Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

ecosystems under assault from the not very charitable destructivism of liberal (CONservative) "philosophy"...

nikolic

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has threatened legal action over comments made by a Tasmanian Liberal MP that eco-charities may be using tax deductible donations to fund illegal activism.

The Member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, raised a motion on Sunday at the Federal Liberal Council meeting, calling for the Government to strip eco-charities of the same rights permitted to other charities.

He raised concerns that some environmental groups were "abusing their [charity] privileges" and were "engaging in the sort of activism that was at odds with Tasmania's prosperity".

It is a point the ACF has taken offence to. The group has sent a letter to the Tasmanian MP urging him to withdraw his comments.

"I do believe that ACF engages in advocacy to further an environmental protection objective - this is one that is absolutely lawful," ACF's general counsel Elizabeth McKinnon said.

"The Charities Act makes it very clear that advocacy and even lobbying activities that further a charitable purpose is not unlawful or inconsistent with that charitable purpose.

"So even before the Charities Act was enacted in Australia, the recognition of protection of the natural environment as a charitable purpose was well entrenched in the common law which dates back to the 1600s in England.

"So it's very well established in the law that protection of the environment provides a benefit or value to the community just in the same way that relief of poverty does or advancement of education does."

Ms McKinnon says the ACF is considering legal action.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-01/mp-threatened-with-legal-action-over-eco-charity-activism-claims/5563510

 

the age of darkening...

As the CSIRO is about to be decimated some more by the Abbott regime, it is about time to call ALL SCIENTISTS TO ARMS. Whether you are a "Liberal" scientist or a "Labor" scientist, science is under threat — real threat from the CONservatives... The eighteenth century saw the Age of Enlightenment. Now the 21st century is entering the "Age of Darkening".

What does this mean? Science is threatened by greed and religion as decreed by Tony Abbott and his troup of ignoramuses. Hopefully, the "Age of Darkening" will be short lived before the next election. 

 

And yet relation appears

A small relation expanding like the shade

Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.

 

We need to defeat Abbott urgently... 

a government that is anti-science...

Staff at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are calling for an urgent meeting with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane over proposed job cuts.

The Federal Government has cut more than $110 million from the organisation's budget, and staff have already held national protests against the cuts.

The CSIRO Staff Association is also hoping to convince the crossbench Senators to water down the cuts.

The organisation stands to lose about 700 staff in the coming financial year, on top of 477 jobs already lost in the past 12 months.

Bioanalytics and informatics leader David Lovell, who has worked with the organisation for 16 years, said research had been stymied.

"We've gone from a situation where we have lots of exciting research that we are pursuing and delivering to a situation where we're just stymied," Dr Lovell said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-01/csiro-staff-warn-research-stymied-want-government-meeting/5563916

a heartless government with thin wallpaper science...

 

Long-time public servant and passionate conservationist Gregory Andrews has been appointed Australia's threatened species commissioner in the same week controversial budget cuts mean disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes is packing up his office.

"In the same week that one commissioner is disappearing, another one for threatened species is being created," Mr Innes said in his farewell address to the National Press Club.

"I could mount an argument fairly effectively that people with a disability are a threatened species: 45 per cent of us are in poverty and we're 30 per cent less employed."

Mr Andrews will help co-ordinate government programs worth $2 billion, including an ambitious attempt to end native mammal extinctions by 2020.

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"I named my son Noah because Noah saved all the animals," Mr Andrews told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

Australia has the worst extinction rate in the world: 10 per cent of Australia's native land mammals have become extinct since European settlement.

While most environmental groups have welcomed the appointment as a good first step, some are questioning whether the role has enough teeth.

Law group Environmental Justice Australia CEO Brendan Sydes says the framework is fundamentally flawed because federal funding is not guaranteed beyond the first year and is not enshrined in law.

"The independence of the role is compromised, with the axe poised to strike as soon as the commissioner takes any position the government disagrees with," he said in a statement.

"The government is under no obligation to accept any recommendations from the commissioner anyway."

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/threatened-species-in-disability-role-out-20140702-3b89p.html

 

meanwhile, destroying your rights in sunny queensland...

The Queensland Government is moving quietly to take away the rights of people and groups to object to mining projects, writes Jo-Anne Bragg.

IF YOU ARE a Queensland community organisation, or catchment group, or individual concerned about protecting the local community, environment and economy – or even if you are a neighbour of land possibly to be subject to a mining lease – take notice!

Because Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps, on behalf of the Queensland Government, is proposing to remove most long established rights for any person or group to make a formal objection about any proposed mine to the Queensland Land Court. Those changes are set out in the Minerals and Energy (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 introduced to Queensland Parliament on 5 June 2014.

Risks of mining projects and public scrutiny

As a public interest environmental lawyer of over 20 years’ experience, I am gravely concerned about the proposed reduction in community objection rights.

As many of us know, mining projects and infrastructure pose grave risks to the environment. This is true whether they are a massive 60,000 hectare lease area like the proposed Alpha Coal mine or a small mine. Once approved, such mines may operate for decades.

In Queensland, it is often the public purse that bears the cost of rehabilitating abandoned mine sites. So it is in the public interest that there is the widest possible community scrutiny of such proposals to identify and properly consider such serious potential impacts.

read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/queensland-moves-to-remove-rights-to-object-to-mines,6636

 

see article at top.

a toothless commissioner for the cute and furry...

The appointment of a Threatened Species Commissioner should represent a move forward. However, it may be merely a distraction from the environmental crisis unfolding.

GREG HUNT, the Federal Minister for the Environment, today announced what appears to be one of the only environmental promises kept from the Coalition's election campaign in 2013: to appoint a Threatened Species Commissioner.

The appointment is unprecedented for Australia — we have never had anything remotely like it in the past. However, I am also confident that this novelty will turn out to be one of the position's only positives.

My scepticism is not based on my personal political or philosophical perspectives; rather, it arises from Coalition Government's other unprecedented policies to destroy Australia's environment.

No other government in the last 50 years has mounted such a breath-taking War on the Environment. In the nine months since the Abbott Government took control, there has been a litany of backward and dangerous policies: from the well-known axing of the Climate Commission and the push to dump of three million tonnes of dredge on the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, to their lesser-publicised proposals to remove the non-profit tax status of green organisations and kill the Environmental Defenders Offices. The Government's list of destructive, right-wing, anti-environmental policies is growing by the day, with no signs of abatement.

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2014/07/02/4037917.htm