- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.



Monday, 31 October 2011

Jeremy Buckingham MLC visits Clarence to highlight dangers posed by coal seam gas and antimony mining

Greens MP, Jeremy Buckingham will visit Clarence with Greens by-election candidate Janet Cavanaugh to highlight the threat mining poses to the region.
Tuesday 1st November
WHAT: Jeremy and Janet highlight the threat the antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek poses to the Nymboida and Clarence Rivers and communities and industries that rely on these rivers. They will urge voters to use the Clarence by-election to send Barry O'Farrell a message on this issue.
WHEN: 10.30am Tuesday 1st November 2011
WHERE: Clarence River Bank near to the Prince St Wharf.
As the Greens mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham has visited the Wild Cattle Creek antimony mine site, the current gold and antimony mine at Hillgrove, and the toxic antimony processing site at Urunga.

Wednesday 2nd November
WHAT: Launch of the Greens' by-election headquarters at Casino - highlights the issue of coal seam gas for the by-election.
WHEN: 9.30am, Wednesday 2nd November 2011
WHERE: Shop 2, Casino Centre Arcade, Walker St (opposite former Civic Centre)
Jeremy Buckingham is the Deputy Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into coal seam gas and has been prominent opponent of the coal seam gas industry’s plans for expansion. He has introduced a bill into parliament calling for a moratorium on coal seam gas activities.


Contact:
Janet Cavanaugh - 0429 479 968
Jeremy Buckingham - 0439 460 691

Second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton

Janet Cavanaugh, Greens Candidate for Clarence

Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh, has given her support to the latest round of consultation for the second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton.
“I have to admit that I was surprised that this latest round of consultation includes 25 options, many of which were rejected by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) a number of years ago,” Ms Cavanaugh said.
“It seems we have gone back to the drawing board. However it is only by taking this step backwards that we will get a second crossing that will work for the whole community for the next 80-100 years.
“We need to realise that this will further delay the bridge’s construction. Plus I still believe Grafton is too far from Sydney for our bridge to be considered a priority for the current government.
“While waiting for bridge promises to be kept, I advise Grafton commuters and businesses to take matters into their own hands. Bridge congestion is a major problem for Grafton, so we need to do something about this issue.
“We can improve traffic flow and also levels of fitness by switching to active transport. Park your car in South Grafton and walk! It only takes 15-20 minutes to walk to Prince St from Riverside Drive or the railway station, and less than 5 minutes to cycle.
“Staggered work hours help spread the traffic. We don’t all have to work from 9 to 5.
“Car pooling is another means of reducing the number of cars crossing the bridge,” she concluded.
Ms Cavanaugh was one of the organisers of the recent Bike Week event which provided a free breakfast to cyclists in a park located next to the bridge, to encourage cycling across the bridge.
“In the long term, if a bridge is to be built,” Ms Cavanaugh said, “I repeat my earlier calls for such a bridge to be located so that heavy traffic using the Summerland Way can bypass the Grafton CBD.”  
The RTA will accept comments on its latest report by Tuesday 22 November 2011 and is holding consultation sessions in Grafton on 14 and 15 November.
Contact: Janet Cavanaugh – 0429 479 968

Shield Laws in NSW protecting journalists but not bloggers

Comments in yesterday’s estimates hearing for Attorney General and Justice shows how antagonistic and deeply suspicious of new media the Attorney General is. See also this AAP report on the issue.

Mr GREG SMITH: I have done my utmost to encourage freedom of speech, in a sense, and freedom of publication. I brought in the first shield laws in this State, or in any State, to give journalists protection.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Not as good as the bill that was first moved, obviously, for journalists.
Mr GREG SMITH: It was as good as the bill that was first moved by George Brandis. I am not going to cover bloggers who may represent terrorist organisations or criminal organisations or who may just be ratbags. I am protecting bona fide journalist who actually receive money from a publication that is respected in the community and available to the public generally. That is what my shield laws cover. I know they might be a bit different from yours, or from the ones moved by The Greens in Canberra before you moved yours.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Do you accept that bloggers—those commenting and those who are quite active commentators, including on the actions of your Government—are not covered by the shield laws that you moved in the first session of Parliament this year?
Mr GREG SMITH: I accept that they are not covered by them, and I do not know that there is a public interest in covering them. That is why I kept them out.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Is it the position of the Government that that new media, that expanding area of new media, is not worthy of the same level of protection that the so-called traditional print and electronic media are worthy of?
Mr GREG SMITH: I think the problem is that there is very little sanction against those people and very little discipline, whereas a journalist can be sacked if he has a job with the Sun-Herald or the Daily Telegraph or something like that and he or she publishes something that is inappropriate or that has to do with the work of criminals. I have seen examples in the past in my experience as a criminal lawyer where journalists have been used by corrupt people to name an informer so as to destroy a prosecution. There is the matter of Cornwall v the Independent Commission Against Corruption in which I had some involvement because I worked there at the time.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Would you accept that there is a discretion in even your shield laws?
Mr GREG SMITH: Yes.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: And that discretion would be available to cover those instances in which you say it would be inappropriate to give that kind of protection to bloggers and commentators on social media.
Mr GREG SMITH: Yes, there is a discretion.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Why is that not satisfactory?
Mr GREG SMITH: Can I answer the question, please?
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Yes.
Mr GREG SMITH: There is a discretion. I think it is an important discretion because I think this shield law is exceptional. For centuries, or perhaps a century, journalists have not enjoyed the privilege and some have been carted off to prison, others have been fined heavily for contempt and matters of that sort, and some of them ultimately have had their careers damaged because of their publications and refusal to name. It is not right that their publication of the news should be inhibited by fears of being sent to jail—things of that sort. But in relation to people who do not have that responsibility, who just want to have an opinion out there to attract 200 or 300 or even two or three others who would like to read their blogs, I do not see why they are entitled to that sort of protection.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: But why do you not see that contributors to a website like Crikey would be entitled to that protection? Why did you not extend the shield laws to include protections to those kinds of contributors who play a large part in engendering public discourse here in Australia?
Mr GREG SMITH: I did not think it was the right thing to do.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: So on your analysis, Mr Attorney, it would be okay for contributors to Crikey to be carried off to jail to have their sources disclosed. That is an expendable social practice in your mind.
Mr GREG SMITH: I am not aware of Crikey publications being of the nature that anybody would bother asking who was the source of that information.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: And it is with that kind of contemptuous response that you choose not to protect those kinds of new media sources?
Mr GREG SMITH: No, it is just that I had a subscription to Crikey for a while and I did not continue it because I did not think it was worth continuing. I am sorry, there is some useful stuff in it, but it is largely gossip.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: But it is not on that kind of personal view that you are determining whether, as a matter of public interest, contributors to new media should or should not be covered by shield laws.
Mr GREG SMITH: It is not just my view. I do not bring in any legislation unless Cabinet agrees with it, and Cabinet is a robust group. Unless I could put up compelling arguments to cover Crikey and other bloggers, I would not get it through.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Did you try?
Mr GREG SMITH: I would not try at the moment. You have not convinced me.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Labor catches up, at last. Those pesky Greens again.

On the brink of voters going to the polls, it's a relief that finally Labor has caught up and 'discovered' the threat to the Clarence that has the capacity to ruin our water, devastate our rural industries and poison our people with toxic water. How convenient for Clarence Labor candidate, Peter Ellem, that his former boss, Labor's Janelle Saffin MP, has finally 'commenced some fact finding.'

What was Janelle Saffin doing while the Greens Jeremy Buckingham MLC was asking questions in parliament about this mine? While the ABC has been reporting Jeremy Buckingham's and Mark Graham's (Coffs Harbour Greens councillor) campaign, what was Janelle listening to? While Janet Cavanaugh has been pleading for protection of our river, water, forests and environment from the ravages of mining, Janelle has just 'commenced some fact finding'. Meanwhile, of course, the Nationals Luke Hartsuyker (member for Cowper) has thrown his support behind the Chinese-owned mine.

Just as well the Daily Examiner has been asking questions.

Sustainable jobs really matter to the Greens but these are short-term jobs from a mine that will last for years, not decades, and which has the capacity to permanently poison our water.

What was NSW Labor thinking of, when it issued the exploration licence for a toxic element in the headwaters of the Coffs-Clarence Regional Water Supply??

Both Labor and the Nationals have a history of putting jobs before the environment and local residents. The current jobs of the Clarence River industries - our agriculture, fisheries and tourism - must be protected.

What questions about this mine have you been asking in parliament, Janelle?

Significant threat to waterways


I was pleased to see the expanded Daily Examiner coverage online of a mooted mining exploration project (DEX 5 October, 2011 "Significant threat to waterways"), having been alerted to the growing concern in the area by a Dorrigo resident and having just commenced some fact finding to see if the project would impact in our backyard. (Yes, it is a clear case of protecting your own backyard.)


The Daily Examiner asked all the right questions - questions which the Federal National Party MP Luke Hartsuyker should be asking. 
Granted, 60 new jobs would be of great benefit to the region but what if those jobs are at the expense of hundreds of other jobs lost as the result of contamination of the Clarence River, impacting on industries such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries?


We need to carefully consider any threat of contamination of our water supply.
The water supply that provides, among other things, drinking water, irrigation and commercial and recreational fishing activities for the Clarence Valley and surrounds.


Through earlier "NOT A DROP" campaigns started by the Daily Examiner, I have made it abundantly clear of my commitment to the Clarence River not losing a drop of water, despite questionable schemes such as diverting the Clarence inland.
This time "NOT A DROP" means we don't poison a drop of Clarence water, as the history of this type of mining is littered with pollution of waterways, water sources and nearby communities.


Mr Price of Anchor Resources is quoted as saying: "Using world best practice, there will be no contamination."
I have written to Mr Price on our behalf to ask him what "world best practice" actually involves and how it would prevent one iota of poison from entering the Clarence catchment.
I shall keep constituents informed through the local media of the progress of my approach to Anchor Resources.

JANELLE SAFFIN, MP Federal Member for Page, Letter to the Editor, October 25



From A Clarence Valley Protest.
The Daily Examiner, letters to the editor, 25 October 2011




Janelle, your backyard is also the Clarence electorate's backyard and Australia's backyard. No Australian deserves a toxic mine. The residents of the already poisoned Macleay River catchment certainly don't. Let's leave these toxic elements in the ground. You know that any guarantees by an overseas owned mine will be worthless.

Posted by John Vernon for the Clarence Greens

Can a leopard change its spots? What do you think?

After enjoying some time overseas, Chris (Gulaptis) moved back to Australia when a job opportunity became available in Mackay.
"I was so happy to get involved back into a community where mining was big again," he said.
Another product by the marketing specialists, Copyright © 2010 National Press Group


Do you really believe that Chris Gulaptis will not be more than actively furthering the interests of mining companies if he is elected to represent the seat of Clarence?

We note his comments (published in Friday's Daily Examiner) about protecting farmland from inappropriate mining, balance etc. This is just the usual National Party cliches that were trotted out in the last election and which have proved to be just that: words. The only 'balance' the National Party is concerned with is the bank balances of their rich friends.

Perhaps he can eventually follow in the footsteps of the Liberal Party's Richard Shields.



THE deputy director of the NSW Liberals, Richard Shields, has taken a job as a lobbyist with a coal seam gas company as the O'Farrell government considers its response to increasing community concern over the rapid expansion of the sector.
Mr Shields, who has served as deputy director for close to four years, has accepted a position with the listed mining company Metgasco as its manager of external relations.
The role involves liaising with the state government and community groups as well as investor relations.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/top-liberal-moves-to-gas-company-20110808-1ij74.html#ixzz1cCIbOm00

Janet Cavanaugh of The Greens has called for a moratorium on coal seam gas mining. Will Chris Gulaptis do the same? I doubt it.

Casino Times Story

CSG inquiry
GAS CLAMP URGED
Rural water users want protection from mining

THE Richmond Wilson Combined Water Users' Association wants the NSW Government to make coal seam gas miners accountable for any damage to the environment.
Association representative Rhonda Clift, has outlined a list of demands in a submission to the NSW Government inquiry into the coal seam gas industry.
"We represent 450 water user members - dairy farmers, beef producers, canegrowers, small crop growers, hay producers, orchardists, tea tree growers and others - who use surface and ground water for stock, domestic, industrial and irrigation purposes," Ms Clift said.
These industries had proven long-term sustainability since European settlement.
"Our submission arises from a concern to keep these industries viable – socially, environmentally and economically," Ms Clift said.
"RWCWUA believes that a strong aquifer interference policy must be developed, extended to all water sources, be of regulatory strength (not simply policy) and rigorously implemented and enforced.
"We need a strong government department to implement checks and balances and inform the public," she said.
(1) Coal seam gas water extraction should be licensed under the Water Sharing Plan.
Examples of issues to be addressed under the licence could include:
(A) Fracking or other chemical injection into the aquifer or incidental extraction of chemicals naturally present with the gas and water.
(B) Production of toxic chemical should result in shut down until containment and control can be proven to regulatory authorities.
(C) Interference or contamination of other aquifers by way of quality or quantity.
(2) Coal seam gas industry waste water management plan should be compulsory and tied to granting of extraction licence.
Examples of issues to be addressed:
waterusers two oct 26 2011(A) Evaporation ponds may not be efficient. In high humidity and high rainfall areas such as ours, there may be insufficient evaporation and overtopping of ponds through extreme weather events, resulting in chemical and/or saline contamination of adjacent land and waterways.
(B) Currently, water extracted incidentally is not allowed to be sold for irrigation or other uses as it is not extracted under the water licence system. This needs to be addressed and could be achieved if included in the Water Sharing Plan and licensed.
(C) Chemical recovery from extracted water may be possible and such chemicals may have commercial value.
(3) There needs to be monitoring so that there is no negative impact on a third party by coal seam gas extraction.
Examples of issues to be addressed:
(A) Monitoring of bores both private and government to gauge any changes to water flow and quality (benchmarking). Gas bores may pass through those
higher water bodies before reaching the level at which gas is found and the concern is that there may be leakage from one level to another.
water users three october 25 2011(B) Random/spot checks of bores and ponds.
(C) Monitoring should be undertaken by an independent body e.g. government agency.
(D) Full cost recovery principle from the coal seam gas company is envisaged.
(4) Substantial security bond should be provided by the coal seam gas company on granting of a licence to mine to cover potential litigation or damages arising from extraction.
Examples of issues to be addressed:
(A) Breaches of any licensing conditions result in forfeit.
(B) A fund similar to a builders insurance fund - these funds need to be held for quite a period in case there should be a major negative impact on a third party discovered in the future.
(C) Companies need to show a track record e.g. poor track record higher bond - good track record lower bond.
(5) Adequate compensation to landholders.
(A) A mechanism needs to be in place to assist landholders to negotiate suitable compensation for loss of value, quiet enjoyment of own property, visual aesthetics, agricultural capacity and changes to management practices.
(B) There needs to be access to a low-cost arbitration system if agreement cannot be reached.
waterusers one oct 26 2011T
'Evaporation ponds may not be efficient. In high humidity and high rainfall areas such as ours, there may be insufficient evaporation and overtopping of ponds through extreme weather events, resulting in chemical and/or saline contamination of adjacent land and waterways'.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2011 05:36

Friday, 28 October 2011

Grafton Daily Examiner Story- Janet Cavanaugh

Janet Cavanaugh

CSG bubbling up as major issue 

David Bancroft | 28th October 2011

THE prospect of coal seam gas and antimony mining in the Clarence electorate should be the main campaign issues in the Clarence by-election, said Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh.
Ms Cavanaugh, who resigned from her government job  to contest the election, said she would attend a campaign meeting to work through campaign issues, but the threat posed to water supplies and industries was already shaping up as a major concern.
"We are working off 20-year-old legislation brought in by the last Coalition government," she said.
"We need to develop better protection of our catchments, the environment and industries.
"Some of the mining companies are behaving as if they don't need to comply with other environmental legislation when they are doing exploration.
"There is the risk posed by antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau to the Coffs-Clarence regional water supply and our estuarine fisheries, and the potential for coal seam gas exploration to drain and poison groundwater reserves as well as wreck important farming land and wildlife habitat.
"Mining needs to be better regulated, to limit these potential impacts. The Greens have introduced a bill to create a 12-month moratorium on coal seam gas exploration across NSW and are calling for a ban on mining within important water catchments.
"The major parties seem unable, or unwilling, to act to protect our land and our water."
Ms Cavanaugh said the Greens were developing a reputation that stretched beyond environmental issues.
"We are seen as having integrity and of being willing to take a stand on issues," she said.
"The major parties seem tarnished by doing deals with their mates, many of whom are now working as lobbyists in fields like mining."
Ms Cavanaugh contested the general election in March and said she wanted to improve on her vote.
She was encouraged by improved national polling over the past week but "I'm a little sceptical of polling".

 Note: Janet has taken leave to contest the election.

Greens' Contamination Fears

Letter to the editor, The Coffs Coast Advocate re Toxic Mine

I live in an idyllic little community on the Dorrigo plateau amid pristine rainforests at the head waters of the catchment area for the Clarence River (Wild Cattle Creek) as well as living and working here in Coffs as an osteopath.


Once again the spectre of mining (this time antimony) has raised its ugly head.

The old mine processed its antimony at a site in Urunga which is now a toxic dead zone. Hillgrove Antimony mine has polluted the Macleay River, which feeds Kempsey.

The mine at Wild Cattle Creek just up from us, has been bought from Anchor mines, which was an Australian-owned company, by a Chinese consortium. I've heard it claimed that China is no longer mining antimony in their own country due to the toxic pollution levels it causes. Antimony is used in plastic drinking bottles and microchip technology and is extremely harmful to the health of human and other life forms.

It is with alarm that I've learned that more than 90% of all mining leases in this country are now owned by Chinese and Indian companies.

My question is how has this been allowed to happen? Why is it that we no longer own or control our own resources and pleas for help fall on deaf ears as really serious long-term pollutants are released into our pristine waters.

What I really don't understand is the legislative process in relation to mining rights and why we, the local Australian people, seemingly have no recourse to consult or object or reject such dangerous toxic projects and why our local, state and national representatives are supporting these projects. They are clearly not in the national interest. Why has the whole country been sold from underneath us?

I understand that we need minerals and mining but it seems to me that it needs to be done responsibly with a great emphasis being put on the value of what is mined and care being taken to use these valuable products in the most responsible way, so that they can be recycled and reused to limit the amount of earth disruption that takes place when they are removed and processed.

Surely we need to change our attitude to the Earth's resources and see them as precious and finite and legislate to protect the other living creatures and ecosystems that are affected by there removal.

Claire Thompson

Source: Letters, 25/10/11, Coffs Coast Advocate via North Coast Voices blogspot

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Another school bus crash and no action on seat belts or rules on standing in sight.

Responding to news of another school bus crash involving a collision
with a semi-trailer on the North Coast, Greens MP and transport
spokesperson says the upgrade of school buses on regional routes appears
stalled, with the School Bus Safety Advisory Committee yet to report and
no action on seat belts or rules on standing in sight.

"Considering the government has had access to assessments of the most
dangerous routes for years, it's not good enough that we still haven't
seen any concrete action," said Ms Faehrmann.

"Established in April, the Committee has met twice, issued three press
releases, and only begun accepting submissions in September. This rate
of progress simply isn't good enough.

"This accident highlights just how easily accidents can happen. Luckily
it hasn't resulted in serious injuries, but do we need to wait for a
tragic accident before the government acts?

"An advisory committee is not the kind of thing that inspires
confidence in parents – they want seatbelts and better rules on speed,
standing and other concrete measures to improve safety for their kids.

"The Greens support wide consultation and the work of the Committee,
but the government shouldn't be using this as an excuse to delay action
that is inevitable. They should be fast tracking
the installation of seat belts on the most dangerous routes as
identified by the department years ago," said Ms Faehrmann.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh, added her concerns about the lack of action on this issue.
"There has been plenty of time for action by the O'Farrell/Stoner government on this basic protection of school children," she said.

The NSW Greens challenge major parties over antimony mines.


Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh has stated, “One of the key issues we are worried about is the threat posed by mining to our precious water supplies. There is the risk posed by antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau to the Coffs-Clarence regional water supply and our estuarine fisheries, and the potential for coal seam gas exploration to drain and poison groundwater reserves as well as wreck important farming land and wildlife habitat.

“Mining needs to be better regulated, to limit these potential impacts. The Greens have introduced a bill to create a 12 month moratorium on coal seam gas exploration across NSW and are calling for a ban on mining within important water catchments.

“The major parties seem unable, or unwilling, to act to protect our land and our water. This by-election is an opportunity for voters to voice their disapproval by casting their vote elsewhere.
The dangers of arsenic and antimony are well documented. “Antimony and many of its compounds are toxic, and the effects of antimony poisoning are similar to arsenic poisoning.... in small doses, antimony causes headaches, dizziness, and depression.’ Wikipedia. According to a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences, arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. The study also found that arsenic harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems.

Anchor Resources a Chinese company is proposing to reopen the Wild Cattle Creek mine with a one and a half km open cut. Wild Cattle Creek flows into the Nymboida River, part of the Clarence River system which supplies water from Sawtell to the Clarence estuary. Antimony is found with arsenic. Once antimony and arsenic are released from the ore and clays they are carried by the high rainfalls of this area to the sea. These elements enter the groundwater in higher than normal concentrations and there are no guarantees they will be permanently contained by ponds or dams at mine sites.

The pollution from the Straits Hillgrove mine has already polluted the Macleay River for millenia.  “Staff of the Office of Environment and Heritage in Armidale notified NSW Health, the Premier's regional coordinator and, subsequently, Kempsey Shire Council and appropriate district emergency officers, and began an investigation into the spill from the containment dam at the Hillgrove mine, also an antimony mine.” Greg Pearce, MLC, Hansard.

Greg Pearce, representing the Minister for the Environment, in response to a question from Jeremy Buckingham Greens MLC, has stated, “..historic mining from more than 100 years ago and erosion of highly mineralised soils have deposited a plume of material containing heavy metals in the river system from the Hillgrove area to the Pacific Ocean, an area of approximately 200 kilometres. That is quite a plume. I am further advised that the plume will continue to release elevated levels of heavy metals through physical, biological and chemical processes for millennia.”

Only the NSW Greens have pursued this matter in parliament and demanded this information.
Luke Hartsuyker, Nationals’ Federal MP has extolled the prospect of 60 jobs, during the mine’s construction. We have no knowledge of any published expressed concerns by him for  the people, the industries and the river of the Clarence system because of the dangers of this antimony mine.
Clarence Valley Mayor and Nationals pre-selection candidate, Richie Williamson, “Should the mine progress, council will not be taking a back seat on the issue". The Daily Examiner on 5th October 2011. This is hardly a cry to battle to prevent the mine.

Finding a published comment on the dangers of this mine from a Labor Party representative is a fruitless task.

Jeremy Buckingham, Greens MLC,  said,  “Given plans to reopen the Hillgrove antimony mine and the proposal for a massive new antimony mine at one of the headwaters of the Clarence River, the government must assess and respond to the real and unacceptable risk of further contamination.”

Link: /http://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/story/2011/10/27/greens-contamination-fears-antimony-mining/

68% of Australians wanted a moratorium on coal seam gas

Protest at Bunnan
25 October 2011

Greens mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham has called on the Australian Petroleum Production Exploration Association (APPEA) to release the research conducted by their lobbyist Crosby Textor in its entirety after APPEA selectively released only one question to the media.

"APPEA have been flogging a poll result to the media and on social media, but they have not released the entire set of polling questions.  Given the question the poll result was based upon was question number seven, what were the first six questions?" asked Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"I'm concerned that the first six questions may have biased the poll.  Unless APPEA or Crosby Textor release the entire set of questions, this poll has no credibility.

"Given Crosby Textor have listed APPEA as a client on their lobbyist declaration (http://bit.ly/pXUXAb) , it's no great surprise that a Crosby Textor poll has found some support for coal seam gas.

"If the first six questions were extolling the virtues of coal seam gas, then how can the seventh polling question be taken seriously?

"While the questions remain secret, the public perception will be that the results are potentially biased.  Either APPEA should release all the questions or they should stop citing this poll."

A poll commissioned by the Greens and conducted by Galaxy Research found that 68% of Australians wanted a moratorium on coal seam gas and 70% wanted coal seam gas mining prohibited in cities and towns. http://bit.ly/uU0kKb

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

 
Great video on the National Day of action. Come on Clarence vote 1 The Greens and let the Government know we don't want CSG wrecking our valleys and water supply!
www.getup.org.au

LGA votes to support price on carbon

Green Councillors attending the NSW Local Government Association have welcomed the vote of support for a price on carbon.

Following a robust debate at the LGA Conference in Nowra, the vote to support a price on carbon was 132 delegates in favour and 122 against.

NSW Greens Convener and LGA Executive Member Councillor James Ryan said:

"Today's vote gives local communities around NSW confidence that their councils will provide strong leadership to address climate change.

"Speakers at the conference were told how all members of the community earning less than $80,000 would be better off under the carbon price than they were previously.

"Councillors also spoke about the coming cost to Councils of dealing with sea level rise and the urgent need for a strategy to deal with climate change.
Erosion on Belongil beach Photo: NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation


"The cost for Councils will be greater in the future if we do not take action to reduce carbon emissions now.

"We welcome the Low Carbon Communities Program of $320m initiated by the Federal Government but we urge this fund to be doubled to allow Councils across Australia to put in place energy efficiency measures which reduce their reliance on coal fired power.'

"Once again we are please that a majority of Councillors recognise that a price on carbon is a necessary step to a better future for all
Australians," Cr Ryan said.

Media contact: James Ryan 0414 922 591

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Update: O'Farrell's Attacks on Your Services



Public services: too important to sacrifice


The Coalition’s attack on public sector jobs and conditions will:

  • force schools, hospitals and other public services to cut back on services and conditions to achieve so-called “efficiencies”;
  • slash salaries and conditions, making it much harder to recruit new public sector employees;
  • shackle the independent umpire to government policy;
  • strike a savage blow against the union movement in NSW; and
  • undermine the entire public sector and its ability to provide quality services to the community.


How To Cut Services and Reward the Most Wealthy and 'Big Business' for their donations. Many think this is the plan used by conservatives in the USA. Is it now a coalition agenda?


1. Allege that public service workers, the workers that provide services for you, the teachers, nurses, police, health sector workers and others, are overpaid and inefficient. There is no need to provide proof of allegations, an unsubstantiated smear campaign is sufficient. It is always easy to find at least one example of inefficiency and to ignore the vast majority of excellent public sector workers that teach, nurse, prevent crime, counsel, manage forests and generally support you, the ordinary tax paying citizen.


2. Allege there is a 'black hole' in the state budget that can be repaired by cutting services (not by taxing the rich and the corporations).


3. Sack the public service workers and state that this is an efficiency exercise.


4. Now the taxes of the wealthy and the corporations can be cut. The very rich are wealthy enough to pay top dollar in private hospitals and private schools, they won't miss such services. The big corporations will reward the conservative parties with more 'donations'. Pass laws that label those who protest as 'terrorists' and imprison those most active.



The NSW Liberal/National Government's Record


SMH October 26, 2011

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says the government will push ahead on its target of 5000 public sector redundancies ahead of his announcement of the first round.   .........................

....... News Ltd reported that if workers knocked back the redundancy offer, they would lose their jobs in three months.
Labor MP Walt Secord questioned whether the job cuts would really be attained through voluntary redundancy, saying people were being told: "You've got three months to be voluntarily redundant. If not we'll make you redundant".
"You've got the capacity to look for another job if you decide not to take a voluntary redundancy (within government)," Mr Baird replied.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ofarrell-sticks-to-target-of-culling-5000-jobs-20111025-1mhg8.html#ixzz1bovF3zss


The O'Farrell government's sudden announcement that TAFE teachers will be dumped into the federal industrial relations system is yet another blow for the public provider of vocational education and training, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. Wednesday 12 October 2011

http://johnkaye.org.au/tafe-under-attack-again-cut-the-wages-then-privatise

Greens MEDIA RELEASE - 28 September 2011

The government is moving to close IR Offices in Penrith, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Wagga Wagga and Orange, and will cut jobs in IR Offices in Newcastle and Wollongong. In all, 48 people will lose their jobs, and all these communities will lose services.

Greens NSW MP and Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"Not only will almost 50 people lose their jobs, these communities will lose important services.

"These job cuts mean people in these areas will lose access in their communities to direct advice regarding their rights at work.

"Barry O'Farrell is failing in his promise to deliver for the people in regional and rural NSW.

"Both the Government and Opposition must realise that the interests of working people need to be at the heart of our industrial relations system, not that of deregulated big business," Mr Shoebridge said.

More information:  Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376


Posted 16-9-2011
Meanwhile, the Greens MP John Kaye has also identified a cut of $55.9 million in TAFE funding.
Dr Kaye said the government had taken the axe to TAFE's budget two weeks after it had agreed to the Council of Australian Governments' agenda of more competitive funding for TAFE, which would pit it against private providers.
''Taking $56 million out of the TAFE budget is a direct attack on the economic future of NSW and opportunities for working people,'' he said.

Posted 16-9-2011 
MORE than 50,000 children, including some of the state's most disadvantaged students, are missing out on vital English language teaching because of a lack of funding, the NSW government has conceded.
The Education Department's figures show 50,435 public school students were unable last year to access the specialist English as a second language teaching they required.
Only 20 extra positions were created in the past decade for teachers providing targeted ESL support, despite the number of students in need rising 16,000, to 137,000.


Greens MP John Kaye

Services, jobs and infrastructure sacrificed to deficit phobia

Tuesday 06 September 2011
By giving into the myth that the state has to retain its AAA rating, the first Coalition budget in sixteen years has cut $9 billion out of the public sector and slashed infrastructure spending by $1.6 billion over the next 4 years, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "Barry O'Farrell's morbid fear of deficit budgeting has driven him to break his infrastructure promise and inflict savage cuts on public sector workers and services.
"Forcing the budget back into surplus after just 12 months by slashing public sector pay, conditions and services and underspending on infrastructure will badly compromise the state's chances of weathering the coming global economic storm.
"The Premier promised to be Barry the Builder. Instead his first budget is about slash and burn.
"Treasurer Mike Baird did a great spin job. His much touted 12 percent increase in infrastructure is in reality a reduction in real terms of $1.6 billion.
"The so-called 'efficiency strategies' will inflict more than $9 billion in cuts to public sector wages, conditions and programs.
"More than 5,000 positions are to be lost.
"This is a direct attack on low and middle income households that depend on quality public sector services.

John Kaye September 6

THOUSANDS of public-sector workers could lose their jobs if the NSW Government fulfils a pre-budget promise to inject an extra 900 nurses into the health system, the Opposition says.
The comments come after the Government announced that $84 million would be set aside in Tuesday's state budget to increase nurse numbers in 2011-12.
"If you are employing 900 extra nurses and sacking 20,000 workers from other departments, there's a net loss there of thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs," shadow treasurer Michael Daley told reporters in Sydney.
The Daily Telegraph, September 4 2011- From: AAP September 04, 2011 6:48PM


The chief economist at BIS Shrapnel, Frank Gelber, says teachers face an erosion of real wages in NSW because inflation at an estimated 3.3 per cent over five years will eat up the increase and more.
He warns that the government need not ''panic about wages'', saying it has overplayed the supposed budget black hole that Baird insists it inherited.
With expected deficits that equate to about 2 per cent of expenditure, NSW is not exactly in a financial hole.
....................................

John Kaye, Greens MP ... Media Release  ... Health Minister 'deletes' 150 jobs to improve budget bottom line 
Thursday 25 August 2011
The Minister's rhetoric about deploying resources to the front line is a thinly veiled excuse to slash the Health budget, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "Health Minister Jillian Skinner has not only 'deleted' jobs and destroyed 150 careers. She has also removed both the central and cluster support needed to make the public health system run effectively and efficiently.
"Jobs, expertise and the economies of scale are being tossed out to pursue budget cuts and the Coalition's obsession with local decision making. 
"The clusters were created after extensive consultation with clinicians, health experts and the community. The Minister is ignoring the advice that there are economies of scale at the regional level by shoe-horning all support services into the districts.
"The O'Farrell government is putting budget savings and ideology ahead of quality care. Undermining the support delivered to the Local Health Districts might save a few hundred million dollars but it will leave front line staff without the administrative and expert backup they need. 
"Health Minister Jillian Skinner has delivered a massive insult to the experts whose jobs she has 'deleted'. She has ignored the results of public consultation and she has put patients' lives at risk. 
"Restructuring comes with a cost. People who work on the front line need continuity and professionalism from their managers, not a climate of constant change," Dr Kaye said.
For more information:  John Kaye 0407 195 455

......................

Mr Baird and the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, have warned of a ''tough'' budget and their determination to align expenses growth with revenue as speculation mounts about deep cuts to programs and more cuts to public sector jobs.
Last week the Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, announced the loss of 150 management jobs to save $80 million.
Staff have been told of cuts to research jobs in the Department of Primary Industries.


 The Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, said 150 positions would be made redundant. The remaining 150 would be transferred to other areas, including district services.


THE possible loss of 10 jobs from the Grafton jail has prompted claims Clarence MP Steve Cansdell does not care about protecting jobs in his electorate.

'Govt fails to protect jail jobs', The Daily ExaminerDavid Bancroft | 6th August 2011




PLANS to cut 338 frontline staff from NSW prisons, to save more than $30 million, would create a safety risk and threaten the government's promised investment in prisoner rehabilitation, the Opposition and unions warned yesterday.



THE Barry O'Farrell government has embarked on its first round of public-service job cuts, announcing it will slash the number of positions at a research facility within the Department of Primary Industries by more than a third.
 Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/scientists-first-out-as-ofarrell-axes-jobs-20110818-1j06z.html#ixzz1WMM3vauf


Pay cuts as NSW IR laws introduced

PARK rangers, librarians and court officers will be among the first public sector workers to take a pay cut as the NSW government's industrial relations laws come into force, opposition industrial relations spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis says.
"This is just the first in a very long line of cases where NSW public servants including nurses, teachers and fire fighters - will have their real wages cut," Ms Cotsis said in a release on Thursday.
"Next up we will see our teachers, nurses, fire fighters and other public sector workers having their real wages and basic conditions cut under this legislation."
Legislation was passed in June to cap annual wage increases at 2.5 per cent and to sideline the Industrial Relations Commission from hearing wage disputes.
Ms Cotsis said wage cuts will be the only way NSW public sector workers will be able to retain basic conditions under the O'Farrell government's wage cap.

Coffs Coast Advocate. August 11, 2011
 

The government bill strips the NSW Industrial Relations Commission of its powers to set wages and conditions for all frontline public servants.

What They Said before They Were Elected

Reports that public service jobs will be at risk if the coalition wins government at the NSW election in March are "rubbish", an opposition spokesman says.
"(NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell) has said we will need more public servants, not less, to fix NSW so the report is rubbish," the spokesman said on Sunday.
 © 2011 AAP

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Coffs Coast Advocate opinion piece on CSG mining

Greg White of the Coffs Coast Advocate has researched the current positions of local Labor and National politicians on Coal Seam Gas mining.

' " Andrew Fraser in Coffs Harbour (not to be confused with the Queensland Labor deputy premier) may be biding his time as he hasn't really made a definitive comment either way.

Up the road, former Clarence incumbent Steve Cansdell was quoted in our sister newspaper The Northern Star on May 18 as backing gas miner Metgasco in their Casino venture. He was replying to calls from Federal Labor member for Page, Janelle Saffin, and independent Tony Windsor, for an exploration moratorium.........................

...Mr Stoner outlined a raft of measures taken by his government to "fix the loopholes and problems" .
When you read exactly what he says has to be done to make this industry even close to safe, who in their right mind would support it?

..member for Port Macquarie, Lesley Williams, "won't oppose mining".'

Coffs Coast Advocate October 22, 2011

Should we expect the National Party to oppose CSG mining?

Eastern Star Gas donated $22,850 to the National Party in 2009 according to the Election Funding Authority.

It was Labor that allowed so much CSG exploration. Even the exploration wells damage the aquifers.


“The industry’s admission that coal seam gas extraction will inevitably impact on aquifers should be a big red flag to the O’Farrell Government.

“Puncturing and draining multiple aquifers with thousands of coal seam gas wells will obviously have an effect, and should not be done in a rush for short-term profits," says Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Send a message to the O'Farrell government and the Labor Party. Vote for Janet Cavanaugh, Greens candidate, in the Clarence by-election.

Janet Cavanaugh campaigns at the Yamba markets.

Janet Cavanaugh was at the Regional Forestry conference on Saturday and campaigning at the Yamba markets on Sunday.




Go to Janet's Facebook site for more pics.





'Only one party stands by its word and that's The Greens!' says Janet.
Could one reason for this be because the NSW Greens do not accept corporate donations?
“It is time to clean up NSW politics,” she said. “The Greens have a history of maintaining ethical stands across a range of issues. By acting with integrity, The Greens offer a better way of doing politics and this will result in better outcomes for the electorate.

“One of the key issues we are worried about is the threat posed by mining to our precious water supplies. There is the risk posed by antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau to the Coffs-Clarence regional water supply and our estuarine fisheries, and the potential for coal seam gas exploration to drain and poison groundwater reserves as well as wreck important farming land and wildlife habitat.


Greens Media Release
2011-10-24 12:15
 
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.

“I wrote to the Environment Minister on the 28th of September asking her to investigate and test the dead fish that residents were concerned about and had kept in freezers. It appears no testing has been done despite enormous community concern and the risks to health and the closure of businesses.

“Robyn Parker has either deliberately mislead the community, or bungled her Ministerial responsibilities, or possibly both.

“Given plans to reopen the Hillgrove antimony mine and the proposal for a massive new antimony mine at one of the headwaters of the Clarence River, the government must assess and respond to the real and unacceptable risk of further contamination.”

Link to ABC NSW story on the proposed Wild Cattle Creek Antimony mine

This well crafted story from the ABC outlines very clearly the dangers of reopening the Antimony mine adjoining Wild Cattle Creek which flows into the Nymboida River.

ABC NSW Story

Proposed mine prompts poison fears

"Posted October 21, 2011 21:40:00
Interest in the mineral antimony means abandoned mines in northern NSW are viable once more, but widespread environmental damage could well be on the cards.


Note that the National Party's MP, Luke Hartsuyker, has spoken in favour of the reopening of this mine. This is surely the major issue of the Clarence by-election. Why jeopardise the water supply of Coffs Harbour, Grafton and other towns, for millenia, for a possible sixty jobs over a short period? Why ruin the tourist industry and the health of the Clarence River system? How many other other jobs will be lost if the environmental safeguards on this Wild Cattle Creek mine fail just as the safeguards on the Hillgrove mine failed?

SMH Story on Macleay River poisoning: Mines Toxic Flow 

The Macleay River is officially poisoned for thousands of years by the Hillgrove mine. It cannot be remediated. Its tourist industry is already affected. Will the Clarence be next?

The Nymboida River at Platypus Flat,  flowing on its way to the Mann River, thence to the Clarence River. Wild Cattle Creek flows into the Nymboida River.



Mid North Coast ABC Radio interview October 6th

This is a link to the interview of Anchor Resources General Manager, Ian Price: ABC mid-north coast

Monday, 24 October 2011

The logging of Wedding Bells State Forest

The Hon Katrina Hodgkinson replied to Greens MP David Shoebridge about his concerns about the logging operation in Wedding Bells State Forest. I understand that no one claimed the forest was old growth forest so why claim we said it was.  Has the invitation to meet with environmental representatives be accepted? There is no comment in this letter re the fouling of the creek with logs. There is no concern expressed for the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch habitat.



Forests case over endangered species
Following dozens of fines for environmental breaches on the North Coast in recent years, Forests NSW is now being prosecuted in the Land and Environment Court for its failure to protect endangered species. 

(North East Forest) Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh said he was frustrated proceedings had taken so long but was relieved it was now under way.

"Forests NSW and their minister have repeatedly claimed that they did nothing wrong (so) we welcome this opportunity for the truth to be tested in court," he said.

Excerpt, The Coffs Coast Advocate, Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hear Janet Cavanaugh speak on the protection of our forests.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Janet Cavanaugh and NEFA Welcomes Prosecution of Forests NSW

Janet Cavanaugh (left), with other Greens,  assessing logging practices in Doubleduke State Forest in January 2011

Janet Cavanaugh welcomes the news that Forests NSW will be prosecuted by the Office of Environment and Heritage for logging an endangered ecological community.

MEDIA RELEASE 17 October 2011 by NEFA


NEFA welcomes the belated prosecution of Forests NSW for logging an Endangered Ecological Community in Doubleduke State Forest, west of Evans Head in north-east NSW.

The prosecution was commenced by the Office of Environment and Heritage in the Land and Environment Court on Friday in response to detailed complaints made by the Clarence Environment Centre and NEFA over 16 months ago.

As well as logging, killing and damaging some 1,500 trees and shrubs in the Endangered Ecological Community Sub-tropical Coastal Floodplain Forest, NEFA reported breaches of numerous statutory licence conditions, including failure to identify and protect Yellow-bellied Glider feed trees, locations of endangered plants, and a wetland

NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said that since then Forests NSW and their Minister have repeatedly claimed that they did nothing wrong. “We welcome this opportunity for the truth of our claims to be tested in court”.

“Due to removal of third party rights we were not able to take proceedings ourselves and have had to rely upon the Office of Environment and Heritage to act on our complaint”.

“We have since made similar complaints about logging in Grange State Forest west of Grafton and Wedding Bells State Forest north of Coffs Harbour and hope that they will be similarly investigated and prosecuted should the evidence warrant it”.

“We have assessed that Forests NSW are liable for fines of up to $16 million for logging the endangered ecosystem at Doubleduke. In the result of a guilty finding, we trust that the court will ensure that any resultant fines are sufficient to act as a meaningful deterrent and that appropriate rehabilitation orders are issued”.

“We hope that this signifies a new will to enforce threatened species laws in north-east NSW’s public forests”. Mr. Pugh said that when they were recently (8/06/2011) tested in southern NSW, Justice Pepper of the NSW Land and Environment Court commented on Forests NSW that ‘the number of convictions suggests either a pattern of continuing disobedience in respect of environmental laws generally or, at the very least, a cavalier attitude to compliance with such laws’.


Video of Logging Damage at Grange State Forest

NEFA’s Doubleduke audits are available at:
http://nefa.org.au/audit/Doubleduke/Prelim_Audit_Doubleduke_SF_1.pdf

http://nefa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Audit_Doubleduke_Supp1_Nov_2010.pdf

Mine plan sparks toxic water fears

Dead vegetation and rubbish at Urunga’s old antimony processing plant. Courtesy: Coffs Coast Advocate.   
Story: Josh McMahon

Plans for an antimony mine near Dorrigo have sparked fears the Nymboida River could become contaminated, threatening water supplies to the Coffs Clarence region.
Mining company Anchor Resources has discovered significant reserves of the valuable element antimony in the Wild Cattle Creek area, and is hoping to establish a mine in three to four years.
Antimony is used as an enhancer of flame retardants, and hardener of lead and zinc alloys for use in items such as batteries, solder, sheet and pipe metal, bearings, castings, and ammunition. Its price has skyrocketed 300 per cent to US$16,800 a tonne over the past two years, and Anchor Resources was this year subject to a successful takeover bid by Chinese minerals giant, Shandong Jinshunda Group.
Chemically related to arsenic, antimony is also toxic and has poisoning symptoms similar to its periodic table cousin. In small amounts it can cause headaches, dizziness and depression. In larger doses it damages the kidneys and liver, causes vomiting, and can result in death. Coffs Harbour councillor, Mark Graham, is pushing for his council and Clarence Valley Council to oppose any mine.
“The proposal by Anchor Resources Ltd to undertake antimony mining activities within the headwaters of the Nymboida River is of immense concern, particularly when considering that this catchment provides drinking and potable water for in excess of 100,000 residents between Yamba and Sawtell,” he said.
“Of further concern is the extremely high rainfall in the Wild Cattle Creek sub-catchment, some years exceeding three metres of rainfall per annum. It is impossible to prevent migration of toxic minerals from mines established in such high rainfall areas, as evidenced by the high levels of contamination known from the upper Macleay River, downstream of the Hillgrove mine.”
Studies have revealed that historic mining practices in the upper Macleay catchment have caused significant arsenic and antimony contamination of soil and in-stream sediments, from Hillgrove to the Pacific Ocean – a distance of more than 300 kilometres. These studies from 2001 and 2007 were quoted in a report to Kempsey Shire Council in 2009, titled the Macleay River Estuary Processes Study. Although the report stated both arsenic and antimony were toxic and carcinogenic, it said further research was required to understand their toxicity in the Australian estuarine environment.
In 2005 the discovery of arsenic in the Bellbrook town water supply, drawn from the Macleay River, forced Kempsey Shire Council to truck water 50 kilometres from Kempsey for the 540-plus affected residents. To restore use of the river for drinking water, council spent $700,000 to build a specialised treatment plant, which started operation in 2010. The contamination was attributed to the Hillgrove mine site.
Anchor Resources managing director, Ian Price, said the Dorrigo mine would operate under vastly improved practices to those carried out in the past.
“One of the key aspects is containment of any of materials from the particular site so they don’t enter waterways, or don’t go off-site. I think that’s the critical thing, and that’s proper containment of tailings in proper containment dams, and diversion of water around sites so they don’t enter the site … lots of old mining sites going back 50 or 100 years were not built with good tailings dams, and standards have developed over the past decades where those standards are much better,” he said.
Mr Price said the operation, still in its exploration stage, would also require extensive hydrological studies of the area, and an approval process involving the state Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Councils and the community would also be involved in consultation, he said.
Mr Price said there had been a mining operation at Wild Cattle Creek around 40-50 years ago that produced “modest” amounts of antimony. He admitted there were already “very very low” levels of antimony in Wild Cattle Creek – a tributary of the Nymboida River – and the cause was “probably” a mixture of mining activity and naturally occurring water flows over mineralised areas. He said Anchor would be looking further at why antimony was present in Wild Cattle Creek, and also whether it had spread to the Nymboida.
Clarence Valley Council manager water cycle, Greg Mashiah, said Clarence Valley water supplies were screened monthly for the presence of heavy metals including antimony. He said in the past 10 years there had been 210 tests for antimony, and the level had never exceeded guideline values.
Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson said he currently didn’t know enough about the mining project to say whether he supported or opposed it.
“We [councilors] obviously need to gather some information on the proposal. Certainly we will have a great interest because council and the community have invested a lot in water supplies for the Coffs Clarence,” he said, referring to the recent construction of the $180 million, 30,000 megalitre Shannon Creek Dam. The dam is filled from the Nymboida River.
Coffs Harbour City Council is also yet to state an official position on the mining project.

O’Farrells Broken Promises

Barry is accused of breaking a promise every second day
A Labor Party blog has listed 100 broken promises of the O’Farrell government. Labor claims that “On average the O’Farrell Government breaks an election promise every second day."

The broken promises listed include:

* A dumped stamp duty concessions for first home buyers;

* The passing on of an 18% increase to electricity bills;

* A proposed cut to the solar tariff from 60 cents to 40 cents, for people already in the scheme before backflipping, after public outrage;

* A cut of at least 5000 public sector jobs in the last budget;

* Introduced industrial legislation to stop the Industrial Relations Commission’s ability to preside over OH&S matters;

* Limited wage rises for public sector workers (nurses, teachers, social workers);

* Has not been able to end the scandals; Steve Cansdell was forced to resign after falsely signing a statutary declaration to avoid a speeding fine;

* A funding cut of 266 million for school maintenance;

 * Promised an honest government but lied about the impact of the carbon tax, ignoring the advice of the NSW Treasury;

* Lied about the black hole in the state’s finances;

* Cut allowances for foster carers;

* Failed to warn families in Stockton for 54 hours that their children were exposed to toxic chemicals.

See more of this list of broken promises.

What a pity the incompetence of the previous Labor government was such that the voters in NSW could no longer stand the stench of the Labor government. What a pity Labor’s incompetence paved the way for this right wing, dishonest, promise-breaking Liberal/National Party coalition that favors big business, coal seam gas mining and antimony mining but sacks prison officers and other public sector workers.

It is time to vote for the Greens, a party that advocates honest government, protection of the environment, protection of workers rights and the rights of the socially disadvantaged.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

ABC Stateline Story on Antimony Mining on Dorrigo Plateau and more

The ABC Stateline is to run a story on mining on the Dorrigo Plateau and at Hillgrove near Armidale so if you have a chance try and watch it this Friday 21st October at 7.30pm.

Message from Dorrigo Environment Watch

Janet Cavanaugh- Greens Candidate for Clarence

17 October 2011

Greens Announce By-election Candidate

The Clarence Greens today confirmed that Janet Cavanaugh would be running as their candidate in next month’s by-election for the seat of Clarence. A resident of the area for more than 20 years, Ms Cavanaugh was the Greens candidate for the March State Election.

“The Greens view this by-election as an opportunity for the electorate to cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ against both major political parties,” Ms Cavanaugh said.

“It is time to clean up NSW politics,” she said. “The Greens have a history of maintaining ethical stands across a range of issues. By acting with integrity, The Greens offer a better way of doing politics and this will result in better outcomes for the electorate.

“One of the key issues we are worried about is the threat posed by mining to our precious water supplies. There is the risk posed by antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau to the Coffs-Clarence regional water supply and our estuarine fisheries, and the potential for coal seam gas exploration to drain and poison groundwater reserves as well as wreck important farming land and wildlife habitat.

“Mining needs to be better regulated, to limit these potential impacts. The Greens have introduced a bill to create a 12 month moratorium on coal seam gas exploration across NSW and are calling for a ban on mining within important water catchments.

“The major parties seem unable, or unwilling, to act to protect our land and our water. This by-election is an opportunity for voters to voice their disapproval by casting their vote elsewhere.

“The new Liberal/National Government have already broken promises and we’re all disappointed by what happened here in Clarence.

“And, when it comes to NSW Labor, it is too soon to expect the electorate to have forgiven all the poor and Sydney-centric decisions made under Iemma, Rees and Keneally.

“It is time to send a strong message to both of the major parties that they need to act to protect our water supplies, and they need to clean up their own standards before the electorate should trust them,” she said.


About Janet Cavanaugh:
Janet Cavanaugh has lived in the Clarence for 20 years, and has family connections to the area dating back to her great, great grandparents.

Living in Whiporie in the Richmond Valley and working in Grafton has given Janet a broad knowledge of the two main local government areas in the Clarence electorate.

Janet holds degrees in engineering, natural resources and environmental management. She has worked for the NSW Government since 1992 and, as a result, has extensive experience in the operation of Government.

Janet is a Justice of the Peace, appointed in and for the State of New South Wales. She is a member of the Clarence Valley Council's Climate Change Advisory Committee and was previously a member of the Richmond Valley Council's Rural Community Network Group.

Janet joined The Greens in 1995 as a founding member of the Clarence Valley Greens. She is currently an active member of the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition and the Clarence Branch of Climate Change Australia.+

You can sign up to support Janet’s campaign for Clarence today.
Email clarence@nsw.greens.org.au or call 0429 479 968





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