Sunday, May 28, 2017

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Kin Kin Community Group fights inappropriate quarry

Posted by Jim on July 18, 2010

What is it about mining and quarrying that brings out the worst in corporations and in all levels of government and the best in communities? Community groups in the Mary Valley, Aldershot and Kin Kin are great examples in the Wide Bay electorate of community resilience and wonderful skills quickly learned and applied.

Kin Kin Community Group briefing Saturday, 17 July 2010

Kin Kin Community Group briefing Saturday, 17 July 2010. Photo, Jim McDonald

The Kin Kin Community Group has been fighting approvals given to a small quarry by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the State Government to expand into a very large quarry.

Last week, as if to thumb its nose at the community and the legal case before the court, a large section of the quarry was blasted by the operators.

Premier Anna Bligh had refused an application for a large tourist complex when she was Infrastructure Minister because the infrastructure did not support such a large enterprise near the small village of Kin Kin.

The same narrow winding roads, which are not even wide enough for line marking and have single lane bridges, and will carry large quarry trucks if the quarry is allowed to go ahead, were not adequate for a large commercial tourist operation.

It has to be asked, what role has the Divisional Councillor and the Mayor played in the promotion of the Quarry expansion where up to 40 trucks a day will thunder down Kin Kin’s roads?

The Greens have already backed the community and yesterday the Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald, the Greens candidate for Groom, Frida Forsberg, Michael Kane from the Queensland Greens Management Committee, and the Wide Bay Campaign Manager, Bob Borsellino, were briefed on developments in Kin Kin.

Kin Kin 17 July

Members of Kin Kin Community Group and Greens representatives on site in Kin Kin

Jim McDonald promised his ongoing support for the community group in fighting the quarry and The Greens are planning additional political support for the campaign against the mega quarry.

While campaigns such as Kin Kin’s fight against the expansion of the quarry bring out the best in communities, it also brings out nasty elements.  Someone supporting the quarry has systematically destroyed community signs against the quarry:

ripped sign

One of the signs destroyed by vandals supporting quarry. Photo, Jim McDonald

Similar dirty tricks are played out in Aldershot, where community notices and noticeboards against the Colton Coal Mine are regularly destroyed and damaged by night vandals.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Time to act on Mary Valley

Posted by Jim on May 31, 2010

The beautiful Mary Valley

The Mary Valley must be planned and developed as the food bowl for the region and South East Queensland. It is in the national interest that the State and federal Governments treat the future of the Mary Valley as a matter of the highest priority.

There is an opportunity that is being missed here to put in place a highly productive and sustainable food cropping zone to feed the region and export to the rest of the country and even overseas.

The Mary Valley could become a model for efficient food production and distribution by changing the inefficient supply chain practices of the large supermarkets. The primary market for Mary Valley would 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.

Intensive but sustainable methods could be world class with efficient water usage and re-usage.

This is the most important climate change policy and population policy for the region. and we hear nothing from either the State or Federal Government. The necessity of acting on protecting and nurturing our best land seems to have escaped the notice of Anna Bligh and Kevin Rudd.

After prematurely acquiring a large number of properties, which it finds it can’t now [sell in its] buy back [plan], the State Government owns the most fertile land in the valley, so the essential planning should be less difficult than under other circumstances.

This is about securing food supplies in an area that has a reliable water supply and fertile land.

The Mary Valley provides the opportunity for model planning in food security. The sustainable development of food production in the Mary Valley is a national as well as a state issue and Mr Rudd and Ms Bligh are to be condemned for their failure to address the question.

Letter to the Gympie Times, published 29 May 2010

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather