Mood: accident prone
Topic: election nsw 2007
In a rerun of the Marrickville Byelection farce in October 2005
the NSW Govt have been caught out suppressing very sensitive urban land use information in a front page mugging by the Sydney Daily Telegraph in it's Friday 2nd of Feb 07 issue. Back in 2005 this writer lodged a $40 Freedom of Information request for the Kevin Cleland Commission of Inquiry Report into the expansion of Port Botany, which is a long way from Marrickville until you realise the trebling (and more) container traffic will transit the marginal seat, and indeed raises the real proposition of a truck tunnel.
And with a truck road tunnel come ventilation stacks, and with those toxic air pollution like the long running sore of the M5 East pollution stack and health studies for the last 3 years. Planning Minister Sartor refused to release the tax payer funded report, and had been considering it for months. It was a shocking abuse of open government principles. The ALP beat off the Greens by a few percentage points in the vote.
The tough, honest, negative Cleland report was released (by way of rejection of its finding) by Sartor two weeks after the vote getting the ALP's Tebbutt over the line.
Now Marrickville and many other suburbs are in the news over another secret infrastructure disruption of social amenity just as the Green Party are back with electioneering in Marrickville and Balmain seats in particular prior to the general State election:
Picture: Cr Fiona Byrne, Green Party candidate fields press and other barrackers in front of a recycled computer pyramid at Reverse Garbage (Addison Rd Community Centre, Marrickville) next to Ian Cohen MP, last Thursday. Press release below.
The Daily Tele “TWO YEARS OF TOTAL CHAOS” carries the proverbial black background with large type bullet points
“EXCLUSIVE: What Labor didn’t tell you about its water desalination plant”
“Hundreds of streets dug up for pipes”
“Houses demolished, roads closed”
“15 suburbs hit by noise and pollution”
“Plans kept secret ahead of election”
The satellite map on pages 4 and 5 show the snaking pathways of disruption. The government disingenuously argues in radio reaction that they took 700 submissions on the project from the public in “consultation”. But there was no real notification of the literally tens of thousands affected. Premier Iemma is on ABC TV news at 7 pm saying the report is “wrong” but it looks anything but on the detail and past form. The 7.30 Report runs interviews with editors of both major press on the travails of the NSW Govt.
And well the ABC should. The conventional wisdom is that if the ALP lose in NSW they will likely win in the Federal election later in 2007 which is the real prize in Australian politics.
But what the damaging coverage doesn’t address is the reality, whether it is massive recycled water interventions, or an Opposition desalination plant at Malabar rather than Kurnell, there will be massive infrastructure disruptions to “drought proof Sydney”.
In this sense the Daily Telegraph is right to expose the subterfuge of the politicians but also opportunistic in loading up the ALP alone for the inevitable disruptions of any equivalent project. The truth is there is no easy way out of our water worries in Sydney.
Greens Media release relating to their photo op above follows:
The Greens NSW - Media Release - 1 February 2007
Greens build computer pyramid to highlight e-waste
Today the NSW Greens are using 150 old computers, supplied by Reverse Garbage, to construct a dramatic pyramid to highlight the problems of toxic 'e-waste'. Greens MP Ian Cohen is calling on the Iemma government to make it mandatory for producers to take responsibility for collecting and recycling old computers.
"Less than 2% of computers in Australia are recycled by individuals or businesses. The rest go into landfill or are shipped offshore," said Ian Cohen, who gave notice of the Greens E-waste bill in NSW Parliament last November.
"This amount of e-waste is an appalling toxic legacy to leave future generations.
"The Iemma government should act to force this billion dollar industry to do more than just produce and distribute computers and pocket the cash.
"NSW already has legislation in place that allows the Government to implement a mandatory scheme if the computer industry fails to implement its own voluntary code on e-waste. The NSW government, at a Federal and State meeting in November 2006, admitted the voluntary scheme is not working but has failed to act.
"The Greens bill proposes a simple amendment that would make it compulsory for manufacturers to take responsibility for their products to the very end," Mr Cohen said.
Greens candidate for Marrickville, Councillor Fiona Byrne, says, "The Iemma government has been captured by this powerful industry and is reluctant to compel manufacturers to tackle the problem of e-waste.
"Some impressive efforts been made at the grassroots level. For instance Reverse Garbage, the Marrickville co-op, has employed a full-time worker to restore old computers and send them out to people in need," said Cr Byrne.
"Unfortunately initiatives like this by Reverse Garbage are the exception.
"The Greens on Marrickville Council have decided to push the issue along by asking Council to audit the amount of e-waste collected in our LGA and the cost of disposing of it in an environmentally sensitive way.
"We will present this information to the government and industry bodies to illustrate the need for change," Clr Byrne said.
*Media conference and photo opportunity at 12.30pm, Reverse Garbage, Addison Rd Centre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. *
*Contact:* Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466; Derek Maitland (for Fiona Byrne) 0406 316 612