Bob Katter Vows to Fight the Signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has called the governments signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) “the greatest blow to democracy in 300 years”, saying that “it amounted to nothing more than a new form of corporate colonialism.” “This agreement is not about trade, it’s about sovereignty,” Mr Katter said. “Governments will now be stripped of their power to regulate the behaviour of overseas companies.” “It takes away our sovereignty and hands it over to the giant foreign owned corporations.” Mr Katter said “We will be fighting the TPP and have forwarded a letter today to all Senators pleading with them not to turn the control of their country into the hands of foreign corporations.” “We will be moving for the Treaty’s disallowance as soon as Parliament resumes.”
Friends of the Earth Kuranda has deep concerns about the latest draft plan for this region.
Noting the Mareeba Shire Council seems intent in having its new Shire plan finalised in the near future, we urge anyone who shares our concerns to take action NOW.
There are a few things you can do..
- Write now to the State Government asking that this unsatisfactory plan is not approved. It's best to write to the deputy premier who is responsible for considering approval -firstname.lastname@example.org and cc to Craig Crawford our MPemail@example.com
- Protest to Mareeba Shire Council
- Come to the public consultation meeting run by Council in Kuranda on Monday November 2nd
- Come to the public meeting organised by Friends of the Earth Kuranda on Tuesday 10th November.
- Talk about the issues with family and friends and encourage more people to get active
Here's some details about our concerns -and also to show the difference between the old, amalgamated Tablelands Regional Council Draft Plan 2012 and the latest Mareeba Shire Draft Plan 2015:Read more
Tony Abbott and Leichhardt M.P Warren Entsch revealed their vision for Northern Australia for the next 15 years in their new newly released Northern Australia White Paper. The White Paper predicts that by then north Australia will have a population of 6 million and that the region will have new dams, new mines, new gas fields as well as becoming a food bowl for Asia supplied from new mega farms.Read more
A new report by WWF scientist Martin Taylor has found that the relaxation of vegetation clearing laws has led to many farmers doing panic clearing in Great Barrier Reef catchments after the Labor Party said that they would reverse the clearing laws if they won the election. Clearing had more than tripled from 78,000ha a year in 2009-10 to 280,000ha in 2013-14 with some of the clearing on Cape York threatening, with coral-killing sediment run-off, the last major section of the inshore Reef deemed to be in excellent condition.Read more
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
We couldn't understand how our Wet Tropics Forest- right next to the World Heritage- could get sold off without mentioning it to the local community or the public.
So we wrote a comprehensive letter to Mr Craig Crawford to try and understand what had been decided and what was in the agreement with Hancocks.
They hadn't even mentioned it to the local groups who had been tree planting in the area for years.
Dear Mr Crawford,
Friends of the Earth Kuranda would like to congratulate you on your success in the State election and we hope that this will be the beginning of a much better future for our area.
There are a few of issues that we are greatly concerned about and that we would like to draw your attention to.
Barron River Water Quality and the Reef
UNESCO has threatened to list the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) as “endangered” largely due to sediment and run-off from industry. We believe it is counterproductive for the government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to try to reduce sediment, chemical and nutrient runoff on to the Great Barrier Reef while unsustainable land uses in our region are still being encouraged, such as the expansion of the sugar cane industry and pine plantations on the Tablelands, which negatively impact on the Barron River and the Reef.
The negative impacts from these types of intensive agriculture developments threaten the future expansion of Cairns and the status of Kuranda and Far North Queensland as tropical eco-destinations. As tropical tourist destinations, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) and the GBRWHA continue to be degraded with sediment, nutrient and chemical run-off leaching into waterways and ending up polluting the Reef.Read more
The Cook Shire Council Mayor Peter Scott said after the vote, “The introduction of crops which have been genetically modified to withstand pesticides and herbicides goes against our region’s clean green branding, which is a selling point for many our producers and is something Council will not support.”
“Although canola isn’t grown in Cook Shire, continued expansion of agriculture at Lakeland and potential development of Cape York earmarked in the Northern Australia White Paper all point to increased agricultural growth in the near feature; and the potential negative repercussions of genetically modified crops is something we need to be aware of. Use of this crop would encourage more broadacre use of Roundup, which has negative flow on effect to the environment and the clean, green marketing image of our produce.”Read more
A new report has found bird numbers in decline and Australia’s iconic birdlife is disappearing along with their habitat. Birdlife scientist James O’Connor, “If you take away their homes and food sources, you don’t have birds’. Mr O’Connor said people thought that birds would fly elsewhere when vegetation was cleared when in fact many were sedentary with specialised feeding and breeding requirements.
The Government Reveals its Big Vision for North Queensland
Tony Abbott and Leichhardt M.P Warren Entsch revealed their vision for Northern Australia for the next 20 years in their new newly released Northern Australia White Paper. The White Paper predicts that by then north Australia will have a population of 6 million and that the region will become a food bowl for Asia supplied from new mega farms. The ministers’ vision also includes Cairns soon getting Mr Fung’s mega Aquis Casino.
The bulldozing that has just begun of 32,000 hectares of open forest at Olive Vale near Laura, using a pair of huge D11 bulldozers linked by a long chain, is part of this plan for what the Govt. says is ‘sustainable development and innovative new crops for the north’. In the case of Olive Vale the crop is to be forage sorghum for cattle feed and in other areas it will be crops like sugar cane, stock fed and bio-mass.Read more
Broadscale Clearing of World Heritage Quality Land has Begun on Cape York
The clearing of 32,000 hectares (330sq km) of World Heritage quality bushland has begun on Olive Vale on Cape York, one of the last intact and most diverse natural places on Earth. The clearing was approved recently in the dying days of the LNP government and was made possible by weakened legislation. The razing of the Olive Vale bushland would put 17 threatened species at risk and increase runoff and pollution into Great Barrier. The impact on wildlife should have meant the project was referred to the commonwealth under species protection laws, but it wasn’t.
Land clearing has tripled in Queensland over the last three years with the approval of at least 1130 sq km of bushland for clearance and the removal of protection for another 7750 sq km of remnant native vegetation. This means that Queensland will once again be the land clearing capital of Australia.Read more
Clear Felling and Aerial Spraying of Kuranda State Forest
The Dept of Forestry has informed FoE that the HQ Plantations holds a 99 year licence for 4,200 hectares of Kuranda State Forest which is being progressively clear felled and replanted with Caribbean Pine.
The Plantation says that they use helicopters to spray a mixture of glyphosate and fluroxypyr herbicide at the rate of 100 litres per hectare to kill any weeds or regrowth of the native vegetation. Fluroxypyr is listed on the label as being highly toxic to freshwater fish and aquatic invertebrates and glyphosate has just been reclassified by the World Health Organisation a month ago as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ – based on the fact that it is found to be carcinogenic to animals.Read more