More and more farming land is being lost to other land uses such as housing on the outskirts of our cities. But how much land is being lost? And why does it matter?
Seven electricians had their contractor licences revoked by NSW Fair Trading after investigations found they signed and submitted compliance certificates (CCEWs) for solar panel installations despite not having carried out, supervised, or inspected the installations themselves. Six of the electricians were either overseas or interstate on the dates listed on the certificates. The seventh contractor was in Sydney instead of at the job sites in regional New South Wales.
The New South Wales Australia Premier, Dominic Perrottet, a practising Catholic with six children and a seventh on the way, took over from Gladys Berajicklan, a childless, unmarried woman.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has today issued Forestry Corporation of NSW with a Stop Work Order to cease tree harvesting at Wild Cattle Creek State Forest inland from Coffs Harbour because at least two protected giant trees have been felled. No mention has so far been made of the always present danger of releasing new zoonoses into the human population when habitat is destroyed.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Operations Carmen Dwyer said EPA investigations into operations in Compartments 32, 33 and 34 of the forest had revealed serious alleged breaches of the rules that govern native forestry operations, set out in the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), in relation to the protection of trees that must not be felled.
“To maintain biodiversity in the forest, the Coastal IFOA rules require loggers to identify giant trees (over 140cm stump diameter) and ensure they are protected and not logged. The EPA alleges that during an inspection on 9 July 2020 EPA officers observed two giant trees which had been felled.
“Any trees except Blackbutt and Alpine Ash with a diameter of more than 140cm are defined as giant trees and must be retained under the Coastal IFOA,” Ms Dwyer said.
“As a result, the EPA has issued a Stop Work Order under the Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop Forestry Corporation logging in the forest. The order ensures that no further tree harvesting takes place in the area where the trees were felled for 40 days, or until the EPA is confident that Forestry Corporation can meet its obligations to comply with the Coastal IFOA conditions to protect giant trees.”
This is the first time the EPA has issued Forestry Corporation with a Stop Work Order under new laws which came into effect in 2018.
“These two old, giant trees have provided significant habitat and biodiversity value and are irreplaceable. Their removal points to serious failures in the planning and identification of trees that must be retained in the forest.
“These are serious allegations and strong action is required to prevent any further harm to giant or other protected trees which help maintain biodiversity and provide habitat for threatened species like koalas.”
This action follows the recent issue of two Penalty Notices totalling $2,200 to Forestry Corporation for non-compliances associated with an alleged failure to correctly identify protection zones for trees around streams and for felling four trees within those protected zones in Orara East State Forest near Coffs Harbour. The penalties were issued under previous rules when the penalties were lower.
“The EPA continues to closely monitor forestry operations despite the current COVID-19 restrictions, to ensure compliance with the regulations,” Ms Dwyer said.
“The community can be confident that any alleged non-compliance during forestry operations will be investigated by the EPA and action taken if the evidence confirms a breach.”
Stop Work Orders and penalty notices are examples of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions. A recipient can appeal and elect to have the matter determined by a court.
For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.
People in charge of emergency services in New South Wales have scheduled a call for a national bushfire summit, claiming that Australia's political leaders are failing to deal with the NSW bushfire crisis, which their press release ascribes entirely to climate change. Unfortunately, it does not note the services to climate that forests provide. Nor does it note the many other impacts on forests that are drying them out - but could be mitigated - aside from overall climate change. These causes of drying are land-clearing for population expansion, thinning of old-growth forest, and the predations of pyromaniacs or electrical equipment, which are the chief causes of bushfires. And, in the appendix to their press release, they prioritise 'fuel reduction', rather than protection of forests and ways of keeping them wet. Their press release does mention the danger to wildlife as well as to property.
Press release follows:
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S leadership vacuum on Australia’s bushfire and climate crisis has prompted Emergency Leaders for Climate Action to announce a national bushfire emergency summit after the current bushfire season.
The group has also expanded its membership to 29 former emergency chiefs, with six new members joining calls for the Federal Government to better prepare Australia for worsening extreme weather events. The new members include former Deputy Fire Commissioners, former Directors General of Emergency Management Australia, former Director General of NSW National Parks, and a former Deputy SES Commissioner.
Greg Mullins, former Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW, said: “We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented scale and ferocity of the current bushfire crisis. Summer has barely begun but record numbers of homes have been lost in Queensland and NSW, major cities have been shrouded in smoke and destructive fires are burning across Australia. Climate change is the key driver to the worsening conditions but the Federal Government remains in denial as far as credible action on emissions goes.”
PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS:
WHEN: Tuesday, 17 December, 10:30am AEDT
WHERE: Mrs Macquarie’s Road, Royal Botanic Gardens, SYDNEY (Near Andrew Boy Charlton Pool)
VISION: Former fire and emergency chiefs delivering press conference in front of fire truck
WHO: Six former commissioners, emergency chiefs, fire officers, etc. from NSW (Greg Mullins), QLD (Lee Johnson), TAS (Mike Brown), ACT (Peter Dunn), VIC (Craig Lapsley), WA (Naomi Brown)
“Over the weekend homes were lost near both Sydney and Perth, and a large 737 air tanker was sent from NSW to WA. This underlines our grave concerns that despite the support and efforts of state and territory governments, of current fire chiefs and our brave firefighters, Australia does not have adequate resources to fight fires of this scale or to tackle worsening conditions and simultaneous fire seasons in years to come," said Mr Mullins.
“Australia has become hotter and drier due to climate change, but politicians in Canberra seem incapable of admitting the link. There are no credible climate policies to phase out fossil fuels, or bring down emissions, and our government embarrassed us in Madrid.
“We feel a duty to fill Canberra’s leadership vacuum on the fires and will call our own national emergency summit after the current bushfire season to bring together a range of interested parties to look at how we can adapt to a far more dangerous environment. The safety and well-being of communities, firefighters, and wildlife is on the line.
“Our coalition of concerned leaders is growing, and we are not going away until we see action that matches the scale and urgency of the climate emergency and gives some hope for future generations,” said Mr Mullins.
ELCA is releasing in full the list of recommendations it provided to Minister David Littleproud and Minister Angus Taylor in early December.
Major General Peter Dunn (ret), Former Commissioner, ACT Emergency Services Authority, said: “Bushfires are burning simultaneously in several states and territories, and worse conditions are expected over the summer. People’s lives and properties at risk; this is what climate change looks like.”
“Intense drought and extremely hot weather put unprecedented strain on firefighting agencies as well as firefighters, emergency workers, health services, and others. Australia needs a national approach to ensure that states and territories have the resources needed to keep people safe.
“We have been calling for a bushfire emergency summit to work out a coordinated strategy for worsening extreme weather in the future. We will now take it upon ourselves to host it in March. The Prime Minister is invited to join us, and to show the leadership Australia badly needs on emergency management and climate action,” said Mr Dunn.
An impressive video that misses almost no aspect of what the growth lobby is doing to this country, and backs up its criticism with some interesting new policies, some of them drastic - but the situation is drastic. Matt Bryan for Hughes
Lib Candidate David Leyonhjelm says Northern NSW koalas are not endangered by logging. Animal lawyer, Angela Pollard, says, "Logging density has doubled, with an extra 140,000 ha of coastal forests targeted for clear-felling. She adds that the previous protections on retaining mature trees have also been removed, and this impacts most severely on the koalas’ main source of food tree. The new logging rules also remove the requirement to check for koalas in the canopy before a tree is felled."
In a press release headed, "Labor’s Great Koala National Park bad for North Coast communities, " David Leyonhjelm, the lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats, NSW, has vowed to oppose Labor Party election promises to create a Great Koala National Park.
“There is no evidence that koala populations are in decline in northern NSW,” he says
In the press release, it is further claimed that "An extensive research effort undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries over three years has shown that koala occupancy was influenced by elevation, cover of important browse trees, site productivity and the extent of bushfires in the last ten years. Previous timber harvesting did not influence koala occupancy with no difference between heavily harvested, lightly harvested and old growth sites. The study also found evidence that the koala population in north-east forests was ten times higher than previously estimated."
Leyonhjelm's press release claims that research undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries is independent, however most wildlife protection groups would say that it is anything but.
Animal Justice Party upper house candidate, Angela Pollard, a long term resident of the Northern Rivers who has spent many years reafforesting her property near Nightcap National Park, rejects Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm's claims about north east coast koala numbers:
"I'd be paying more attention to the research undertaken by North Coast environmental campaigner Dailan Pugh who received the Order of Australia Medal for his services to forest conservation, rather than a politician cosying up with the timber industry," she says. Dailan Pugh cites a number of studies addressing the reduction in koala numbers across the east coast and he questions the validity of DPI Forestry's acoustic recording of koala calls as opposed to reliance upon the standard method of checking for scats [droppings] under koala food trees. On reading these studies (Is_Logging_Really_Benign_For_Koalas_as_DPI_Forestry_Claim.pdf), it is abundantly clear that the felling of large koala food trees has had a major impact on koala numbers on the north east coast."
"Just as concerning is the impact that the Berejiklian Government's new logging rules are already having on koalas. Logging density has doubled, with an extra 140,000 ha of coastal forests targeted for clear-felling. The previous protections on retaining mature trees have also been removed, and this impacts most severely on the koalas’ main source of food tree. Horrifyingly, the new logging rules also remove the requirement to check for koalas in the canopy before a tree is felled."
Animal Justice Party's Angela Pollard states:
"In order for north coast koalas to survive into the future, we need to recognise that the time for logging of our state forests is over. They have already been plundered, with their best timbers already taken and now we are taking smaller and smaller trees, which are of limited to no use for koalas. We are creating wildlife deserts where we should be providing havens for our native animals."
Meanwhile, Mr Leyonhjelm is trying to justify logging koala habitat with the Department of Primary Industry's (Koala research in NSW forests study, which Leyonhjelm claims, “undermines both Labors’ and environmental groups’ rationale for closing down the timber industry in northern NSW by creating this large new park,” Mr Leyonhjelm says.
But wildlife activists think that the Department of Industry has a highly conflicted portfolio.
David Leyonhjelm is standing for the Legislative Council and Greg Renet is standing for the Legislative Assembly seat of Coffs Harbour at the state election on Saturday.
Angela Pollard is an animal rights lawyer and an Animal Justice Party candidate for the Upper House NSW in 2019.
Ex Labor leader, Mark Latham, recently joined Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party and will be running for the NSW legislative council at the next state election. Here is his 8-Point Plan to "save Sydney “suffocating” from overpopulation and overdevelopment."
Latham's 8-Point Plan
1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.
2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.
3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.
4. Sydney’s planning laws must be overhauled to make the city more efficient and sustainable. An urban containment strategy is needed. For existing suburbs, One Nation supports development and density restrictions in under-serviced, over-crowded LGAs. The Government should publish a comprehensive report identifying these suburbs (most likely, most of the city).
5. The release of greenfields residential land also needs to be limited to prevent further urban sprawl. Priority should be given to the development of employment land in Sydney to reduce commuter-travelling times, especially in the city’s outer suburbs.
6. The Greater Sydney Commission should be disbanded (at an annual cost saving of $18 million) as it has become a mouthpiece for Big Australia immigration and unlimited population growth in Sydney. Political appointments and unrealistic planning strategies have dominated the Commission’s work.
7. The Greater Sydney Commission’s excessive housing and population growth targets should also be abandoned. NSW Planning should be given the task of containing the city’s growth to reasonable lifestyle, infrastructure and environmental limits. Local Councils, as the level of government closest to the people, also have a critical role to play in limiting densities and development in line with local infrastructure/service capacity. One Nation respects this vital local government urban planning role.
8. The State Government should scale back the responsibilities of the so-called Western Sydney Aerotropolis to focus on employment creation in the immediate vicinity of the new Badgerys Creek Airport, rather than land acquisition and development for residential purposes. In the fair treatment of existing property rights, affected landowners should be bought out at enhanced (rezoned) land values, rather than current unimproved rates.
A Crest-tailed Mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.
A team from the UNSW Sydney Wild Deserts project made the unexpected discovery during recent scientific monitoring.
UNSW scientist and Wild Deserts ecologist Dr Rebecca West, said it was particularly exciting to find a Crest-tailed Mulgara alive for the first time in NSW.
“The Crest-tailed Mulgara was once widely distributed across sandy desert environments in inland Australia, but declined due to the effects of rabbits, cats and foxes.
“The species weighs around 150 grams and has pale blonde fur and a thick tail with a distinctive black crest,” Dr West said.
"The discovery comes at a great time," said UNSW scientist and Wild Deserts project co-ordinator Reece Pedler.
“Next year we are due to begin introduced predator and rabbit eradication from a large area, which will no doubt help the Mulgara,” Mr Pedler said.
“The Wild Deserts project is contributing to the NSW Government’s Saving our Species conservation program (SOS),” said National Parks and wildlife Service area manager Jaymie Norris. “The aim of this project is to return mammal species not seen in their natural habitat for over 90 years in Sturt National Park. “Rabbits, cats and foxes will be eradicated from two 20-square-kilometre fenced exclosures in Sturt National Park, before locally extinct mammals are reintroduced."
"Reintroduced native mammal species will include greater bilby, burrowing bettong, western quoll and western barred bandicoot,” Mr Norris said.
The Wild Deserts project is a partnership between UNSW and Ecological Horizons, in collaboration with Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Wild Deserts has been contracted by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to restore and promote desert ecosystems in Sturt National Park. Previous work in South Australia by Wild Deserts team members suggests that the Crest-tailed Mulgara has been recovering in numbers and expanding its range. Reduced rabbit populations during the last 20 years due to release of rabbit calicivirus is thought to have benefited the species by leading to increases in ground cover. Reductions in populations of introduced predators such as cats and foxes has also increased the numbers of small rodents for Mulgara to prey on. In recent years, Crest-tailed Mulgara have expanded their distribution in the Strzelecki Desert over the border in South Australia.
Contrary to the expectations of many people living outside of New South Wales, on 23 March 2015 the Opposition Labor Party led by Luke Foley lost the state elections to incumbent Liberal Premier Mike Baird. This was in spite of Labor Party's opposition to privatisation and a grass roots trade union and community campaign against privatisation. 1
In part, the Liberal Party's victory was due to Michael Baird being able to convince some voters that his proposed sale of 99 year leases of the state's electricity network to the private sector was somehow different to privatisation. In her speech of 2/6/15 to the NSW Legislative Council (Upper House), Greens member Dr Mehreen Faruqi, shows that for corporations intending to buy the 99 year leases, as well as the consumers and current owners of the NSW electricity network, there is little practical difference. The Youtube of Dr Faruqi's speech is embedded below and the transcript of the speech from the NSW Legislative Council Hansard is also included. 2
Dr Mehdi Frauqi's NSW Legislative Council speech opposed to privatisation (2/6/15)
Dr MEHREEN FARUQI [6.41 p.m.]: On behalf of The Greens I contribute to debate on the Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Bill 2015 and the cognate Electricity Retained Interest Corporations Bill 2015. I thank The Greens members and activists; Dr John Kaye, who has led the fight on The Greens' side; and all the hardworking "Stop the Sell Off" campaigners and union members who have been leading a strong campaign against the sell-off of our public electricity network. It is a disgrace that the arrogance of this Government means it is not willing to listen to sense or public opinion on this issue. This legislation will enable the lease of 49 per cent of the State's electricity network. The word "lease" is misleading; it is de facto privatisation. It is telling that the lease is so long–99 years, in fact–that no-one voting on the bill today will be alive to see this asset revert to public hands, if it ever does. The decision made today robs our children and our grandchildren of public assets. It is a very bad strategy to get rid of these assets and forfeit the resulting revenue that would otherwise flow into the State budget to be used to benefit the people of New South Wales.
Not many in this Chamber will be surprised to hear me describe this move for what it is: completely backward policy. Privatisation of public assets and services fails the community and the "public good" test. Public assets must remain in public hands for the good of us all and for the good of our State. These are assets that generations of Australians have paid for. Once they are sold off, they will not be able to be brought back into public ownership. Handing over our electricity assets to private operators will effectively rule out any large-scale move towards compatibility with innovative energy systems–systems that are green, clean and renewable. Dr Kaye wrote in the Guardian this week that the Baird Government ignores the recent "sea change of technology" in the energy distribution area at its peril. The release of Tesla's battery units is a game changer for everyone. The profit model of the corporate owners of the grid leases will simply not be compatible with supporting a shift towards the local trading of electricity. There is an incentive not to make our grid more efficient and more sustainable.
Members in both Houses have described as a sham the inquiry into this issue that has taken place over the past few weeks. It was an investigation with a predetermined outcome, with narrow terms of reference and no real expectation that it would produce anything other than a positive story for the Government. Indeed, why would the Government have agreed to such a process if there was any serious risk of it jeopardising its privatisation agenda? The issue at the heart of this matter is that this is short-term thinking by a Government that sees benefit in flogging off public assets and getting some short-term cash in advance. That leads me to the issue of expenditure. Perhaps just as worthy as criticism of the lease itself is what the Government is putting on the table as potential investments in order to justify the sell-off. I am concerned that much of the proceeds of the sale will go towards projects that are ill suited to the needs of our State. Particularly close to my heart is the expenditure on roads and transport.
The Government intends to spend almost half of the $20 billion raised by the sell-off of poles and wires on transport infrastructure that will not work for Sydney and will not work for New South Wales. It will not work and it is not in the interests of the long-term future of New South Wales because it effectively locks down a future of road congestion and pollution for the State, and locks us all into a privately operated, unintegrated rail network along the way. Like the electricity sell-off itself, these plans are not in the public interest; they are in the private interest. They are in the interest of the Liberals and The Nationals and their mates. A massive $7 billion will be directed to the Sydney Rapid Transit line. This line is possibly the biggest rail con job in the history of the State. Sydney Rapid Transit involves the extension of the private North West Rail Link shuttle through North Sydney and the city and onto the Bankstown line, with entirely single-deck trains, privately operated and separated from the current Sydney Trains network.
It seems very recently that the Government had us all scratching our heads over its plans to rip up the recently opened Epping to Chatswood line for its private metro service and incorporate the line into the North West Rail Link. The Epping to Chatswood line was only opened in 2009–as many in this Chamber would remember–for $2.4 billion, under the previous Labor Government. Despite the bloated price tag and the failed ambition of extending the line all the way to Parramatta, this is a good service. It works for people, especially those in the North Ryde and Macquarie Park industrial areas and students attending Macquarie University. It is well patronised and efficient, but the Government wants to rip it up to make way for the privately operated shuttle.
With Sydney Rapid Transit on the table, thanks to the sell-off, we know that the Government's ambitions do not stop there. It also wants to rip up the Bankstown line completely and put the privately operated network through there too. This will cause unnecessary and painful disruptions for people on many parts of the network. But the "short-term pain for long-term gain" argument does not hold much weight here either. Unfortunately, there is going to be short-term pain for more long-term pain. There is no doubt that we will need a second harbour rail crossing in the future. We need to look at new services and new capacity.#fn3" id="txt3"> 3 This can be achieved in some part through technology, such as automated signalling, and in some part by expanding the current public transport system, not cannibalising it. The single-deck, low-capacity Sydney Rapid Transit is probably the worst way possible of achieving what we want. It puts in train the wholesale privatisation of the rail system in Sydney, from Rouse Hill to Epping, to St Leonards, to the central business district, to Sydenham, to Marrickville, and all the way through to Bankstown. What is worse, the single-deck service does not even make sense capacity-wise for much of that journey.
The DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Trevor Khan): Order! I note that, while wide latitude is extended to members speaking during the second reading debate, Dr Mehreen Faruqi should ensure her comments are within the leave of the long titles of the bills. I have allowed the member to continue for some time, but I now invite her to consider the legislation that is before the House rather than rail lines.
Dr MEHREEN FARUQI: Thank you, Mr Deputy-President. Of the constituents the Government spoke to regarding the sell-off of the poles and wires, I doubt many knew about the second harbour rail crossing being a private line and cannibalising their current train line. Moving on to the wasteful expenditure of the money acquired from the privatisation of poles and wires, $1.1 billion will go to the WestConnex extensions and a new western harbour tunnel, which will spew further traffic into more of Sydney. It is not enough that billions of dollars are being totally wasted on toll roads that are not solving Sydney's transport problems but more money from the sell-off of a public asset will be thrown into producing more congestion in the city and destroying our environment.
In essence, the community loses profits from a public asset and these will be spent on private motorways for the benefit of private companies. The Transurban Group, which owns roads in all the eastern seaboard capital cities, made a profit of $282 million in the last financial year. This is a textbook example of corporate greed–the transfer of wealth from the public to benefit only a few. Fortunately, there is another way. During the 2015 election campaign The Greens outlined our own way of financing $20 billion through a range of measures, including reinstating the vendor duty, restoring marginal poker machine tax rates and maintaining stamp duties on certain business transactions. This money would be invested in schools, hospitals, energy, housing and transport of the twenty-first century. The Greens showed that through smarter spending we can divert $4.5 billion being wasted on the NorthConnex and WestConnex projects to public and active transport that expands access for the people of New South Wales. We do not have to sell the electricity network. We can get the infrastructure that New South Wales wants and needs by keeping its electricity network in public hands. The Greens strongly oppose the legislation.
#fn1" id="fn1">1.#txt1"> ↑ In part, Baird's victory was also due to the whiteanting of Luke Foley's campaign by elements within the Labor Party, including former NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr and former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating. See
Former premier Bob Carr crashes in on the debate over privatisation of electricity networks (7/3/15) Daily Telegraph, The Debate: should NSW's poles and wires be privatised? (23/3/15) | SMH, Mike Baird's caution on privatisation may affect NSW voters (8/3/15) | AFR.
Bob Carr's undermining of NSW Labor in 2015 is reminiscent of his undermining of Federal Labor Party's election campaign in 2004 as described by former Labor Leader Mark Latham in The Latham Diaries (2005). See also Ex-Labor treasurer downplays NSW privatisation boost (19/5/15) Herald Sun.
#fn3" id="fn3">3.#txt3"> ↑ Dr Faruqi's claim that a second harbour rail crossing may be necessary could be taken as a presumption that Sydney's population will continue for some years to come to increase at its current rate of growth. In fact, if Sydney does not achieve population stability in the near future, no amount of government investment in the second harbour rail crossing or other infrastructure can prevent Sydney from from becoming a miserable urban slum for most of its inhabitants.
See also: comment Opposed to $500 million Chinese theme park for NSW Central Coast (10/8/14) by the Australia First Party.
The Wyong Shire Council on NSW's Central Coast, has given its approval for the construction of the "Chappypie China Time" theme park to be built on 15.7 hectares of bushland at Warnervale. The bushland was sold to the Australia Chinese Theme Park Pty Ltd (ACTP) for $10 million. A short presentation by the Wyong Shire council to promote the Theme Park is shown below:
Evidently Australian entepreneurs are no longer capable of employing the Central Coast workforce to make goods and services to sell overseas. Instead, they can only offer jobs to serve affluent overseas guests in hotels, escort agencies or venues like the proposed "Chappypie China Time".
Other pages promoting "Chappypie China Time"
Chinese cultural theme park planned for Warnervale, video, poll (4/8/14, Newcastle Herald), , Chinese Theme Park for Warnervale - Office of the Mayor (Wyong Shire Council) (4/8/14, World News), Massive Chinese-style theme park proposed for Central Coast (4/8/14, ABC News).
Western Sydney residents are up in arms about having an urban rail line, a freight rail line and a mega motorway through their communities and bushland. Hundreds will be protesting 6.30 pm Thursday 7 August, 2014, at the St Marys Community Centre, St Marys, NSW, Cnr Mamre Rd & Great Western Hwy., where Transport for NSW and Tanya Davies the local Liberal MP have reluctantly agreed to hold an extraordinary community consultation drop in session. They want to know what we think of their plan so we intend to let them know loud and clear: 'We don't like it'.
"Its not just a South West Rail Corridor its also the Outer Sydney Orbital which consists of the M9 motorway and an attached freight train rail line. 24/7 through our communities and bushland. The majority of protesters will be disgruntled Liberal voters"
"STORC therefore is very concerned that all these projects, in combination, becomes an infrastructure bomb that people, communities and the environment will never recover from. All these projects are being assessed and approved individually, in isolation to one another. Where’s the assessment of the cumulative impacts?"
"Of great concern is that the NSW Government can reserve the South West Rail and the Outer Sydney Orbital corridors and lock in the route through critically endangered bushland and people’s homes without the need to do an EIS. So once the land is acquired and community is out of the way and worn out the government then does its EIS and only has to exhibit it for 30 days. What a joke."
"So STORC wants the clock stopped on the SWRC and OSO process. We want to know the impacts of these projects before the corridor is reserved. The NSW Government and Local Government should therefore carry out a thorough environmental and social assessment/study (separate to an EIS process) to determine the cumulative impacts of these projects. The NSW Government and Local Government should also call that the EIS for a Badgerys Creek Airport come first and that it include the impacts of the infrastructure projects STORC has mentioned as they are all part of a Badgerys Ck Airport package."
"The residents of outer Western Sydney deserve to know from the NSW Government what the cumulative impacts will be on them and the environment."
WHEN: 6.30 pm Thursday, 7 August 2014
WHERE: St Marys Community Centre, Mamre Rd
WHAT: Meeting with Tanya Davies & NSW Transport Dept.
Do you live in Orchard Hills, Claremont Meadows, Werrington, Llandilo, Windsor Downs?
Are you aware of what has been planned for your suburb?
1. MEGA M9 OUTER SYDNEY ORBITAL CORRIDOR
2. INDUSTRIAL FREIGHT TRAIN RAIL LINE CORRIDOR
3. DOMESTIC TRAIN RAIL LINE CORRIDOR
4. 24/7 AIRPORT, FLIGHT PATHS – WITHOUT CURFEW!
NO CONSIDERATION OF CUMULATIVE IMPACTS THESE FOUR MAJOR
PROJECTS WILL HAVE ON RESIDENTS & OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
- WHOLE COMMUNITIES IMPACTED
- 24/7 IMPACT NOISE (TRUCKS, TRAINS & PLANES)
- OUR WAY OF LIFE LOST
- OXYGEN-GENERATING GREENSPACE DESTROYED – REPLACED WITH UGLY HEAT-TRAPPING CONCRETE & TARMAC
- OUR REMAINING GREENSPACE LOST TO DEVELOPERS & MORE URBANISATION
- LAND TAKEN
- RESUMPTION OF HOMES
- PROPERTY VALUES TRASHED
- CONSERVATION LAND DESTROYED
NO IMPACT STUDIES UNTIL AFTER APPROVAL!
10,000 ha OF FARMLAND CLEARED FOR FACTORIES & WAREHOUSES. MEGA INTERMODAL
BUILT SOUTH OF ORCHARD HILLS TO FILL THE M9 MOTORWAY WITH TRUCKS!
BRING YOUR PROTEST SIGNS, YOUR QUESTIONS, FAMILY & FRIENDS
SEE YOU THERE!
STORC Action Group – Stop The Orbital & Rail Corridor
www.facebook.com/STORCActionGroup www.wsca.org.au [email protected]
SUPPORT US BSB: 814-282 Acc: 50444587
Stop the Orbital and Rail Corridor Action Group (STORC)
Is anybody assessing the cumulative impacts of multiple government infrastructure proposals on western Sydney’s people and environment? NSW Government must stop the clock.
The April 15, 2014 announcement by the Federal Government that it will construct Sydney’s second International Airport at Badgerys Creek was followed days later by a NSW Government announcement that it would reserve a corridor to extend the South West Rail line. The proposal is for the South West Rail Corridor Extension (SWRC) to go north from Narellan to the western line near St Marys. A station is proposed to be built at Badgerys Ck.
This line would also connect to Leppington and the southern line.
The NSW Government has commenced community consultation about a preferred route and during this process community concern has risen and a community group Stop the Orbital and Rail Corridor Action Group (STORC) has formed to oppose a likely route that puts economic growth ahead of protecting the public interest.
STORC’s concerns stemmed from a Penrith Council submission to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) that urges they approve a route that connects new stations at a proposed Sydney Science Park to the UWS Werrington Campus. The Council map was overlayed on Google Earth and was shown to go through critically endangered bushland at the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills and also homes and properties in Orchard Hills. Orchard Hills residents were blindsided by Councils submission as they were not even aware TfNSW first 6 weeks of community consultation had been and gone.
Penrith Councils submission was written after meetings with TfNSW, UWS and other Councils. So it has provided the community with a lot of information of likely impacts.
From Councils submissions STORC learnt that the proposed Outer Sydney Orbital (OSO) was also imminent and that it would consist of an M9 motorway and an adjoined freight rail line.
A Penrith Council report of June 23 states TfNSW wants the SWRC and the OSO reserved as separate corridors. Council maps also showed the OSO and when overlayed on Google Earth going through the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills and homes. The impact of the OSO however is greater as it is proposed to run from South of Camden to the Central Coast. The Google Earth overlay in the Penrith Region shows it also runs through million dollar homes in The Vines Estate, through urban Claremont Meadows and Werrington, through the critically endangered bushland at the ADI Site (Wianamatta Regional Park that the community fought for over a decade to protect), through rural Llandilo and Berkshire Park and through million dollars homes at the Windsor Downs Estate.
So residents are up in arms about having an urban rail line, a freight rail line and a mega motorway through their communities and bushland.
Then when you drill down into the Penrith Council report you see these infrastructure items are to serve a proposed 24/7 Airport at Badgerys Creek and also the proposed Broader Western Sydney Employment Area (BWSEA). The BWSEA is a proposal to rezone 10,000 hectares of rural land to industrial. So 10,000 ha of green space are to be covered by factories and warehouses. Productive farmland gives way to a sea of cement and tarmac.
The BWSEA zone includes the Badgerys Ck Airport land in the south and runs all the way north to border onto the Orchard Hills Defence Establishment.
You drill down further into Penrith Councils report and you see advanced discussions have been had about the building of an intermodal facility west of the BWSEA. Council urges TfNSW when reserving the OSO corridor to reserve sufficient land for the new intermodal.
Add in Tony Abbott’s funding to widen Bringelly Rd, Elizabeth Dr and large parts of the Northern Rd to facilitate more car and truck use.
STORC therefore is very concerned that all these projects, in combination, becomes an infrastructure bomb that people, communities and the environment will never recover from. All these projects are being assessed and approved individually, in isolation to one another. Where’s the assessment of the cumulative impacts?
Penrith Council states that the NSW Government intends having the SWRC route locked in by the end of 2014. The NSW Govt in this financial year proposes to reserve the corridor for the OSO. So we have projects located parallel to one another for large stretches of their route being conducted and assessed and approved in isolation to one another. The approval of the SWRC will be used to justify approval of the OSO. Running these approvals together appears designed to fatigue the public so they just give up.
Of great concern is that the NSW Government can reserve these corridors and lock in the route through critically endangered bushland and people’s homes without the need to do an EIS. So once the land is acquired and community is out of the way and worn out the government then does its EIS and only has to exhibit it for 30 days. What a joke. And this could be 2 or 20 years down the track.
So STORC wants the clock stopped on the SWRC and OSO process. We want to know the impacts of these projects before the corridor is reserved. The NSW Government and Local Government should therefore carry out a thorough environmental and social assessment/study (separate to an EIS process) to determine the cumulative impacts of these projects. The NSW Government and Local Government should also call that the EIS for a Badgerys Creek Airport come first and that it include the impacts of the infrastructure projects STORC has mentioned as are all part of a Badgerys Ck Airport package.
The residents of outer Western Sydney deserve to know what the cumulative impacts are on them and the environment.
1. Badgerys Creek Airport
• Federal Government proposal for a 24/7 International Airport
• No EIS
• No determined flight paths
• 24/7 air pollution, noise,
• polluted water catchments, planes over wilderness areas
• Traffic, trucks, trains
• Loss of critically endangered bushland
2. South West Rail
• Communities destroyed
• Compulsory acquisitions. Land values trashed
• 24/7 noise, loss of visual amenity
3. Outer Sydney Orbital
• Loss of critically endangered bushland
• Communities destroyed
• Compulsory acquisitions. Land values trashed
• 24/7 air pollution, noise, loss of visual amenity
• 24/7 trucks and freight trains
• Loss of critically endangered bushland
• Loss of thousands of hectares of Sydney’s rural land
• Loss of oxygen generating green space
• Zoned for industrial
• Trucks and car use massively increased
• 24/7 air pollution, noise, loss of visual amenity
• 24/7 trucks and freight trains
• Flooding impacts (permeable surfaces replaced by roofs, roads and concrete)
• Urban heat island effect increased
5. Intermodal west of the BSWEA
• 24/7 trucks and freight trains
• 24/7 air pollution, noise, loss of visual amenity
6. Road widening Elizabeth Dr, Bringelly and Northern Roads
• Facilitates more car and truck use
• 24/7 air pollution, noise, loss of visual amenity
Geoff Brown 0431 222 602
Lauren Taylor 0479 166 140
Bruce Downes 0401 052 033
Please look at what is happening under the Environmental and Protection laws that allow this to occur right now. In the article there is a link to a survey in NSW Upper House about Environmental Protection Authority performance. The Glenbog State Forest, NSW is home to many threatened species of flora and fauna, and logging began in June 2014. It is a state forest and logging was thus expected. However logging is being conducted in a reckless manner with regard to the important faunal presence there. The forest covers an area of about around 11,000 hectares and is located in the southeast of Australia in New South Wales, with the closest townships being Bemoka and Nimmitabel.
You can see the extent of environmental damage caused by these careless logging operations, and how native fauna are not being considered and provided the protection they deserve, despite the Environmental Protection Acts in place! Logging is deliberately ignoring the marked burrow systems in areas of high bare-nosed wombat population such as Glenbog State Forest.
In June 2014 logging of the Glenbog State Forest began. Glenbog is home to many threatened species of flora and fauna. The conduct of logging in this forest has given rise to deep concerns for animals. Although local people have marked burrows, the loggers appear to have ignored this information, repeatedly destroying, blocking and crushing well-marked burrows. A Glenbog blog has been set up to record what is happening and to try to find others who may help local wildlife carers - Marie and Ray Wynan - who have been working single-handed to save the many animals affected by indiscriminate logging here. Most of this article is sourced from material on the blog in an effort to make what is happening more widely known.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for regulating native forestry operations on public (Crown) land. The Forestry Corporation of New South Wales is the company carrying out logging in Glenbog.
Marie and Ray Wynan – who are wildlife rehabilitators – own a property that adjoins the state forest. Their property is a part of the Wildlife Land Trust and also has a National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Agreement that protects threatened flora and fauna. They are trying to improve the treatment of the animals in the forest and have shared information about the logging activity and the impacts to Australian native animals, including many threatened species.
An example of the carelessness of the loggers
On July 27, 2014, observers wrote, "Burrow number 351 that last week was spared by 10 meters from the machinery was today found destroyed/blocked and backfilled – totally unnecessary.
The burrow was well marked and had fresh wombat foot prints in the snow leading into the burrow just a few days ago.
Ray managed to dig through and open the entrance but we can’t confirm the fate of the wombat.
Can you imagine how the wombats trying to live here must feel! It would be like living on the Gaza strip.
The NSW Upper House has launched an enquiry into the performance of EPA.
Please complete this online survey and tell the Upper House why you are unhappy with how the EPA has handled the Glenbog State Forest regarding the protection of wombats.
Click on the link below to be redirected to the survey.
Some of the wildlife of Glenbog include:
Chocolate Wattled Bat
Black Rock Skink
Gang Gang Cockatoo (vulnerable)
Striped Marsh Frog
Greater Glider (endangered)
Little Forest Bat (vulnerable)
Swift Parrot (vulnerable)
Powerful Owl (vulnerable)
Mountain Brushtail Possum
Yellow Bellied Glider (vulnerable)
Alpine Tree Frog (endangered)
Southern Brown Bandicoot (vulnerable)
(source: Atlas of Living Australia)
Threatened ecosystems include montane peatlands, swamps and sphagnum bogs.
Forestry operations are permitted in most State Forests under NSW Forest Agreements and integrated forestry operation approvals (IFOAs). These provide long-term arrangements for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests, consistent with the National Forest Policy Statement.
Glenbog is a State Forest, so unfortunately it was always intended to be logged. However, with such a high number of threatened species within the forest and the fact that the area has a large population of wombats, it is believed that Forestry Corporation of NSW needs to be thoroughly open and transparent, more environmentally aware and fully accountable for their actions in relation to wildlife harm.
In this week’s budget Premier Mike Baird slashed funding for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage by almost 10 per cent.
(image: Environment Minister (NSW) Rob Stokes)
This review is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on the most important laws protecting native plants and animals in NSW.
Conservationists fear that threatened plants and animals are under attack from a review of conservation laws in NSW, due to a review to land clearing laws.
(Reprinted from AWPC website)
Environment Minister Rob Stokes has appointed an independent panel to "shake up" biodiversity laws governing threatened species, native vegetation and national parks, saying many regulations are more than 40 years old.
This "shake up" is a euphemism for loosening environmental laws, and caving into lobbying pressure from farmers and hunters in the Nationals and Shooters and Fishers Party. They want greater landowner "rights" when it comes to bush clearing. With extinctions, land degradation, logging, mining, climate change and population growth, the laws should be upgraded and reinforced, not softened!
WWF estimates these laws have saved tens of thousands of hectares of bush in NSW, as well as 265,000 native animals, including hundreds of Koalas.
This so-called "review" ominously will try to reconcile the impossibility of accommodating economic and social factors, as well as environmental values, form part of decision making – a so-called "triple bottom line" approach. The massive weight of human demands covered in social and economic benefits will overwhelm any natural values and the interests of native species. The latter don't vote, or have any inherent monetary value!
(image: Red Tailed Black Cockatoo threatened by revision)
SMH: Fears proposed land clearing laws put threatened species at risk- 20th June, 2014
Cutting "red tape" regarding land clearing is about loosening environmental controls, and caving into the oxymoron that there can be "sustainable development", and "self regulation", while at the same time contradictorily trying to conserve biodiversity!
The "red tape" is to protect land from destruction and degradation, and from the "rights" those with vested interests think they have to manipulate the environment to suit their own commercial or recreational purposes.
Threatened or endangered animals such as koalas, spotted tree frogs, yellow-bellied gliders and some black cockatoos need their habitat corridors intact, and there can be no compromises.
Independent research, completed by the Queensland Herbarium, the NSW Royal Botanic Gardens and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service found that the true rates of clearing are much higher than previous estimates in Queensland and New South Wales. We need to enshrine more Natural rights!
Australia, the leading nation in mammal extinctions, now ranks number five in the world in land clearing rates, behind the developing nations of Brazil, Indonesia, Sudan and Zambia. There's no "sustainable" farm managing practices, or any rural economies, without intact ecosystems and the biodiversity that keeps the natural systems functioning.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW chief executive Pepe Clarke said weakening the laws would be an environmental "disaster", potentially removing the requirement for landholders to improve or maintain soil, salinity, water pollution and native vegetation cover.
Contact Environment Minister:
The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP
Level 32 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000
(02) 9228 5253
(02) 9228 5763
Low income households are becoming increasingly marginalised and excluded from opportunities. More than one third of households privately renting who access Anglicare Emergency Relief are in severe rental stress, spending more than 45% of their income in rent. The Federal government intends to fund only 1,000 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, against the real need of at least 89,000 dwellings in NSW.
2013 Rental Affordability Snapshot
Rental affordability crisis: Less than 1% of Sydney homes
affordable for low income households
Access to affordable housing continues to be a major issue in Greater Sydney according to the latest 2013 Rental Affordability Snapshot launched by ANGLICARE Sydney today.
The snapshot revealed that of the 12,880 properties available for private rental in Greater Sydney on 13 – 14 April, only 23 properties were affordable and appropriate for households on income support payments without placing them in rental stress.
The report found there were no suitable properties for single people on Youth Allowance or Newstart.
There were few suitable properties available for other household types, including:
singles on the Aged Pension (5 properties)
single parents on the Parenting Payment with two children (2 properties)
couples with children on Newstart (2 properties) and
people on Disability Support (2 properties).
Couples receiving the Aged Pension had the greatest number of suitable properties available to them – 19 across Sydney.
“People on minimum wage fared a little better,” said Grant Millard, ANGLICARE Sydney CEO. “For families with both adults earning the minimum wage, there were 208 affordable and appropriate properties available. For single people on the minimum wage, rental prospects declined substantially to only 34 properties across the city. Prospects for single parents on the minimum wage were even worse, with only 5 properties being both affordable and appropriate.
“ANGLICARE Sydney is concerned that low income households are becoming increasingly marginalised and excluded from opportunities for a better and more secure future. More than one third of households privately renting who access our Emergency Relief are in severe rental stress – meaning they’ re spending more than 45% of their income in rent.
“We’re aware that the Federal government has recently announced a new round of funding to support 1,000 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. However, with a current housing shortfall of about 89,000 dwellings in NSW, far more needs to be done in this area.
“The NSW government should also include clear affordable or social housing targets in their metropolitan strategy for Sydney 2031 and ensure Local Councils require new developments near public transport to include social and public housing,” said Mr Millard.
ANGLICARE Sydney’s Rental Affordability Snapshot was part of a national project carried out by Anglicare Australia to assess national rental affordability for low income households.
Coal seam gas is a fossil fuel that is almost entirely made up of the greenhouse gas, methane. It's feared that large tracts of farmland will become unavailable for food production, forests and native bushland will be cleared and fragmented.
According to the industry, developing new supplies is absolutely critical if Australia wants to put downward pressure on energy prices. However, the gas industry want to drill more and more wells to meet their lucrative export contracts, and our prices will be linked with the much higher Asian market.
If it comes to a choice of harvesting underground coal seam gas, until it expires, or the long term integrity of our land, food and water supplies, then it would be counter-productive to prioritise the former over the latter.
The Pilliga is a vast expanse of bushland, located between Narrabri and Coonabarabran in western NSW. This iconic area of public land is under threat from the largest coal seam gas project ever proposed for New South Wales.
The Wilderness Society has been most concerned about the possible impact on the Pilliga forest and Channel Country region of Queensland's Cooper Basin. The government is prepared to relax environmental laws, or "green tape", for gas exploration.
Pilliga forest home to many threatened species, including the koala, Pilliga mouse, superb parrot and southeastern long-eared bat and regent honeyeater. A new ecological study of the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW has found it is a “Noah's Ark” or refuge for many bird and mammal species that are declining across Australia.
Santos says it believes its CSG operations in the Pilliga can supply 25 per cent of the state's gas needs. More than 54% of Australia is covered by coal and gas licences or applications, and its clear that mining companies are riding roughshod over our governments and local communities. Dead animal bones in the bottom of a coal seam gas wastewater pond, according to the Stop Pilliga Coal Seam Gas movement,
The NSW government gave approval for the drilling in the woodlands in eastern Australia under stringent environmental conditions. The NSW government is hoping that a successful development by Santos of its coal-seam gas development in the Pilliga Forest in the northwest of the state will both satisfy some of the state's energy needs and demonstrate that coal-seam gas is not as environmentally harmful as its opponents claim.
Environment Minister Burke has shown more courage than previous environmental ministers, surprising environmentalists. Koalas in NSW, Queensland and the ACT will be classified as vulnerable under a protected listing by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. Mr Burke says koala numbers have dropped by 40 per cent in Queensland and by a third in NSW over the past two decades. The koala will be listed as vulnerable on the threatened species list following advice by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. Mr Burke has said developers will have to account for the koala listing when making building applications. Environmentalists say that this also means that issues arising will comes under Federal environmental law now. MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE, HOWEVER. Teaser by Admin, candobetter.net. Article by Alex Harris of www.koalatracker.com.au
A big day for koalas
A big day for koalas, because finally we have a decision. A decision that will compound local government and infrastructure planning challenges and radically alter property development in Queensland in particular, but a decision that will nevertheless provide a last chance for our dwindling koala population.
Koalas in NSW, Queensland and the ACT will be classified as vulnerable under a protected listing by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. Mr Burke says koala numbers have dropped by 40 per cent in Queensland and by a third in NSW over the past two decades. The koala will be listed as vulnerable on the threatened species list following advice by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. Mr Burke said developers will have to account for the koala listing when making building applications.
The Senate enquiry into the status, health and sustainability of Australia's koala population heard during its submissions, that the future conservation status and management of Australia's koalas is dependent upon accurate estimates of koala populations. The Property Council submitted that any decisions made on the future of the koala population must be based on scientific estimates of the number of koalas. The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland suggested it was essential that koala populations are known.
Reportedly the Federal decision to protect the koala had been consistently delayed because there was no nationally comprehensive or coordinated data on koala populations. But there is. It is KoalaTracker.com.au, and it is free.
It is for this very reason: because no government agency or research body can say how many koalas are left, whereabouts and in what condition, Australia's first national crowdsourcing koala mapping website, now known as www.KoalaTracker.com.au, was created and launched in February 2010.
Your humble reports of single koala sightings, however seemingly unimportant, are critical.
Especially important are the reports pinpointing colony locations and the danger zones for car strikes and dog attacks, on which councils, developers and communities can, and now must take immediate risk mitigation measures.
For all the millions of dollars spent on mapping vegetation (by pixel colour from satellite images) to determine no value, low value and high value koala habitat, it is the actual reporting of location intelligence from members of the community via this free crowdsourced database and map, that will provide the data essential to make informed development and infrastructure decisions.
A significant amount of information has already been contributed by members of KoalaTracker from around the country, reporting location and situation of alive, sick, dead and injured koalas, with causes of death and injury, map coordinates, and with in some cases, spectacular photography.
Almost 1,700 reports comprise a disturbing picture of isolated pockets of populations, the spread of disease, the impacts of urbanisation.
No better example of the value of KoalaTracker.com.au to government authorities exists than the sightings diligently provided by the likes of KoalaTracker members, Lyn and Warren Truss.
In addition, their photo album in the member’s section shows how the koalas have adapted to the housing that replaced their once lush koala food forest, using the koala-friendly fencing as freeways through the suburb of Tinana, south of Maryborough, to make the longer journeys between food trees.
Sadly, for every three sightings reported by Lyn and Warren, there seems to be a death or injury report from Ray and Murray Chambers of Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue for the same area.
Ray and Muz are active members of KoalaTracker, and sign each of their sighting reports, sckwr. I urge you to do a database search on the keyword, sckwr, to see the incredible effort these two men put into saving our koalas. You can find a link to their website and other resources on our links page.
We must reverse the trend of rapid population, health and genetic decline in the koala colonies that remain, not just because we love the koala as an iconic wildlife emblem of Australia, but because it makes good financial sense to do so.
The 1997 study, Koalas and Tourism: An Economic Evaluation, asked departing foreign tourists which animals they had wanted to see in travelling to Australia. Seventy five per cent of inbound tourists said that they hoped to see a koala. When asked whether they would have changed their decision to come to Australia if there were no such unique wildlife, 11 per cent said ‘yes’.
It is this figure - the potential loss - that formed the upper bound of direct correlation to the economic contribution of koalas to the Australian tourism industry. In 1996, inbound tourism revenue was $16.1 billion. Report author, Dr Clive Hamilton rightly suggests that koalas might be thought of as an input into the tourism industry for which tourism operators do not pay.
In the financial year 2008–09, tourism directly employed ~half a million people, contributed 2.6% ($33 billion) of our GDP, and inbound tourism generated $24 billion. If koalas were worth $1.1 billion to the Australian tourism industry 15 years ago, what could they be worth now?
The fate of the koala is as much an economic decision as environmental. It requires national policy and urgent action from all levels of government, all sides of politics, from the tourism industry and the community.
Mr Burke’s decision is the right one, but it needs a next step…
To this end, I call upon the federal, state and local governments to come together with public forums in urban and regional centres that have resident koalas, in which we can all participate to give voice to the plight of the koala, and provide input to planning decisions that protect the koala.
Please forward this email to your local state member of parliament, your council and federal representatives, your tourism and property industry representatives and friends, asking for a public forum to be held in you area. This email will be added to KoalaTracker.com.au as a blog post, and I invite you all to add your comments in support.
And keep those reports coming. Every sighting counts. Tell your friends.
Lastly, sincere thanks to the many members (well over 100 at last count) who sent emails in support of KoalaTracker (previously known as KoalaDiaries) continuing, and to so many of you for making good use of the site - a further 30 sightings were reported and as many new members have joined in just the past few days.
Remember to change your bookmarks and links on your own websites to www.KoalaTracker.com.au, and tell your friends to join too.
Noosa Heads Qld
Raising orphaned joeys is a job that requires dedication, time, money, compassion and commitment. It means night and day feeds, special formulas, quietness to avoid stress, warmth and special bonding. All this can simply be wiped out by the released animals being "managed" by the NSW government!
NSW land-owner and wildlife carer of orphaned kangaroo joeys James Fitzgerald, had the horror and injustice of two of his hand raised joeys, rescued in 2008 and released in 2009, go missing since the kangaroo "harvester" came to his adjacent property.
According to Nicole Payne, Manager of the Kangaroo Management Plan, Environment Protection and Regulation Office of Environment and Heritage in NSW, for occupiers of a commercial kangaroos "harvesters" licences, there is no requirement that they consult the occupiers of land neighbouring where they are to do their legal slaughter. The size, location of the neighbouring properties is noted when the licence is given , but they are not consulted. That means that it is simply unfortunate that wildlife carers lose their released kangaroos to the "harvest" because that is how it is according to the National Parks and Wildlife Act, and the NSW Commercial Harvest Kangaroo Management Plan. Bad luck!
For landowners who want to live in harmony with Nature, the environment and care for wildlife, there is little compassion, hope or consideration. Bureaucrats in Canberra and in State "environment" departments can simply - with a signature and sanction - wipe out all care and protection devoted individuals give to wildlife suffering from numerous lethal threats.
My letter to Nicole Payne, wildlife "manager", is below.
Dear Ms Nicole Payne
Manager, Kangaroo Management Plan
Environment Protection and Regulation
Office of Environment and Heritage
I am writing to add my concern with that of James Fitzgerald (see attached) who has the horror and injustice of 2 of his hand raised joeys that were rescued in 2008 and released in 2009 but have been missing since the kangaroo "harvester" came. How are his rights to appreciate wildlife, a rural lifestyle, and his life commitment to caring for wildlife being appreciated and protected if kangaroos are "harvested" ( they are not vegetables or fruit) in the adjacent property? Why are the economic rights of these red-neck killers have a higher priority than landowners who want to live in harmony with their environment, and actually nurture and love their animals? This is shameful, that we in Australia treat our native animals, animals that are NOT pests and exist only in Australia, with such contempt?
He has lived on my 780acre property in peace for 7 years but all has changed now! These killers have more rights than valid environmentalists and wildlife protectors?
Kangaroos are part of Australia's natural heritage. They evolved here and are part of our environmental and native grassland management, naturally. They are what needs protecting! According to your official title, this is your role. However, you approval of this bloodshed is actually contradictory - and quite ironical! You need to stop the hypocrisy and start protecting our wildlife, and kangaroo numbers are plummeting, and start protecting our environment from such colonial dark-ages of ignorance.
The Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan is a smoke-screen for making profits from animals that produce "free" meat! It's not "management' but pure and bloody slaughter.
Your title needs to change to that of advocate of wildlife-family killers and baby-joey bludgeoners!
Ms Nicole Payne's email address is:
The sadistic atrocities occurring against our indigenous inhabitants - kangaroos - at Morisset hospital is totally shameful and horrendous. Why haven't these atrocities been stopped and the sadists captured? It is disgraceful that the Morisset kangaroos have been slaughtered for years and the only people to help are a handful of wildlife volunteers.
Sadistic attacks on kangaroos at Morisset Hospital
The sadistic atrocities occurring against our indigenous inhabitants - kangaroos - at Morisset hospital is totally shameful and horrendous. More than 100 have been horrifically massacred in blood-curdling ferocity, and people are worried for public safety?
Hoons have been entering the hospital grounds at night and running down the kangaroos. Why haven't these atrocities been stopped and the sadists captured?
Security guards at the Hospital contacted the Wildlife Rescue Service at 11pm in May 2008 at night after at least five adult kangaroos were killed, orphaning three joeys.
It is disgraceful that the Morisset kangaroos have been slaughtered for years and the only people to help are a handful of wildlife volunteers.
These ferals need to be caught and cut down. They could easily be motivated by people with vested interests in property development.
Developments erode living conditions for kangaroos – and corruption abounds
In 1900, 1300 acres on the western side of Lake Macquarie were reserved for the construction of a psychiatric hospital. The Morisset section of the State Conservation Area in particular has an extensive degraded landscape formerly used for farming and grazing. Removal of livestock from this area is resulting in a proliferation of agricultural and environmental weeds.
2005 - After a four year fight, residents opposing a $90 million development at Morisset failed to stop it going ahead. Lake Macquarie council gave the Johnson Property Group approval to proceed with stage one of its development on the former St John of God site, meaning it could develop 31 residential lots.
2005 Lake Macquarie Council received an application from Terry Lawler, the administrator of Koompahtoo, to rezone about 100 hectares of the 850 hectare site original given to the Aboriginal land council by the State Government. The rezoning of the former Morisset hospital land would allow for the construction of up to 1,800 houses.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Greg Piper was going to write to the New South Wales Planning Minister outlining his concerns about the proposed $200 million Trinity Point marina near Morisset.
August 2008 - Councillors resolved to prepare a draft amendment to the city's local environment plan, paving the way for 305 houses to be built on land surrounding the course.
The Koompahtoo Land Council was plagued by corruption allegations in 2009, after it won the state's largest land grant, 850 hectares near the former Morisset hospital site.
Kangaroo “cull” for public safety?
June 2010 is was reported that kangaroos may have to be culled at Morisset amid rising fears for “public safety”, with the animals said to be increasing at an unsustainable rate. With kangaroos going further into nearby residential areas than ever before , authorities have urged the public to stop feeding them. The fact that residential areas are expanding is ignored!
The idea of "culling" kangaroos at Morisset for "fears of public safety" is deadly twisted logic and irrational. Why shoot the victims?
With Australia's population growth, the unsustainable growth comes from creatures on two legs that aren't macropods! Our own population growth is forcing extinctions, stealing habitat and livelihoods from native species.
Kangaroos have proved their suitability to Australia through evolution and millions of years of existence here.
Kangaroos are the victims of the public, not the threat
Lake Macquarie MP and mayor Greg Piper said he had heard anecdotal reports of offenders bragging at a Morisset pub (Dec 2010) about killing kangaroos in the hospital grounds. Two men entered the pub with kangaroo scrotums and a fight erupted after some people took offence.
Humans are encroaching, and the safety issues should be about kangaroos being mutilated and run down, not the contrary! The police must arrest the perpetrators, and the hospital must ensure the safety of all living residents on their grounds. As psychologists say, sadists who torture animals end up being criminals against humans, so the public are not safe while they are loose!
The police need to make sure the criminals are arrested and charged with the highest possible penalties for violating protected animals, and the hospital must upgrade their security and ensure the animals grazing on their grounds are protected.
Both male & female kangaroos and their helpless babies have been subjected to acts of shocking depravity.
Up to $2000 in cash for information leading to a conviction is offered.
Leisa Moore area S.A. representative of A.W.P.C. added: Please make a donation to stop the killing of these baby kangaroos and help us bring the criminals to justice. Just go to the A.W.P.C. website and include the word ‘Reward’ with your donation. We need your help and your support to catch these sadistic killers
KINDNESS HOUSE, 2nd Floor, 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065 Australia
If you are transferring/sending/depositing funds into AWPC’s account from overseas, you will also need the Bank’s ‘Swift Code’:
Swift Deposit CTBAAU2S
(Q. What is a SWIFT Code?
A. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is the unique identification code for a particular bank. These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers. The SWIFT Code for Commonwealth Bank is CTBAAU2S. )
Please include your name as reference when making a deposit.
Also, email Maryland Wilson, kangaroo@ hotkey.net.au and leave your name and address so a receipt can be sent to you.
Be sure to include your name and address for your Receipt.
Photos by courtesy of Les Hutchinson - thanks!
This is very late notice, but public comments close tomorrow (Friday 25th June) at 5pm on a very important NSW Government Report. This report authored by the NSW Planning and DECCW is required by Peter Garrett's Environment Dept who is doing a Strategic Assessment of the Sydney Growth Centres. The Strategic Assessment if approved by Peter Garrett means that development proposals affecting matters of national environmental significance will not need to be referred to him for approval. It is a broad brush approval to 27,000 hectares of Western Sydney and replicates at a Federal level what NSW has already done with their Biodiversity Certification of the Growth Centres.
Within the Growth Centres nearly 1900 ha of veg listed on Garrett's EPBC Act is to be bulldozed therefore requiring his consideration of that destruction
The documents on the Growth Centres website are massive but from what we can see we must reject what is proposed outright
Some of you may recall that the NSW Gov had committed $530 million to a Growth Centres Conservation Fund with 25% to be spent within the Growth Centres and 75% outside but within the Cumberland Plain. We were promised this would herald a new era for conservation on the Cumberland Plain (Western Sydney). This report however has suddenly shifted the goal posts and appears to be cynical move by the NSW Gov to win approval from Peter Garrett for the Growth Centres development. Suddenly 70% of the 75% (some $280 million) is going to be directed towards protecting only matters of national environmental significance (EPBC listed veg). This means that thousands of hectares of bushland that is not listed on Garrett's EPBC Act has been abandoned by the NSW Gov, areas such as the Castlereagh Woodlands claimed by the Deerubbin Land Council (who wish to develop these areas)
The double whammy is that this report now makes a huge emphasis on taking that funding outside the Cumberland Plain and spending it protecting bushland in the Sydney Bioregion. Meaning hundreds of km's out of Western Sydney and even across the Great Dividing Range. The report is arguing that protecting Western Sydney veg including Cumberland Plain Woodland (which is EPBC listed) may be too expensive and best value can by obtained outside the Cumberland Plain. They then argue that Grassy Woodlands within the Sydney Bioregion are scientifically similar to CPW.
This report is a disaster for Western Sydney and you need to send an urgent email to: [email protected] with subject draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report and draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report
* I oppose the report.
* The ecological assessment of the Growth Centres by the NSW Government is flawed and grossly inadequate
* The Federal Environment Minister must demand the Growth Centres be properly ground truthed before making his decision
* The Federal Environment Minister demand that all Western Sydney Priority Conservation Lands by ground truthed before making his decision
* That all of the $530 million Growth Centres Conservation fund must be spent within Western Sydney protecting the DECCW Western Sydney Priority Conservation Lands as per the draft Cumberland Plain Recovery Plan
* That the NSW Government use compulsory acquisition as a means to conserve Western Sydney Priority Conservation Lands
* That the Federal Environment Minister not be party to using Growth Centres Conservation funding to protect matters of national environmental significance outside the Cumberland Plain. The offsetting of the clearing of EPBC listed vegetation within the Sydney Growth Centres is to occur by protecting Western Sydney Priority Conservation Lands
* That the NSW and Federal Govt's ensure the protection and conservation of the former Crown Lands claimed by the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council
Anything you can send will help
Bob Irwin stands up for kangaroos
Bob Irwin, the late Steve Irwin's father, will be the special guest speaker at "An Afternoon with Australian Icons", an event organised by Gail Browning to raise money to help wild kangaroos. Indeed the event really does sound like quite a remarkable Aussie evening, mixing outback with working class and wildlife carers. Overseas tourists might like to book in order to experience something important and non-commercial, in the cause of our wildlife for whom the Australian government and their friends seem not to give a toss. The event will be at the Revesby Workers Club, 2b Brett St, Revesby, Sydney on Sunday 23 May 2010 from 3-6pm.
Singing, dancing, music, speeches, auctioning to save kangaroos
The event will be a wonderful day of singing, dancing, music, speeches, auctioning as well as a great opportunity to get together and celebrate our united front to save our kangaroos.
It is supported by Animal Liberation, The Greens, The Wilderness Society, World League for Protection Animals, Sydney Wildlife, Sydney Pet Rescue, Animals Australia, Voiceless, WWF, The Kindness Society (Sydney), WIRES, Greenpeace (Syd Office), Vegan Society.
(And, of course, candobetter.org also supports it.)
Items listed for sale at the auction include:
1.One week accommodation in Shoal Bay, 2kms from Nelson’s Bay, near Newcastle NSW, for 5 people in beach front unit.
2. Original Ken Done painting- “Morning Glories in Opal Vase” valued at over $3,500 donated by Ken Done especially to help animals.
3. A 9 carat yellow gold framed kangaroo pendant, with diamonds and white gold kangaroo, on a yellow gold chain.. One of a kind, designed by Alwyn Scott.
4.A Designer League bowling ball, 16 pounds, peach colour.
5. Kangaroo t/shirt signed by all the Australian Icons attending the event.
6.Large frame containing 4 photos, including mob of Eastern Grey kangaroos , mother and joey, and 2 individuals, photographed at Pebbly Beach and Murramorang National Park, on NSW South coast.
7.Steve Waugh’s autobiography book signed, hard cover called “Out of My comfort Zone”.
8.Australia’s First Selective Gold plated $1 Kangaroo Coin. This special coin has been issued to celebrate the 2nd decade of Australia’s internationally acclaimed $1 Silver Kangaroo Series, in 2003.
9. A pair of Abstract Art Works called “Rock Paintings” by Australian Artist Faye Leister
10. A Basket of National Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary Passes from all over Australia, including Canberra, Perth, Featherdale , Currumbin and more.
11. Portrait of a kangaroo by Maureen Klees
12. Painting of magnificent gorges in spectacular Karijini National Park in Western Australia . Artist: Marion Pender.
4 Deni Hines CDs and DVDs including Deni Hines and James Morrison, Christine Anu and Deni hines, plus “deni hines water and chocolate’, signed CD.
ALL PROCEEDS TO THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF KANGAROOS (ASK)
Originally published on 16 Feb 10. Updated on 28 Mar 10 to include #WhatYouCanDo">notice that Australia Talks will be covering this topic on Wed 3 Apr 10.
Over five years ago, against the clear wishes of and vigorous protests by local residents, Woolworths commenced construction of a supermarket in the rural town of Maleny aided by a 200-strong police invasion ordered by the State Government of then Premier Peter Beattie. The supermarket was built almost on top of a dense and active network of platypus burrows on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek. This network was knowingly trashed by the developer. In spite of the platypus being a protected species, they got away with it.
In 2010, Woolworths appears similarly intent on building another supermarket in the quite far northern rural New South Wales town of Mullumbimby against the wishes of 87% of residents, according to one opinion poll run by the Northern Star newspaper.
However, Mullumbimby residents are determined not to let their town suffer the same fate as Maleny. They have begun an active campaign to stop Woolworths, which included the placement of an advertisement in the Financial Review newspaper of 15 February. It is reproduced below as a HTML document instead of a PDF document.#main-fn1">1
Further below we include, as an #OpenLetter">appendix, "An Open Letter to Woolworths from Mullumbimby", by Tricia Shantz, Secretary
of Mullumbimby Forum
#SeeAlso" id="SeeAlso">See also: "War on Woolworths escalates" by Digby Hildreth in the Northern Star of 16 Feb 10, "Mullumbimby acts to stop Woolies" on ABC Radio's The World Today of 15 Feb 10, "Supermarket battlefield" by Kate O'Neill in the Northern Star of 29 Sep 09, "Group forms to oppose Tesco" of 9 Feb 09 in Indymedia about group formed in the UK to fight against retail giant.
#WhatYouCanDo" id="WhatYouCanDo">What you can do: (Updated 28 Mar 10) Phone Australia Talks on 1300 22 55 76 on Tue 30 Mar 10 after 6.00PM news to express your opposition to big supermarket chains destroying the lifestyles of small communities (topic is "Impact of Big Box on small communities"), Vote against Woolies in Northern Star online poll, Contact groups fighting against Woolworths, including Mullumbimby Forum at magicalmullum.com and the Mullumbimby Community Action Network at www.mullumaction.org and don't shop at Woolworths.
Fight back. Keep the magic
#OpenLetter" id="OpenLetter">Appendix: An Open Letter to Woolworths from Mullumbimby
Originally published in Food Week on 15 February 2009.
Mr. James Strong AO
1 Woolworths Way
Bella Vista, NSW 2153
Cc Mr. Peter Horton
General Counsel & Company Secretary
Dear Mr. Strong
Re: Woolworths v. Mullumbimby ? a shareholder value & sustainability issue
As Chairman of Directors for Woolworths Limited, one of Australia's biggest companies, you hold a most important position representing the interests of nearly 400,000 individual shareholders, many of them quintessential 'mum and dad' Australian investors. While we know that the Directors and Executives of Woolworths are professional and diligent in delivering value to their investors, we also believe that you are committed to corporate social responsibility and sustainability as part of core business practice.
We therefore have no hesitation in writing to you personally to highlight the current community resistance that Woolworths faces as it seeks to expand its vast retail network to our magical town of Mullumbimby, in the iconic Byron Shire in far northern NSW. In pushing to establish a major new commercial hub outside of our town's existing central business area, Woolworths is presenting an unwelcome threat to the identity, amenity and long?term viability of a unique community. We don't use the word unique lightly.
Mullumbimby is surrounded by natural beauty and rural enterprise. This is a successful community where locals greet one another as they pop in and out of shops in the main street. You can buy locally grown fruit and vegetables at the green grocers and farmers' markets, and meat from the region at the butchers, making us real fresh food people. The proprietors and employees are local people and their businesses nurture a vibrant local economy. We fear that a big?box supermarket away from the main street puts all of this under a cloud of inappropriate development.
The situation in Mullumbimby is unfortunate to say the least -- in our eyes a case of Might v. Mullum that goes to the heart of a community's right to shape and determine its own character and destiny. Woolworths gained approval for its controversial store plan against overwhelming local community and Byron Shire Council opposition because the NSW Planning Minister was able to take over the decision on the development of state-owned railway land. It subsequently has fought Byron Council in the NSW Land and Environment Court over constraints relating to the area's development moratorium imposed due to inadequate sewage system capacity.
When the community was invited to vote on the Woolies plan by a local newspaper, the Northern Star, the survey showed opposition at 87 percent. We believe unswervingly that the people in our community, one of Australia's most distinctive towns, are best qualified to say what they want and need. We reject totally that a Woolworths in Mullumbimby is inevitable, and we know other communities around Australia feel the same way. We simply don't buy the typical developer claims that a large new supermarket will create jobs, increase diversity of choice and provide convenience. Quite the reverse, we fear diverse businesses in the heart of our town face being commercially gutted, jobs lost, and the strong social focus of the main street lost.
As a Woolworths' Director we ask you to consider these questions: If Might prevails over Mullum will that be in the best interests of shareholders? And should a big company be able to tell a small town what it needs? We ask that you consider potential damage to reputation associated with protracted disputation with the Mullumbimby community, especially given the likely very small financial gains from establishing a store in Mullumbimby. Please weigh that against the bigger?ticket expansion opportunities and challenges that Woolworths faces as it pursues new retail sectors as well as new geographical locations. You may well ponder more questions: Are such localised conflicts counter?productive, focusing unhelpful attention on Woolies' market dominance? And is Mullumbimby's view really worth the climb for Woolies?
Our united belief is that Woolworths and Mullumbimby are not compatible, whatever relatively minor modifications you might make to the store such as rainwater tanks, sewage cart?out and roof?top solar cells. Our campaign of advertisements that have run or are running in our local newspapers and the Australian Financial Review underscores the depth of feeling in the Mullumbimby community. We are determined to pursue this matter as both community members and as shareholder activists for as long as it takes to gain a reprieve for Mullumbimby.
We ask that you tell the Woolworths Executive Leadership Team that being at loggerheads with the Mullumbimby community is a clear conflict with the best interests of shareholders, and with corporate social responsibility at the community level. This is what Woolworths says about itself: As Australia's largest food retailer and second largest private employer, Woolworths recognises we have a high level of social responsibility. And we take these responsibilities seriously. We've implemented a broad range of community and environmental initiatives to help give back to our customers and the local communities that support us.
So what does Woolworths do when local communities don't support it? Does it ride roughshod over community opinion? Or does it know when it's time to be respectful and to pull back? Our position is simple: the Directors and Executives of Woolworths should show real social responsibility by listening to what a small town has to say ... and then leave Mullumbimby alone!
We look forward to your response and would welcome a meeting with Woolworths Executives.
#main-fn1" id="main-fn1">1. #main-fn1-txt">↑ The advertisement occupied the bottom roughly 60% of page 11 in landscape format, with the images to the left of the text. Above we have roughly reproduced the advertisement, but with the images, instead, on top of the text. The original advertisement can be downloaded as a 4Mb pdf file here.
Google aerial photo of ADI Site giving an idea of size. Obviously it is surrounded by suburbs. Humans have not been denied species representation here, but, if this site is taken away, they will be denied their natural right to access natural ammenity and wild environment, which we should all be able to do, without compromising it. (Ed.)
Western Sydney Conservation Alliance Inc
PO Box 4134
WERRINGTON NSW 2747
Thursday, 4 March 2010
The Hon Peter Garrett
Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts
cc David Bradbury Member for Lindsay
RE: Urgent Ministerial intervention required to halt the clearing of Cumberland Plain Woodland at the former ADI Site – Penrith Local Government Area
We have been reliably informed that Delfin Lend Lease is about to commence
clearing Critically Endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland (CPW) within the Western Precinct of the former Commonwealth owned ADI Site. This first 6 hectare subdivision will be one of many out of the total 230 hectares within the Western Precinct. The Central Precinct, some 130 hectares is proposed to be developed in some 5 years time. This combined area of 360 hectares is predominately CPW
Aerial detail of water body at part of the site.
Your DEWHA recently listed CPW and Shale Gravel Transition Forest as Critically Endangered Ecological Communities. It is believed that the basis for the Critically Endangered Listing was that CPW had been reduced in area by some 400 hectares.
Minister here at ADI a developer is allowed to clear nearly the same amount of CPW that justified elevating CPW from Endangered to Critically Endangered and they don’t even have to refer their development applications to your DEWHA to have those assessed against the EPBC Act.
This is [...]criminal and
morally bankrupt and your DEWHA and the local member for Lindsay know that what Delfin Lend Lease is proposing is clearly a breach of the EPBC Act.
The justification for that statement is that DEWHA in 2008 received a delegation from Delfin, Penrith Council and David Bradbury to negotiate changing the National Estate boundaries of the ADI Regional Park. DEWHA told the delegation, and this
was paraphrased by your Adviser Peter Wright when we met him last month, that such an amendment would require Lend Leases 10 year old approval Certification – a dubious certification and assessment issued under the Howard Government – to be reassessed under the EPBC Act. Essentially DEWHA told the delegation that Delfin would not like the outcome of such assessment as it would result in the protection of CPW within proposed development areas and therefore a reduced housing lot yield and lower profits for the developer.
We know that Delfin Lend Lease has some shonky certification from the Howard Govt (see below)
Assessment and approval under Commonwealth environmental law was granted to the entire St Marys development under the former Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 (EPIP Act) prior to the gazettal of the EPBC Act. Correspondence from the former Environment Australia (now DEWHA) was provided to the applicant in July 2002 advising
that despite the repeal of the EPIP Act and gazettal of the EPBC Act, no further Commonwealth approval would be required for the St Marys property. This certification was provided under the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999.
But for your DEWHA and the local ALP Member to hide behind this dubious certification and turn a blind eye to the bulldozing of Critically Endangered CPW is immoral and in reality, when assessed against the EPBC Act, as it should be, ILLEGAL.
Minister we now call on you to urgently intervene and to call in the ADI Site development proposal by Delfin Lend Lease so that Critically Endangered CPW is properly assessed under the EPBC Act. It is clear the current assessment Delfin Lend
Lease has - that gives them immunity from the EPBC Act - is scientifically flawed. The entire ADI Site assessment process under the Howard Govt was dubious and now as the bulldozers are about to roll those wrongs need to be corrected .
I recently emailed and phoned David Blumenthal – with no response - calling for him to act on this issue; we also said the same to Peter Wright last month in Sydney. A failure to protect these last great remnants of CPW at the ADI Site under the guise that legally we have no come back on the developer will not be accepted and viewed dimly by large numbers of voters in Western Sydney concerned with the protection of our Natural Heritage.
Article by Geoff Brown
Delfin Lend Lease, the developer of the ADI Site, is now promoting its new suburb. It has the appalling name of Jordan Springs (another generic Delfin project with Springs in the name).
Jordan Springs is the 230 ha area of bushland - the now critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland - found on the western (Penrith) side of the ADI Site. Check out the spin from Delfin http://jordansprings.com.au/
There should now be a big question mark over this development
There should now be a big question mark over this development with both the NSW and Australian Government's upgrading Cumberland Plain Woodland from Endangered to Critically Endangered. You would assume any development that proposed to clear over 200 ha (there is still another suburb to go at ADI and it is 130 ha) of critically endangered bushland would be struggling to get approval.
Penrith Council recently approved the first 6 ha subdivision prior to the critically endangered listing.
Penrith Council, Delfin, Peter Garrett
They need to be hammered about this issue and reminded they have an obligation to reject developments that threaten critically endangered vegetation. They can easily justify refusal under the Threatened Species Act and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Delfin have also got some kind of get out of jail free card from Peter Garrett whereby they don't have to refer their plans to him for assessment under the EPBC Act. This is appalling as any other proposal in Australia that threatens matters of National significance needs the approval of the Federal Environment Minister.
We are meeting with Garrett's adviser next week and will be raising plenty of issues with him about protecting CPW and the Western Sydney Priority Lands. Also the Cumberland Plain Recovery Plan which is a joint State and Federal Govt Plan.
Logging is set to start within weeks in a forest that supports the last known koala colony on the NSW far south coast. There has been a fractious debate between staff from the Department of Environment and Climate Change, which managed the koala research effort, and Forests NSW, the government agency that will manage the logging operation.
The marsupials are listed as a vulnerable species in NSW, but there is controversy over how many are still alive in the wild.
Early results showed evidence of koalas at about 50 sites in forest between Gulaga and the Mumbulla mountains.
Based on these findings, the NSW Environment Department issued a statement which described Mumbulla as ''a stronghold of the species'' on the far South Coast.
Timber harvesting in Yabbra Forest near Casino late last year damaged areas used by the highly endangered black-striped wallaby, koalas and yellow-bellied gliders, among several other protected native species, according to an independent report. A high proportion of trees used by koalas and gliders had been felled and some buffer zones around waterways had been ignored.
Greens MP and south east NSW spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on Premier Kristina Kenneally to step in to save a koala population under threat from logging in the Mumbulla State Forest. The NSW Premier should hang her head in shame if she allows the last known koala habitat on the far south coast to be destroyed on her watch, Ms Rhiannon said.
Forests NSW has indicated that logging in Mumbulla State Forest will start early in March 2010.
According to the Australian Koala Foundation, koalas are in serious decline suffering from the effects of habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000.
There are four states where koalas occur in the wild - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia - and each state has its own legislation.
The Federal Government passes responsibility for protection of koala habitat to the states.
The NSW Government first listed the koala as ‘Rare and Vulnerable’ in 1992 and this status was later reaffirmed as ‘VULNERABLE’ within the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. In recognition of the continuing decline of koalas and koala habitat in NSW, in early 1995, the NSW Government introduced State Environment Planning Policy No 44 - Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP 44).
This is the first state-wide species-specific planning policy introduced by any government in Australia. This Policy aims to encourage the proper conservation and management of areas of natural vegetation that provide habitat for koalas to ensure a permanent free-living population over their present range and reverse the current trend of koala population decline:
(a) by requiring the preparation of plans of management before development consent can be granted
in relation to areas of core koala habitat, and
(b) by encouraging the identification of areas of core koala habitat, and
(c) by encouraging the inclusion of areas of core koala habitat in environment protection zones.
Reported: Two other scat sites were located in Murrah SF that team participants concluded were likely to be koala scat but further analyses were unable to provide definite confirmation of this (B. Triggs pers. comm.). One of these scats, collected at 766574/5955437 could only have been from very young animal if it was from a koala .
Even one koala means that it is koala habitat. Destroying potential habitat is adding to the threat!
Our relationship with non-human species is ambivalent and there are some species that serve our interests, for resources or companionship, and others that are treated as novelties and thus seemingly without any real purpose. There is so much indifference to Australia's original native inhabitants, and our environment, and our extinction record is the worst in the world. In the last 200 years nearly 40% of mammal species that have disappeared are from Australia (WWF figures).
With increased urban living, population growth and cultural diversity, we as a society are becoming divorced from Nature and our unique land. As an aggressive, and arrogance self-centred species, we humans could easily eradicate our native animals, even flagship ones like kangaroos and koalas. They are all on the extinction trail, and all vulnerable to attacks by humans who see them as no more than vermin or rodents - optional features without any real value that can even be killed for sadistic entertainment or steal their homes for selfish interests.
We as a society embrace the suffering baby koala hit a close range, but ignore the on-going savagery of land-clearing and urban sprawl. Losing trees makes koalas vulnerable to sadistic humans, stress, starvation and roving dogs.
Koalas should be declared Endangered now, before it is too late to save these world-famous flagship and much-loved animals.
Our governments have hijacked long-term interests in Australia's biodiversity for the short-term benefits of jobs, population growth and profits.
Please contact those below to send your objections:
Department of Climate Change, Water, NSW
59-61 Goulburn Street, Sydney
PO Box A290, Sydney South NSW 1232
Phone: +61 2 9995 5000
Mr Frank Sartor, MP
Minister for Climate Change and the Environment
Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer)
telephone: (02) 9597 1414
fax: (02) 9567 0508
email: [email protected]
Address: Shop 3A, 452 Princes Highway, ROCKDALE NSW 2216
The Hon. Ian Macdonald, BA(Hons) MLC
Minister for State and Regional Development
Minister for Mineral and Forest Resources
Minister for the Central Coast
Telephone: (02) 9228 3344
Fax: (02) 9228 3452
Email: [email protected]
Address: Governor Macquarie Tower
Level 36, 1 Farrer Place, SYDNEY NSW 2000
The Hon. Tony Kelly, ALGA MLC
Minister for Planning
Minister for Infrastructure
Minister for Lands
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
Leader of the House in the Legislative Council
(02) 9228 3999
(02) 9228 3988
Email: [email protected]
Governor Macquarie Tower
Level 34, 1 Farrer Place, SYDNEY NSW 2000
Emergency Protest: Stop shooting National Parks
12:00pm, Tuesday 27th October 2009
Outside NSW Parliament, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Bring your signs. Bring your friends.
Speakers include Greens and environment groups.
Tell the Rees government that you won't stand by as they sacrifice our national parks to blood sports. Shooters are not conservationists. Killing native wildlife is their form of recreational pleasure. Only the power of public opposition will remove this legislation from the negotiating table.
National parks preserve our native animals and our heritage. They deserve the highest order of protection. The Shooters' Party is only interested in protecting its own interests, not conservation or the greater public good.
Please email the following MPs and express your strong opposition to any deal that would allow shooting in national parks:
Premier Nathan Rees - thepremier[AT]www.nsw.gov.au
Environment Minister John Robertson - office[AT]robertson.minister.nsw.gov.au
Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell - LOP[AT]parliament.nsw.gov.au
Shadow Environment Minister Catherine Cusack - catherine.cusack[AT]parliament.nsw.gov.au
Christian Democrat, Fred Nile - F.Nile[AT]parliament.nsw.gov.au
Independent, Gordon Moyes - gordon.moyes[AT]parliament.nsw.gov.au
For more information contact Lee Rhiannon's office - 9230 3551 or lee.rhiannon[AT]parliament.nsw.gov.au
Article written by Robyn
Even though it wasn't held in a conveniently located venue/time, the meeting was jam packed. Both pro/con were represented in the audience and they were lively, but mostly well behaved. It should be emphatically noted that every member of the NSW govt refused to attend or be on the speakers panel.
Laurie Levy raised frightening concerns
Laurie Levy (Hon Activist), fresh in from VIC, spoke first. His compelling story wove strong and very frightening parallels through many concerns regarding the Shooters Bill. He was also the first of several speakers to bring up the dark side of the FGA & GC (Field & Game Australia & Game Council).
Most recently and during severe drought, FGA was convicted of stealing water from the Latrobe River and diverting it into their private shooting property to attract water birds and duck season could then commence:
97% of hunters choose not to join the Shooters' Party
Next up, Catherine Cusack (Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability) noted that 97% of all hunters choose not to join the Shooters' Party. She gave a number of examples of the Shooter's Party also threatening past govt (Bob Carr and John Howard to name two). She was a good speaker, but she spoke so quickly that I couldn't note down half of what she said (sorry). I did catch that 3.5 million tax-payer dollars goes to the Game Council (GC).
History shows hunting does not controlled feral animals
Dr. Carol Booth (Invasive Species Council, filling in for Dr. Tony Peacock), began by saying, "Good Morning". She wasn't confused about the time of day, but she said felt she was in a parallel universe when dealing with the Shooter's Party, especially since they bill themselves as conservationist. She said we need to heed the lessons of history because using hunters for "feral" animal control has never worked and is actually a conflict of interest.
Hunters need to maintain the opportunity to hunt so they leave breeding females, and they focus killing only male trophy animals. They also are restricted to hunting during daylight hours, and that 'ferals' are fecund and mobile which makes ground hunting the least effective method for control.
Danger of introducing new species for hunting
But, she felt the most dangerous aspect of the bill was the introduction of new species for hunting. (I'll jump ahead and note that Robert Brown's rebuttal was that the new species would be behind wire).
Shooters' Party Member seems out of touch
Robert Brown (MLC, Shooter's Party) started by saying he had history on his side. He went though specific items in the bill, explaining points he felt were most relevant. But (as illustrated by his above comment regarding new introduced species), he seriously just doesn't appear to "get it' at all.
Lee Rhiannon NSW Greens: Why so much public money to promote private party with less than 3% of vote?
Lee Rhiannon (MLC, NSW Greens) was a dynamo. She began by asking why so much public money is used to promote a private party with less than 3% of the vote. She illustrated a number of times how both Labour and Opposition have been long-time mates with the Shooters and have lobbied and traded back-room deals for many years.
Many letters against the bill - some points for even better letters
Of special note to all letter writers: within days of the June introduction of this bill, over 1000 letters hit the Green's and other government offices, which had an enormous impact according to Hon Rhiannon. She urged us to keep writing and gave some salient points to send to both the Premier and local members:
1) First, the GC should go away. They've blown through millions of public dollars in 18 months and this was public funding designed to last 10 years. They've now asked for additional funds, plus raised their budget by 30%. Also note, they've never been able to control 'ferals' and have never become self-sufficient as Ian McDonald promised they would. This money could be better and more responsibility spent.
2) Keep to "No Shooting in NP". Period. No exceptions.
3) Keep to "No commercialisation in NP"; keep them low impact and not tourist-theme parks.
4) Request the Upper House quit their deal-making and debate on merit only.
I'm sure I've left out heaps, but this is all I have time for right now.
h3>Why so much public money for unpopular game council and nothing for selfless wildlife carers?
Please note that one of the audience speakers at the end asked why so much public money was supporting gun lobbyist and private parties when native animal carers couldn't even get a tax break on self-funded care. She got the largest "whoop-whoop" applause of anyone. I'm certainly including this strong suggestion in my letter on where to better place public funds.
Please write if you can, continue to write if you can, and/or attend a meeting if you can.
Who: Greens NSW MP John Kaye Organised by: Power to the People
What: Public Meeting
When: 2pm, Saturday April 18
Where: Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers St, Surry Hills
A public meeting will be held on Saturday to discuss Premier Nathan Rees' expanding privatisation agenda for NSW. The government's privatisation plans for NSW prisons, ferries, electricity and the sale of other public assets are on the agenda for the meeting.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye who is one of five speakers who will address the meeting said, "The people of NSW have already spoken about electricity privatisation. They want their utilities to remain in public ownership.
"There is very little difference between what Michael Costa was proposing in 2008 and Joe Tripodi's plan today.
"Both will result in the private sector controlling the generators and retailers and deciding the working conditions for employees of the electricity industry," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455
Event Organiser: Colin Drane 0419 698396
Greens member of the NSW Parliament
phone: (02) 9230 2668
fax: (02) 9230 2586
mobile: 0407 195 455
email: john.kaye [ AT ] parliament.nsw.gov.au