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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Bob Carr in $1 Billion play for privatised plantations in NSW mini budget?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: poster in increasingly marginal seat of Marrickville on Carrington Road in the 2005 by-election won by then upper house MP now Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt in move to the NSW Lower House.
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:52 AM
Subject: forests: mini budget is the dynamic? Re: [chipstop]

Carr's posturing is likely about the mini budget in say 4 weeks re BIS Shrapnel valuation of nsw plantation assets at $1 billion which annual revenue income cross subsidises the native forest woodchipping industry:

More here

Plantation sell off in NSW for $1 billion in public revenue?

He's very manipulative like that. Carr like Keating is a master of conflicted self interest, as consultant to Macquarie Bank.You can't privatise the plantations asset without a political framework for curtailing or shutting down native forest woodchipping.

One ought not get too polly anna about Carr's environmental credentials as Ian Cohen seems to be doing here  below in the attached media release to create some space for a mediator/profile role for himself as a deal maker.

Here is a quite accurate history of Bob Carr on the environment when it mattered:

  • Carr ALP dodges 1999-2003
  • Carr ALP dodges 1995-99

  • as well as Carr logging legacy for south east NSW (let alone East Gippsland):

  • Having said all that I do support implementation of the bipartisan 1990 Public Accounts Committee report to sever financial ties between plantation and native forests, further that the only likely way that can be done is through an asset sell off process where the public actually gets something for their plantation assets instead of being bled dry by the native forest/woodchipping/conversion sector in a cross subsidy.

    I know The Greens, academic Judith Adjani, TWS and no doubt the CFMEU and nominal Lefties like minister Carmel Tebbutt don't agree but then I don't think they've consulted or understood the 1990 bipartisan PAC committee report recommendations (which TWS elder Rod Knight showed to me in 1992), or in Adjani's case understood the land baron political economic dynamic of state forest agencies - a critique the former chief of CSR wood products made about her Forest Wars book - on stage at the launch of her book at Gleebooks in Sydney.

    In any case I would say it's all about the mini budget process - not Bob Carr's commitment to the environment per se. Just as his seed donation to the Climate Institute was about the real politik of wedging the Libs and Nats on Kyoto for election of the Rudd Labor govt, then backsliding on coal mining after that. If his politiking on the environment is seen as virtuous then that's just an added bonus as far as Carr is concerned as one of the 4 amigos with Brereton, Richo, Keating.

    Also of interest is that Rudd recently stiffened his resolve on climate re Garnaut modelling here:
    SMH 20 Sept 08 Rudd delivers a low blow on Garnaut modelling Stephanie Peatling
    KEVIN RUDD has told industry and environment groups it is necessary to support an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target, in an apparent reference to the more cautious approach advocated by his climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut.

    Mr Rudd's statement was made after a briefing of industry and environment groups on the Federal Government's plan for a $100 million international institute to spearhead research on capturing and burying greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

    Mr Rudd nominated the lowest level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere modelled by Professor Garnaut as "necessary" but did not say any more.

    That level was 450 parts per million, which scientists say offers a chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change but which Professor Garnaut said "reluctantly" this month was almost impossible to reach.

    Maybe the PM is getting really scared about the implications of all this, as he should be.

    Yours truly,

    Tom McLoughlin principal ecology action sydney, editor

    4 attachments

    ................................. Attach #1

    Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:44 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] penny wong on bob carr letter

    From Senate hansard for yesterday. Note that Penny Wong does not answer either of Christine Milne's questions other than with platitudes about the RFAs.

    QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE - Emissions Trading Scheme
    Emissions Trading Scheme

    Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (2:27 PM) ­My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Water and relates to the large volumes of carbon captured and stored in Australia’s native forests and vegetation. Does she agree with former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr that protecting native forests is fundamental to fighting climate change and that keeping carbon locked up or sequestered in Australia’s native forests instead of logging them not only will slow Australia’s rising greenhouse gas emissions but will also have biodiversity benefits?

    Senator WONG (South Australia) (Minister for Climate Change and Water) ­I thank Senator Milne for the question. I know that this has been an issue that the Greens have previously raised. As you would be aware, the government does recognise the importance of Australia’s forests in terms of both their biodiversity values and also because they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed, and this is something that was made clear prior to the election, to maintaining a robust system of regional forest agreements.

    Senator Bob Brown ­They destroy forests.

    Senator WONG­I understand, Senator Brown, that that is not a position with which your party agrees, but that is the position that was made very clear prior to the election. The 2008 State of the forests report shows that there has been a 1.5 million hectare increase in the area of forest added to the reserve system since 2003. I am advised that 23 million hectares of native forests are now in formal reserves. We welcome the ANU research on carbon storage in intact natural forests in south-eastern Australia. The government’s national carbon accounting system does draw on Australian research from peer reviewed scientific studies and encourages research in these fields.

    The senator would also be aware that the government’s proposal in the green paper is for a voluntary opt in for forestry which would enable landholders who wish to enter the CPRS to do so subject, obviously, to the maintenance and permanence of such forests. That is currently the proposal in the government CPRS green paper. I do understand that Senator Milne and Senator Brown may have a different set of views on this issue.

    Senator Bob Brown ­Well, you are wrong.

    Senator WONG ­I meant from the government, Senator Brown, not between one another. As I said, we do recognise the importance of Australia’s forests. We have a clear commitment to maintaining a robust system of RFAs and I again reiterate through the green paper that the government is proposing in its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme a voluntary opt in for forestry. That is important and it is predicated upon the recognition that forests can form an important part of our fight against carbon pollution and our fight to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed opt in through the green paper would enable landholders to voluntarily opt into the system to establish a forest and to generate a credit as a result of entering the system. That obviously creates an incentive for sequestration where it is appropriate for forest activity for the establishment and maintenance of forests. I make the point that once landholders are in the system then in accordance with the Kyoto accounting rules they would have to remit a permit to remove those forests.

    Senator MILNE (Tasmania) ­Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I thank the minister for her answer although I noticed that she studiously avoided answering whether or not she agreed with former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr. I also note that in her answer she focused on the opt in for plantation forestry, not talking about native forest as standing stores. So I ask: can the minister explain why the forests of Indonesia and PNG are carbon stores and must be protected from logging to save the climate, but the forests of Australia are not? Is this a case of Australia hypocritically saying to the world, ‘Do as I say on the protection of your forests, but do not do as I do on the logging of ours’?

    Senator WONG (South Australia) (Minister for Climate Change and Water) ­I reiterate, Australia, as the senator knows, does have a system of management of forests that has been through an extensive process. Obviously there is the matter of historical record and I note that this is not actually my portfolio, but we have been very clear about our support for the Regional Forest Agreements. I understand that some in the chamber have a different view about this. But very clearly, we do have not only forest management practices and regulation in Australia, but also extensive land clearing legislation at a state level and the green paper goes through that in detail and explains that we do believe there is regulatory management there in terms of land use, which is appropriate. In terms of the senator’s question about Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the government has made it clear that we do see­(Time expired)

    .................................Attach #2

    Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 4:13 PM
    Subject: [Greens-Media] Tebbutt has a lot to learn from Carr

    Media Release from Ian Cohen MLC                                       
     22 September 2008
     Tebbutt has a lot to learn from Carr
    Greens MP Ian Cohen has today recognised Bob Carr for his role in
    supporting the environment movement when he was Premier and his
    continuing support for the environment. 
    “Bob Carr was the first Labor premier to work well with the Green
    movement,” says Mr Cohen.
    “He took environmental and greenhouse issues seriously.  When he was
    Premier, Bob Carr acknowledged the importance of environmental issues and persued parliamentary pressure on his government to achieve
    “This was reflected in his strong conservation initiatives but people
    may remember Carr for his relationship with Milo Dunphy, one of
    Australia’s leading conservationists.  Carr also pioneered the
    permanent protection of forests under his premiership.”
    “It is a relief to hear Bob Carr’s comments after dealing with a
    Labor government that has turned decidedly brown", said Mr Cohen. 
    “Carmel Tebbutt could follow in the footsteps of Bob Carr and lead
    the charge against climate change.  The federal government isn’t going
    to make the changes and take the necessary risks in order to avert
    dangerous climate change”, said Mr Cohen.
    ‘Why can’t the NSW government set the standard for all state
    governments and put laws in place that protect old growth and previously logged forests.  Every time a tree gets logged under the existing regional forestry agreements we are a step closer to disastrous climate change”, says Mr Cohen.
    “The new Minister for Climate Change Carmel Tebbutt would do well to
    listen Bob Carr”, said Mr Cohen.

    .............................Attach #3

    Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 8:44 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] Fwd: [forest_alliance] SMH: Carr targets PM on logging

    How many years did Bob Carr have to do something about the forests?

    To: forest_alliance

    They're logging at Bermagui? wtf?

    Carr targets PM on logging

    ...................................................Attach #4

    Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:09 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] chipmill vigil and truck count this thursday

    Walk Against Woodchips Chipmill vigil and truck count this Thursday
    To mark Keri and Clover's passing through Eden, the birthplace of woodchipping in Australia, we will hold a one day vigil and truck count at the chipmill corner (Edrom Road/ Princes Highway approx 20 kms south of Eden) on Thursday 25th September.
    A few of us will roll out our swags there overnight on Wednesday 24th so that we don't miss the first trucks going in from 4.30am.
    Keri, Clover and supporters will spend some time with us before heading on down to East Gippsland. If you can spend all or part of the day with us, you will be most welcome.
    The trucks counts are an extremely useful exercise. We record the type of load, companies, the direction from which they arrive and various other useful data. This information has been immensely valuable over the years , allowing us to follow trends in the and counter some claims of the industry (eg; they do not take logs over 60cms diameter).
    This is a great opportunity for East Gippsland forest supporters to meet Keri and maybe walk for a time with her along the difficult stretch between Eden and Orbost.
    We have had an excellent weekend with the Walk Against Woodchips arrival in Bega on Friday, successful public forums on native forests and climate change in Bega and Bermagui and a fantastic music/ fundraising gig in the Tanja Hall last night.

    Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
    CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au
    CHIPSTOP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00

    Posted by editor at 12:52 PM NZT
    Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2008 1:28 PM NZT

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