to call for stronger than ever vegetation clearing laws, given the recent report by WWF World Wildlife Fund that during the Newman government year 2013-14 around 300 000 hectares (including 40 000 ha of Koala habitat) was cleared compared to a total of 77 000 ha in 2009-10.
The 2013-14 rate of clearing under the Newman government put Queensland back up with Brazil and Indonesia as the worst in the world for deforestation. Biodiversity is now fast approaching tipping points in Queensland and the greenhouse gases released by this level of clearing have severely limited Australia’s chances of meeting its climate change mitigation targets.
Come to the meeting next Sunday, get the facts from a panel of speakers and have a chance to ask questions and have your say about the need for stronger vegetation clearing laws in Queensland.’
Barry Fitzpatrick is a long term passionate advocate and campaigner and LACA's spokesperson about the environment - in particular wetlands, Great Barier Reef and climate change.
Speakers from the Wilderness Society will also be leading discussion. Both organisations LACA Logan and Albert Conservation Association and the Wilderness Society understand that if we don't take actions to reduce climate emissions it will have deeply negative impacts on our natural environment, the Great Barrier Reef and all that rely on both.
The state of vegetation clearing in Queensland revealed by a CO2 study commissioned by the Wilderness Society is alarmingand reveals concering discrepancies. Lyndon Schneiders, national campaigns director of the Wilderness Society, says the new data shows
Australia is “lying to the world and lying to ourselves” about the true state of greenhouse emissions.
LACA appreciates the opportunty to particiate at this public forum. LACA does not support particular political parties but does support good policy and is encouraged that the Queensland Government ALP Member for Springwood is hosting.
Let's come together on Sunday to discuss our ideas to be presented in parliament to help formulate the good policy that is needed to protect our shared environment.
LACA environment issues for 2015 State Election candidates
Do YOU share our concerns for a healthy environment? What actions are you propared to carry out to help achieve a better environmental outcome than "business as usual" ? Do Queenslanders and you want to be in the "coal business"? or are other mattters of greater significance?
The Logan and Albert Conservation Association (LACA) has campaigned for better environmental policies and outcomes in the Logan and Scenic Rim areas for more than a quarter of a century.
LACA is putting forward the following key environmental issues for consideration by all local candidates in the forthcoming State election:
1 LACA calls upon all candidates to commit to genuine measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef as a priority.
2LACA asks all candidates to commit to abandoning the privatisation of essential public assets such as electricity and water supply and support the uptake of renewable energy including home solar and battery storage.
3 LACA requests all candidates to commit to abandoning the use of offsetting as an ‘environmental’ outcome of development. [LACA views offsets as a façade policy designed to create the appearance of something being done for Koalas. Rather than provide secure habitat for Koalas it facilitates the rapid removal of essential habitat throughout this region, with the vague promise of planting some trees elsewhere.]
4 LACA seeks commitments from all candidates to a return to the former declarable donation level of $1000 which provided greater transparency around Government decisions which affect the environment.
LACA wishes to place on record its anger that the democratic process in Queensland has been treated with such disdain - the 25 day campaign during holiday season giving insufficient time to debate issues.
Expanding on each issue
The Great Barrier Reef: Many people in the Logan and Scenic Rim communities regard the Great Barrier Reef as Queensland’s greatest natural treasure. LACA is particularly concerned that the Premier’s early election call may be a signal that actions such as dredging and shipping on the Reef are about to increase in intensity, and this may lead to UNESCO declaring the Great Barrier Reef a ‘World Heritage Area in danger’ under the Premier’s watch. LACA does not support the Government’s Long term Sustainability Plan for the Reef because it proposes weak remedial measures and fails to include any action to halt greenhouse gas emissions, which are one of the most serious threats to the reef. Given the boom and bust nature of mining, people are quite aware that many more sustainable jobs are created by tourism around a healthy reef than by coal mining.LACA calls upon all candidates to commit to genuine measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef as a priority.
Electricity/solar: People in Logan and the Scenic Rim love their roof-top solar and many are keenly awaiting the opportunity to invest in the emerging battery storage technologies. However, they have expressed concern to LACA that while over-investment by the Government’s own power companies has already increased usage charges to consumers by more than 50%, they believe that, following the election, mandatory fixed charges for electricity supply will be raised to dissuade people from investing further in solar, thereby ensuring an attractive, ongoing market for prospective foreign investors when the Government privatises its energy assets. LACA asks all candidates to commit to abandoning the privatisation of essential public assets such as electricity and water supply and support the uptake of renewable energy including home solar and battery storage.
Koala and offsets: LACA is very concerned that the Newman Government’s rollback of vegetation management laws has seriously set back any effort to protect the Koala in this region. LACA seeks candidates’ commitments to restoring vegetation management laws, at least to their former level, if Koalas are to have any long term chance of survival in the Logan and Scenic Rim regions. Also, the current Government’s offset policy does not stand up to any logical analysis. LACA views offsets as a façade policy designed to create the appearance of something being done for Koalas. Rather than provide secure habitat for Koalas it facilitates the rapid removal of essential habitat throughout this region, with the vague promise of planting some trees elsewhere. LACA requests all candidates to commit to abandoning the use of offsetting as an ‘environmental’ outcome of development.
Donations transparency:People we have talked to in the Logan and Scenic Rim communities have expressed concern about the Government’s secrecy around donations after the Newman Government increased the declarable donation amount from $1000 to $12,800. LACA believes large political donations can have a huge influence on how the environment is treated. The environment movement in Logan and the Scenic Rim would like to see Campbell Newman reverse the LNP policy to match the Labor and Greens donation declaration policy which is set at $1000. This way the public will be able to see exactly how much corporations are funding the LNP and whether this influences the Government’s decision-making. LACA seeks commitments from all candidates to a return to the former declarable donation level of $1000 which provided greater transparency around Government decisions which affect the environment.
Democracy:In the History of this State no Queensland premier has ever called a snap election to be held before the end of January. LACA members are angered by the prospect of a short, 25 day campaign, called during the holiday season, which they see as clearly designed to provide little opportunity for voters to get their questions answered. It appears to LACA members, and we believe, members of the community generally, that democracy has been treated by the Premier as a nuisance which is to be brushed out of the way quickly, while everyone is preoccupied with holidays, kids and back to school. LACA wishes to place on record its anger that the democratic process in Queensland has been treated with such disdain.
Please consider sharing this information with others in your street, networks, neighbours, family to make them more aware of the critical issues facing our environment. Make your vote count at Jan 31 Queensland State elections.
LACA calls for strong climate action from State Government - to end ‘Alice in Blunderland’
We are celebrating our 25 years of advocacy and activism by calling a public meeting to urge the Newman Government to reverse its ‘Alice in Blunderland’ approach to climate change action and Reef protection.
LACA climate spokesperson Barry Fitzpatrick said LACA could not support the Government’s recently released draft Long Term Sustainability Plan to save the Great Barrier Reef, describing it as ‘completely useless’ because it lacks any commitment to take strong action to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions.
‘It is really disappointing that, after a quarter of a century of campaigning , LACA still finds itself battling the same old political games around critically important environment issues like this.’
Members of the public are specially invited and welcome to attend our meeting which will be held at Kimberley College, Carbrook on Saturday 15 November, starting at 2.00 pm. Contact : Barry Fitzpatrick 0427002640
The Great Barrier Reef is facing the biggest, fastest and most widespread industrial development in its history.
Mega-ports are proposed along the Reef's coastline.
Millions of tonnes of seafloor will be dredged and dumped back into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Thousands of coal ships will crisscross the Reef each year.
Climate change is already putting the Reef under pressure and these developments will put the Reef and the tourism jobs that rely on it, at even greater risk.
The reef needs stronger protection now. Our politicians need to show leadership.With the Federal election looming, it's time to call on all sides of politics to unite to save the Great Barrier Reef. Port expansions and developments must be stopped, and the Reef protected forever.
Do you want the Reef to become an industrial zone and shipping superhighway? Join us at this family friendly event to call on all sides of politics to unite to protect the reef.
11am Sunday 25 August 2013 Brisbane CBD Queens Park, corner Elizabeth & George www.rally4reef.com
YOU CAN HELP SPREAD THE WORD.
Letterbox drop flyers around your local neighbourhood. Click on image to print rally flters and posters. Ask if you can put up posters and leave flyers in surrounding cafes Ask to put a poster up in your local library Leave flyers at work Ask friends and family to join you at the rally and help distribution around their local area
What is it that we value most? Those among us who have a closeness to and affinity with the natural environment certainly value a NATURE REFUGE over an OPEN CUT COAL MINE. How will our new Queensland government decide? We in Queensland will not benefit from the coal mine - not even jobs are certain as large mining companies seek to reduce human employees and replace them with automation. Coal is responsible for loads of climate damaging carbon pollution - whether it is burnt here or in CHINA. The impact of mining in Galilee Basin was prepared by the INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES. It can be read or downloaded here.
As if the climate pollution is not enough the potential for futher harm to our WORLD HERITAGE Great Barrier Reef with expanded ports is unavoidable with our current development processes. A report about the Industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef is available here
The proposed new mines would destroy two invaluable areas of our natural heritage. Bimblebox and Great Barrier Reef. Why would any Australian contemplate allowing that to happen? Is the economic imperative so great that we will sacrifice and cause to go extinct the small group of black-throated finches listed as endangered both in Queensland and nationally. Click on image to go to the National Recovery Plan.
It would seem that although we might believe that a REFUGE which shelters or protects from danger or calamity; a sanctuary inaccessible to an enemy is only so at the discretion of our environmental ministers.
New Premier Campbell Newman has stated he would keep his promises. This will be a test case. The LNP have already committed, in a statement to Lock the Gate, that they will protect areas with high conservation values from mining - does that include Bimblebox, and other nature refuges?
A refuge is either a refuge or it is not. It's simple. Unless people bombard the minister at Tony.Burke.MP@ environment.gov.au and the new state Environment Minister, saying "Don't Even Think About it'', then in the case of Finch versus Noisy Miner, the bird is cooked.
The offer to buy adjacent land to offset may be nice in theory but in practical terms does not work. There have been 1800 submissions to Queensland Co-ordinator-General. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has the power to intervene and veto the mine.
The Australia Institute reveals Queensland's mining boom will destroy 20,000 non-mining jobs. One non-mining job lost for every two mining jobs created, says senior economist Matt Grudnoff. Mostly in manufacturing and international tourism.
As concerned citizens we nned to be making our values known.