PLACES YOU LOVE MEDIA RELEASE November 13, 2013
The Prime Minister’s move to sign memoranda of understandings to hand environmental powers to the state and territory governments will weaken environmental protection, environmental organisations warned today.
The Places You Love alliance, which represents more than 40 environmental groups are also concerned by agreements the Commonwealth has already signed with Queensland and NSW.
The Federal Government is demonstrating through the implementation of these plans that it is intent on weakening environmental protection in this country. The government’s actions this week show its deep disregard for the environment and expert scientific advice. This was demonstrated by their choice of politics over science in choosing to disallow two important threatened ecological community nominations, the “River Murray and associated wetlands, floodplains and groundwater systems, from the junction of the Darling River to the sea”, along with the “Wetlands and inner floodplains of the Macquarie Marshes” which were proposed to be listed as critically endangered communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Topping this off was the approval of the world’s biggest coal port at Abbot Point and adding another massive gas processing plant at Gladstone, all in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It’s also threatening to revoke the new Tasmania forest World Heritage Area.
“Cash-strapped states don’t have the resources to run rigorous environmental approval processes. Just this year the Western Australian Supreme Court ruled that the WA Government had acted illegally in approving the proposed gas plant at James Price Point in the Kimberley.
“State governments are also watering down laws that protect our precious environment, our wildlife and clean air and water.
“The Victorian Government wants to allow cows back into the Alpine National Park, the Queensland Government is amending laws to allow more land clearing, NSW will allow the burning of native forests for electricity and Queensland is revoking the Wild River declarations that protect some of the last free-flowing rivers on the planet.”
“Without federal powers to override the states, the Franklin River, the Daintree Rainforest and Fraser Island would have been destroyed, and the Great Barrier Reef would be dotted with oil rigs.
“The vast majority of Australian ‑ 85 per cent ‑ said the Federal Government should be able to block or make changes to major projects that could damage the environment, according to a Lonergan Research poll.
“The Senate Committee inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 found this year that environmental standards would be put at risk if federal approval powers were delegated, and that duplication in federal-state approval processes is minimal. No existing state or territory legislation currently meets the suite of standards necessary to effectively protect matters of national environmental significance.”
For further comment contact:
Wilderness Society National Campaigner Glen Klatovsky on 0410 482 243
For more information, contact Wilderness Society media adviser Alex Tibbitts on 0416 420 168
TURKEY – 140 Journos is a good example of why internet and social media freedoms are important if you want to get uncensored news. According to 2012 Prison Census by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is the leading country with 49 journalists imprisoned and China is in third place with 32. At the moment newspapers, TV channels and radio stations are also heavily controlled in Turkey. With conventional media debilitated, social media became indispensable. I read this article about 140 Journos on Columbia Journalism Review by Deirdre Dlugoleski and wanted to share with you.
In a 2011 court case in Diyarbakır, Turkey, a student is on trial for membership in a terrorist organization. The case is legally open to the public, but no journalists are present in the small, cramped courtroom. After several hours, one of the police officers perusing his Twitter account outside discovers that someone is tweeting updates from the trial. He marches in during a break and angrily forbids the unknown user from covering proceedings. When the Tweets continue, the officer informs the judge, who also insists the tweets stop. CONTINUE READING
AMERICA – In Trayvon Martin vs Zimmerman case, defendant’s lawyers managed establish ‘doubt’ about the details of the confrontation. Their defense was built on getting the jury to focus on the fight that occurred just before he shot the unarmed, 17 year old Trayvon Martin, and jurors ‘overlooked’ on the events that antedated the crime.
However, his attorneys cannot erase Zimmerman’s final conversations with 911 dispatcher.
Zimmerman called the 911 dispatcher after seeing Martin walking back to his father’s home from a store, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” he said. CONTINUE READING
TURKEY – Although, the international media is now turning a blind eye, the citizens of Turkey are still on the streets, protesting against the oppression of freedom and demanding the human rights not to be abused anymore by the totalitarian Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP rule. On the other hand the government keeps pushing the oppression to new heights.
Yesterday (13 July 2013) there were demonstrations from Istanbul to Antakya all over Turkey. Last night police have fired water cannons and tear gas to the several thousand protesters gathered on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue to protest a midnight bill adopted this week by the Parliament which curbed the supervision of the Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) in all urban projects, giving full authority to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry. Some shop owners also threateningly attacked with batons reporters an protesters chased the protesters into the side streets by the police. CONTINUE READING
SYRIA – He finally wrote to me. After more than a year of freelancing for him, during which I contracted typhoid fever and was shot in the knee, my editor watched the news, thought I was among the Italian journalists who’d been kidnapped, and sent me an email that said: “Should you get a connection, could you tweet your detention?”
That same day, I returned in the evening to a rebel base where I was staying in the middle of the hell that is Aleppo, and amid the dust and the hunger and the fear, I hoped to find a friend, a kind word, a hug. Instead, I found only another email from Clara, who’s spending her holidays at my home in Italy. She’s already sent me eight “Urgent!” messages. Today she’s looking for my spa badge, so she can enter for free. The rest of the messages in my inbox were like this one: “Brilliant piece today; brilliant like your book on Iraq.” Unfortunately, my book wasn’t on Iraq, but on Kosovo. CONTINUE READING
Egypt’s revolutionary process is a complicated convolution of people power and military co-optation. To succeed, it will have to take on the army anew.
EGYPT – Now that President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been forced from power, one question appears to be burning on everyone’s lips: is this Egypt’s second revolution, or is it really just a coup d’étât? Anyone outside of Egypt who still pretends to have a straightforward answer to this question is either lying or deluding themselves. The truth is that periods of grave revolutionary upheaval never lend themselves to simplistic binary narratives. If anything, the answer is neither: this is neither a second revolution nor a coup d’étât. Why? CONTINUE READING
TURKEY – Today is 2nd of July 2013, the 20th anniversary of Madimak Massacre. It remarks a dark day in Turkish Republic’s history. 20 years ago today 37 people were burned to death by fundamentalist Islamist in downtown Sivas. Those who died were mostly Alevi poets, writers, musicians, artists, intellectuals. Two hotel employees were also killed in the fires. They were there for an annual cultural festival, a celebration of 16th century Alevi poet Pir Sultan Abdal.
On 2nd of July 1993, after Friday prayer a large number of Salafists gathered in front of the hotel named Otel Madımak. They were enraged by the presence of world renowned writer and intellect Aziz Nesin. Nesin was an atheist. He had translated and published extracts from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and was celebrating Pir Sultan Abdal’s legacy with Alevis. CONTINUE READING
EGYPT – An open letter by the Egyptian activist collective ‘Comrades from Cairo’.
To you at whose side we struggle,
June 30 will mark a new stage of rebellion for us, building on what started on January 25 and 28, 2011. This time we rebel against the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood that has brought only more of the same forms of economic exploitation, police violence, torture and killings.
References to the coming of “democracy” have no relevance when there is no possibility of living a decent life with any signs of dignity and decent livelihood. Claims of legitimacy through an electoral process distract from the reality that in Egypt our struggle continues because we face the perpetuation of an oppressive regime that has changed its face but maintains the same logic of repression, austerity and police brutality. The authorities maintain the same lack of any accountability towards the public, and positions of power translate into opportunities to increase personal power and wealth. CONTINUE READING
INDONESIA – Price rises are provoking revolt in yet another country. This time, it is Indonesia, the price hike concerns fuel, and the revolt takes the form of rallies and strike action. The unfolding events in Indonesia can be seen as just a new round in a series of workers’ struggles for better living standards, against a state and a capitalist class that tries to make profits by keeping wages as low as possible, by destroying the forest and undermining the livelihoods of the people.
The current conflict broke out after the government raised fuel prices. The cost of a liter of diesel shot up 22 percent and petrol by a dramatic 44 percent, as part of an attempt to contain the costs of subsidizing fuel, a cost that takes about 13 percent of the government’s budget. While fuel prices in Indonesia are very low, poor Indonesians are still burdened by them. It was no surprise, then, that the rise was met with immediate protest. CONTINUE READING
TURKEY – Yesterday (25. 06. 2013) thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square, Istanbul to protest the release of police officer Ahmet Ş. who was accused of killing Ethem Sarısülük during demonstrations in Kızılay, Ankara. The decision of 13th Ankara Magistrates’ Court is latest proof of the double standard in corrupt judiciary system in Turkey. It is also a good example for the reasons why people of Turkey are on streets, marching against their government.
The police did everything they could to make it hard for the citizens to reach Taksim Square. They blocked all roads potentially leading to the area, checking the passengers of private cars at checkpoints. Journalists were extensively searched by the officers despite showing their official press cards granted by the Prime Ministry’s Press and Information Office. Metro and funicular access to the square was also canceled. The demonstration was only allowed under a heavy riot police cordon. CONTINUE READING