Premier must listen to Scientists and the Community to protect marine parks

Greens NSW Marine Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called upon the Premier to listen to scientists and to community concerns to save marine parks and sanctuary zones. This week, the Premier will decide whether to continue to allow recreational fishing in marine park sanctuary zones.

“This week we will find out whether the Premier will put short term political deals with the Shooters and Fisher’s Party over science and the overwhelming community support for no-take sanctuary zones.

“Allowing recreational fishing in sanctuary zones not only endangers our marine ecology but threatens the sustainability of key industries such as tourism and commercial fishing.

Prohibition fails every time, especially for young people

Raising the legal age of alcohol consumption would only drive binge drinking underground and unnecessarily punish responsible users, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Lift drinking age, urges Royal Australasian College of Physicians chief' SMH, 27 January, p. 5, http://j.mp/1ghbMRy)

Responding to a call by the president-elect of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Professor Nicholas Talley, for the national debate to include raising the legal age to 20, Dr Kaye said: "Prohibition has never worked and least of all with young people.

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.

O'Farrell government's privatised public hospital model sacrifices patient care

The Northern Beaches Hospital project is the O'Farrell government's test case for handing its responsibility to develop and run public hospitals to the private sector, Greens NSW MP John Kaye said.

The Frenchs Forest replacement for Mona Vale and Manly Hospitals is to be built, owned and operated by one of two private health companies bidding for the contract. Public clinical services will be paid for by the state government.

The Greens and the local community argue that the incursion of the private sector into public health will drive up costs and reduce the quality of service.