Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ku-ring-gai Council wins appeal against Coalition’s forced amalgamation

The Coalition’s forced council amalgamations are in legal disarray with the Court of Appeal today overturning the proposed amalgamation of Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby councils.

The Court found that the government’s decision to hide the KPMG report denied  Ku-ring-gai Council procedural fairness and has ordered that the delegates report, and Boundaries Commission report, are to be thrown out. 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Business of Government - Responsible economic management.

Responsible economic management is important. But at what cost if we stop providing public services to our most vulnerable citizens?
By Fergus Halliday

New Greens MP visits Bellingen to call for an end to Native Forest Logging

New Greens MP, Dawn Walker met with local forest campaigners in Bellingen to call for an end to logging in native forests this weekend and lend support to their campaign to protect the Kalang headwaters.

“Our native forests are vital to the survival of many endangered species of plants and animals and our forests play a vital role in reducing the effects of climate change, such as the record heatwaves that hit the Mid North Coast this summer” said Dawn Walker.

Pics from Nambucca Heads March in March, March 25th, 2017

Residents either concerned or plainly furious about current political policies marched on March 25th. After displaying their various signage on the Pacific Highway residents marched from The Plaza shopping centre to Bellwood Park to hear the speakers. A selection of banner messages included:

No cuts to pensions

Justice for refugees

No coal seam gas

It is lawful to seek asylum

Farms not Coal

Climate action now

Go renewable energy - Stop Adani

Whose version of free speech are we having today?

Our society needs a healthy environment, a just society and a fair economy.

Will the issues be different when we march in 2018?
Try to attend the 2018 march. Will the issues have changed?

Banners at the gathering

Assembling to march

Film Review: The Bentley Effect

This is a beautifully made film. Definitely worth seeing. Director Brendan Shoebridge has made a wonderful, uplifting film.

We hope it will make the TV screen soon. We also hope to eventually have a Bellingen screening.

Video: UNSW SPREE 201703-16 Michael Mobbs - How to cool cities by 2 degrees by 2020?

Published on Mar 25, 2017
UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

How to cool Australian cities by 2 degrees by 2020?

Michael Mobbs
Author and Environmental Consultant

To view complete with slides:

To view additional seminars:

Homepage: http://www.pv.unsw.edu.au

Black roads, dark roofs and no trees heat up Australian cities by 6 or more degrees. Let’s look at solutions.The solutions are based on this idea: cool our cities by motivating property owners to harvest water, plant trees and plants, build cool exteriors to their buildings. Do this with financial incentives.

By themselves governments cannot cool cities; without property owners initiating cool buildings, planting trees, harvesting water to grow them our cities will stay hot.

Property owners will act of their own free will if they make money, their property value increases and they get financial rewards for cooling their house and their street. Rate rebates, fast track approvals, deemed-to-comply designs for cool houses and roads work and can be revenue neutral for governments.

Michael Mobbs practised environmental law from 1978 to 1990 then made his house low bills so that for the last 20 years his energy and water bills in a three person household are less than $300 a year. No water or sewage has left his house in 20 years and over 2 million litres of it has been kept on his Chippendale garden that’s less than 10 m2. Chippendale began growing food in the road verges and now anyone can grow food on Sydney City streets without approval. Simple solutions work at the house and anywhere.

Michael Mobbs, 'Sustainable Food' ISBN(1920705546)
Michael Mobbs, 'Sustainable House 2nd ed' ISBN(192070552X)
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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Aboriginal Legal Services should not have been excluded from race-hate inquiry: Greens

Still fighting for justice. Same government. Same policy.
It is atrocious that the Government excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at a senate inquiry into race-hate laws, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“When committee chair LNP Senator Ian MacDonald excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence at the inquiry, he excluded a voice for our First peoples. The committee should have heard from these important services.

“Aboriginal Legal Services are a very important voice in the national discussion on changes to 18c and race hate. For years and years they have worked on the ground with people who experience daily racial vilification and deserve to be heard.

“Senator MacDonald should not have excluded Aboriginal Legal Services from giving evidence and I believe the report into this issue will be poorer for it”.

International Day of Forests 2017

Forests are Australia's hidden treasure. Entering our forests, it is invigorating to breathe in the fresh air and hear cascades of clear water, clean enough to drink straight out of the creeks and rivers. Plus, they are some of the most carbon-rich forests in the world.

NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance aims for a completely privatised public transport network.

NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance has told media of the government’s vision for a completely privatised public transport network. Mr. Constance told AFR on Monday that “in 10 to 15 years’ time, government will not be in the provision of transport services”.

Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the plans a blatant prioritisation of private interest over public needs.

Peaceful action at Forestry Corporation Office in Coffs Harbour, International Day of Forests

NBN TV Coverage


Local environmentalists are using 'International Day Of Forests' this Tuesday 21 March  to rally outside Coffs Harbour Forestry Office to call for an end to Regional Forest Agreements (RFA's) and are proposing a new approach to forest management.

Twelve months ago environmentalists also rallied  outside the Forest Corporation office  on International Day of Forests. Then the rally was to hammer home that the NSW Forestry Corporation had lost its social licence. It had lost the confidence of the community to manage public forests.

In the  the last twelve months things have only got worse said Ashley Love, Vice president of the North Coast Environment Council . We now have to delve deeper to address the root causes of the Forestry Corporation's problems he added.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Youth unemployment hits crisis point in Southern Highlands and South Coast

The number of unemployed young people on the Southern Highlands and South Coast has reached 22.5%, the highest rate recorded over the past five years.

The results were published<https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/researchpapers/Pages/NSW-regional-labour-force-data---interactive-portal.aspx> yesterday by the NSW Parliamentary Library in their February Labor Force Trends report incorporating data from the ABS Labour Force Survey[1].
The staggering 22.5% rate of youth unemployed in the Southern Highlands and South Coast is nearly double the NSW average of 11.8%.

Greens MLC and spokesperson for the South Coast Justin Field said the cluster of high youth unemployment in the region created the risk of a 'lost generation' locked out of employment and opportunity.

Turnbull govt MP before Queensland corruption inquiry – time for National ICAC

The need for a national ICAC and political donation reform is in the spotlight again following news that a Turnbull-Joyce government MP has been called before a Queensland corruption inquiry, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“Turnbull government MP Stuart Robert has been ordered to appear before the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission’s inquiry into claims of questionable political donations,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Another private education provider bites the dust

"Get Qualified Australia under liquidation with more than $1.5 million owing

The CEO of a failed education company says its demise is "the doing of two government agencies", who ultimately wear responsibility for the 2000 students left without the certificates they paid for, or a refund." Sydney Morning Herald

See original SMH story with excellent video

Comment by Dawn Walker Greens MLC:

"Private training providers have been a disaster for the TAFE system and undermined the quality and standards of vocational education across NSW. This training provider has gone belly-up following serious allegations of misleading conduct, leaving 2000 students without certificates and 30 employees without a job. 

The Greens will always stand up for a well-resourced, public TAFE sector."

Thursday, 23 March 2017

StopAdani Roadshow Kicks Off to Stop Australia’s Largest Coal Mine

'March 17, 2017

SYDNEY, 17 March 2017 — 350.org Australia today announced the launch of a #StopAdani Roadshow to kick off the largest anti-coal movement in Australia’s history, aimed at stopping mining giant Adani’s mega coal project in Queensland.

The #Roadshow is launched in collaboration with GetUp, Australian Conservation Foundation, AMCS, AYCC,The Seed Youth Indigenous Network, North Queensland Conservation Council and Green Music Australia and will stop in Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.'

Read more on 350.0rg: #StopAdani Roadshow Kicks Off to Stop Australia’s Largest Coal Mine

From 350.org

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Greens MP calls for Rental security to be part of solution to housing crisis in NSW

NSW Greens spokesperson for Housing Jenny Leong MP says that the NSW Government must consider the needs of the growing number of tenants facing lifelong renting as they address the housing affordability crisis.

"The reason that affordable housing is so essential is that it provides people on moderate incomes with a safe and secure place to live. That security should also be extended to renters and there's a simple and immediate way to do that - by ending 'no grounds' evictions," says Ms Leong.

Labor's $6 million fossil fuel folly shows their true colours

Today's news that Beach Energy will be given $6m of taxpayers' money to explore for gas in the South East of SA, shows that the State Government is more interested in propping up the fossil fuel economy than promoting renewable energy or reducing carbon emissions, according to Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

"When the Government announced its $550 million energy package this week, we applauded the attention given to storage and new renewable generation, but strongly opposed an unnecessary and polluting new gas-fired power station. We also opposed the $24 million in taxpayer subsidies to big oil and gas companies.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Independent Australia: 'Carbon neutral' forest resource grab: A corporate detour in climate change race

"The Coalition Government can't resist the logging industry, subsidising the destruction of forests as "carbon neutral" at the expense of pesky wind, solar or other annoying competitors."


Read more by Frances at nativesrule.org, visit the Natives Rule Facebook page, or follow Frances on Twitter @nativesrule 


Seen at Coffs Harbour rally today.

 Any politician advocating the burning of forest biomass only pretends to have environmental tendencies. Watch out for 'greenwashing' by independent candidates.

Video: Elizabeth Warren simply explains how trickle-down economics fail all of us

In the USA or Australia, neo-liberals act the same.

Academic and military experts are saying climate change is now a catalyst for conflict in volatile regions of the world.

Four Corners: The Age of Consequences 

Academic and military experts highlight as a factor in the Syrian civil war. The Age of Consequence on .

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Failed laws and failed politics sees Aboriginal imprisonment numbers soar

Failed policies and aggressive policing by the Coalition government has seen the number of Aboriginal people in NSW prisons reach a tragic high. Figures obtained by the Greens show the number of Aboriginal people in NSW jails has grown 35% since the Coalition came into office in 2011.

In March 2011 there were 2,269 Aboriginal people in NSW jails representing 22.4 percent of the jail population. By the end of 2016 there were 3,059 Aboriginal people in jail representing 24.1 percent of all inmates.

Greens MP and Aboriginal Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said: