’s the neoliberalism party. This party was founded by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and joined by the Liberal Party under John Howard.

    Neoliberalism is generally associated with policies like cutting trade tariffs and barriers. Its influence has liberalised the international movement of capital and limited the power of trade unions. It has broken up state-owned enterprises and sold off public assets, and generally opened up our lives to dominance by market thinking.

    Paul Keating and Hawke introduced neoliberal measures, including privatisation, currency deregulation, and the introduction of tuition fees. Yet this omits the most significant concessions to capital. They proposed a trade-off: it asked unions to restrict their wage demands in return for a “social wage.” The prices and income accord that resulted was the co-option of the union bureaucracy, and wage stagnation .. and promises of a rising social wage evaporated.

    So if you vote Liberal or Labor you vote for neoliberalism, and neoliberalism is big business. Big Business is there for profit and its shareholders, not the environment or climate change mitigation or the long term survival of planet earth.

    Tony Burke is talking the talk, but will his party walk the walk? Can a party which has a proven track record of capitulating to Big Business have the guts to break the shackles of kowtowing?

    At this stage, and an election looming, I see no way out of the conundrum.

  10. Patrick Synge

    January 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

    As I wake to yet another day of thick smoke in the air, I am ever more aware that our World Heritage wilderness is burning. This delicate ecosystem will not just bounce back.

    I understand that the TFS is stretched beyond its limits and is not equipped to deal with such events in such rugged and inaccessible terrain.

    Australia has a well equipped and trained defence force, supposedly there to protect our country.

    Where is it when our country is under attack from fire? Why is the defence force not deployed?

    With all forecasts predicting a drier climate and consequent increased fire danger, perhaps it is time for a change of focus on what is meant by “National Defence”

    • Andreas

      January 26, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      I fully agree with you, Patrick. I live in the Huon Valley. When common sense dictates to jump on any fire early with full force, what do we see here? In the wilderness – let it burn, it may burn itself out.

      If this country was managed by competent people we would have a fleet of say 12 Bombardier 415 firefighting amphibious aircraft deployed, similar to countries with the same fire problems .. Portugal, Spain, France, Croatia, Greece.

      That fleet would cost about as much as one of these F35 lemons …

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