Showing posts with label New South Wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New South Wales. Show all posts

Monday, 29 June 2020

Murdoch & Costello may be doing their best to kill off print newspapers in Australia but some country towns are fighting back

ABC News, 26 June 2020:

As News Corp prints its final print editions of 125 titles, entrepreneurial publishers are considering how to fill the void. Newspaper editor Jeff Gibbs has employed 12 staff in the past week, picking up journalists made redundant by News Corp in northern New South Wales. 

Mr Gibbs said the opportunity presented by News Corp was too good to pass up. "We decided that the community needed a community newspaper and so we banded together and thought, 'right, let's do this,'" Mr Gibbs said. 

Jeff Gibbs thinks many readers and advertisers are not ready to go digital.(Supplied: Northern Rivers Times
From offices in Casino, Mr Gibbs and his staff are preparing the first edition of The Northern Rivers Times. 
Mr Gibbs said he had done the sums, and could make the numbers add up producing a weekly free publication with an initial print run of 15,000 covering the NSW Northern Rivers region, from Tweed Heads to Grafton.

"There's a number of ways of doing it and it's purely through advertising," Mr Gibbs said. "We're doing it all in house, we're not farming anything out. 

"I don't know what News Corp's business model was, but I can't see why they couldn't make it work." 

Mr Gibbs said it was his firm belief that a lot of readers and advertisers were not ready to go digital, particularly in areas with poor internet coverage.

Other print mastheads which have launched since those previously servicing rural/regional communities announced closures:

Southern Highland Express established June 2020 & published weekly. Price $2

Yass Valley Times established June 2020 & published weekly.

Hunter River Times established June 2020 & published fortnightly. Free

Naracoorte Community News established May 2020 & published weekly. Price $2

Ararat Advocate established May 2020 & published weekly.

Braidwood Changing Times established April 2020 & published fortnightly. Free

If you live in these areas please consider placing your business advertising, community notices, or personal notices in these new papers.

Print is much easier on the eye than News Corp and Nine digital newspaper editions, which in the end carry very little local news.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has confirmed its major rural and regional insurer, WFI, will join its other subsidiary, CGU, in no longer providing public liability cover if there is "unconventional gas" operations on properties

ABC News, 10 June 2020:
Image: ABC Southern Queensland: Nathan Morris

Australia's largest insurance company says it will no longer cover farmers for public liability if they have coal seam gas (CSG) infrastructure on their property. 

The development has made farmers fearful they will have to cease farming altogether if they cannot get cover. 

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has confirmed its major rural and regional insurer, WFI, will join its other subsidiary, CGU, in no longer providing the coverage if there is "unconventional gas" operations on properties. 

IAG said for customers who "have operational CSG or shale gas activities or infrastructure on their property, such as a coal seam gas well, we will be unable to provide liability cover as part of their insurance policy". 

IAG said the company does not specialise in mining and resources operations and the change will affect existing customers when their policies come up for renewal. AgForce Queensland said that is as soon as the end of this month. Michael Guerin talks to a man in front of a book shelf. 

AgForce Queensland CEO Michael Guerin says farmers are worried the change could expose them to liability risks..... 

Queensland farmers said they were fearful the change could expose them to liability risks and could extend to other risks associated with CSG, such as the potential for groundwater contamination. 

It is understood the Queensland Government has been holding talks with insurers, mining industry representatives and AgForce, in an attempt to resolve the problem..... 

ABC News has obtained legal advice provided to the New South Wales Government in 2014, warning that insurance for CSG in Australia was "inadequate" and measures were needed to address the potential cost of contamination risks. [my yellow highlighting]

AgForce's Queensland chief executive Michael Guerin said farmers were deeply concerned. 

"Producers, like any business, can't operate without insurance," Mr Guerin said.

Spokesperson for the Lock the Gate Alliance, Rick Humphries is calling on the gas industry to compensate farmers.....

He said while some other insurers were providing cover for now, there was a risk they would pull out of the sector or jack up prices. "All of those dangers are there," he said. 

"There's a danger that insurance premiums will go up [and] there's a danger insurance will be harder to get." 

AgForce Queensland said insurance being withdrawn threatened the coexistence of unconventional gas and agriculture. 

He said there had been a lot of hard work in devising complicated agreements to allow the two industries to work together over the years. 

"If part of the insurance industry starts withdrawing cover, it puts that at risk, and that's the core of the concern at the moment," Mr Guerin said. 

Anti-mining, pro-agriculture group Lock the Gate said the gas industry should be made to compensate farmers. Spokesperson for Lock the Gate and former mining consultant, Rick Humphries, said farmers should not be the ones facing the risk. 

"The onus is on the gas industry to get insurance products that cover their assets and protect the farmer," Mr Humphries said. 

"The farmer shouldn't have to run around and look for insurance products. 

"But the way that the system has worked is that the Government has knowingly allowed gas industry to enter into contracts with farmers that expose farmers to a whole range of business and natural resource risks around water and land contamination." 

He said laws needed to be changed to force the companies to act. "The whole mining and gas model is all about transferring as much risk away from the shareholder," he said. 

"The companies won't willingly step up and do this because it's an additional expense, and they have to take on the risk. 

"Governments have to intervene to force mining and gas companies to take out insurance products, or demonstrate they [have] adequate coverage that will compensate landholders."......

Read the full article here.


* Queensland Government Audit Office 2019-20 report on Queensland coal seam gas activities can be found at:

ABC News, 30 March 2020:

A leaked expert report shows the Queensland Government was advised to stop further gas fracking in the state's sensitive Channel Country, but a separate department had already extended gas exploration until 2030. 

A confidential report to the Queensland Environment Department prepared by environmental scientists recommended that infrastructure for gas fracking and mining was "unacceptable" in the Lake Eyre Basin floodplains, known as the Channel Country. 

The 47-page report, obtained by ABC News, lists scores of potential risks associated with so-called unconventional gas extraction, (also known as gas fracturing or fracking), including direct impacts on threatened species and water quality. 

As ABC News revealed earlier this year, the Queensland Mines Department in March 2019 had approved Santos to keep exploring commercial gas opportunities in the area until 2030, despite an election commitment to protect "pristine rivers" and work with stakeholders. 

A union of environmentalists, graziers, traditional owners and other stakeholders, known as the Western Rivers Alliance, said the promised consultation did not happen. 

The report, recommending that further fracking for natural gas be stopped, was received by the Environment Department in October last year.....

Friday, 15 May 2020

COVID-19 infections surface again in NSW Northern Rivesr region after almost five weeks virus free

Northern NSW Local Health District, media release, 14 May 2020:

An additional two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the last 24 hours in residents of the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD). 

This brings the total cases to 57 as at 8pm Wednesday 13 May. The new cases include one resident who acquired the illness overseas and one resident whose case is still being investigated with regards to the source. 

51 cases in Northern NSW Local Health District are recovered. There are no cases being treated in hospital. 

NNSWLHD cases by likely source of infection: 

Source Total Overseas or interstate acquired 53 
Contact of a confirmed case or in a known cluster 2 
Contact not identified 1 
Under investigation 1 
Total 57 

More information and statistics for Local Government Areas can be found at 

Relaxed gathering restrictions to be handled with care 

As we move to easing some restrictions on public gatherings, dining and outdoor activities from tomorrow, I want to remind our community to take their personal responsibilities seriously. 

It’s good news that we’ll be able to move about more freely and catch up with our friends and family, but we still have an obligation to practice social distancing measures to prevent transmission of this virus. 

As we’ve seen in recent days, the numbers of new cases can vary from day to day, we have certainly not overcome this pandemic. 

Please do your best to keep your 1.5 metre distance from others, keep up frequent hand washing and avoid touching your face or public surfaces where possible. I also encourage everyone to download the COVIDsafe app, to help with contact tracing as we become more mobile. 

It’s also imperative that anyone who is showing flu-like symptoms, however mild, comes forward for testing and stays home while they are unwell. 

Our testing clinics are open seven days a week, and we encourage people to be tested again if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, even if they have had a negative test previously.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. commences a civil enforcement proceeding in NSW Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Incorprated is a group of bushfire survivors, firefighters, local councillors who have joined together to demand the Government take immediate action on climate change.

The group says of itself: "We have come together because we have lost our homes and our communities to bushfires and we want action. We are sick of waiting and we won’t put up with half-measures anymore. The Government can no longer ignore the way their climate change denial is hurting our communities and putting lives at risk. They must take Australia beyond coal projects like Adani and move to 100% renewable energy for all."

On 20 April 2020 Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. brought a civil enforcement proceeding in the Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The proceedings seek to force the EPA to establish a climate policy, based on its statutory role which includes a requirement to prepare policies to protect the environment. The group will be arguing that the EPA as lead environment regulator in NSW failed to establish such policies in relation to climate change.

The outcome of this case is of particular interest to communities in the NSW Northern Rivers region given the mega wildfires of the 2019-2020 bushfire season and the environmental devastation/property loss/social dsiruption in their wake.

On 27 April 2020 The Daily Examiner reported:

Any notion that climate change is an issue that can be dealt with effectively in some distant future has been shown to be untenable given events of the past few years. 

Extreme weather events, severe droughts and longer and more catastrophic bushfire seasons have shown more people there is a connection between these events and the growing carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Australians concerned about climate change are becoming increasingly frustrated with the ostrich-like attitudes of many politicians and government agencies. 

One group that is taking legal action in an attempt to force a NSW government agency to do more on climate change is Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, which is taking the Environmental ­Protection Agency to court ­because of its failure to better protect communities. 

Group president Jo Dodds said all members had experienced a bushfire first-hand. They believed climate change was a major contributing factor to the cause and growing intensity of bushfires in Australia. 

She said the issue wasn’t being taken seriously enough and “there’s a sense that the bushfires are over and we can get back to normal life after COVID-19 – but the fires are going to come harder and more frequently”. 

The Environmental Defenders Office is representing the group. EDO chief executive David Morris said the EPA had “a statutory mandate to protect the environment … but the EPA don’t have a current policy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions”. 

“Those two things can’t coexist,” he said. “We’re simply asking the court to tell the EPA go and create environmental quality objectives with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, regulate the pollution and use their existing powers to do so.” 

According to the EDO, the EPA is in a unique position. As an agency “with teeth”, it has the power to issue licences to control pollution, as well as put caps and prices on substances that are harmful to the environment. 

The case is listed in the NSW Land and Environment Court in Sydney on May 8. 

Leonie Blain, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

NSW Northern Rivers COVID-19 cases still slowly growing

COVID-19 cumulative confirmed cases in NSW Northern Rivers Region
  • confirmed COVID-19 cases 16 March 2020
  • confirmed COVID-19 cases 18 March 2020
  • confirmed COVID-19 cases 22 March 2020
  • 7 confirmed COVID-19 cases 23 March 2020
  • 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases 24 March 2020
  • 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases 26 March 2020
  • 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases 27 March 2020
  • 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases 30 March 2020
  • 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases 31 March 2020
  • 42 confirmed COVID-19 cases 1 April 2020 - Kyogle 0 cases, Richmond Valley 0 cases, Ballina 4 cases, Lismore 5 cases, Clarence Valley 8 cases, Tweed 12 cases, Byron Bay 13 cases.
  • 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases 2 April 2020 
  • 45 confirmed COVID-19 cases 3 April 2020
  • 46 confirmed COVID-19 caes 5 April 2020 - Kyogle 0 cases, Richmond Valley 4 cases, Ballina 4 cases, Lismore 5  cases, Clarence Valley 8 cases, Tweed 13 cases, Byron Bay 13 cases.
  • 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases 6 April 2020
  • 48 confirmed COVID-19 cases 7 April 2020
  • 51 confirmed COVID-19 cases 9 April 2020 - Kyogle 0 cases, Richmond Valley 4 cases, Ballina 4 cases, Lismore 5 cases, Clarence Valley 8 cases, Tweed 14 cases, Byron Bay 16 cases.
  • 53 confirmed COVID-19 cases 11 April 2020 
According to The Daily Examiner the virus was first reported in the Byron Bay local government area on March 14, then in the Clarence Valley on March 19, followed between March 22 to 24 by reports of COVID-19 cases in Lismore and Tweed local government areas. The virus then surfaced in Ballina and Richmond local government areas.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic 2020: NSW local government elections postponed for twelve months from September 2020

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government, media release,  25 March 2020:

Local Government Elections

The NSW Government has made the regrettable decision to postpone the September local government elections for 12 months in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local government elections are a vital part of the democratic process, ensuring local councils are accountable to their local communities.
Therefore, the decision to postpone them has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the health and safety of voters, NSW Electoral Commission staff and election candidates.
The decision follows Parliament passing amendments to the Local Government Act to provide me with the power to postpone the elections.
The NSW Electoral Commissioner has also requested that the Government postpone the council elections.
This decision provides certainty for local councils, communities and election candidates.
The postponement of the next round of council elections will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent elections will still proceed in September 2024
Mayoral elections will still be held in 2020.

Monday, 23 March 2020

The risk of aggressive behaviour in supermarket aisles continues despite attempts to address shelf shortages

On 17 and 18 March 2020 first Woolworths and then Coles implemented a 7am to 8am shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable.

Later in the day on Tuesday 17 March 2020 this happened at a Coles supermarket.......

Echo NetDaily, 19 March 2020:

About 3.30pm (Tuesday, 17 March, 2020), police received reports a man assaulted multiple people at a supermarket in a shopping centre on Uralba Street, Lismore. 

It is alleged, after becoming agitated when he was unable to find items he wanted to buy, the man pushed his trolley into two women, believed to be aged in their 70s, knocking one to the ground. 

He then allegedly pinned a 45-year-old female store attendant against the shelving and punched her in the face and chest. 

The store manager and a security guard approached the man and were also allegedly assaulted, before the man was removed from the premises. 

The 45-year-old woman sustained bruising and swelling to her left jaw, bruising and swelling to her left forearm, a small laceration to her left forearm, stiffness to her neck, bruising to her chest but declined medical assistance. 

The two older women left the store without leaving their details and it’s unknown if they were injured. 

Following a public appeal, a 63-year-old man was arrested by officers from Richmond Police District on Nimbin Road, North Lismore and taken to Lismore Police Station. 

 He was charged with affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. 

The man was refused bail and will appear at Lismore Local Court today (Thursday, 19 March, 2020).

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Clarence Valley 2020: For the first time since WWII Maclean's Highland Gathering has been cancelled

On 16 March 2020 the organiser's of the Highland Gathering at Maclean NSW - due to be held on 10 & 11 of April - announced it will not be held this year due to national restrictions in place with regard to large groups during the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary of the Lower Clarence Scottish Association Alister Smith told The Daily Examiner“We obviously have a lot of people within the particular age range that are susceptible. It’s a very difficult decision when you think the last time we’ve had to cancel the gathering was for World War II.”

Participating bands, solo players, stall holders and sponsors will be contacted in coming days to make arrangements for repayment of any fees.

In the Clarence Valley at least 17.5 per cent of the populaion are 70 years of age or older and, health authorities have identified the elderly as being more vulnerable to infection.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

COVID-19 virus spread in NSW is gaining pace in March 2020

This post is no longer updating.
11 Affected NSW Local Heath Districts, 14 March 2020

In the space of fourteen days the COVID-19 virus went from 6 cases in New South Wales to 91 cases.

To date 44.4% of all Australian confirmed COVID-19 cases are in this state.


48.7% as of 15 March 2020
45.2% as of 16 March 2020
46.6% as of 17 March 2020
47% as of 18 March 2020
45% as of 19 March 2020
41.7% as of 20 March 2020
40.6% as of 21 March 2020
39.36% as of 22 March 2020
41% as of 23 March 2020
44.6% as of 24 March 2020
42.4% as of 25 March 2020
43.5% as of 26 March 2020

Cumulative COVID-19 confirmed infection numbers since the outbreak began in New South Wales*
  • 15 January 2020 - 1 case
  • 25 January 2020 - 3 cases
  • 31 January to 28 February 2020 - 4 cases
  • 29 February 2020 - 6 cases
  • 2 March 2020 - 9 cases
  • 3 March 2020 - 15 cases
  • 4 March 2020 - 22 cases
  • 5 March 2020 - 25 cases
  • 6 March 2020 - 28 cases
  • 7 March 2020 - 36 cases
  • 8 March 2020 - 40 cases
  • 9 March 2020 - 47 cases
  • 10 March 2020- 54 cases
  • 11 March 2020 - 64 cases
  • 12 March 2020 - 77 cases
  • 13 March 2020 - 91 cases
  • 14 March 2029 -111 cases
  • 15 March 2020 - 133 cases
  • 16 March 2020 - 171 cases
  • 17 March 2020 - 210 cases
  • 18 March 2020 - 267 cases
  • 19 March 2020 - 307 cases
  • 20 March 2020 - 353 cases
  • 21 March 2020 - 436 cases
  • 22 March 2020 -533 cases
  • 23 March 2020 - 704 cases
  • 24 March 2020 - 818 cases
  • 25 March 2020 - 1,209 cases
  • 26 March 2020 - 1,219 cases
Conservative infectious disease models suggest that every person infected with COVID-19 has the potential to infect 4 other people.

On 1 February 2020 Australian Prime Minister & MP for Cook Scott Morrison announced a ban on direct travel from mainland China.

On 29 February 2020 Morrison imposed a ban on direct travel from Iran. However this was a case of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted.

On 5 March he announced a ban on travel from Korea and on 11 March from Italy. 

As of 14 March Morrison refuses to consider a ban on travel from the United States of America, even though more people who have entered Australia from the US have been diagnosed with the coronavirus than was the case with incoming flights from Iran.

By Saturday morning, 14 March 2020 there were 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia with 3 deaths and 27 fully recovered, according to an Australian Dept. of Health health alert on the same day. This left 167 confirmed active cases of COVID-19.

That figure changed later on Saturday, as New South Wales,  Western Australia and South Australia reported additional cases, bringing the national count to 223 confirmed cases with three deaths and 27 fully recovered.

As of midnight 14 March 2020 the national count stood at 250 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 8:82pm 15 March 2020 the national count of COVID-19 cases is 251.
As of 11am 15 March 2020 the national count is 273 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 15 March 2020 the COVID-19 national death toll has reached 5 persons.
As of 16 March 2020 the national count is 378 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 17 March 2020 the national count is 450 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 18 March 2020 the national count is 568 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 19 March 2020 the national count is 681 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 20 March 2020 the national count is 846 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 21 March 2020 the national count is 986 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of midnight on 21 March the national count was 1,073 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 7 deaths.
As of 22 March 2020 the national count is 1,354 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
As of 23 March 2020 the national count is 1,717 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As of 24 March 2020 the national count is 1,831 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
As of 25 March 2020 the national count is 2,423 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 
As of 26 March 2020 the national count is 2,799 confirmed COVID-19 cases - the number of deaths has now reached 13.

If Victorian Dept of Health published data is any indication then exposure to this particular coronavirus is likely to occur at Australian airports, aboard domestic/international commercial airline flights, on metropolitan trains, at sporting events, in parks/ovals, at supermarkets, university campuses, hotels, cinemas, markets and medical practices, as well as at high schools.

During this last week, despite federal or state governments refusing to outright ban large gatherings of over 500 people (and only offering recommendations for many types of gatherings) and the prime minister encouraging people to turn up at sporting events, actual event organisers and businesses began to make their own decisions to either cancel events or run them without audiences.

By Friday, after the general public discovered that at least one federal cabinet minister had tested positive for COVID-19, Scott Morrison altered his stance and advised all "non-essential, organised gatherings" of 500 people or more be cancelled from Monday to limit the spread of COVID-19

Mainstream media reported that Mr. Morrison refused to be tested for the virus and, extended this exemption to all of his ministers, stating none needed to be tested or needed to self-isolate.

It seems that there is one rule for the general population based on proven epidemiology protocols and one special rule for Scott Morrison and his political mates.

Luckily for the people of New South Wales someone in the Berejiklian Government had a different perspective on political privilege and, the Sydney offices used by Morrison and certain other cabinet ministers - along with various state /territory ministers and departmental staff - were promptly cleaned.


* Official numbers are not updated on Saturday or Sunday. However, looking at the exponential growth to date, by Monday 16 March 2020, the state of New South Wales may have entered the point of no return if it has not completely banned all large gatherings. 
See: for latest NSW statistics. Please be aware that the original statistics show 1 interstate resident diagnosed in NSW, who by protocol is listed under state of residence, so has been deducted by me from the NSW total. 
It appears that an est. 16,593 people in NSW have been tested for the virus to date, with 14,665 returning a negative result.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped

Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.

What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Open Letter from the NSW South Coast: Dear Mr Morrison

Excerpt from Nick Hopkins open letter published in The Canberra Times, 17 January 2020: 

Today I stand by the smouldering ruins of my beautiful home on the NSW South Coast. Since New Year's Day, climate change has suddenly become very personal for me.

Like thousands of others, Nick Hopkins and Heike Sutherland are dealing with the loss of their family home. Picture: Supplied
You have said you understand my grief. I have heard you are a religious man. My fervent hope is that your God grants you the humility to admit that you do not understand me at all. You have stood by as members of your party have insulted, belittled and ignored people like me when we urged you and your predecessors to take climate change more seriously.
You took no action when my Deputy Prime Minister called people like me a raving lunatic when we dared to link the bushfire emergency to climate change. By your silence you are complicit. May your God grant you the wisdom to understand that my rage at you and your predecessors is an entirely rational response to a set of present and oncoming unnatural disasters from which you have failed to protect me.
You have said you understand my suffering. My heartfelt desire is that your God grants you the ability to see how hollow and insincere that feels to me when you (and Labor) continue to promote the thermal coal industry, which is fanning the flames of intense suffering of humans and animals worldwide. Australian coal is out there in the world being burnt every day and night. Please Mr Morrison, if only for God's sake, join the dots.

If you come to console me in my time of grief, I will not shake your hand until you and your colleagues promise to refuse donations from all fossil fuel companies. I would dearly like to be consoled by you, but I am choking on the hypocrisy of your actions. Until you get serious about political donation reform, your pronouncements will always be tainted by the stench of your largest donors.

You will not earn my respect until you and your colleagues dare to take the Australian public on a journey to transition away from thermal coal mining and exports. Tobacco farmers in the US transitioned away from their industry when the link between cigarettes and cancer become public. And when the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was understood, we left all known reserves in the ground. However, now that the link between the burning of coal and disastrous weather events is well established, both you and the opposition have thrown your support behind opening up the Galilee Basin, starting with the Adani mine.....

Read the full letter here.