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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
Fear of dangerous climate change gathers pace
Mood:  rushed
Topic: globalWarming

Two stories in big media recently give the clue to broad creeping fear, similar to this earlier post on SAM:

Saturday, 6th January 2007-01-10

Terrorists won’t kill Sydney’s real estate market, but global warming will

[you can find the entry top right, via 6th Jan 07]

These two latest stories follow:

#1 http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L08837741.htm

U.N. official wants world summit on global warming


8th January 2007

Source: Reuters

By Francois Murphy

PARIS, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should call a meeting of heads of government to decide the next steps against global warming, the U.N. official responsible for tackling climate change said on Monday.

Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Secretariat (UNFCCC), told reporters there was not much time left to prepare a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. "The window of opportunity is closing," he said. De Boer said he hopes to meet Ban during a trip to New York next week.

The last annual U.N. meeting of about 100 environment ministers, in Nairobi in November, made scant progress on finding ways to widen the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol.

Several ideas have been floated for discussion recently, such as French President Jacques Chirac's plan, unveiled last week, for a conference to promote a tax on imports from states that refuse to join Kyoto's successor.

"I'm wondering how all these initiatives are going to contribute to a global negotiating process," de Boer said.

"I'm really hoping that the new Secretary General will feel he's in a position to show the kind of leadership the world seems to be calling for," he added.

Kyoto obliges 35 developed nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. But Kyoto nations account for only about one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment ministers involved in talks on Kyoto are often junior cabinet members and lack clout, and de Boer said the problems raised in talks on the environment were often economic in nature.

The United States, the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases, pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, saying it would cost U.S. jobs and wrongly excluded big developing nations such as China, India, South Africa and Brazil.

Those states will become major greenhouse gas emitters in the future but fear that curbing carbon emissions will hinder their drive to reduce poverty and promote growth, de Boer said. They should therefore be offered incentives, he added.

"I think it has to be at the level of the Secretary General that you bring heads of government together to try and flesh out these key principles and then to say to the technicians, to the professionals: 'okay, these are the lines of the playing field'", he said.

"I think that time is running out and that this year would be good because it would allow us sufficient time to negotiate something in a thorough way," he said.

The meeting could be a group of key nations rather than a large summit but it should include important developing states, de Boer added. (Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Oslo)


# 2 http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3561

ExxonMobil Blasted for Efforts to Discredit Climate Science

January 8, 2007
Reporting by Roddy Scheer

Last week the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) issued a report detailing how the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil, has donated $16 million since 1998 to 43 ideological groups working to discredit the science of human-induced climate change. The group joins a growing chorus of voices asking the oil giant and world’s most profitable company to turn the corner on global warming and start embracing a transition from fossil fuels.

“ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer,” says Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Director of Strategy & Policy. “A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years.”

Just this past September, Britain’s leading scientific academy, the Royal Society, asked the company to stop supporting groups that “misrepresented the science of climate change.” In response, ExxonMobil said that it funded groups that research “significant policy issues and promote informed discussion on issues of direct relevance to the company” but that such groups do not speak for the company.

With most scientists and policymakers now on board with the concept of human-induced climate change, ExxonMobil may feel pressured into toeing the line on renewable energy so as not to get left behind by more forward-thinking competitors like Shell and BP.

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists


Posted by editor at 12:27 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 8:16 AM EADT
UK The Times online weighs 'Middle Eastern War' plan by White House
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace

Respected progressive Jewish author and independent thinker in Australia, Antony Lowenstien writes recently in crikey.com.au that this piece in the UK The Times Online is likely the most "accurate" synthesis of what the W Bush White House is planning, rather than the apparent random chaos that passes for USA foreign policy presentation these days:


 An unholy alliance threatening catastrophe

January 24th 2007


Our correspondent on a concerted attempt to confront Iran and Shia Islam

Most people think that the bungled invasion of Iraq, climaxing last week with the bungled execution-assassination of Saddam Hussein, will go down in history as the ultimate symbol of the Bush Administration’s hubris and incompetence. They should think again. With the dawning of a new year, the Bush-Blair partnership is working on an even more horrendous foreign policy disaster.

What now seems to be in preparation at the White House, with the usual unquestioning support from Downing Street, is a Middle Eastern equivalent of the Second World War. The trigger for this all-embracing war would be the formation of a previously unthinkable alliance between America, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain, to confront Iran and the rise of the power of Shia Islam.

The logical outcome of this “pinning back” process would be an air strike by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities, combined with a renewed Israeli military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, aggressive action by American and British soldiers to crush Iraq’s Shia militias, while Saudi-backed Sunni terrorists undermined the increasingly precarious pro-Iranian Government in Baghdad.

Consider the ominous events that occurred in the Middle East and Washington over the holiday season, while most people were paying more attention to their turkeys and Christmas stockings. The first in this sequence of events was Tony Blair’s abrupt announcement that members of the Saudi Royal Family accused of taking bribes from British defence contractors would be exempted from the application of British law. To risk a confrontation with the Saudi Royal Family, Mr Blair asserted, would have jeopardised Britain’s security interests in Iraq and in the war against terrorism, as well as dashing hopes of progress towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This embarrassing announcement by Mr Blair was quickly followed by his Dubai speech, in which he called for an “arc of moderation” to “pin back” Iran’s advances in the Middle East.

The second event, almost simultaneous with Mr Blair’s bribery announcement, was the equally unexpected resignation of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, on December 15. Prince Turki has long been a key figure in the Saudi security establishment, whose last abrupt career move occurred in the autumn of 2001, when he suddenly resigned as liaison between the Saudi Royal Family and the Taleban terrorists that they had been financing until just before September 11. Turki was a leading member of a faction in the Saudi Royal Family that has for months been advocating a more conciliatory response towards the Shia hegemony in Iraq, including an effort to open direct negotiations between America and Iran, as recommended by James Baker’s Iraq Study Group. The Turki group’s main rivals in the Saudi establishment have by contrast argued for much tougher military action against what they called the “Christian-Shia conspiracy” created by the US toleration of Iranian influence over Iraq.

The Saudi power struggle came into the open through an article published in The Washington Post in mid-December, by Nawaf Obeid, a Saudi security consultant ostensibly working for Turki, but actually closer to the hardliners. Obeid cautioned that if American troops were withdrawn from Iraq prematurely, in line with the Baker report’s recommendations, Saudi Arabia would have no choice but to intervene forcibly “to stop Iranian-backed Shi a militias from butchering Iraq’s Sunnis”. Turki immediately fired Obeid, but shortly afterwards was himself replaced by a hardliner.

Within Saudi Arabia itself, meanwhile, the anti-Iranian rhetoric is gathering strength. Take this example from al-Salafi magazine, quoted in The New York Times: “Iran has become more dangerous than Israel itself. The Iranian revolution has come to renew the Persian presence in our region. This is the real clash of civilisations.”

The link between Israel and Iran in Saudi thinking brings us to the third event in this chillingly unfestive sequence: the confrontation over nuclear proliferation between the UN Security Council and Iran. If Iran is now really hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons, Israel has made it abundantly clear that it is equally hell-bent on stopping it — whether by diplomatic or military means. Whether Israeli bombing would in practice do serious damage to the Iranian nuclear programme is far from clear, but there are certainly hotheads in the Israeli Government and military establishment who are itching to try.

There is, however, one binding constraint on Israel’s freedom of action against Iran. This is the US. It is unlikely that Israel would bomb Iran without explicit American approval and it is certain that a US president would stop Israel if he believed America’s national interest demanded it.

That has been the situation until recently, since America has depended on Iranian-backed Shia politicians to prevent a total collapse of order and a humiliating Saigon-style expulsion of American soldiers in Iraq.

Although Israel has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, many Israeli politicians believe that they are entitled to punish Iran for its non-compliance with the treaty. For these trigger-happy Israelis, Iran’s backdoor influence over Washington via the Iraqi Shia has become a nightmare. The same is true of the Saudi princes. The Saudi Royal Family rules a largely Shia country on the basis of a fanatically enforced state religion whose senior spokesmen denounce the Shia as heretic scum. These feelings are entirely mutual — Iran’s mad mullahs hate the Wahhabis every bit as much.

Thus, if there is one country in the world more worried than Israel about an Iranian A-bomb, it is Saudi Arabia. And if there are two countries in the world with real influence on the Bush White House, they are Saudi Arabia and Israel. Now both these countries are telling President Bush that he must pull the plug on Iraq’s Shia Government, tear up the Baker report, whose most important advice was to open diplomatic channels to Tehran, and prepare to attack Iran, either directly or using the Israelis as a proxy. This is the basis of the unholy alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and America, with Mr Blair contributing a few choice soundbites.

The anti-Iranian “arc of moderation” may seem like another meaningless Blairism, not nearly as threatening as Mr Bush’s “axis of evil”. But this soundbite could unleash a disaster on the Middle East, beside which the war in Iraq would be a mere sideshow.

Posted by editor at 11:51 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007 7:13 AM EADT
Crikey.com.au ezine reports Howard govt 'political killing season' has well and truly begun
Mood:  loud
Topic: election Oz 2007

I met Miriam (not her real name) in 2003 in person when she visited Sydney from another part of Australia. She immigrated from a well to do middle class family in Chile in 1989.

A political sophisticate she was also too left wing for her Christian Democrat or even Pinochet leaning family. The black sheep you might say.

And she taught me some things like a big sister mentor. One was as an ecologist to make more enquires about the Pudu, a small deer type of native animal of Patagonia that she was worried about becoming extinct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pud%C3%BA

Two: Phillip Ruddock had changed after 20 plus years as a moderate in the Liberal Party out of career frustration, that is had sold his soul for a ministerial portfolio.

Three: As advised by her well connected, conservative family, her sister in fact, the most dangerous time for progressives under a dictatorship is the very time one thinks to relax. In her case it was the announced re establishment of democracy with general elections in 1990 in Chile.

Her sister said to her: This is when Pinochet's thugs know their time is running out. They have a window to 'even scores' , 'exact revenge' and in that country kill their enemies. My source took it to heart. She had spent time in gaol. She told her political mentor who scorned the warning as exagerated. He was executed and she lives in Australia today with family.

Of course this is not Pinochet's Nazi regime in Chile. It's Iraq war swaggering John Howard. But there are echoes of familiarity with this story, republished in full on Melbourne Indymedia from the ezine crikey.com.au yesterday 9th Jan 2007:

Crikey amplifies Howard deregister of 19 political parties SAM editor 2007-01-10 11:46 AM
As stated as often as possible this is the 'killing season' politically as Howard's cronies see their window of power closing up to the next election: Stephen Mayne has some chilling comments here about the state of our democracy when this story didn't rate a mention in the Big Media. Strong work by Mayne here from the 9th January ezine, republished here in the public interest to oz indy readers via MIM.

Posted by editor at 11:02 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007 7:38 AM EADT
Oz uranium to China: A VERY big mistake says indymedia
Mood:  down
Topic: nuke threats
 Nuclear exports to China pose serious security, political, environmental risks Winston Smith - Indymedia 2007-01-09 7:18 PM
JANUARY 7, 2007: The Australian Conservation Foundation is raising serious concerns around the security, political and environmental risks of the newly ratified Australia-China Nuclear Transfer Agreement that gives the green light for Australian uranium producers to commence exports to China. The deal allows Canberra to cancel uranium exports if Beijing violates any provisions in the pact. John Howard has encouraged Australians to cash in on its vast uranium deposits for export and to meet Australia's future energy needs..... Australia has about 40 per cent of all known uranium reserves and accounts for about 23 per cent of global production of the nuclear fuel...

Posted by editor at 10:41 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 8:17 AM EADT
Is Port Botany safely managed for our bio security?
Mood:  blue
Topic: ecology
Hi All,
Here is the transcript link for the ABC Background Briefing [Tuesday night] on 'TRADING QUARANTINE'  It examines the issues surrounding trade & our biosecurity.  Very relevant when talking about port expansions & well worth a look.  The audio can be downloaded.  Peter Martin the producer is also interested in pandemic risks.
Lynda Newnam
protecting environment = protecting people

Posted by editor at 10:38 AM EADT
Debnam's ethanol car echoes West Wing cracking episode last Monday
Mood:  smelly
Topic: election nsw 2007

The Greens have railed against the "car addiction" of society as the root cause of alot of our problems (refer media release below). They are exactly right to use this phrase.

Since December the editor has made a conscious effort to get back on the bicycle, mostly out of guilt for unnecessary petrol use in the age of global warming, with some surprising results:

1. cardio respirator fitness was hopeless even with a fair bit of walking in my life, now fast improving, even while physical strength was way above average for all the bundles of press I deliver;

2. surprising travel times: If the journey is not too long the bike beats my van every time. Example Addison Rd Community Centre to Ultimo office of AMG about 20 minutes (both ways), not too stressful either. Same trip by car usually 30 minutes in day traffic.

The key I am finding is concentrate on flat contours, not distance. Little hills are okay on a 15 gear bike but long hills and radical troughs are too much.

Last Monday we were treated to this episode of West Wing tv series:

  "King Corn

first broadcast January 26th 2005 there in modern Rome of which we are just a province really, where every presidential candidate in fictional modern USA politics knows Iowa's penchant for subsidised agricultural ethanol for the nation's transport fleet is an environmental and economic joke, taking 'as much oil to make a gallon of ethanol'. But because it's the first of many campaign states they all (except one, a conservative) take 'The Pledge' to continue agri subsidies.

[a full discussion of West Wing lessons for Australia is on SAM here at 4 January 2007 West Wing tv series, bourgeoisie wank or worthy response to Ed Murrow's example?]

There are parallels here: Senator Barnaby Joyce (was that the bloke I saw at Bondi promenade yesterday?) is loud on ethanol agri business subsidies:

"Australia has an immense potential to be a great benefactor in the bio-renewable fuel industry at the 21 Century." June 5 2006 http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1655718.htm

SAM's editor offers no economic/green analysis if the WW script applies here or not, whether Joyce is right or not.

But we notice NSW Opposition Leader Peter Debnam also making a perhaps too simple virtue of his ethanol campaign tour car this next month, weaving it into a $40 million policy for all 'cleaner fuel' cars, well reported (curiously) in The Age but not it seems sister paper Sydney Morning Herald at


Pushing the broader policy mix on "car addiction" is Green MP Rhiannon here:

8 January 2007

Coalition new fuel policy will only fuel car addiction

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said today that the opposition leader Peter
Debnam*s plan to reduce air pollution by bringing in a new fuel policy
will make no impact so long as he is doing nothing to boost public

*Cleaner fuel for vehicles can only significantly reduce air
pollution if it is linked with a plan to reduce the number of cars and
trucks on NSW roads, and we can only achieve that if public transport
services are expanded,* Ms Rhiannon said.

*The only real solution for Sydney's deteriorating pollution and
traffic is a significant investment in public transport.

*NSW government figures show that people are travelling further in
their cars, there are more vehicles on our roads, and the morning and
afternoon traffic peaks take longer to clear.

*The average distance of car driver trips has increased by five per
cent, while the number of vehicle kilometres travelled and the total
number of household vehicles are growing at a faster rate than the
increase in the population.

*Mr Debnam's so-called Cleaner Vehicles and Cleaner Fuels policy
announcement is a distraction from long term solutions. It fuels the
state*s addictions to cars. At best it will keep pollution levels

*Public transport is clearly low on Mr Debnam*s priority list.

*This is not surprising as he has announced he will get rid of 29,000
public sector jobs so public services will clearly deteriorate under a
Debnam government.
*This Liberals' policy distraction shows that they have only
piece-meal answers to the issues facing NSW voters.

*Public transport offers the best way to address pollution, and would
also provide Sydney with less road congestion,* Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information: Lee Rhiannon ....

Posted by editor at 9:47 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007 10:00 AM EADT
Tuesday, 9 January 2007
Monty Python's Terry Jones rips into US $500B Iraq war folly
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election Oz 2007

Editor: What does this opinion piece, from the Left but as brutal in effect as the condemnations of neocon Perle et al from the Right in Vanity Fair, have to say about our own Prime Miniature John Howard's unquestioning loyalty to Georg W Bush's incompetent war in Iraq, when anyone who has been watching knows it was actually Libya that had the secret nukes via AQ Khan in Pakistan, and not Iraq?

Libya who then gave up said nukes to Britain and the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency after they saw what happened to Iraq from the USA blind fury (emphasis on blind) with no Osama Bin Laden to punish for criminal leadership behind the bombing via hostage airliners of the World Trade Centre in Sept 2001: Libya that walks away all at the expense of the USA electorate as detailed here by Terry Jones, and of course the badly suffering little people of Iraq.

No wonder the ascendant US Democrats are talking no compromise rhetoric about getting out. Over to Terry Jones via contributor Maireid Sullivan:

Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python www.terry-jones.net

They have made a killing: The US has spent a million dollars for every dead Iraqi - is that what they mean by value for money?

Terry Jones

Saturday January 6, 2007 The Guardian

Early this year the Bush administration is to ask Congress to approve an
additional $100bn for the onerous task of making life intolerable for
the Iraqis. This will bring the total spent on the White House's current
obsession with war to almost $500bn - enough to have given every US
citizen $1,600 each. I wonder which the voters would have gone for if
given the choice: shall we (a) give every American $1,600 or (b) spend
the money on bombing a country in the Middle East that doesn't use
lavatory paper?

Of course, there's another thing that George Bush could have done with
the money: he could have given every Iraqi $18,700. I imagine that would
have reduced the threat of international terrorism somewhat. Call me
old-fashioned, but I can't help thinking that giving someone $18,700
brings them round to your side more quickly than bombing the hell out of
them. They could certainly buy a lot of lavatory paper with it.

In 2002 the house budget committee and the congressional budget office
both guesstimated the cost of invading Iraq at approximately $50bn;
$500bn seems a bit wide of the mark. What's more, with over half a
million dead, it means that the world's greatest military superpower has
spent a million dollars for every Iraqi killed. That can't be value for

So how on earth could such a vast overspend occur? After all, the US is
the flagship of monetary common sense. Well, for starters, in 2003 the
White House refused to allow competitive bidding for contracts in Iraq,
which is odd for the champions of free enterprise. Then the White House
ensured there would be no overseeing of what was spent. In the original
Iraq spending bill, which earmarked the first $87bn to go down the
drain, there was a provision for the general accounting office to keep a
check on things, but that provision was stripped from the bill - even
though the Senate had originally voted for it 97 to 0.

But what I want to know is: how do they actually spend all that money?
Well the answer is: they don't. According to the website
Halliburtonwatch, the Halliburton subsidiary KBR bills the US taxpayer
for $50-$80 per day for labourers working for it in Iraq, but pays them
only $5-$16 per day. It's the same with Halliburton. In December 2003
the US army discovered that the company had overcharged by $61m for fuel
transportation and $67m for food services in Iraq.

Then there is good old-fashioned incompetence. Take the al-Fatah
pipeline: KBR went through $75.7m of taxpayers' money, supposedly trying
to replace a pipeline across the river Tigris that US forces had blown
up. They never finished the job, but still got paid.

With all this double-dealing and incompetence, you'd expect that those
responsible would have been penalised by now. But that's where the
mystery deepens. Companies such as Halliburton and its subsidiaries have
never had it so good. In January 2006 the Bush administration intervened
in a dispute between the Pentagon and Halliburton, and agreed to pay the
company $199m in disputed charges. On January 26 2006 Halliburton
announced that its 2005 profits were the "best in our 86-year history".
And to date KBR has received around $16bn from its contracts in Iraq.

Vice-President Dick Cheney, formerly CEO of Halliburton, has not had a
bad war either. His tax returns for 2005 show that he earned $194,862
from his Halliburton stock options alone. Mind you, it's small change
compared to his $36m payoff when he left the firm. Was that for his past
role, or was Halliburton anticipating further services from the future
vice-president of the US? Perhaps it's just as well that in 2003 the
White House removed from the Iraq spending bill any provision to
penalise war profiteers who defrauded US taxpayers.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python www.terry-jones.net

Posted by editor at 10:19 AM EADT
Burrup world heritage quality cultural resource being vandalised again
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

Monday 8 January 2007

Destruction of rock art to commence on the Burrup

"This Government and Woodside will go down in the history books as
vandals for allowing the destruction of rock art on the Burrup", said
Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"I'm extremely disappointed with the news that Woodside is commencing initial site works on their Burrup Pluto site today."
"I can not believe that in this day and age our Governments think it is acceptable to destroy ancient rock art to allow development," said
Senator Siewert.

"It is not too late to relocate the development onto already cleared
land next-door to the current site. Surely Woodside can negotiate with its joint venture partners to protect this unique rock art?"

"Woodside have not even made the final decision to commit to the
project, and reportedly will not be making this decision until later in
the year - yet they are still proceeding with initial site works," said
Senator Siewert.

We need to ask why they are rushing to clear the site now - is it simply because in the New Year period they think people won't be paying attention?"

"I simply cannot understand why the Federal Government is not requiring Woodside to co-locate the plant just a couple of hundred metres up the road - thereby enabling the development to proceed and saving the rock art," said Senator Siewert.

"Our failure to protect our unique Indigenous heritage is an
international shame."

Posted by editor at 9:22 AM EADT
NSW fish ecology needs a refuge for industry and environment: Greens
Mood:  energetic
Topic: election nsw 2007

9 January 2007

NSW fisheries headed for disaster under Debnam

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon called on Opposition Leader Peter Debnam to use his visit to Port Stephens to stop playing politics with the future of NSW's fisheries.

Ms Rhiannon said: "The Opposition has made political mileage in
coastal seats by opposing marine national parks and no-take zones. Yet the Coalition has no plans to ensure that NSW's fisheries will survive through the next decade.

"If we believe what they are saying, a Debnam government would give into a small but vocal minority and remove or savagely dilute the few protections that are coming into force. They would condemn  the oceans to lifeless future.

"Recreational angling, Sunday night fish and chips and commercial
fishing would become distant memories if the Coalition wins the state election in March.

 "A long history of poor management practices has stretched this
state's fisheries resources beyond carrying capacity. Nearly all
marine and freshwater resources are either fully exploited or

"There have been serious declines in important commercial fish
species, such as southern bluefin tuna, southern shark, orange roughy and gemfish.

"Marine national parks with no take zones are an important component of an overall strategy to steer the fisheries away from collapse and onto the path to recovery.

"The Carr/Iemma government has taken an important first step by
creating a number of marine national parks but much more is needed if the fisheries are to be brought back from the brink.

"Fish stocks have gone into collapse in other parts of the world.
Global warming will inevitably place even greater stress on fish
populations. Now is not the time for the Opposition to be playing
politics with the future of NSW's fisheries," Ms Rhiannon said.


[The editor is aware of quite strong advice from the Canadian fishery of industry recovery as a result of judicious marine refuges with a 5 to 10 year turn around. Here are some dated references for example via google, and one expects much more recent data also available:






Posted by editor at 9:05 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 9:21 AM EADT
Tasmania's unprotected forests still being vandalised
Mood:  sad
Topic: ecology

GUNNS chose "worst place possible" for controversial billion dollar pulp mill
by Winston S - Indymedia Tuesday January 09, 2007 at 04:19 AM

January 09, 2007 - Atrocious Location: Timber giant Gunns Ltd has chosen the "worst place possible" in Tasmania to build the highly controversial $1.4 billion pulp mill, which it hopes to have up and running by 2010.

Full story here based on diverse sources:


 A related press release from another Tasmanian battle front for forests:

Abetz Move to Make Illegal Logging Legal

8th Jan 07

The Howard government's Minster for Forests and Conservation, Eric
Abetz, is moving to deliberately send Australian wildlife to extinction,
Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"In the wake of the Federal Court ruling that logging in Tasmania's
Wielangta Forest is illegal because it threatened the rare Tasmanian
wedgetailed eagle, swift parrot and Wielangta stag beetle, Senator Abetz has flogged amendments to extract the teeth from Australia's wildlife protection laws.

"This must involve breaking international law (the Biodiversity
Convention 1992) as well as emasculating Australian law. At the start of an election year in which the environment will be centre stage, the minister's move will outrage voters right across Australia. He is saying that where government agencies break the nation's environment law, the government will change the law, not the agency. It is a case of the outlaws writing the law.

"The Greens will put up a huge fight to protect Australia's wildlife,
and to stop this corruption of proper process. Senator Abetz, as
minister for forest conservation, should be insisting Forestry Tasmania be prosecuted for breaking the law," Senator Brown said.


The release above echoes a comment pre Christmas 06 by this writer here from legislative history in NSW early 1990's:

Wielangta decision fallout has the clear echo of the nsw dynamic in 1992 after application of the Endangered Fauna (Interim Protection) Act 1992 (NSW) ('EFIP')

(which itself was an evolution of the precedent case of Corkill's successful Chaelundi Case using the protected fauna provisions of the chief National Parks & Wildlife Act)

which as the EFIP name states was interim and was folded into the Threatened Species Act (NSW) proper eventually, but not before a cutely named Timber Industy (Interim Protection) Act NSW (1993?) (known as the TIIP Act) was passed to address both the successful blockade in compt 1402 in Coolangubra at Nalbaugh State Forest (with cathedral like brown barrels 400 years old, the biggest and best the SE had to offer) in January 1992 that I was part of using EFIP, and responding to alarm by the logger industry group Forest Products Association.

For instance Colin Dorber put out a release during the 1402 protest something like '6,000 jobs at risk from forest blockade victory'. We were thrilled. Never had 6 tree sitters achieved so much, we thought. But we had no idea the cascading effect for the next 3 years (starting no doubt with the Chaelundi case and of course alot earlier with 1000 plus arrests in the south east in the late 80's and 90's.

You may not read this history anywhere else either. But it's why the release for logging of the 1402 area in the Eden RFA was such a govt and industry calculated insult to the real independent forest conservation movement as opposed to blowins and paid off sellouts of so called green representation amongst the befuddled and the idiotic.

In other words the legislative protection in Chaelundi/NPWA Act then EFIP Act (read Wielangta and EPBC Act today) was repealed quickly which inspired rolling blockades 1992-1995 in nsw and led to the election of the Carr govt in a close election March 1995.

You can see from this short history why I hold Carr's political debt to blockaders and election activists like me and many others 1992-1995 as personal, and unpaid to this day. ......

The clear lesson from this history, suggested by Tas premier Lennon himself, is a repeal of the precedent value of the Wielangta case by Howard government as soon as federal parliament resits.... The steps to take when that inevitable industry pressure ramps up and the repeal very very likely of Wielangta Case decision follows is a matter of great interest too, 10 months to a close federal election.

But history is the guide. Start analysing it and planning based on similar.

Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, principal ecology action sydney


Extensive entry on Wielangta legal decision in the Federal Court here:

The Wielangta Legal Precedent materials here
by via ecology action Wednesday December 20, 2006 at 08:36 AM




Posted by editor at 8:52 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 9:19 AM EADT

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