As we understand it, individual States are free to “manage” their own (protected) wildlife. However, the "management" of wildlife ends up evolving into a business of exponential commercial proportions, with momentum to keep supplying the meat and skins for domestic use and international export markets. (Photographs by Brett Clifton)
Kelvin Thomson, MP for Wills, has written to Prime Minister Gillard, asking her to consider and respond to the concerns of constituents about planned changes to the federal environment act. Have any other ministers done this? We would like to hear from them if so. See also this article which contains links to petitions etc. There is no doubt that Kelvin Thomson MP for Wills electorate is more on the ball than most MPs - ALP, Green or Liberal - where environment and democracy are concerned. He also seems to be one of very few MPs with any concern about the lives of other creatures or the preservation of nature and place and the impact of high immigration on environment and democracy.
This Friday, 7 December, the Federal Government plans to give away environmental assessment authority to the states. Candobetter readers should take any opportunity they can to avoid this devolution of our already semi-toothless legislation. Here is an opportunity to add your signature to a petition. There is also a Get-up campaign. Readers are invited to let us know of any other actions they are taking.Links to petitions etc inside.
What is the EPBC Act and why is it such a big deal?
Virtually the only functioning piece of environmental legislation in Australia is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), or the EPBC Act. It is the only law that individual citizens can bring a complaint under. The state environmental laws require you to find an officer in a government department or some other rare organisation with 'standing' who will bring a complaint for you. If you have tried to do this you will realise how this is almost impossible. Wildlife organisations and carers see grotesque crimes daily and cannot interest state bodies.
Greens say the Port of Melbourne is polluting Port Phillip Bay
Greens MP Sue Pennicuik says that the latest PoMC quarterly report has indicated that water quality control limits were exceeded on a number of occasions over the last three months. In addition water-quality testing by ACFs Bay Monitor has confirmed that the plume from the dredger has spread further than predicted and the report that the dredger has spilled 1,000 litres of hydraulic fluid at the Entrance to the Bay just show that the Port is not serious about protecting the ecosystem of Port Phillip Bay.
"The plume from the dredger has spread further than the Port had predicted, but many others in the community had predicted that this would happen," said Ms Pennicuik.
"Arsenic, zinc, copper, nickel and nitrogenous compounds have all been found in concentrations higher than the 'control limits,' which is no surprise either due to the weak Environmental Management Plan that the Port is operating to. All of this was foreseen by scientists and others independent of the Port and the state government and sadly are coming to pass.
Laws weakened to accommodate dredging project
"The pollution and the spreading dredge plume demonstrates the inability of the PoMC to adhere to even its own watered down environmental standards."