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VCAT on Westerfield - report by Gillian Collins

Freeway proponents' argument for clearing push prior to provision of net gain offsets:
"Their main argument was that granting this injunction would cost them millions of dollars. They did not challenge that the Incorporated Document said the offsets should be in place prior to construction. They did not produce a list of offsets that are being considered." (Gillian Collins)

The Fake Environmentalists and their Pretend-Game

There is a grassroots storm gathering across the land against the endless development that is being shoved down our throats. But beware of those who would attempt to commandeer it for their own purposes, and manage growth by managing opposition to it. Beware of those who would wear us down by reacting to the symptoms of growth, rather than growth itself. Beware of the Pied Pipers of Green Deceit. Beware of the Fake Environmentalists and their Pretend-Game.

The Six Clusters of Denial---Death by Storytelling

For each of us, denial, at some level, is a necessary coping strategy, but collectively, it is now our death knell. Perhaps its most deceptive form, however, is not wilful ignorance or idiotic pollyannsh hope, but the belief that writing about our crisis is in itself a solution.

Biodiversity Speech Knocked by Tweed Council and local paper

A Tweed Shire NSW resident delivers an impassioned speech to the local council on the importance of biodiversity protection. Read the reaction she got from one councillor, the Mayor and the local paper!

Killing dingoes to make way for goats

The destruction of dingoes has taken place in Australia since the first white man set foot on our shores and continues today. Pastoralism and dingoes have never been a good mix however non-lethal methods of protecting stock are being used by a few enlightened pastoralists. The Australian dingo suffers from an image problem due to several factors including a myth that it is not truly a native animal in this country. Many studies have demonstrated however that dingoes are a crucial component in maintaining biodiversity in Australian ecosystems - where there are dingoes there are more small native mammals and less foxes, cats, rabbits, goats and pigs. Dingo predation of kangaroos is an important relationship for both animals yet this is ignored by kangaroo meat advocates as it does not fit into the "green" message they are trying to sell. Given the dingoes key role as a top-order predator, why is the West Australian government employing full time doggers to shoot, trap and poison dingoes to protect feral goats?

Call to Triple Canada's Population Met With Ridicule

Grandiose fantasies about filling up a continent to create a great and powerful nation are not exclusive to Australia. Demographic hubris is alive and well in Canada too, and even now, after the loss of 20% of our best farmland to development, with more than a thousand species at risk and an immigrant population that has, over the last two decades, generated four times as much GHG emissions as the Albert Tar Sands megaproject, there are people who believe in a Big Canada concept. Irving Studin of the University of Toronto is one of them.

Russian Trade Minister looks in vain for kangaroos

Russian Trade Minister asks where the kangaroos are in Queensland after being shown around rural Australia where the 'roo meat industry pretends they are in 'plague numbers'.

UN report on fish stock depletion crisis


Earth is currently faced with a mounting loss of species that threatens to rival the five great mass extinctions of the geological past. According to the  UN's environment branch, if the world remained on its path of overfishing, fish stocks could become uneconomic to exploit, or extinct, by 2050.
At stake is not just the biodiversity of the oceans, but a substantial chunk of the global economy and the livelihoods that depend on it.

Phillippe Cousteau's Sin of Omission----A Generation Gap We Can't Afford

Overpopulation is an unfashionable topic. Just ask the children or the grandchildren of iconic environmentalists. Somehow the gene for holistic perception has missed them. Or is it the spirit of the times? It seems that while we have doubled our population since the first Earth Day, we have halfed our courage. How can a subject so vital to sustainability become MORE taboo today than it was forty years ago?

Australian Conservation Foundation calls to stabilise Oz population mid-century

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for a policy to:
* Stabilise Australia’s population by mid-century.
* Increase humanitarian migration and continue to support family reunions, but substantially reduce skilled migration.
* Return Australia’s overall migration to 1990s levels.
* Adequately fund strategies to minimise the environmental impact of population growth.

Australia's search for another food bowl


Almost the entire Basin had been explored and occupied by Europeans within 50 years of the crossing of the Great Dividing Range. The development of a European way of life resulted in
unintentional degradation of many of the Basin’s natural resources. There have been warnings of impending disaster for the Murray–Darling Basin for more than a decade, but here near the mouth it is suddenly real and shockingly rapid. Inflows to the Murray system remain at record lows. The removal of water for last summer’s irrigation, coupled with evaporation, has seen lake levels plummet. The search for another food bowl is on!

Kelvin Thomson: Help protect Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York Peninsula

The mining company Cape Alumina has lodged a request to strip mine over 12,000 hectares in the western part of Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve for bauxite. This reserve is home to six highly vulnerable plant species. The nearby Wenlock River is the richest in freshwater fish diversity of any Australian river, including speartooth sharks, sawfish and the estuarine crocodile. Of the 32 ecosystems found on the reserve, 21 are threatened.

What you can do: If you are a Queensland resident, please sign the e-petition on the Parliamentary web-site (see text below), The petition is open until 17 May 2009. If you live outside of Queensland, please sign the petition on the Save Steve's Place. (www.savestevesplace.com) web site.

Delfin development threatens critically endangered bushland

Both the NSW and Australian Government have upgraded Cumberland Plain Woodland from Endangered to Critically Endangered. You would assume any development that proposed to clear over 200 ha of critically endangered bushland would be struggling to get approval. We can assume nothing these days in Australia. Here is another focus where Australians need to unite to help each other get back democracy and protect fauna and flora from the growth lobby. The community has fought to save this area for nearly 20 years.See also related articles.

Brown Mountain update on court case and fundraising activities

[Video inside article] The recent Auditor General's Report on the incompetence of the Victorian Government's wildlife statistics collection and maintenance mean that the Victorian government could not logically have the authority to make decisions about sustainable forestry where local fauna habitat is affected, in the opinion of this candobetter.org writer and environmental sociologist. It seems to me that Environment East Gippsland has clearly won its case in advance. But we have to get the information out there so that it cannot be ignored. See also: Damning Auditor General Report on Fauna protection for Victoria

Who Is Coercing Whom?

The author responds to news of some so-called 'Green groups' preventing discussion of population numbers as a factor in carbon emissions. "Women should have the right not to have children. But they have no right, in the context of overshoot, to have as many children as they or their husbands want. The “right to choose” cannot be the right to abuse. Even the most jealously guarded right must be measured against equally fundamental rights, most especially the right of our species, and others, to live."

New Sustainability report criticises kangaroo culling in ACT - says kangaroos protect land from fire

The role of biodiversity in climate change adaptation a report for the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, August 2009, finds that maintaining biodiversity, notably kangaroos, reduces fire danger and makes the landscape more resilient. It criticises the culling of kangaroos in Canberra and notes the oddness of referring to them as if they are outside the eco-system, when talking about restoring damaged land. The report also suggests that kangaroos have their own ways of managing their numbers and that 'management' of kangaroo numbers, by interfering with them, is likely to cause population problems. The report contradicts policies defended by Dr Fletcher, ACT government zoologist, although Fletcher's own PHD thesis would support this report's findings, but his department doesn't.

National Kangaroo Awareness Day 24 October


Venue: Belmore Park, Eddie Avenue end, opposite Central Railway; Date: Saturday, 24th October
Time: 11.30am to set up, 12.00pm - 2.00pm for the rally

"In the last decade, permits have been issued to allow the commercial slaughter of 49.6 million kangaroos primarily to give household pets a bit of variety in their diet. That is but one instance of a set of behaviours that suggests that, with a population of 22 million people, we haven’t managed to find accommodation with our environment. Our record has been poor and in my view we are not well placed to deal effectively with the environmental challenges posed by a population of 35 million." (Australian Secretary of Treasury, Ken Henry)

Koalas extinction imminent through State-engineered human overpopulation - Queensland


Koalas risk extinction within 7 years through government policy of human population growth and development in Queensland.
Is Premier Anna Bligh happy to create, manipulate and profit from a human population explosion that presents a greater threat to Queensland wildlife than cane toads?

What you can do: Contact Premier Anna Bligh and let her know how you object to her Government making the plight of our endangered koala worse. Please send us any copies of correspondence to or from the Premier.

Judge Forrest: Brown Mountain injunction case in public interest

More detail has come to light in the matter of costs that might be imposed on parties. It seems that the judge, whose name is actually Jack Forrest, recognises biodiversity preservation - which this injunction application is about - to be a matter of public interest, which would mean that the complainants are unlikely to be made to wear harsh costs. This is a development on this story, "Brown Mountain: What price justice?" where it seemed to me that the costs would be high for the complainants. That was probably an error. Let's hope for a very good result here.

Brown Mountain: What price justice?

Today, Monday 14th September, the Victorian Supreme Court found grounds for an injunction to stop the Victorian Government from logging old-growth Brown Mountain forest. In an appalling trend, however, the court asked for the complainant to deposit a huge sum of money as an indemnity for VicForests before it applies the law. The complainant is the small but incredibly brave group of volunteers - Environment East Gippsland (EEG). EEG is all that stands between the reduction of Victoria's remaining old growth forest - our Eden - to below 8 %, heading towards zero. See also: Related articles The Government should be defending our forests, yet we have to defend them against our rogue Victorian government. Please dig deeply into your pockets for EEG and for justice and for Mother Nature.

WRC 2009 Northern Rivers - A Protester's Experience at the Rally


Anyone who has been in awe at the beauty of nature, its perfection of form and the delights it brings to the heart, the soothing of 21st century stress and upliftment of the soul would most likely have had the same response that I had while observing outrageously loud and wrecklessly fast racing cars shatter the silence as they ripped through the most pristine rainforests of Australia ....

See also: "After six days of anti-Rally protestor vilification, rock throwing allegations admitted to be false" of 11 Sep 09

The Vanishing of Bees - film

Among many frightening problems posed by the scale of industrialisation and mass production in the world is "bee colony collapse" syndrome (BCC). This condition where bee populations suddenly die off in massive numbers, endangers a large part of world food production, both large and small-scale. As such it literally threatens 'life as we know it'. A bee-less planet would be nearly unrecognisable, with the disappearance from the earth of many familiar kinds of trees, fruits, flowers and vegetables and the birds and other animals that depend on them. Now there is a new film out, made by apiarists, the humans first in line to suffer when bees do. The syndrome has been linked to particular pesticides. There is a comprehensive trailer available here.

See also :
"Trouble with bees", ABC Radio National's Background Briefing of 29 Jul 07, including transcript and link to 22Mb MP3 file.

URGENT! Contact Peter Garrett re Injunction to stop Repco Rally

Urgent action is required! International pressure valued. Please take 5 minutes to email or phone Peter Garrett's office letting him know that you want this rally stopped. It's insane to have any rally in such an extremely biodiverse area as Tweed/Kyogle Shire, NSW, going through national parks, koala colonies, endangered species habitat and World Heritage areas with nationally listed threatened species let alone in breeding season, let alone for the next 10-20 years, let alone four of them at once (Speed on Tweed, Repco Rally International, Classic Outback Trial Rally and Australian Tarmac Challenge) converging on Father's Day! SIGN INTERNATIONAL PETITION TO SAVE AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENT AGAINST RALLY NOW

Please attend protest rallies on Sat 29 August, Fri 4, Sat 5 and Sun 5 September.

See also: Repco Rally route - the calm before the storm of 26 Aug 09, REPCO Rally injunction raced through court up blind alley of 31 Aug 09.

VicForests sued for illegal logging

This is what we are used to reading about Borneo and the Amazon. Now we can read it about Victoria. In fact, it is happening all over the world. Bad governments are simply going ahead doing awful things in a place near by. What makes you think your government is any different? Are you watching them? Are you helping to protect your forests?

Kelvin Thomson on Overpopulation in Australia and the World: Full Parliamentary Speech 17-08-09

"There is no reasonable prospect that Australia will reduce its total level of greenhouse emissions, while our population grows by 1 million every four years, as is presently the case. Population stabilisation must be part of the plan to contain greenhouse emissions, not merely for Australia, but for the rest of the world as well." See also: more by Kelvin Thomson Interview at 10.30 ACT time Radio 2UE.

HELLLPPPP! Imminent logging on Brown Mountain means less rain, worse fires in Victoria - protest info

HELLLPPPP!
The news just in is that the Brown Mountain decision will be made in a week or so and the loggers will go in immediately afterwards! Brumby is not planning to protect it! Be there Tomorrow at 10.30am on the steps of Parliament House Victoria. We want everyone who can come along - young and old. The more old growth we cut down the more drying of the land, reduced rainfall, increased temperatures and risk of more and hotter bushfires. Bushfires dominate in managed and thinned forest, not in old growth! Logging Brown Forest will cause more bad bushfires in Victoria. Campervan, 4WDS and cars needed. Contact 0413927044

Do Kangaroos Benefit the Ecosystem - or are they Pests to be Exterminated?

Kangaroos are nationally denigrated as 'pests' and in plague proportions. But are they? This article finally reveals the critical ecological significance of kangaroos and compares them to feral livestock, who are conveniently ignored in the discussion of pests and plagues of pests.

Bogeyman of racism a useful decoy for the Growth Lobby

Our primary concern should not be about how people in our lifeboat treat each other, where they are from or how they look, but how many damn passengers the boat can carry sustainably past the tumultuous storms of peak oil, peak water and peak everything that loom over the horizon.

Living with Wild Animals

Humans have moved into native animals' backyards yet many of us get upset when there is a possum in our roof and go to all ends to remove it by having it relocated. Some farmers even shoot these hapless animals that are only looking for somewhere to sleep during the day and something to eat. We have a responsibility to them because we caused this situation and it's possible to not only share our space but give back some habitat to them. Here's what happened to a friend of mine recently when a possum moved into his house..... See the sequel to this story.

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