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Minecraft Aussie Style

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It should surprise no one that the Coalition government is getting right down to business in facilitating new business activity and development because unlike Labor and the loopy Greens they are not beholden to rent seeking fringe groups.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has taken decisions on 125 projects in the Coalition’s first three months in office, including approving 29 major projects, which the government estimates are worth $400bn. The decisions – the latest of which was Clive Palmer’s giant Waratah Coal/China First coalmine and railway line to the Abbot Point coal port – could spark a new wave of development.

Mr Hunt also has approved the $1.4bn Abbot Point coal terminal expansion, which paves the way for the creation of the world’s biggest coal export port.

But the approvals – particularly coalmine approvals in the Galilee Basin and the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port – have sparked allegations of “development at any cost” from the Greens and environment groups.

Queensland Greens senator Larissa Waters has described the approval as a “terrible Christmas present for the planet” and has raised concerns about its impact on underground water aquifers as well as its impact on combating climate change.

The Abbot Point expansion has been attacked as “criminal” by environmental groups that are calling for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to use its powers to protect the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Hunt said the government was sticking to high environmental standards.

He also has fast-tracked another 46 projects to avoid delays, after inheriting 371 unassessed projects from the previous Labor government, with 22 dating back to 2008. “We have made real steps in unblocking the pipeline while also putting in place some of the strictest environmental conditions in Australian history,” Mr Hunt told The Australian.

“It’s possible to have high environmental standards and genuine decision-making. The previous government was unable to say yes and unable to say no.”

Mr Hunt also has determined that a further 30 projects require no further assessment and 16 require no further assessment as long as certain requirements are met. Another 50 projects have been “assessed and progressed” under the water trigger.

Any short-term boost to mining investment would provide a much-needed buffer to the economy and give more time to the non-mining sectors on the east coast to fill the growth gap.

Source

While I personally have some concerns about the dumping of dredge spoil from Abbott point with in the Great barrier reef zone I likewise find it ludicrous that the Green religion is being invoked as the major objection to opening up new coal mines. Isn’t it ironic that the party that would throw open our borders to all and sundry, especially when they sling us the “I’m oppressed ”  line,  object to any increase in our economic activity to generate the wealth that the endless stream of mendicants seek a part of? When will they realise that you can’t have more people in this country if we lack the economy to  support them? Greg Hunt is right to suggest that the most important quality that and efficient government must have is decisiveness for its far better to have a prompt decion, be it good bad or indifferent, than to have the lily-livered procrastination that was so evident under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd.

Cheers Comrades

6h4s

Inside the Australian Greens, or A Whistle Blowers Tale

What follows below is a Guest post by Marit Hegge and I asked her to write this piece as she had made some rather interesting revelations about the machinations within  the Greens party in our correspondence. Her experience of the evolution of party’s internal structure that she details below reveal the way the Greens have been hijacked by the “loonie Left”and just how profoundly undemocratic it is in both it’s intentions and the way that it operates.

The Australian Green Party was established in 1991. From the start it had a constitution which was basically flawed. In NSW a number of small parties had been set up and registered calling themselves Green Parties – Illawarra Greens, Newcastle Greens, East Sydney Greens to name a few. Some of them had been infiltrated by the then Democratic Socialist Party – the ones that sell Green Left Weekly and are now part of the Socialist Alliance. It proved almost impossible to extract them and a proscription clause was introduced into the Greens constitution to prohibit dual party membership. Problem was some of them had registered officers owning the name. So NSW was given special status within the Greens constitution to have semi-autonomous parties within the overall structure. I went to initial meetings in 1991 in Sydney to try and iron out this process.

West Australia Greens refused to adopt the Oz Greens constitution for the whole of the ‘90s and so stayed “affiliated”. They too had a number of members with dual Communist Party membership and were also unwilling to relinquish registration ownership. It was only just before the 2004 federal election that they finally became fully integrated with the Australian Greens.

The constitution, which was much amended over the years, finally did away with most of the small regional NSW parties, however as a compromise they had a large number of delegates to the National Council.

Decision making at branch, state and national level was supposed to be by consensus or by two thirds majority. In most instances when any conflict or controversy has emerged it has always devolved to the majority 2/3 vote. While in theory this may sound democratic, in practice over the years one third minority dissenters have used this to procrastinate and block decisions, sometimes on major issues, and have dragged decisions out for years in some cases and finally won on their issues through a process of exhaustion. Thus a small radical minority can hold a moderate majority to ransom.

Drew Hutton

Drew Hutton

This was the case in Queensland from 2002 to 2005 where a faction emerged calling themselves the Grassroots who had personal issues with Drew Hutton and believed the Greens should focus on Peak Oil as their major policy platform. Whole branches were stacked and formed with their supporters, and each State Council and AGM became a numbers exercise to get over that magic two thirds required. When Drew Hutton was pre-selected as Senate candidate in 2004 the Grassroots went about sabotaging the election campaign as much as possible and probably contributed very much to him not being elected. Their leader was eventually expelled from the Party in December 2005.
At times it got very ugly to say the least. As North Brisbane branch secretary I supported Drew Hutton and experienced personal threats and harassment, which still continue to this day, even though I am no longer a member of the Greens.

There is, and has been for quite a while, a major disconnection between Bob Brown’s office, the public image and what is really happening on the ground in the Green Party.

Kerry nettle

Kerry Nettle

Ex- Senator from NSW Kerry Nettle was the main one lobbying for David Hicks’ release from Guantanamo Bay. Much of her focus in her time in the Senate was on anti “US imperialism” issues. She spent huge amounts of tax payers money touring universities and holding public meetings on that man’s behalf. Her mate Lee Rhiannon, Upper House MP from NSW is a hard core “loonie leftie” from card carrying Communist party parents.

Lee

Lee Rhiannon

The loonie agenda gets up mainly because at National Council the delegate structure is weighted to give greater voice to NSW and Vic because of their population size. Rhiannon totally controls who goes from NSW and Vic has always had a larger share of crazies. The controversial drug policy came from Rhiannon and her mates, and was pushed through at National Council. Bob Brown was appalled and fought it strongly and it was modified after his personal intervention when he totally spat the dummy. Loonie drug policy still in NSW as far as I know. When I sat on the drug policy formulation group in 2004  to try and bring some sanity into things for the Federal election I was vilified by ex-Marijuana Party members who had joined the Greens, called a Nazi and a Fascist and almost physically attacked.

Bob Brown

Bob Brown

Bob Brown, while he appears to have great authority over the Greens on camera is basically unable to deal with these people and essentially powerless at National Council, as Tasmania has so few delegates. It is a strange situation given that he has been the public face of the Greens for so long.  When he eventually retires they will be in serious trouble, however like the Queen I think the Greens will try and keep him in Parliament for the rest of his life, as long as Tasmanians still vote for him! He has talked of retiring for years, but I think he knows in his heart that the whole thing could go down the
tubes without him!

Juanita Wheeler

Juanita Wheeler

Larissa Waters

Larissa Waters

I thought things would get better in the Qld Greens after the demise of the Grassroots faction. Unfortunately in 2007 one hell of a Senate pre-selection cat fight emerged between the National Convenor Juanita Wheeler and glamour girl candidate Larissa Waters. Wheeler had been positioning herself since 2002 to one day be lead Senate candidate and as National Convenor , major power broker and confidante to those in Bob Brown’s office probably thought she was a winner for sure. She fell out though with Ian Gittus, the state campaign coordinator, one of the few paid office staff the Qld Greens had. He promoted his friend solicitor Larissa Waters, who had only joined Qld Greens just beforehand as the better candidate.  A bun fight to end all bun fights emerged. It was dubbed by one online commentator as the “Beauty and Beast Fight”. Larissa proved to be a real dirty fighter though. She was not above leading men on to get them to work for her. In particular the husband of one long term member and friend of mine who had been the State Treasurer. He came home one day after a campaign tour with him and Larissa to North Qld and announced to his wife he was in love with Larissa and was leaving his wife of over two decades, the teenage son and the family home. He then went on to become Larissa’s minder and pre-selection thug, monstering people online and providing a looming presence at meetings, dangling on her every word in the hope of some sort of relationship. Eventually got himself kicked off the election campaign committee after Larissa got pre-selected and she left him and the wrecked marriage for dust.

It was the sordid business of the 2007 election campaign and the continuous support for terrorist David Hicks that led me after 15 years membership to not renew my membership and then formally resign at the beginning of 2008.
At the end of the day, apart from the Grassroots people, they never did anything nasty to me but I had just had a gutful of the hypocrisy of this political party that always took the high moral ground but in reality were just as grubby as any other. And furthermore downright dangerous to Australia given the amount of loonies now in their ranks!

When I was part of the group that first got together to form the Green Party in 1991 it was done so to focus on and address the environmental crisis facing this planet. Unfortunately they have evolved into a party which has taken on the full grab bag of loonie causes. One of the more notable being the international campaign they launched with Get Up to free terrorist and Lashkar-e-Taiba member David Hicks, a man I personally believe should have been locked up for life and had the key thrown away!  They use the threat of preferences at each election to force a more radical agenda on each government. Just look at how much of a “politically correct” society we have been forced to become over the last 15 years. Even Howard succumbed to this threat over Hicks.

If the Greens ever did get into a real position of power in this country I think we would be in for a very rocky ride. They would most certainly introduce highly punitive and draconian legislation to enforce environmental compliance at all levels in society. Legislation which, I believe, despite their bleating on about civil liberties, would seriously infringe the rights of every citizen in this country. Bob Brown is the mild-mannered public front of a political party which hosts some very extreme and radical people!

Marit Hegge

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