Friday, October 19, 2007

greens top environmental credentials

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s first assessment of the main political parties’ climate and environment policies gives both Liberal and Labor a score below 50 per cent.

The scorecard rates the policies of the Coalition, Labor, the Greens, the Democrats and Family First on climate change, water and the environment.

The scorecard gives the Greens first place, with a score of 93/100, the Democrats a score of 90, 49 for Labor, 31 for Family First, with the Coalition coming last at 21.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

housing strategy - have your say

I am very disappointed by comments from some in the local press about the intent of the draft housing strategy. I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of the strategy here, I urge you to find out more by visiting

The draft housing strategy is out there for public comment. As the community representative it is my job to ensure that the community are given the opportunity to have their say. It is not a fait accompli, a done deal, a final document - it is a work in progress in the public realm so the public have a chance to have their say.

Would those quoted in the press rather council did not seek the views of the community, that there was no opportunity to comment - I think not.

I am not interested in censorship, suppression or lack of consultation, there is no need to "have a fight", informed and rational arguments go a lot further than scaremongering and inflammatory remarks.

I urge you to have your say, but don't be mislead by sensationalist tactics by some in our community. It is not that council is "brave" in releasing the draft strategy for comment, we are committed to seeking the views of our community.

I am very interested in what our community thinks and can assure you I will be representing your interests.


Monday, October 01, 2007

the sugarloaf interconnector pipeline

the story so far: A report on Friday's activities at Toolangi.

After dismissive and insightful comments by Minister Holding after the Yea Wetlands meeting with concerned people opposed to the North-South Pipeline, he was again confronted in a peaceful manner, by more concerned people when he visited Toolangi (21/09/07) in the upper reaches of the Goulburn Valley.

It was ironic that the Minister was present to launch a Tourism Guide for the Murrindindi Region, when his actions as Water Minister will destroy some of the wonderful attributes the guide seeks to promote (Lake Eildon, Goulburn River, and the aesthetically pleasing Melba Highway drive).

With people becoming extremely stressed as representatives from Melbourne Water try to gain access to private property, tensions are rising and people wanted proper answers from the Minister for Water, Mr. Holding.

When questioned the Minister gave answers to the people that relied on the Government spin and rhetoric, which didn't stack up against the detailed questions put to him by those present.

The Minister was then asked to name the major agricultural product grown in this part of the Goulburn Valley in Toolangi. He was not able to answer; he had no knowledge of the agricultural crops his Government's actions were impacting on.

Toolangi is the home of a $100 million fresh strawberry industry. Around 80% of the nations strawberry runners, which are required to grow fresh strawberries, come from farms around Toolangi.

These farmers are stressed by lack of water and cannot understand how water can be stolen from the Goulburn Valley, when it is desperately needed to grow fresh produce for the people of Melbourne and beyond.

This incident may have been embarrassing to the Minister, but it clearly demonstrated to those present the city centric nature of the Labor Government.

Demonstrators confront Minister Holding in Toolangi

The Minister's exit was delayed as the concerned people were not happy as the Minister had not answered all their questions and they voted not to release his car from the carpark. This demonstrated the contrast with the Government dealing with a unelected, unrepresentative, and unaccountable group in Shepparton on the future of our water.

The Minister avoided answering further questions by walking out of the car park to another vehicle and was whisked away back to the safety of Melbourne.

The concerned people reminded him that everytime he visits the Goulburn Valley they will continue to hold him to account for his Government's bad and rushed water policy on the North-South Pipeline, that steals water from a stressed catchment, which puts the lives and livelihoods of Victorian people at risk and gains a undertaking from him or the Premier that his government will fulfill its pre-election commitment to not take water from North to South of the Great Dividing Range and to find other answers for Melbourne's water crisis.

Want to know more? Visit: or email

Words by Mike Dalmau (thanks Mike)

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big megawatts are possible...

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Source: The °Climate Group - issue 39

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