• Save the integrity of our Environment Minister: No conflicting portfolios
    This week, in a devastating blow to our environment, Malcolm Turnbull has announced his Government will no longer have a sole Environment Minister, and the Environment portfolio will be combined with the Energy portfolio.1 This consolidation of responsibilities represents an unacceptable conflict of interest.2 Furthermore, Malcolm has appointed Josh Frydenberg for this role, a minister who openly supports the expansion of coal mining across Australia, despite his position that there is a “strong moral case” for coal3 is at odds with the policies and research of the World Bank, the UN and the global energy agencies3,4. Of further concern, Frydenberg has said the government was keen to curb “vexatious litigation” from citizens opposed to mining projects over their impact upon the climate, water supplies and threatened species.3 This appointment comes at a time when: 1. The first six months of 2016 has had temperatures ~1.38 °C above average.5 2. 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by coral bleaching,6 3. Mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, essential to filtering water from the mainland, and breeding fish, are dying back;7 Josh supported the approval of Adani’s huge Carmichael coal mine in QLD, which will export up to 60m tonnes of coal a year through the Great Barrier Reef. Australians were concerned about this coal mining expansion8 and many anticipated the dredging would impact the reef while Government officials denied it would be affected,9 and now?.. Bleached. To highlight the conflict of interest between the Environment and Energy portfolios, this month we have seen Rio Tinto trying to sell its massive Blair Athol coal mine for $1 … ultimately transferring the risk & costs for environmental rehabilitation back on the Queensland taxpayer.10 A heartbreaking example of sacrificing our environment for the interests of coal mining companies is the handover this month of historical “Tarwyn Park”, the home of ‘Natural Sequence Farming’, to a Korean owned coal mining company; now, the farm of Peter Andrews, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to conservation and the environment through the development and promotion of sustainable farming practises” will become an open cut coal mine. 11 Shale gas fracking, overseen by the Energy Minister, is known to be detrimental to the environment; "from contaminated water, to marred landscapes, to increased global warming pollution, fracking has been an environmental disaster".12 Despite this, the Never Never region of the Northern Territory is poised to be fracked.13 Without a dedicated Environment minister, Australians facing genuine environmental concerns on the frontline risk having no receptive representation at the Federal level to turn to. On a daily basis our agricultural and rural communities are facing threats from mining, for example: • Bulga residents have fought for six years to save their town from the Warkworth coal mine expansion. 14 They won two court cases against the project, but Rio Tinto and the NSW Government joined forces against them, and re-approved the mine. Now, Bulga residents are out of options ~ wouldn’t it be appropriate if they had a Federal Environment Minister they could turn to who didn’t also directly support the very industry that is threatening them? • In the Pilliga forest, Santos aim to drill 850 coal seam gas wells.15 Despite insisting CSG projects pose no threat to our water supply, Santos has poisoned an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest.16 Now, the aquifer is filled with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels, with elevated levels of arsenic, lead, aluminium, nickel, barium and boron. Their planned Narrabri Gas Project risks the Great Artesian Basin, a lifeline for many of the driest parts of Australia representing future water security for many. How can one Minister be legitimately and fairly responsible both for the mining and the environment in this situation? We demand an Environment Minister who understands the gravity of climate change, and acknowledges the urgent need to effectively protect our land & water to sustain Australians for generations to come. Keeping this portfolio with Josh Frydenberg, a vocal advocate for coal, who is also responsible for the Energy portfolio, presents an unacceptable conflict of interest. 1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-18/malcolm-turnbull-unveils-new-look-ministry/7638492 2. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/combined-energy-and-environment-portfolio-for-josh-frydenberg-a-huge-blow-for-great-barrier-reef-20160718-gq89eo.html 3. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/18/josh-frydenberg-puts-strong-moral-case-for-coal-exports-to-prevent-deaths 4. http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/edward-cavanough/coal-wont-solve-energy-poverty-renewables-will/?utm_content=buffer9fbf9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer 5. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml 6. https://www.coralcoe.org.au/only-7-of-the-great-barrier-reef-has-avoided-coral-bleaching/ 7. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queenslands-mangrove-ecosystem-dying-in-secret-20160515-govikm.html 8. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2011/11/03/3355047.htm 9. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/julie-bishop-chides-barack-obama-over-climate-change-remarks/5906570 10. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/rio-tinto-selling-massive-queensland-coal-mine-for-dollar/7588916 11. http://tarwynpark.com/ 12. http://www.ecowatch.com/10-years-of-fracking-its-impact-on-our-water-land-and-climate-1891114363.html 13. http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/rinehart-and-shale-gas-companies-licensed-frack-indigenous-and-pastoral-land 14. http://www.singletonargus.com.au/story/3487977/rally-to-save-bulga/ 15. http://www.csgfreenorthwest.org.au/ 16. http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/2137939/santos-fined-1500-uranium-at-20-times-safe-levels
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  • Save CSIRO Climate Scientists - CSIRO Board suspend CEO LarryMarshal
    Larry Marshal's autocratic decision threatens a globally important function of the CSIRO, climate change modelling. It also risks the loss of up to 350 highly skilled Climate Scientists and modelers. There is national and international outrage against Mr Marshal's decision plus his clear lack of consultation with key stakeholders and the CSIRO Board. His decision must be subject to due process and wider community consultation. The CSIRO is not the private domain or plaything of one man, his ego or his positional power. The CSIRO is a national asset where capacity takes years to build, no one has the right to make arbitrary decisions of this significance.
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    Created by Bill MacDonald
  • Call for creation of the position of Freeway Commissioner
    Freeways are a far larger source of artificial (man made) infrasound than any other source. The potential health impact is substantial given the high population density.
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    Created by David Higginbottom
  • use marker dye or stop herbicide spraying in public parks and along foot paths
    the onkaparinga council has been telling contractors to spray without marker dye because they have been having so many complaints about spraying in public parks and along foot paths. they are trying to silence the complaints by underhanded sneaky methods instead of listening to their constituents and either ceasing to use these toxic chemicals in areas where children and pets play and expose themselves unknowingly to these chemicals . if hte council wont listen to the publics wishes regarding chemical use in public spaces then the public at least has a right to know where the chemicals have been applied so they can avoid exposure. recent research has shown that glyphosate preperations are toxic to humans in a variety of ways not the least of which is toxicity inducing apoptosis in human placental, embryonic and stemcells this is peer reviewed research carried out by Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Séralini * of the University of Caen, Laboratory for Estrogens and Reproduction, UPRES EA 2608, Institute of Biology, Caen 14032, France the complete reference is below. following the publication of htis research and many other simmilar research in to the toxic effects of glyphosate france and several other european nations have banned its use in public spaces and further restricted its use elsewhere Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Séralini * University of Caen, Laboratory Estrogens and Reproduction, UPRES EA 2608, Institute of Biology, Caen 14032, France Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2009, 22 (1), pp 97–105 DOI: 10.1021/tx800218n Publication Date (Web): December 23, 2008
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  • Raising the standard of politics
    It has been said that low trust is the biggest tax we will ever pay as every interaction takes longer when trust is low! A two-line email can take an hour to write when trust is low. Trust in politicians is now so low more and more of us are disengaging from politics (not just disaffected youth or Muslims) as the best way to drive social discourse. True leaders ask difficult questions and listen to the responses. In case there is any confusion here are a few examples. We don’t trust you to: 1. be honest with us. We understand people change their minds with better information but we believe you make election promises you never intend to fulfill and then repeat the same patronising denials until everyone gets sick of it. 2. not to put self interest ahead of what's good for Australia. We believe you denigrate and ridicule good ideas from the other party simply to boost your electoral prospects. 3. not silence really important conversations with rhetoric designed to incite fear and distrust and promote your electoral prospects. 4. engage the community in really difficult conversations where you can’t control the answer. 5. not to label anyone with a differing opinion to yours as un-Australian, crossing the line or not on the team. As probably the first generation ever to hand the world on to our children in a worse state than we inherited it, it’s a sad indictment that many of your voters feel the really big conversations (climate change, security etc.) are too important to entrust to politicians.
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    Created by Andrew Lee
  • Say NO to chopping down the Whitsunday Areas Coconut Trees.
    Coconut trees feed people, they are a beautiful tree along the foreshores and keep the beaches stable from erosion. They are visually relaxing as well. Sell the coconuts to all the visitors that come to the Whitsunday Areas to recoup the costs of maintaining them.
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    Created by ROBERT PHILLIPS
  • Support Science Debates for all Major Politicians Running for Office
    Science affects everything but most politicians manage to avoid talking about it because a lot of science and scientific research has to do with consequences beyond the limited terms of politicians. In other words, if they can get away with not talking about something in order to get elected, they'll happily throw your children under the bus.
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    Created by matthew chapman
  • Re Register worlds oldest rock carvings on Burrup Peninsular
    “It is without question one of the most important heritage locations in Australia and arguably the world; an ancient cultural and historical record of our nation’s first peoples. - See more at: https://newmatilda.com/2015/04/30/wa-government-deregisters-worlds-oldest-rock-art-collection-sacred-site#sthash.I6XryHfV.dpuf
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    Created by Nicholas Walker
  • Save MImburi
    All our lands have been 'stolen' from us and its about time the Government stepped up and gave back some of these traditional lands to our people.
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    Created by Kathryn Fisher
  • No to the Native Title deal in WA
    land is very important to Indigenous culture and religion. Indigenous can't sell the land is land id part of Indigenous people
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    Created by Fabian Yarran Picture
  • Cash-for-containers recycling scheme in Victoria!
    This is a scheme that will reduce landfill and create jobs. Cash for Containers schemes have lead to rates of recycling of 80-95%. It will also mean less litter in the parks, waterways and streets. We will be out of step with most of Australia! The new Andrews government needs to show some leadership and progression and prove that they actually DO care about the environment.
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    The independence of the Australian police is fundamental to our democracy and our human rights. The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is a public sector executive agency charged with protecting and serving the public. The QPS wields significant power over people’s ability to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms. How it is funded and who has influence – or even perceived influence – over its actions, is a fundamental democratic and civil rights issue. Such conflicts of interest undermine public confidence in the QPS to uphold the law in a neutral and impartial manner, particularly where essential human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are involved such as the right to freedom of association, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to equality before the law. Therefore, all private sponsorship of the QPS by Santos must end immediately.
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    Created by Michelle Maloney