Politics

Lancefield fire investigation – a smokescreen?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lancefield escaped burn Oct 2015The public has every reason to be sceptical of the outcome of the investigation the Victorian Government has commissioned into the escaped departmental burn during the week of 6 October 2015.  There is huge public outrage over the burn that turned into a wildfire and destroyed over 4,000 hectares, 4 homes, dozens of sheds, fences and pasture around Lancefield. This ‘independent’  investigator from WA was also being investigated for the very same failings in 2011-12 when he managed WA’s most disastrous escape burn that destroyed 32 homes and nine chalets in WA’s tourist region of Margaret River.

Mr Murray Carter seems an inappropriate appointment to oversee this enquiry or quell the outrage. Will this be a careful cover-up under the guise of an independent investigation? It is expected to report back by early November. Read more detail here

We are also hearing that the attitude of many DELWP employees in the local area is as appalling as we witnessed during the 2014 Goongerah-Deddick fires. We are hearing outrageous stories of DELWP vehicles and contractors bulldozing through people’s private properties, knocking down valuable vegetation and trees that pose no risk, without so much as a g’day. The disrespect is profound. The more work DELWP and contracted bulldozer drivers can find, the better their pay cheque. We seem to be witnessing another replay of the Red Gold incentive running the show, as seen so many times before!

Safer not to burn at all? Report shows burns are ineffective

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lancefield escaped burn 2015Yet again a DELWP burn turned into a catastrophic 3,000 ha bushfire in early October. It burnt most of the Cowbar Forests, much of its wildlife was burnt alive, four homes were lost, as well as sheds, fences and pasture. We are told by DELWP that it didn’t have the resources to ensure this planned burn was blacked out properly. But what is the logic behind burning in the first place?

TPP and our environment

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wikileaks released the environment and investment chapters of the TPP earlier in 2014. Instead of a 21st Century standard of protection, the leaked text shows that the obligations are weak and compliance with them is unenforceable.

These chapters do the bidding of multinationals. The investment chapter is written in their favour and the environmental clauses are deliberately worded so they can't be enforced. It spouts sugar coated rhetoric - no legal teeth. Offer of meaningless dispute resolution and chat sessions only.

Valuing Victoria's Parks

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This new government report details the ecosystem services provided by the states parks and reserves. It includes the water and carbon values, biodiversity protection, recreational benefits and employment, and loads more. If this is what a small section of Victoria’s natural areas can offer – just imagine how much more benefit we would get from protecting all natural areas from logging and exploitation.

Just one small section states that:

Review of 5% burn target admits failure – plans for more effective risk reduction

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The controversial hectare based burn target of 5% of public land annually was reviewed earlier this year by the Inspector General of Emergency Management. The findings and recommendations were released in April this year and the government is still to announce if it will adopt the recommendations.

What underlies the Minister’s lies?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Minister Jaala Pulford is responsible for VicForests. She’s been caught with her pants on fire again trying to cover for it in reply to a question from Greens MP Sam Dunn in early September.

She asked about ‎VicForests’ self-allocation of an additional 316 new stands of forest in Victoria to be clearfelled. The Minister said it was OK because the same number of hectares was also removed off logging maps. What she didn't say was that most of those coupes VicForests had already clearfelled and were now handing back to DELWP to manage!

Abbott Government’s attack on the environment

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ashton coal mine Hunter Valley AustraliaUPDATE: 19th September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull has postponed the planned changes to the law that would exclude most enviro groups from challenging bad government development decisions.

The Abbott Government’s attack on the environment knows no bounds and is reaching a peak that has even the most conservative minds staggering with disbelief! His coal-obsession has become a very obvious mental disorder.

Trans Pacific Partnership

Friday, July 31, 2015

While the nation argues over the treatment received by footballer Adam Goodes, the Abbott Government is overseas stitching up the secret TPP trade deal that no one wants but the major corporations.

Put simply, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a deal which will agree to allow major corporations that produce chemicals, foods, medicines and so on, as well as fossil fuels, to dictate to the signatory countries that they must open all doors for these companies to profit. If a country decides to use its own laws to protect their people, resources or environment ahead of corporate profit – the governments of the countries can be sued and fine hundreds of millions of dollars!

Endangered owls have legal win

Friday, July 17, 2015

The day after the national Threatened Species Summit ends, a Supreme Court case brought by Environment East Gippsland has reached an out of court settlement The case challenged logging in threatened owl habitat by the state government's Environment Department and VicForests, which have now agreed to set aside over 2,000 ha.

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