Sunday, May 28, 2017

Abbott secret plan environmental disaster

Posted by admin on May 19, 2013

Cartoon by the Herald Sun's Mark Knight

Tony Abbott’s double dissolution agenda and secret policy would be a disaster for the climate and the environment, according to Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt MP and environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters.

Labor needs to give a clear commitment before the election that they won’t be spooked into caving in to the Abbott agenda because of the double dissolution threat, Mr Bandt said.

“This plan shows that Tony Abbott is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His double dissolution plan shows he will stop at nothing to implement his disastrous plan for the environment,” Mr Bandt said.

“His budget reply was a vision for an uncaring Australia and here is more evidence of how he’ll hurt people and the environment.”

“He won’t even guarantee that electricity bills will fall after his secret plan is implemented, because he knows his plan won’t help the planet and it won’t help people.”

“This plan is all about rolling back action on global warming and gutting environment laws so that all the most important decisions are made by state premiers.”

“We’ll see more logging and shooting in national parks, more mining and development in precious areas, more communities trampled on.”

“This is the danger of Abbott in total control of Parliament. Having more Greens in Parliament is the only way to protect the environment, clean energy and the climate.”

“Any plan for the Great Barrier Reef that doesn’t stop the big mining companies from treating the reef as a dredging dumping ground and a shipping super highway will fall tragically short,” Senator Waters said.

“Tony Abbott’s Coalition is so wedded to the mining industry that we can expect his plan for the Great Barrier Reef will ignore the biggest threat – the reef’s industrialisation by the big mining companies.

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Standing up for the Noosa Biosphere means standing up for the Sandy Straits Biosphere

Posted by Jim on January 17, 2012

Noosa will need a strong, articulate presence on all issues in the State Parliament in the next few years if its present status as an example to the rest of Australia of balance between sustainable development and environmental protection, and the principles of the Noosa Biosphere, is to be maintained.

The international status of the Noosa Biosphere is at threat when the LNP and Labor are silent about the destruction of biosphere principals in Noosa’s companion region, the Great Sandy Biosphere. Labor encourages coal mining and gas extraction in Noosa’s adjacent Biosphere while the LNP MPs in Noosa, Gympie and the Federal Electorate [Wide Bay] sit back silently supporting coal and gas in the Mary Valley and along the reaches of the Mary River.

The same coal resources that are found along the Mary River, and are to be developed by Tiaro Coal, extend down into the Sunshine Coast. Already exploratory drilling has occurred at Wolvi, just to the north of the Noosa Biosphere boundary

If Government and Opposition representatives cannot open their mouths against coalmining and coal seam gas [CSG] in and about our region, how can they be trusted on the Noosa Biosphere? The LNP will say anything on policies and then protect their real policy positions with back door clauses.

The LNP and Labor are no better than each other in sharing policies on CSG to encourage and provide infrastructure to the CSG extraction industry when all around the world governments are imposing moratoriums to study the blatantly obvious negative impacts on the resources farmers and householders use.

The sitting member and the out-of-town Labor candidate are in no position to stand up and protect Noosa’s hard won environmental heritage, which provides the platform for so many tourist jobs in Noosa and the hinterland, because their parties have determined to support the industries which will do most to destroy what the Biosphere stands for.

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate

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Senator Larissa Waters on Coal Seam Gas

Posted by Jim on November 15, 2011

Greens Senator Larissa Waters recently addressed the Senate calling for a moratorium on CSG until decisions can be made based upon the science relating to effects on the water table and the Great Artesian Basin. She also drew attention to the inconsistencies between Warren Truss’s failure to support the Nationals’ rural constituency on mining and CSG and the Nationals’ recent declaration on mining and CSG:



Jim McDonald
Greens Spokesperson
Wide Bay electorate 

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Senator Larissa Waters’ first speech in the Senate

Posted by Jim on September 11, 2011

A link to Senator Larissa Waters’ maiden speech in the Senate is now included on this website.

Senator Waters’ speech epitomised what The Greens stand for: the strong links between family, a sustainable future, the commitment to the environment, and the contribution to community through social justice, a renewable energy economy, and protection of our resources.

Jim McDonald & Larissa Waters

Senator Larissa Waters with Wide bay Greens Candidate, Jim McDonald, during the 2010 Federal Election campaign

We welcome the Senator’s contributions to making Australia a better place, not only now but for our grandchildren and future generations.

She will make a difference – we all can.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 11 September 2011

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An open letter to Drew Hutton facing court for trying to protect our land

Posted by Jim on August 22, 2011

Good luck on Thursday, Drew.

There is no doubt about the immorality of CSG extraction and coalmining on productive land and in people’s homes, but the laws are not geared towards what is best for Australia’s food security, nor what is best for the aquifers and the Great Artesian Basin, nor for the atmosphere as methane leaks, nor for the destruction of family lives and the peace of communities. On these grounds alone you have an absolute reasonable excuse.

The work you have done for the farmers and communities of the Darling Downs is sowing seeds across the country sustained by your’s and the farmers’ courage to stand up against multi-nationals and Australian companies out for a fast buck whatever the damage they do.

Drew, you should be proud of what you have achieved for all of us in bringing the pernicious industrialisation of our land and its resources to the public consciousness. I am!

Jim McDonald
Wide Bay Greens Spokesperson

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Mary Valley faces new coal threat

Posted by Jim on May 18, 2011

An alert Maryborough member has drawn attention to the announcement of a new coal exploration permit in the Mary Valley, 25 kilometres south of Maryborough, east of the Bruce Highway, by Scorpion Energy Pty Ltd. Scorpion Energy was established only 18 months ago and presently only has a one page web presence without any content.

The continued allocation of coal exploration permits in the Mary Valley by the Queensland Government shows scant regard for the environmental values of the Mary Valley – values which the Federal Government endorsed when it refused the Bligh Government’s planned dam at Traveston. This is the sixth exploration permit in the Mary Valley that the Queensland Minister for mining has issued.

The National Party opposed Traveston Dam and supported the environmental arguments against its construction. Why are Warren Truss, the Nationals’ Federal member for Wide Bay and David Gibson, the LNP State member for Gympie, silent on coal mining and coal seam gas, which Tiaro Coal Corporation plans to develop along Munna Creek, which will do vast damage to the ecology of the Mary River and the Mary Valley? Are the Nationals and LNP compromised by their links with the coal industry?

The silence of the Nationals is a true indication of how committed to the environmental values of the Mary Valley they really are.

Bob Brown

Greens leader, Bob Brown, supporting the community in opposing Traveston Dam.

Photo by Arkin Mackay,,
reproduced with permission

Jim McDonald, Wide Bay Greens Spokesperson, 18 May 2011

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Even Alan Jones gets it: coal and CSG are bad for our country

Posted by Jim on April 24, 2011

We have been concerned about this for some time.

Even Alan Jones gets it.

State and Federal Governments, Labor and the LNP don’t: failure to protect our farmland will kill off agriculture and the environment.

Click on the mike to hear Alan Jones’ podcast:

Jim McDonald, Greens spokesperson Wide Bay electorate, 24 April 2011

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Greens call on Gympie Regional Council to oppose coalmining and Coal Seam Gas extraction in the Mary River Valley

Posted by Jim on December 14, 2010

The Greens spokesperson for the Wide Bay Federal Electorate, Dr Jim McDonald, has called on the Gympie Regional Council to stand up to mining interests in the Mary River Valley.

He said there is a serious threat of coal seam gas [CSG] extraction in the Mary River Valley and drilling exploration had commenced in Wolvi.

“People should not be complacent about their region,” he said. “The Fraser Coast Council this week announced its support for CSG exploration in Hervey Bay. It is not impossible that some Gympie councillors won’t likewise be seduced by the coal industry’s spin.

“Tiaro Coal has already commenced CSG exploration at Munna Creek and the company recently started exploration drilling in the Wolvi district. Coalmining and CSG extraction irreversibly destroys the aquifers, uses huge amounts of water, and creates problems with storage of contaminated water.

“One of the issues that people don’t think about is what happens to the water allocations when mining companies buy out farming land. If the coal companies get their way they will control the Mary River and its tributaries. Coalmining and CSG extraction in the Mary Valley will utilise millions of megalitres of water a year if mining is allowed to go ahead.

“Mining along the Mary River and its tributaries within the Gympie Regional Council boundaries and further downstream will turn the region into the Hunter Valley. That is a far greater threat to the Mary River Valley and its communities than the Traveston Dam ever was.”

Dr McDonald, who has just returned from touring the Hunter Valley and the Darling Downs speaking to residents, shopkeepers and farmers, said the region’s Councils and people were too complacent about the mounting threats to the Mary Valley from coal and CSG interests. “Already farmers and communities in the Wandoan district face huge open-cut mines and some farms already have CSG wells dug on their properties.

“It will happen here and when it does, that will be the end of the Mary Valley forever and all the excellent work done to protect the viability of the Mary River and its communities will have been for nothing.

“You have to ask what the State member for Gympie, David Gibson, and the Federal Member, Warren Truss, are doing. They turned up at Traveston Dam protests, but their silence on coal and gas mining speaks volumes about their true environmental credentials.

“There’s a lot of rot spoken about coalmining bringing jobs and prosperity. In fact, it reduces agricultural productivity, alienates good cropping and grazing land forever, destroys property values and communities, and does little to stimulate retail businesses. Coalmining is a toxic threat environmentally, socially and economically.

“Gympie businesses might be seduced by the prospects of mining coming to the region but coalmining and CSG will wreck the Mary Valley for the sake of a relatively few jobs, the bulk of which will go to skilled and experienced workers and contractors from outside the the region. This happens at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley. Retail outlets are struggling. Over the weekend the miners not on shift have left town. Muswellbrook is only 220 km from Sydney, about the same distance Gympie is from Brisbane. Coalmining offers little true benefit to Gympie’s economy.”

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, media release

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Mr Truss should stop misinforming Queenslanders about the Greens fishing policy

Posted by Jim on October 20, 2010

Mr Truss should stop misinforming Queenslanders about the Greens fishing policy. He cannot know what the Federal Government will do under the Marine Parks inquiry until the reports come in.

The Nationals under Senator Boswell and Mr Truss have whipped up hysteria in response to the patent need to manage Australian fisheries. They and their supporters in the industry have been less than honest in their portrayal of our fishing policy.

The Nationals’ policy states that “greater care must be taken to ensure these delicate eco systems are protected.” But the Nationals have no plans for managing Australia’s fisheries and their subversive campaign against the review is against the national interest with respect to the future of seafood resources and contrary to their own broad statement on fisheries.

The Greens’ comprehensive fishing policy can be accessed online at

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Electorate, posted on mysunshinecoast, 20 October 2010
Letter published, Gympie Times, Saturday 23 October 2010

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Coal exploration extends into Sunshine Coast

Posted by Jim on October 4, 2010

Coalmining threatens the Sunshine Coast, warned the Greens spokesperson for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald.

He said that Tiaro Coal Limited had already conducted aerial surveys in the Wolvi region, and recently reported to the Stock Exchange that it would soon commence exploration drilling in the district. It can do this under a coal exploration permit EPC967 issued by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Planning.

Countryside near Wolvi [Photo, Jim McDonald]

The Greens raised coalmining along the Mary Valley as a major issue in the Wide Bay electorate during the recent federal election, and supported the Aldershot community near Maryborough in its fight against an open-cut coalmine just a couple of kilometres from their town.

“The Mary River is threatened by the strong possibility of open cut mines being dug from Munna Creek, one of its major tributaries in the Mary Valley, to Maryborough. That will have devastating effects on the ecology of the river, which is home to rare and threatened species, and on the internationally listed Great Sandy Wetlands, a sea grass environment that supports dugong, dolphins, prawns and fisheries.

“Now, the Sunshine Coast faces the intrusion of coalmining activity near the Noosa River catchment area. Coalmining has no place in coastal regions or where there is top quality farming land in Queensland.

Dr McDonald called upon the LNP spokesperson on the environment, Glen Elmes, and the Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, to reject open cut mining along the Mary River, the Cooloola Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

He said he doubted that they would do so, because the Nationals support coalmining in the region. “They certainly didn’t oppose the Colton Coal Mine during the Federal election.

“The Greens will fight the introduction of coalmines into our region.”

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, Media Release, 4 October 2010
Coverage: Sunshine Coast Daily 5/10/10; Gympie Times 6/10/10; Noosa News 8/10/10

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