‘Yes Minister’ meets ‘Spooks’ in #Australia ↘ National security agency also net filtering. @senatorludlam

National security agency also net filtering

Australian Greens communications spokesperson – Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 30 May 2013.

In an ominous escalation of internet filtering in Australia, an unidentified agency under the remit of the Attorney-General is also using section 313 of the Telecommunications Act to block an unknown set of websites – bringing the number of government agencies filtering up to three, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

“We now know that in addition to the ASIC and Australian Federal Police, a third agency has used the section 313 power to block websites, but the Government will not reveal which,” Senator Ludlam said.

The Department of Communications was also unable to identify how many state, territory and Commonwealth agencies are legally empowered to demand ISPs block websites at will.

“This morning I asked the Department of Communications which agency is blocking websites under section 313. In a manoeuvre straight out of ‘Yes Minister’, Senator Conroy advised me to ask the Attorney General, despite the fact Communications has responsibility for the issue. The AG’s department subsequently said they could not reveal the third agency.”

Minister Conroy has revealed his department convened a meeting of agencies likely to be using such powers to filter websites on May 22, and that to date three agencies have begun blocking websites. In today’s hearing Department representatives listed attendees, but neglected to mention that ASIO attended the meeting until quizzed on that specific agency.

"After I had to name them it was provided," Senator Ludlam told Minister Conroy in the hearing. “How many other agencies do I need to name to see if they were also there?”

There is virtually no oversight or transparency in how 313 notices are issued, which agencies and individuals can request one, or under what circumstances they’re permitted.

Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

W #Australia #environment – Mungada Ridge in Danger as Government Breaks Another Promise

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Mungada Ridge in Danger as Government Breaks Another Promise

30 May 2013

WA Greens spokesperson on Environment issues and member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today slammed the government’s cavalier disregard for keeping its promises.

“In 2009 the Barnett government, through its environment minister, gave an undertaking to set aside the Mungada Ridge, east of Geraldton, as a Class A reserve, so as to protect it from development.

“This was documented in EPA Report 1321 of April 2009 which included the claim that key environmental values would therefore be protected ‘in perpetuity’ – well, apparently, ‘in perpetuity’ means something else to this government!

“Under questioning from me, the new minister admitted in Parliament last week, a full four years after the original promise was made, that the process of reserve creation will now proceed only afterthe mining venture in the area has run its course.

“I’m flabbergasted – what in the dickens is going on? Do we just have to get used to the idea that Class A reserves now exist just in some make-believe world, where when it suits the government they can be dug up and exported?

“The Mungada Ridge is home to many valuable unique and threatened species, which the government quite rightly judged to be of high conservation value and worthy of protection from mining.

“The government’s environmental and sustainability credentials are in tatters,” Mr Chapple said today. “This is an appalling situation, and the government deserves to be pilloried for this reckless about-face.

“The WA Greens will be investigating all avenues to make sure this grave error of judgment is reversed,” Mr Chapple concluded.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

W #Australia water for exports not food – WA Govt Slips Deeper into Sticky Ord Mess @robinchapplemlc


Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Government Slips Deeper into Sticky Ord Mess

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Greens WA member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today renewed his criticism of the way the Grylls-Barnett government has handled the Kimberley’s Ord expansion project.

“When the current government first got involved with this project, I was at least prepared to give them credit for touting this as a food-bowl scheme.

“But very soon it became clear that all we were going to get was a choice between various exotic schemes, at the fringes of bona-fide agriculture, and very far removed from genuine food production.

“Now, no matter how they try to dress it up, it has come down to a taxpayer-funded biofuel for export plan.

“History shows that large-scale irrigation schemes lead to land degradation and other problems, and we will be left footing the bill to fix up the mess.

“The Kimberley needs sustainable industries, with regional community owned enterprises to increase regional employment and support local small business, not another large foreign-owned business siphoning short-term profits out of the region.

“To try to make a case for the Ord River Expansion as a project which benefits the Kimberley is a furphy. In fact the massive taxpayer investments are largely going offshore, and doing little to support regional industry or aboriginal enterprise.

“Before any more money is thrown into this mess, the government should publicly release a full cost benefit analysis of the project, with particular emphasis on the whole-of-life, long term environmental and social costs to the local community, and the impact it has on cultural industries, aboriginal tourism enterprise and other local or community projects.

“What good is this to the Western Australian people? A few jobs here and there are hardly worth the millions spent on the development of this scheme”, Mr Chapple concluded.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on


9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

​#Australia’s FM @bobjcarr pushes trade with ​#​Burma while regime still uses child soldiers. #children

​#Australia’s @bobjcarr
pushes trade with ​#​
Burma while regime still uses child soldiers

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 29 May 2013.

While the Australian Government pushes open slather trade with Burma, the country is plagued by sectarian violence and the continued use of child soldiers by the Burmese government, the Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson on Burma, Senator Scott Ludlam, said “the resource-rush which appears to be driving Australian foreign policy on Burma may perversely end up consolidating the regime’s hold on power and attendant human rights abuses. The Australian Government should urgently rethink its sanctions policy, lest ‘constructive engagement’ end up as complicity”.

“The Government pushed Europe and other countries to permanently lift trade sanctions on Burma, and has encouraged Australian companies to invest. At the same time violent anti-Muslim pogroms have plagued Burma, often with the complicity of authorities, and the Burmese military continues to use child soldiers.

“Human Rights Watch reported today that one year into the Burma-UN action plan, the Burmese military still includes children as young as ten.

"Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya people were forced to flee Arakan/Rakhine state last year and 130,000 now live in refugee camps. Today reports have emerged that a mosque and a Muslim orphanage in Burma were burned down by extremist mobs, and police discovered a weapons cache in a Buddhist ‘monastery’.

“The use of child soldiers and violence from racist gangs are just two elements of the Burmese crisis: The army has caused widespread destruction in its attacks on the Kachin people, and a report has been sent to the International Labour Organisation claiming that Rohingya women are being forced into sexual slavery by the military.

“The rush to open Burma for business has eroded the leverage for reform, allowing the army to continue to dominate the political system and trample human rights. The Australian Government must reconsider its enthusiasm for cutting deals with a dictatorship.”

Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

#Australia Greens WA point to Government’s #Energy Shambles

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Greens WA point to WA Government’s Energy Shambles

24 May 2013

Greens WA spokesperson on Energy policy, Robin Chapple MLC, today again blasted the state government over the ongoing Muja power station fiasco.

“Most informed observers have said from the outset that the Muja revival was a mistake.

“Minister Nahan has now publicly foreshadowed that he will shortly put this disastrous exercise in futility to rest.

“It’s hard to know where to start in commenting on this debacle. From the outset, this proposal was an unnecessary investment in furthering outdated fossil fuel policy, and was ripe with potential for cost blowouts.

“$250 million was a huge sum of money, which would have been better spent promoting renewable energy in Western Australia. Why does this Government consistently pander to the fossil fuel industries, while barely bothering to look at renewable energy options and new technologies?” asked Mr Chapple.

“Perhaps if the government invested in the real barriers to energy reform – the inaccessible distribution network, archaic access arrangements and ‘locked-in’ coal and gas contracts which renewable generators find so prohibitive, then the future of energy generation could begin.

“I sympathise with the Minister, to the extent that he has inherited this white elephant, but his job is to look ahead, not lament the “nightmares” he says this issue gives him. Sieze the moment, Mr Nahan, and grasp this opportunituy to set WA’s energy policy on the road to a sustainable future.

“Only the Greens have a detailed plan for powering WA without throwing good money after bad on flops like Muja. Our Energy 2029 plan would be a good foundation for the Minister’s so-called sweeping review of his portfolio”, Mr Chapple concluded.

Energy 2029 plan: http://www.greenswa.net.au/energy2029

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: http://robinchapple.com/

Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.

Bear vs Bull: Toro #Uranium project at risk. @SenatorLudlam #australia

Bear vs Bull: Toro Uranium project at risk

Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy – Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 20 May 2013.

The tenuous financial viability of Western Australia’s first proposed uranium mine is the subject of a new research paper undertaken by independent market analysts Economists at Large, commissioned by Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam and a range of environmental groups.

“The study shows that Toro’s proposed Wiluna Project may scrape into financially viability if absolutely every possible variable goes Toro’s way – but only if the company can avoid clean-up and decommissioning costs,” said Senator Ludlam.

“Most crucially, the numbers are against the company as soon as the cost of clean-up is factored in. Because the company has not submitted a costed mine closure plan or established where it will find the money to post a rehabilitation bond, the site looks to become an open-ended contamination liability for taxpayers.

“According to this study, if the most optimistic range of estimates for the world uranium price, exchange rates, capital and operating costs all go the company’s way, the Net Present Value of the project is positive. As soon as any of these variables slip backwards from the company’s optimistic assumptions, the NPV calculations turn negative.

“Nuclear power is in retreat in Europe and the United States, and the disaster in Japan has torpedoed expectations for a big nuclear expansion in Asia. We commissioned this study because we believed Toro was a risky proposition; the numbers bear this out, and explain in part why much larger uranium companies BHP and Cameco have mothballed their WA projects while Toro pushes blindly ahead. This study tells the investment community in black and white: buyer beware.

“The Greens believe this project will be an environmental disaster if it goes ahead; this report gives some numbers to the scale of the financial disaster that may await as well,” Senator Ludlam concluded.

The study can be downloaded here:

http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/bear-vs-bull-independent-assessment-wiluna-uranium-project

Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Australian Government’s mock “consultation” about opening Woomera to miners

@SenatorLudlam

Antinuclear

Map-Woomera-Prohibited-AreaGovernment’s “consultation” on mining in Woomera more like a ram raid Australian Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.  17 May 2013The Federal Government made a mockery of public consultation by allowing three working days for initial submissions on opening up the Woomera Prohibited Area to miners, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

“On Wednesday 8 May Defence Minister Stephen Smith and resources Minister Gary Gray released the draft exposure of legislation to increase access to Woomera Prohibited Area to miners, and three working days later on 13 May the submission period closed.  It’s not good enough,” said Senator Ludlam.

handsoff “Lawyers representing the Maralinga people, who in addition to being the Traditional Owners own approximately 40,000sqkm of freehold land in the area, advise that they have not been consulted on this legislation despite approaching the Defence Minister on the issue in July 2011.

“It is a relatively short amendment…

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