Wednesday, 6 April 2011

IMPORTANT MEETING tonight re cattle out of #nationalparks. Don't let #TheNats dictate #environment policy


Federal environment minister 
headlines cattle grazing meeting

Don't know about you, Networkers, but I finding it gobsmacking that a political party which gained only 6.75% of first preference votes in the recent Victorian election can dictate or influence water and National Parks policy (key areas of environmental policy).  Yet this is what is happening.

In fact, not only is it happening in Victoria.  It is happening in New South Wales in collaboration not only with the National Party but, also, it is suggested, in collaboration with the Shooters and Fishers Party.  In addition, just as responsibility for water has been given to the National Party in the person of Peter Walsh, in NSW the responsibility for water lies with the new NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.

National Party responsibility in the two most populous states of Australia means that the National Party has responsibility in any Murray Darling Basin negotiations.  This is like putting the Cat in charge of the Mice.

Transparency International (TI) is an international organisation which investigates and grades the inroads of corruption across the world. Aussie Networkers might be surprised to see the ranking Australia has!

TI publishes annual Global Corruption Reports.  The 2008 report was on corruption in the Water Sector.  It can be downloaded from here.  Some of the references to activities which background corruption are significant: special interests, capture - particularly regulatory capture.  It is interesting to contemplate these factors in respect of the National Party since it is beholden to major lobbying organisations - agricultural, irrigation, and resource industry lobbyists to name a few of the most significant.  The National Party is a creature of sectional  interest.  It is held captive and will act accordingly.

What the Liberal leaders of  NSW and Victoria, Barrie O'Farrell and Ted Bailleu, have done is disenfranchised the majority of people in NSW and Victoria who do have an interest.

  • The interest of those in the urban fringes is what undergirds tourism in rural/regional/remote Australia. 
  • It is these people who pack up and head bush for the national parks, the waterways, the snow, the mountains.  
  • These are people with little in common with the venal interests of the National Party and its constituency.  
  • These are people who care about the country, the very soil, water and air of it.  
  • They care about the national icons, the Murray and the Darling and, in fact, the whole basin.  
  • They care about the Alpine National Park.  
  • They care about indigenous co-management agreements in relation to National Parks.  
  • They care where their food comes from - but not to sell out holus-bolus to agricultural lobbies and irrigator interests!

Don't allow the National Party tail to wag the Environment dog.

Federal environment minister Tony Burke will headline a public meeting 
at the Box Hill Town Hall on Wednesday, April 6, 
just two days before the Victorian Government is forced 
to remove cattle from the Alpine National Park.

Mr Burke told the Baillieu Government in March that it had until April 8 to remove cattle from the Alpine National Park, or face action from the federal government.

The minister will be joined at the public meeting by scientists Dr Greg Moore and Dr Libby Rumpff, Gunaikurnai elder Uncle Albert Mullett, as well as speakers from the Victorian National Parks Association and The Wilderness Society.

The public is being urged to attend this important meeting and show support for keeping the Alpine National Park cattle free.
Read more
Victorian National Parks Association


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