Solar Flagship fails to ignite NSW renewable future

While the investment in renewable energy under the Solar Flagships Program is a big step in the right direction, the Moree project is second best to a stand-alone solar thermal power station with energy storage capacity to contribute to the overnight load, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. ('Giant solar energy plants to run 100,000 homes' Sydney Morning Herald 20 June, page  4,
Dr Kaye said: "Queensland scored the premium project with more jobs, greater technical challenges and rewards and a much brighter future.

NSW high air pollution - urgent need for new woodheater standards

The Greens have called for the efforts in improving vehicle emissions standards to be extended to woodheaters, responsible for more than a third of hazardous fine particle emissions in Sydney and two-thirds in Canberra. (Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June 2011)

Juanita Nielsen Memorial Lecture

You are cordially invited to the

The Juanita Nielsen Memorial Lecture, initiated by Greens NSW Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon, is in its 11th year.

This year’s guest speaker is Dr Leslie Cannold. She will speak on ‘How can Australians draw a clear line between Church and State and why does such a separation matter, anyway?’.

Leslie is an author, columnist, ethicist and researcher. In 2005 she was noted as one of Australia's top 20 public intellectuals and in 2011 she was made Australian Humanist of the Year.

Dr Mehreen Faruqi, civil and environmental engineer and sustainability expert, will speak on the life and times of Juanita Nielsen.

Juanita Nielsen was the publisher of the independent newspaper NOW and active campaigner against high-rise development in Kings Cross. Juanita disappeared in July 1975. A coronial inquest determined that Nielsen had been murdered. In 1994 the Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority further castigated investigative ineptitude in the case and emphasised links between her presumed murder, property developers and local criminals.

Date - Tuesday 28 June 2011
Time - 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location - Mori Gallery, 168 Day Street, Sydney
Enquiries –  (02) 9045 6999

Greens call on Serco to release Villawood staffing rosters


David's record-breaking speech on the public sector wage bill

Last week in NSW Parliament, David spoke for 5 hours and 58 minutes on the Public Sector Wages bill. A (much) abridged version of David’s speech is below.

The bill removes the Industrial Relations Commission as the independent umpire for industrial negotiations between the government and the public sector. Effectively, the bill will give the government unchecked control over the wages and conditions of public sector workers.

In order to achieve wage increases above 2.5% (below inflation) the public sector will need to display “efficiencies”. This means that in order for public sector workers – teachers, police, firefighters, etc –  a reduction in services at public institutions like our schools and hospitals will be necessary.

Future of Solar Industry remains in doubt: Leichhardt Public Meeting to proceed

Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker has welcomed NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's back down on retrospective changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme but warned that the future of the solar industry remains in grave doubt.
The public meeting he has organised for this Thursday evening (9 June 2011) at Leichhardt Town Hall from 6:30 pm will proceed to keep the pressure on the O'Farrell government to promote the shift to renewable energy.

"The government's back-down on the retrospective cuts to the solar tariff is good news for the many households in the seat of Balmain who were going to be punished for doing the right thing by the environment," Mr Parker said.

"There is a very strong feeling about this in the community. We collected hundreds of signatures on petitions at street stalls around the electorate last weekend."

"The Premier's back-down is welcome but it leaves the future of the industry in grave doubt. 830 solar installing businesses and the 5,400 people they employ are still without a secure future, because the Premier has not committed to a viable ongoing tariff. Without an on-going tariff for rooftop solar, people will not buy new units and the industry will fail." Mr Parker said.

Solar back flip welcome but the industry still needs a future

The Greens welcomed NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's back down on retrospective changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme but warned that the industry would collapse without an ongoing tariff.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "This is a victory for the 110,000 households who would have seen their bonus rate cut from 60 cents per kilowatt-hour to 40 cents.

"It still leaves the state's electricity retailers with a $100 million a year windfall profit from the solar power they receive but don't pay for.

Greens MP uncovers coal seam gas blowout in Campbelltown

Greens MP and mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham has called on the government to thoroughly investigate an AGL coal seam gas well (Sugar Loaf 3) that leaked a foamy substance into the air next to the Sydney suburb of Glen Alpine and a water supply canal. (see map as PDF)

Mr Buckingham witnessed and filmed the gas well spurt the substance into the air for 15 minutes last week and has written to the Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, asking her to investigate.

“I was disturbed to witness an unknown substance spurt into the air from this coal seam gas well and drift toward houses in Glen Alpine,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“When we looked at the map later and saw the water supply canal only metres from the foaming well I was even more concerned.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Destroys Aboriginal Heritage Site

The development of Australia’s largest Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is now being branded as ‘cultural genocide’ by various Indigenous Rights groups and activists. According to NSW Greens MP and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge, failings in the planning process have led to the tragedy.

O'Farrell Attempts to Seize Control of Public Service Wages and Conditions

The Coalition government have launched an attack on the wages and conditions of the over 400,000 public sector workers in NSW. The Greens strongly oppose the move by the government to seize control of public sector wages and conditions from the industrial umpire, the Industrial Relations Commission.