Thursday, May 25, 2017

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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Save Musselroe wind farm jobs by fixing renewables target

Posted by admin on February 7, 2010

The Rudd government’s bungling of the renewable energy target legislation is jeopardising hundreds of jobs around Australia, including those about to be lost at the stalled Musselroe Bay wind farm.

The Greens have proposed a Private Member’s Bill to fix the legislation, based on amendments rejected by both Labor and Liberals when the bill was being debated. The government could save the Musselroe jobs by working with the Greens to fix the target scheme.

“Mr Rudd and Minister Wong could save these people’s jobs at Musselroe Bay if they fixed the bungled renewable energy target,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.

“We can fix this problem so easily and I challenge Mr Rudd and Senator Wong to look at our proposal and work with us to make sure the renewables sector survives and flourishes.

“$20 billion of investment in wind power alone that is waiting to be unleashed by solid policy is being undermined by Rudd government mismanagement.

“It’s not just jobs at Musselroe Bay and other industrial scale renewable energy developments across the country, but the Rudd government’s climate credibility is on the line here if the renewable energy target is not urgently fixed.

“The gross mismanagement of the Green Loans Scheme is also jeopardising jobs and small businesses across the country as we speak.”

The Greens repeatedly warned that including solar hot water, heat pumps and multiplied rooftop solar credits in the renewable energy target would crash the price of renewable energy certificates (RECs), stopping commercial-scale renewable energy developments from getting off the ground. This would not have come to pass if Greens amendments moved at the time had been accepted.

“It was obvious that this would happen, but both the government and opposition refused to heed the warnings and rejected my amendments that would have prevented it,” Senator Milne said.

“This is typical of Mr Rudd and Senator Wong’s spin-over-substance approach to climate and clean energy.”

Senator Milne’s Private Member’s Bill would add RECs from solar hot water, heat pumps and the solar multiplier to the top of the target. This would ensure that the technologies are supported but do not crowd out large-scale renewable energy.

“This is not the perfect policy, but it is an achievable way to fix this problem quickly.

“Ideally, the Greens would like to see an energy efficiency target and a gross feed-in tariff running alongside the renewable energy target, supporting solar water heating, rooftop solar and much more. That would be the best way to drive a boom in zero emissions energy.”

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Government legal action on whaling needs to be enacted immediately

Posted by admin on December 12, 2009

Whales bring thousands of visitors and create hundreds of jibs in the Wide Bay Electorate

Whales bring thousands of visitors and hundreds of jobs to the Wide Bay Electorate

How many more whales have to die before the Government makes up its mind if it is going to take legal action against Japan, asked the Australian Greens today.

“Mr Rudd’s threats to take legal action are laughable, unless he has the will to put them into action – his Government has been using the same lines for the last two seasons just as the Coalition did before them, and Australians don’t believe him” said Australian Greens marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

“Mr Rudd has confirmed there are no plans to use Australian boats to monitor whaling this season, as their only purpose was to gather evidence to support a future court case. That was two years ago – and what has been accomplished in that time?”

“The Prime Minister Rudd must raise the issue of whaling when he meets the Japanese Prime Minister next week. If he fails to resolve the issue next week with the Japanese Prime Minister, he should commence legal action in the international courts immediately,” said Senator Siewert.

“Negotiations between Australia’s Environment Minister, Whale Envoy and the Japanese Government have achieved nothing – as evident when we see the Japanese whaling fleet heading back out into the Southern Ocean.”

“We cannot wait until the next International Whaling Commission meeting in mid 2010 to take action on Japanese whaling – that is after the current whaling season and hundreds of whales will be slaughtered while the Australian Government dithers.”

“The Japanese plan to take nearly 1000 minke whales and 50 fin whales in their hunt this season. The only thing standing in the way of that quota is the Sea Shepherd, who again will be on the seas alone,” she concluded.

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