Sunday, 2 December 2012

Election time takings

There must be a Federal election around the corner. As a Queensland resident the signs are evident. A lead up of environmental policy announcements on the grand scale; fodder to take to the bargaining table to gain Greens party preferences and material to place in slick election advertising to entice votes from voters living far from where these grand environmental policies will be implemented; the provision of a warm fuzzy of saving the environment at no greater effort than marking the correct box on a piece of paper in the polling booth.

The 20 year rule of the Beattie/ Bligh Qld Labor governments had every election cycle punctuated by yet another uncompensated taking of the rights and imposts on the management of remote, regional and rural areas owned or managed by aboriginals, pastoralists, farmers, foresters, fishers and tree changers. Peter Beattie was a very clever politician and as Premier of Qld recognised the country/ city divide that had developed and instead of a statesman like attempt to bring people together used this divide to very successfully exploit political advantage. Beattie recognised that his power base was in the very SE corner of the state and a few pockets along the coast, the people inland were that few in comparative electoral numbers that not only could he ignore but to vilify into environmental vandals creating environmental problems that he the Premier would solve.

The maps below were prepared by AgForce in March 2012 found from a document called, Key Environmental Constraints Affecting Queensland Agriculture. All but one of the policy developments, (CSG), shown in the smaller images arose out of pre-election promises. Coal seam gas highlighted the absolute hypocrisy of the Beattie/ Bligh era attitude to environmental issues.


On the election of their defeat the Bligh government presented the proposed Border to Beach Wildlife Corridor. It had all the appearances of haste and political desperation, of indiscriminate scrawling of a line across a map of a state from a Brisbane office. It had no credibility, no knowledge of on ground circumstances, the majority of the land would have been imposed upon private landowners over approximately 29,153,810 ha or 16.83% of the State.

So what are the signs of a federal election around the corner? The Murray/ Darling plan has been signed off, but to be fair this has been a protracted negotiation and not a recent development. The Tasmanian forest “peace deal” which will bring no peace had a high Federal government involvement. Again like the Murray/ Darling a long running issue but both will be used to bolster the government’s environmental credentials.

There is the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill which as was the Queensland Vegetation Management Act is championed as an environmental saviour but the legislation contains the loss of civil liberties and rights that Australians take for granted and would be surprised at their removal. There are the Commonwealth Marine Reserves and then the National Wildlife Corridors plan. The later as proved the case in the Queensland situation will prove to be the indicator of desperation in the face of electoral annihilation.

All the above Federal environmental policies deserve closer attention in following articles.

Finally look at the large map above in the image prepared by AgForce and ask these few questions. With cumulative impacts by multiple legislation where can your food be sourced from; the fibres that clothe you and the timbers that form your shelter? What is the sense of complete removal of sourcing our needs from vast areas of land and oceans only to move to concentrated areas in Australia or to overseas where in the latter case there may be no environmental consideration? Would it not be better to have a lighter ‘touch’ of a very large area of our resource base? Why as a nation that we can’t develop sound, considered environmental policy without indiscriminate destruction of people’s rights, livelihoods and loss of community?


  1. Max Rheese of the Australian Environment Foundation recently wrote in Quadrant Online the article, Ruining the environment to save it, reflected on the Federal Government’s approach to environmental policy. Max covered much of the same area that I wrote of above.

    "Most of the big environmental issues of the current government have produced poor environmental outcomes for the sake of political expediency.

    How much national park is enough? What biodiversity is threatened by continued sustainable harvesting? Tourism and timber harvesting have co-existed for a century in Tasmania. This outcome does not even come close to the true definition of conservation

    It is a matter of public record that we import 70% of our seafood for domestic consumption, which contributes to our annual $1.7billion deficit for seafood. The new MPA’s with their no-take regulations will only replicate what has happened to the timber industry – a transfer of environmental impacts from a developed country with high levels of protection and regulation to undeveloped countries with poor environmental standards."

  2. I fully agree Dale, and if the erosion of rights continues at this rate Australia will be a land of plenty that is full of starving people. From what you have shown, it is easy to see that the Greens have pushed the pendulum way too far already, and I fear for the future, especially when we see the children in schools being over- educated on many 'green' aspects, but never receiving the balance of the education that is vital to sustainability of a nation. When several six year old children from differing schools each come out with words that are almost identical when referring to a tree being cut down, saying," We can't cut down the tree, we will all die", then it becomes easy to see how their education has been pushed very aggressively to the strong side of Green. Yes, our children and grandchildren are being taught this kind of deathly detail,YET, when you question the children, you soon discover that they have not been taught that trees grow from seeds. They have not been taught that trees are Earth's most miraculous RENEWABLE resource..unlike coal. The question that I am always asking is "Why is the education system conveniently omitting to give a balanced education to our children when it comes to environmental issues?" As young children forming life long opinions, they are given only half of the truth. The Australian Government and education system has carnally embracing the 'Green' propaganda approach for far too long, to the detriment of its future ability to be sustainable. With so many young people being constantly brainwashed to make decisions in this manner, then the future looks very uncertain for maintaining any sort of educated balance within our society on all levels of participation.

  3. It is becoming increasingly obvious that for green groups, Australia represents extremely low hanging fruit.
    We have an undiscerning urban population which is affluent enough and wanting to do the right thing enough to make us ripe for indoctrination in the green mantra.
    We turn our children’s education over to the green agenda and our governments are complicit with environmentalists in curbing the productivity of our farmers, fishers and forester while simultaneously demonising them. Adequate compensation is never paid for these curbs on productivity. The damage to our reputation is unable to be compensated for and is a very handy tool in pushing the environmental agenda to have power over us.
    Our farmers and fishers have suffered untruthful campaigns to imply to a public who are gullible to environmentalist propaganda, that we are overfishing and damaging the reef. Too many of our politicians have disgraced themselves by joining the lynch mob. They should be loudly telling the world, without the bought help of ENGO’s that these industries are environmentally sound and regulated by government in this country.
    One of the most irresponsible acts of all, and a complete abrogation of responsibility, was state and federal governments leaving the room in Tasmania and telling the foresters and environmentalists to come up with a deal.
    Industries under pressure are no match for well funded green groups with multiple tentacles and a seemingly endless supply of ground troops who are willing to put themselves and on-the-ground workers in danger.
    It is time governments captured back the agenda and became balanced and responsible, stood their ground as a first world government and curbed the undue power of the ENGO’s before it is too late.

  4. Well Anon, I am not a Green in any way but as with everything there are shades of colour - nothing is black, white or the 50 shades of grey we keep hearing about. Being Green does not always mean being wrong, as we have seen with movements such as Lock the Gate led by Friends ofd the Earth's Drew Hutton, which has many frustrated farmers among its ranks because they feel they have been handed a bad deal by the CSG/ LNG developers. It's the same in Gladstone where the fishers are out of business with so far no compensation, and environmental safeguards are being ignored or watered down and the problem of diseased seafood and other marine life is not even being considered as a serious health issue, apart from some environmentalists.
    The Greens see that as wrong too and are campaigning against it but that does not make the underlying cause wrong. Lets have controlled development, but not a mad rush for development at any cost.

  5. Curses! I just lost a pretty detailed post so now I will have to paraphrase it as I hate re-hashing. Whatever and talking about childres' education, I hope some of you caught Aunty's 7.30 Report tonight. At least the bit following Chris Uhlmann's excellent probing of Treasurer Swan, throwing some of his GFC era weasel words on interest rates back at him.

    It concerned a Qld secondary school science teacher, who having found more or less by accident that his very young son could actually follow and retain some of his chemistry explanations, took an experiment to 9yo kids at Ithaca primary school in Brisbane's west. With the enthusiastic support of the school, the class teacher (and soon, all the kids) he soon had them very interestedly into the Periodic Table, elementary atomic structure, and more. They loved it, making molecular models, talking about protons and electrons etc, with one bright little girl opining that it was much, much better than the veggie, feel - good stuff posing as an appropriate introduction to the world of science that they were used to.

    What a great story. I hope a lot of Victorian educators were watching, and can't wait to take some ideas to their schools. In a few years, could it possibly be a case of watch out Japan, watch out PRC, ROK and Singpore, here come our new young Aussie students, bursting with questions and enthusiasm to learn?

    If you missed it but are interested, try iView,
    Chers al.

  6. Yes Al, I saw that too, very interesting and I'm sure our grandkids would be right into it too as I've heard them talking about topics such as the Haldron Collider etc. As for Swan, if I hear him telling us how Australians have been given an early Christmas present I might chuck something at the TV. Nobody in his Labor Government gives a bugger about independent retirees who stand to lose hundreds or thousands a year every time the RBA slashes interest rates, the bigger banks probably won't pass on all the cut to mortgage holders and the dollar went up again.
    Merry Christmas Swannee.

  7. Hi John M
    I'm not really anon. but irked by more user names and passwords.
    There are problems such as Gladstone and the potential damage done by resource companies that should be taken care of.
    Nowadays however green organisations spend most of their time seeking publicity often with unfounded accusations or lobbying government for more protected areas rather than taking care of real problems.
    I am presently doing some research for an article which will pose some questions as to why governments are unwilling to do anything about the two problems referred to.

  8. Money is one big factor. Here in Gladstone we are talking over $70 billion in concurrent overlapping developments.


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