Posted by Jim on June 23, 2010
There is some concern in the Wide Bay electorate about the Garrett review on fisheries in the Fraser Coast and Cooloola Coast regions. At a forum at Tin Can Bay in April called to discuss the effects on the seafood industry, the CEO of Marine Queensland, Don Jones, spoke about sustainable industry practices.
Afterwards I wrote to tell him it was clear “that your industry organisation and The Greens have far more in common than we have differences,” and sent him a copy of The Greens’ fishing policy. Greens policy on the industry and recreational fishing is to protect fish nursery habitat and encourage environmentally benign aquaculture industries.
There are, I told him, some useful distinctions he made that should be taken into account in the question of setting up green areas [ie no-go zones] – that we need to take a three dimensional approach to the question of access on the one hand and sustainability on the other.
What Don Jones said at the forum was quite consistent with The Greens’ policy on fishing. The first principal of our policy is the management of recreational and commercial fisheries to maintain sustainable populations and fisheries, and to minimise the environmental impacts of fishing. There was nothing in his remarks at the forum that was at odds with The Greens’ strategy to maintain adequate, biologically representative “no-take” areas within each fishery and/or marine bio-region for the conservation of marine biodiversity and fish stocks.
Nonetheless, The Greens position is outrageously portrayed by ratbags at the edges of the industry as anti-fishing. The Greens policy is hardly about closing down fisheries. The industry and The Greens share a concern about significant drops in some fish stocks.
The Greens go further than the industry in linking an increase in the number of Australia’s marine reserves, particularly where these improve the resilience of vulnerable fish populations. That’s the practical way to ensure sustainability.
But the science needs to be done and the Federal and State Governments need to patrol their respective designated areas to protect sensitive fishery resources against illegal commercial and recreational fishing. At the same time, the Federal Government review of the need for marine parks needs to look at which areas in a reserve might be no-go areas and what regulations ought to be put in place for different systems in the environment within a marine park. Within a particular zone it might require different approaches to pelagic fish on the surface and deep water marine species, migratory fish and fishing on reefs. The Greens do call for a moratorium on deep-sea bottom trawling in Australian waters and require a reduction of inefficient and wasteful by-catch in all trawl fisheries.
Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, has said about the review that neither the borders nor the announcement of the review of the Fraser Coast and Cooloola waters indicate which specific areas will be protected or where areas of mixed use will be allowed.
What is encouraging is that the responsible sectors of the industry, the Minister and The Greens all address the sustainability of the fishing industry. That consensus is a better start than the irresponsible scaremongering of sections of the industry, which the the member for Wide Bay seems to be pandering to in his latest electoral report.
Comment: Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate for Wide Bay, 23 June 2010
Posted by Jim on
I refer to the announcement by Colton Coal Mine’s Managing Director, Keith Barker announcement that the mine would go ahead [“Fraser Coast Chronicle” 22 June 2010].
Residents in Maryborough would be advised to look at the experience of Singleton in the Upper Hunter Valley before they got too excited about the prospect of a mine outside the town.
The affect on children’s respiratory health in Singleton is that one in four children experience problems, almost twice the national average for respiratory problems in children of one in nine.
The affect on public health in Singleton reflects experience in mining communities overseas and there have been many research papers that have confirmed that the proximity of coal mines to a community will have an effect on public health for both adults and children.
The community at Aldershot have done their homework on this, which is why they have opposed the mine. The Colton Coal Mine will be a mere three kilometres from the town.
It is surprising that Warren Truss, the member for the Federal electorate of Wide Bay has been quiet on the issue. Large open-cut mines in remote Queensland are one matter. A two hundred metre deep mine close to cities on the Coast is another. Especially when the estimated reserves will mean many decades of mining.
When the Queensland Government considers Northern Energy Corporation’s application they will have to choose whether mining royalties are more important than the communities of Wide Bay and Maryborough. I look forward to Mr Truss’s comments on the mine.
Federal Environment Minister, Mr Peter Garrett might likewise consider the impact on the immediate environment, as he did with Traveston Dam.
Letter to Fraser Coast Chronicle: 22 June 2010, Published 28 June 2010
Posted by Jim on June 4, 2010
The Greens Wide Bay candidate, Dr Jim McDonald, said today that he would believe Northern Energy Corporation had shelved the Colton Coal Mine project when there was evidence that the company had withdrawn its application for a mining licence.
He was commenting on a statement by NEC Managing Director, Keith Barker, on the ABC that the 40% super tax would make the mine non-viable.
Dr McDonald said NEC were grandstanding and attempting to hold the community to ransom.
“The company has reported up to 100 million tons of coal. That is not a marginal investment for a greenfields coalmining company.
“The fact that the Colton Coal Mine had ridden roughshod over the residents of Aldershot shows how seriously they were prepared to commence digging the mine as soon as a mining licence was granted. They glossed over the impact on the health of children living near the mine.
“They didn’t do that for a marginal investment and Mr Barker’s statement does not compute with the company’s latest ASX statement.
“NEC told the ASX in its April report of its intention to extend the resource of hard coking coal and increase the size of the mine development in parallel with the initial establishment of the open-cut mine.
“NEC is blatantly supporting Warren Truss and Tony Abbott and their opposition to the mining tax. Mr Barker has joined in a concerted, self-interested political campaign by the mining industry against the Rudd mining tax.
“The Rudd government had botched the introduction of the tax, and tripped itself up in spin, but the idea of a proper return to the Treasury on Australian resources was correct.”
Dr McDonald said that the State Government should reject the mining lease application. The best result for anyone living within 10 kilometres of the proposed mine is that it should not go ahead at all.
Posted by Jim on May 30, 2010
From Noosa Community radio:
Sometime this year there’s going to be a national election, and those chasing seats in Canberra are throwing their hats in the ring. Most of our audience probably live in the electorate of Wide Bay, which covers Weyba Downs and Peregian Beach in the southeast, Fraser Island in the northeast, from Booubyjan in the northwest to the township of Cherbourg in the southwest and Bella Creek in the south. Since March 1990 – that’s 20 years – the seat has been held by Warren Truss, leader of The Nationals, who held various ministries in the Howard government for 10 years. You’d be forgiven for thinking Warren owns Wide Bay. Enter David to challenge Goliath: Greens candidate, Jim McDonald, who’s started stomping the electorate. At a recent little gathering here in The J, next door to us, he put his case for more funding of the arts in the regions – that’s us, for example. That, of course, is not the former union official, teacher and jack of a few more trades’ only platform. I asked him why he was emphasising the arts.
Download MP3 recording of interview with Diet Simon, Interview recorded 2 May 2010
Noosa Community Radio
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
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 »
Posted by Jim on May 27, 2010
The Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald, told a meeting of the Maryborough Greens campaign team at a briefing on the weekend that Maryborough would soon be surrounded by a number of coalmines.
“Open-cut coalmines will change Hervey Bay and Maryborough forever,” he said. “Colton Coal Mine, the first of the mines, operated by Northern Energy Corporation, will be dug three kilometres from the town of Aldershot, a few kilometres north of Maryborough.
“The people of Aldershot are in the front line of the worst of these changes, which will be 24 hour operations, dust, noise and lights at the mine all night, property devaluation, the destruction of the amenity of the area, and the consequent effects on their health.”
Dr McDonald met with the Aldershot and Districts Against Mining committee for two hours on Saturday afternoon and heard first-hand the fears of the town for the future of their children’s health.
He said that if the Colton Coal Mine had been operating last Friday, when the winds blew all afternoon from the east and north-east, Aldershot would have experienced dust and noise of draglines and the huge mining trucks. Toxic dust would have landed on the roofs of houses, which rely on tank water.
Candidate with AADAM Committee, Campaign Director & member of Greens Maryborough Campaign Committee
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Jim on May 11, 2010
The Federal Government should get on with upgrading broadband access in South East Queensland, the Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Dr Jim McDonald said.
“Now Senator Conroy’s $25 million review of implementation of the National Broadband Network [NBN] has come up with smaller cost projections than first estimated, the roll-out should commence without delay.
He said that present internet speeds in much of regional Australia are third world.
“Regional Australians have been treated for too long as second-class internet users.
“The priority should be to start the optical fibre network in areas like South East Queensland.
“And Telstra should cooperate with the Government in saving taxpayers’ funds and in lowering customer costs.
“Telstra negotiators should remember that their primary mission is to provide all Australians with telephony and internet infrastructure.
“That responsibility has not disappeared because Government has part privatised the service, which should never have happened” he said.
Dr McDonald said the Opposition’s position was laughable. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Jim on April 22, 2010
Greens candidate, Dr Jim McDonald, said “There will be no preference deals in Wide Bay for the Federal election.”
He was responding on comments yesterday by the National Member for Wide Bay, Hon Warren Truss and National Senator Ron Boswell.
The National Party parliamentarians said that there might be a pre-election deal between Labor and the Greens.
“Senator Boswell and Mr Truss are guilty of misinformation,” he said. “At the last Federal election, the Greens made no preference deals with any party in Wide Bay and the Nationals have made no approach to the Branch for talks on any issues.
“Wide Bay Greens have already decided not to preference any party at the next Federal election. The Branch is adamant that there should be no preference deals because of Coalition lack of environmental policies and Labor’s policies on refugees. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »