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



Thursday, 31 May 2012

O'Farrell lies: Hunting in National Parks deal done

Date: Wed, 30 May 2012

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann and environment spokesperson has slammed
Premier Barry O'Farrell for his deal with the Shooters Party that will
see the integrity of NSW National Parks trashed and for breaking his
promise not to allow hunting in National Parks.

"Today's decision will change the face of National Parks forever.
Barry O'Farrell has sold out the people of NSW with his broken promise
that he won't allow hunting in National Parks," said Ms Faehrmann.

"The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) already has licensed
hunters who undertake feral animal control in our national parks. If
the government was serious about this they would pump more money in to
NPWS so they could increase their targeted feral animal control
efforts.

"The government says this is a logical extension of its existing feral
animal control policy. This is nonsense. Extending hunting in National
Parks to recreational hunters means the government has no control over
the behaviour of shooters in National Parks.

"This is about recreational hunting and dirty deals, not genuine feral
animal control.

"Scatter gun ad hoc recreational shooting outside of a targeted feral
animal control programs is not an effective way to control feral
animals.

"Included in the list of National Parks in the firing line are places
like the Macquarie Marshes and Myall Lakes - havens for
internationally protected water birds. What on earth does the
Government think it is doing allowing trigger happy hunters into
nature sanctuaries like this?

"The irony of this deal is that it was hunters who were responsible
for introducing some of the worse feral animal problems to Australia
(foxes and rabbits).

"This dirty deal is disgraceful and is only the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to attacks on National Parks expected to come from the
Shooters – O'Farrell alliance," said Ms Faehrmann.

 Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Power sell-off deal: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap


Media release: 30 May 2012

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "This is truly a dirty deal done dirt cheap. The O'Farrell government's fire sale might boost the Coalition's election war chest but it will do so at the expense of the environment, households and jobs.

"Premier Barry O'Farrell's legislation allows the Treasurer to privatise the profits and socialise the costs.

"For generations to come, households and taxpayers will end up bearing the burden of fattening up the Coalition's election war chest.

"The O'Farrell government is cashing in an ongoing income stream for the sake of a fistful of dollars to spend at the next election.

"Electricity privatisation is truly voodoo economics.

"Premier O'Farrell is hiding behind the same discredited excuse for privatisation that allowed former Treasurer Eric Roozendaal and Finance Minister Joe Tripodi to split apart the NSW Labor party.

"This state does not need new baseload generation and there is no $6 billion investment saving from privatisation.

"The lights are not about to go out in a publicly-owned electricity industry.

"This is the Coalition completing Labor's dirty work. Shooting in national parks was a step too far even for a government that was being driven by the likes of Michael Costa and Eric Roozendaal.

"The Shooters and the National Party have both back flipped on electricity privatisation.

"The Nationals have sold out rural and regional households.

"They have condemned their constituents to higher power bills and job losses while their Liberal colleagues in the city build an election war chest with the profits.

"The Shooters, Nationals and Liberals have launched NSW down the slippery slope of poles and wires privatisation," said Dr Kaye.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Media Release - 30 May 2012

In a blatant deal with the Shooters Party in the NSW Upper House, the O'Farrell government has moved to massively expand the amount of public land available to amateur recreational hunting in a move that sees NSW adopting an unwanted pro-gun culture, according to Greens NSW Firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge.

"This is a shameless capitulation to the Shooters Party and the pro-gun and hunting lobby in NSW, which the majority of NSW residents will be sickened by.

"Feral animal control should be done professionally and humanely, not by a bunch of amateurs who have a vested interest in maintaining feral animal numbers to fuel their blood sports.

"Amateur hunting has been a failed experiment in our state forests with the numbers of wild dogs rising and continued reports of shooters actively seeding public land with feral animals for next year's hunt.

"This is now a decade long pattern in NSW politics of the government of the day buying off the gun lobby by weakening our firearms laws and letting loose hunters across the state.

"There are already more than 2 million hectares of public land available for amateur hunting, but still Barry O'Farrell has given the Shooters Party more.

"Nobody voted in Barry O'Farrell to deliver a gun culture in NSW and his supporters must be sickened by these latest moves," Mr Shoebridge said.

Media inquiries: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

O'Farrell government scaremongering on carbon price rates rise


Media Release - 29 May 2012

The O'Farrell government is continuing its misleading and unprincipled
attack on the Federal carbon tax by deliberately exaggerating the impact
of the tax on council rates, according to Greens NSW Local Government
spokesperson David Shoebridge

"The O'Farrell government is scaremongering regarding the effects of
the carbon tax on local government rates," Mr Shoebridge said.

"When the $14 million increase in local government rates is averaged
across the State it amounts to an average of just four cents per week
per resident.

"Four cents per week is only a tiny fraction of what the average
household will receive in compensation under the carbon tax package,
which for single pensioners is close to $10 per week.

"Nine out of ten households will be compensated as part of the carbon
tax package – an average of four cents per week extra on rates will
require only the tiniest proportion of that compensation.

"This is another case of the O'Farrell government huffing and puffing
but failing to deliver.

"Partial truths, half facts and inflated headlines are not a good way
to run a State and sooner or later Mr O'Farrell will learn this," Mr
Shoebridge said.

Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Gas bubbling up through Condamine River proof that coal seam gas threatens our water

30 May 2012


The bubbling Condamine River
The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham said today that footage of methane gas bubbling up through the Condamine River in Queensland, close to coal seam gas well sites, was proof that the industry is unsafe and puts at risk our water supply.  He warned that the O'Farrell Government was about to put NSW rivers at risk by unleashing coal seam gas.

The footage of the gas bubbling up through the Condamine River can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/Di8cCrlyW6k

"Gas bubbling up through t a 5km stretch of the Condamine River is the worst case recorded so far of what appears to be pollution related to fracking for coal seam gas," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Fracking and drilling for coal seam gas by Origin Energy may have caused the rock to crack allowing gas to migrate into the aquifers and up through a major river.

"This is the canary in the coal seam gas well.  The O'Farrell Government must not allow the coal seam gas industry to pollute rivers and aquifers in NSW.

"The Condamine River is used for drinking water and irrigation.  It is both frightening to think the O'Farrell Government is willing to put rivers including the Manning, Namoi, Gloucester, Hunter, Richmond, Clarence, Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers at risk.

It has also allowed drilling in the Special Catchment Area on the Illawarra Plateau and near Warragamba Dam.

"The industry claims it is safe, but we've had toxic spills killing trees and polluting creeks in the Pilliga Forest, we've had well blow outs in Western Sydney and in Queensland, we've had contaminated aquifers in the United States, and now it seems they have fractured the rock beneath a major river in the Murray-Darling Basin and gas is leaking out uncontrolled.

"How many incidents do we need before the government wakes up and commits to protecting our water and land?

"It is disturbing that it falls to the public to highlight these incidents, while the companies and government either do not know what is happening, or are covering it up," he said.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

ABC Story: Claim Condamine River Gas Leak

AEC launches national campaign to find 1.5 million missing Australian voters

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) today launched 'Count Me In', a nationwide hunt for voters missing from the electoral roll. The AEC's current data shows 1.5 million Australians are not enrolled to vote.
 
Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said the purpose of the 'Count Me In' campaign was to prompt Australians to enrol to vote and to keep their details current.
"It's been compulsory to enrol to vote for 100 years and it's part of our democratic fabric, but the estimated number of missing voters is serious and comparable to a city the size of Perth or most of Brisbane disappearing off the map.

"That's not good for the health of our democracy," he said.

From today, the AEC will send a postcard to every Australian household. The postcard will outline the three easy steps to enrol or update enrolment details.

A national online advertising campaign, stencil art on the pavements of capital cities, and community radio advertising and other media and public relations activities will support the campaign.

"The AEC is reaching out to all households because the 1.5 million missing voters is a very large group that is widely distributed throughout the community," Mr Killesteyn said.

"While our data tells us that only one in two 18–19 year olds are on the electoral roll, the issue is not confined just to youth, but ranges across a wider 18–39 age group. Some Australians may not have enrolled to vote for one or two or more elections."

Mr Killesteyn added that another substantial category of missing voters are those who do not update their address details after moving house, and later drop off the electoral roll.

"This group includes Australians of all ages, and I encourage them to take the time now to check and ensure their enrolment is in order.

"At each election, some Australians miss out on their vote because they've left enrolment too late. This campaign is all about not waiting until an election is called."

All Australian citizens aged 18 years and over must enrol to vote. Australians aged 16 and 17 can enrol now and vote when they turn 18.

To check if you're enrolled to vote visit www.aec.gov.au/check or call the AEC on 13 23 26 for help. The AEC website has contact details for people wishing to speak to someone in another language. For more information or to enrol to vote, visit www.aec.gov.au.

'Count Me In' is part of the AEC's 2012 Year of Enrolment, which marks the 100th anniversary of compulsory enrolment and the 50th anniversary of the Indigenous right to vote.

Editor's note: Figures of missing voters by state/territory

 
State/Territory Estimated number of missing voters Average missing in each electorate
New South Wales 475 800 9 900

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Gallacher has 'no idea' on illegal guns


Media Release: 29 May 2012

NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher continues to claim that illegal firearms in NSW are predominantly coming from overseas, despite evidence to the contrary from the Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.

Minister Gallacher has even refused to check the source of firearms used in drive-by shootings when questioned by Greens NSW MP and Firearms spokesperson David Shoebridge.

"To appease the Shooters Party in NSW Parliament the NSW Police Minister continues to credit guns used in crime to illegal imports, despite federal evidence to the contrary," Mr Shoebridge said

"Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare has made it clear that most illegal guns come from the domestic black market, including firearms which were not declared in the 1996 gun buyback.

"Others have been sourced from dishonest firearms dealers or have been stolen from registered firearms owners.

"While some importation of illegal firearms occurs on an 'opportunistic' and 'ad hoc' basis, the local black market is clearly an issue; it is disgraceful that due to political pressure the Police Minister is continuing to ignore it.

"When asked questions on notice about where guns used in drive-by shootings came from, Minister Gallacher said that sourcing this information would be an 'unreasonable diversion of police resources'.

"Working out how many of the guns used in drive by shootings were stolen from licensed forearms owners is crucial to working out a response to firearms crime.

"The federal government has done some of the NSW Police Minister's job for him, concluding that 99 per cent of weapons used in illegal shootings were stolen from local sources, not imported.

"We have to ask whether the Police Minister's continued inaction on this issue stems from a desire to not upset the Shooters Party in NSW Parliament.

"Given the amount of community concern about drive-by shootings in this State, it is astounding that the Police Minister hasn't even bothered to find out where guns used in crime came from.

"The Minister appears to have his head in the sand on this issue which has serious consequences for the safety of the people of NSW," Mr Shoebridge said.

More information, including the questions on notice, here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/05/29/police-minister-has-no-idea-on-illegal-guns/

Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376
Release of Report on Justice for Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic
Church
Media Release - 28 May 2012

A report was released today into proposed legislation granting victims
of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church new remedies to sue the Church’s
property trusts to overcome defences the Church has used to deny victims
the right to just compensation.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge was joined by representatives from
victims groups and lawyers representing victims of clerical abuse, to
release the report into the draft Justice for Victims Bill.

Greens NSW Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“For too long victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy
have been shut out and this Bill brings them one step closer to
justice.

“Because the Church has locked all of its assets away in property
trusts that the law says are immune from compensation claims by victims
of sexual abuse, most victims of sexual abuse by the clergy have no real
legal remedy.

“This Bill will force the Church to defend sexual abuse claims on their
merits, rather than hiding behind technical legal defences, by giving
victims the ability to directly sue the Church’s property trusts.

Jemima Brewer, a Lawyer specialising in sexual abuse claims said:

“If the Church doesn’t pay for the abuse it caused then the NSW
taxpayer will foot the bill in health, the criminal justice system and
lost productivity of victims.

“Only the Catholic Church is beyond the law. Victims of abuse within
government schools or institutions run by other charitable organisations
can get compensation. Only the Catholic Church can escape paying
compensation by relying on the Ellis technicality,” Ms Brewer said.

According to SNAP Australia spokesperson, Nicky Davis, “What makes this
Bill so significant is that it represents an important first step
towards a fairer way to deal with victims of a very great wrong.

“Victims whose rights and lives have been trampled on by the desire of
a powerful organisation to protect its own interests above all other
considerations,” Ms Davis said.

Greens NSW Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“In the course of the consultation on this Bill more than 20 detailed
submissions, and many more informal messages of support, were received
calling for this to become law.

“The challenge is now for both the government and opposition to stand
up for the rights of victims and either support this Bill, or grant
their members a conscience vote to allow its real merits to be
considered by Parliament,” Mr Shoebridge said.

More information:
http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/05/28/release-of-report-on-justice-for-victims-of-sexual-abuse-in-the-catholic-church/


Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

O'Farrell lets pubs and clubs off the hook on responsible service



Media release: 28 May 2012

While touting the supposed success of responsible drinking policy in NSW, Hospitality Minister George Souris conveniently overlooked the more than 50 percent of patrons who were served alcohol while being obviously intoxicated, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Commenting on the release of the BOCSAR report on responsible service of alcohol, Dr Kaye said: "An appalling 92.9% of intoxicated persons were not refused service by the licensed premises.

"A massive 87.6% of those surveyed were not asked to leave the licensed premises despite being very intoxicated.

"These data show that yesterday's announcement of a parliamentary inquiry was merely a distraction from the main game.

"Rather than risk the ire of the AHA and Clubs NSW, the O'Farrell government is taking the politically convenient path of targeting private homes.

"The real focus should be the huge number of pubs and clubs who fail to fulfil their legal responsibilities to serve alcohol responsibly.

"Parents are an easy target.

"Going after home consumption by underage drinkers might make good headlines for Sunday morning but it is the least effective way of addressing alcohol-related violence.

"Turning a blind eye to the blatant disregard of the state's liquor laws is a pay-off for the $472,000 that the Australian Hotels Association threw at the Coalition as those donations were being made illegal.

"After 15 months in office the O'Farrell government's response to this major public health issue has been limited to three strikes legislation that had to be redrafted, the introduction of a Drunk and Disorderly offence that unfairly targets the disadvantaged, and a parliamentary inquiry that scapegoats consumption of alcohol by minors in private homes.

"If pubs and clubs were forced to obey the law, their profits might be reduced but there would be fewer drunk people, less violence and lower impacts on local residents," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

State and federal governments collude to vandalise TAFE



Media release: 27 May 2012

Income-contingent loans and fees of up to $5,000 a year for diploma courses
at TAFE are the beginning of the end for public provision of vocational
education and training, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye

('TAFE diploma set to cost more than a university degree' Sunday Telegraph,
27 May 2012, http://j.mp/MJFyf7)

Dr Kaye said: "The COAG agreement will make Australia's skills shortage
much worse.

"Income-contingent loans will create barriers for working people who are
considering upgrading their skills.

"This is the time when all governments should be investing more in TAFE to
secure this nation's economic and social future.

"Instead state and federal leaders are dumping the financial burden onto
students seeking a diploma qualification at TAFE.

"This is the next big step towards governments dropping their
responsibility for vocational education and training.

"The future of the publicly-funded provider now hangs in the balance.

"It is hardly surprise that NSW signed up to the privatisation agenda.

"The head of Premier O'Farrell's department, Chris Eccles, was the
architect of the Victorian 'reforms' which have seen TAFE colleges driven
to the edge of bankruptcy and a massive increase in private provision of
skills training.

"The people of NSW have been well served by their TAFE system that is now
at risk.

"The Greens will be working hard to stop income-contingent loans, cuts to
public funding and the increasing flow of public money to private providers.

"This is about securing Australia's future as a prosperous and fair nation.
We will not stand by while Labor and the Coalition vandalise TAFE," Dr Kaye
said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Monday, 28 May 2012

Removal of political interference in fisheries long overdue – Greens


An independent review into the commercial fishing sector in NSW is
welcome, however the Minister must commit to including marine scientists
and conservationists in any bodies established as part of an industry
governance shakeup, according to Greens MP and environment spokesperson
Cate Faehrmann.

"The Greens agree with the review's harsh criticism of the "silo-like
mentality" of the Department as well as for more holistic decision
making when it comes to fisheries management. However the Minister must
ensure that ecological sustainability applies in all decision making and
that marine scientists and conservationists are included in any new
fisheries bodies," said Ms Faehrmann

"I hope the Minister takes heed of the review's recommendations to
remove political interference in decisions.

"We agree with the need to remove over allocation in the commercial
fishing sector so that those left in the industry can be both
economically and ecologically viable.

"When it comes to fisheries management, economic sustainability and
ecological sustainability go hand in hand. If the fishers remaining in
the sector are more economically secure then they can invest in measures
that improve the ecological sustainability of fish stocks such as
methods to reduce bycatch.

"However, I am disappointed that the report does not emphasise the need
to improve 'ecosystem based management'. This is the modern management
framework required for fisheries today where managers get out of their
silos and take management decisions in the context of looking after the
entire ecosystem the fishing takes place in."

"There is a suggestion in the review that marine parks have exacerbated
the problem of over-allocation by concentrating fishing effort into
smaller areas. The review fails to mention hundreds of peer reviewed
articles which demonstrate that sanctuary zones within marine parks lead
to more and bigger fish.

"Commercial fishers were compensated when marine parks were declared.
The problem was that there was already so much over- allocation in the
fisheries that the government bought out more 'latent' than actual
effort.

"Marine parks remain essential tools in responsible fisheries
management. They protect fish stocks and improve the ecological
sustainability of commercial fisheries for the longer term.

"We look forward to the government lifting the moratorium on new marine
parks. Fixing up the economics of the fisheries allows for more marine
parks," said Ms Faehrmann.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Removal of political interference in fisheries long overdue – Greens

Date: Fri, 25 May 2012

 Removal of political interference in fisheries long overdue – Greens

An independent review into the commercial fishing sector in NSW is
welcome, however the Minister must commit to including marine scientists
and conservationists in any bodies established as part of an industry
governance shakeup, according to Greens MP and environment spokesperson
Cate Faehrmann.

"The Greens agree with the review's harsh criticism of the "silo-like
mentality" of the Department as well as for more holistic decision
making when it comes to fisheries management. However the Minister must
ensure that ecological sustainability applies in all decision making and
that marine scientists and conservationists are included in any new
fisheries bodies," said Ms Faehrmann

"I hope the Minister takes heed of the review's recommendations to
remove political interference in decisions.

"We agree with the need to remove over allocation in the commercial
fishing sector so that those left in the industry can be both
economically and ecologically viable.

"When it comes to fisheries management, economic sustainability and
ecological sustainability go hand in hand. If the fishers remaining in
the sector are more economically secure then they can invest in measures
that improve the ecological sustainability of fish stocks such as
methods to reduce bycatch.

"However, I am disappointed that the report does not emphasise the need
to improve 'ecosystem based management'. This is the modern management
framework required for fisheries today where managers get out of their
silos and take management decisions in the context of looking after the
entire ecosystem the fishing takes place in."

"There is a suggestion in the review that marine parks have exacerbated
the problem of over-allocation by concentrating fishing effort into
smaller areas. The review fails to mention hundreds of peer reviewed
articles which demonstrate that sanctuary zones within marine parks lead
to more and bigger fish.

"Commercial fishers were compensated when marine parks were declared.
The problem was that there was already so much over- allocation in the
fisheries that the government bought out more 'latent' than actual
effort.

"Marine parks remain essential tools in responsible fisheries
management. They protect fish stocks and improve the ecological
sustainability of commercial fisheries for the longer term.

"We look forward to the government lifting the moratorium on new marine
parks. Fixing up the economics of the fisheries allows for more marine
parks," said Ms Faehrmann.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Friday, 25 May 2012

NSW failing humanitarian migrants - Greens call for funding boost to Migrant Resource Centres




Greens MP and spokesperson for multiculturalism Cate Faehrmann says that the government's dismissive response to the NSW Auditor General's report into settling humanitarian entrants released today shows they do not take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to humanitarian settlement in NSW.

"The response from the government to the report is disappointingly dismissive and doesn't address the serious conclusions of the Auditor General," said Ms Faehrmann.

"This is a fairly damning report from the Auditor General and my own experience backs it up. I've recently visited some Migrant Resource Centres which receive funding from state and federal governments to provide services such as housing and family support.

"What was painfully clear to me is that there simply isn't enough support. Demand for services far outweighs supply.

"People who arrive in NSW under the humanitarian settlement program will become permanent residents. Therefore for every dollar invested in services for newly arrived migrants, we save many down the track in terms of community cohesion, employment and healthier families.

"Boosting funding to Migrant Resource Centres will actually improve the bottom line of the state's budget, with improved outcomes like in health and employment well into the future," said Ms Faehrmann.

The report "Settling Humanitarian Entrants in New South Wales" is available here: here.http://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/News/Settling-Humanitarian-Entrants-in-New-South-Wales

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

STOP O’FARRELL’S COMPO CUTS



 
STOP O’FARRELL’S COMPO CUTS

Barry O’Farrell is preparing to make severe cuts to benefits paid to people injured while they are at work. 

These changes, if they become law, will force many people injured at work, through no fault of their own, into poverty. 

The proposed cuts include:
  • »  slashing lump sum benefits paid for injuries
  • »  removing compensation for injuries suffered when travelling to
    and from work
  • »  stopping all payments for many workers with ongoing injuries
    after 2.5 years of payments. MORE AND GET INVOLVED
davidshoebridge.org.au David.Shoebridge@parliament.nsw.gov.a



Government's WorkCover inquiry a sham

Media Release - 22 May 2012

The NSW parliamentary inquiry into WorkCover has rejected the application of Greens NSW Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge to appear before it, highlighting the flawed nature of the inquiry and the government's real agenda of slashing benefits for injured workers with no justification.

"This is a committee formed by the government with an eye more to slashing benefits than a balanced inquiry into the operation of the scheme and options for reform," Mr Shoebridge said.

"The composition of the committee, its terms of reference, the short time-frame and now the refusal to even hear from The Greens is a clear sign this is a sham inquiry from a government that is hell-bent on cutting benefits for injured workers.

"The idea that the Workers Compensation scheme can be considered, discussed and reformed within slightly over one month is absurd, undermining the integrity of any conclusions this committee draws about the scheme.

"The present terms of reference have no regard to whether or not the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme provides just compensation for injured workers, which will of necessity produce an incomplete and unbalanced review of the scheme.

"The government's claim in its issues paper that there are "perverse financial incentives for workers to remain off work" is a bare assertion, unfounded in any empirical studies.

"Most injured workers want nothing more than to recover from their injury or illness as quickly as possible and return to their workplace.

"The financial difficulties of the scheme in NSW are not because workers are receiving excessive benefits; it is in fact rampant increases in payments to insurance companies which have overwhelmingly been responsible for the increasing cost of the scheme.

"The right to go to work and to be protected if you are injured in the service of another is essential if work is to be dignified and employees to be secure when working for the benefit of employers," Mr Shoebridge said.

The Greens NSW submission to the inquiry can be viewed online here:  http://djdh9atks0nwf.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Submission-to-NSW-Workers-Compensation-Scheme-Inquiry.pdf

Media inquiries: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376
Subject: [Greens-Media] Container deposit legislation long overdue: Greens launch bill
Container deposit legislation long overdue: Greens launch bill

Greens MPs Jamie Parker and Cate Faehrmann today joined Clover Moore MP to launch a bill to establish a container deposit scheme (CDS) in NSW. The scheme will refund consumers 10 cents for beverage containers they return to a collection depot or reverse vending machine.

Greens MP Jamie Parker said:

"This is a crucial first step in keeping bottles and cans out of our environment by increasing recycling rates.

"A container deposit scheme has been in place in South Australia for over 30 years, with recycling rates at more than 80% for most materials.

"Compare that to NSW where less than 42% of bottles and containers are recycled, meaning billions of containers are going to landfill, polluting our environment and harming wildlife.

"This is needless and avoidable waste when you consider that materials such as glass, plastic and aluminium can be recovered and recycled.

"82% of Australians surveyed by Newspoll in 2007 are in favour of container deposit legislation.

"I am calling on the NSW Government to support the Greens' Bill and deliver this important reform for the benefit of the community and our environment."

Photos available upon request.

More information: Alison Martin 9230 2803 or 0432 941 533.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cash for Containers in NSW




Cash For Containers in NSW


Did you know that Australia sends about 6 billion beverage containers to landfill every year?
Drinks containers also make up a whopping 32% of the total volume of litter found in our parks, rivers, beaches and roadsides – where it is an eyesore and a peril for wildlife. In South Australia, their long-standing container deposit scheme has reduced that to just 4%.

Help reduce waste in NSW by signing up to support the Cash For Containers campaign below. 
I’m joining forces with independent MP Clover Moore to bring to Parliament a bill to establish a container deposit scheme in NSW. The scheme will refund consumers 10 cents for beverage containers they return to a collection depot or reverse vending machine. You can download a briefing about the bill here.

Such a scheme will increase recycling rates in NSW, helping to recover valuable materials and divert waste from the litter stream and landfill. NSW has a goal of increasing its municipal waste recycling rates to 66% and current strategies are only reaching 44%.



Internationally, deposit/refund systems are the most effective mechanism for achieving high container recovery rates.  Container deposit schemes exist in some states in the USA and Canada, and in Sweden, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. The average rate of recycling is 80% and as high as 95% in some countries.

The South Australian scheme has been in place for 30 years and is achieving more than 80% recycling rates. The Northern Territory has also just introduced a scheme. A Newspoll taken in 2007 revealed 82% of Australians surveyed are in favour of container deposit legislation.

It is well and truly time for NSW to step up and take real action to reduce pollution with a container deposit scheme of its own. Email the Premier below and tell him it’s time NSW had  

Want to be more involved in the Cash for Containers campaign? Get active with these materials.
Download a hard copy petition form here for use in your local community.

Download a copy of a briefing about the bill here.

For a high resolution PDF of the briefing, please email peter.stahel@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Consumer safety lags behind in a confused federal system


Dermatitis 23 days after wearing the shoes containing dimethyl fumarate.
Fairfax Australia
DMF: Dermatitis 23 days after wearing the shoes containing dimethyl fumarate.

Three years after the toxic chemical dimethyl fumarate was banned from use in consumer goods in the European Union, it is still being found in shoes in Australia. Greens NSW MP John Kaye called on state and federal consumer affairs ministers to cut through their divided responsibilities and immediately ban the dangerous chemical.

('Toxic chemical found in school shoes', Sun Herald, 20 May 2012,
http://j.mp/L498wb)

Dr Kaye said: "If it's dangerous in Europe it is equally going to cause
skin burns in Australia.

"Rather than waiting round until more kids present with blistering caused
by the anti-mould agent, the nation's consumer affairs ministers should ask
the ACCC to immediately follow the EU and ban its use.

"It's time for ministers like NSW's Anthony Roberts to cut through the
divided responsibilities under the National Consumer laws and take the lead
on protecting health and safety.

"Products containing dimethyl fumarate or packaged with the chemical were
banned from sale in the European Union from 1 May 2009. Its use in goods
manufactured in Europe was outlawed in 1998.

"The EU regulator acted quickly after the 'poisoned sofa' incident.

"It is an extraordinary indictment of the failure of consumer safety
protection in NSW and Australia that kids are still having their feet burnt
by this known cause of severe allergic reactions," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Piccoli responsible for school disruption


Media release: 18 May 2012

NSW public schools are being shut this morning because Education
Minister Adrian Piccoli has refused to listen to teachers and put
his 'Local Schools, Local Decisions' scheme on hold, according to
Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "Teachers have good reason to oppose  the O'Farrell
government's plans to devolve budget responsibility to principals.

"The future of public education hangs in the balance as the Minister
pushes ahead with his ideologically motivated experiment aimed at
reducing spending on students.

"Key details of the scheme have been kept secret while the Minister's
propaganda offensive has failed to hide from parents or educators the
real agenda of reducing the growth in the education budget.

"Teachers have good reason to fear the impacts on the quality of
education they can deliver in a system that would be torn apart by
competition, constrained budgets and increasing numbers of casual
teachers.

"Parents should put the blame for this morning's interruption onto
Adrian Piccoli who has treated teachers with contempt.

"The Minister should put his plans on hold while he explains how his
scheme would work and how it would not damage the future of public
education," Dr Kaye said.

--
John Kaye
Greens NSW MP

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Abattoir reform will not end cruelty

Greens Media

Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says that measures announced today for NSW abattoirs by Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson are inadequate and will not be enough to end animal cruelty.

In February 2012 undercover footage obtained at the Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors gave the public an insight into the horrific cruelty allowed to occur behind closed doors in some NSW abattoirs. Animal welfare groups and the Greens immediately called for CCTV to be installed in all NSW abattoirs.  The Greens are preparing legislation to make it a mandatory requirement.

"Why isn't the Minister prepared to open up abattoirs to tough independent scrutiny?" asked Ms Faehrmann.

"Without mandatory CCTV to record the handling of animals and slaughter at all times, and available for inspection by the authorities at any time, the public cannot be reassured that cruelty is not taking place.

"The Minister has announced that each abattoir has to appoint a trained Animal Welfare Officer to be on the premises while processing is occurring.  This person will be employed by the abattoir.  The Greens believe independent oversight is needed and at all times when animals are being handled not just 'processing'.

"Mandatory CCTV is an efficient way to provide independent oversight and to give the public confidence that cruelty will be policed properly.

"A requirement to comply with the mandatory adoption of the Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock Processing and improved training are positive steps but mandatory CCTV is necessary to ensure the standards are complied with," said Ms Faehrmann.

The footage shows sheep skinned alive, pigs beaten while fully concious and cattle jabbed repeatedly with electric prods. The NSW Greens consider $5200 a pathetic fine for such extreme breaches of the licence conditions. The abattoir should have had its licence revoked permanently and far greater penalties should apply.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Friday, 18 May 2012

Growing number of council moratoriums a bad sign for coal seam gas' social licence

GREENS MEDIA RELEASE

16 May 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham congratulated Richmond Valley Council for placing a moratorium on coal seam gas and said the growing number of local council resolutions was a demonstration that the industry has not got a social licence to operate in NSW.
After initially backing coal seam gas, Richmond Valley Council voted unanimously last night to implement a moratorium on coal seam gas on council owned land.  http://bit.ly/K3c3Ck

"The growing number of local councils around NSW implementing their own ban on coal seam gas is a clear indication that the industry has not earned a social licence to operate in NSW," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Local government is acting to fill the void left by the state government's failure to implement a moratorium on coal seam gas.

"Santos Chief Executive David Knox's assertion that opposition to coal seam gas has "peaked" is just wishful thinking.  We saw a massive rally in Sydney recently, and 7,000 people marched through Lismore just last weekend.  Community understanding and concern continues to grow.

"Last week Marrickville Council voted against allowing coal seam gas at St Peters, and Dart Energy canned their plans to drill.  Narrabri Council is considering a motion to stop coal seam gas; Lismore Council has a moratorium; Moree Council, Leichhardt Council, Kyogle Council, Tweed, Byron, Wollongong Council, Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly have all expressed concern.

"There is nothing like a looming election to focus the mind of elected officials, and Councillors across NSW are recognising that the community wants to protect their land and water from the threat of coal seam gas."

"Congratulations to Richmond Valley Council for standing up for their community and a healthy environment," he said.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Thursday, 17 May 2012

ABC Story: Climate change set to be expensive for north coast

A researcher says there is no cheap solution to protect mid north coast infrastructure from climate change threats.
The Australian Security Research Centre said it could cost millions of dollars to protect at risk roads, hospitals and universities.

Full story at ABC

Also see  : http://indymedia.org.au/2009/11/14/report-assesses-climate-risks-of-sea-level-rise-for-australia

Many of our roads are constructed on land that will be flooded.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The truth behind logging

Coffs Coast Independent interview with David Shoebridge: The truth behind logging

David views logging practices at Wedding Bells forest

Media Release - 14 May 2012

Responding to comments by Acting Premier Andrew Stoner that WorkCover was open to rorting, Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge has pointed out that the scheme has been being rorted for a number of years, by private insurers and claims managers, not injured workers.

"Since 1997 payments to private insurers to manage workers compensation claims have grown a staggering 620 per cent faster than both inflation and actual benefits paid to the injured," Mr Shoebridge said.

"In 1997 the fees paid to insurers to just manage claims cost 10 per cent of the amount paid to injured workers; yet in 2010 insurers were creaming off almost one dollar in every four paid to benefit workers.

"With more than $3.9 billion dollars being paid to private insurers in the last 15 years, this growth in bureaucratic paper shuffling has wasted more than $1.6 billion and eroded the scheme's financial sustainability.

 "These are appalling results and to date no government has had the courage to tackle the real problem in the workers compensation scheme which is this unchecked growth in bureaucracy and paper shuffling.

"These figures show that the looming deficit in the scheme is not caused by payments for injured workers which over time have hardly kept pace with inflation.

"If payments to insurers had matched inflation, like payments to benefit workers have, the scheme would have saved $1.6 billion.

"With over $1.6 billion wasted in overpayments to private insurers, it is little wonder the scheme is facing financial trouble.

"This Government needs to hold WorkCover accountable for the staggering growth in paperwork that does nothing other than divert money from injured workers to private insurers.

"How can any government in good conscience see a quarter of the amount paid in benefits to injured workers siphoned off to private insurers to simply manage claims?"

"Before a single dollar is taken from injured workers the government must address the paper shuffling that is chewing up almost a quarter of the money paid to injured workers," Mr Shoebridge said.

Fast Facts:
>From 1997 to 2010 major workplace injuries fell by 53%
>From 1997 to 2010 inflation increased by 44%
>From 1997 to 2010 management fees increased by 236% (more than 5 times inflation)
>From 1997 to 2010 benefits paid increased by 43% (less than inflation)
>From 1997 to 2010 management fees per major injury increased by 620% (14 times inflation)

If private insurer  management fees had, like benefits, grown only by inflation then $1.6 billion dollars would have been saved.

In FY 2010 management fees paid to private insurers accounted for 24% of the value of benefits paid to injured workers compared to just 10% in FY 1997

More information: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Treasury trashes E10 policy


Media release: 15 May 2012

The O'Farrell government has ignored warnings of its own Treasury and
persisted with the requirement that 6 percent of all petrol sold in NSW is
ethanol, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Ethanol benefits thrown into doubt', Sydney Morning Herald, 15 May 2012,
http://j.mp/smh120515)

Documents obtained by Channel 7 show that Treasury warned the NSW
government that the policy was protecting Manildra's highly profitable
position as a monopoly supplier, increasing costs for motorists and
offering few if any benefits.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The O'Farrell government has no excuse for
continuing with the mandate.

"Their Treasury department has warned that the policy is creating a
monopoly and unnecessarily punishing motorists for little or no benefit.

"It's hardly surprising that the cabinet is in meltdown over the E10
policy, with key Liberals at war with Nationals.

"That Treasury's warnings were ignored is a testament to the power of
Manildra and the more than $670,000 donations the Nowra-based company has
made to the NSW Nationals and Liberals since 1999.

"The O'Farrell government should stop sacrificing motorists' hard-earned
cash and its own economic credentials to appease a major donor.

"The Coalition government seems to be able to effectively slash and burn
public sector pay and conditions. When it comes to the hundreds of millions
of dollars that Manildra is able to take from motorists' wallets, Premier
Barry O'Farrell goes to water.

"This mess is Labor's invention and they too no doubt ignored economic
advice to go ahead and to fatten up Manildra's profits.

"The Treasury documents should leave each member of the cabinet with no
doubt. The E10 mandate is a failure that should be revisited before yet
more damage is done to the state's economy," Dr Kaye said.

For more information:    John Kaye 0407 195 455

Monday, 14 May 2012

Egg Corporation's myths exposed


Media release: 14 May 2012

The Egg Corporation has been caught using false and misleading
statements to justify their 20,000 hens per hectare free-range standard,
according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. ('Protest forces scrambled over
free-range change', Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2012, page 5,
http://j.mp/smh120514)

The myths being pedalled by the mouthpiece of the large egg factories
include:

* "The current industry standard does not place a cap on free-range
stocking densities" The Greens NSW have obtained legal advice that that
clearly states the limit is 1,500 birds per hectare.

* "Research supports 20,000 birds per hectare in free-range systems"
The author of the research has rejected its use by the Egg Corporation.


* "If Australia does not increase the free-range stocking density the
market will be flooded with cheap imports from Asia". Quarantine
restrictions prohibit the importation of hard shell eggs into
Australia.

Dr Kaye said: "The only way the Egg Corporation can justify their
absurd 20,000 hens per hectare free-range standard is to misrepresent
international research, distort the Model Code and fear-monger about
imported eggs.

"The Egg Corporation is trying to create an entire mythology around
free-range eggs.

"The NSW Liberals and Nationals need to take another look at the story
being fed to them by the industry before they reject the Greens bill for
a legislated standard.

"The big industrial producers are terrified of losing their access to
lucrative free-range deception.

"The Model Code clearly states that the free-range stocking densities
are limited to 1,500 birds per hectare. This is confirmed not just by
our legal advice but by the industry's interpretation of the Code since
its introduction.

"The mouthpiece of the big industrial producers fear mongering using
threats of eggs being brought in from Asia has come unstuck. Quarantine
regulations prohibit the import of hard shell eggs.

"The Egg Corporation is playing fast and loose with the truth to stop
the Greens legislation enforcing a 1,500 birds per hectare standard
becoming law.

"The Greens are mobilising free range consumers across NSW to tell
their local MPs that 'free-range' must mean free-range.

"We want every Liberal and National party MP to know that their
constituents will not accept being ripped off by the big egg producers,"
Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Friday, 11 May 2012

Forests corporatisation to bring further job cuts and full privatisation


Media Release - Wednesday 9 May 2012

The O'Farrell Government's plan to corporatise Forests NSW is likely to be just the first step in a path of job shedding, rationalisation and eventual privatisation of the publicly owned body, according to Greens NSW Forestry spokesperson David Shoebridge.

"The only explanation for this planned corporatisation is to take our state forests and plantations one step closer to being fully privatised," Mr Shoebridge said.

"Corporatising Forests NSW will allow Minister Hodgkinson to avoid Ministerial accountability for the actions of the government appointed board.

"The O'Farrell Government is already failing to hold Forests NSW accountable for its damage to State forests and its many breaches of environmental regulations.  This lack of accountability will only worsen after corporatisation.

"A corporatise Forests NSW will be expected to maximise profits; this will likely come at the direct cost of regional jobs and the ecological sustainability of the State's forests.

"Forests NSW workers across regional NSW will now be facing further pressure from a new corporate employer that will have even less scruples than the O'Farrell government when it comes to job shedding.

"Barry O'Farrell's job cuts to Forests NSW nurseries, research staff and workshops now look like just the beginning from a government that has shown it is committed to profits before people.

"State Forests in NSW are an important repository of biodiversity in this state and must be protected from this Government's anti-science, anti-jobs and anti-environment agenda," Mr Shoebridge said.

More information: 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Forestry workers could face axe

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

O'Farrell's school plan threatens teacher permanency


Media release: 9 May 2012

The O'Farrell government's 'Local Schools, Local Decisions' will mean that many students will be taught by a succession of casual staff, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Younger, cheaper teachers to fill state's schools' Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2012, page 5, http://j.mp/ISy3DP)

Dr Kaye said: "Having one maths or science teacher for a whole year will become a luxury for many students under the O'Farrell government's scheme to deregulate school staffing.

"Thousands of older teachers are retiring each year as school budget are being squeezed.

"So-called 'Local Schools, Local Decision' will inevitably force principals to increase the number of casual teachers.

"As responsibility for staffing decisions is shunted to school leaders, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli will be able to wash his hands of responsibility when parents complain that their children had three or four science teachers in a year.

"Last night's Federal Budget ignored the urgent need for more funding for public education identified by the Gonski review.

"As the pressure come on, both state and federal governments are deserting public schools and the challenges presented by increasing numbers of new teachers.

"Early year teachers bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas but it is essential that the staffing mix is designed to provide experienced mentors.

"Engaging school leaders in decision making is a sensible idea but the O'Farrell government's scheme is a blame shifting exercise that will punish disadvantaged communities," Dr Kaye said.


For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 45

O'Farrell's hidden agenda on HSU administrator bill


Media Release - 8 May 2012

Legislation introduced into NSW Parliament today to allow the HSU to be put into administration has a hidden agenda which may have wide ramifications, according to Greens NSW Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge.

"The Government professes to be sorting out a legal technicality in the HSU case but is in fact introducing a bill that has much greater powers than are required to address this problem," Mr Shoebridge said.

"The Greens support legislation which allows for a union to be placed in administration where there is clear evidence of gross misuse of funds or gross administrative abuses.

"However, we have severe reservations about the scope of the government's bill and the unparalleled powers it gives the Finance minister to place almost any union in administration.

"The bill sets an extraordinarily low bar for the Minister to appoint an administrator to an industrial organisation.

"There are no restrictions on the identity of the administrator, no notice requirements before an administrator is appointed by the Minister and no   limitation on which unions he can place in administration.

"The Greens have proposed an amendment which will replace the over-arching Ministerial power with the ability for the Commission in Court session to make an interim appointment if the interests of the members and the interest of justice require it.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Children as young as 12 allowed to hunt unsupervised under government plan

The NSW government, with the pro-hunting NSW Game Council, has released a proposal to allow children as young as twelve to hunt unsupervised using weapons such as bows and arrows, pig dogs and bowie knives, a clear sign the O'Farrell government is capitulating to demands of the Shooters Party according to Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge:

See SMH:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/shooters-push-for-children-to-hunt-alone-20120504-1y467.html

"This proposal will see kids as young as twelve arrive home from school, hang up their school bag, pick up their bowie knife, and head off with their mates and a pack of pig dogs to hunt and stab wild animals to death," Mr Shoebridge said.

"No one in their right mind wants to see children out by themselves stabbing animals to death after school and on the weekends.

"The fact that the government requires children's parents to indemnify the
state for loss proves that it knows, right from the start, that this is a
dangerous and reckless proposal.

"The government is promoting this practice on public land, they are
proposing it happen in State Forests across the State.

"This is dangerous to the children, cruel to the animals involved, and
indifferent to the other users of public land.

"This government is under fierce pressure to deliver for the Shooters Party
in order to secure key votes in unrelated legislation in the NSW Upper
House.

"The two Shooters Party MPs are both former chairperson's on the NSW Game
Council who are promoting this change.

"This proposal is out for public submissions and people across NSW need to
let the government know it is just not on.

"Barry O'Farrell needs to account for why his government is promoting
children as young as twelve engaging in blood sports with pig dogs, bows
and arrows, and hunting knives," Mr Shoebridge said.

*Media contact: David Shoebridge 0408 113 952

Government lunges for unjustified online surveillance powers.


Media release: Senator Scott Ludlam - Greens spokesperson for communications. May 4th, 2012

Australian Greens spokesperson for communications Senator Scott Ludlam today warned against further extending the loosely defined and already over-reaching online surveillance powers of Australia's intelligence agencies.

"Today's announcement starts the next chapter of the 'data retention' debate (#ozlog) which the Government should have backed away from. This is the idea that all our personal data should be stored by service providers so that every move we make can be surveilled or recalled for later data mining. It is premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects."

"Australians are already under a phenomenal amount of government surveillance. Nearly a quarter of a million telecommunications data warrants were granted in 2010-11 according to the annual <http://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Pages/Telecommunications%28InterceptionandAccess%29Act1979AnnualReportfortheyearendingJune2011.aspx> Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act<http://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Pages/Telecommunications%28InterceptionandAccess%29Act1979AnnualReportfortheyearendingJune2011.aspx> report<http://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Pages/Telecommunications%28InterceptionandAccess%29Act1979AnnualReportfortheyearendingJune2011.aspx>

"This includes detailed locational data logged by every smartphone, every minute of the day."

 "The public knew about secret negotiations to create a data retention scheme by the Attorney General's Department, only because of a courageous leak. That whistleblower understood that giving data retention powers to law enforcement and intelligence agencies undermines the very rights and liberties they are ostensibly empowered to protect."

"Data retention as envisaged by this government will entrench enormous databases that can be mined for precise patterns of our movements, purchases, interests, friends and conversations.  This interception, copying, recording and disclosure of our data is a means to retroactively police the whole population."

"While the Greens welcome a public consultation on the proposed changes to ASIO's powers, the Attorney General's Department is notorious for cheerfully ignoring the advice of experts, interest groups and the general public."

"This looks like an ambit claim for surveillance overkill, but nevertheless, the Australian Greens will work closely with legal and privacy experts as well as ISPs and concerned citizens to turn back this unwarranted invasion of Australians' online privacy."


Media contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

Friday, 4 May 2012

UK findings on Murdoch empire strengthen case for reform of ownership concentration rules


The majority finding by a British Parliamentary committee that media kingpin Rupert Murdoch is unfit to run an international company reinforces the need to reform Australia's media ownership laws, the Australian Greens said today.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the long-running phone hacking scandal engulfing the Murdoch empire bolstered the Convergence review finding that the concentration of media ownership in Australia is harmful.

"Concentration of media ownership is the concentration of power. The more power in the hands of a tiny group of people, the more likely you will see the arrogant abuse of that power, as has been made abundantly clear by the findings of the investigation in the United Kingdom."


"Eleven of Australia's twelve capital city daily papers are owned by either Mr Murdoch's News Ltd, or by Fairfax Media, and the remaining capital city daily is owned by Channel Seven. Overall, News Ltd owns 70 per cent of the newspapers in this country. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart holds almost 14 per cent of Fairfax and a 10 per cent stake in Channel Ten. It stands to reason that the concentration of media ownership in this country has gone too far."


"Westminster has awoken from decades of running scared from the Murdoch press. The Convergence Review gives us an opportunity to re-open this debate in Australia, in the interests of a free and diverse media."


Media release: Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam. May 2nd, 2012
Media contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

Government refuses to consider compo changes effect on workers


Media release - Wednesday 2 May 2012

The NSW Government has refused to consider whether or not the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme provides just compensation for injured workers in the parliamentary inquiry set up today, revealing the government's agenda to cut benefits to workers regardless of the impact, according to Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge.

"The government's Workers Compensation Committee is clearly a hatchet job designed to slash benefits for injured workers," Mr Shoebridge said.

"The government refused to allow the committee to even consider the fairness of the scheme.

"The Greens proposed an amendment to the terms of reference to the committee so that the committee would consider 'the extent to which the scheme provides just compensation for injured workers.'

"The government rejected the Greens' amendment out of hand.

"This committee has clearly been set up to look at cutting benefits for injured workers regardless of the impact on injured workers.

"With four Coalition members, one Christian Democrat, one Shooter and only two Labor members this makes a mockery of the Parliamentary committee system.

"The Workers Compensation system needs reform with a close eye on the hundreds of millions of dollars that go to private insurers, before this government slashes the benefits paid to injured people.

"In the 2010 financial year alone, private insurers ripped $476 million out of the system, which was almost a quarter of the $1.9 billion paid to benefit injured workers.

"This is clearly part of Barry O'Farrell's plan to take a hatchet to the rights of working people in NSW, following on from his attack on public sector workers last year.

Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Read more about the proposed cuts here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/04/23/government-stacks-committee-to-slash-comp-benefits/

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Arrogant government badly misreading community sentiment on coal seam gas


30 April 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has warned the
O'Farrell Government that it is badly misreading community sentiment onthe conflict between mining and agriculture in what appears to be seniorpro-mining Liberals riding roughshod over the National Party and the interests of country NSW.

In recent days:
·         Resources Minister Chris Hartcher has attacked the NSW
Farmers organised rally as a far left conspiracy.  http://bit.ly/KnJL5a

·         Planning Minister Brad Hazzard attacked the NSW Farmers
Association and Country Women's Association on ABC's Country Hour
program.  http://bit.ly/Intvke

"Minister Hartcher is badly out of touch if he thinks community concern
over mining's impact on agriculture, the environment and water resources
is some kind of conspiracy," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"This kind of arrogant disregard for genuine community concern is the
kind of thing we expected from NSW Labor in its dying days, but this
exercise in hubris is only one year into the O'Farrell Government.

"It's clear that senior pro-mining Liberals in the O'Farrell Government
are running roughshod over whatever Nationals are left who truly wish to
protect our land and water.  The dissenting submission from the National
Party to the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy consultation shows there
are still some Nationals who want to protect the interests of country
NSW, even if many National MPs are lining up with the big city Liberals
to promote mining.

"There is a confluence of interest in protecting the land and water
from mining.  Farmers recognise the need to preserve these precious
resources into the future, while environmentalists understand that
farmers are important custodians of the land and water," said Mr
Buckingham.

A Galaxy Research poll conducted in August 2011 found 74% of people in
NSW supported a moratorium on coal seam gas, with only 17% opposed.
http://bit.ly/uU0kKb


JEREMY BUCKINGHAM MLC - THE GREENS NSW - MEDIA RELEASE
Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Public paying to destroy South East NSW native forests

Media Release - 1 May 2012

Figures secured by the Greens reveal that Forests NSW made a loss of more than $750,000 last year from operations in NSW's Southern Region native forests.

Questions asked in NSW Parliament by Greens NSW Forestry spokesperson David Shoebridge to Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson revealed that while the operating costs for Forests NSW in the Southern Region native forests were $22,106,200, the total revenue earned was $21,341,600, a shortfall of $764,600.

"Forests NSW are clearly an economic basket case, unable to manage our native forests in a way that is either environmentally or economically sustainable," Mr Shoebridge said.

"These latest figures reveal that last year NSW taxpayers paid more than $750,000 to destroy the biodiversity and natural beauty of our native forests in South East NSW.

"This comes on top of the $500,000 the government paid to Boral in 2006 for Forests NSW's failure to meet contracted amounts of wood supply.

"Boral and the government are currently in closed doors negotiations to come to another financial settlement following continued inability of Forests NSW to supply contracted amounts of timber.

"It is just astounding that we see NSW taxpayers having to put their hands in their pockets to clear-fell our state forests.

"These figures prove that native forestry operations in South East NSW are driven by a damaging ideological commitment of this government to log at any cost.

"If the state government is looking for ways to balance a tight budget in 2012, it should first look to stopping native forest logging in the South East.

"The O'Farrell government needs to hold Forests NSW to account for these significant financial losses and the ongoing mismanagement of our native forests," Mr Shoebridge said.

More information: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Coffs Harbour residents said 'NO' to mining to mining on the Dorrigo Plateau

While May 1 protesters rallied in Sydney to 'Protect our land and water', Coffs Harbour residents said 'NO' to mining on the Dorrigo Plateau and to the mining of coal seam gas in the Clarence and Richmond valleys.

Greens councillor Mark Graham addressed the interested audience in the City Square.

(Click on any pic see a slide play. Media can use these pics or request  high resolution pics by email.)



Concerned citizens gathered materials from Lock The Gate, local Greens and other sources to staff the information stall. The shoppers were very receptive to the message the team delivered. Note the maps in the pic showing current exploration leases.
 
Volunteers provided music and performances to attract the crowd. Cr Mark Graham informed the crowd that their costly water supply was at risk from mercury, arsenic, antimony and lead from water pollution, a certain result of mining in the highest rainfall area in NSW, our water catchment.




"Protect our land and water' was clearly the message. A 100,000 people draw on water from the Dorrigo catchment. Residents of Grafton and the Clarence Valley will be particularly affected by pollution of the Clarence River. The fishing industry related to the Clarence estuary will be devastated.







Anchor Resources may reopen the antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek.

This was the first anti-mining event held in Coffs Harbour since the protest at Karangi Dam brought the proposed reopening of the Wild Cattle Creek antimony mine to the people of the Coffs Coast. Exploration for gold is also taking place on the Dorrigo Plateau. 





Gold mining is a real threat to water supplies.

Mining on the Dorrigo Plateau could release large quantities of arsenic into the environment.






A steady stream of visitors signed letters for sending to Premier O'Farrell and an anti-csg mining petition. Well done Amy.

Media Links:

Coffs Coast Advocate: Protect our water, land: farmers

 














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