Australian miner tight-lipped over deaths
The Australian resources company at the centre of fatal anti-mining protests in Indonesia says it has informed the stock exchange of the deaths of protesters.
Arc Exploration is searching for gold on the island of Sumbawa, east of Bali.Video shot by an Indonesian television station emerged yesterd…
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Australia has a national housing supply council, we need a national housing supply strategy
Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Wednesday December 21st, 2011
The growing crisis in affordable housing must be met by a national housing strategy, the Australian Greens said today as new figures revealed a huge and worsening crisis in affordable housing.
Australian Greens housing spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, welcomed the release of the National Housing Supply Council’s State of Supply Report and called on new housing minister Robert McClelland to tackle the crisis head on.
“We have a national housing supply council, but no national housing supply strategy. We need to see a commitment from the Government to providing the programs and the funding needed to fill the huge shortfall in affordable housing availability.
“Rent and house prices have torn away from wages and the CPI: From 2001 to 2011, full-time average weekly earnings increased by less than 60 per cent, while house prices in Perth rose by 195%.
“Rents have increased at more than triple the rate of inflation, and while house prices have softened marginally this year – rents continue to rise dramatically. The report cites national RIEA figures of 85% rent increases in the last decade, but the real figures are much higher than that.
“And the crisis is growing. The new minister needs to tackle key questions; to what extent will he be directly guided by the work of the Supply Council? Will he attach targets to this new report and use this to form a national housing strategy? How is this directly informing and guiding future funding for Department of Housing and Homelessness programs?
“The growth in the gap between underlying demand and adjusted net supply of dwellings is alarming: From a gap of 186,800 in 2010 to 214,700 in 2011, at a time when the housing market is comparatively weak.
“And it is not simply a question of demand and supply, but effective demand and affordable supply. In 2010 there was a gap of almost half a million affordable and available rentals: a shortfall of 493,000. We need decisive action based on a comprehensive strategy to deal with this crisis,” said Senator Ludlam.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302
STATE BACK FLIPS ON FMG CONDITIONS –
WAY NOW CLEAR FOR FINAL OBLITERATION OF YINDJIBARNDI HERITAGE
Last Tuesday, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier, reneged on an earlier commitment to hold Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) accountable for identification and protection of Yindjibarndi heritage in the path of its Solomon Project mine. After FMG demanded that critical conditions of his consent be deleted, Minister Collier complied, clearing the way for wholesale destruction of rare and ancient Yindjibarndi heritage.
Yindjibarndi CEO, Michael Woodley, said “This is a Christmas from hell for us. It is a weak and morally wrong decision from Mr Collier. The Minister had a choice – to ensure Yindjibarndi people could properly record their sites before FMG wipes them off the face of the earth, and use this knowledge to make safe and fair decisions; or kick us in the guts and cheer on FMG’s destruction of our culture places before anyone has the chance to understand, care or know they ever existed. Mr Collier took the second option. So while FMG mining grinds on round the clock over Christmas, there will be no peace for Yindjibarndi.”
In the last two months FMG has repeatedly obstructed Yindjibarndi people from going onto their country to record their heritage and perform ceremonies. This is in breach of a condition of their mining lease that states access to and use of the land by Yindjibarndi people “is not to be restricted” by FMG, except in relation to any parts that are being used for mining operations, or for safety or security reasons relating to those operations.
FMG has fraudulently cited this “safety and security” stipulation by declaring areas YAC needs access to as ‘controlled areas’. FMG’s invocation of “safety and security” is false because no mining operations were being conducted on the land where the YAC sought to undertake surveys at the time of YAC’s visit, nor could there be for as long as the Minister’s section 18 conditions for comprehensive surveys remained unfulfilled.
The grave consequence of this obstruction for Yindjibarndi, and the advantage sought by FMG, is that after FMG mining operations have razed the country and destroyed physical evidence of Yindjibarndi heritage, there will be no certified and authentic documentary record upon which the prosecution of FMG can be based.
Mr Woodley said, “We are deeply angered that fundamental human rights standards spelled out in United Nations covenants are being blatantly violated in this state. The Minister’s decision steals from our people what is at the centre of our world, the cultural heritage that lies at the heart of our identity, our confidence, our right to exist as Yindjibarndi.”
For further information
Michael Woodley – CEO YAC – mwoodley
Phil Davies YAC Anthropologist/Public Officer – 0429 110 451 pdavies
For media materials please contact – media
Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
WOODSIDE DELAY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BETTER GAS OUTCOME
Monday 19 December 2011
Greens MLC Robin Chapple said that Woodside’s decision to delay its final investment decision on the Browse LNG project was an opportunity for the company and its partners to find a better location for the gas hub.
“Woodside’s decision to delay a final decision on Browse is a tremendous reprieve for the ecological and cultural integrity of the Kimberley and a great opportunity for the Joint Venture partners to re-assess the location of the project”, Mr Chapple said.
“There are locations along our vast coastline that are less environmentally and culturally significant than James Price Point – which the Browse JV partners are very much aware of.”
“It is common knowledge that the James Price Point site was not the preferred location for several of the partners.”
“Woodside’s reluctance to commit to its current site represents a chance for the partners to more fully assess the huge social, heritage, and environmental impacts of a gas hub on the current site, as highlighted by the committed West Kimberley community who have opposed this project from the start.”
“I am fully confident that a comprehensive examination of the impacts of a gas hub at James Price Point would render an alternative site the more attractive option.”
Mr Chapple said that in any re-assessment of the Browse project, the Greens would demand that fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from the project – estimated to be up to 8 million tonnes per annum – be taken into account.
“The EPA must account for the massive carbon footprint of this project, and its impact on the State’s emissions targets to 2020 and beyond ahead of any final approval for a future gas hub”, Mr Chapple said.
For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255