Greens introduce bill to prevent mining in the Central Coast catchment

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today introduced legislation into the NSW Legislative Council to stop mining and exploration in the Central Coast drinking water catchment saying it will test Premier Barry O'Farrell's credibility.

The Central Coast Drinking Water Catchments Protection (No ifs, no buts, a guarantee) Bill 2014 prohibits mining and exploration activities in the seven drinking water catchments of the Central Coast - the Mangrove Creek Dam, Mardi Dam, Ourimbah Creek, Wyong River, Porters Creek, Mangrove Creek Weir and Mooney Mooney Dam catchment areas.

New figures show logging native forests costs taxpayers and the environment dearly

The first figures released by the newly corporatized Forestry Corporation show the native forestry industry in crisis with thousands of extra hectares of forest being logged, for dwindling returns and the inevitable chronic losses being made up by NSW taxpayers. Destroying public native forests for woodchips and timber has a net negative cost to taxpayers of $480 per hectare.

See report in the SMH here: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/logging-increases-but-revenue-drops-20140125-31fex.html

The amount of native forest that was logged by Forestry NSW increased by 36% between 2011/12 and 2012/13. Despite this additional 8,300 hectares of native forest being lost, the amount of commercial timber recovered fell, showing ever diminishing returns from a stressed public forest reserve.

The more aggressive harvesting regime also impacted on threatened species with the number of threatened fauna species sighted in logging operations increasing from 3,018 in 2012/13 to 4,277 in 2012/13. The greater impact on threatened species is inevitable as more and more of our forests are targeted for logging.

Coalition’s water trading plan for Murray Darling Basin is not a solution

The Abbott government plan to support the sale of millions of litres of Murray Darling Basin water puts the future of river communities, their economic viability and the environmental health of the region at risk, Senator Lee Rhiannon the Greens water spokesperson said today.

“The Coalition plan to move into water trading is not the solution to environmental restoration of the Murray-Darling.

“This is a massive blow to rural Australia as a few irrigators will benefit to the detriment of river communities, the majority of farmers and the environment,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Real growth not GDP

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.

Sydney drenching highlights desal folly

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
John Kaye.

('Desalination test may waste millions,' Sun Herald, 19 February 2012, page
5, http://j.mp/sh120219)

Robyn Parker must explain toxic fib

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.

Oil spill threat to Lord Howe Island

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.

Snowy River release welcome but profits undermine full benefits

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.

Will bulldozers return under the O'Farrell government?

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

Greens at Agquip

Greens at Agquip

Last week the Greens held a stall at Agquip, the biggest agricultural event in Australia. Over 100,000 people visit the event held near Gunnedah each year.