Sunday, May 28, 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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Moy Pocket an explosive issue

Posted by Jim on August 27, 2010

Wide Bay Greens have thrown their weight in behind protests over the proposed large scale explosives facility planned for the Sunshine Coast Quarry location.

Just as we have in Kin Kin,  we have inadequate roads.  The Moy Pocket situation already has high volume heavy haulage traffic that renders a tourist route along Eumundi-Kenilworth Road dangerous, and dangerous too, for school bus traffic.  The situation is worse on Moy Pocket Road where the quarry is located because the road is narrower than Eumundi-Kenilworth Road.

We have concerns which others have raised regarding the integrity of the habitat on Kenilworth Bluff and maintaining the visual heritage of the bluff.  We note that the quarry owner has previously not applied for government permits to clear remnant forest, and the then manager threatened to bulldoze extensive areas of forested land the company owned on Kenilworth Bluff. “and turn this into the biggest eyesore you’ve ever seen”.

As a regular user of the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road, it seems to me that it would be a planning absurdity for the Gympie Regional Council to approve the development of a large explosives magazine adjacent to the Sunshine Coast Quarry.

The reasons why access along Eumundi-Kenilworth Road and Moy Pocket Road is problematic for the forecast transportation of explosives are:

  • Eumundi-Kenilworth Road is a tourist road;
  • Eumundi-Kenilworth Road is a school bus route;
  • Eumundi-Kenilworth Road already has high volume heavy haulage traffic;
  • Moy Pocket Road between the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road junction and the quarry includes a single lane bridge;
  • Moy Pocket Road between the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road junction and the quarry is narrower than Eumundi-Kenilworth Road;
  • Moy Pocket Road is a school bus route;
  • There is a school bus route that turns on and off Moy Pocket Road near the quarry;
  • Moy Pocket Road north of the quarry is sub-standard.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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Coal cartel will ruin the future of Queensland’s rail system

Posted by Jim on August 12, 2010

The Queensland Government’s proposed sale of Queensland’s railways to the coal industry will be the death knell for passenger rail services in regional Queensland, says Jim McDonald, the Greens’ candidate for Wide Bay.

“High speed rail for both freight and passenger services should be an essential element in State Government climate change and population planning. A coal cartel will ruin the future of our rail system if Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser get their way.

“The Brisbane – Cairns route needs a rapid rail system as much as the Melbourne – Brisbane corridor, especially for the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay, to service a rapidly growing population and take trucks and passengers off the Bruce Highway.

“Federal and State Governments need to take serious steps to develop a standard gauge system in Queensland that will deliver frequent, rapid passenger and freight services to Maryborough, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast. Queensland lags the rest of the world in efficient rail transport because of the limitations of its narrow gauge rail system.

“The State Government should investigate selling off part of the rail easements to private interests to fund modernisation of the rail services that belong to the Queensland taxpayer. Instead, under Ms Bligh’s and Mr Fraser’s plan, passenger timetables will be affected by the coal industry’s priorities.

“The Government’s focus should be on fast rail, which will be an economic boon to the region in a low carbon future. A fast train plan could provide hundreds of jobs in Maryborough and Gympie if the State Government had a commitment to regional development and ensured that the rolling stock continued to be manufactured in Maryborough, instead of exporting the industry to China.

“High speed access to South-East Queensland markets will do as much to stimulate local industries and small business as the National Broadband Network.”

Dr McDonald said that the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese should include South-East Queensland and EDI Rail in the feasibility study for high speed rail.

“This is what the Greens mean by green jobs. Rail will always be more efficient and less polluting than motor vehicles. And it would provide jobs in the region. We need to think beyond existing frameworks. A high speed rail system would form a significant component of a low carbon economy in the region.”

Jim McDonald, Media Release, 12 August 2010

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National high speed rail a boost for local jobs and the region’s economy

Posted by Jim on August 6, 2010

High speed rail in Australia could be a real boon and provide hundreds of jobs in Maryborough, says Greens candidate, Jim McDonald. He was responding to an announcement on Thursday by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government of a feasibility study for the Newcastle-Sydney corridor.

“As Minister for Regional Development, Mr Albanese should include EDI Rail in the feasibility study he announced.

“It’s indicative of the lack of long-term strategy in Labor or the Coalition that Mr Albanese spoke only of NSW. Green’s leader Bob Brown has been talking about a national high speed rail strategy for years.

“The Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast regions would benefit economically from a reliable, regular fast rail system. And it would reduce traffic on the Bruce Highway. Brisbane would only be a two to two and a half hours from Maryborough.

“This is what the Greens mean by green jobs. Rail will always be more efficient and less polluting than motor vehicles. And it would provide regional jobs. We need to think beyond existing frameworks. A High speed rail system would form a significant component of a low carbon economy in the region.”

Media release, Jim McDonald, 5 August 2010

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Kin Kin quarry approval crazily indifferent to community

Posted by Jim on July 29, 2010

The Wide Bay Greens candidate, Jim McDonald, said he is perplexed as to how Councillors and the Sunshine Coast Council can allow a mega quarry to gear up in Kin Kin. The Council has approved a large quarry developed for concrete aggregate at the end of Shepparson’s lane alongside the Noosa Trail Network.

“The roads into Kin Kin village are basically country lanes. The main route from Pomona is not even wide enough for line marking and includes three single lane bridges. There is a requirement for quarry approvals to cover provisions for haulage. That has clearly not happened in Kin Kin.

“The road system is too small for quarry trucks and highway entry is on one of the worst black spots on the Bruce Highway near Pomona. Sunshine Coast Council seems to have broken its own rules. The heavy haulage traffic that the expansion of the quarry will bring will endanger the lives of everyone who travels on Kin Kin district’s roads. That’s a dereliction of duty in ensuring due care in managing the roads.

“Were Mayor Bob Abbott and local Councillor Lew Brennan asleep on the job? The proposal for a large quarry has been on the table for a couple of years.

“A large tourist project had been dumped by Anna Bligh when she was the Minister for Infrastructure because Kin Kin didn’t have the infrastructure. It would never have brought the heavy trucks that the quarry will bring, yet the Titanium project was rejected.

“Now the Council and the State Government are paying pass the parcel, while residents are rightly fearful and annoyed by the intransigence of the Council and the failures of the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

“Inappropriate coalmining and quarrying in the Wide Bay electorate represent a major threat to residents’ lifestyle, regional infrastructure, and the environment. They undermine the efforts of the Noosa and the Great Sandy Biospheres to inject a sustainable approach to conservation and resource utilisation.

“In the Kin Kin case, this breach of principle is nothing short of a crazy indifference to the community.”

Jim McDonald media release, 29 July 2010

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Greens support Kin Kin residents’ objections to quarry

Posted by Jim on June 30, 2010

In 2007, Anna Bligh, then Minister for Infrastructure refused an application for the development of a $400 million tourism development in the village of Kin Kin.  Not only did she say that the project was in conflict with the SEQ regional plan, which allows for smaller tourism businesses such as farm stays and Bed and Breakfast establishments, but she also pointed out, “The region just doesn’t have the infrastrucure to support a development of this size.”

The Kin Kin district doesn’t have the infrastructure for up to 40 trucks a day carrying up to 42 tonnes of rock on the roads either.  Kin Kin is notorious for the narrow winding roads that lead to the town.  Roads in and out of Kin Kin will become a death trap.

Today I visited this quiet little corner and saw Sunshine Coast Regional Council surveyors marking out the road leading from the quarry to the Kin Kin – Wolvi Road for an upgrade.  There is nothing in the Main Roads budget for improving the roads. And, this is despite the Council and Kin Kin residents about to face each other in court.

Wahpunga Creek flows off a ridge, past the quarry, and eventually into Kin Kin Creek, which in turn flows into the Noosa River.  The Department of Environment doesn’t call this a stream!

Walpinga Creek

Wahpunga Creek: Qld Dep't of Environment & Resource Management says this is not a creek! Photo Jim McDonald

When it rains, it is quite clear from the next photograph that the stream suffers from quarry run-off.  This flows eventually through to  Kin Kin Creek and Noosa River.  This case is an example of tricksy, bureaucratic nonsense emanating from Departments whose function is to protect the environment, but whose arbitrary decisions are ultimately harmful to residents and the environment.  This is what the quarry did to the Wahpunga Creek after rain:

Wahpunga Creek with quarry run-off

Wahpunga Creek downstream from quarry after rain; clear surface water flowing from neighbour's property Photo Maree Glasby

By the way, the road being surveyed, Sheppersons Lane, is part of the Noosa Trail Network!

There are some complicated issues about the legality of the quarry, which has been a small part-time quarry for years.  But, the central issue is that accessibility issues have the seeds of tragedy in them if this small quarry is upscaled. Meanwhile, the lessee forges ahead.

Kin Kin Quarry

Drilling proceeds for expanding Kin Kin Quarry, 30 June 2010 Photo Jim McDonald

The Greens support the Kin Kin community, which has been working hard to prevent their roads being overrun by large trucks that have no place in their small hamlet.  Your Wide Bay candidate, Jim McDonald, called on the LNP Opposition spokesperson on the environment, the Hon Glen Elmes, to get moving on the issue.  This needs real action to prevent a disastrous result for Kin Kin and district residents.

Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate, Wide Bay, 30 June 2010

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Queensland: Beautiful one day, open-cut coalmines the next

Posted by Jim on May 29, 2010

Coal survey maps suggest that large swathes of land from Bundaberg to the Mary Valley could end up as open-cut coal mines. This is adjacent to, and in some cases covers, tourist areas, sensitive environmental areas including watercourses and wetlands, State forests, national parks and viable farmland. It extends to the Mary Valley and the Mary River. Figure 1 is a map of the various coal basins in South-East Queensland.

Figure 1: Coal Basins in South-East Queensland

Source: http://www.dme.qld.gov.au/zone_files/coal_files_pdf/se_qld_coal_map_08.pdf,
accessed 24 May 2010

Figure 1 shows very clearly that the Maryborough Basin intrudes upon Bundaberg and Maryborough and extends as far south as Gympie and into the Mary Valley.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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