Greens plan to prevent catastrophic oil spills

Greens plan to prevent catastrophic oil spills

The Australian Greens will push for tough new regulations for the oil and gas industry, including a comprehensive polluter pays regime, to reduce the risk of catastrophic oil spills off Australian coastlines.

Announcing a new protection plan with Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert in Perth today, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said the nation’s coastlines, unique species and marine industries are exposed by the current weak regulations.

“The Commonwealth Government is pushing ahead with plans for off shore drilling in sensitive places despite demonstrated inadequacies in the oil and gas industry’s ability to prevent spills,” said Senator Brown.

Senator Rachel Siewert said it was dangerous and irresponsible for drilling in places like Margaret River to go ahead without better regulations.

“At a minimum, there should be a moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling of new wells until much greater safety can be demonstrated,” said Senator Siewert.

“Although shipping activities are regulated by international convention, there is no similar regime to govern the activities of offshore oil activities. The Australian Government should lead the push for such a regime in international forums.”

The Greens new oil spill protection plan includes:

1. A moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling of new wells

2. Regulatory overhaul of the offshore petroleum industry

3. Push for a comprehensive international regime for offshore activities

4. Environmental protection – Comprehensive environmental impact assessments, baseline data and monitoring

5. Polluter pays – statutory liability regime for offshore petroleum activities

6. Regional marine planning – suspend recently opened areas for exploration until the marine planning process is completed, including establishment of adequate protected areas.

<<20100630 MEDIA RELEASE oil spill (2).docx>>

Chris Redman

Media Officer

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA

P: (08) 9228 3277 |

20100630 MEDIA RELEASE oil spill (2).docx

Important info for people in regional Western Australia; WACOSS Regional Consultations

WA Regional Consultations

WACOSS is listening to rural, regional & remote communities

During July 2010, the Western Australia Council of Social Service (WACOSS) will be conducting consultations with regional and remote community service organisations and communities. WACOSS is interested in listening to local people and learning more about the issues that affect your community, as well as discussing with you the best strategies to address these issues.

More than half a million Western Australians live outside of metropolitan Perth in an area spanning a quarter of a million square kilometres. As the peak body for the community services sector across WA, WACOSS is committed to addressing the unique issues faced by regional and remote communities, as well as the isolation and the socio-economic disadvantages associated with living outside of Perth.

Irina Cattalini, WACOSS Director of Social Policy, will be travelling to various regional locations to meet with you and your community to listen, gain valuable understandings of issues and ideas, and engage in discussions for positive change.

In order to accurately identify the most significant issues in your region, and understand the complexities of your community, it is important that WACOSS meets with as many regional and remote stakeholders as possible.
We encourage you to accept this invitation and join Irina at your community forum.

Kalgoorlie: 8th July Venue: Kalgoorlie Town Hall
Albany: 15th July Venue: Albany Town Hall
Kununurra: 19 + 20th July Venue: Mirima Language Centre
Broome: 21st July Venue: Broome Lotteries House

Please contact Tamar at WACOSS on (08) 9420 7222 or tamar to attend the community consultation or arrange an individual

Australia Forests -> What’s getting missed this week

click here to sign up to the Forestry Principles

Dear tony,

While the media is focused on the political machinations in Canberra, there is a truly transformative moment opening up in the 30 year struggle to protect Australia’s native forests.

Would you like to be a part of it?

In an amazing development, the Board of Gunns Ltd no longer includes Robin Gray and John Gay, two of the biggest enemies of forestry industry reform and two of the fiercest champions of the Gunns pulp mill.

The forestry industry – in Tasmania and elsewhere – are finally recognising that their destructive practices can’t continue forever. They’re ready to sit down with the conservation movement, including our friends at The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania, to talk about transitioning to a more sustainable future.

But there are still those in industry and government resisting reform, which is why we need a show of strength to support our partners in these once in a generation talks. We need to build a mass movement — imagine 50,000 Australians behind a set of Forestry Principles to guide the industry, retailers and all levels of government to a sustainable future:

Show your support here:

The Forestry Principles call for a swift transition away from the industrial logging of our precious native forests and for the establishment of ‘protected areas’ for all of our high conservation value native forests.

The forestry industry will be walking into these talks with their corporate wealth and power. But imagine our negotiating partners walking in with 50,000 Australians right at their backs, along with the support of a united environment movement. After decades of conflict, you can help seal the deal on reform, just by adding your name.

9 out of 10 Australians are in favour of protecting the high conservation value native forests of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria (1). And according to our regular surveys, native forest protection is one of of the most important issues to GetUp members. But nothing will change unless we stand up and be counted.

These negotiations between industry and conservation groups are an extraordinary development. We have been fighting for this chance for too long–don’t let it pass us by.

Thanks for standing up for our forests,
The GetUp Team

PS – Ready for more action to protect native forests? It’s coming, but it can’t happen without a strong movement united behind the Forestry Principles–sign up here. And don’t forget to tell your friends–just send them this email and tell them to take just one moment to protect an Australian legacy for generations to come.

(1) Galaxy Omnibus Poll of 1,100 respondents aged 16 years and older, conducted 28-30 May 2010.

Dry July… 3 days to go…

Dry July… 3 days to go…

With the last weekend down there’s only 3 days to go until Dry July 2010 officially starts!

We hope you are looking forward to the ‘dry’ spell ahead and are signed up ready for the challenge.

For those yet to make the commitment, sign up remains open throughout July. In a show of appreciation from Hoyts Cinemas, all registered participants actively raising money will receive a ‘buy 1, get 1 free’ movie voucher on completion of Dry July.

We’ve already reached a considerable milestone this year… surpassing our 2009 participant numbers a few days ago, so Dry July 2010 is shaping up to be the biggest and best to date for our 10 beneficiary hospitals across Australia.

Adding to the celebrity list of ambassadors we give a warm welcome to Chris Joannou from Silverchair! As co-owner of Lovells Lager, the temptation for Chris will be even greater but he has accepted the challenge in a show of support for cancer patients at his local hospital – The Calvary Mater, Newcastle.

The new eagerly awaited ‘Designated Dryver™’ feature is now active! If you are going ‘dry’ and are always behind the wheel, why not turn this into a fundraising opportunity and allow your friends to purchase a seat in your car as a donation. Login to your Dry July profile to set up an event.

The Dry July shop will soon be opening. We have stubby coolers, coasters and our friends at Industrie Clothing have designed us 3 tasty tees to purchase. Window shop here

Thank you to everybody that is onboard and making a difference! Enjoy your last few drinks in June!


Dry July Team

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Please reblog, tweet, email and text this message so people can help force urgently needed change – Rudd’s mental health advisor speaks out

Exciting news! Tomorrow, Australian of the Year, Prof. Patrick McGorry, will deliver your mental health petition at Parliament House.

Prof. McGorry, will hold a press conference with your petition at Parliament House, and he is also seeking an audience with the Prime Minister – but this will only happen with a groundswell of public support.

In the last 24 hours, over 50,000 people have joined the petition – but we’re aiming to reach 80,000 signatures before the press conference tomorrow.

Can you forward this email to your friends and family to ask them to join? They can add their names at:

Just days ago, the Government’s chief advisor on mental health, Prof. John Mendoza, resigned. Now Prof. Mendoza is writing to GetUp members, calling for public support for your petition. In his letter, attached below, Prof. Mendoza says “I’ve come to the regrettable conclusion that my advice was not getting through – only public pressure will spur politicians into action”.

That’s where you come in. You’ve already added your name – now can you forward Prof. Mendoza’s message to friends and family and ask them to put their name alongside yours? You may even want to share a story of your own, to explain why this movement is so important.

Thank you for caring and acting,
The GetUp Team

PS – Don’t forget to post this on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s do everything we can to reach 80,000 signatures by tomorrow.

—John Mendoza’s Email—

“I lost my beautiful youngest daughter to suicide 3 years ago… She was not referred on to an appropriate service after suffering post-natal depression… She had 3 children whom she adored, and she had so much to live for. She said to me not long before she died, ‘Mum, I wish I had cancer, then people would be more understanding and caring’. We need improved and increased specialised services NOW.” –Mary, a GetUp member who shared her story.

No parent should have to experience this. Please sign this petition today before it’s delivered to Parliament House on Thursday:

— A message to you from Prof John Mendoza —

Dear tony,

On Friday I resigned my position as the head advisor to the Rudd Government on mental health. And it’s because of stories like Mary’s and my frustration over the Government’s failure to do more to prevent them.

So, today I’m taking the unusual step of writing to you through GetUp to ask you to sign this petition, because I’ve come to the regrettable conclusion that my advice was not getting through – only public pressure will spur politicians into action.

Every day 330 Australians with serious mental illnesses are turned away from Emergency Departments, and 1,200 Australians are refused admission to a public or private psychiatric unit.

Every day more than 7 people die as a result of suicide, and more than a third of those have been discharged too early or without care from hospitals. For each of those 7 Australians, there are 7 families who mourn them, 7 groups of friends who ask themselves, ‘why?’

And every day our political leaders fail to take action, this crisis worsens. This petition will be presented at Parliament House on Thursday – please add your name now through the GetUp website below:

On Thursday, I and over 60 mental health organisations from across Australia intend to present a letter to Kevin Rudd with a plan of action for mental health. But so far, the Prime Minister has declined to receive it, and so too has the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon.

If 60,000 Australians get behind those 60 organisations by signing this petition, perhaps the Government will stand up and take notice. Please join us by adding your name through the GetUp website below:

There are programs on the ground right now, proven to be effective – but we need real leadership and new investment to roll them out nationally. The Headspace youth mental health centres and psychosis intervention services pioneered by Professor McGorry are excellent and can reach hundreds of thousands of young Australians, if we make an additional investment of $250 million a year. The lack of spending right now means that tens of thousands of young Australians have no access to care.

We also need to expand programs for child mental health, so that the parents of every child with a learning or developmental disorder can access effective services. We must also provide more support for the 63,000 homeless Australians suffering from mental illness, and invest in e-health services that can reach hundreds of thousands of sufferers cost effectively.

Lastly, we owe it to our children, and their peers, to implement a national suicide prevention service. Suicide is the number 1 cause of death for men 16-44 and women 16-34 years. But across Australia, life-saving suicide prevention services are starved for funds. $100 million would expand these crucial services and concentrate on suicide hot spots like ‘The Gap’ in Sydney, where just last week the Federal and NSW Governments passed up on the opportunity to fund an effective suicide prevention project.

For too long, successive Governments have failed to take mental health seriously. It’s now the leading cause of disability for all Australians and the leading killer of those under 44. On Friday, the Prime Minister restated his commitment “to do more on mental health” and that the next cab off the rank was mental health.” They’ve been saying that for six months, but if they’re serious, these sensible investments can start saving lives and alleviate suffering today.

The concerted efforts of mental health campaigners, including GetUp members, have been effective in securing small pledges from the Government this year – but we need an investment of at least $500 million to start turning this health crisis around. It’s within our grasp. A poll commissioned by GetUp this weekend found that 83% of Australians would be in favour of investing $500 million in mental health immediately.

The policies are there, the public support is there and million of Australians are waiting for help – now we need the public political pressure to make it happen. Please join the call by adding your name at:

Prof. John Mendoza

*Mary is a GetUp member who shared her family’s story with other GetUp members when we launched the mental health campaign. Her name has been changed in respect for her privacy.

Australian mining and resources examined by 4 Corners on ABC – the Browse Basin gas development – hear from the Greens’ ROBIN CHAPPLE DISCUSSES TONIGHT on ABC TV or later on the ABC’s iView or Four Corners’ websites

The Hon. Robin Chapple

MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region

Robin Chapple discusses the Browse Gas Development on ‘Four Corners’ tonight

Greens MLC Robin Chapple will appear on the ABC’s Four Corners tonight as part of the program’s investigation of the Browse Basin gas development.

‘Rush to Riches’ will explore the dispute over the location of the proposed gas processing site, the breakdown in various negotiations over land use and the approach of the Barnett Government towards the development.

Mr. Chapple discusses the negative effect the policies and attitude Liberal-National Government has had on the Browse development process.

‘Rush to Riches’ airs on ABC1 at 8.30pm tonight.

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610

Mental Health isn’t a prority for Kevin Rudd…is he nuts! Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising: Greens

The logo of the Australian Greens political party.
Image via Wikipedia

Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising: Greens

en:Rachel Siewert, 22 August 2007 Author: Jame...
Image via Wikipedia

The Australian Greens say John Mendoza’s resignation as the Prime Minister’s main mental health advisor is disappointing but not surprising given the Government’s ongoing failure to adequately invest in mental health services.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health understands John Mendoza’s frustration with the Government.

“It is an indictment on the Federal Government that John Mendoza’s expertise has been lost. I share his deep concern about the Government’s continued lack of investment in the area of mental health,” Senator Siewert said today.

“Experts say that $5 billion of new funding is needed to bring our mental health services up to scratch and yet the Government has fallen short of this investment,” said Senator Siewert.

“The Australian Greens have been consistently calling on the Government increase it’s investment in mental health and we’ve put forward a number of key initiatives which would see this occur.

“The Government missed an opportunity in its health reform package by failing to adequate address mental health. They need to go back and fix this as a matter of urgency.

“The Government can no longer ignore the growing mental health crisis in Australian,” Senator Siewert concluded.

<<Mendoza resignation disappointing but not surprising- Greens – MEDIA RELEASE 20062010.doc>>

Chris Redman

Media Officer
Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens Senator for WA

P: (08) 9228 3277 |


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Public release of Montara recommendations essential: Greens

Public release of Montara recommendations essential: Greens

The Australian Greens have called for the Government to publicly release the findings of the Montara Commission of Inquiry.

Speaking in Perth today, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Marine spokesperson said the Montara inquiry recommendations would shape the future of the oil and gas industry.

“This spill occurred in August last year, yet to date we have seen no major changes to our regulatory processes, no major change to our compliance process and we haven’t seen any new marine protected areas put in place,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“What we have seen is the government release new exploration areas, despite the Montara spill and the ongoing disaster in the US,” Senator Siewert said.

“President Obama has been more proactive. He placed a moratorium on deep water exploration and required compliance audits of drilling wells. This hasn’t been done in Australia – there’s no moratorium in deep water exploration and information about the ongoing safety audits has not been made available.

Senator Siewert said what Australians really want to hear is what the Inquiry recommends should be done to improve regulation and compliance, along with that the Government intends to do to ensure that we don’t see a spill like the Gulf one hitting our precious marine environments and coastlines.

“The information concerning the spill is already on the public record in the Commission of Inquiry. The different aspects of what’s gone wrong are already out there,” Senator Siewert said.

“A network of marine protected areas is essential to preserving our natural resources and supporting our sustainable industries, such as tourism and fisheries.

“We were very lucky the Montara spill did not end up on the mainland. We cannot rely on that luck again,” Senator Siewert concluded.

Kind Regards

Chris Redman

Media Officer
Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens Senator for WA

P: (08) 9228 3277 |

Australia Politics – community group GetUp and an Afghan refugee make news with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader – The press haven’t stopped calling

Click here to see the ad

***Newsflash: Tony Abbott was confronted with this new ad featuring Riz Wakil on The Today Show just a few hours ago***

Wow – the press literally have not stopped calling!

The story lit up Lateline, Sky News, Channel 10, Channel 9, ABC and SBS news, and was covered in all major newspapers and radio stations across the country. GetUp members gazzumped corporate bidders in a charity auction on Wednesday night to secure a personal surfing lesson with Tony Abbott for former Afghan refugee, Riz Wakil, as well as breakfast with the Liberal leader for Riz and 5 other former refugees.

In a rapid response campaign, the GetUp community raised over $50,000 to get the winning bid in a charity auction. Now Riz, who saw terrible things during his 9 months in the infamous Curtin detention centre, will get the chance to tell his story directly to Tony Abbott.

But as we know, speaking to Tony Abbott will not be enough. To change the politics of prejudice and fear on refugees, we need to reach out to millions of Australians–taking the story of courageous refugees like Riz Wakil into their homes and hearts.

That’s why we have a new TV ad ready to go, where Riz directly challenges Tony Abbott’s refugee policy and scare campaign. Can you get Riz’s powerful message on the air? The media is watching. The moment is now. Help us seize it.

As we all know, it’s a rare and miraculous thing in Australian politics to put refugees on the agenda in a positive light. Now Tony Abbott is on the back foot. For the past 3 days Riz and the media have confronted Abbott with his backward policy on refugees.

But Riz has come under attack. On Melbourne talk back radio he was called a "queue jumper" and hung up on by Steve Price while he was on the air with Andrew Bolt. It takes great courage to face these kind of attacks and to meet with an Opposition leader like Tony Abbott.

That’s why we want to give Riz all the support we can. It’s up to us to help him share his story by getting behind his message to Tony Abbott and all Australians:

As Riz said on ABC NewsRadio yesterday: "I strongly believe that Tony Abbott is a human being before he’s a politician and before he’s an opposition leader. His heart beats like everyone else and I’m sure that once I share my story, he will rethink."

Like Riz, we believe in the beating heart of Australians–compassion, generosity, and a belief in a fair go for all. This moment–this meeting between former refugees and Tony Abbott on the shores of Sydney’s Northern beaches–will be the beating heart of our refugees campaign, and with your help it will flow through to millions of Australians.

Thank you for making this possible,
The GetUp Team

PS – Last night, Riz appeared on Channel 10’s The 7pm Project–the program that won the bid to join Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swann for barefoot lawn bowls in the very same charity auction. And the host, Dave Hughes, asked Riz to join him in meeting the Prime Minister and Treasurer! Riz will need all Australians behind him when he meets with our most powerful leaders, so chip in now to air the new ad and help bring Riz’s story into Australian homes and hearts.

I recommend this newsletter and website – check them out – Pro Bono Australia News – New Debate on Australian Charity Regulator

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

Pro Bono Australia - News Service

Hello and welcome to the latest News Service update from Pro Bono Australia.

This week the debate begins on the best regulatory model for charities and other Not for Profit organisations in Australia lead by visiting UK Charity Commission’s Senior Executive, David Locke. As well, a proposal by the Centre for Social Impact and Arts Queensland for a Foundation to support individual Australian Artists. Plus the Queen’s Birthday Honors and much more…

– ACCSR is presenting a series of Sustainability Strategy Workshops in July in Melbourne and Sydney with international thought-leader Dr Sanjay Sharma.

As a subscriber to our News Service you can save 15%on the workshopsclick here to find out more

Got a news story for us? Let us know over on facebook or twitter.

Lina Caneva – Managing Editor
Karen Mahlab – Founder

Starting the Debate for an Australian Charity Commissioner
Should Australia have a new, national independent regulator for its growing and economically and socially significant sector? UK Charity Commission Senior Execuive to lead the debate.
GetUp Campaign image
GetUp Campaign on Abbott No Joke
Have you heard the story about Tony Abbott giving a surfing lesson to a refugee? It’s no joke thanks to one enterprising Not for Profit.

Kirby Wins International Justice Prize
Former High Court Judge, Michael Kirby has become the first Australian to win the internationally renowned Gruber Justice Prize.

Foundation Needed To Support Individual Artists
Discussion paper proposes the establishment of a Foundation to support individual Australian artists

Funds to Enhance Disability Advocacy
Disability Advocacy Network, DANA, to be funded to help those with a disability and their families and carers to participate in the Productivity Commission Inquiry into long term care and support.

Greens Call on Government to release Montara Commission report

Greens Call on Government to release Montara Commission report

17 June 2010

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is calling on the Federal Government to publicly release the Montara Commission of Inquiry report when it is handed down tomorrow.

Senator Siewert used today’s Question Time to query plans to release the report and the Government could not confirm when it would be made available.

“The public have a right to know the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry,” Senator Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Marine Issues said today.

Senator Siewert is also calling on the Government to release the results of safety and compliance audits carried out to date on drilling rigs in Australian waters, particularly those worked on by the company linked to both the Montara and Gulf of Mexico spills.

Halliburton is reported to have carried out cementing work on both the Montara well and the US Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The failure of this cementing has been linked in the media to both spills.

“The release of all information available to date is essential for the development of new regulatory and environmental procedures,” Senator Siewert said.

“We need to be better prepared to respond to future disasters in our precious marine environment,” said Senator Siewert concluded.

Media contact: Chris Redman

<<Greens Call on Government to release Montara Commission report – MEDIA RELEASE 17062010.pdf>>

Chris Redman

Media Officer
Senator Rachel Siewert – Australian Greens Senator for WA

P: (08) 9228 3277


West Australian Greens call for urgent judicial inquiry on mining safety

Greens call for urgent judicial inquiry on mining safety

Robin1.JPGHon Robin Chapple MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region

Hon Alison Xamon MLC for the East Metropolitan Region

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Greens say that the Barnett Government is going in entirely the wrong direction on mining workers’ safety and that the State needs an urgent judicial inquiry. The party made the call during debate today on a motion moved by the ALP in the State’s Upper House.

“We do not support the position of the Minister for Mines when he said, in estimates yesterday, that he wanted "to get away from the very strict regulatory safety regime that has existed in the past",” said Greens employment spokesperson Alison Xamon MLC.

“Recent mining deaths, ‘near misses’ and safety-related bullying demonstrate that better regulation is needed, not for the Government to step back from its responsibilities for worker safety.”

Ms Xamon has already given notice to introduce a Bill to tighten up Occupational Health and Safety laws and introduce the offence of Industrial Manslaughter.

“We urge the Minister to immediately provide for extra Mines inspectors and instruct these and existing officers to carry out a rigorous review of all mines in Western Australia to ensure that all are operating with occupational health and safety as their primary concern,” said mining spokesperson Robin Chapple.

“All three major Parties supported the need for more Mines Inspectors and the need for Industry to contribute towards funding this, however simply increasing the number of Mines Inspectors is not the silver bullet,” added Mr Chapple.

“In the past 12 years there have been 3 reviews of the Mines Act and multiple inquiries, the solutions are well documented and now is the time for the political will to implement them. There must be a multi faceted and mandated approach to mines safety,” said Ms Xamon.

“As such, the Greens call for an urgent judicial inquiry in order to pull together the consistent recommendations, create an action plan and importantly a time frame for implementation and action.”

“It is time for all parties to get serious about workers safety. This is about workers lives and the lives of their families,” added Ms Xamon.

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610