Thursday 24th of April 2014

my heart bleeds...

with care...

The Federal Government has approved the creation of one of the world's largest coal ports near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, sparking outrage from conservationists and the Greens.

Late yesterday, Environment Minister Greg Hunt gave the go-ahead to the Abbot Point coal terminal expansion at Bowen in north Queensland.

Mr Hunt likewise approved Arrow Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas project on Curtis Island in central Queensland, and a transmission pipeline to the island.

He says he has also advised the Queensland Government of new plans designed to protect the long-term future of the Great Barrier Reef.

Millions of cubic metres of spoil must be dredged and dumped near the reef for the coal port to be constructed.

Mr Hunt says he is imposing strict environmental conditions on the project.

"It is my intention that the first priority for all future capital dredging projects within the central and north Queensland coastal zone will be for shoreline, near-to-shore or land reclamation disposal," he said.

And Abbott's Point will be renamed Abbott's Point — after the present prime minister... Meanwhile the new port will be reclaimed by the sea in a strong cyclone in 2021. 

fracked queensland...

With the Government in the thrall of big business and the CMC refusing to investigate, and concerns being raised about certain bureaucrats’ conflicts of interest – and even links to crime figures – calls for a Royal Commission into Queensland's CSG approvals process grow louder and more strident. Mark Anning reports.

IN FEBRUARY 2013, Queensland Premier Campbell Newmanannounced a Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) inquiry into the approval of two of the State's biggest coal seam gas (CSG) projects.

On 19 September, the CMC announced that the matters raised

'… do not fall within the CMC’s jurisdiction.'

To date, no official examination of the alleged breaches of health and environmental protection laws has been conducted into the approval process of the Santos and QGC coal seam gas projects in Queensland.

The Abbott Federal Government is now about to “fast-track” environmental approvals by putting full responsibility for the approval of coal seam gas (CSG) projects into the hands of the States. With increased calls for a Royal Commission into Queensland's approval process, we examine the test case the gas industry wants to follow.

more destruction...


The federal government has struck a deal to devolve environmental powers to the states and territories, a move conservationists warn could dismantle safeguards first put in place 30 years ago.

Tony Abbott signed memorandums of understanding with all state premiers and territory chief ministers at Friday’s Council of Australian Governments (Coag) meeting.

The agreements create “one-stop shops” for environmental assessments of projects such as ports and mines, with the states handling the process. Currently, assessments involve the federal government in certain situations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, a scenario that creates unnecessary delays and ”green tape” for developments, according to the Coalition.

While Greg Hunt, the environment minister, has insisted that he will retain the right to veto environmentally damaging projects, Abbott said he hopes to allow all states to handle approvals themselves.

Queensland and NSW, the first states to sign the agreements, have gone further than other jurisdictions by signing "assessment bilateral" agreements.

Abbott said: "Under those assessment bilaterals the states will do all the assessment work and we hope that in the not-too-distant future we will have approvals bilaterals in place which will mean the states will not only do the assessment but will also do the approvals.”

The prime minister said the new regime will mean “the same high standard of environmental approval but much less red and green tape, much less paperwork for the applicant and a much swifter outcome we hope, which means more investment and more jobs."


Tony uses weasel word with a dead cat's ability to fall back on its paws from nine floors down despite being dead, buried, cremated, finitoed... We can see what Tony is up to, unlike 2GB and the merde-och press who are blind to reality... He is washing his hands of the most important part of the future: keeping the planet as safe and environmentally sound as possible... He could not care two hoots as long as he does not have to do the swim leg of a triathlon amongst obvious floating turds....


hunting double speak...

The Federal Government has taken the first step towards reviewing Labor's plans for marine reserves.

Management plans signed off by Labor have been scrapped, including exclusion zones that would have come into effect next July.

But the boundaries of all marine reserves and parks will stay in place while a scientific review is carried out.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says Labor's plans were flawed and would have locked out fishers.

"Rather than what has been perceived by many to have been a political process to have locked out small local fishing families - those that want to take out the tinny from areas that have long been popular," he said.

"So the parks remain, but there's greater freedom in usage and a scientific process going forward."


If you know how to read between the lines, the parks only remains in names only... The rest is as useful as a toothpick to dig a new Queensland coal mine...

Meanwhile the double speak continues from this anti-environment minister supported of course by the merde-och media:


Environment Minister Greg Hunt's media spinners deserve a Christmas bonus.

Last weekend, Murdoch's tabloids led a nationwide chorus deploring data showing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions for the first year of the carbon price had declined by a mere 0.1 per cent.

“Carbon tax truly was load of hot air”, “The great carbon con,” “Carbon tax a stinker”, were among the headlines trumpeted by News Corp newspapers.
The single number leaked to the papers looked compelling: emissions of the gases blamed for heating up the planet came in at 545.9 million tonnes for the year to June.

All that bluster for just 300,000 tonnes savings from a year earlier?

Scrapping the carbon tax, by extension, would give the nation's households more than $500 a year just in time for Christmas, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his ministers chimed in. If only the ALP and the Greens in the Senate would stop playing Grinch.

But the release on Friday of the full greenhouse gas inventory figures reveals the bait swallowed whole by much of the media last weekend to be, well, off.

As Fairfax Media reported on Monday, the detailed annual breakdown would probably show that emissions from sectors of the economy directly covered by the carbon tax – specifically the power industry – had fallen. Other sectors, such as fugitive emissions from the gas and coal industries would show a rise.

"It was a disgrace for the government to selectively leak those figures," said Greens leader Christine Milne. "What the greenhouse gas figures show is that emissions are coming down in the biggest (emitting) sector in the economy."

Read more:

trying to pull the wool over our eyes...

Four days into his year-long stint in the Best Job in the World, Ben said: "My stay on the Gold Coast has been nothing short of spectacular; there really is something for everybody."

Unfortunately, soon a massively destructive coal port will be built just 50 km north of the magnificent Whitsunday Islands. The port expansion was approved by the Abbott Liberal National government on Wednesday 11 December, and it will become one of the world's largest coal ports.

The coal export facility is ironically located on Abbot Point. The construction of this port will involve dredging 3 million cubic metres of seabed. The dredge spoil will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

To give you an idea of the scale of this dredging, if all of the spoil was put into dump trucks, there would be 150,000 of them lined up bumper to bumper from Brisbane to Melbourne.

This expansion is further proof that the Abbott government is hell-bent on turning Australia into a reckless charco-state that solely represents the interests of fossil fuel and coal companies.

Just around the corner from the port is a beach that is the nesting place for endangered green and flat back turtles. Fun facts about the flat back turtle: they're officially classified as "vulnerable" by the Australian Government, and nest only in northern Australia. They have the smallest migratory range of any marine turtle, so when their home in Queensland is destroyed, they've really got nowhere else to go.

Also in the spoil-dumping area are sea-grass beds, which are the home to dugongs. The "sea cows" may not be the sexiest of marine animals, but they are at risk of extinction, and most of the world's remaining population lives in the Great Barrier Reef. This isone of the reasons that the Reef has World Heritage listing.

An independent government report from August this year found that dredging sediment travelled a lot further than previously thought. The risks include sediment being disturbed by severe weather. Even a cursory look at Queensland's weather patterns near the Reef over the past decade would show that severe weather, including tropical cyclones and flooding, is a regular occurrence, even if you disregard massively destructive events like Cyclone Yasi.

The Great Barrier Reef generated around 69,000 full-time equivalent jobs, and boosted our economy by 5.68 billion in 2011/12, according to recent research. Most of this is through tourism and reef-dependent industries like fishing.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has mischievously claimed that "Some of the strictest conditions in Australian history have been placed on these projects". This is mischievous because, obviously, massively increasing coal exports at this time will do irreparable damage to our climate.

Worryingly, Greg Hunt's briefing and decision, released on the 11th of December, is based on the assurance of the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, the state-owned corporation that owns the project, that "the project area (dredging area) is not a notable or significant biodiversity site in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area" and "the potential impact area in the dumping ground (which is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park) is considerably small". The brief also says that the "habitats were recorded to recover from similar events".

You are obviously free to come to your own views about Hunt's strange cognitive dissonance, where on the one hand there are the "strictest conditions" on the dredging, but on the other hand the "dredging area is not a notable... site" in the Reef. Perhaps someone could leave a comment that explains why Hunt has required strict conditions if the area is not a significant site.

greg hunt keeps talking shit...


 Mr Hunt used the numbers to renew the attack on Labor which has defended the tax.

''All Australians can blame Bill Shorten [for] helping to push up electricity bills and the overall cost of living,'' he said. ''It's time for Labor to get out of the way and support the repeal of the carbon tax.''

Mr Hunt said the $7.6 billion paid by companies had resulted in only a 0.1 per cent fall in emissions. Proof, he said, that ''it doesn't even work''.

Read more:
As usual Greg Hunt talks shit. The carbon pricing has only been in place for a couple of years and the flow-on effect would take some time to work, THOUGH real figures show that CO2 emissions dropped about 6 per cent during that time, and that the renewable energy industry provided some necessary reduction WHILE OVERALL CONSUMPTION OF TOTAL ENERGY ROSE. Now the Abbott  fascist regime wants to reduce the cost of energy (more profit for the providers) by BURNING MORE CARBON. Totally irresponsible, inane and dangerous.
See toon at top...


more shit from greg hunt...

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has backed the Coalition's direct action policy after the head of the IMF said she hoped Australia continues its "pioneering" role in the debate on climate change.

Christine Legarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told Fairfax newspapers that previous Australian governments were leaders in international debate on climate change, and she wants that to continue.

"Australia was very much at the forefront, Australia was pioneering in this field, and I would hope that it continues to be a pioneer," she told Fairfax.

"I do think that climate change issues and progress in that regard are critical and are not just fantasies, they are real issues."

Ms Legard [sic], who will be in Sydney for a G20 meeting next week, says assigning climate issues to "the backburner" would be a mistake, and action to reduce carbon emissions could strengthen economic growth as well as protect the environment.

Mr Hunt says he does not see Ms Lagarde's comments as criticism of the Coalition's policy.

The Federal Government has pledged to remove the carbon tax and replace it with a direct action plan.

Mr Hunt says the Government is committed to "taking action to address climate change".

"As a climate change measure, the carbon tax is a failure," he said.


As explained by many business and economic models, the "direct action" is super-pissweak in tackling global warming and to even make a small dent in emission reductions, it is far more expensive than the "carbon pricing". Meanwhile the amount of cash dedicated to the "direct action" is far less than the carbon pricing policy so far as generated — cash used to diversify into renewable energy — a form of energy which Mr Hunt and Mr Abbott WANT TO PHASE OUT in favour of BURNING MORE COAL...

See toon at top...

the big guns are turning...

The United States and China have announced they are joining forces to share more information on efforts to combat climate change.

In a joint statement announced as US secretary of state John Kerry wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing, both countries said they would work together "to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions".

Both sides said that they recognise the need for action "in light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels" in their joint statement on Saturday.

The agreement includes the sharing of information regarding the plans of the US and China to limit greenhouse gas emissions post-2020, the statement said...