SCOMO BACKS ‘BIG AUSTRALIA’ AT COAG

THIS hardly comes as a surprise, does it?

AFTERALL Scomo “cut his teeth” at the Developer Lobby, The Property Council of Australiahe wrote the policy, and now the PCA has seized control of Australia by way of his appointment …

 

The permanent migrant intake will be either 160,000 or 190,000 to maintain the “economic growth” of the Big End of Town as our living standards and quality of life will continue to deteriorate …

AND as the dams dry up …

-currently there are 2.2 million Visa holders in Australia including 1.6 million Visa workers

-many of who will attain “permanent residency” Visas

MEANWHILE with an Election in NSW in March and an angry Electorate Gladys is making a pretence of rejecting the high migration intake based on infrastructure – which will never catch up having started from behind.

TO FIND OUT MORE SEARCH ON CAAN’S WEBSITE  for …

-immigration

-Property Council of Australia/Scott Morrison

-developers

-infrastructure

-visa manipulation

-visas

-a big Australia

-Peter McDonald

Scott Morrison backs big Australia at COAG

 

Scott Morrison has indicated he will resist any significant cut to Australia’s intake of permanent migrants, saying while the states will have an input, he envisages the level staying close to 160,000 so as not to jeopardise economic growth.
But the Prime Minister’s handpicked population adviser believes the rate should be closer to the existing cap of 190,000.
State and territory leaders agreed at Wednesday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting to participate in a process where they would tell the Commonwealth how many migrants they needed, based on demand and whether they had the infrastructure to support them.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Adelaide on Wednesday. KELLY BARNES

160,000 intake

Mr Morrison said the federal government would retain control over the final number and announce the new annual intake in the April 2 budget. Australia currently has a cap of 190,000 for permanent migrants but the last annual intake came in 30,000 below the cap at 160,000.

For the sake of maintaining economic growth, Mr Morrison suggested the new intake would still be around 160,000, even if the cap was lowered to the same level.

For several years, the Immigration Department has recommended a cap between 160,000 and 210,000 and Mr Morrison said “I haven’t seen anything since then that would contradict that as a safe range”. “I’m waiting to see the work that is done and the input we get from the states,” he said.

But population expert Peter McDonald, who Mr Morrison handpicked to address the COAG meeting, said the rate should be closer to 190,000. He argued that cutting it by 30,000 would have little impact on Sydney and Melbourne’s population and could be detrimental to the smaller states, which under the new arrangements, are supposed to receive more immigrants at the expense of the overpopulated states.

Warning of labour crunch

Professor McDonald said there was a “labour supply crunch” in Sydney and Melbourne which would have to be filled by either people on temporary visas or by dragging workers away from the lesser populated states which are meant to increase their populations under the new model.

Only NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian called for a “breather” on migrants coming to NSW until the state’s infrastructure could catch up. DEAN LEWINS

 

He said 160,000 permanent migrants was “not that different” to 190,000.

“If you’re talking about a difference of 30,000, and say it was 15,000 less in Sydney and 15,000 fewer in Melbourne, if the labour demand is there in those two big cities its got to come from somewhere else,” he said.

“It may not come from permanent migration but it will come from other states and territories, it will come from New Zealand, it will come from temporary skilled workers.

“I don’t think a shift in the permanent migration program would make very much difference at all to Sydney and Melbourne’s population.”

For several years, the Immigration Department has recommended a cap between 160,000 and 210,000 and Scott Morrison said: “I haven’t seen anything since then that would contradict that as a safe range.”  MICK TSIKAS

 

“That puts pressure on the other states and territories that are actually looking to get more population.”

He predicted a shortfall of 2 million workers over the next decade.

Professor McDonald told the COAG meeting that the best way to manage population growth was through infrastructure, including the development of satellite centres outside the major cities. There needed to be better transport links between these secondary cities and the state capitals.

Mr Morrison said Professor McDonald was “entitled to his view”.

“We’ll listen to all views as we frame the migration intake for next year.”

Spreading growth

*The government is under pressure to curb population to reduce congestion.

*It believes rather than cull population growth, the growth needs to be more evenly spread.

*Some in the Coalition,including Tony Abbott, believe the 1.6 million people in Australia on temporary work visas – including students, tourists and temporary skilled migrants – pose a bigger problem in terms of congestion and house price pressure than permanent migrants.

*Under Mr Morrison’s new bottom-up population plan, the states and territories will tell the Commonwealth how many migrants they need. The final number will be based on an aggregate of these requests but with a floor so that the rate was not too low to harm economic growth.

The government will then try and use specific visas to ensure the migrants stay in the jurisdictions to where they are sent. Breaching the visa conditions would jeopardise their chances of attaining Australian citizenship.

Of all those around the table on Wednesday, only NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian called for a “breather” on migrants coming to NSW until the state’s infrastructure could catch up.

She told the meeting that federal government’s of either persuasion had to stop coming in over the top of state governments and randomly picking infrastructure projects. Instead, they should be taking their lead from the state governments.

Mr Berejiklian was enthusiastic on expanding “university towns” in regional NSW where international students would be encouraged to go.

She said NSW was spending $90 billion on infrastructure but was still way behind on providing infrastructure required.

“We’re still only playing catch-up,” she said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews reaffirmed his push for a large migrant intake but hinted the federal government had to do more for his state regarding infrastructure..

“We don’t want to be looking at a smaller Victoria or a smaller Australia but we do have to look at investing in the things that make the biggest difference – road and rail, hospitals and schools,” Mr Andrews said.

“And today there was a real sense of agreement that all of those things have to be considered at one set of issues. You can’t really separate any of those. They’re all part of the same challenge.”

Mr Morrison said while he envisaged the current intake staying the same, there would have to be a reallocation of where people were sent.

He said there had been too much of a backward looking approach to population management in the past and there was an urgent need for a “real-time assessment” of where skilled migrants were required.

“It can be a bit of a rear-view mirror,” he said.

“It needs to be a lot more micro than it is.”

Under the plan, the states agreed to submit their ideas and requests at the end of January and then in February, state and federal Treasurers will meet to consider the suggestions on migration settings, better population planing and data sharing to better identify areas of need for skills.

This would feed into the budget process.

The next COAG meeting will not be until July next year, after the federal election.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.afr.com/news/politics/scott-morrison-backs-big-australia-at-coag-20181212-h190id?&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0053-optim-nnn%3Anonpaid-25%2F06%2F2014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-afr-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook&fbclid=IwAR0Z7j3mNXTnw3zHcfwLQaVOhPUas7KA6SbL1agzASH9vEFnYcu1NTiBmn0

LANG WALKER, the Developer, the Whistleblower and the Minister

COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN) …

Your suggestions concerning political donations,  and what can be done about what passes under the table?

KEY POINTS … Timeline

 

-Campbell Newman introduced an Economic Development Act to fast-track new projects in Queensland as “priority development areas” to bypass old planning and environment laws

June 2013 the state government declared Toondah Harbour one of Queensland’s first priority development areas
Walker Corporation was announced as the preferred partner; the plan included 3,600 apartments, a hotel, convention centre and marina
*In the last 20 years, Lang Walker’s company has donated around $2.5 million to political parties
the Deputy Mayor felt the confidentiality agreement was preventing her from properly representing her constituents;  the Mayor said the area needed investment in infrastructure which Walker Corporation would bring

 

-the proposed development was on Ramsar-listed wetland; it had to be referred to the federal government for approval

-a development of this scale or impact had never been approved on a Ramsar-listed site in Australia

In April 2016 Matt Cahill, one of the most senior bureaucrats in the department, wrote to Walker Corporation executive Peter Saba making clear what his experts thought of the project.

“The Department intends to advise the Minister to make a decision that the proposal in its current form is clearly unacceptable

-the department’s key advisers believed the proposal should be struck out immediately;  Walker Corporation intensified its lobbying efforts with Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Environment Minister Steven Miles and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad
-the ABC understands discussions were held about whether the Ramsar boundaries could be changed
-legal advice boundaries could be changed if Australia invoked the “urgent national interest test”
-in the same financial year the development was sent to the Federal Government for approval, Walker Corporation donated $225,000 to the federal Liberal Party and $23,000 to Queensland Labor

The developer, the whistleblower and the minister

A trip to Switzerland, a legal threat, department staff under pressure. A rare blow-by-blow inside account of how power and influence is wielded in a sensitive environmental approval process.

By Steve Cannane and Rebecca Trigger, ABC Investigations

SUNDAY 9 DECEMBER 2018

 

When you look out at Cleveland’s Toondah Harbour at low tide, the first thing you see is the mudflats.

 

Legend has it, this was meant to be the capital of Queensland.

But back in the 1840s during an exploratory trip, Governor Gipps got stuck in the mud and instead went up the river to what’s now Brisbane.

 

Cleveland never expanded into a metropolis like Brisbane. Its population sits at around 15,000.

But the local Mayor thinks it’s time the region was transformed into something bigger and more commercially focused.

New premier throws out environment laws

Karen Williams was elected the Mayor of Redland City in 2012 with the support of developers.

It was the same year a one-term Queensland premier who wanted to cut what he called “green tape” was put in charge.

Campbell Newman was elected on a platform of change.

He introduced an Economic Development Act to fast-track new projects in the state.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au.

 

Under the Act, parcels of land could be declared “priority development areas” — or PDAs — and could bypass old planning and environment laws.

Mayor Williams shared Mr Newman’s zeal for getting things built and was determined to transform the region.

The council voted to back the application for a PDA, and in June 2013 the state government declared Toondah Harbour one of Queensland’s first priority development areas.

Expressions of interest were called for, and Walker Corporation was announced as the preferred partner.

Its $1.4 billion plan for the site included 3,600 apartments, a hotel, convention centre and marina.

 

But there was a snag.

Moreton Bay, where Toondah Harbour sits, was declared a Ramsar site in 1993, under an international convention that protects wetlands critical for biodiversity.

Around 40 hectares of the priority development area lies inside that Ramsar-listed wetland.

Enter the developer

*In the last 20 years, Lang Walker’s company has donated around $2.5 million to political parties.

The Forbes rich list claims he’s worth over $2 billion, and he is behind a series of high-profile developments including Collins Square in Melbourne, the Finger Wharf in Sydney and Festival Square in Adelaide.

He has even built a luxury resort on his own private island in Fiji.

Bloomberg estimates the resort, near one of the world’s largest coral reefs, cost Lang Walker $100 million to build.

He named it Kokomo.

*As a man who knows how to buy an island and has spent decades striking big deals in Australia’s largest cities, Mr Walker had the upper hand when he flew to Queensland to sign a memorandum of understanding with Redland City councillors at the historic Grand View Hotel overlooking Toondah Harbour.

The council gag order

Craig Ogilvie was a councillor at the time.

 

“My impression of Lang Walker was that he was practised and slick and probably by far the most knowledgeable and smartest guy in the room when it came to doing deals of this type, and that was something to be nervous about,” Mr Ogilvie said.

I think … to a certain degree the councillors were starstruck.

Craig Ogilvie remembers the process as being rushed and secretive, and says the community was barely consulted.

He claims councillors had little time to consider the plans, and were asked to sign confidentiality arrangements that were quite stringent.

The bird and the businessman

A billionaire developer wants to build on the protected habitat of an endangered migratory bird. So who prevails in a battle between conservation and construction?
Skip backPlayPauseSkip forward

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume

*Councillor Wendy Boglary has been on council since March 2008 and was the deputy mayor for two years.

 

*She said she felt the confidentiality agreement was preventing her from properly representing her constituents.

People are actually coming down to me and as they’re finding out what is happening at Toondah Harbour, they have grave concerns,” Cr Boglary said.

“They’re asking me ‘why aren’t I speaking out?’ and ‘why aren’t I representing them?’.

“So I feel like I’m letting my community down, which isn’t something I take lightly.”

*Mayor Williams told the ABC confidentiality agreements protected the ratepayers as well as the companies who had signed contracts with the council.

She said the area needed investment in infrastructure, which a large project like the Walker Corporation’s would bring.

*”We’re a city of islands, so we need to have transport hubs that connect our mainland to our communities on Russell Island right through to North Stradbroke Island,” Mayor Williams said.

Political heavyweights bear down

With the council locked in, the Queensland Labor government endorsed the project in 2015.

 

*But because the proposed development was on Ramsar-listed wetland, it had to be referred to the federal government for approval.

A development of this scale or impact had never been approved on a Ramsar-listed site in Australia.

Inside the federal environment department, which is required to provide impartial, expert advice on environmental issues, the alarm bells were going off.

In April 2016 Matt Cahill, one of the most senior bureaucrats in the department, wrote to Walker Corporation executive Peter Saba making clear what his experts thought of the project.

“The Department intends to advise the Minister to make a decision that the proposal in its current form is clearly unacceptable,” the letter said.

In other words, the department’s key advisers believed the proposal should be struck out immediately.

In response, Walker Corporation intensified its lobbying efforts:

  • In August, Lang Walker wrote to newly-elected prime minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulating him and asking for a meeting about the Toondah project. Mr Turnbull did not appear to take up that offer, but encouraged him to continue working with then-environment minister Josh Frydenberg and his department.
  • According to Queensland’s The Courier Mail, a special advisor to Mr Turnbull and a staffer were spotted that same month having lunch with Mr Walker at celebrity chef Matt Moran’s upscale eatery Aria.
  • According to departmental documents, Mr Walker met with Mr Frydenberg that same month.
  • Queensland’s then-environment minister Steven Miles and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad also wrote to Mr Frydenberg expressing their government’s support.
  • The ABC understands there were discussions in the department about whether the Ramsar boundaries could be changed so the project could go through and still meet Australia’s treaty obligations.

*The Australian Government Solicitor responded with confidential legal advice that the boundaries could be changed if Australia invoked the “urgent national interest test” in the convention but warned that process could take years and involve international scrutiny.

FOI documents show over a 12-month period Walker Corporation convinced the department to delay the decision six times.

In the same financial year the development was sent to the Federal Government for approval, Walker Corporation donated $225,000 to the federal Liberal Party and $23,000 to Queensland Labor.

Walker Corporation’s Craig Addley, the project designer for Toondah Harbour, told the ABC the development’s processes were not influenced by political donations.

“I don’t make the payments or are not aware of the details around them but I think the important point is that this project will not be influenced by those things,” Mr Addley said.

Inside the political maelstrom

A departmental insider, who asked we not disclose their identity, said the pressure inside the department was intense.

“Those of us who hoped the minister would accept the advice, that carefully constructed expert advice, were disappointed,” they said.

“But then the department moved to accommodate the minister’s desires — so still providing advice to the minister about the range of impediments, still pointing out it was clearly inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under the Ramsar convention, but also searching for a pathway to accommodate that development.”

The insider also said the company and the man behind the project were important.

“It’s not some tin-pot development run by some small no-name company,” they said.

“This is Lang Walker. Everyone knows who Lang Walker is.

“Everyone knows he’s politically connected, there were stories he could pick up the phone and talk anytime to the prime minister. I don’t know whether that happened or not. That was certainly the view held.”

Minister rejects department’s advice

*In May 2017, after 18 months of delays, Walker Corporation withdrew its original plan and submitted a smaller proposal, which still encroached on around 50 hectares of the Ramsar site.

A month later the department provided formal advice to Mr Frydenberg.

*Despite all the back-room wrangling, the department said the second proposal remained “clearly unacceptable” because it would “result in permanent and irreversible damage to the ecological character of the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland”.

*However, Mr Frydenberg rejected that advice in June 2017.

Mr Frydenberg told the ABC he acted within the relevant legislation by sending the project for assessment by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):

“Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, the minister has the opportunity to enable his department to undertake a full assessment of the project, and in doing so, get more information, which may lead to mitigation or offsets of any significant environmental impact that the project would have.”

*He also said Walker Corporation’s donation history had nothing to do with his decision.

Referral a good outcome for Walker Corporation

The decision was a significant victory for Walker Corporation.

The project hadn’t been approved by the Minister, but it had cleared a significant first hurdle.

*Figures from the Department of the Environment up to 30 June 2018 show that of the 96 projects that have been assessed by Environmental Impact Statement under the EPBC Act, only one has been refused approval.

Since that decision, Walker’s pursuit of the project has even gone international.

 

Its corporate advisor Stephen Davis, and Walker executive Mr Saba met with the Ramsar secretary general in Switzerland. The ABC understands they discussed the project.

Back at Toondah Harbour, there are competing views on what should happen next.

Mayor Williams said she hoped the EIS process would scientifically address environmental impacts.

That’s what the process is all about,” Mayor Williams said.

“Council’s done their bit.

“We’ve looked for a solution, we’ve got a tool, we’ve asked [the] community and now we wait for the Federal Government to go through that process if it stacks up.

“If it doesn’t then we’re back to square one.”

 

Birdlife Australia spokesman Robert Clemens said he hoped the development site would be reconsidered.

“This would be one of the last places you would choose to do something,” Mr Clemens said.

“It’s one of the jewels in this council region.

“If we take a step back and look at all the areas where we could put an apartment complex this would come out at the bottom of the list, surely.”

Listen to Steve Cannane tell this story on Radio National’s Background Briefing 8am Sunday on December 9. It will be replayed on Monday at 2pm or Tuesday at 12am, or you can listen online.

Topics: environmental-impactfederal—state-issues,government-and-politicsenvironmentenvironmental-policy,brisbane-4000qld

Contact Steve Cannane

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-09/the-developer-the-whistleblower-and-the-minister-toondah-harbour/10487806

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AUSTRALIA: DELUGE & DROUGHT: WATER SECURITY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN) …

OBVIOUSLY High Population Growth presents a clear and present danger!

On-going failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal, oil and gas, globally and here in Australia, has already negatively affected Australia’s water security and will increasingly affect it into the future.

Increasing global water insecurity is becoming a ‘threat multiplier’, with significant implications for Australia and other regions.

 *The global food trade system is vulnerable to prolonged and severe droughts in major food-producing regions, such as the central United States and southeast Australia.

 Australia’s water security is dependent on action on climate change, particularly on the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels.

  • Australia’s water security is threatened by climate change. Coping with increased frequency and severity of drought and floods is costly and will become progressively more challenging into the future.
  • Continuing on our current trajectory of high emissions has enormous and growing risks.
  • Short-term drought solutions will ultimately be futile without concerted and rapid action to tackle climate change, both here in Australia and globally.

 

 

DELUGE & DROUGHT: WATER SECURITY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

13.11.18

Water is essential for life. It shapes where and how we live, determines the availability of food and other services that underpin human well-being and is crucial for healthy natural ecosystems. Yet in Australia and globally the water cycle has been significantly influenced by climate change, leading to more extreme droughts and floods.

Our latest report, “Deluge & Drought: Water Security in a Changing Climate”, has found the severe drought gripping much of Australia has been exacerbated by climate change.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Australia’s water security has already been significantly influenced by climate change. Rainfall patterns are shifting and the severity of floods and droughts has increased.

  • Droughts are becoming more severe due to drier, hotter conditions, leading to declines in soil moisture due to increased water loss from plants and soils.
  • Southeast Australia has experienced a 15% decline in late autumn and early winter rainfall, and a 25% decline in average rainfall in April and May over the past two to three decades. This area includes major population centres of Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

  • Hotter conditions and reduced rainfall have led to less runoff into streams, rivers, lakes and dams in the southwest and southeast of the continent. In southwest Western Australia, reductions in rainfall, due to climate change, have led to a more than 50 percent decline in streamflow. Across the Murray-Darling Basin, streamflows have declined by 41 percent since the mid-1990s.

  • A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour, contributing to an increase in heavy rainfall events and an increased risk of flash flooding.

Warragamba dam at only 64 percentWarragamba Dam in NSW is currently at 64.9%.

The severe drought being experienced across Queensland, NSW and northern Victoria is being influenced by climate change.

  • The severity of the current drought is being increased by the long-term declines in rainfall and the hotter conditions associated with climate change.

  • Since the mid-20th century, the severity of droughts, such as the Millennium Drought, has also been increased by climate change.

On-going failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal, oil and gas, globally and here in Australia, has already negatively affected Australia’s water security and will increasingly affect it into the future.

  • Profound changes to Australia’s water cycle are projected, with increasing threats to our urban water supplies, the agriculture sector and natural ecosystems.
  • Severe droughts are expected to become more frequent, especially across southern Australia, while extreme rainfall events are expected to become more intense everywhere except, perhaps, for the southwest corner of Western Australia.

  • Across southern Australia, cool season rainfall is projected to continue decreasing and time spent in drought is projected to increase.

  • Less water is likely to be available for agriculture, urban water supplies and ecosystems in coming decades across southern Australia including regions surrounding MelbourneAdelaide and Perth.

  • A 2°C rise in average global temperatures could lead to an 11–30 percent increase in extreme rain events (wettest day of the year and wettest day in 20 years) across Australia.

Farmer during NSW droughtThe severe drought gripping much of Australia has been exacerbated by climate change.

Significant impacts on and risks to our water security are already evident, and these risks will continue to escalate unless deep and rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas pollution can be achieved.

Health: Severe droughts, heavy rainfall and floods all affect our health in many ways – contaminating water supplies, increasing mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue and Ross River virus, and increasing psychological stress in rural communities.

Agriculture: Drought has a significant impact on agricultural industries and communities. Severe droughts kill livestock, destroy crops and increase soil erosion, leading to higher food prices and loss of livelihoods.

Water supplies: Less water is likely to flow into dams in southern Australia as a result of human-driven climate change.

Water infrastructure: Water related infrastructure, such as water supply reservoirs, dam spillways and river levees, have been designed for historic rainfall patterns. Upgrading this infrastructure to cope with increased flooding and drought, as well as building new infrastructure like desalination plants, is expensive. Over $10 billion has been spent recently on desalination plants to improve water security in our major cities.

Energy: Coal, gas and hydro power stations require significant amounts of water and can be negatively affected by drought.

Bushfires: Severe drought leads to higher bushfire risk as shown by the current bushfire season across the southeast of Australia. Changes in land cover due to fire can adversely affect catchment water supplies.

Man staring at a submerged car during Brisbane FloodsA warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour, contributing to an increase in heavy rainfall events and an increased risk of flash flooding.

Flooding: The economic consequences of floods and droughts are significant; the extensive Queensland floods of 2010-2011, for example, cost to the state more than $6 billion (directly).

Plants, animals and ecosystems: Declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia has affected freshwater fish species. The Murray-Darling Basin has been under considerable pressure, further reductions in rainfall and runoff will make it even harder to rehabilitate degraded aquatic ecosystems, affecting bird and fish life. In 2016 warmer and drier conditions in Tasmania triggered bushfires that severely damaged over 70,000 hectares of western Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed forests and alpine areas.

Increasing global water insecurity is becoming a ‘threat multiplier’, with significant implications for Australia and other regions.

  • The worst drought in Syria’s history, likely influenced by climate change, was a factor in triggering conflict and instability in that region, leading to a surge of refugees into Europe.

  • Agricultural systems on the Indian sub-continent are vulnerable to the melting of Himalayan glaciers and instability in the Indian monsoon system, with implications for political and social stability in our region.

  • The global food trade system is vulnerable to prolonged and severe droughts in major food-producing regions, such as the central United States and southeast Australia.

Australia’s water security is dependent on action on climate change, particularly on the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels.

  • Australia’s water security is threatened by climate change. Coping with increased frequency and severity of drought and floods is costly and will become progressively more challenging into the future.

  • Continuing on our current trajectory of high emissions has enormous and growing risks.

  • Short-term drought solutions will ultimately be futile without concerted and rapid action to tackle climate change, both here in Australia and globally.


DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

Climate Council water security repoe

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AUSTRALIANS HAVE SEEN THIS PATTERN BEFORE … Already Hit by the China Wave … Another from India is too frightening to contemplate!

 

THE CHINA WAVE …. hit AUSTRALIA … and we continue to reel from its consequences … with the impact of its 1.4 BILLION People

LET’S dodge an INDIAN WAVE of 1.3 BILLION People for our Wide Brown Land! WT *

Ketan Patel, an ethnic Indian now a strategist and investor having advised China’s Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi on economic strategy with India on a trajectory over the next 10 years of driving a mighty URBANISATION – like that of China!

Patel has been visiting Australia for two decades encourages Australia to be bold.

BUT JAPAN was clever in building a vast high-speed rail network across India – a venture which has had no negative consequences of high immigration and Visa Manipulation for Japan like that proposed, it would seem, by Patel for Australia …

He proposes “Education” for another 200,000 Indian students in addition to the 600,000 foreign students at Australian universities.

Suggesting it rise to a million and in five years 50 million!

It does not end there due to our inept Government with the sell-off of our Real Estate with Permanent Residency thrown in!

 

VIEW: Poor English, few jobs: Are AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES using international students as ‘cash cows’?

 

Not only are Chinese students seeking the prestige of an Australian degree but are lured by the opportunity to buy our Real Estate to gain permanent residency and a Family Visa!

This dates back to when John Howard was PM in the late 90s when China’s middle class was embraced by changes to our immigration policy to offer “flexible citizenship” in return for investing in property and education!

WITH dire consequences for the incumbents of the lowest wages growth, insecure work, a Whole Cohort of Australians locked out of home ownership, or suffering from rental stressWhere we live is being rezoned and annihilated to accommodate the huge influx, our roads are congested, buses, trains, hospitals and schools are all full-up as we lose our communities … our governments are working against our interests!

 

 

AUSTRALIANS HAVE SEEN THIS PATTERN BEFORE …

It’s too late to catch the China wave, but another big opportunity is showing promise

 

To see the transformation of modern India, you should start with a look at an unconventional place – a slum.

“If you go to a slum in Brazil you will feel endangered,” says Ketan Patel. “If you go to a slum in India, you won’t feel threatened because everyone is working. It may only be sorting garbage – it’s a horrible job but you are so hungry for work you will take the opportunity, or if it’s the next step up you are sewing bags together.”

Two years ago,  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a bold experiment.
Two years ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a bold experiment.CREDIT:AP

 

*A slum may be a pit of poverty and disadvantage, but an Indian one isn’t a life sentence; it’s a way station, “a parking lot for human beings”, as Patel puts it. And the movement of traffic through the parking lot is speeding up as India starts to deliver on its potential and opportunity widens.

Patel invites us to take a closer look beneath the bits of corrugated iron that maybe five or eight people call home:

“The most educated person in the family is probably your 12-year-old daughter. Your boys are also going to school [thanks to a national drive to improve school access] but the girls are probably picking it up faster”, a syndrome not unknown in Australia, either.

“When you get just enough money to get a tiny abode on the edge of the city, you buy it. Now you are transformed from rural peasantry and you have a small abode in the city.”

An Indian slum is not a prison for life but a way station.
An Indian slum is not a prison for life but a way station.CREDIT:AP

 

*”It’s an informal process to transform people’s lives and that’s what’s driving the curve of India’s GDP upwards,” says Patel, an ethnic Indian who knows something about grasping opportunity. He grew up in an immigrant family in a poor part of London and is now a strategist and investor who has the rare distinction of having advised China’s Xi Jinping as well as India’s Narendra Modi on economic strategy.

Over the next 10 years, the pursuit of opportunity will drive a mighty urbanisation. The proportion of Indians living in the cities “was 40 per cent, it’s heading to 50 per cent and in the next decade you will see 60 per cent”, predicts Patel.

Illustration: Dionne Gain
Illustration: Dionne Gain

 

*Australians have seen this pattern before. The urbanisation of China together with widening economic opportunity drove its transformation. Now India is following. As a result, Patel tells me, “it’s almost as if every industry is transforming. At first glance you won’t see it because you’ll see all these people and chaos but if you look under the hood, you will see how fast it’s changing”.

India’s total economic output as measured by GDP was about the same as Australia’s in 2013. Next year Australia’s is expected to be around $US1.4 trillion ($1.9 trillion). India’s is projected to be around $US3 trillion, double Australia’s. The gap is only going to accelerate.

Australia’s Ashok Jacob, long-time financial confidant to the Packer family and now chairman of funds manager Ellerston Capital, says that India has annual economic growth rates of 6 to 7 per cent “locked in and if the chaos in India fades a little it will be 7 to 8 per cent”.

“It’s a long-term growth story,” says Jacob, also chair of the federal government’s Australia-India Council. “We are trying to tell Australian business, ‘you guys need to lean in to India. Every industry in India will increase its sales by 10 per cent a year over the next decade.

“If just 1 per cent of your business is in India, in a couple of years it will be 2 per cent and in a few more years it will be 10 per cent,” he tells me. “If we’re thinking about going to China, it’s too late, we’ve missed China. India is the opportunity.”

India’s transformation began with an early liberalisation program beginning in 1991, but it faltered badly. The advent of Prime Minister Modi, who is due for re-election next year, has put new energy into the process. Among other measures, he has brought 300 million people into the formal financial system by enabling them to have bank accounts, and he has tried to purge corrupt gains with a radical demonetisation scheme. He introduced a GST and new bankruptcy law, and wants to see more women participating in the economy.

 

“The key,” says Jacob, “is that India becomes one of Australia’s top three trading partners” as recommended by the report to the federal government by Peter Varghese, former head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and now chancellor of Queensland University.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced that the government would adopt all 20 of the Varghese report’s top recommendations for Australia to exploit India’s rise.

Patel, who’s been visiting Australia for two decades now, says he detects new seriousness from both sides about the India-Australia relationship. He encourages Australia to be bold.

Japan grasped the opportunity to build a vast high-speed rail network across India.

*”What’s the equivalent for Australia?” poses Patel, who was in Sydney raising investment for a $US700 million India fund for his firm, London-based Greater Pacific Capital. “If it’s education, you will figure out how to get maybe 200,000 Indian students” at campuses in Australia and India, in addition to the worldwide total of 600,000 foreign students at Australian universities today.

“That will rise to a million and then in five years it will be 50 million” with the right plan and the right commitment, says Patel. “It has to be in the 10s of millions to make a difference.”

The chief obstacle to a serious Australian effort, according to Jacob, is nothing physical or legal but something harder to change – the Australian business mindset: “With a few exceptions, Australian business has failed to go global. If you look, you have four banks, two grocery companies, a couple of telecoms – they are just squeezing the lemon” of comfortable oligopoly in the Australian market. “They are just squeezing the consumer. The banking royal commission is a symptom.”

The federal government plan is a good one, Australian and Indian strategists concur. Now Australian business needs to be bold. Otherwise, we’ll just be slumming it.

Peter Hartcher is the Herald’s international editor.

Peter Hartcher is the political editor and international editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He is a Gold Walkley award winner, a former foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington, and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

 

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/australians-have-seen-this-pattern-before-20181126-p50ibx.html

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Water Scarcity shapes up as the biggest threat to CHINA’s rise

 

COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN) …

WHILE XI JINPING has been strutting the World Stage promoting China’s initiative “One Belt One Road” the economic strategy of the People’s Republic of China, former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has come forth and warned the lack of water threatens the very survival of the Chinese nation itself.

Will it be China’s Waterloo?

-in the past 25 years, 28,000 rivers and waterways have disappeared across the country

Conservationist Zhang Junheng has searched for reasons:

-uncontrolled development is one

-the source the plateaus and mountain ranges, are drying up;  there is no water anymore

-the watertable is dropping 1 to 3 metres a year around Beijing

-pollution from uncontrolled industrialisation, overuse of pesticides and fertilisers

70 per cent of China’s watertable unfit for human consumption

-the canal systems are a short term plan as China continues to develop

AUSTRALIA is the driest continent on Earth;  it cannot accommodate China’s population excess!  Time for China to change its direction to ensure its survival and once again stem its population growth!

 

 

 

Forget geopolitics, water scarcity shapes up as the biggest threat to China’s rise

FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2018

Pedestrians walk down street and past shops on busy street in China.PHOTO: As China continues to develop and grow, water demand could be a big problem for state planners. (ABC News)

 

A water crisis could be the biggest threat to China’s rise as a superpower, undercutting the growth and stability so prized by the Government.

Key points:

  • The Yongding River has been dry for 30 years
  • At its peak, the 700-kilometre river was at least 10 metres deep
  • The Government’s $100 billion South-North Water Transfer Project has been tipped as a solution

 

In unusually blunt terms, former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has warned the lack of water threatened the very survival of the Chinese nation itself.

*Most of northern China suffers from acute water shortage. The statistics are alarming: in the past 25 years, 28,000 rivers and waterways have disappeared across the country.

The flow of the northern rivers has dramatically slowed or totally dried up.

*The iconic Yellow River, the second-longest in Asia, is now a tenth of what it was in the 1940s, and often fails to reach the sea.

*The “mother river” of Beijing — the Yongding — used to run long and wide. For centuries it was the lifeblood of the capital, but it has been totally dry for more than 30 years.

On the outskirts of Beijing, all one can see is a massive, sandy riverbed that was once a mighty river.

At its peak, the Yongding River was at least 10 meters deep and the area used to flood. The last big one was in 1958.

 

A dam was built to control and harness the water, but it has never been utilised.

Conservationist Zhang Junheng has walked the entire 700-kilometre length of the river, documenting its demise.

“When I see [the] river without water, it means death,” Mr Zhang said.

 

*”I searched for reasons — uncontrolled development is one — but the source, the plateaus and mountain ranges, are drying up. There is no water anymore.”

*Last winter, Beijing endured its longest period without any precipitation, snow or rain — 112 days.

Sitting in the riverbed, Mr Zhang warned it was “inevitable” that Beijing would turn into a desert.

“The rainfall is shrinking and all the rivers are dry; global warming is taking its toll,” he said.

Further along the Yongding River, 63-year-old Wang Shuxan is harvesting peanuts. She is one of the few left farming along the riverbanks.

“When I first started farming, the river used to reach the top of the banks [and] children used to drown in the rushing water,” she said.

“Now we have to drill to get to water.”

 

*Every year they have to go deeper into the watertable. On average, it is dropping 1 to 3 metres a year around Beijing.

Ms Wang said this season they had to drill down to 70 metres.

Standing next to her, Mr Zhang despaired.

“Once the underground water disappears, what will the people do and how can they survive? No-one is considering this question,” he said.

*Pollution further compounds the problem.

*Government surveys have found that uncontrolled industrialisation and overuse of pesticides and fertilisers have made 70 per cent of China’s watertable unfit for human consumption.

Grassroots activists have sprung up, saying the first urgent priority is to communicate the enormity of the crisis to the Chinese people.

*Wang Yonchen from the environmental group Green Earth said the Government has to do more.

“It’s time the Government places more priority on protecting people and the ecology, not only on economic development,” she said.

Government canal systems ‘divert other people’s water’

The Government said the recently opened South-North Water Transfer Project is the solution.

It has been 60 years in the making, and at a cost of $100 billion, it is the most expensive and biggest engineering project of its type.

 

Water travels from Southern China in the 1,500-kilometre canal for 15 days to get to Beijing. It is a lifeline for the capital, providing about two-thirds of the city’s drinking water.

The Government has planned another controversial canal from the Tibetan Plateau.

Wang Yonchen, like many others, said at best it was only a short-term solution.

“Beijing is not so special, why are we diverting other people’s water that’s also shrinking? We should learn to save water, we only have one Earth.”

The canal systems will not be able to satisfy water demands for industry or many northern provinces.

And that is a big problem for state planners as China continues to develop.

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-23/china-water-crisis-threatens-growth/10434116

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CENTRAL COAST RESIDENTS RALLY against NSW GOVT over long-wall mine in water catchment!

COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN) …

The RALLY was held to mark the commencement of action in the Land and Environment Court, brought by the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) community group, against the NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, and Wyong Coal Pty Ltd.

The LNP destroyers persist with the push for a long-wall coal mine in the Central Coast’s water catchment area.

And …

propose to put another 45,000 more homes in the northern part of the Coast over the next 20 years … which will mean an even greater demand for water!

Meanwhile the NSW LNP pander to a foreign mining company and developers!

Central Coast residents stand up to State Government over coal mine

A group of around 70 Central Coast residents rallied in Sydney’s DomainA group of around 70 Central Coast residents rallied in Sydney’s Domain

Around 70 residents from across the Central Coast travelled to Sydney on Monday, November 12, to participate in a Water not Coal rally in the Domain, against the approval of the Wallarah II coal mine.

The rally was held to mark the commencement of action in the Land and Environment Court, brought by the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) community group, against the NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, and Wyong Coal Pty Ltd.

“For a Monday morning and for people having to travel down from the Central Coast, it was very well attended,’ said Alan Hayes, ACA’s founder and spokesperson.

“It was exceptionally pleasing to see so many Central Coast people who care about their water catchment turning up to demonstrate that concern,’ Hayes said.

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris, attended the demonstration, and again, reinforced his long-term opposition to the Wallarah II mine and his views about the importance of stopping the long-wall coal mine from going ahead in the Central Coast’s water catchment area.

Nick Clyde from the Lock the Gate campaign also spoke about the importance of protecting the Dooralong and Yarramalong valleys. Former Wyong Mayor and MP, Bob Graham, also attended and spoke about how important it was to protect the water supply.

“The irony was that we had won this fight two times before,” Alan Hayes told the crowd.

Darkinjung LALC ensured the mine was not approved in 2013-14, when they denied access to their land.

In 2011, David Harris had heavily lobbied the then Keneally Labor NSW Government resulting in Labor’s Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, rejecting the DA on the grounds that it was not in the public interest.

“The Liberal party in opposition, agreed that there should not be any coal mining,” Hayes said. “Barry O’Farrell said the next Coalition Government would not allow coal mining, not only in the valleys, but in any catchment, ‘no ifs, no buts a guarantee’,” he said.

“This government does not deserve to be in office because as soon as they won the election, they reneged.

“We are going to be running a very strong campaign throughout the Central Coast, and also Sydney, to oust [Member for Terrigal] Adam Crouch and other Liberals to ensure that this Liberal Government is brought to their knees and is not reelected.” Hayes said

ACA would mount the campaign in the lead up to the March, 2019, state election, because the Land and Environment Court probably would not give its ruling before March. “The Liberals committed the ultimate act of bastardry against the Central Coast people in February, when they approved the mine,” he said.

The ACA is being represented in its LEC action by the Environmental Defenders Office with some financial assistance from Central Coast Council. “We have 10 solid grounds against the approval of the mine in February, which was unlawful because it failed to consider certain aspects of the mining SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) and other criteria.

“We have commenced this action because we do believe the approval was invalid, and we are doing it because it is in the public interest to do so.”

When asked why challenging the NSW Government was left to a small community group instead of being mounted by Central Coast Council, in its capacity as the region’s water authority, Hayes said: “Well that is a good question.

“Probably because that small group of people believe it is important to leave, for generations to come, what we have enjoyed, and that is a reliable water source on the Central Coast.

“The NSW Government doesn’t care less. “It is wanting to put 45,000 more homes in the northern part of the Coast over next 20 years and to do that they need water, but they tend to pander to their developer mates and forget about the needs of their community.

“The greatest asset we have on the CC is our water supply, and sometimes in life, you have just got to stand up and be counted.

“The age that we all are now, it would not impact on us, but it will impact on our children and their children. The LEC action commenced after the rally in front of a packed court room.

“There was not enough space inside, people had to stand at the door or sit outside,” Hayes said. “All you could see in the court room was red t-shirts with ‘Water not Coal. “It just shows you how much people do care,” he said. The case is expected to continue for four days.

Source: Interview, Nov 12 Alan Hayes, Australian Coal Alliance Jackie Pearson, journalist

Video/Audio Interviews

David Morris, CEO of the Environmental Defenders Office

Alan Hayes, Australian Coal Alliance

David Harris MP for Wyong

Georgia Liene, Little Jilliby rural resident

 

SOURCE:  https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/11/central-coast-residents-stand-up-to-state-government-over-coal-mine/?fbclid=IwAR0vw42iDgbAJUby-voUOQfH_-eQ6nAq0UlKOAKMFzTqIFC6i8kLWGjcFAo

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LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT Date set with RALLY for coal mine legal challenge

The legal challenge by the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) to the validity of the approval to mine beneath the Central Coast’s major water supply will be heard by the Land and Environment Court on 12 November.

All Central Coast Residents and others concerned about this are invited to join the RALLY at 10.00 a.m. 12 November at the top of Martin Place

Court date set for coal mine legal challenge

A previous demonstration against the coal mine

POSTED BY: CENTRAL COAST NEWSPAPERS OCTOBER 11, 2018

 

The legal challenge by the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) to the validity of the approval to mine beneath the Central Coast’s major water supply district will be heard by the Land and Environment Court on November 12.

“The court action is estimated to run over four days,” said ACA spokesperson, Alan Hayes. He said the outcome of the case should concern all residents of the Central Coast who rely on the region’s water supply.

“The ACA will be holding a protest rally on November 12, the day the legal challenge commences, at 10am, at the top of Martin Place, Sydney.

“All concerned Central Coast residents are encouraged to attend, if their schedule permits, to demonstrate their unity and concern.“

We contend that the Planning Assessment Commission’s approval of the mine in January was unlawful, because it failed to consider certain aspects of the mining State Environmental Planning Policy and other criteria,” Hayes said.

“The mining company has put off to a future date certain things that were required to be done prior to the consideration of an approval and a mining licence being granted,” he said.

“It was incumbent upon the Planning Assessment Commission to reject the mine proposal unless the mine proponents had fully satisfied all requirements for the mine to be approved, and this was not done.

“The proponent of the 28 year mine project, Wyong Coal Pty Ltd t/as Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture, is majority owned by Korea Resource Corporation (KORES), the mining arm of the South Korean Government.“Wyong Coal are seeking a licence to build a longwall coal mine directly beneath an essential water resource, which is opposed by the community and Central Coast Council.

“The campaign to prevent this mine from becoming a reality has been ongoing for 23 years. “Protecting our drinking water is paramount.“It cannot be put in jeopardy because of the machinations of a mining company.“  The ACA’s Senior Counsel said that our prospects of success are excellent.

“The ACA issued a summons against the mining company and the Minister for Planning in April, which seeks relief that the determination by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) granting consent on January 16 was invalid and of no effect.

“There are 10 different grounds, which include a number of sub grounds, that the ACA is challenging the PAC’s consent on.  “The ACA has brought the court action in the LEC because it is in the public interest to do so.

“You have to stand up for what you know is right and not allow a mining company to destroy something as important as our drinking water supply.

“It has always been a ‘no ifs, no buts, a guarantee’ that the ACA would not buckle under to pressure, but continue to fight on the behalf of Central Coast residents.

“No one has the right to jackboot their way across communities to satisfy their greed and avarice.”

Source:
Media release, Sep 10
Alan Hayes, Australian Coal Alliance

Labor to propose new Environmental Laws to enforce biodiversity and conservation

IT obviously cannot come soon enough!  With much of Australia’s Eastern Coast cleared for overdevelopment … not for Australians but for foreign buyers!  In Sydney’s urban fringes of Wilton, Appin, Mount Gilead, Menangle, Camden, Campbelltown a major threat to Koala habitat!

“Australia’s east coast has been compared to the Amazon as a “deforestation front” in a new global report by the World Wide Fund…

The report assessed 11 deforestation hotspots, where broadscale clearing had occurred at problematic levels since 2010, and where deforestation was expected to continue in the next decade. Eastern Australia was the only location in the developed world to make the list

More broadly, the WWF report explicitly notes that the near exponential rise in human population over the past 70 years has driven a commensurate surge in resource use and pollution!”

The draft platform document would allow a comprehensive approach to biodiversity and conservation

-rejects handing development approval powers to states and territories with any existing agreements in the area to be cancelled

-to properly resource recovery plans for threatened species while preventing land-clearing in critical habitat.

-to introduce a “land-clearing trigger” giving the federal government greater powers to intervene on development approvals

-it addresses issues including the plight of threatened species and the Murray-Darling Basin

TIME to save “industrial lands” for their original purpose and not to be repurposed for residential development!

High immigration is not sustainable!

 

 

Labor to propose new environmental laws to enforce biodiversity and conservation

Bill Shorten’s government would, if elected, create a national environment protection authority and a new environment act

Forest in Tasmania
 Labor’s proposals include a new environment act, a science-based EPA to oversee development decisions and a national environment commission to develop legally binding plans and standards for protection. Photograph: Rob Blakers/AAP

 

A Labor government would bring in new federal environment laws and strong independent agencies including a national environment protection authority (EPA) to enforce them, under a draft policy platform signed off by the ALP national executive.

Developed by a 60-member policy forum chaired by the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, and the outgoing party president, Mark Butler, the platform is the basis for debate at Labor’s national conference in Adelaide next month.

The central environmental proposals include a new environment act, a science-based EPA to oversee development decisions and a national environment commission to develop legally binding plans and standards for protection.

The platform document says the new laws and institutions would allow a comprehensive approach to biodiversity and conservation, replacing a regime that fails to protect the health of the environment.

“It will reflect Australians’ expectations that environmental protection is essential and ensure an effective and efficient national approach to the management of matters of national environmental significance,” it says.

While not everything in the platform is guaranteed to become legislation, the draft document is a significant win for the Labor environment action network (Lean), an internal advocacy group that has run a 15-month campaign for reforms to protect nature.

As revealed by Guardian Australia as part of the Our Wide Brown Land series, ALP branches from every state and territory backed a Lean motion calling for strong national environment laws and an independent agency akin to a “Reserve Bank for environmental management”. By January, 250 party branches had passed the motion. Lean says it has since increased to 456.

*The draft platform rejects handing development approval powers to states and territories, a Coalition push Labor has in the past supported. It says any existing agreements in the area would be cancelled.

It says Labor would protect the rights of civil society groups on environmental matters, make data underpinning decisions publicly available and work with the states to properly resource recovery plans for threatened species while preventing land-clearing in critical habitat. It would introduce a “land-clearing trigger” giving the federal government greater powers to intervene on development approvals.

Felicity Wade, Lean’s national convener, said the proposals recognised the environment was a legacy issue for Labor dating back to reforms introduced under Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. She said they were driven by the party’s members.

Bill Shorten and Mark Butler, who chaired the policy forum
Pinterest
Bill Shorten and Mark Butler, who chaired the policy forum. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

“Traditionally, the community cares about this stuff more than politicians so it is important that Bill Shorten is saying ‘this matters’,” she said. “People don’t like plastics choking the waterways, and they don’t like species going extinct and they don’t like that we’ve got bad quality air in a number of cities.”

Shorten’s office referred questions to the opposition environment spokesman, Tony Burke. Burke was not available to comment.

The draft platform addresses a number of environmental issues raised in the Our Wide Brown Land series, including the plight of threatened species and the Murray-Darling basin. It may face resistance at the ALP conference, particularly from union delegates concerned about the potential impact on industrial and other developments.

As written, it would likely mean an end to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act introduced by the Howard government in 1999, though some lines suggest keeping and changing it. The existing act was praised for gathering decision-making powers under the environment minister but has been criticised for going too far in giving the minister of the day discretion in how the law is applied.

Several environment and political campaigners told Guardian Australia they believed it was now harder to win environment protection decisions than at any point since before the recognition of landmarks including Kakadu, the Daintree rainforest and the Franklin river in the 1980s.

Along with the Lean push, these concerns have formed the basis for a campaign from about 40 environment groups working as the Places You Love Alliance.

The Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said the draft platform was heartening and necessary. She said threatened species habitat across an area larger than Tasmania had been destroyed since the current environments laws were brought in.

“We will be watching closely to see that these strong measures are embedded in the ALP’s final platform,” she said.

The Wilderness Society’s national campaigns director, Lyndon Schneiders, said: “Saying we’re creating a strong independent institution that would hold governments to account – that’s a powerful thing.”

The draft policy platform includes several statements related to climate change and energy with the goal of transforming the economy to reach net zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.

SOURCE:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/31/labor-to-propose-new-environmental-laws-to-enforce-biodiversity-and-conservation?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR12Y2XGcahUsfkkD67iADAsaosPx5ykwFRADKWsO0C5Rj5e1ESQD2QO9Gg

 

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Parramatta River SEWAGE spill prompts health warning, EPA investigation

 

SYDNEY’S water and sewerage system is  100 years old … it was not built for a population of 5 million or more people …

recall it was built for a Sydney population of 3 million people!

Perhaps that is a factor the NSW Government should take into account

Parramatta River sewage spill prompts health warning, EPA investigation

OCTOBER 30 2018

 

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority is investigating Sydney Water after large amounts of raw sewage spilled into the Parramatta River last week.

Key points

  • The spill happened on October 21 after a wastewater pumping station collapsed
  • Authorities have warned people not to swim or fish between Northmead and Silverwater Bridge
  • Sydney Water is pumping fresh water into the river and other measures to minimise damage

A large volume of the untreated waste water polluted the Parramatta River on October 21, when a wall in a waste water pumping station at Northmead collapsed.

The overflow has now stopped and bypasses are in place while Sydney Water replaces the pumping station and conducts an investigation.

Gary Hurley from Sydney Water apologised to local residents and said they were still working out how much sewage went in the river.

However, he did say it was a “substantial flow”.

The overflow was stopped within 24 hours but there have been leaks since.

“We’ve certainly had a number of fish killed, they were mainly carp, and we’ll work with the local authorities to restock that with more native species,” Mr Hurley said.

 

The above-ground structure of the station — about the size of a two-storey house and made of double brick — has been removed, and work has started a few metres away to build a temporary replacement which Sydney Water plans to have operational by around Christmas.

“We’ve had a structural failure below the ground, cause is unknown, but that’s resulted in a lot of instability in the structure and it actually caused damage to the pumps so the station became inoperable,” he said.

“Crews have worked around the clock for the last week to make the site safe … and to minimise the impact on the environment and the local community.

Mr Hurley said there was no indication of the cause of the collapse and the station had recently been inspected.

‘This is old technology’

The spill occurred days after the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) — of which Sydney Water is a member — launched its plan to open three new swimming spots along the river by 2025.

PRCG chair Councillor Mark Drury said the incident was very concerning and he wanted to ensure a similar incident did not happen in the future.

“We do have old infrastructure along the way and it needs to be maintained,” he said, adding that he hoped Sydney Water would have a systematic review of its pump stations.

“We’ve got to get a lot smarter about this, we can’t have sewage that effectively goes into our waterways.

“All around the world they’ve got better ways of doing it, this is old technology, probably put in at a time where we didn’t care about the river.”

Ian Wright from Western Sydney University said there could be public health and environmental consequences.

 

“I can see Sydney Water are throwing everything at this, as they should — it’s going to be a slow, expensive, difficult process,” Dr Wright said.

“I reckon this is going to take quite a long time for the natural environment to absorb the impact.”

In a statement, the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was working with government agencies following the incident, and its investigation was ongoing.

The Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is working with Sydney Water and has directed residents to avoid swimming, fishing and other recreational activities between Northmead and the Silverwater Bridge at Ermington.

Pets should also avoid swimming in the river, they advised.

WSLHD said their public health unit is reviewing sample results from the river on a daily basis and water quality has improved over the last few days.

“Although Sydney Water is taking all possible steps to reduce the risk of a future overflow, there is the potential for further sewage overflows whilst Sydney Water is working to reinstate the Wastewater Pumping Station at Northmead.”

Lake Parramatta is safe to use as it is upstream of the overflow area.

Sydney Water is flushing the area with fresh water, as well as using aerators to increase oxygen in the water.

SOURCE:   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-30/parramatta-river-sewage-spill-prompts-health-warning/10442906

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WORLD GROWTH … A toxic danger for the Environment

 

 If the world’s population keeps growing, and the poor world’s living standards keep catching up with the rich world’s, how on earth will the environment cope with the huge increase in extraction, processing and disposal of material resources?

It’s a question many people wonder and worry about – without much sign it’s even crossed the mind of the world’s governments …

World growth a toxic danger for the environment

If the world’s population keeps growing, and the poor world’s living standards keep catching up with the rich world’s, how on earth will the environment cope with the huge increase in extraction, processing and disposal of material resources?

It’s a question many people wonder and worry about – without much sign it’s even crossed the mind of the world’s governments.

Until now. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is about to publish a Global Material Resources Outlook, which uses much fancy modelling to make an educated guess about what’s likely to happen in the future.

A worker separates plastic bottles at a recycling depot in Beijing.
A worker separates plastic bottles at a recycling depot in Beijing.CREDIT:REUTERS

 

The report projects that, over the 50 years to 2060, annual global use of materials

including metals, fossil fuels, biomass (food and fibres) and non-metallic minerals (mainly sand, gravel, limestone and other building materials)

– will more than double, from 79 gigatonnes in 2011 to 167 Gt in 2060. Gosh.

So how did the report reach that figure?

It started by estimating the likely growth in the world’s population. Although its rate of growth is expected to slow, the world population could increase from 7 billion to 10 billion by 2060.

 

At the same time, material living standards in the developing countries are expected to continue converging on those of the developed countries.

Gross domestic product per person is expected to continue growing at a much faster rate in the poorer countries than the rich ones.

So much so that, by 2060, the global level of real GDP per person is expected to have reached where it was for just the (richer) OECD countries in 2011.

This implies a tripling in global income per person to about $US40,000 a year – after adjusting for PPP, purchasing-power parity, to allow for one US dollar buying a lot more in a poor country than it does Stateside. The fastest catch-up will be in China and, to a lesser extent, India and south-east Asia.

That’s good news for the world’s non-rich. It would be a bit rich for the well-off countries to expect the poor countries to stay poor just to reduce pressure on the natural environment in a way we’re not prepared to.

What toll will world growth take?
What toll will world growth take?CREDIT:GLEN LE LIEVRE

 

Multiply world population by world income per person and you get world GDP. It’s expected to quadruple.

Even so, its rate of growth may slow. Whereas at the turn of the century world GDP was growing at an average rate of about 3.5 per cent a year, it’s expected to stabilise at a rate of less than 2.5 per cent well before we reach 2060.

(Why? Partly because of arithmetic. It’s much easier for a small number to grow by a high percentage than for a big number to. But also because, when you’re way behind, it’s relatively easy to catch up with the world’s technological frontrunner, the US, by adopting its better existing technology.

Once you’ve done the easy bits, however, it gets harder to grow as fast. China will account for much of the global slowing.)

But hang on. If world GDP is expected to quadruple, how come materials is expected only to double?

It’s because other things – helpful things – will be going on at the same time. The first is that the world economy is “dematerialising”.

Machines and gadgets are getting smaller and using less metal, but more to the point is the “servitisation” of the world economy (there’s a new ugly buzz word to add to your collection) – the tendency for more of each dollar we spend to go on services rather than goods.

Services have lower materials “intensity” – materials use per unit of output – than goods.

The shift in the mix from goods to services is a function of economic development. When you’re poor the main thing you want is more goods, but as you get richer there’s a limit to how much you want to eat or wear and how many cars and TV sets you need.

But there’s no limit to how many things you’d like to pay other people to do for you.

This shift is already well advanced in the rich countries, but the poor countries have a lot of infrastructure and housing to build (and a lot of cars and TV sets to buy) before they begin to approach material satiation.

The share of services in world GDP is projected to rise from 50 per cent to 54 per cent over the 50 years.

Poor countries have a lot of infrastructure and housing to build (and a lot of cars and TV sets to buy).
Poor countries have a lot of infrastructure and housing to build (and a lot of cars and TV sets to buy).CREDIT:BLOOMBERG

 

A second helpful factor is that technological advance should increase the efficiency with which materials are used. The two factors are projected to reduce the materials intensity of world GDP at the faster average rate of 1.3 per cent a year.

So, the report finds, were materials used to keep up with economic growth, annual use would increase by 283 Gt to 362 Gt.

But the shift to services will reduce that increase by 111 Gt and technological advance will reduce it by 84 Gt, meaning materials use rises to just 167 Gt in 2060.

It would be a bit rich for the well-off countries to expect the poor countries to stay poor just to reduce pressure on the natural environment in a way we’re not prepared to.

Note, however, that this is growth in “primary” materials extraction, not “secondary” use of recycled materials, which the report says is likely to become more competitive and grow at the same rate.

So increased recycling is another factor helping to explain the lesser growth in primary extraction.

With GDP growing faster than materials use, the report is expecting a partial “decoupling” of the two.

Of course, there’ll still be a big increase in pollution.

*Greenhouse gas emissions, but also acidification, freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, human toxicity via inhalation or the food chain, photochemical oxidation (smog), ozone layer depletion, and not forgetting increased land fill to dump the materials when we’re done with them.

Final point: this “baseline scenario” assumes no change in government policy.

That’s the point: it’s intended to show the world’s governments how great is the need for them to make a policy response.

Such as?

I’d like to see a tax on materials use, with the proceeds used to reduce the tax on labour income.

Similar to a price on carbon, this would do much to encourage recycling, repair and renovation, and economising in the use of materials.

Ross Gittins is the Herald’s economics editor.

 

 

Ross Gittins is economics editor of the SMH and an economic columnist for The Age. His books include Gittins’ Guide to Economics, The Happy Economist and Gittins: A life among budgets, bulldust and bastardry.

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/world-growth-a-toxic-danger-for-the-environment-20181026-p50c3l.html

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