Apologies for any cross posting. Details for addition or deletion from this independent
information service in the lead up to the Federal Election can be found at the bottom of the page. Submissions and feedback
welcome. Brevity preferred. Good luck with your ecology action.
From the editor, ecology action sydney
Forest & Woodland # 1, 26 April 2004
1. Crikey Sunday, 25 April, 2004, on Tas forest politics
- going to 6,000 political and business subscribers nationally
2. Western Sydney’s ADI/Lend Lease bushland site0
to play significant role in pre federal election environmental atmospherics.
3. NSW Green Party/ngo on creeping commercialization
of high class conservation zone
4. Green MLC sledged over heavy handed direct action tactics at the Domain
plantation economics talk with Dr Judy Clark 11th May at NSW Parliament
6. Southern NSW forest campaigners meeting looking
like Sat 8th May
7. Bob Carr NSW Premier's ritual (hypocritical?) hand wringing holiday piece in the Herald today re greenhouse
1. Crikey Sunday, 25 April, 2004, going to 6,000 political and business subscribers, quoted in full
"5. Green gazumping in the Apple Isle?
Mark Latham's visit to Tasmania to hug
trees with Bob Brown has put the environment at the centre of national political debate in the lead up to the federal election
– so Tasmanian Liberal Leader Rene Hidding’s weekend comments on shrubhugging deserve just as wide an audience.
Hidding has sniffed the political breeze and realised that finding a solution to forestry practices in Tasmania is a "social
problem" (his term) and cannot be decided on economics alone.
Up until know Hidding has been at the forefront of the "let
science decide" brigade, led by such politically diverse figures as Premier and chainsaw enthusiast Paul Lennon and born-again
Democrat Greg Barns. But, according to the Saturday Mercury, Hidding seems to be having second thoughts.
"It's become a
social issue and there are expectations in the broader community that surely we should be able to find a way to get out of
the clearfell, burn and sow techniques of harvesting," it has him saying.
The Mercury thinks that this is a far stronger
statement than any given by the state government up to now – and they could be right.
Looking at it from a purely
Tasmanian view, Hidding has merely restated the prevailing community attitude – but like the government all he has done
is invest in a little wishin' and hopin' and prayin’ over clearfelling, not said that he was prepared to do anything
What he has done, however, is finally say some words that give the majority of Tasmanians - and the majority
do want changes to forestry management - something to think about. Up until now it had been the Liberals locked into Labor's
Again, from the Tasmanian perspective, Hidding's move also needs to be examined mindful of the political reality
in which the Liberals find themselves. And it is a very harsh reality. Last month's EMRS opinion poll had the Liberals at
19 per cent of the primary vote and Hidding on 17 per cent preferred premier. With those sort of popularity figures Hidding
is in a nothing-to-lose situation; so why not change tack on forestry? Why not take advantage of Jim Bacon's departure and
differentiate yourself from the government on a major policy issue?
Well, for starters, Hidding has been so staunchly
pro-logging all his political life that he will have trouble selling his new face to the electorate. Who is going to believe
he is serious? Who is going to believe he will deliver? The old proverb about leopards and spots will come to people's minds.
To many it will smack of political expediency, which, of course, is exactly what it is.
Then there is Peter Gutwein
– the publicly declared anti-clearfeller and leadership wannabe who Hidding banished from, then recently restored to,
the Liberal front bench. Hidding had to have him back to save his own political skin and now we see the price that Gutwein
extracted in the deal: Hidding had to go publicly soft on forestry.
But they're the Tasmanian perspectives. What about
the national impact?
One normally doesn’t expect the leader of the opposition in Tasmania to be playing a role on
the national political stage – but he may just have been given an incredible walk on role by a desperate PM.
week we spoke in the sealed section about some of the tensions implicit in the Iron Bark’s Tasmanian shrubhugging –
not just between the federal and state leaders, but between the Federal leader and some of his more marginal backbenchers.
potential for problems is enormous. Is Hidding positioning himself in advance of a pre-election announcement on forestry by
Maybe the rumours about secret meetings between Bill Heffernan and the green lobby were correct? Perhaps the Feds
have had a quiet word to Hidding and told him to make sure he is in a position to support Howard – or at least make
sure that Labor is left looking more embarrassed than the Coalition.
Anything is possible in this election year."
2. Western Sydney's ADI/Lend Lease bushland site to play significant role in pre federal election
The Daily Telegraph has launched a series of colourful large scale articles
campaigning both for full protection of this 1,545 ha site while at the same time sledging card carrying greenies for being
'lopsided' in their focus (a line picked up by Sally Loane 2BL). MHR Jackie Kelly and Premier of NSW have committed to supporting
the Daily Terror – one wonders whether their tongue was firmly in their cheek given past positions of both state and
The western Sydney marginal seat voters in the upcoming federal election will likely weigh this up
along with other high profile environmental issues like the classic forests of Tasmania being woodchipped at the moment. Certainly
the stage is being set for a Howard/local greenie soiree in those final hothouse weeks of an election campaign in critical
Sydney electorate with the backing of the largest selling daily newspaper in the country. Refer articles with Kakadu like
vistas in Terror 26/4/04, also 21/4/04 at p9 with opinion piece on editorial page by slick David Penberthy on p26, and Saturday
These stories can probably be chased down on their web page: www.dailytelegraph.com.au
NSW Green Party rhetoric on creeping commercialization of high class conservation zones at:
Blue Mountains Blockade: On Now!
Posted April 26th, 2004 by Anonymous
submitted by Cut'n'Paste digest
Hollywood movie types are all set up to steam into the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains but heroic activists have created
a blockade and will stop the film crews from desecrating the world-heritage listed area.
On The Blockade, Ian Cohen, Green MLC told the ABC: "We've got people who're experienced at building blockades and we've
got people who're going to be moving around the site, so we've got a number of strategies which I won't detail right now."
"Certainly people who're up here are keen to make their presence felt."
Mr Cohen says the activists are prepared to do what they have to, to protect the environment: "It's a set up that could
quite well stop them, hold them up for quite a while," he said.
"I don't see them getting trucks up this road in the next day or two. It'll be a bit of a standoff.
"If they do come up this far, they won't turn round because this part of the road's actually very steep and drops off like
a cliff face."
The Hollywood people are attempting to make some movie called Stealth but residents don't want the big trucks plowing through
the beautiful valley.
and more general coverage of this Blue Mountains protest and management issue at http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/26/1082831477337.html
5. Important plantation economics talk with Dr Judy Clark on the bill, at NSW Parliament
11th May, valued recently at around $1 billion and likely for the big chop
6.30 pm Tuesday 11 May 2004
Jubilee Room, Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney
(5 minutes walk from St James and
Martin Place Railway Stations)
Hosted by Greens MP Lee Rhiannon. Chaired by John Kaye, Greens NSW Lead Senate Candidate.
Speakers: Dr Judy Clark, Forestry Expert, ANU, Craig Smith, Secretary, Forestry Division, CFMEU
RSVP: 9230 3551 or
6. Another important date for forest activists re southern forests campaigners meeting looking
like Sat 8th May probably to be held at Eden – contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
7. Bob Carr NSW Premier's ritual existential hand wringing holiday profile in the Herald over greenhouse
doom – the metaphorical equivalent of the Emperor fiddling while Rome burns ? Notice the Australia Institute at least
partly funded Carr’s airfare to this UK conference – is there a post politics job application in there for Carr?
There are some great ways to address greenhouse in NSW: reverse the 8 million tonnes of forest woodchips ex NSW
under Carr’s tenure since 1995 (refer ABARE statistics) and 1 million hectares of cleared woodland 1997-2002 (refer
Herald 17th Nov 2003 article based on leaked report from NSW govt)
[To subscribe/unsubscribe to independent Oz
Forest & Woodland send to ecologya [at] wix.com.au]
29/4/04... Oz Forest & Woodland # 2
Apologies for any cross posting. Details for addition or deletion from
this independent free information service in the lead up to the Federal Election and beyond can be found at the bottom of
the page. Submissions and feedback welcome. Brevity preferred. Good luck with your ecology action.
From the editor,
1. Protection of Western Sydney’s ADI/Lend Lease bushland remains a strong focus of the
2. Heritage Figs in the Domain subject of an interim protection court order
3. Who is Ian Blackburne
in charge of Domain Figs?
4. Cohen MLC mystery no.3?
5. Giant dragon fly and delicate rare plant to cop Stealth after
media drops out
6. Kozciusko to cop bigger Perisher Blue despite Planning Inquiry against?
7. Landclearing and cover
ups in NSW back to the bad old National Party days
1. Protection of Western Sydney’s ADI/Lend Lease bushland
site of 1,545 ha remains a strong focus of the Daily Telegraph this week, largest selling daily newspaper in the country.
Readers will know OzF&W view (item 2 #1OzF&W) the prominent coverage provides a perfect platform for Howard to step
into the breach at a time of his choosing with some redemptive green posturing in those swinging critical Sydney marginals.
Latham better brush up his forest promises, methinks (refer item 1 #1 OzF&W).
Certainly Lend Lease the developer
are reacting to the Terror’s grassroots (read voters) coverage of local worthies e.g. crusading grandfather, and numerous
vox pops from ‘westies’ and further abroad. Yesterday LL managed to get their own pictures in the Terror of the
more degraded sites to offset earlier Kakadu style shots.
It remains to be seen how sustainable the Terror’s
new green (redemptive?) zeal remains as young gun reporter, the talented Mr ‘Ripley’ err Penberthy revealed at
least part of their motive was to sledge inner Sydney greenies preoccupation with a few heritage figs in the Domain mid April.
Ripley has been in contact with OzF&W with some uncharitable things to say about Senator Nettle perhaps because he missed
the senator’s good work exposing the LL profit taking on the ADI site - apparently while Ripley was in Cancun knocking
knees with Emperor Rupert earlier this year.
2. Heritage Figs in the Domain are now the subject of an interim
protection court order by the Land & Environment Court as a result of intervention by Sydney Council under a
unanimous resolution from Mayor Moore (included ALP’s Michael Lee). Moore is looking more like Brisbane’s successful
Jim Soorley every day . The argument goes back to court in a month or two.
The Council has expert Sir Mark Hartley,
five times winner International Grand Award of Excellence in Arboriculture and a board member of National Arborists of Australia
and of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Local freebie inner Sydney City News (which OzF&W is paid to
deliver to defray our costs) carries a story p18 May 2004 thus: ‘The pressure is on the Botanic Gardens Trust to find
alternative sources of income as its debt is increasing and there is no relief in sight from NSW Treasury …disgrace
… enormous trees to be chopped down just so the Domain can squeeze more people in and make more money’: Lee Rhiannon
It seems even Ros Packer and hubby were annoyed and considered a little tree sitting: See SMH in the weekend
Sauce 24/4/02 at: http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2004/04/23/1082616326295.html
3. Who is Ian Blackburne
Chair of RBGT in charge of Domain Figs?
OzF&W got this intriguing email from our Botany Bay spy about
the changes at the top at the Sydney Botanic Gardens dated way back on 23/9/03 which does not inspire confidence over master
“This is a reference to Ian Blackburne - Chairman of Ansto, Chairman of the Botanic Gardens,
ex CEO of Caltex. Responsible for protecting his patch of petroleum industry to great detriment to environment. CEO during
period of price-fixing and so on......Having him as CHairman of Botanic Gardens Trust is like having an ex high ranking SS
officer in charge of a Jewish Museum.
http://www.business.uq.edu.au/staff/adjuncts/blackburn.phtml “ [quote ends].
4. Cohen MLC mystery no.3?
Fallout from the (mostly) successful Domain Figs
protest has been a stoush between two long time forest campaigners over what was said between them on top two captured logging
machines. It could make good fodder for one of those low budget plays in Newtown with paper mache props etc like the old K2
play. One of the protagonists (actually this editor of OzF&W) is suspicious that his address was mysteriously and pre-emptively
delisted (mystery no.1) from an email service for defying an improper direction (mystery no.2) from Ian Cohen MLC, Greens.
OzF&W in fact is partly inspired by the Domain conflagration amongst ‘friends’ like a phoenix from the ashes
of a non existent working relationship.
The anon spinners (Cohen staffers?) and rebuttals and can be seen at:
OzF&W understands on April 14th a groups meeting of Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance representing some 30 local groups
met prior to the Parliamentary Inquiry and concurrent Commission of Inquiry in Port Botany expansion: It’s a very hot
issue for Sydney amenity with truck transport proposed to triple. The very experienced and effective spokesperson for BBACA
related a troubling phone conversation with Cohen MLC where the latter shouted down the phone at him haranguing Mr BBACA on
a misconceived basis (mystery no. 3) and then proceeded to describe the awesome wave running in Byron as if it were a higher
5. Giant dragon fly and delicate rare plant to cop Stealth after media drops out
snippet in the SMH yesterday reported 7 or so protesters against a Hollywood Stealth movie to arguably damage Blue Mountains
wilderness park were arrested with no indication of weakening govt resolve unlike the Domain Fig clash. What a difference
a Clover Moore mayoralty makes. However the presentation for protesters in Sydney heartland media was not helpful. Their spokesperson
on ABC prime time news was plodding at best albeit earnest, more suited to campfire or back room, and radio grabs by comrade
Cohen MLC were possibly carrying some baggage? The ongoing and highly visual story appeared to die with no tv coverage past
the weekend which is a pity given the creeping commercialization of conservation zones. An authentic local female conservationist
voice a better choice?
6. Kozciusko to cop bigger Perisher Blue as Planning Inquiry recommends against?
OF&W was driving around yesterday in the Woodchip Car(r) and still getting amused looks from motorists in peak hour at
the quotes referring to Bob Carr’s broken election promise to end native forest woodchipping by 2000, we met a green
researcher in expansion of Perisher Blue. It seems notwithstanding Ros and Kerry’s annoyance at the Figs in the Domain
being attacked, our source tells us the Packer machine is well and truly rolling over the state environment ministry and an
adverse Commission of Inquiry report on proposed expansion of this tourist resort in another prime wilderness national park.
She said “You are right about Knowles and the Govt. They just don’t give a stuff.”
She promised to
send on chapter and verse after moving house.
7. Landclearing and cover ups in NSW back to the bad old National
Party days says govt insider
OzF&W view is that the Domain Figs affair is symptomatic of a 9 year old
administration with an overloaded part time environment minister Debus with hopeless conflicts with his gig as Attorney General
(now increasingly being substituted on environment by Carmel Tebbut current Corrective Services minister if memory serves).
A govt insider recently sent this tragic reflection to OzF&W:
“I have been told most NSW cases against Greentree are to be dropped except maybe one section
46 remediation order (under old NVC Act) over one area but these facts need checking – so before you or anyone else
acts ring Tim Holden (Ex-EDO) now in legal branch DIPNR and get the facts. If indeed the cases are to be dropped (after hundreds
of thousdands of dollars of departmental effort) you need to establish – why? Were there technical reasons – ie
did DIPNR think it was going to lose etc.
Also, phone ….. for more details – he is probably in a good position
to offer advice.
Most DIPNR people think that the situation stink but it is one of many things that stink right now.
also attach a paper on the Wentworth Group by Marcus Lane Sth Australia – note his conclusions about the need for the
State to maintain a role not just delegate its responsibilities to “community groups” such as the CMAs. In my
view if science and the State are not involved the CMA experiment will fail. Note also there is NO Natural Resource Commission
established yet, to set state targets and standards – so we are getting cart before horse in letting CMAs run off with
money to spend without state guidelines on priorities. Note also that there are no audit procedures for Property Vegetation
Plans and compliance is downgraded – so who will even check to see if public money has been correctly spent –
let alone check illegal clearing.
THE NRC must have genuine experts in it not just toady bureaucrats but that is not
what the irrigation industry wants and they seem to be running the Govt’s rural policies right now!!
NB The Lands
Dept CEO Warrick Watkins is again allowing the conversion of lots of Crown leases as he did in the early 1990s when he was
head of the then CALM (including Lands). Lands officers have been verbally instructed to blame NPWS for any objection to conversion
when writing to applicant lessees. This is the same stuff that was happening under the National’s Ian Causely and Wal
Murray in 1993. Once a lease is converted to freehold its value soars as it can be sub-divided etc. This issue undermines
NPWS in that land becomes much more expensive to purchase for reserves if freeholded. The ALP is doing exactly what the nats
did in 94!!”
[To subscribe/unsubscribe to independent Oz Forest & Woodland send to ecologya [at] wix.com.au]
Oz Forest & Woodland # 3, 7th May 2004
Apologies for any cross posting. Details for addition or deletion from this independent free information
service to the green movement in the lead up to the federal election and beyond can be found at the bottom of the page. Submissions
and feedback welcome. Brevity preferred. Good luck with your ecology action.
From the editor, OF&W
Crikey calls Garrett ‘the next Cheryl Kernot’.
2. Local Sydney reporting of Heritage Figs slights Carr govt
in the street?
3. John Kerin conflict over greenie/woodchipper sinecures?
4. Newcastle’s worthy green corridor
initiative at NSW Parliament 2nd June
5. Caswell new CEO of Vic woodchippers “brazen sellout”?
law workshops in May in regional NSW.
7. New NPWS plans on some nature reserves, ringed brown snake, feral pigs.
Belated media storm stops Stealth film-set attack on Blue Mountains, or does it?
9. Strange case of city greenies MOU
with cyanide miner at Lake.
10. Public rally on Lend Lease/ADI site 13th May NSW Parliament as Daily Terror meets real
politik of developers.
11. West NSW conservationist frozen out of information flow by govt land clearer friends?
“Peter Garrett is the biggest prize in Australian politics since Cheryl Kernot.”
May 5th Crikey,
which goes to about 6,000 political and business types most days, made some both flattering and acid comments about the aspirations
of Peter Garrett current President of the Australian Conservation Foundation quoting the Australian:
“…senior ALP figures earlier this year discussed a plan to run
Mr Garrett, president of the Australian Conservation Foundation and former Midnight Oil frontman, in the Illawarra seat of
Cunningham.….. Think about it. The President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, a leading campaigner for all
things environmental, a heart that’s bled more than all the baddies who get dispatched in Kill Bill – Parts I
and II – trying to knock off the only Green in the House of Representatives on behalf of the Sussex Street machine.
The mind boggles. But should it? Read Hillary Bray's full analysis here: [web address]”
Nom de plume Bray’s
analysis is most unflattering and she backed this up with correspondence direct to OF&W. No joy for Garrett there. Crikey
“we need to remember the significance of the environment as an issue. Both the big parties know all
about it. What did the Greens get in the Newspoll? Exactly. We’ve already had Iron Bark playing tiptoe through the tulips
in the Tasmanian forests with Bob Brown on a quest for their preferences.Less publicised have been Bill Heffernan’s
mysterious trips to the wilderness – the Wilderness Society, that is – and the way Tasmanian Liberal Leader Rene
Hidding seems to have been taking on as many position on logging as a contortionist.
“We speculated last week
that Hidding might be trying to position himself on forestry in advance of an announcement from John Howard, only for Hidding
to back-peddle quicker that an Olympic cyclist – but have a look at what appeared in the Launceston Examiner over the
weekend. It talked about “the Howard Government from coming down hard on the Tasmanian industry in a bid to win the
interstate urban green vote at the federal election” and “drastic changes to industry practices”and “Canberra
has little to lose and much to gain by cutting the Tasmanian Liberals adrift while trying to shore up votes in Sydney and
“Too damned right – …The organisation Garrett heads, the ACF, are known in some quarters
as “the RSL of the conservation movement”. After calling the shots for so long, are the graying men with beards
and sandals who are Australia’s environmental powerbrokers prepared to be in the same position at the next federal election
as the poor sods on the deck of the Tampa in 2001?
“Unlikely. So why would any party want Peter Garrett at a
time like this? He is a great frontman for a band. Yes, he has electoral appeal, media savvy and a brain – but Peter
Garrett is also an angry man. An angry man who is used to calling the shots and has been walking both sides of the street.
When you add it all up, Peter Garrett is the biggest prize in Australian politics since Cheryl Kernot…..
Bray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org …”
2. Local Sydney reporting of Heritage Figs slights Carr govt in the street?
the wake of the Heritage Figs protest and interim court order against the state govt’s Royal Botanic Gardens Trust attempted
woodchipping of Heritage Figs (See OF&W #2 items 2, 3) several local suburban papers – you know, the ones with an
inch of property adverts evidencing rivers of gold for the publisher - are running the story with a byline ‘City Council
1, state govt 0’: The symbolic significance of saving those Figs is not lost on the savvy inner city political community.
What will be the next power struggle between Mayor Moore’s Democracy Substance Team versus the Carr-Sussex Spin
Machine? The outcome of a few of these people power wrestles will tell if Sydney has its answer to the acclaimed Mayor Soorley
era at Brisbane City Council.
(For those who may not have followed Soorley’s reported career eg Ramsay in the
Herald, as best memory serves he was the non preferred ALP candidate, and former priest, who won the Mayor of Brisbane against
expectations and served many years in the biggest electorate in the country, with various public interest policy roll outs.)
John Kerin conflict over greenie/woodchipper sinecures in NSW?
The conflict of former federal ALP minister
and professional ‘mild one’ John Kerin with a sinecure as current chair of NSW State Forests - the official regional
woodchipper of the Carr govt - has been exposed given he is also board member of Birds Australia. BA is the public face of
the Royal Australian Ornithological Union, a very esteemed organization with a long history. OF&W was once a birdo and
also wonders how this conflict can be sustained. Extract of the ChipStop letter of 5th May to BA reads:
“Professor Henry Nix, President Birds Australia, Dear Professor Nix
I am writing to ask that Mr
John Kerin AM be removed from the board of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union (Birds Australia). Mr Kerin is the Chairman
of State Forests of New South Wales, which is the body responsible for logging in this state. State Forests is responsible
for the slaughter of millions of birds and animals each year as a consequence of mass scale logging of native forests for
woodchips. …. Often they die slow and painful ….I believe that Mr Kerin has a serious conflict of interest These
concerns are … are also about ethics. …. This is not a personal criticism of Mr Kerin, but having the chairman
of State Forests on the board must compromise the integrity and effectiveness of the organisation.
Harriett Swift, Convenor”
OF&W recalls the good Professor Nix of BA/RAOU has some history in the scientific oversight of the woodchipping
industry in NSW in a body called the ‘Joint Scientific Committee’ into operations of the Eden woodchipper when
the ALP ruled the roost in both NSW and Federally in the late 1980’s. Is this the real explanation of the Kerin conflict?
is what Sydney group Ecology Action said about Carr-Kerin State Forests in 2003:
[at this link here] and notice especially the big logging list of 100 forests damaged in recent years.
This is what The Wilderness Society said about the Carr-Kerin’s State Forests ongoing woodchipping in 2003:
Kerin should be grateful that unlike Indonesia we don’t execute illegal logging as recently announced there
– refer SMH 17 April 2004 P.17 in ‘Logging clampdown’ and see item 11 below.
Tony Tiger writes from
the south coast that NSW is woodchipping water catchments enhancing the drought in NSW: “Hi …"tony in the wilderness"…
In fact …., they are logging Sydney water supply on the Shoalhaven side of the Great Divide up Tallaganda way. Compartments
2418, 2448 & 2449 are all active at the moment and if they are not Shoalhaven headwaters then they are Murray. And what
about our South Coast catchments. What about the Tuross!”. Water Minister Frank Sartor are you listening?
State Forests Managing Director has written to OF&W dated 3rd May regarding logging impacts on Wandera state forest on
the south coast in summary that it’s business as usual and don’t you worry about that.
worthy green corridor presentation at NSW Parliament 2nd June
A grassroots green party correspondent in the
“A coalition of 38 community/environment groups have come together with the goal of protecting the last remnant
green space in the lower Hunter. The proposal aims to link the existing isolated reserves at the
Watagans, Mount Sugarloaf,
Hexham Swamp, Kooragang Island and Stockton Bight by protecting the regions in between, taking in areas such as the 'Tank
Paddock' and the Tomago wetlands. In turn, this corridor links north with the bushland all the way to the marine environment
of Port Stephens and to the south, around the southern end of Lake Macquarie, to the Wallarah Peninsula on the coast.
Green Corridor Coalition will be presenting our vision at NSW Parliament House, 12.30pm Wed 2 June 2004 in the Jubilee Room.
Please come along and show your support.”
5. Caswell goes to the Vic woodchippers pre federal election
Crikey (again!) on 29 April
described newly appointed Victorian Association of Forest Industries CEO Tricia Caswell, formerly national director of Australian
Conservation Foundation as “One of the most brazen sell-outs by a green activist” and then quotes glowing media
release of Victorian Liberals thus:
“VAFI'S NEW CEO WELCOMED, Tuesday, April 27th 2004, Liberal Spokesperson for Forestry - Graeme Stoney/The
appointment of Ms Tricia Caswell as CEO of Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) has been welcomed by Liberal
Spokesperson for Forestry, Graeme Stoney MP. Speaking in Parliament Mr Stoney said Ms Caswell has strong environmental credentials
and is in a position to explain the strong message the Timber Industry has to sell the public.
"The public simply loves
products that come from our forests but is still concerned that those forests may be threatened," he said."I believe Ms Caswell
has the ability to make the connection in the public's mind between beautiful forest products and good forestry practices
that are required to produce these products. It is important that the public understands that every hectare of trees that
is taken for timber products is re-sown in the same year. The industry is certainly not ravaging our public land, as portrayed
by some sectional interests.
"Ms Caswell has the credentials and ability to explain these messages and perhaps prevent
the State Government from using the timber industry as a political football, as it has done for the past five years. I wish
her well," he told Parliament.
6. Environmental law workshops in May 2004
The Environmental Defender's Office writes early
May they will be conducting community environmental law workshops in the following locations: Crescent Head - Saturday, 15
Wagga Wagga - Saturday, 22 May 2004, Blue Mountains - Saturday, 29 May 2004 (Please note change of date.)
blurb runs “Participants will receive practical information to help them to participate more effectively in environmental
decision making in their local area and to understand how the law can be used to help protect the environment. The cost of
the workshop is $50 full price or $20 concession/student (ID
required). To register or for further information please contact
Christine Palomo at email@example.com or by telephone on 9262 6989. Special thanks to the Law and Justice Foundation
for funding the EDO Rural and Regional Workshop Program.”
7. New NPWS plans available on some nature
reserves, ringed brown snake, feral pigs.
Conservation plans, draft or otherwise, are now available for public
comment on the National Parks and Wildlife website at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au, Boorganna Nature Reserve, Byrnes Scrub
Nature Reserve, Chambigne Nature Reserve, Koukandowie Nature Reserve, Ringed brown snake - proposed endangered species listing,
Feral pigs - proposed key threatening process declaration.
8. Belated media storm stops Stealth film set in
Blue Mountains wilderness, or did it?
OF&W #2 at item 5 commented that the media profile of the environment
movement case on impacts of film sets on the Blue Mountains was not optimal. The protest looked to be lost, but then Carr’s
spin machine hit more local resilience and extra media attention. OF&W thinks the real weight in the stoush is revealed
by following reference to the gutsy local conservation society and the NSW environmental defenders office newsletter who write:
“EDO bulletin 5th May… the State Government and a film company late last week withdrew their appeal
against the ruling of the Land and Environment Court that prevented filming in the Grose Wilderness area of the Blue Mountains
National Park. …Justice Lloyd found in the case of Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc v Director-General National
Parks and Wildlife; the Minister for the Environment and AFG Talons Pty Ltd, that the authorities and consents issued on behalf
of the Director-General for National Parks and Wildlife were invalid. The [EDO] acting on behalf of [BMSC] commenced proceedings
late last Tuesday afternoon …Justice Lloyd accepted the Society's arguments that the proposed commercial filming in
a wilderness area was completely antipathetic to the intended use of the land. His Honour concluded his judgement with the
words, "wilderness is sacrosanct".
But in true Carr govt style the EDO adds:
”Update: The New South Wales Government will introduce a Bill in Parliament today to allow filming in the
State's national parks. The Bill is a response to last week's ruling in the Land and Environment Court.”
Carr later clarified on Sydney ABC 2BL radio the Bill would not target designated wilderness, only national park.
Cohen MLC Greens, hit back
“the fact is that there are four million hectares of national parks outside of wilderness areas in NSW where
commercial filming is already allowed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act”.
So the Carr Bill is in effect face saving and redundant. Dragon Fly 1, Carr govt 0.
case of city greenies $6 million MOU with cyanide miner and Carr govt at Lake Cowal.
This is a strange story
about the Carr govt in trouble with the miners and union over banning Lake Cowal cyanide mine in 1996 after uproar following
a Sixty Minutes expose late 1995. Lake Cowal is in the central west of NSW. Carr then caved into pressure by 1998 and approved
the mine with changes, with political insurance via green cover via $6 million MOU with 3 flexible peak city green groups.
But the dirty deal was delayed by the crash of the gold price such that no work commenced until 2004. Over the same time Timbarra’s
disastrous cyanide mine was opened and closed after significant public protest.
A fuller chronology and detail can
be found here: http://www.sydney.indymedia.org.au/front.php3?article_id=39567
Another serious fly in the ointment has arisen with traditional owner Neville Chappy Williams, of the Wiradjuri
People opposing the Lake Cowal cyanide juggernaut with activist allies esconced since 2003. See for instance:
Senate Greens candidate Dr Kaye said:
“To hear that police have moved in on this camp while the traditional owners are still pursuing a native
claim is an outrage," said Dr Kaye….. "It is also an ecological hot spot, with up to 277 protected species of
recorded or considered as possible occurrences in the Lake Cowal region. Many of these migratory birds are protected under
agreements between Australia and Japan and China.”
Given the clear opposition of the Green Party and some other regional green groups and the traditional owner when
will the 3 lead city green groups release for public scrutiny this $6 million financial MOU from the revenue of cyanide mining?
Public rally on Lend Lease/ADI site 13th May NSW Parliament as Daily Terror meets real politik of developers.
Daily Terror on Wed 5th May ran a story about a local rally at St Mary’s but that lead politicians at state and federal
level were ignoring the event. Too many friends in Lend Lease and development industry? One wonders. This week the Terror
also reported the CFMEU and the NSW Greens were well and truly onside to conserve the Lend Lease/ADI site of 1,545 ha of bushland
and waterways to add to nominal support of premier Bob Carr and Jackie Kelly MHR.
Now Geoff Brown,Convenor, ADI Residents
Action Group writes: “Dear supporter, We have until June 2004 to save the entire ADI site and to keep it in public ownership.
Lend Lease will own the site from June.
We therefore must direct all our energies into stopping this in the next few
weeks and we have several things planned. Thursday May 13, from 12 noon - Rally at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney.
Lunchtime from 12 noon.
Petition to Bob Carr. You can return them to: ADI RAG, PO Box 4123, Werington NSW 2749 or send
them to Bob Carr directly. [Contact Geoff Brown on tel. 0431 222602]
Senator Brown, Greens said 3rd May
"Lend Lease donated $281, 536 to the NSW ALP between 1998 and 2003. Bob Carr should make
it clear to the public that he is putting the interests of the people of NSW above the interests of donors to the ALP.”
11. West NSW conservationist frozen out of information flow by govt blessed land
Following OF&W #2 item 7, publishing a damning leak from a govt insider of disastrous managment
of illegal clearing prosecutions by the NSW govt of up to 20,000 hectares - involving a known big wig and donor to the ALP,
Mr Ron Greentree – we received a call from out West. It seems an expert conservationist who is not our source and is
not a govt employee has been blacklisted from any information from government officers and refused access to public registers
of clearing information. We also received this collation of details below of illegal and legal clearing which damns the Carr
govt on wildlife and greenhouse performance to name just two concerns:
The details are published here in full:
“Below is clearing approved in 2003 is summarised as total area approved for all
DIPNR regions except for nth and sth coast. Data obtained from regional offices in December/January and are the same figures
that had been submitted to head office. 2004 data are until 1st March. Illegal clearing estimates are based on observations
over the last five months. Indications of numbers of outstanding applications are based on verbals only. Current dept procedure
is to process as much of the administrative backlog asap.
1. Central West: (2003) 12 400.9 ha approved
High levels of illegal clearing in 2003, 10 000s of hectares
Numbers of incoming applications are not high,
approval rate same as last year.
Mostly for bushland and isolated paddock trees for cropping, mostly wheat and cotton
Far West: (2003) 12 139.7 ha approved
(2004) 7 999 ha
Less illegal activity, high level of property conservation agreements
of clearing approval climbing in 2004, high backlog of applications
Cultivation approvals (Western Lands Act) mostly on
grasslands and regrowth
NVC Act clearing was for bushland and isolated paddock trees for cropping and pasture improvement
Barwon: (2003) 76 ha approved
(2004) 0 ha
High levels of illegal clearing in 2003, 10 000s of ha.
With few asessments
and no prosecutions, there is a large backlog of clearing reports and applications. 2004 applications are "just a trickle".
clearing is done for wheat and cotton developments.
4. Murrumbridgee/Murray (2003) 5 211 ha approved
(2004) 8 000
Some extensive illegal clearing
Rates of approval have sky-rocketed this year, 8000 ha is just a rounded figure,
no details provided
Clearing mostly of grasslands, bushland and isolated paddock trees for cropping and irrigation development.
Hunter (2003) 14 363.5 ha approved
(2004 to 31st March) 5 500.4 ha
Some small illegal clearing
Rates of approval
this year are high
90% of area approved is for private native forestry”
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