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
Carabella Resources Limited’s (www.carabellaresources.com.au/Projects/BarneyViewAndMaroon ) plans to commence coal exploration in the scenic Mt Barney valley at Barney View in 2011 have been exposed this week. Local residents and council were caught completely unaware of the impending plans of this profit-driven shareholder company, who’s ultimate aim is to exploit the finite natural resources of The Scenic Rim.
Innes Larkin, owner/operator of Mt Barney Lodge said “Carabella Resources Ltd is planning to explore and potentially mine coal in a region of national significance, it has been listed as the third most biodiverse region in Australia. We intend on sending a clear message to the State Government to protect our shared environmental assets and halt coal exploration immediately”.
The biodiversity of SEQ is threatened - and that includes we humans. Our wildlife species need the humans who co-exist with them enjoying the same ecosystem services as the wildlife to speak up and contact the governing authorities.
We need each other to continue to enjoy our healthy lifestyle that is so popular. However, if you do not reduce our damaging impact on the natural environment, then we will destroy what we love. If we do not all tell governments that their planning is inadequate then we will lose our iconic and state emblem - the koala - except perhaps for those born in captivity who are unable to survive in natural bushland areas - like Freckles.
FRECKLES pictured aside attended Logan's LEAF event 2010. She is an ambassador to alert us to the plight of all koalas - especially those in SEQ and in all ULDA areas - Greenbank, North Maclean, Flagstone, New Beith, Yarrabilba, Undalla, Ripley and the whole Scenic Rim area which has other threats - mining and quarrying to support the huge population coming our way. CANBERRA was not planned in 6 months. Business as usual is no longer an option. Consultants for the high density housing proposal at Greenbank suggest that our local koalas are already extinct?
WE know that is not true because we see and hear koalas throughout our area.
WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THE DATA TO ULDA and DERM SO THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO UPDATE ENVIRONMENTAL BACKGROUND STUDIES AS THEY NOW EXIST
Go through all of your photos so we can produce a gallery of our local wildlife and add to our submissions