Showing posts with label #BerejiklianGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BerejiklianGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 September 2018

How the NSW Wagga Wagga By-election is playing out for the Berejiklian Government



Darryl William Maguire ceased to be the state Member for Wagga Wagga on 3 August 2018 when he was allowed to resign in disgrace, after being identified by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption as being involved in corrupt conduct.

The Wagga Wagga State District By-election was held on Saturday, 8 September 2018.

Electors enrolled on 17 August 2018 numbered 55,220 with 46,272 people casting their vote in this by-election.

There was a field of seven candidates voters could choose from.

By Saturday night it was evident that the NSW Liberal Party had likely lost the seat which it has held continuously since 1957, with an est. 30 per cent swing against the party on first preference voting.

Second preference ballot counting is now underway and the two remaining candidates are Independent Joe McGirr and Labor's Dan Hayes.

The final result is expected to leave the Berejiklian Coalition Government with 72 members out of a total of 135 upper and lower house parliamentarians, with the Coalition holding 56 per cent of the lower house seats.

The next NSW general election is on 23 March 2019.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Berejiklian Government accused of timber fraud on NSW North Coast



North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), 27 August 2018:

 The North East Forest Alliance has accused the NSW Government of fraudulently claiming a shortfall in high quality logs available from State Forests in north-east NSW to justify their wind-back of environmental protections and intention to log oldgrowth forest and rainforest.

NEFA today released a review of timber yields and modelling for north-east NSW over the past 20 years that has identified a number of serious problems with yield estimations and allocations from the region that will be referred to the Auditor General.

"The most significant issue revealed is that the Government has removed hardwood plantations from yield calculations to concoct a yield shortfall to justify removing environmental protections, while apparently intending to reallocate plantation timber to low value products for export" says report author Dailan Pugh.

"According to the Government's data there is absolutely no need to log oldgrowth forests, or to remove other existing environmental protections to satisfy current timber commitments.

"The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) turned an identified surplus of 37,000 cubic metres per annum of high quality sawlogs from State Forests in north-east NSW over the next hundred years into a claimed deficit of 8,600 cubic metres per annum by simply excluding hardwood plantations from their calculations.

"The NRC's claim that 'it is not possible to meet the Government’s commitments around both environmental values and wood supply' is based on a lie. Nowhere do they identify that they excluded plantations. They did this to create the pretence of a shortfall.

"Plantations already provide some 30,000 cubic metres(14%) of high quality hardwood log commitments per annum, with yields projected to increase up to 75,000 cubic meters of high quality logs per annum into the future.

"NSW Taxpayers have spent $27 million just since 2000 establishing hardwood plantations explicitly to provide high quality logs to take the pressure off native forests.

"It is outrageous that the Government has excluded plantations to concoct a shortfall in timber from State Forests in order to justify increasing logging intensity, reducing retention of habitat trees, removing protections for numerous threatened species, halving buffers on headwater streams, as well as now opening up oldgrowth forest and rainforest protected in the Comprehensive Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system for logging.

"The Government recently issued an Expression of Interest for 416,851 tonnes per annum of low quality logs from north-east NSW, of which 219,000 tonnes (53%) is apparently to be obtained by downgrading all timber from the 35,000 ha of north-east NSW's hardwood plantations to low quality logs and committing them in new Wood Supply Agreements aimed at the export market.

"Three NSW Environment Ministers (Parker, Stokes and Speakman), along with the Environment Protection Authority, repeatedly promised that the new logging rules (Integrated Forestry Operations Approval) would result in no net change to wood supply, no erosion of environmental values, and no reductions in the CAR reserve system.

"Instead of honouring their promises, in a blatant ploy the Government has changed the wood supply, by surreptitiously excluding plantations, to justify erosion of environmental values and reductions in the reserve system.

"NEFA calls upon the NSW Government to honour their promises by reinstating the intended role of plantations in providing high quality sawlogs to take the pressure off native forests, and to use the resultant timber surplus to reinstate the environmental protections they are intending to remove", Mr. Pugh said.

Port News, 28 August 2018:

I noticed in the report by the NSW Government DPI’s principal research scientist, Dr Brad Law, which was published in the Port News on August 1that he claims recent audio recordings of male koalas in the hinterland of our state forests revealed evidence of up to 10 times the previously estimated occupancy.

Well obviously if this was the first time audio study of male koalas in the breeding season had been carried surely finding any koalas at all would be an increase in findings. The Australia Koala Foundation showed that one male koala 'Arnie' a dominant male occupied a home range of 43 hectares in area so no doubt the study took precautions to not record the same koala in other of the 171 sites.

Each site however did not always record even one or two scats. The evidence proves only 65% of the 171 sites tested held one koala and the scats do not prove in any way a home colony had even once existed at these sites.

Dr Law rejoices that in his study that heavily logged, lightly logged and old growth forest areas showed similar results which seemed to suggest that logging of our NSW State Forests has no effect on koala numbers.

Really?

In a study by the recognised koala expert, Dr Steve Phillips, commissioned by our own PMHC he found that most of the suitably sized koala food trees have already been logged out.

So WTF do they eat?

This no harm heavily logged forest claim by Dr Law will get a real test soon when the NSW Government introduces intensive logging in “Regrowth B” area. A map obtained under GIPA by the North Coast Environment Centre indicates 142,818 ha. of our north coast state forests between Taree and Grafton will be clear-felled.

Any small trees left will be hauled away to the soon be established Biomass Plants at Taree, Kempsey and Grafton and now it seems a new “renewable energy” diesel manufacturing plant at Heron’s Creek. “Renewable” meaning over the next 100 years.

Any regrowth in the intensively logged forests will likely be sprayed and Blackbutt monocultures planted.

Oh, and so no damage is done to the forest populations of koalas and protected animals and plants small clumps of forest will be left.

How a male koala will roam to the next paradise island of the living dead to breed without being attacked by wild dogs or run over by logging trucks is not discussed in the literature.

Even Dr Law did not bother to defend his government’s offset scheme which will according to evidence presented at the PMHC Koala Roundtable result in local extinction of koalas in the Port Macquarie local government area…..

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Gloucester community's landmark climate change case began in NSW Land & Environment Court, August 2018




CASE SUMMARY

Gloucester Resources Ltd and Stratford Pty Ltd
v Groundswell Gloucester and Dept of Planning & Environment 


The Client: Groundswell Gloucester, a residents’ community group concerned with the environmental, social and economic future of the Stroud Gloucester Valley near Barrington Tops in the upper Hunter.

The Case: Represented by EDO NSW, Groundswell Gloucester was joined to proceedings that will determine the fate of the Rocky Hill Coal project, a greenfield open-cut coal mine less than 5km from Gloucester township.

Representation: Matt Floro, solicitor for EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for Groundswell Gloucester and our Principal Solicitor, Elaine Johnson, is the solicitor on record. We are grateful to barrister Robert White for his assistance in this matter.

Experts: Emeritus Professor Will Steffen will for the first time give evidence in an Australian court that no new fossil fuel developments can be approved if we are to avoid overspending our carbon budget. Professor Steffen is a Climate Councillor on the Climate Council of Australia, Member of the ACT Government’s Climate Change Council, and was previously a Climate Commissioner on the Australian Government’s Climate Commission.

Energy analyst Tim Buckley will explain the financial mechanisms and market changes that are driving investments away from coal and creating a risk that Rocky Hill will become a stranded asset. Tim Buckley is Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

60 community objectors include farmers, doctors, Traditional Owners and young people. This is also the first time in an Australian court that young people will talk about the impact of climate change and the impact of the mine on their communities, and future generations.

Timeline:

2016 - Community celebrations after AGL withdraws its application to drill 330 coal seam gas extraction wells in the area.

December 2017 - celebrations continue when the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refuses consent to the Rocky Hill Coal Project proposed by Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL). The PAC found that the mine was not in the public interest because of its proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and direct contravention of the area’s zoning plans.

The PAC also refuses consent to a Modification of the consent for the nearby Stratford mine - operated by a related company of Yancoal Australia Limited - that proposed the receipt, processing and railing of coal from the Project.  The PAC found that the Modification would have no critical purpose or utility outside the Project.

Planning Minister grants both mining companies the right to appeal the refusal of consent to the Land and Environment Court.

February 2018 - Our client, Groundswell Gloucester, seeks to be joined to the proceedings.

April 2018 - following a full-day hearing, the Land and Environment Court orders that Groundswell Gloucester be joined to the proceedings brought by GRL.
In relation to the climate change ground, on joining Groundswell Gloucester, the Court noted that:
“GRL submits that the raising of the climate issue as proposed in a domestic Court if the Intervener were joined would not serve the purpose of improving this particular planning decision; and, instead, would be a “side show and a distraction”. I do not agree.”

Our client has been permitted by the Court to present expert evidence on climate change and the social impacts of this new mine. The Court will hear anthropological evidence about the social impact of mining on the community.

This is the first time an Australian court will hear expert evidence about the urgent need to stay within the global carbon budget in the context of a proposed new coal mine.

Key dates
13-14 August 2018
Opening submissions at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney
15 August 2018
Site visit (parties only) Gloucester
16-17 August 2018
Hearings in Gloucester (community objectors)
20-24 & 27-31 August 2018
Submissions and expert witnesses at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Background

This is the first hearing of its kind since the historic Paris Agreement in which a superior jurisdiction Australian court will hear expert testimony about climate change, the carbon budget and the impacts of the burning of fossil fuels.

For years EDO NSW has supported the Gloucester community, providing legal and scientific advice. This contributed to a recommendation from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in 2016 to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to refuse GRL’s greenfield mine application, known as the Rocky Hill Coal Project (the Project) and the associated Stratford modification.

In December 2017, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refused consent to the Project and the modification, finding they were not in the public interest because of proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and the area’s zoning under planning laws.

In deciding how the Project and modification would be assessed, the NSW Minister for Planning granted unusual merit appeal rights to GRL and Yancoal who are now joined together in aggressively challenging the refusal in the Land and Environment Court.

Both coal companies have recruited their own legal and scientific teams. However Groundswell Gloucester was not told about the merit appeal until February, two months after GRL filed the case.

EDO NSW case page: www.edonsw.org.au/groundswell 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Concerned citizens can donate to the Environmental Defence Fund here.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Clarence River Estuary communities need to remain both alert and alarmed as NSW Berejiklian Government seeks to expand exposure to international cruise ship industry


In July 2018 the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government released the document “NSW Cruise Development Plan” to the delight of the international cruise ship industry.

This plan confirms that Berejiklian ministry - sitting in offices over 670kms south of the small towns of Yamba and Iluka on the banks of the Clarence River estuary - is still pursuing the idea that the Port of Yamba is a potential official cruise ship destination.

The state government also obviously expects that Clarence Valley local government will both accommodate the needs of the plan and contribute to the cost of meeting this aim if it is progressed.

To further the Berejiklian Government’s aim to make as many small ports or undeveloped harbours/inlets capable of use by cruise ships the NSW Cruise Development Plan states that:

A regulatory framework that fosters the competitiveness of ports, encourages the expansion of the tourism sector, minimises environmental impacts, protects the community, and supports jobs growth is required for the NSW cruise industry.
National regulatory barriers currently inhibit the cruise industry, including the small expedition and luxury cruise market’s, access to NSW coastal ports.

Differences in regulatory requirements between states also restricts the freedom of cruise liners to set national itineraries that take advantage of regional ports.
The NSW Government will continue to lead discussions with the other States, Territories and the Commonwealth on removing regulatory barriers that limit cruise ship growth potential.

Action: The NSW Government will investigate opportunities to remove regulatory barriers to entry for emerging cruise markets, including the expedition cruise market, and will seek an inter-jurisdictional policy position with other governments. [my yellow highlighting]

What the Liberal-Nationals government in faraway Sydney considers as “regulatory barriers” may not be what the people of the Lower Clarence River consider as impediments which should be removed.


They are in place for good reason and any weakening of these regulations has the potential to affect the environmental sustainability of an ancient, healthy and highly productive estuary system which is the largest in south-east Australia and, whose waters are covered by Yaegl Native Title.

Facts estuary communities may need to continually press upon a state government wrapped up as it is in a cosy relationship with the international cruise ship industry.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Stopping coal expansions in NSW that are bigger than Adani's proposed Carmichael Mine complex


Thursday, 2 August 2018

NSW Roads & Maritime Services finally come clean: We don't give a damn about any of the concerns Woombah & Iluka residents have about our asphalt plant, it's only Pacific Complete's bottom line that matters


The Daily Examiner via Press Reader, 1 August 2018:

ROADS and Martime Services has revealed it will build at least two asphalt batching plants near the Pacific Highway, most likely between Tyndale and the Iluka turnoff, next year.

Pacific Highway general manager Bob Higgins said the RMS has pressed the pause button on construction of one plant at Woombah, but the need to supply the Glenugie to Iluka Rd turnoff section with 170,000 tonnes of asphalt would require two plants.

He said the RMS would review the supply strategy for the manufacture and delivery of asphalt on the stretch of highway upgrade after protests from the Woombah community.

But Mr Higgins said if push came to shove when the RMS review decided on locations, residents’ objections would take second place to the technical needs of the project. [my yellow highlighting]

What a travesty Pacific Highway Upgrade community consultations are cannot get much clearer than this.

I'm sure local residents will not be pleased to have their fears confirmed.

Whether he meant to or not, Bob Higgins has probably just cemented the proposed Woombah asphalt batching site as a March 2019 NSW state election issue in the Clarence electorate for both the NSW National Party and the Berejiklian Coalition Government.

No-one likes to be told their valid concerns - about environmental impact, road safety, air quality and potential reduction in tourism numbers which underpin the local economy - don't matter to the state government down in Sydney.

BACKGROUND






Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Pacific Highway Upgrade 2018: the saga of the unwanted Woombah asphalt batching plant continues


In its latest letterbox drop to Woombah and Iluka communities on 30 July 2018 NSW Road and Maritime Services (RMS) has admitted that, despite a commitment to review the proposed site of the Woombah temporary asphalt plant servicing the Iluka to Devil’s Pulpit section of the Pacific Highway upgrade, it still intends to place 4,000 tons of asphalt on this site by Christmas 2018.

As if from these photographs below locals could not already tell that the plan to use the site for asphalt batching remains active - despite strong community opposition based on road safety, air quality, health and environmental concerns.




Photographs supplied anonymously




This turnoff is the temporary Pacific Highway-Garrets Lane intersection created in March 2018 by NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Pacific Complete as the highway upgrade proceeds along a 27 kilometre stretch. 

It is also the intersection now used by heavy vehicles accessing the proposed site of the temporary asphalt batching plant.

It is an intersection and road Pacific Complete is assuring local residents has been designed and built in accordance with the design criteria.

As the Iluka and Woombah communities were not supplied with a detailed traffic audit for the road design or the change to road design which is set to occur in 2019, they have to take the consortium's word that this is so.

If the complaints by some local residents of being harried by impatient construction truck drivers as they attempt to negotiate the Pacific Highway-Garrets Lane turnoff are any indication, between now and Christmas there may be another collision there.

RMS and Pacific Complete have promised to hold information sessions with the two communities again - one version states sessions commence on 30 July 2018 and another rather obscure document states they commence on 30 August 2018.

July 30 has come and gone without that particular information session taking place.

The deadline for submissions on the temporary asphalt batching plant is 10 August 2018.

Given that deadline, either RMS and Pacific Complete are the most appalling managers of the community consultation process or they are trying to limit the ability to submit fully informed written responses by10 August.

The suspicion that National Party cronyism has played a part in the choice of site is starting to be quietly muttered under the breath as well. It seems Lower Clarence River folk have long memories.

This botched Iluka to Devil's Pulpit highway construction planning and community consultation is likely to be on the minds of quite a few Woombah and Iluka residents as they cast their votes at the NSW state election in March next year.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Pacific Highway Upgrade has hit a noticeable bump in the road and the fault lies firmly with NSW Roads and Maritime Services, Pacific Complete, the Minister for Roads and the National Party


In July 2018 the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) was called to account by the communities of Woombah and Iluka for a lack of transparency and only paying lip service to community consultation with regard to the Iluka to Devil's Pulpit Section 6 stage of the Pacific Highway upgrade and, the plan to site a temporary asphalt batching plant and a foamed bitumen plant on a rural lot adjoining the Pacific Highway-Iluka Road T-intersection.

Iluka Road is the only road in and out of both of these small villages whose local economies are heavily reliant on a clean, green, family friendly image and nature-based tourism.

This is the official response of the Pacific Highway upgrade consortium to date:

Nationals MP For Clarence Chris Gulaptis in another media release characterised the RMS-Pacific Complete response as Back to the drawing board for Clarence Pacific Highway upgrade asphalt plant temporary asphalt batch plant.

It is unfortunate that he did so, as Woombah residents can clearly see that site preparation on the lot is still proceeding for the temporary asphalt plant and foamed bitumen plant.

Which leaves some residents concerned that Chris Gulaptis is primarily focused on commercial needs of the Pacific Complete consortium and, that NSW Roads and Maritime Services having been caught out are now merely going through the motions so that there is a suitable paper trail should the issue become even more contentious and so come to the notice of Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey.

Residents point out that Jackybulbin and the Rest Area approximately five kilometres away are ideal sites. That the Woombah lot is probably the construction consortium's preferred ancillary site simply because they have an existing lease there.

In response to Gulaptis' spin for the consumption of local media, Woombah and Iluka residents opposing the preferred site have stated in an email:

1. Woombah and Iluka stand united in expressing 'no confidence' in the Laing O'Rourke/Brinkerhoff unincorporated consortium known as "Pacific Complete". Laing O'Orurke is the correct identity for publishing as it is the INSURED PARTY (see attached). Laing O'Rourke Australian arm is for sale and Brinkerhoff is the named party in several issues with previous works such as Lane Cove Tunnel.

2. "Pacific Complete" has been negligent in [failing to notify] the affected members of the communities (all road users of these communities including children on buses and visitors and assessing the proposed shared access roads) and the lack of experience by the "Pacific Complete" Project Team has caused serious distress to the residents of Woombah and Iluka due to two failed communications engagements.

3. "Pacific Complete" and the Roads & Maritime Service NSW has pursued it's objectives and shown complete disregard toward the genuine safety and security issues that will be faced by residents using Iluka Rd to the Iluka Road Pacific Highway turn-off.

4. "Pacific Complete" failed in its duty to correctly identify and assess all viable sites for the asphalt plant.

5. At this time "Pacific Complete" and RMS have offered no traffic solution in the event that no other suitable location of the plant can be identified.

6. Should "Pacific Complete" and the RMS pursue the Woombah site for the Asphalt Batch Plant with no dedicated route for construction/plant vehicles, residents of Woombah & Iluka will consider forming a class action lawsuit against the parties for wilful endangerment.

7. Objectives now are to monitor Pacific Complete to take the preferred site as one of other now five options that do not affect traffic, local residents and the environment.

8. January is Pacific Complete peak movement of trucks month for the Asphalt Plant. They did not consider this ….would affect our peak Holiday period?

Research by local residents also suggests that RMS and Pacific Complete may not be fully compliant with guidelines for the establishment of ancillary facilities when it comes to the Woombah site.

Of particular concern is; (i) the south west flow of surface water on the lot and, whether during any high rainfall event over the next two and a half years, contaminated water might escape and flow from the batching plant infrastructure into the 80ha Mororo Creek Nature Reserve and then along the final est. 2.5km length of the creek which empties into the Clarence River estuary and (ii) the proposed shared access road for heavy trucks and residents' cars and school buses now intersects with the proposed ancillary site at a point which is a known koala crossing.


Image contributed

The next NSW state election will be held on 23 March 2019 in just eight months time.

If the Woobah site remains the preferred site, by then the asphalt batching plant (and possibly the foamed bitumen plant) will have been operational for at least five months and up to 500 heavy truck movements a day will have been occurring over that time with peak activity coinciding with the Woombah-Iluka annual summer tourism period 

One wonders what the Berejiklian Government down in Sydney and the NSW National Party were thinking.

Do they really believe the dust, noise, odour and disruptive traffic will endear Chris Gulaptis to voters in these towns on polling day?

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

NSW Berejiklian Government 2018: How not to conduct a community consultation in the Clarence Valley, NSW



The Daily Examiner, Letter to the Editor, 10 July 2018, p.13:

So Road and Maritime Services intends to establish a temporary asphalt batching plant at Woombah with a heavy truck access road crossing Iluka Road approximately 230 metres from the Pacific Highway T-intersection.

One couldn’t choose a site more unsafe for private vehicles and more disruptive to tourist traffic. One that also is less than 500 metres from a waterway which empties into the Clarence River Estuary.

One couldn’t find a more inadequate approach to community consultation.

The Pillar Valley community were given an RMS community information session scheduled to last one and a half hours in May 2016 ahead of construction of a temporary batching plant there.

In September 2016 the Donnellyville community received a detailed 5-page information document at least a month ahead of construction and this included an aerial map showing infrastructure layout within the proposed temporary batching plant site. Up front the community was allotted two drop-in information sessions.
Most of the residents in Woombah and Iluka appear to have found out about the proposed temporary plant planned for Woombah in July 2018, the same month construction is due to start.

This plant will be in use for the next two and a half years but only a few residents were given some rudimentary information in a 3-page document and initially the community was not even offered a drop-in information session.

Perhaps the NSW Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, and Roads and Maritime Services might like to explain the haphazard, belated approach taken to informing the communities of Woombah and Iluka of the proposed plant.

The people of Woombah and Iluka deserve better. They deserve a formal information night which canvasses all the issues, with representatives from RMS and the Pacific Highway project team prepared to address concerns and answer questions, as well as a representative of the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight in attendance as an observer.

They don’t deserve to be fobbed off with a quick patch-up, comprising a drop-in information session and one RMS representative deciding to attend a local community run meeting.

I’m sure that all residents and business owners in both Woombah and Iluka would appreciate a departmental re-think of this situation.

Judith Melville, Yamba

It is also beginning to look as though Roads and Maritime Services is only just getting around to meeting with Clarence Valley shire councillors as a group this week to brief them on the asphalt batching plant site.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

NSW Berejiklian Government still playing hide and seek with independent review of the out-of-home care system


In November 2015 the NSW Government gave retired senior public servant David Tune the task of conducting an independent review of the out-of-home care system in the state.

In August 2016 the then Baird Government Cabinet considered his report.

However, it took until 2018, on the heel of threats from the NSW Upper House, before this report was released by the Berejiklian Government.

Although details of this report have become available to mainstream media, as yet there is no complete copy on the NSW Government's Family & Community Services or "Their Futures Matter" websites.

So it was not surprising to see the responsible minister duck for cover.


The Guardian, 13 June 2018:

NSW minister for family services Pru Goward blamed the premier’s department for the decision to withhold a damning report into NSW’s out-of-home care system.

Goward appeared on ABC Canberra radio on Wednesday morning and when the questioning turned from local issues to the Tune report she appeared to end the interview abruptly with: “I have to go.”


Thursday, 31 May 2018

The people of the Liverpool Plains versus Santos and its irresponsible domestic and international shareholders


Oil and gas mining corporation Santos Limited is currently seeking approval to drill up to 850 natural gas wells on est. 425 sites over 95,000 hectares in the Pilliga Forest region of north-west New South Wales. 

Pilliga Forest is consdered a rare example of intact temperate forest and covers an est. 300,000 hectares sitting atop a recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin.

Santos presents itself as an Australian company, yet two affilated Chinese companys hold over 624 million voting shares in the companyand its top institutional shareholders contain the usual mix of international banks, finance and investment companies2.

In its 2017 annual report Santos admits; A range of environmental risks exist within oil and gas exploration and production activities3

This is the response of the people living on the Liverpool Plains. 


The backyard of New South Wales is facing its biggest threat yet – invasive gasfields. Betrayal by governments has meant protectors are fighting to save the things they love. The Pilliga, Great Artesian Basin, Liverpool Plains – all are at risk. This is a David and Goliath battle to save our land, air and water from destruction. It’s also a fight for the soul and future of Australia. In this film we meet the experts and people living in the sacrifice zone and uncover the truth behind the real gas crisis confronting ordinary Australians.

https://youtu.be/h3h1FxwI1CE

Footnotes
1. As of 27 June 2017 Hony Partners Group, L.P and ENN Ecological Holdings Co Ltd acting in concert
2. At Page 130 https://www.santos.com/media/4319/2017-annual-report.pdf.
3. 15 February 2017 Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection fined Santos  $12,190 for non-compliance with a Soils Management Plan.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Here we are on the NSW North Coast living amid remnants of the splendor that was Australia in 1788.....


....and it is fading and dying before our very eyes, while the Turnbull Coalition Government follows in the footsteps of the Abbott Coalition Government by turning its back on us and our concerns.

North Coast Environment Council, media release, 7 May 2018:


… SCIENTISTS ARE THE NEXT CASUALTIES …

Malcolm Turnbull's Government has launched yet another offensive on the environment, with the announcement it was sacking dozens of scientists.

“The rivers of cash that the government has to splash around don't extend to environmental protection,” said Susie Russell, North Coast Environment Council Vice-President.

“This will have a significant impact on north coast forests. We have been relying on the Recovery Planning process to guarantee some protection for nationally endangered species. Only last month, NCEC was a signatory (with NEFA, the National Parks Association and the South East Region Conservation Alliance) to a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. We pleaded for Canberra to take its environmental responsibilities seriously. We pointed out that the NSW Government was not abiding by Federal Recovery Plans for threatened species.


The Greater Glider is one of the species where a Recovery Plan is required, but nothing gets produced.
Photo by Jasmine Zeleny.


Sunday, 13 May 2018

Safer Pathway program becomes third government-led domestic violence initiative to be found ineffective by BOCSAR



The NSW Government domestic violence program rolled out between September 2014 and July 2015......


The safety and protection of victims and their children lies at the heart of It Stops Here: Standing Together to End Domestic and Family Violence, the NSW Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Framework for Reform.

Safer Pathway proposes a fundamental change in how agencies and organisations support victim’s safety in NSW. Through Safer Pathway, the right services are provided to victims when they need them, in a coordinated way.

The key components of Safer Pathway build on the existing service response. These are:

* a Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT) to better and consistently identify the level of domestic violence threat to victims

* a Central Referral Point to electronically manage and monitor referrals

* a state-wide network of Local Coordination Points that facilitate local responses and provide victims with case coordination and support. By the end of March 2018, Safer Pathway will be operational at the following 43 sites: Albury, Armidale, Ashfield/Burwood, Bankstown, Bathurst, Blacktown, Blue Mounatins, Bourke, Broken Hill, Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Far South Coast, Goulburn, Gosford, Griffith, Hunter Valley, Illawarra, Lismore, Liverpool, Moree, Mt Druitt, Newcastle, Newtown, Northern Beaches, Nowra, Orange, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, St George, Sutherland, Tamworth, Taree, Toronto, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga, Walgett, Waverley, Wollongong and Wyong.

* Safety Action Meetings in which members develop plans for victims at serious threat of death, disability or injury as a result of domestic and family violence

* information sharing legislation that allows service providers to share information about victims and perpetrators so that victims do not have to retell their story multiple times, to hold perpetrators accountable and promote an integrated response for victims at serious threat.

The outcome at Year 4 of the program......


Wai-Yin Wan, Hamish Thorburn, Suzanne Poynton and Lily TrimboliAssessing the impact of NSW’s Safer Pathway Program on recorded crime outcomes – an aggregate-level analysis, February 2018


A signature NSW government program to reduce domestic violence rates is failing to protect women from further harm, a new report reveals, casting doubt over the Premier’s target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2021.

The Safer Pathway program, a key feature of state government's 2014 domestic violence reforms, "has only had a limited effect on the incidence of domestic violence", according to two reports released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

It is the third government-led domestic violence initiative to be found ineffective by BOCSAR in recent months.

Dr Don Weatherburn, BOCSAR's director, said the Premier's goal of reducing the number of perpetrators who reoffend within 12 months to 10.7 per cent by 2021 was now out of reach.

"Judging from what we've seen there's no way we are going to have a 25 per cent reduction in domestic violence reoffending by 2021,"  he said.

Under the Safer Pathway program, police are required to assess all victims who report domestic violence using a questionnaire known as the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool.

Victims assessed as having a "serious risk" are then referred to a Safety Action Meeting (SAM), where a team of experts develop an "action plan" for the victim.
BOCSAR tracked more than 24,000 cases of domestic violence between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016, and found that the questionnaire was a "very poor instrument for measuring the risk of repeat domestic violence victimisation, often performing little better than chance".

As part of the questionnaire, victims are required to answer 25 questions designed to assess their risk-level. A police officer then performs a further assessment, including whether there are children at risk of harm. Victims are considered at "serious risk" if they respond "yes" to at least 12 questions, and if the officer's assessment also concludes there is a legitimate threat.

However, BOCSAR's report found that 90 per cent of those who experienced repeat victimisation had responded ‘'yes'’ to fewer than 12 items in the questionnaire.
“Large numbers of women who are at serious risk aren't being identified as such and aren't being given the support of a safety action meeting,” Dr Weatherburn said.

He said the questionnaire also failed to ask critical questions, such as whether the victim intended to live with the perpetrator.

"We were shocked to discover how bad that instrument was. You might as well guess who is at serious risk,” Dr Weatherburn said…..

Dr Weatherburn said the program's ineffectiveness was partly a byproduct of the inadequacies of the screening process, which he said resulted in women who were not at serious risk being referred to the safe action meetings.

A spokeswoman for Pru Goward, the minister for the prevention of domestic violence, said the NSW government was currently working with BOCSAR to develop "a revised and improved risk assessment tool for domestic violence victims."