Sunday, July 30, 2006

Community coalition - your rights at work

If you are concerned about the Federal Government's WorkChoices laws and the impact they will have on you and your family then go along to the inaugural meeting of the local Latrobe Your Rights At Work Community Coalition.

It's your chance to join with others from the Dandenongs, Berwick, Boronia and Narre Warren regions to fight for the unfair laws to be scrapped.

Where: Burrinja - 351 Glenfern Road, Upwey (melways 75 B12)
When: 7:00pm Tuesday 1st August.

If you want to know more email me at

Image from the protest held in Upwey 26/07/06
Your rights at work - WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy Birthday John - we would have bought you cake but you cut our penalty rates

What an interesting turn of events, on the PrimeMinister's 67th birthday today he visited Upwey RSL for morning tea, but why was he there? Was it to enable to the community to reiterate their disdain for the new WorkChoices legislation? It was fantastic to see, at very short notice, the community come out to rally and protest against the most significant attack on workers rights in a very long time.

"We would have bought you a cake but you cut our penalty rates" was one of the many chants that rang out to celebrate this occasion.

The media were out in force for the birthday party.

The PrimeMinister leaves, the disgruntled invited guests told protesters "we live in the luckiest country in the world".
We couldn't agree more - yes they did live in the luckiest country, but the future isn't so rosy for our children who wont be paid a fair days pay for a fair days work. It's unfortunate that the people who fought so strongly for our rights in the past see the rally as unpatriotic. We all agree we did live in the luckiest country, not so sure anymore.

Well done to our community, they are willing at every occasion to come out and stand up for what's important and just a little reminder to those on the inside because they couldn't hear the protesters so well
"the people united will never be defeated".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

GE Free Fiesta - 7th August

Join me to show your opposition to ABIC 2006 - the international agricultural biotechnology conference. Have your say on the democracy soapbox and at the same time enjoy a GE free picnic.

When: Monday 7th August - Noon to 2:00pm
Where: Meet at midday outside the GPO in the Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne and join the procession down to Batman Park for 1:00pm.

BRING FOOD TO SHARE (the GE free variety that is!)

This is your chance to celebrate organic food and show your opposition to GM crops in this country.

The Victorian Government is the major sponsor of ABIC 2006, conference topics include:
~public attitudes to genetic engineering
~how the GE industry can convince a sceptical public to accept commercialisation of GE crops and foods.

GE crops and foods are unnatural, unnecessary and unwanted. It's time the State Goverment took note, if you can't make it to the Fiesta but are concerned be sure to raise the issue with your local pollie:
James Merlino (Monbulk)
Tammy Lobato (Gembrook)
Heather McTaggart (Evelyn)
Ben Hardman (Seymour)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Burning issues - it's time to have your say

What is the Burning Issues survey?
It’s a comprehensive survey to help the Shire develop options to make a new local law regulating open air burning in the Shire.

Why is the Shire conducting the Burning Issues survey?
You can tell the Shire a lot about the challenges you face on your individual property, as well as the impact that smoke has on your way of life and health.

All residents are welcome to participate in the survey. Follow this link to participate -

The survey closes on 31 August 2006.

I encourage all residents to participate, this is your opportunity to have your say about the range of issues relating to burning off in the Dandenongs. There is no doubt that burning off does create greenhouse emissions, as well as poor quality air for residents in the Dandenongs. However we live in one of the highest wild fire prone areas in the world.

People who burn off wet and green materials and household rubbish act irresponsibly and create unnecessary pollution locally and globally. I look forward to seeing the survey results, they will assist in developing options for improving the Open Air Burning Local Law and provide information about vegetation management and burning off.

There is certainly a need for the Open Air Burning Local Law to change, the mix isn't right but I'm sure there is a balance between environment and bush fire safe properties and as part of this I will most certainly be encouraging residents to support the introduction of a regular green waste collection in the Dandenong Ranges as part of the mix.

As soon as the survey results are available I will post them on my blog.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Green councillors unite

I attended a councillor development conference this weekend, it was a great opportunity to network with councillors from all corners of Victoria. What became very apparent to me was that the Shire of Yarra Ranges' council was a very cohesive and united team with a great deal of professionalism and dedication to their role. It was terrific to learn about councillor's experiences (from the very new to the very experienced) and from my point of view focus particularly on ethics as well as the inside running on meeting procedures from meeting guru Nick Renton.

It was also great to catch up with fellow Greens Councillors, there is no doubt that the Green point of view adds a great dimension to local government and enables sustainable action on a whole range of local matters.

Pictured left to right:
Cr Julie Rivendell (City of Greater Bendigo)
Cr Phillip Schier (Mount Alexander Shire)
Cr Samantha Dunn (Shire of Yarra Ranges)
Cr Gurm Sekhom (City of Yarra)
Cr Janet Rice (City of Maribyrnong)
Cr David Jones (City of Greater Bendigo)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Feeding wildlife - when will we learn?

I never cease to be amazed that people still think its okay to feed wildlife. Take our very own Grants Picnic Ground in Sherbrooke Forest. There is a continual stream of tourists feeding cockatoos, rosellas and galahs in the grounds. The feeding of this wildlife results in a dependence on food sources supplied by people rather than natural sources. The oversupply of this food also results in increased levels of vermin in the forest.

Feeding wildlife results in a change of population which has consequences for other plants and animals in the forest. I can remember a time when Grants Picnic Ground was full of Crimson Rosellas and Galahs, you'd never see a Cockatoo. The cockatoo population has exploded and has changed the natural balance of wildlife in this part of the forest.

What really surprises me is that it is not against the law to feed wildlife, when will the Flora and Fauna Act be changed so this damaging, outdated, ill-informed practice can stop forever. Sherbrooke Forest is under the jurisdiction of Parks Victoria, if you think feeding wildlife should be stopped for good write to your local pollie:
James Merlino (Monbulk)
Tammy Lobato (Gembrook)
Heather McTaggart (Evelyn)
Ben Hardman (Seymour)

See these birds in their natural habitat - eating left over food in the car park at Grants Picnic Ground - Dandenong Ranges National Park.

A dark day - the GM blue rose is here

It's a dark day as I learn that the genetically manipulated rose is in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. Yes, we've all heard the guarantees (and even the scientists can't agree) but they still don't answer the real question "why are GMOs allowed to be here even though we have a policy of being a GMO free municipality?".

Let this be a warning to all municipalities who have declared themselves GMO free. There needs to be a mechanism in place so the rights of citizens are paramount and given the highest regard.

The citizens of the Yarra Ranges have the right to be very angry today, their desires and aspirations have been ignored by Florigene, Australian Roses, the OGTR and a cast of others. This trial for a most frivolous end product has now tarnished our reputation as a clean green producer of world class products. How will we be compensated????

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's gone for good!

I happened to be driving through Sherbrooke Forest (I often do) and something was missing, it was that ugly industrial shipping container that has been there for a long, long time.

Finally Parks Victoria requested that the container be moved and it will not be returned. Our national park has returned to its former glory and I for one am very grateful to see the back end of it.

Grants Picnic Ground looking like a national park again.

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