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Baillieu fails state on climate change: Environment Victoria

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment

As the first anniversary of the Coalition’s election looms, Environment Victoria slams the Baillieu Government for turning its back on solar and wind power.

THE BAILLIEU Government has come under fire from Environment Victoria after the group said the Coalition is at this stage failing all environmental assessments.

Concerns arose in response to Baillieu’s Amendment VC82, which gives individual landholders the right to veto wind-farm development within two kilometres of their property.

Statistics sourced from Climate Spectator and Environment Victoria

Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said the amendment sends a signal to the clean energy industry that it is not welcome in Victoria.

“We seem to be making decisions to maintain our addiction to brown coal and turn our backs on two of the fastest growing industries in the world, in solar and wind power,” he said.

Statistics sourced from Sustainability Victoria

Municipal Association of Victoria President, Councillor Bill McArthur, said that although the environment is a major area of concern, the MAV supports the exclusion zones implemented by the Baillieu government.

“Our councils that we interact with have certainly been quite supportive of that new ruling and unless our members tell us otherwise we would certainly support them in their endeavours to get a good outcome for their communities,” he said.

“Why it’s different from any other energy generating facility, that is yet to be explained.”

Environment Victoria’s assessment on the Baillieu Government will be released late November.

Greens urge Labor’s media inquiry to ‘take on’ Murdoch press

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown welcomes Labor’s announcement of an independent inquiry into Australia’s print and online media as part of the Convergence Review.

SENATOR Bob Brown has announced that while he is pleased Labor’s independent media inquiry is at arm’s length from the parliament, the Murdoch media still needs to be taken on to ensure opinions are not mixed with news.

“Where people are wronged by the media… they need to be able to get rapid redress and they need to be able to feel safe,” he said.

“I’d like to see that upheld and I think most decent Australians would as well.”

However Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has made it clear that the inquiry will not address the issue of media ownership, as the Greens have been pressing for.

“I don’t need an inquiry to establish that the Murdoch press owns 70 per cent of newspapers in this country,” he said.

“The Convergence Review is looking at the broader question of platform neutrality.”

Monash University Head of Journalism, Professor Chris Nash, said the Greens have had a “gut-full” of the Murdoch media negatively projecting and discussing them with no punitive action from the Press Council.

“For bias, it’s not even a slap on the wrist,” he said.

The inquiry will provide its findings to the Convergence Review early next year.

Timeline of Greens vs Murdoch

To view the Greens vs Murdoch timeline, click here.

Abbott’s Nauru no better than Gillard’s Malaysia: human rights concerns

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Abbott has red-lighted Gillard’s Malaysian solution on the basis of human rights concerns despite Liberal’s own Pacific solution causing outcry among asylum seeker organisations.

TONY Abbott has refused to support offshore processing in countries that are not signatories of the UN Refugee Convention, ruling out Malaysia but not Nauru.

Asylum seeker organisations have condemned the Liberal party’s legislative amendments, which could potentially provide no legal guarantee of free access to the courts, as outlined in the UN Refugee Convention.

Opposition Shadow Minister for Finance Andrew Robb says that should the Liberals be re-elected, they will reopen the Nauru detention centre in an effort to restrict asylum seekers’ access to the courts.

“People could be processed off-shore and not have access to the endless legal opportunities that would exist onshore,” he said.

Campaign coordinator for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Pamela Curr, voiced concerns that there is a lack of willingness in politics to accept the fact that people have a right to seek asylum.

“The liberal party is arguing for Nauru for the simple reason that they can close the doors,” she said.

“It means that people have to remain silent while they’re going through their cases, or they risk losing the chance of being accepted.”

The ASRC believes the system is in crisis.

Parliament will today debate the amendments to the Migration Act.

Meningococcal outbreak hospitalises 5 teens: Ballarat (Scenario)

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

A Meningococcal disease outbreak has left two teens in a critical condition and three more are in a serious but stable condition in Ballarat.

Five teenagers have been hospitalised and are being treated for Meningococcal disease at Ballarat Base Hospital following an outbreak over the weekend.

Jeremy Little, 15, of Sebastopol was diagnosed with the disease on Sunday night.

Within two hours his girlfriend, Monica Templeton, 14, had also been rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Three more patients have also been brought to the hospital and quarantined since Sunday’s outbreak.

Dr Beryl Wainwright, Head of Communicable Disease at Ballarat Base Hosptial, says he’s never seen so many people  affected so quickly by an outbreak.

“We’re extremely concerned,” he said.

“It’s incredibly rare to have this many people present to hospital with such serious conditions in such a short space of time.”

Ballarat Base Hosptial

In Victoria, children under five years of age and young adults aged 15 to 24 years are at the highest risk.

All patients are students of Sebastopol College and it is understood they catch the school bus together.

Sebastopol College Principal, Bruce Feeney, says the school is awaiting instruction from the Department of Education before taking measures to ensure other students are aware of the situation.

The Department of Human services and Ballarat Base Hospital will introduce measures to identify more cases.

baby steps for an out-of-touch gen-y

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Blog?

It sounds like the name of a monster emerging from a billabong. As my online journalism unit commences, I am increasingly aware of just how out of touch I am with the real world – that is, the online virtual world that seems so damn alien to me.

So here are my first tentative words. Be kind, cruel world. Twitter, WordPress, Delicious; you all seem so much larger than me! And with all the tweeting and blogging and following going on, it’s as though I’m stumbling in your giant footprints. Gone are the days checking emails twice-weekly. I’ve been thrown into the deep end. In a big way.

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