Gateway without a gate
The NSW coalition (Liberal/Nationals) suffered further embarrass- ment this week after its ‘Gateway Process,’ which assesses mining proposals on strategic agricultural land, saw two of the six panel members resign.
According to The Australian (Newscorp), the NSW Farmers Association questioned the independence of the government- appointed panel’s chairman Terry Short, a soil expert, who had to declare an interest in two of the three applications being assessed by the panel.
In addition, Greens NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham put the boot in on fossil fuel lobbyists; he said Mr Short and his panel were forced to grant a ‘Conditional Gateway Certificate’ for a mine in the Bylong Valley west of Newcastle, despite assessing the mine as failing 12 out of 13 criteria. ‘It’s ludicrous that the Bylong mine failed 12 out of 13 criteria, and the Spur Hill mine that failed nine out of 11 criteria, are still granted a certificate and progress to the next stage of planning assessment.’
This again casts doubt over this government’s credibility and its continuous bleating of having the ‘toughest CSG regulations in the country.’ Mr Stoner’s office again offered up that rhetoric in reply to The Echo when asked what he will bring to the north coast as its minister.
In return, The Echo suggested to Mr Stoner’s office perhaps the present safeguards weren’t working given the overwhelming protests by farmers at Bentley, Leard, The Pilliga and other min- ing sites. The Echo then asked if the minister would intervene and stop Metgasco’s plans at Bentley given the public outcry.
Unsurprisingly there has been no reply – The Echo understands the Bentley land earmarked for fracking is owned by a high-profile Nationals Party member, as was the case in Glenugie.
The Game of NSW Unknowns
Ah, the colony of NSW. Bound to serve at the Queen’s pleasure since 1788, it has a long rich history of free-trade barbarism and territories won and lost.
With bloodied battles, treachery, deal making and women and wine, it would make a great HBO series.
The script reads: Within two years in office and after 16 years of Labor, the coalition led by lord Baz has proved it too is a victim of the dark forces against democracy: lobbyists.
Lord Baz throws himself on his sword after being ICACked and while the blood still flows, his round table must quickly regroup to an- nounce nervously that it will restore honesty and trust in government. Ha! Regardless of the myth of political integrity, just who are these loose rabble of coalition shark bait in the NSW lower house ? (The lower house is the Legislative Assembly; the upper house is the Legislative Council and can veto the lower house.)
Mike Baird (Liberal) Premier
Newby Mike is a big fan of God, particularly Henry VIII’s interpretation, Anglicanism. So much so that young Baird trained for a year at a bible school in the USA after an economics degree. And after a short stint as an investment banker, he followed daddy Lib MP Bruce into politics.
An early blunder as treasurer saw him misplace but then find a billion dollars, but since then he’s been a typical neo-con economic ‘manager’.
Expect $19 billion of cuts from the public sector and public assets in years to come. Is this a result of Labor’s previous mismanagement or a big neo-con job so the top one per cent can continue to squeeze the middle class?
Regardless, this flat-earth regressive with a limited range of empathy has voted against embryonic stem research, euthanasia and does not support same-sex marriage.
His Abbott-like attributes should cause some alarm – they are apparently chums. Unenlightenment aside, Baird’s big battle is to bullshit us into believing there is such a thing as political integrity.
Case in point is his questionable decision to give Lord Baz’s killer, Di Girolamo, a board role on State Water Corporation in mid-2012. Apparently Girolamo had no experience doing such things.
Additionally there’s the $200,000 a year appointment to a government board of businessman Roger Massy-Greene, whose company had also donated to Mike Baird’s election campaigns.
To top off the lobbyist connection, Baird’s former chief of staff, Stephen Galilee, now runs the Minerals Council of NSW.
Business is back, baby.
Andrew Stoner (Nationals)
Sir Stone-alot let a microhydro business sink in his Oxley electorate last year.
It was appalling to witness the fossil fuel industry and his governance ruin the hopes and dreams of innova- tion and best practice for the nation and state.
Pelena Energy, based in Dorrigo, manufactured small-scale hydro engines which generated free energy from running streams and creeks.
There was no dam needed for it to operate, which is funny because it reflected Sir Stone-alot’s ‘giving no damn’ policy.
To be fair, Pelena Energy’s Peter Lynch told The Echo it was a bipartisan effort by both sides of politics that ruined him, along with the Clean Energy Council which is run by fossil fuel goons.
As typical of Nationals Illuminati, Sir Stone-alot must support fossil fuel expansion.
This means being against farmers, agriculture, the outback, the big scrub, the natural environment, regional NSW and anything with wide open spaces.
Did nothing as Crown Lands minister over cost-shifting revenue from Byron Shire caravan parks and reserves to NSW govcorp.
Jillian Skinner (Liberal)
Young Liberal spawn are tested for allegiances to deregulation (cutting red tape) and privatisation (sale of public assets and services).
Skinner, 70, represents Sydney north shore elites and has been a long-term Lib since 1988.
As minister for health and medical research, she propagates Liberal party spawn in pH balanced water with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potas- sium. There, she hatches perfectly formed Young Liberals.
Gladys Berejiklian (Liberal)
Dame Gladys Berejiklian is the perpetual winner of the most unpronounceable last name in politics. Could it be the orthodox Armenian heritage? Spent her youth with a commerce degree and then financial institutional work.
As a young Liberal, the Skinner laboratory spawned Gladys from fungi.
Her press releases as minister for transport have not included anything for regional NSW and last year she handed down a towering edifice of excrement to north coast residents entitled Casino to Murwillumbah Transport Study.
It was highly flawed as it failed to address light rail, only examined a small portion of the railway, inexplicably inflated previous figures on costings and gave the answers Macquarie Street wanted. Bravo, whatever.
Anthony Roberts (Liberal)
Recently replaced the disgraced and odious Chris Hartcher as mining minister and seems to have fitted right in – his recent visit to the northern rivers last week was entirely insulting as he tried to paint Bentley residents next to a proposed drilling operation as ‘extremists’. Since when was
Mining MP Anthony Roberts pictured with John Winston Howard’s other advisers protecting your home against invasion ‘extreme?’ Nobody likes to be labelled but Roberts is an ex-John Howard advi- sor/suckhole clown.
Brad Hazzard (Liberal)
It’s a big gig, planning. Perhaps the biggest in gov- ernment as it entails asking the mining industry and Jamie Packer what they would like.
But we were told we needed a planning reform, so off with it! Expect meaningless words to follow, such as ‘putting community first’.
As a long-serving Lib and lawyer on the NSW front bench, Hazzard’s DNA is also carefully extracted for propagation in the Skinner laboratory.
Don Page (Nationals)
Member for Ballina, minister for local government and the north coast. Lives in Byron Bay.
Katrina Hodgkinson (Nationals)
As minister for primary industries and small business, the Hodge presides over the disastrous local land services (LLS) where around five per cent of rural landowners recently voted on a board election.
The newly branded and bloated bureaucratic department provides landowners ‘services’ and landowners must pay the state special lev- ied rates which may or may not be consitutional.
Pru Goward (Liberal)
As minister for family and community services, Pru was asked to resign recently because her department could not manage around 75,000 cases of reported child abuse, according to a report by the NSW Ombudsman.
She was also under fire to resign last year for lying, according to Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph. She told Parliament there were 2,068 caseworkers looking after vulnerable children, despite ‘a leaked Ernst and Young report saying instead staffing levels never reached that figure.’
Fatigue, disgust and a lack of space prevent more; however, the show rolls on at www. parliament.nsw.gov.au.
The portfolios published here will no doubt change as Lord Baird marks his territory.
Dear Mr Henderson,
As CEO of Metgasco, you have once again proclaimed a ‘fuck you’ attitude towards northern rivers residents.
Thank you for the clarity. A least we know your intention is to push ahead with mining this area despite deep and wide- spread public resistance, as demonstrated at the Bentley site outside Lismore.
Unfortunately, it’s a clarity that the NSW minister for the north coast, Don Page, has been unable to share. He still won’t say if he supports your activities or the farmers that will be affected.
Regardless, I do take umbrage to the false and misleading claim on Metgasco’s website that NSW is ‘running out of gas’.
Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) State of the energy market 2012 says domestic demand for the state is not increasing.
It’s tiresome to address these lies over again – if we protect the domestic supply there will be no problems other than the smoking ruin that you leave in your wake. It just goes to show how powerful the mining lobby is, huh?
I do however support one lofty ideal on your website: ‘to supply the gas to local industry in the north east corner of NSW before sup- plying gas to the broader eastern coast energy market.’
Such benevolence could extend to actually doing your toxic business elsewhere. After all, Australia is a big place and it’s quite easy to get lost in. Or better still, perhaps you could repurpose your corporation for the inevitable renewables take-over?
Anyway, the intention to mine a region that boasts world-class farm produce and tourism is simply an act of war, regardless of what- ever weak legislation and politicians are in place.
In conclusion, I will not give credibility to the insane premise that the expansion of your industry is acceptable in light of clear evidence that suggests it’s stupid.