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



Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Today the Clarence Valley Mayor seeks support for LGA moratorium on coal seam gas mining

(Reblogged from North Coast Voices)

Clarence Valley Council Ordinary Council Meeting
Tuesday 21 February 2012
CSG well in the Pilliga

REPORT SUMMARY

As Councillors are aware, Coal Seam Gas (CSG) operations in NSW and on the North Coast are coming under community scrutiny and there are great community concerns regarding the affects CSG activities will have on the environment and on prime agriculture land. The following recommendation proposes to give Council a general policy position on the matter.

RECOMMENDATION

Whilst Clarence Valley Council acknowledges their statutory responsibilities in relation to planning development applications and assessment, Council as a matter of social responsibility and in the long term sustainability interests of the environment and the community which they represent, does not support or endorse Coal Seam Gas activities within the Clarence Valley area and will not alter this position until such time as;

1.There are clear land use legislation and policies enacted by the NSW Government to responsibly guide and regulate the Coal Seam Gas industry in relation to their activities and in particular with the impact on and/or loss of prime agriculture land and other environmentally sensitive issues; and

2. It is scientifically proven and demonstrated that the impacts of the Coal Seam Gas industry will not result in any significant and detrimental environment outcomes particularly in relation to aquifer water quality;

3. The General Manager be directed to report to Council for their consideration any development application made to Clarence Valley Council which involves proposed activities associated with the Coal Seam Gas industry on Council land.
4. The State and Federal Governments be informed of Clarence Valley Council position.

BACKGROUND

Council will also be aware that Kyogle and Lismore City Councils late last year passed motions which have imposed moratoriums on Council owned lands. These motions are now coming under legal scrutiny. On this point, the NOROC meeting held on 3 February 2012 unanimously resolved the following;

“That NOROC seek legal advice on behalf of member councils in relation to the implications of imposing moratoriums on seismic testing, exploration and other coal seam gas activities on roadside reserves and council-controlled land.”

Given that further legal advice is being sought on behalf of NOROC regarding the validity of the motions that have been carried by Lismore and Kyogle and the fact that Clarence Valley Council is not in receipt of any applications for activities on Council owned land, I am not proposing a similar moratorium at this stage, however, should the Council be in the receipt of an application for consideration and/or once the legal advice is received, this position could change. It is noted that no applications have been lodged with Clarence Valley Council to-date.

I have also asked the General Manager to report any applications to the Council for seismic testing or exploration activities on Council land. This will allow the Council can make a decision based on the merit of the application.

I also represented Council at the “A Division Conference” of the NSW Shires Association. The division also passed the following

That "A" Division call on the NSW State Government to release the terms and conditions controlling the issue of licences for coal seam gas mining within the Northern Rivers area immediately.”

I also consider it important for Councillors and the community to realise that Council cannot abrogate their statutory decision making responsibilities and obligations in relation to development applications and associated planning matters and as such the recommendation as stated above is prepared in the context of Council’s social and community responsibility.

I believe that leadership on the issue by the State Government is required to identify what the parameters are for the coal seam gas industry.

Cr Richie Williamson
MAYOR

UPDATE:

The Mayor's office confirms that this Minute was unanimously supported by Clarence Valley councillors attending the Ordinary Monthly Meeting of 21 February 2012.

Tthe Greens secure $165 million in funding for dental health

Greens' spokesperson for health, Senator Richard Di Natale, and Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said today that the Greens had secured $165 million in funding for dental health. The commitment to allocate the money raised by the Medicare Levy Surcharge towards dental care comes in response to the Greens support for passage of the Government's private health insurance package.

"Access to dental care is one of the biggest areas of inequality in Australia," said Senator Di Natale.
"The Greens have acted to correct that inequality by securing $165 million for dental health, which will be raised through the Medicare levy surcharge. The private health insurance rebate contributes to great inequity in Australia's health system and encourages the development of a two-tier, American style system. Means testing this unfair rebate is an important step forward.

"Although we are pleased with this outcome, the Greens will not waver in our commitment to a universal Denticare scheme, beginning in this year's budget. This is a solid down payment on year one of Denticare but we will continue to work with the Government to achieve this outcome."

Greens MP, Adam Bandt, said that the Greens believe that going to a dentist should be like going to a doctor.

"When I agreed to support the Gillard government, improving dental care was a key part of our written agreement," said Bandt

"Thanks to the people of Melbourne, we are now well on our way to putting dental into Medicare. When there are Greens in both houses, it's good for Australians' health."

The O'Farrell government has caved to the anti-wind farm lobby

 
The O'Farrell government has caved to the anti-wind farm lobby and drafted unnecessary and draconian restrictions on wind farm developments in NSW.
 
To check out our guide to making a sumission to the O'Farrell government's draft guidelines for wind farms click here.
Download the petition here

Generations of school children stuck with toxic heaters

Media release: 27 February 2012

After years of damning research and lengthy reviews, the O'Farrell government's completely unacceptable timeline for the removal of toxic heaters will see some schools stuck with them forever, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "The Coalition, once the champions of air quality in school classrooms, have joined their Labor predecessor in putting the budget bottom line ahead of the health of public school students.

"The government's own Environmental Health Risk Assessment report identified a 15 to 20 year life for unflued gas heaters.

"An entire generation of students could pass through a classroom before there will be any relief from the fumes and the damage they inflict on young lungs.

"This is a non-announcement. Progressively replacing unflued gas heaters as they age or breakdown with the same technology means that a school can take decades to reach critical point where a majority of the polluting heaters have reached their end of service life.

"The crocodile tears from the Labor party are reprehensible. In the face of irrefutable evidence of the damage caused by unflued gas heaters to young children, they steadfastly refused to act when they had the opportunity.

"Public school students have been condemned to ongoing respiratory disease by this deceptive announcement.

"Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is condemning entire generations of NSW public school children to spending their winters in toxic classrooms.

"The Coalition has learnt nothing from their predecessors. The evidence is irrefutable, but the NSW government is refusing to act," said Dr Kaye.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Friday, 3 February 2012

An insight into British justice!!!!!!!

Huhne to learn his fate tomorrow

Prosecutors to announce tomorrow whether Energy Secretary will be charged by police.
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will learn tomorrow whether he will be charged by police. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will learn tomorrow whether he will be charged by police. Photograph: Getty Images.
The news has just broken that the Crown Prosecution Service will announce tomorrow whether it will press charges against Chris Huhne over claims he asked his former wife Vicky Pryce to accept speeding penalty points on his behalf. Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions will make a statement live to TV cameras at 10am.


Reblogged from

New Police Integrity Commissioner fails his first test

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 09:12:27 +1100

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) and its new Commissioner have refused
to investigate a serious allegation of police assault at the SCG, and the
extraordinary events which followed. The police failings included the
police media unit sending Assistant Commissioner Murdoch to publicly defend
police actions without even informing him that the officer in question was
his son.

See SMH:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/greens-critical-of-pic-over-handling-of-punch-incident-20120201-1qth0.html

Greens NSW MP and Police spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"A NSW police officer is seen repeatedly punching a spectator at a cricket
game who is being held down by a phalanx of security guards, and yet the
Police Integrity Commission has taken a cursory twenty-four hours to review
and dismiss the request for an investigation.

"The initial police investigation resulted in an Assistant Commissioner
publicly defending the police involved in the incident when the police
hadn't even identified the officer in question as his son. Yet even this
failure hasn't prompted PIC to investigate.

"Instead of a substantial and thorough investigation into fundamental
police failings, the new head of the Police Integrity Commission has stated
that he is satisfied with two internal police investigations into the
matter.

"This kind of 'hands off' approach to inadequate internal police
investigations has long characterised the PIC, and it looks like the new
Commissioner will be adopting the same attitude to police misconduct
allegations.

"It is inconceivable, given the seriousness of the matter, and the bungling
by the Police Media Unit, that a twenty-four hour review by PIC could have
seriously grappled with the issues at stake.

"This matter deserved more than a couple of phone calls and a standard
letter from the PIC.  The PIC's response shakes the public's confidence in
the State's most important police oversight body.

"The very substantial public interest in reviewing the conduct, and media
response, of the NSW Police in this case cannot be satisfied by internal
police investigations," Mr Shoebridge said.

Media Comment: 0408 113 952

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