Posts Tagged ‘pulp mill’
That’s right! In an age of easy vehicle access and painfully unreliable but ultimately half-assed public transport, who the f$%# needs to run anywhere?
Then again, who needs air to breathe, water to live, or biodiversity to flourish?
Which is a good reason to spare some plastic pocket change for the good folks at Tasmanians Against The Pulp Mill V3.0. If you sponsor this running doofus in the Sydney Marathon Sydney Marathon Sydney Marathon this weekend (September 20) then all your hard-earned wisely-donated $$$$ will go straight to very effective direct actions in Tasmania, carried out by clever and determined locals against a shabby state government and an even shabbier bunch of forest-f$#%ers.
I’m not much for analysing polls, though I certainly admire the astuteness of those who are able to do so in meaningful ways. Citizen lobby group GetUp has just taken this poll looking at Australian attitudes to the ongoing clusterf&%k that is the Gunns would-be pulp mill project in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley.
Conducted by Essential Research between the 10th – 15th June 2008
n=1019 adults 18+
Q: The recent resignation of the Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon and the decision by the ANZ Bank to withdraw its involvement from Gunns proposed pulp mill in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley has resulted in more debate on this issue. Do you personally support the building of the pulp mill or oppose the building of the pulp mill?
TOTAL 39% 61%
Male 45 55
Female 34 66
ALP voter 35 65
Liberal/National voter 48 52
Green voter 21 79
Other/Independent voter 35 65
18-24 44 56
25-34 38 62
35-49 39 61
50+ 38 62
Interestingly, this survey result shows the opposite of what might be expected based on common assumptions about age and conservatism of attitudes. Namely, rather than 50+ year olds being more conservative in their politics and trusting of corporations than 18-24 year olds the opposite is true. 62% of over 50-year olds across Australia oppose the mill, while only 55% of the should-be more radical and more aware 18-24 crowd reject it.
To me, this says one thing very clearly. Basically, if you were aged from 6 to 12 years old when John Howard came to power, then your experience of Australia, governance, and social values has been retarded by having not been properly exposed to life in a country with a social conscience in your formative years.
State governments – in Tassie and New South Wales at the very least – have done nothing to balance this retardation. Just as there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who buy Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera albums, it seems that we’re also awash in young Liberals who know too little to know any better.
Which explains how turd blossoms like Christopher Pyne were spawned, even if it is impossible to explain why.
sorry this stream of contrariness is a bit behind the times. I have been busy negotiating an arrangement with the International Panel on Climate Change. Now I can offset carbon emissions that I create by burning plastic bags, furniture, and SUV drivers simply by agreeing not to mine coal, rape penguins, or nuke the Vatican. It’s a tough trading scheme but we’ve all got to do our bit.
Tasmania never ceases to amaze – bigger than Glebe, less corrupt than Zimbabwe, more lively than Stan Zemanek, and better looked after than the Fritzls (pre-rescue, at least). But even by Tassie’s own standards of enviro-political chaos and angst, news emerging from that state over the last month has been like a prolonged advertisement for a WTF theme park.
In late May, ANZ Bank confirmed the rumour that had for weeks been spontaneously swelling the nipples of environmentalists. They would not be acting on behalf of their client, Gunns, to help secure the $2 billion needed to build the world’s largest pulp mill. Some prematurely celebrated the death of the project.
But it is still likely that Jaakko Poyry, Gunns’ pulp mill consultant, will organize the money through less scrupulous international financial colleagues of their own. To do so would not only guarantee their commission, but make it possible for Gunns to actually pay up.
Seemingly bigger, better news came the following week. On the morning of Monday the 26th of May, Premier Paul Lennon aka Big Red, aka The Guy in the Pulp Mill ads, aka Gunns’ Elected Representative, aka The Forest F*cker, announced his resignation. After less than five years and many more decimated ecosystems, Premier Lennon decided to follow in the footsteps of every single east coast Labor Premier before him.
Echoing Lee Harvey Oswald, Lennon declared “I’ve given it my best shot.”
Content with his legacy and bathed in the love of his people, he had gone for a walk in the park and realized that it was time to retire and be bronzed by tulip-clad virgins, placed on an altar made entirely from the feathers of endangered eagles, and worshipped with offerings of old growth at the rising of each morning’s Sun henceforth.
There was, of course, unkind speculation that he was stepping down to avoid being pushed – given that an opinion poll the week before had seen his approval amongst Tasmanians rating a sub-George-Bush 17 per cent. Those are nearly Brendan Nelson numbers.
Unkind and as yet unaddressed rumours have circulated that the poll was actually commissioned by Federal Labor. While it would make sense for Federal Labor to jettison a Labor Premier for whom two deputies have already fallen on their sword amid suggestion of deceptive conduct, one might expect that an inquiry, a committee, and a Lennon Watch scheme would have first been established before launching such an effective and timely strategy.
Even less kind – though almost plausible in a T.I.T. (This Is Tasmania) way – was the suggestion that Lennon didn’t stand aside for family and personal reasons, that he didn’t stand aside out of political foresight, that he didn’t stand aside because he had become less bankable than an old-growth-eating pulp mill or even because he was perceived as less credible than Eddie McGuire.
Some tied his resignation on the Monday to the death of a Gunns’ board member, with the subsequent job opening, on the Saturday immediately before.
It’s enough to make you Very Old Men In Ties.
Lennon was immediately replaced as Premier by David Bartlett, a squinty-eyed bucket of water ten years his junior. His first eighteen hours in office were promising. He considered withholding tens of millions of public dollars from questionably sound private projects and mumbled something about a corruption inquiry before descending into the time-honoured practice of contorted linguistics.
The closest he has since come to promising a return to democracy in The Land of the Wrong White Crowd has been to propose a visionary new system of governance involving merit-based appointments. This, of course, is code for ‘business as usual’.
Because in Tasmania, as in News South Wales, ‘merit’ means one thing: Mates Employed Regardless of Intellectual Talent.
By any objective measure, the vote in most of Australia was heavily influenced by Green preferences and should be seen as a call to the Rudd Government to consider a more environmentally friendly way to deal with this issue of the pulp mill.
– Dr Warwick Raverty, 26th November, 2007
It is certain that under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (*aahhh*) Australia will be an international citizen like never before. A veritable treasure trove of global possibilities now lie across the sea. Ironically, so shall his first major domestic challenge.
Barely had the Rudd victory been declared on Saturday than Greens Senator Bob Brown, surrounded by cheering supporters and green ‘no pulp mill’ triangles, declared the result a vote against the proposed Gunns pulp mill.
“From Bass to Bennelong to Bowman, this pulp mill has had an influence,” Senator Brown said. “And the pulp mill was the single most defining environmental issue which has made this huge swing against the government to the Greens.”
The eviction of the Coalition government was partially rejection of a government that approved the pulp mill. The difficulty is that a vote – primary or preferential – for Federal Labor was still a vote for a party that supported the pulp mill. Read the rest of this entry »
Updated election update #4: John Howard’s behind in Bennelong; it is getting kicked. Osama Bin Laden crashes Liberal notveryfunction.
great story here – Chas Bin Laden of the Chaser crashed the Liberal Party’s Big Night Out, dressed as a unionist and terrifying party-goners by yelling “I’m coming back!”. Security followed an earlier lead from voters by vigorously throwing him out.
The View from Qatar – Al Jazeera writes of a change in eras in Australia
The View from the U.K. – The Guardian profiles Kevin Rudd
DING FRIKKIN DONG – the witch is dead!! Not Helen Coonan (unfortunately) but Howard!! His seat of Bennelong supposedly to go down to postal votes, but at this point there’s about 72 000 votes counted in Bennelong. Maxine McKew is in front of Howard by 600 votes. Likely to be ahead by about 800 by the time the remaining 25 000 are counted. Although postals are likely to break toward the incumbent Howard, it still probably won’t put him past 50% and McKew can count on the majority of preferences from roughly 5 000 votes going to the Green candidate.
John Howard may be fondly remembered by some but I think for most he will always be remembered as the very best reason not to trust anybody with ‘Winston’ for a middle name.
Thankyou Bennelong voters!! from all Australia!! Not only have you sacked Howard, you’ve stuck an investigative journalist in Parliament. A far better way of keeping the bastards honest than the Democrats and almost as good as the Greens.
Unfortunately, former Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull hung on to his seat of Wentworth, gaining the upper hand as the one apparently most willing to benefit from dirty mudslinging over the technical eligibility of the Labor candidate. Of course, had George Newhouse been more on his game, rather than more or less disappearing from view during the particularly crucial moments of his campaign, there might have been a more punishing outcome for the man who approved the most ill-advised and surely doomed environmental time bomb ever to be endorsed by both major political parties in Australia.
Speaking of which – did you catch Bob Brown’s celebration speech on the declaration that Kevin Rudd had won?
Immediately stated that the vote is a mandate against the pulp mill and that ALP under Kevin Rudd have a responsibility to make sure it never happens to the Tamar or Tassie’s forests. Also on basis of a record primary vote for Greens in Tasmania, nearing 25% and surpassing the Liberal candidates in some seats. Not even day 1 & it’s go time. SIIIIIICK!!!!
Barns wrong on Whish-Wilson
In his October 15th column, Greg Barns, spouts about “well-informed
opinion”, “gross misinformation”, “political agendas”, and “self
interest” in the mill debate.
Mr. Barns’ fallacious spray targets Tamar Valley vigneron, UTAS
Economics and Finance lecturer, and Surfrider Foundation Australia
(SFA) – Northern Tasmania President, Peter Whish-Wilson.
For nearly two years Peter and his team of Surfriders have engaged
all parties, scrutinized the documentation, done research into
oceanography and economics, and participated in good faith with both
the (failed) state and (limited) federal assessment processes – all
in a volunteer capacity and at a high personal cost.
Thanks to Peter’s efforts SFA has facilitated overseas meetings for
Tasmanian Parliamentarians with Chilean wine industry representatives
who claim they HAVE experienced significant negative economic impacts
due to the proximity of pulp mills (check Hansard next time Greg) and
Peter HAS travelled overseas to visit pulp mill regions.
Peter does own a small Tamar Valley vineyard, which he works with his
own two hands to create gold-medal winning wine. Amongst all the
influential protagonists in this State-rending controversy – Gunns,
Gay, Lennon Labor, the State Libs, the CFMEU, Turnbull, Garrett,
Howard, Rudd, etc. – it is absurd to accuse Peter of being biased due
to “self interest”.
As a member of SFA I will continue to proudly stand shoulder to
shoulder with Peter in our efforts to inform the public of the
potential threat to our wild coastline and the dangerous game
currently being played with our marine environment by both state and
federal politicians – hiding behind their spin and finger pointing as
they plod along towards the electoral finish-line.
Just in case Mr. Barns decides to make further simpleminded
speculation about others let me state clearly for the record – I, and
millions of Australians across this nation, have a “self interest” in
our bays, beaches, and coastal waters that support a healthy marine
environment, sustainable industries, public amenity, and our health.
Dr. Thomas Moore
This will be of most interest to people following the Tasmanian pulp mill issue which many people believe is heading towards being the next Eureka Stockade.
This chunk of… um…. well-considered logic? industry-endorsed bull$#!& ? waffling oddness? comes from the newborn pro-logging blog Forests Now Tasmania. Should really be Clearfell Now Tasmania, shouldn’t it? Or Clearfell Tasmania Now?
There’s so much wrong in here on so many levels… but why spoil the fun by pointing it out in detail.
See for yourself:
When the mill is built, Tasmania will be into the economic sunshine at last, joining pulp mill driven economies like Bolivia and Vietnam. I, for one, can’t wait.
There will be more anti-mill rallies in Tasmania and on the Tamar, but so what. The pathetic Green resistance will soon collapse as their supporters realise which side their bread is buttered on. Any more of their poncing around and we’ll have another rally for us workers. Makes a good day out on full pay I reckon.
Garrett has promised to make big changes to the Commonwealth’s environment laws that were used to approve the project and, our insiders tell us this must mean, slacken them to buggery to encourage more forestry related activity.
As is now the fashion, Garrett seems to want to include a “climate change trigger”, hopefully that links directly to increasing logging activity. So far he’s been silent on the future of MIS investments and subsidy levels but, if he has any sense (and that’s so far pretty debatable) he’ll increase both to the max!
So hard not to use italics and bold all over this thing, but it pretty much speaks for itself. Basically, if you’re opposed to the mill take heart. Once you get through the pollies that owe favours and the rich cronies that live or die by their lawyers, this is what you’re up against. My prediction is that the whole thing’s a shutdown by November ’08.