This article first appeared in The Echo in January 2020
This article first appeared in The Echo in January 2020
Determined to share the pain of their recent humiliation with the rest of the country, the Morrison government finished the 2019 parliament with a spate of behaviour that was Grinch-worthy in its awfulness.
With the support of Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, they demolished the Medevac legislation pushed through by Dr Kerryn Phelps during her brief stint as the member for Wentworth.
This means decisions about urgent medical care for refugees in offshore detention will no longer be made by medical professionals, but by functionaries of the ever-growing, Kafka-esque empire of Peter Dutton.…READ MORE
The federal government’s attempt at a big finish to 2019 ended in shambles last week with their union-busting bill defeated by an unlikely coalition of Jacqui Lambie, Greens, ALP and One Nation senators.
In a very rare vote against the government, Pauline Hanson said she was motivated by the fallout from the Westpac debacle, in which the bank was found to have broken the law more than 27 million times; facilitating money laundering, terrorism financing and paedophilia amongst other conduct unbecoming a banking behemoth…READ MORE
Is it all too late? Is the end nigh? Has the fat lady sung? Is the human race run? If so, how should we live?
More than a few of us have jumped directly from saying ‘she’ll be right, there’s no need to do anything’, to ‘we’re all going to die, it’s too late to act.’
Both of these approaches to the climate crisis are passive, and play into the hands of those who have put life on earth into this precarious situation…READ MORE
Barnaby Joyce blamed the stress of worrying about his parents' place burning down for his erratic behaviour last week, but as the emergency worsened, it became clear that his burning pants and those of his leader needed more urgent attention.
The attempt to re-frame the bushfire catastrophe as something caused by dastardly tree-huggers and latte-sippers was spearheaded by Nationals leader Michael McCormack, who said in response to Adam Bandt that people 'don't need the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they are trying to save their homes'…READ MORE
Federal parliament isn't sitting at the moment, but lobbyists and spin doctors never sleep, which is why we've all been facing fresh assaults from our 'leaders' and would-be leaders this week.
In what at first appeared to be a scrap of good news, the Morrison government announced $1 billion for new clean energy projects, including extra money for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. They also appointed an expert panel to do something about greenhouse emissions.
But faster than you could say George Orwell, it was revealed clean energy – in the topsy-turvy world of the amusingly named Minister for Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor – actually meant gas, and the head of the expert panel was to be none other than Grant King, the former CEO of Origin Energy (aka the people who fracked Queensland and created a fiery spa bath in the Condamine River)…
When I headed down the Summerland Way last week, days after the Rappville bushfire, there was still a pall of smoke and strange light south of Casino.
The corner of Braemar State Forest remains miraculously unscathed, but then... miles of destruction. You can see where the fire leapt the highway. It’s hard to imagine how the firefighters stopped it. Saved houses are dotted here and there, surrounded by burned trees.
In what was to be the site of a major blockade to protect one of the North Coast’s last viable koala populations, the forest has turned orange, black, and silent…READ MORE
Last week a group of NSW ALP figures including the Labor leader Jodi McKay and Federal MP for Richmond, Justine Elliot, launched a petition calling for more police on the Far North Coast, citing rapid population growth and a ‘policing and crime crisis’ along with drugs issues.
The online petition reads: ‘The police numbers in our region have been slashed so severely that staffing levels are now in crisis...READ MORE
Back in 2013, at the height of the coal seam gas (CSG) fight in NSW, the state government led by Barry O’Farrell commissioned the Chief Scientist, professor Mary O’Kane, to conduct a comprehensive review of CSG-related activities, focusing on the human health and environmental impacts of unconventional gas.
Late in 2014 she delivered her report, which included 16 recommendations to government.
Although gas companies and their allies immediately claimed the report gave a green light to their industry, O’Kane herself said that there was still much for government to do, and that ‘implementing the recommendations of the Review involves non-trivial tasks'…READ MORE
Koala advocates say they may end up blockading the Braemar State Forest if the NSW Forestry Corporation tries to start logging there soon.
Logging was due to start Friday 13 September but has been delayed after more than a hundred protestors gathered in the forest south of Casino.
Tim Watson came from Lawrence for the event, attending because of concerns both for the global extinction crisis and threats to his local koala population. 'They're going extinct at a massive rate because of land-clearing and forestry commission, loss of habitat, fires, roadkill,' he said. 'We're destroying all their homes'…READ MORE
If you had to walk a kilometre to pump your water from a well, do you think you would be careful how many drops you used?
If you lived in Beijing would you value clean air, or in Brazil would you hug trees? What if your turnips grew in Chernobyl soil?
Across the globe people are suffering because of greed. It’s as simple as that. You can argue about progress all you want (if I hear one more person ask me if I type my stories on a computer)…
According to the Christian bible, the prophet Jesus tells us we must love one another. There’s no addendum stating that the love can be retracted if the recipient turns out to be LGBTQI+, that is, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other gender and sexual preferences.
Apparently a new document has superseded the ancient text – a report that suggests Jesus’ love has conditions attached.
On 22 November 2017, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion…READ MORE
I love the smell of an election in the morning… not!
I don’t get politics. I just don’t. Okay? I don’t understand the mechanics or the machinations, I don’t know my senate from my double dissolution, from my hung parliament. I don’t understand the greed. I don’t understand the dishonesty. It’s as simple as that.
My partner was born in Canberra. He lives and breathes the stuff. It’s like second English to him.
His disbelief in my disinterest borders on embarrassment. I think he sees me as a recalcitrant teen who wants to eat off clean crockery, but won’t do the dishes. Or cook the dinner. Or pay for the food.
I frustrate him to the enth…READ MORE