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Lib or Lab: Who will Gunns pulp this election?

Hello, and welcome to Spring! I'm finishing off my project this weekend before getting back to Webdiary, but just couldn't resist posting this transcript - an interview between Charles Wooley and the PM on the pulp mill. How tricky is this for our tricky PM?

Last election campaign he planted a story with his little mate Dennis Shanahan that he would announce a policy to save Tassie's old growth forests. In the last week Latham announced he would save them with an $800 million transition plan for logging workers and communities. Howard then become the logging workers friend, saved a few trees and gave them carte blanche to cut down the rest. Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull's in deep shit in Wentworth - businessman Geoffrey Cousins is campaigning against him on the mill, which has already seen him extend his 'Yes, Gunns' approval process from 10 days to six weeks. In the middle of the election campaign, most probably.

This is a game of patient, super stakes chess. Under Howard's tip toe - bolds are my emphasis, Wooley's interview of Howard is probably the most brilliant I've read - answers from Labor's environment man Peter Garrett to questions from Crikey published in its subscriber email yesterday (subscription recommended).

Who will blink first?

Please feel free to post relevant links. I haven't got time right now...


WOOLEY: The Premier of Tasmania is saying that if you delay the decision on the pulp mill until after the election it might put the kybosh on the project entirely.

PRIME MINISTER: Well I want the pulp mill to go ahead, provided...

WOOLEY: Provided.

PRIME MINISTER: It's up to scratch environmentally. I want to make it very clear that I am in favour of the pulp mill. The Federal Government in fact has provided a lot of, we put five million dollars in right at the beginning for the feasibility study and we've indicated a willingness to provide other assistance, so I don't know where Mr Lennon's getting this idea that we're in some way against the pulp mill. All we are wanting to do is to make sure that it stacks up environmentally, and...

WOOLEY: Are you, like Malcolm Turnbull, somewhat disquieted by the manner in which the Tasmanian Government has driven this project?

PRIME MINISTER: Well certainly the speed with which the Tasmanian Government dealt with it, whilst very pleasing to the industry and I understand that and I'm sympathetic to a degree obviously to their position because we're supporting it, on the other hand if you don't look as though you've got a completely transparent process, it does leave you open to criticism from people who are trying to stop the pulp mill, and the argument that's being used by people like Mr Cousins and others is that the process has not been transparent and what Turnbull is doing, correctly in my opinion, is making sure that the procedure to check it out environmentally is followed carefully, now he did say that he was going to give it to the Chief Scientist.

WOOLEY: Yes, Jim Peacock.

PRIME MINISTER: And said that some weeks ago, it's ridiculous if you say you're going to give it to the Chief Scientist to make a decision before the Chief Scientist has reported to you.

WOOLEY: And, and in the case of Jim Peacock, he's not the kind of bloke that could be leaned on to speed things up a bit.

PRIME MINISTER: I know Jim Peacock well and he's got great scientific and professional independence and if somebody tried to lean on him and say look Jim, you know, hurry this up and give us the answer we want, I mean, he would tell you to get lost.


PRIME MINISTER: And that is precisely what the situation is, so I, I think that everybody should take a deep breath, they should understand that our, my and our essential position is that we support the pulp mill and I want people to know that, but we've got to be satisfied that is stacks up environmentally. We have our own process to follow, we're not going to automatically follow the process mandated by the Tasmanian Government yet.

WOOLEY: No but PM, I, I mean, been through this a few times and covered them in other countries too, I mean, I suspect what's going to happen is Jim Peacock is going to come back and say well this isn't acceptable and that isn't, you're going to have to spend more money and you can't put that much of these dioxins or [inaudible] or whatever the chemicals are into Bass Strait, in which case the company may well say well we're going to take our bat and ball and go home.

PRIME MINISTER: Well I don't know what Jim's going to report and I'm certainly not going to speculate, but I do want...

WOOLEY: But if he doesn't just rule off on everything Gunns wants, would that worry you then, that the whole project might be lost?

PRIME MINISTER: What would worry me would be if we didn't have a proper process ( Margo: Excuse me???) and that the noisy opposition to any pulp mill anywhere succeeds. I hear that some people are saying ‘oh you should build it somewhere else'. Well I've heard that sort of thing before, I've heard, because what then happens is that the people who are opposed to it no matter where it's going to be built, find reasons why it shouldn't be built in the alternative...

WOOLEY: Well, so if it's outpourings are unacceptable it doesn't matter where you put it.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah exactly, look I still remain, very optimistic that this pulp mill can and will be built. It is very important for jobs in Tasmania and I am pro jobs, I demonstrated three years ago that I'm, I'm a better friend of the workers in the timber industry in Tasmania than anybody in the Labor Party, and...

WOOLEY: Well you also, you also, which as you know I admit it's a passion of mine, you know, being a bit patriotic about old growth forests, you also saved more old growth forests in Tasmania than anyone else too.

PRIME MINISTER: And what I'm tyring to do with this is to preserve balance, and yes let's have the pulp mill, but let us have it in circumstances where it's environmentally acceptable. Now, I don't think those two things are irreconcilable and one of the things that annoys me about debate on the environment, debate on climate change is that too many people on what I might call the greener fringes of politics, no matter what party they're in, and have this attitude that you can't reconcile protecting the environment with jobs and development.

WOOLEY: There are some strange contradictions. Call me a redneck greenie, Prime Minister, but they're planning, planning to burn five hundred thousand tonnes of woodchips a year in order to produce energy to do this, now, you wonder at the same time as we are concerned about greenhouse that that's the right thing to do.


That's beyond your, beyond your purview too, you have no say over that.

I don't want to pick out just individual parts of the proposal.


PRIME MINISTER: But overall, I have been supportive, from the very beginning of the idea of having a pulp mill in northern Tasmania, and it remains the strong position of the Federal Government that if it stacks up environmentally, and that can only be determined by us according to our procedures. The Federal Government has a role in these things, it will determine things in accordance with its own procedures and we won't be told by the Tasmanian Government, and let's everybody be patient and let's see the outcome of it.


Crikey Q and A

1. Would you, as Environment Minister, support the native forest-based pulp mill that Gunns is proposing or would you require it to be plantation-based at inception?

Labor's position is clear -- as we have said many times over -- we will support a pulp mill as long as it meets world's best environmental standards and outcomes. If Mr Turnbull approves the mill, he must put such terms and conditions on the mill's operation (e.g. strict discharge controls and other environmental outcomes).

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (the EPBC Act), the Commonwealth Environment Minister is required to determine whether proposals have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance, including listed threatened and migratory species and the Commonwealth marine area.

One example of the matters he should be studying carefully is -- will there be any long-term ecological damage to matters of national environmental significance as a result of cumulative discharges and emissions?

We will continue to review the situation and the process undertaken by the Minister and look closely at the results of the scientific committee appointed by the Minister.

If I had the privilege to be Environment Minister, I would ensure that a comprehensive environment assessment process is undertaken. I would not -- as Minister Turnbull has done -- have chosen one of the least comprehensive assessment options.

Mr Turnbull now says he has to get further scientific advice. Of course he does -- but that is the advice he should have got in the first place instead of choosing one of the least rigorous assessment processes.

I note Mr Turnbull initially made what he called a "proposed decision" with "draft conditions", but he is now merely calling that "departmental advice" and has sought further advice from the Chief Scientist. The question is, what will he do with that advice?

Mr Turnbull is privy to technical advice and information and assessment in regard to this proposal that we are not currently privy too.

Mr Turnbull is wrong when he claims that Labor has access to all documentation pertaining to the Gunn pulp mill proposal. The following documentation is not publicly available:

    * Public submissions (from this and previous public consultations)
    * Any departmental advice pertaining to public submissions
    * Any legal advice received from the Department or other agencies.

We are awaiting his decision and any terms and conditions he places on any approval.

2. According to Gunns, the pulp mill will be 80% based on native forests when it opens. That violates the forest policy of ACF, the organisation of which you were President. It will necessitate the logging of high conservation-value forests throughout northern and south-eastern Tasmania. Why haven't you opposed this aspect of the pulp mill?

A Rudd Labor Government would seek to maximise the proportion of wood supply for the pulp mill which came from plantations. We will use every endeavour to ensure high conservation value forests are not used for mill feed stock.

3. The consumption of such large quantities of native forest by the pulp mill (over three million tonnes per annum) will make it one of the biggest contributors to climate change in Australia. How does that fit into Federal Labor's climate change policy?

Labor is absolutely committed to tackling climate change. A Rudd Labor Government would cut Australia's greenhouse pollution by 60% by 2050. Labor is committed to establishing a national emissions trading scheme, substantially increasing the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, implementing comprehensive energy efficiency measures and helping Australian families green their homes through solar rebates and low interest homes of up to $10,000.

A Rudd Labor Government will also establish a climate change trigger under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act which will require major new projects to be assessed for their climate change impact as part of any environmental assessment process. At present, the Howard Government's major environment act does not address Australia's greatest environmental challenge, climate change. A Labor Government will fix that.

4. In your view, are the permit conditions as applied to the project by the Tasmanian parliament sufficient to protect local businesses - tourism, fishing, wineries, and otherwise - from any harmful environmental effects of the mill's operation?

There is legitimate and serious community concern over this proposal, a concern I have been on the record as recognising from the outset of this debate.

Any conditions on any mill approved by a Rudd Labor Government would be tough and fair because as you rightly point out there are many local businesses and jobs dependent on protecting the natural assets of the Tamar Valley.

5. Do you believe a pulp mill using chlorine-based technology can be world class, or would you require it to be totally chlorine-free?

Generally, chlorine-based technology does not provide as high a level of environmental outcomes and standards as chlorine-free technology. However, a proposed mill needs to be properly assessed on its merits.

A chlorine-free mill avoids a lot of problems and so does a 100% closed-loop mill. It comes down to a question of risk assessment and Labor has consistently said that we would insist on the most stringent environmental controls.

Any proposal that was put on my desk would be evaluated according to world's best practice and any proponent would have to factor this into their design.

Labor doesn't have full access to all the specifications and reports concerning the proposed Mill nor has Minister Turnbull provided Labor with all of the assessments of the proposal conducted by either his department or independent experts.

6. When Senator Bob Brown's legal action in the Federal Court exposed the fact that logging in Tasmania was threatening endangered species and was therefore illegal, the Tasmanian and Australian Governments simply changed the law to make the logging legal again. Will a Rudd Labor government overturn those laws? If not, why?

Biodiversity protection will be a national environmental priority under a Rudd Labor Government. We will announce more details on our policies in relation to biodiversity protection in the lead up to the federal election.

7. You said the Tasmanian government "did a very disappointing job in their first round of assessments" of the mill? Would you instigate a thorough, independent investigation into the actions of the Tasmanian government, and in particular premier Paul Lennon, in the assessment of the pulp mill?

What I am most concerned about is outcomes. Are we going to get a world's best practice pulp mill or not? A Rudd Labor Government would not have undertaken one of the least comprehensive environmental assessment processes, and it would have adopted mechanisms to properly allow for community concern to be expressed.

The ball is now in Mr Turnbull's court and we are watching his actions closely.


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YouTube video: Turnbull/Garrett two face on Gunns pulp

Hello. Someone has put a good YouTube video on the Gunns pulp debacle on my 'funwall' at Facebook. See here.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

Is Howard in a contest with the Australian Labor Party (and other opposition Parties) or - is he in a "cop this and like it" contest with the Australian people?

It is obvious that Howard is delaying the naming of the election day in order to spend as much of our money as he can on furthering his own political fortunes. [No pun intended]

In addition, that could leave the Treasury a lot poorer whether Kevin Rudd defeats the "New Order" robots or not.  An interesting and attractive happenstance for a spiteful little schoolboy?

There was a time when taxpayer funded ads for a government's political purposes was considered a no-no by the venal media. I dare say it would still be unless, most of the financial pie is going to the media anyway?

And they complain that the Howard government has imposed 500 prohibitions on what they can use in reporting!!! Fair dinkum.

Howard's crazy performances of late are becoming a concern for some of the older generation.

He is certainly exaggerating the calm and dignified behaviour of Kevin Rudd by his antics in "quizzing" the Australian people all over the place.

"Self praise is no recommendation" however, after 11 years of dismissing the attitudes of the Australian people (including their "innate sense of humour") he suddenly takes up a microphone and performs among his dedicated admirers!  With his own camera crew? Another "role model"?

Was he drunk again when he cupped his chin and leant on his elbow to chide the Tasmanian Hospital employer who told him that he was wrong about the Mersey Hospital?

Strange and undignified behaviour from a boy from the "other side of the tracks" who found positive support for his fascist policies in the "well-heeled" of the U.S. and Australia.

His latest diversion is to try to convince the people (of his marginal electorates) that he wants THEM to decide the functioning of their hospitals! Struth.

What he really wants is the U.S. system of privatised Hospitals with it's attendant cruel "profit at all costs" which is demonised by all advanced democracies.

There can only be one sure objective for Howard's interventions.  Total unequivocal power. 

No Trade Unions.  Next step, no Associations for Police or Emergency Services. No State and Territory governments.  Everything privatised with one master - one fuehrer - one nation under Howard.

Or a 51st State of the U.S. for his mate George? The ultimate expression of Globalisation?

I kid you not.  Take note of the person who calls himself a "statesman" in the weeks to come.

I believe that the Australian people will "do their blocks" at the impudence of this power mad, unstable person and his "fist" attitude to them and their families.

How wonderful this situation must be to a megalomaniac.  Just one little schoolboy is avoiding the rights and "aspirations" of 21 million people - at his pleasure.

Remember this when you finally hear the date speech - with "His Master's Voice".

Bring on the election - and resent the costly delay.







Absolute Power

A wonderful piece.

Just one question: what does "Ne Oublie" mean?

Take your pick


Have a look at the stats. on this.   Gunn's poison mill will only add 3% to the budget of Tasmania and that is only if the price of pulp stays high after South American and Japanese and more European mills come on line before this wretched thing is even finished.

That is only about $260 million a year while fishing is already bringing in $470 million a year and is not poisoning the water and air.

What is wrong with these bloody clowns?

Spam Mail

I received an unsolicited email purportedly from Malcolm Turnbull in relation to the paper mill at George Town.

The first sentence reads:

"Dear Keith, 

This week I imposed the world’s most stringent environmental conditions on the Tamar Valley pulp mill project. My decision was based solely on science and implemented the recommendations of the Chief Scientist of Australia, Dr Jim Peacock who had reported on all of the scientific issues which fell under my jurisdiction...."

The only real enquirey about this monstrosity was held by the Tasmanian RPDC study which was stymied as it was asking too many pertainent scientific questions. Since this enquirey was halted the rest has been a sham.

My question is where can I make a meanful complaint in relation to obtaining an unsolicited spin doctored email.

A Present To Alga

Alga Kavanagh, You may find some dark enjoyment out of a few quotes from the award winning film Network http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074958/quotes

Arthur Jensen : [to Howard] They say I can sell anything; I'd like to try to sell something to you.

It is the international system of currency which determines the vitality of life on this planet. THAT is the natural order of things today. THAT is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And YOU WILL ATONE. Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little 21-inch screen and howl about America, and democracy. There is no America; there is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it. Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal? That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations; there are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems; one vast, interwoven, interacting, multivaried, multinational dominion of dollars.

The world is a business, Mr. Beale; it has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality - one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock - all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

I bet the Arthur Jensen character neither fought about, nor ever concerned himself about party politics in his life. Any person that ever really has the unfortunate task to glimpse how it really works never does.

Think about the quotes when all that you think you are voting against comes to pass irrespective of political outcome. There is no such thing as political parties; there are only those that have, and those that want.

A macabre laugh

Here we see a perfect example of the blind leading the blinded. You only have to read the history of Spin Peacock, the chief of denial, to realise this decision was a foregone conclusion. When the lib/lab coalition say they have faith in one of their bureaucrats, what they are saying is they have faith the bureaucrat is dedicated to lib/lab outcomes.

This pulp mill will clear fell a minimum of 200,000 hectares of old growth forest, as well as up to one million hectares of plantations and regrowth over 20 years, yet now has a licence to operate for the next 50 years, which they told no one about. There's no provision for the huge amount of water needed, the fact we are the smallest state, massive air pollution from the mill and power station which hasn't been mentioned and 500,000 tonnes per year of wood chips used to produce the power to run the mill. The damage to the narrow winding roads, massive increase of log trucks and associated road kill of both natives and humans.

The pulp mill will consume million of tonnes of wood chips a year, as well as continuing to export yearly, at least 3 million tonnes of wood chips, more than the entire country put together.

I'm Tasmanian and no one I know is for this mill, except the lib/lab, their corporate masters, a small number of forest workers and the CFMEU union. Years ago, the lab faction introduced “Tasmania together” telling us whatever the people decided they would do. More than 80% of the people decided we wanted clear felling and old growth logging stopped by 2005 and no more chip or pulp mills. The government refused and changed it to 2010, now they have changed it until at least 2057. Howard has stated categorically:

“Now, I don't think those two things are irreconcilable and one of the things that annoys me about debate on the environment, debate on climate change is that too many people on what I might call the greener fringes of politics, no matter what party they're in, and have this attitude that you can't reconcile protecting the environment with jobs and development.” .

“We have our own process to follow, we're not going to automatically follow the process mandated by the Tasmanian Government yet. “.

Both those statements are proof they would use whatever process needed, to make sure it went ahead. When you have a prime minister, environment minister, the alternative PM and alternative EM agreeing and fully supporting each other, only complete fools would be prepared to allow these despotic idiotic fools to take us into the future.

Now we have the liberal candidate for Lyons, Quin resigning and considering running as an independent. This is a common ploy used by the lib/lab to divert the vote from real people who are for the future. If Quin runs for parliament, he will split the no vote and his preferences will go to the lib/lab's and if elected as an independent, he will back the lib/lab coalition all the way.

We've seen this happen before - the lib/lab infiltrates any organisation which may be a threat, by supposedly disowning one or a number of their members, who then destroy the new group from within. When you add the bureaucrats and academics who get involved in these grass roots groups, it's not long before they are deliberately destroyed. One nation (never backed them), the Democrats, the Australia party, our own Tasmania First, all destroyed by ex right wing religious ideologists from the lib/lab family of fiends.

There's no hope of surviving into the future facing us, until we produce a grass roots direct democracy system of government. Sadly those who do wield some power in the media and within society, will whinge and wail, but won't step up and make a stand for the future of our state, country and planet.

Strip away the spin, propaganda, lies, deceit and corruption that is the lib/lab coalition, and see what they have actually done to this country in the last 40 + years, they have failed us miserably. Everything they have done has destroyed the future for all, but them and their vested interests. I look forward with cynicism to the diversions, denials and excuses about to be put up by the enslaved ideologists and their puny attempts to justify the continuing destruction of the future. Bring on the revolving door syndrome ideologists, for macabre laugh.

What a bloody corrupt debacle - and what's Garrett doing in the

Hello. Alan Ramsey pulps the major party's disgraceful endorsement of bad faith process and the public interest at Vision Ltd: Turnbull yes to mess for 50 years:

(Geoffrey Cousins) "We will certainly keep pressuring the issue. But look, Malcolm Turnbull is clearly now a lost cause on this. Whether he's going to be a lost cause in his own seat is not something I particularly care about. We've got to find other ways to now attack the issue to make sure all these other matters I've referred to [are dealt with]. We'll keep doing that, believe me."

Like the Greens' Bob Brown, the often ridiculed conscience of the Australian Parliament, Cousins is scathing of federal Labor's support for Turnbull's decision. Cousins said of Peter Garrett in August: "I mean, Peter Garrett, he used to be a significant voice in environmental matters. He gets into Parliament, based on that, and never speaks. He has completely been neutered. Tied up, put in a box by the Labor Party, and told to shut up."

Two nights ago Cousins told Lateline: "The shadow minister who doesn't cast a shadow came out into the sunshine today but still nothing shone on the ground. All he did was walk out and say, 'I agree, Malcolm'. So you have both major parties a lost cause, if you will."

What Garrett actually did on Thursday was sound very rehearsed when he told reporters, mechanically: "We've always said that a world's best practice pulp mill in northern Tasmania that provided value-adding to the forest estate is something we would support. On that basis, we will support [Turnbull's] decision."...

Bastards all of them

This whole Gunns business stank from the word go and note Rudd's piss weak evasive stand.

Let us all at least support all the No Mill campaigns and also write No Pulp Mill on our ballot papers as we did with the No Dams issue.

To think that anyone would endorse the degree of tree felling that this mill will require of native forests when trees are supposed to be vital in helping combat climate change just beggars belief. The ultimate cost of this mill to this country will far outstrip any short term economic gains it might bring to Tasmania.  Let alone the damage done with all those thousands of tons of chemicals they will be using and pouring into the environment in one way or another.

As for Lennon he is to me just a total grub.  Due process?  Public consultation?. What a sick joke.  

In the meantime the drought settles back in, the expected La Nina petering out and the grain and irrigation belts in dire distress. I see on Google News a suggestion that many farmers might just have to cut their losses, accept the reality and give the game away for good. Well that is old news. Some shires have lost 25% of their population in the past six years. Soon we'll all be clinging to the coastal strips once more and the hinterland will gradually be abandonned. I wonder if the Brits will be happy to send some boats to take us all home again when we've run out of tucker. 

Meanwhile the Government has its head in the sand, the sand in the bottom of our dry river beds. Drought support is about to end so clearly they think the drought has ended and you don't see many pollies out in the bush these days, if at all. 

 But the old Castlereagh is making a good big sand pit for the kids and grandkids to frolic in so I suppose someone has to win. Just so long as there is not a sudden dump up in the 'Bungles but I reckon there is no risk of that.  

Costello is the last rabbit?

The Howard factor is there. Where once it meant success, now it presages defeat. A defeat that perhaps can only be avoided if Howard steps aside. What makes it so depressing is that so many conservatives and senior Liberals remain in denial.

The last rabbit Howard should pull out of the hat is Peter Costello.

Well the rats are really leaving. This is a real tear jerker. Bring on the election. 

Yes, but.

Margo, great, but where is the plan, the details of an alternative to what the brain dead morons are forcing upon the reality. Remember, 95% of the people are clones, who follow the strongest most brain dead demanding imbecile. Unless a reasoning, understandable plea for difference, is placed before the clones, so they can absorb it and come to terms with the changes involved, your talking to dead ears.

Gunns is a corporation, controlled by a select few, consisting of economic entities and individual corporate elitist masters. Change, can only come about via viable alternatives, rationally put before the enslaved populace. Otherwise, they just bow down to the illusional instilled fear instilled by the ruling minority elitists of all persuasions. How long do we have to go on bleating like stuck pigs and following protocols, that have failed us in the past. We, who can see the future offered by these monolithic failed ideologies, need to find a way to relate to the majority the true reality of the observable factual future. Only then, can we stop this undeniable drive for extinction by the religious ideologists. We need to devise an approach empowering the people to act responsibly for change. We don't need more violence, destruction or confusion. What we need is sustainable evolution, not extinctionalist devolution.

Who have Gunns and the corporate lib/lab coalition pulped this election, the future. What future do we have, only the one we are prepared to create, outside the illusions of our sociological programming and the unquestionable reality of our current directional future

PM saving our neighbours forests

$70.7 Million for International Climate Change Initiatives

This week, Sydney will play host to the most significant international gathering ever to be held in Australia - the 15th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. Leaders have agreed to my proposal to discuss clean development, energy security and climate change.

Today I am pleased to announce new funding for three measures to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through international cooperation.

The Australian Government is committing seed funding of $5 million to initiate the Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology. APNet will improve linkages between researchers in the APEC region on emerging low emissions energy and energy efficiency technologies, accelerating their development and contributing to medium- and long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

I am also pleased to announce a new $50 million commitment to the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Australia's initial commitment of $100 million which I announced in January 2006 has been fully committed to 63 regional projects. This second Australian commitment will harness the great enthusiasm of members by funding a new round of cooperative projects to develop and deploy cleaner more efficient technologies.

Thirdly, I am please to announce a new initiative, the $15.7 million Asia-Pacific Forestry Skills and Capacity Building Programme, to assist regional countries improve the ability of their forests to capture and store carbon dioxide and help to develop their forest management expertise.

It is also my pleasure today to release the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics entitled ‘Energy Security, Clean Technology Development and Climate Change: addressing the future challenges in APEC'. The report demonstrates the important role that clean technology development and forest management can play in slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the APEC region, and will be an important resource for discussions this week.

GetUp email on APEC, Gunns

Dear friends,

This week, the world comes to us.

Leaders of 21 nations are converging in Australia for APEC, in part to determine the critical next steps to tackle climate change. The problem is, our Prime Minister and George Bush are planning to use the event to sidestep commitments to binding greenhouse gas targets. Faced with this international crisis, GetUp is going global with our friends at Avaaz by creating a 500,000-strong email and photo petition of citizens to be delivered direct to our global leaders.

We need the rest of the 21 APEC world leaders to hold strong and we want every one of the 1100 journalists covering the summit to alert the world to the impending scandal unfolding in Sydney. No more hot air, we need the binding targets experts agree must be put in place to cap temperature rises at 2 degrees. Send a message to the world now by joining our global pictition below.


Our global visual manifesto will be unveiled starting Friday in a special ceremony at the site of the APEC meeting in Sydney - and then roll out around the world to Kyoto, the North Pole, the Great Barrier Reef and beyond.

Your picture can accompany it. Use an old photo of yourself or take a new one with your mobile phone with a target - a dot with circles around it - on the palm of your hand. You can also print off the special target picture on our website, and photograph your mates holding it up as a sign. Or draw a target in the sand, paint it on a wall or make a human climate target in the park. Don't delay! Upload your own personal climate target image before we deliver it this week.


On Friday, we will gather to pass a massive 144-square metre floating canvas of our target to surfers who will take it out to sea at the iconic Bondi Beach, followed by a replica event on Saturday at the Reef. Sunday we are set for Melbourne. Click here if you are interested in being part of these events and we'll send you the details.

Scientists agree this is humanity's golden window to stop climate change, and with an election and round two of Kyoto talks just around the corner, this is the moment for every concerned Australian to exert maximum pressure on world leaders, including our own.  Click here to join and see the targets that have been sent in so far, and to send your own:


Thanks for showing the world what we really stand for,

The GetUp team

PS -- Meeting any targets will be tougher if the proposed Gunns pulp mill goes ahead - hundreds of thousands of tonnes of emissions will be procuced and a similar amount of carbon-storing forest consumed annually. Over 25,000 of you have spoken out, prompting the Minister to delay making his final decision - he now has until October 11. Submissions have closed, but please share your thoughts on our blog.

Sydney forum on forests


10am on Saturday 15 September at Balmain Town Hall, sydney

Comprehensive forum featuring Hon Senator Bob Brown, as well as senior representatives of the Federal Government and Opposition. Eminent scientists, lawyers, economists and very senior environment activists, including Alec Marr of Wilderness Society, will be components of this fascinating and up-to-date coverage of the situation in Australian forests today and the implications for Climate Change, bio-diversity
and water supplies to towns and cities. Organised by the Nature Conservation Council NSW and supported by a number of conservation
organisations, please RSVP by 7/9 to www.nccnsw.org.au/forests.  Entry free and $5.00 on the day for lunch.

Howard clariifies...

Tasmanian Pulp Mill

Some news reports today have suggested that I support, unconditionally, the construction of a pulp mill in Tasmania.

I made it very clear in comments yesterday that although I hoped it would be possible to build the pulp mill, the final decision to go ahead with the project would be subject to all environmental considerations being fully satisfied.

The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources has established a proper procedure for assessing this proposed development and that procedure will be followed meticulously.

Making dioxin acceptable

Cutting Edge on SBS Tuesday night is running a welcome program about the effects of dioxin used on the Vietnamese people.   I would advise all and sundry to tune in and talk to some Vietnam vets about the bloody agent orange the US sprayed them with.

With Malcolm Fraser's approval.

Then get back to us on this.   I am with Charles Wooley and yesterday I bumped into a cousin who started the "trees for life" program in my mallee.

Millions of trees have been planted by my generation after our parents and grand parents razed them to the ground in the name of 'progress".

Gunns should be charged with vandalism, deliberate attempts to poison the environment and conspiracy to create major health problems.

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Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner