Thursday, May 25, 2017

Noosa Greens Candidate

Posted by Jim on March 19, 2012

Catch up with Noosa Greens Candidate Jim McDonald and read what he says on various election topics.

Jim mcDonald

Jim has been activiely campaigning to get some decent representation of Noosa into the parliament


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Greens ready for March election

Posted by Jim on January 25, 2012

The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald welcomed the announcement for an election date by Premier Anna Bligh, this morning.

Dr McDonald said that the LNP and Labor leaders had descended to a schoolyard level of debate on the election date.

“I have no doubt that the decision will be controversial concerning the decision to push back the Council elections, but people have been confused between coverage of State and local government elections.

“The Greens policy supports fixed terms and the adoption of that principle will take away the demeaning argy bargy that we have seen this week between Campbell Newman and Anna Bligh.

“However, the biggest problem we face in Queensland is that no party once in government seriously commits to any long term action planning.

“People often say to me that The Greens can never win government so it is a wasted vote. But voting for The Greens is a vote for the future. We must leave behind the dysfunctional ratbaggery that has characterised the Queensland Parliament and deal with long term issues beyond the three-year electoral cycle instead of short-term, populist programs.

“If I am elected to the Parliament for Noosa I can focus my contribution in representing Noosa on the solutions requiring long-term strategy and action, such as a commitment to the infrastructure planning and programs necessary to prepare for the effects of climate change in the region and economic prosperity for Noosa in the post-carbon economy.

“This is not something you ever hear from Mr Elmes or the Young Labor candidate from Brisbane.

“Because I am not constrained by the vested interests that support Labor and the LNP, my focus will be on the benefits for the whole of the electorate and the region rather than select groups and the coal and gas industries.”

Dr McDonald said, “The Noosa and Hinterland Greens Branch are organised and ready for the long campaign.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa
Media Release, 25 January 2012

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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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Australia’s poor emissions record

Posted by Jim on July 11, 2011

Letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald:

Your coverage on global emissions (SMH 9/7/11) highlights Australia’s percentage of the total world emissions (1.5%). What it fails to do is to compare our emissions with countries that emit a similar percentage. Australia’s population is 35% of France’s, 37% of the UK and Italy, 44% of South Africa and South Korea, 48% of Spain’s and 9.5% of Indonesia’s, yet shares the same percentage of the world’s emissions as each of these countries. These figures put Australia’s poor record on emissions into a context that requires a serious programme of emission reduction. I hope the carbon tax accelerates the moral obligation on all polluters to improve on this national disgrace.

Jim McDonald, Noosa Greens Candidate, 9 July 2011
Published Sydney Morning Herald, 11 July 2011

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Bob Brown’s budget reply

Posted by Jim on May 14, 2011

Bob Brown’s budget reply can be viewed directly below:

Jim McDonald Greens Spokesperson Wide Bay, 14 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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State and Federal Governments betray Australia on food security

Posted by Jim on January 20, 2011

The Federal and State Governments are betraying Australia’s interests by allowing large scale buyouts of top quality agricultural land in this country, according to the Greens Spokesperson for Noosa and Wide Bay , Dr Jim McDonald.

He said it was already happening on the Sunshine Coast. Dr McDonald was commenting on a report in the Noosa News [18 January 2011] on a multi-national corporation’s purchase of the Yalanga property near Kin Kin by Nexis Holdings, increasing its holdings on the Sunshine Coast to 2,140 hectares. Nexis bought up 500 hectares in two macadamia farms on the Coast early last year.

Dr McDonald said, “Under present foreign acquisition rules, foreign companies are buying up large tracts of land in anticipation of the effects of climate change on world food production. If that continues, Australia will not only become the world’s quarry, but will have lost control of its food production to foreign interests.

In the past few years, the Federal Government has sat on its thumbs while corporations owned by foreign governments have bought prime land as part of their food security strategy. Under current rules Nexis has no obligation to submit its purchase of Yalanga to the Foreign Investment Review Board for a reported $25 million because it is under the FIRB limit of $231 million. Yet the Nexis purchase is part of a strategy to buy up half a billion dollars worth of land in Northern NSW and Queensland.”

He said that the Nexis announcement on Yalanga, which is only a few kilometres from Boreen Point, left its future intentions unclear. Nexis does not have an agricultural base and recently bought up 50 percent equity in a limestone quarry in NSW for prefabricated concrete building panels.

It is an outrage against the nation that there is presently no Federal strategy to protect the best agricultural land from foreign control and no cohesive food security strategy as a hedge against climate change. At the same time, the Queensland Government allows mining and coal seam gas exploration to degrade our best land.

Examples of foreign government controlled corporations buying up agricultural land include Hassad Food, which is part of the Qatar Government’s Investment Authority. Hassad Food last year bought up 165,000 hectares of a group of NSW grazing properties and is buying properties on a global scale as a direct part of Qatar’s strategy of building food security against future pressures on food production.

In another case, Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Ltd, has bought up prime farmland for open cut coal mining on the Liverpool Plains in NSW. Shenhua is a subsidiary of the China Shenhua Energy Company, which is 68% owned by the Chinese Government.

State and Federal Governments also betray our region by failing to produce a strategy for food security in South-East Queensland. Government-owned farmland in the Mary Valley lies fallow and there is no thought given to developing the region in a post carbon economy.

South Australian Senator, Nick Xenophon, has introduced a private members bill to require FIRB scrutiny of foreign purchase of land over 5 hectares. Dr McDonald said this required all significant foreign purchases to be scrutinised. He said a failure to develop a food security strategy would leave open the possibility of FIRB rubber-stamping the sale of land, which should be reserved first for feeding Australia’s growing population let alone Australian companies exporting the surplus to the rest of the world.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, Media Release, 18 January 2011

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Coal, coal seam gas, food production, food security, climate change and population

Posted by Jim on December 20, 2010

The effects of irreversible environmental damage are just one of the factors in the battle against the excesses of the coalmining industry.  Top quality farming land faces devastation by coalmining or CSG extraction and that of course has been the focus of the campaigns against coalmining and its expansion.

To my mind, it is not only the environmental vandalism that is evident in the Hunter Valley, for example, but it is also the absence of Federal and State food security policies that is the most shocking context of this impetus to expand mining and extraction into productive land in the Hunter Valley [agricultural productivity is already decimated], the Liverpool Plains and the Darling Downs.  I am outraged that any Australian Government allows foreign companies owned by foreign governments [Shinghua 67% by PRC] or any mining company to buy up agricultural land for mining and CSG extraction.

I am equally outraged that they allow the sale of top quality agricultural land land to foreign companies owned by foreign governments whose mission statements refer to the food security of the foreign country [Hassad Foods & Qatar].  Australia is allowing foreign governments to purchase Australian land for their food security?  In the absence of a food security policy – let alone a strategy – for Australia!  That is a betrayal of Australia and future generations of Australians.

The campaign against coal needs to shift gears and address the failure of food security planning as a matter of urgency while the Labor Party and the Coalition are failing the nation and its grandchildren.  Indeed I would argue that the campaign against coalmining and coal seam gas should also adopt the discourse of betrayal of our national interest.  Even though there has been much made of the nonsensical proposition of allowing mining of top agricultural land, it might be seen as been a matter of self-interest on the part of farmers by an un-engaged city audience.

The failure of planners to take account of the impact of alienating productive land is a long-standing problem on the verges of urban expansion with the disappearance of large market garden areas around our cities and towns.  It doesn’t only happen in the capitals: it happens in regional cities such as Toowoomba.

The food security policy vacuum is locked into the other two major issues of our time and for the next generation [ie to 2030] and the next [to 2050]: population and climate change.  The population grows as we see the prospect of productive land diminished by Greed, Coal and CSG.  The best agricultural land must be preserved to feed our rapidly growing population, especially in the face of shifting climate characteristics and extended and more severe weather events.  But governments are sitting on their thumbs.

Take the Queensland Government, for example.  It now owns the agricultural land in the upper Mary River Valley while coalminers plan open cut pits along the river’s major tributaries and the river itself.  What does the Bligh Government do about planning food security for South-East Queensland and in particular, what does it do about the land it ill-advisedly purchased for the Traveston Dam?  It has run a food cropping land “inquiry” that does not specifically address food security nor specifically address the best use of the land it now owns and it can’t re-sell to the farmers it pushed off the land.  Is there a panel of agricultural scientists, environmental experts, and the local community nutting out a model plan for food security in the Mary Valley and planning for climate change?  Forget it!

Jim McDonald, Greens Wide Bay Spokesperson, 20/12/10

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Queensland Coal COSTS the Queensland Taxpayer

Posted by Jim on

The 2010-2011 Queensland State Budget projects $2.8 billion in royalties from coalmining [Queensland budget paper 2, 2010] for the current financial year.  But coal infrastructure costs borne by the taxpayer are huge.  The development of the Bowen Abbott Point Coal Terminal alone will cost the Queensland taxpayer $1.8-1.9 billion  [Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Minerals and energy, “Major development projects – April 2010 listing”].

Overall, the Queensland Government has committed over the next three financial years $5.7 billion in coal infrastructure development in terminals and rail – this does not include costs presumably covered by the new owners of sold off State assets [Sourcewatch: ABARE April 2010 major projects list].  In addition the State is committed in 2010-2011 to spend $400 million on power station upgrades.

The cost of coal to the State over three years based on an assumption of an average of $3 billion in coal royalties and taxpayer-funded expenditure on coal: a LOSS of around half a billion dollars.  These estimates do not include the State’s contribution to Coal Seam Gas or coal exploration!

The nett loss to the state Treasury does not include social costs, road maintenance costs, road closure costs, the cost of fractured communities, loss of agricultural productivity, the cost to the health system, the cost of high water usage, the irreversable damage to aquifers and water quality, irreversable landscape damage, the damage to heritage, the effect of coal transportation on the amenity of passenger rail, the lost opportunities to invest in renewable energy resources, the catch-up costs that will be incurred in a post-carbon economy, etc, etc, etc.  And now, ongoing revenue earners – the rail system and the ports – have been sold off for a one-off profit.  Would YOU run a business like that?  Especially when you have accountability to the taxpayers?

Coal is has a toxic effect on the state economy.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 20/12/10

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