By Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens
How do we build an economic system that serves the needs of people and nature, both for today and for tomorrow?
The economy is a tool; a tool we humans invented – like democracy and politics – to help govern our relationships between each other, and between ourselves and the world we live in. If our economic tools are not getting the outcomes we want, making us happy, safe, healthy, better educated and fulfilled and protecting and preparing our country for an increasingly uncertain future in a world on track to be 4 degrees warmer, then it is time our economic tools changed.
A continuation of the current weather patterns could see Sydney's dams
overflowing by mid May and households paying for $82 million for water from
the desalination plant that runs out to sea, according to Greens NSW MP
('Desalination test may waste millions,' Sun Herald, 19 February 2012, page
Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called upon Environment Minister Robyn Parker to explain why she told ABC Television 7.30 program that testing on potentially poisoned fish had been conducted, when the Department of Primary Industries said no such testing has taken place.
The 7.30 NSW program investigated mass fish kills in the Macleay River in northern NSW after a series of toxic spills from the Hillgrove
Antimony mine near Armidale.
“Has Minister Parker mislead the public when she said tests on the fish had been done and these tests showed no link to the toxic pollution incidents,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham
“Robyn Parker must explain the inconsistency between what she told ABC TV and the statement from the Department of Primary Industry that no tests had been conducted.
Commenting on the grounding of a supply ship carrying marine diesel fuel at the world heritage listed Lord Howe Island, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said she has written to the federal environment minister and would take the issue up in the current parliamentary estimate hearings ('Supply ship grounding 'an accident waiting to happen', SMH page 3 today http://tiny.cc/s7dli)
"The operation of the MV Island Trader to Lord Howe Island has been an accident waiting to happen," Senator Rhiannon said.
While strongly welcoming the release of 84 billion litres of water into the Snowy River below Lake Jindabyne, Greens NSW MP John Kaye said that the environmental benefits could have been far greater if the timing of the flow had been better managed.
Dr Kaye, commenting on the peak releases which begin today, said: "The lower Snowy River desperately needs scouring flows to remove the silt built up over the four decades since the completion of Jindabyne Dam.
"However, the entire release is being shoehorned into just 19 days, with only four days of build up until flows exceed 4 billion litres of water a day.
"This tight schedule is a long way from the pre-scheme behaviour of the river and poses a real risk to downstream wild life.
Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says the dark
days of bulldozers and chains could return with news the O'Farrell
government is reviewing land clearing laws.
"Unfortunately we now have an Environment Minister who sees the
success of the state's native vegetation laws in stopping land
The O'Farrell government should order Sydney Water to stop demanding home owners repair pipes and connections that are not on their own property, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
('$11k bill for pipe fix stinks', Sunday Telegraph, 5 May, p. 23, http://j.mp/18FlsvR)
Greens NSW MP John Kaye welcomed the decision of the O'Farrell government to remove new dams from the list of options being considered for the Lower Hunter Water plan.
('Dams off the agenda', Newcastle Herald, 2 May 2013, http://j.mp/th130502)
The controversy surrounding Australian Water Holdings and its former chair Arthur Sinodinos over donations to both federal and NSW Coalition parties and AWH's links with a company associated with Eddie Obeid underlines why the federal government and opposition should back political donation reform, Australian Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today.
The cancellation of water efficiency programs is designed to push up Sydney Water's dividend payments and hide the money wasted on the Kurnell desalination plant, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
('Water wise, dollar dumb' Sydney Morning Herald, page 1, http://j.mp/smh130221)