Sunday, May 31, 2015
Action on damage to the GBR
I love reading the far-Left "New Matilda". They are such crooks. The article below is critical of the Abbott government in being slow to prosecute an erring Chinese shipping company. It TOTALLY omits to mention that the accident happened during the Leftist Rudd regime and that the Leftists had 3 YEARS to do something but did nothing. If they had a shred of decency the Matildas would be CONGRATULATING Abbott. But there's no decency in Leftism -- only rage, hate anger and lies
The Abbott government is finally moving to sue a Chinese shipping company that destroyed a section of the Great Barrier Reef in 2010. But Greens Environment spokesperson, Larissa Waters wants action on repair. Thom Mitchell reports.
The federal government is suing a Chinese company which caused “the largest known direct impact on a coral reef” when one of its ships ran aground in the Great Barrier Reef off Rockhampton in 2010.
The Chinese-registered Shen Neng 1 ran aground on April 3 in 2010, and “despite ongoing attempts to have the ship’s owner pay for damages, the Commonwealth was unsuccessful in securing funds from the ship owner or its insurer to clean-up and remediate the site”.
Yesterday, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) announced that the government has been left with “no alternative but to take legal action in the Federal Court”.
“This has been a great disappointment, particularly given the nature and scale of the incident, and GBRMPA remains concerned about the long-term health of the shoal,” said Dr Russell Reichelt, the Authority’s Chairman.
“The Commonwealth is seeking damages from the ship’s owner for the cost of remediation of the shoal or, as an alternative, orders requiring remediation of the shoal by the ship’s owner.”
A government report into the incident, handed down in June 2011, examined the affect the ship’s grounding had on the reef.
“The vessel grounding caused significant impacts to the habitats of Douglas Shoal, with extensive areas of severe physical damage to, and destruction of, the shoal habitats and considerable contamination by toxic chemicals,” the report found.
Around 115,000 square metres of the shoal were “severely damaged or destroyed” as the ship remained grounded for nine days, and 400,000 more square metres suffered “patchy or moderate” damage.
In a statement yesterday, Dr Reichelt said contamination from toxic chemicals was of ongoing concern.
“Contamination of sediments by tributyltin, a highly toxic component of anti-foulant paint now banned in Australia for current use, was severe, although highly patchy,” according to the GBRMPA report.
“Strong mixing of the waters over the shoal will mean that the effects of this contamination may be spread very widely, well beyond the area of direct contact with the ship's hull.
“There was also significant pollution by oil, and by oil dispersants, at the time of the grounding,” with oil found on islands up to 25 kilometres from the grounding site.
The government’s announcement that it will go to the courts to try to seek funding for rehabilitation comes off the back of allegations on Tuesday that it has so far failed in that task.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Treatment of Illegal immigrants: This should be widely publicized
More from the deceitful far-Leftist "New Matilda" below. It will undoubtedly prove to be a farrago of lies, distortions and selective reporting but it is just the thing to ensure that the boats go elsewhere: As they are now indeed doing. So the more the claims below become known among prospective illegals the better it will be for the Australian taxpayer. The claims would make a good deterrent. I note that it was largely widely published disturbances at detention centres during the Howard government that dried up the flow of boats at that time.
I have not followed the various claims made about the detention centres on Nauru and elsewhere but I do know that the second last case below is grossly misrepresented. They omit to mention that Barati was as obnoxious as only a Iranian Muslim can be -- both scorning and abusing the native guards and organizing non-co-operation with them. He may not have known how thin the ice was under his feet. Melanesians are not like patient old Anglo-Saxons. They are a warlike people who don't take aggression or insult lying down. They strike back. And they went for Barati and got him. It's a wonder he got away with his antics as long as he did
And, insofar as there has been bad behaviour among the mostly Muslim illegals, who is to blame for that? Judging by current events in the Middle East, shocking behaviour towards one-another is deeply Muslim. The Australian government did build secure accommodation units on Nauru to help safeguard women and children but the illegals burnt the buildings concerned down. So now they just get tents, which no doubt are much less pleasant all round
The Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill is currently being reviewed by the Senate. The bill will broaden powers of immigration detention centre staff to use force and will reduce their accountability, placing detention centre operations outside the rule of law.
Having glimpsed immigration detention through the eyes of former Nauru medical staff at a public lecture last week, this is a sobering thought. Speakers described an environment of “dark, chilling lawlessness” rife with sexual assault and abuse, where detainees are known by number rather than name, and where grown women are so frightened that they wet the bed at night.
A nurse and a doctor risked the legal ramifications of breaching their confidentiality agreement in order to speak on behalf of detainees, placing their duty of care to patients first. Among the numerous stories they recounted were those of a seven-year-old who had attempted to hang herself with electric cable ties, a woman denied sanitary pads, soiled and leaving a trail of blood and blood clots where she walked, and another, having been raped in the shower, dismissed by the detention centre psychologist for dressing ‘provocatively’.
We heard that the Government has never disputed the Australian Human Rights Commission findings that from January 2013 to March 2014 there were 233 assaults in detention involving children, 128 children who threatened self-harm and 105 children monitored for self-harm.
At an earlier public lecture in March this year, titled “The Bludgeoning of Chance”, barrister Julian Burnside AO QC also recounted personal stories of detainees.
He described the experience of an 11-year-old girl whose family had fled religious persecution in Iran. After 15 to 18 months in detention in 2002, showing clear signs of trauma, the young girl tried to hang herself with a bed sheet. Her mother, brother and little sister found her hanging, still suffocating but alive.
After relating her story, among others, Julian Burnside said, “In my naivety, I thought that if the rest of Australia knew the things that I had learned, the Government’s refugee policy would not long survive.”
Yet here we are, 13 years later. Detainee Reza Barati has been murdered in offshore detention, bludgeoned in the head according to witnesses, using a stick weaponised with nails, then kicked by a group of guards and finally killed with a rock that was smashed against his head. Witnesses to the event have allegedly been tied to chairs by Wilson guards, beaten, and threatened with rape unless they withdraw their testimony.
Even more recently a five-year-old girl showing signs of sexual abuse has tried to kill herself to avoid being sent back to Nauru. An 8 year-old has drawn a picture of a guard with an erect penis before flinging himself into his mother’s arms in distress. A group of babies and their parents are being transferred to Nauru despite the Government knowing, and having known since November 2013 that it is sending them into an environment of physical and sexual abuse.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Commonwealth Bank Targeted by Greenies
The Commonwealth Bank has been targeted by climate campaigners for the second day in a row, as anger over its support for the fossil fuels industry grows and protesters start to move to more direct and disruptive actions.
A group of around nine protesters are currently ‘occupying’ a Commonwealth Bank branch on the corner of Market and George in the Sydney CBD, after performing a similar action in Melbourne yesterday that saw the bank’s headquarters interrupted for nine hours.
Police are on the scene, although customers are still doing business inside the bank. A spokesperson on form the bank declined to comment on whether the branch would shut.
The actions are part of an escalating campaign against the bank, which is lining up to assist coal company Adani fund a massive expansion into Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
This week’s protests have been led by 350.org, a global climate group dedicated to reversing emissions, and co-founded by environmentalist and activist Bill McKibben.
350’s media coordinator Krista Collard, who is watching the protest from outside, told New Matilda the bank was the only of the ‘big four’ to be publicly named dealing with Adani, and that it had failed to engage with community concerns about the Indian company’s Queensland projects.
“We have been trying to talk with Com Bank for years now and basically every time members of the public, members or concerned residents bring this up, they’ve been shielded from talking to anybody that has any decision making power,” Collard said.
Meetings with the bank have taken place but “our concerns have not been taken seriously,” she said.
Aside from concerns about damage to the Great Barrier Reef from the world's largest coal port, which Adani plans to construct at Abbott Point near Mackay, climate campaigners have warned an expansion of mining in the Galilee would be a disaster for global efforts to limit temperate increases.
Along with Artic oil and the Alberta tar sands, Queensland’s coalfields are seen as a key battleground for the fight to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
While other banks have distanced themselves from the projects, environmental campaigners are concerned that if Adani is able to secure domestic credit it will trigger further international investment.
The company has defended the impact exporting and burning Galilee coal will have on the Great Barrier Reef by arguing the world is on target for a 3.1 degree temperature increase regardless of whether the coal in the Galilee is left in the ground or extracted.
In response to questions, a spokesperson for the Commonwealth Bank said the organisation recognised its role in addressing the challenge of climate change.
“In that regard we have invested in more than 170 renewable energy projects in the wind, solar, hydro and landfill gas power sectors,” they said.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Is Australia's Great Barrier Reef 'In Danger'?
If I have the time I do sometimes read Australia's far-Left "New Matilda". I would like to start a blog that regularly demolished their articles -- perhaps to be called "Walzing New Matilda" -- but I have weightier matters to spend my time on. Anyway, the article below is up to its usual standard of presenting only half of the story. Balance is the Devil incarnate to Leftists.
Some scientists do say that the GBR has shrunk by 50% but the interesting question is why there has been any shrinkage at all. The Warmist below knows why, of course. It's because of global warming. Pesky that there has been no global warming for 18 years though. Can something that does not exist cause anything? They also seem to think that Richard Branson is a climate scientist. Enough said on that.
The key point, however, is that the reef does get heavily impacted by natural events such as the many cyclones that have hit North Queensland in recent years. Cyclones are very destructive of coral. HOWEVER, when we look at that storm destruction, we also find that corals grow back rapidly. While that happens, the GBR is in no "danger". Any changes are temporary. See here and here for instance.
Warmists will say that the cyclones were caused by global warming but again I ask: Can something that does not exist cause anything?
Billionaire Richard Branson has urged the United Nations to list the World Heritage value of the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ after being approached by advocacy group 1Million Women.
While admitting the campaign may seem “counter intuitive”, Branson argues it is an effective way to “stop further irreversible damage” to the reef “and to protect it for generations to come”.
“Saying the Great Barrier Reef is ‘in danger’ could be just what it needs,” Branson wrote in a blog post yesterday.
The United Nations World Heritage Committee is set to make a decision on whether to change the listing of the reef at a meeting in Bonn, Germany, in June this year.
Like Branson, the UN has expressed concern that port developments and coal ships set to service Australia’s largest ever coal mine, which the federal government approved last year, will further damage the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef has already lost half of its coral cover in the last three decades, and it faces further threats from the Crown of Thorns Starfish and increased agriculture run-off.
In 2013, a federal government report noted that 24 out of 41 attributes which make up the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ of the reef under the World Heritage Convention are deteriorating.
But the greatest threat to the reef, according to government scientists, is climate change. “The reef’s plight, like many others, is unbearably sad,” Branson said. “It is being totally overwhelmed by climate change impacts through a destructive combination of heat-driven coral bleaching, ocean acidification and tropical storms.”
Despite climate change being the greatest threat to the reef, a recent Australian Government plan designed to guide conservation efforts for the next 35 years and address UN concerns made next to no mention of the risk to the reef from rising emissions.
On Thursday, the United Nations warned that for the first time in millions of years the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million.
The Greens environment spokesperson, Larissa Waters, said on Wednesday that she doesn’t “think the government has done enough policy-wise to avert the threat of a world heritage in danger listing for the Great Barrier Reef”.
“Which is an absolute tragedy,” she said, “because we’re talking about one of the seven wonders of the world.”
“The foremost World Heritage Committee has for the past four years now said to Australia ‘slow down, you’re on this path of industrialisation, we’re worried about the future of the reef, your own scientists are worried about the future of your reef, what are you going to do about it?”
“And the government has consistently thumbed its nose at the key recommendations, and it’s made some changes around the edges.”
Waters said she hopes the reef is not listed as ‘in danger’, despite the fact it is “in serious jeopardy”.
Yesterday, The World Wildlife Fund has released a ‘to do’ list, lobbying the government to do more than is proposed in its ‘Reef 2050’ plan.
At least one federal MP is likely to be unimpressed with these recent developments.
George Christensen MP, whose electorate of Dawson takes in part of the Great Barrier Reef, is standing by the government’s “exemplary document”.
The outspoken backbencher recently voiced his outrage at “eco-traitors” who are committing the “treason” of advocating for an ‘in danger’ listing.
“These extreme greens act like Wormtongue from The Lord of the Rings, flying overseas and whispering in the ears of the decision-makers and diplomats who have anything to do with UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee, poisoning their minds on the state of the reef,” Christensen said.
“They belong to groups such as Greenpeace, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Friends of the Earth, Get Up, and the Environmental Defenders Office.”