Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Participatory democracy & the environment : Climate change : Community involvement in environmental law

Friend of The Network, Maria Riedl, has been writing to governments again.  What else is new?  Here below is the exchange of correspondence;


Maria Riedl
13:31 (26 minutes ago)
Thank you very much Rebecca.

I have been doing a uni course at UTAS on 'Issues in Environmental Law'
and am referencing the 2009-2010 version. What I have been learning is
very very troubling to me and to the rest of the community, who believes
in public participation to ensure that our environment is not bulldozed
for the sake of development, profits, lobbying by mining companies, all at
the pleasure of local, state and federal governments in their constant
quest for power.

It is time to include a 'Environmental Legacy Act' in Commonwealth
legislation that ensures that future generations are not compromised by
the actions of the present selfish, self-centred generation of
short-sighted, power hungry politicians, miners, foresters, farmers and
others with short-term profits their only driver. Looking around at QLD,
Victoria, NSW, WA, I am seriously concerned about the lack of will by
these specific politically motivated governments to protect or natural
ecosystems and biodiversity dependent upon them in any manner at all. They
give lip service to matters and relegate environmental laws to "green
tape" and constantly change these laws so they no longer can be recognised
as complying with Federal responsibilities under International agreements
as well as the demands by my community of Australians who believe that we
have a right to a healthy and vibrant environment and that this is
supposed to be reflected in laws of the land.

People such as Campbell Newman, Barry O'Farrell, Barnaby Joyce,
Christopher Pyne, Tony Abbott, Bob Katter, Colin Barnett, are short-term,
illogical thinkers, motivated by a self-centred drive to gain power at any
cost and who put in jeopardy what we the people believe to be matters to
be protected, in this case our natural environment and specifically our
biodiversity. Land clearing, water usage, cattle, hunters, miners,
prospectors, loggers, developers in our National Parks is totally
unacceptable and must be stopped immediately.

It is a known and acknowledged fact that Australia has the highest rate of
extinctions in the entire world. Th MDB and the GAB is threatened
continually by vested interests and water laws that fail to meaningfully
address the issues of environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
Victoria has cleared the most land, there is still logging of old-growth
and regrowth forests instead of recognition of their value as carbon
sinks, there is constant pressure on our catchments both above and below
ground and the related contamination, from unregulated extractions by
mining companies and illegal grab of water when we know full well that
Australia is the driest continent on earth! e.g. Allowing mining water to
be released into the GBR though knowing full well it is ALREADY threatened
is another example of lunacy.

Climate change will impact Australia most out of all the places on earth.
Mismanagement by governments and vested interested politicians, business,
industry, urban areas is a comedy of errors that has disastrous
consequences for the ext generation.

It is time that we take an rigorous accounting of our resources, this
includes our biodiversity, our ecosystems and drawing up three columns in
a book. One column is the amount of resources we have, another is the
amount to be put aside, and another the amount never to be touched.

We need to return to proper, rigorous community involvement in our
environmental laws, we need open and transparent discussions, we need
information that is out there, we need properly funded scientific info to
inform us all and not rely solely on computer generated figures or
scenarios, we need to be able to hear what other people say because that
is how we learn!

I am very very angry about governments, specifically politicians and
administrators' lack of will to protect our environment.I am getting tired
of vested interest groups continually branding anyone who wants to protect
our forests, rivers, GBR, Tarkine, whales, marine areas, etc as radicals
and lunatics, and them getting a pat on the back from decision-makers who
obviously only care about the next election result! I am sick to death of
them changing laws when challenged in court then going back to challenge a
decision that was right the first time.that should never be allowed.

Plenty of examples of law altering going on at this very instance in
nearly every state and even the Commonwealth which wants to pass off its
obligations regarding the administration of the EPBC Act back to lazy,
self-serving states who just want development at any cost. e.g. GRB and
all the proposed coal terminals and shipping increase of more than 11,000
thru the GBR World Heritage Area, complete lack of will to protect the
Tarkine Wilderness, gas hubs along WA's pristine coast, CSG mining on all
lands in ALL states no matter the impact on people and water, the
continued logging of old-growth forests by calling it "thinning",
prospecting which is another name for mining. EG Wielangta case, Gunn's
pulp mill case, dredging of Gladstone harbour, dam building on the Mary
river, the Burnett River, proposals to pipe water from one catchment to
another, build yet another dam, draining of wetlands, inability of
government to protect Ramsar wetlands from vested interests. The worst is
government's inability to address the very real terrors of global warming
which is already on its unstoppable way to 2% warming.

So you can see why I am interested in the report!

Kindest regards

Maria Riedl

On 16/07/13 11:53 AM, "SCEW Secretariat" <SCEW@environment.gov.au> wrote:

>Thanks for your email Maria.
>We have posted a hardcopy version of the NEPC 2011-12 Annual Report as
>requested by you.
>Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
>Kind Regards,
>Rebecca Gillett
>Secretariat | COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW)
>Phone: (02) 6274 1819 | Email: SCEW.Secretariat@environment.gov.au
>Website: www.scew.gov.au
>Please consider the environment before printing emails and attachments
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Maria Riedl
>Sent: Monday, 15 July 2013 9:40 PM
>To: SCEW Secretariat
>Subject: May I please have the 2011-2012 NEPC annual report in hard copy
>15 July 2013
>Dear Sir/Madam,
>May I please ask for a hard copy of the 2011-2012 NEPC Annual Report? I
>am studying environmental law and it would be of assistance.
>Thank you
>Maria Riedl
>"Democracy is not a spectator sport"

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