Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Mary Valley: A deadly lack of vision on all sides

Posted by Jim on September 21, 2010

I refer to the independent member for Nicklin Peter Wellington’s comments published in the Noosa News, Tuesday, 21 September about developing the Mary Valley as a food bowl.

Mr Wellington is picking up rather belatedly on one of the issues I raised during the Federal election campaign back in May.  But Mr Wellington, like most politicians, fails to address the key issues and only scratches at the populist elements of the issue.  What is needed is the immediate cooperation of farmers, agricultural scientists, ecologists, climate scientists, the food industry, economists, the regional communities and the State and Federal Governments to plan out a future for the the Mary Valley.  And set a date on it for implementation in the next 18 months.  Instead land lies in the hands of the State Government, which is only interested in offloading it.

But the future of the Mary Valley must be considered as a matter of urgent national and regional interest as part of an holistic approach to the triple challenges of climate change, population growth and food security.  This makes the Government’s food cropping survey somewhat redundant for the region.  Action is needed now.  In the region.

There is a deadly lack of vision on all sides as the State Labor Government and the LNP continue to show ineptitude on all three of these highest priority challenges.

There is a deadly lack of vision on all sides as the State Labor Government and the LNP continue to show ineptitude on all three of these highest priority challenges.

The Mary Valley should become a model for efficient food production. Food distribution should be reformed by changing the inefficient supply chain practices of the large supermarkets. The primary market for Mary Valley should be the Burnett, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast and Wide Bay regions supplied directly from the Mary Valley, with the surplus exported to the rest of Australia and overseas.

In the face of the failure of the State Labor Government, the LNP at both State and Federal levels in the region are ineffectual on addressing climate change, population and food security.  They also remain silent on the prospect of coalmining along the Mary River.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Electorate, 21 September 2010
Published Noosa News 24 September 2010

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Dialysis win for Maryborough

Posted by Jim on September 12, 2010

The Government neglect of health in the Wide Bay electorate was one of the key issues in the Greens campaign and nowhere was this more evident than the long and arduous trips public patients have to make for treatment and tests.  In some cases, these journeys are round trips of between 450 and 500 kilometres.

The Fraser Coast Chronicle ignored media releases on this issue even when Jim McDonald submitted a media release on the trips that Maryborough dialysis patients had to make to Gympie for treatment.  Two days after the media release The Fraser Coast Chronicle published its own story ignoring the policy issues raised by the Greens. The release was published as a letter in The Gympie Times on 26 June 2010.  The Gympie Times had published the original story on this neglect of dialysis patients in Maryborough.

We are pleased to report that the Queensland Health Minister,Paul Lucas, has now announced that $5 million will go towards six new renal dialysis chairs at Maryborough hospital.

Not before time. But this is a patchwork effort.  Health reform in Wide Bay needs a holistic approach and so far there is little more than rhetoric and catch-up on health issues evident in the electorate.  Let’s hope that the Federal Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, can get quickly onto regional health issues in general and the unsatisfactory position in Wide Bay.

The Federal Health Minister might have some sympathy in her considerations for the fact that Maryborough Hospital no longer has a maternity ward and expectant mothers are required to travel to Hervey Bay.  This is ludicrous treatment of the people of Maryborough.  Reform should ensure that regional cities have proper health facilities.  The Queensland Minister’s statement shows no recognition of the importance of comprehensive local hospital services for the city.

Jim McDonald, Greens spokesperson, Wide Bay electorate, 12 September 2010

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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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Keep up to date on issues in Wide Bay

Posted by Jim on August 26, 2010

Keep up to date on issues in the Wide Bay electorate and the corresponding State electorates, especially Maryborough, Gympie and Noosa here.

We’ll be back shortly.  I’m the spokesperson for the Greens in Wide Bay and will soon have posts up on

  • Powerlink
  • Aldershot
  • Coalmining
  • Kin Kin quarry

for starters.

Jim McDonald  Greens spokesperson, Wide Bay electorate, 26 August 2010

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Greens how to vote card for Wide Bay and Senate

Posted by Jim on August 20, 2010

Click on the following image to access The Greens How to Vote Card for Wide Bay and the Senate:

Greens How to Vote Card: the voter decides preferences

Jim McDonald, Greens candidate for Wide Bay

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Top 10 Reasons to Vote Green this Saturday

Posted by Jim on August 19, 2010

1.     The Greens stand up for what’s right, not just what’s easy. Whether it’s protecting the environment, introducing universal dental care, opposing the war in Iraq or advocating for refugees to be treated humanely, the Greens are driven by values, not polls.

2.     It’s the Party everyone’s heading to. The Greens are the third largest political party in Australia, with five national Senators, 21 State MPs and more than 100 local Greens councillors already playing a positive and constructive role across Australia. More than a million Australians voted Green in 2007, and we’re the fastest-growing party in the country.

3.     Break the deadlock in the Senate between the Government and the Opposition. Last time the Government of the day also got control of the Senate, and we got WorkChoices. This weekend, the Opposition could easily win control of the Senate, which would deliver Australians nothing but three years of deadlock. We deserve a Senate that will work for us and deliver strong, sensible action – not just spin.

4.     Provide future generations with clean air, clean water and clean soil. The Greens will tackle climate change by putting a price on carbon for big polluters in the next term of government. It’s time we created new clean energy jobs and started investing in the economy of the future.

5.     Make legislation better. When the Coalition tried to block the stimulus package that kept Australia out of recession, the Greens passed it with added environmental and small business benefits. The Greens will do the same thing to improve the mining super profits tax – to ensure Australians get a fair share of our resources.

6.     The Greens have vision. When Bob Brown first spoke to the Senate about climate change 14 years ago, his Labor and Liberal colleagues actually laughed at him, and now that they finally understand the magnitude of the issue, we’re laughing at their attempts to address it. The Greens are also the only party working to end all forms of legal discrimination against Australians based on sexuality. The Greens focus on what’s right for the next generation, not just the next election cycle.

7.     Not Steve Fielding. The power to scuttle legislation currently rests with Steve Fielding, who refuses to accept the science of climate change and have views out of touch with most Australians.

8.     An environmental party – and much, much more. The Greens stand for much more than just cutting carbon pollution, securing our water supplies and protecting our environment. Think better public schools, more funding for hospitals and fixing our broken mental health system. The Greens also drive great new ideas, like building high-speed rail between Australia’s major cities, which is now gaining momentum but would never have gotten up otherwise.

9.     For a more powerful vote. Another Labor or Liberal candidate will just vote the way they’re told. With the Greens, every vote is a conscience vote. If you’re disappointed with Labor but don’t want Tony Abbott, you can send a powerful message to Julia Gillard. And if your Greens candidate doesn’t win, your vote will simply go to the next candidate of your choice at full value.

10.  Bob Brown. A genuinely decent politician and the most experienced party leader in Parliament.

From  Larissa Waters: Vote 1 for Queensland  in the Senate

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Protection needed for Mary River from coalmines

Posted by Jim on August 13, 2010

Green Candidate’s response to Coalition promise to pledge $125,000 to support the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee riparian tree planting program:

I welcome Mr Truss’s initiative to support the wonderful work done by Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, but it could be a matter of too little too late.  As well as the ecological vandalism from the State Government pipeline, the Mary River faces major threats from open-cut coalmining at Tiaro, the beautiful Munna Creek and Aldershot. Mr Truss has been silent on protecting the Mary River from the inevitable impacts on groundwater and aquifers on the health of the Mary River.  The proposed mines will also threaten the heritage of the internationally recognised Great Sandy wetlands at the mouth of the Mary River.

While the promised funding would assist the work of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, Mr Truss commits nothing to protecting the Mary River from environmental disaster arising from coalmining.

Comments published in an article in the Noosa News, Friday, 13 August 2010

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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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Liberals’ Dirty Tricks

Posted by Jim on August 11, 2010

The Liberal Party, or some sneak who thinks they are doing them a favour, has attempted to sabotage my online campaign by buying my name from Google advertisements so that when a voter does a Google search on my name, it includes my name and Liberal National Party propaganda.  You can see this in the following screenshot:

At the top of the results page for Jim mcDonald you can see an advertisement, which I have not authorised, and a paid result that links in with a Liberal Party webpage

There’s no other description of this dirty tactic: it is dishonest.  I’ve submitted a complaint to Google, and am considering my further options.  This is the party who wants voters to take their campaign seriously and to run the country?

What are you going to do about it Warren Truss and Tony Abbott?

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate
Wide Bay

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Jim McDonald’s statement on regional arts

Posted by Jim on August 8, 2010

When I looked at the Arts policies for the 2007 Federal election, and Peter Garrett’s arts policy was the only other policy out there apart from the Greens’ the first thing that struck me was that it was about funding established companies and organisations to visit the regions on tours with mostly one night performances and travelling exhibitions.

When, just before the election date, the Liberals came out with an Arts policy, it was more of the same.

Jim with supporters after the regional arts launch at The J, Noosa

My opponent’s party, which claims to have special relevance for the regions, doesn’t have an arts policy at all, let alone a regional arts policy. In fact, their platform doesn’t even contain the word, “Art” except part of the word, “part”.

We have a broad appreciation of the Arts. We mean, as the Queensland Regional Arts and Culture Strategy 2010–2014 defines it, the visual arts, music, dance, writing, craft, theatre, media art, design, public art, events, festivals, exhibitions, community cultural development and preservation of knowledge, stories, heritage and collections.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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