Politics

Health and environment studies commence in Gippsland Lakes

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Groups like the Gippsland Environment Group and environmentalists like Ross Scott and health professionals like Dr. Jo McCubbin have been raising concerns about the mercury levels in fish in the Gippsland Lakes for many years.

DELWP Media release

A study to assess mercury levels in fish of the Gippsland Lakes will commence from tomorrow, followed by a broader environmental study into the accumulation of mercury and other heavy metals in the sediment of the Lakes.

RETs and Gippsland forests

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Abbott governments plan to define the burning of native forest logs in electricity generators as a ‘renewable energy’ under the planned RET scheme is under sustained attack from environment groups.

“The ALP leader, Bill Shorten is also refusing to make a clear commitment that would ensure native forests will not be power station fodder for years to come”, said Jill Redwood from EEG.

Burning forests for electricity

Sunday, May 10, 2015

carbon emmissions by fuel typeIt’s crazy!  When the RET is supposed to be bringing emissions down, the Abbott government is prepared to increase them by burning the land’s greatest carbon stores - our forests – in electricity furnaces. This would have higher emissions than coal (per unit of energy produced – see illustration). It would take 200 years to recapture from the atmosphere the carbon released by burning. We don’t have that long. This is not ‘renewable’

Forests store millions of  tonnes of carbon. It’s insanity to burn them and worse still, actually pay  the logging industry to do this under the name of renewable energy and the financial incentives this offers.

It’s in the balance RIGHT NOW. The cross-benchers/independents could hold the key. They are being lobbied heavily by the industry.

YOU CAN HELP  ->  ->  ->  contact these senators (below) and politely ask they consider what the Abbott government really is advocating. There is no ‘waste’ from a forest until it is cut down.  RETs are meant to reduce pollution, not increase it. If the logging industry is looking for a new market it should move into the plantation sector and burn that waste – not the lungs of the planet.

The new th-RET to our forests

Friday, April 24, 2015

A plan to approve the burning of public native forests for electricity generation is back on the federal agenda. It could be passed on May 12 when parliament resumes. Planned changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will include approval of forest furnace electricity to be defined as ‘renewable energy’.

When the ALP were in power, the environment movement managed to stop the previous plan. This time we know the Lib/Nats have pledged to vote for it, and Labor will likely vote against it. It comes down to the independent cross benchers in the Senate. The logging industry has been lobbying the eight cross benchers, so we have to counter the false claims and misinformation that has been circulated.

Review of government burn targets

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lonnie - the long nosed potorooThere will be a review of the 5% burn target, with the report delivered by the end of March (6 weeks)! 

The Minister’s media release says:

“The review will examine a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the existing hectare-based performance target program. The Inspector-General for Emergency Management has been asked to deliver his report by the end of March 2015

Increased logging dressed up as ‘bushfire mitigation’?

Monday, January 5, 2015

logging as bushfire mitigationThis is something to watch. In a Productivity Commission draft report cited in early January 2015, the suggestion was that more needs to be spent on bushfire mitigation exercises (to save on disaster relief and recovery). Sounds reasonable? But this suggested $200M mixed with the lobbying influence of the Australian Forest products Association (AFPA), and Abbott’s anti-environment doctrine, this could well translate into giving money to states that will ‘thin’ native forests and National Parks, supposedly to reduce fire threat and then use the thinnings to fuel electricity furnaces.

Abbott's slush fund for polluters

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tony Abbott’s plan to deal with climate change is very worrying. It gives incentives to burn native forests and will term this as ‘renewable energy’! Abbott is handing a slush fund to industry dressed up as climate action.

To date no one has wanted to build a forest furnace to generate electricity because they are not economically viable. Currently they are not allowed Renewable Energy Certificates nor can they earn carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative Act which states they aren’t allowed to destroy forests to burn.

Leadbeater’s Action Statement

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Earlier this year the Leadbeater’s Possum Advisory Group (LPAG) delivered its reports to the state government. The group had been established by the government to make recommendations to support “the recovery of the Leadbeater’s Possum while maintaining a sustainable timber industry”. The group included no specialist expertise, being composed entirely of government employees and representatives of the logging industry. Predictably its recommendations were mediocre and all were accepted by the government.

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