The biggest loser

Would have to be the Labor Party in Queensland. The low number of voters – just 70% – presenting at the compulsory Regional Council polls attested to the lack of enthusiasm Queenslanders had for the forced amalgamations. It would be interesting to know how many voters only voted out of fear of losing representation. Along with the distinctive results from last year’s plebiscite, the abysmal turnout supports the view that amalgamation was not endorsed by the people, and neither did the people give the government a mandate to betray their will with forced amalgamations.

In Brisbane, the Libs picked up 6 Council seats, whilst in Townsville, long term ALP mayor Tony Mooney lost his position to Thuringowra mayor, Les Tyrell.

Captain Bligh boasted about the hard decisions made to produce “larger, better equipped councils in place across all our major regions”. Better equipped to charge us higher rates and to carry out unilateral armslength State decrees in defiance of resounding public dissent is our cynical reaction.

Sunset at Boreen Point

Despite the present State Government’s South East Queensland Regional Plan and Infrastructure Plan and claims that the State government wishes to slow development on the coast of South East Queensland and move population to Beaudesert and Mt. Lindsay, our Sunshine Coast region’s concept of sustainability, determined as Bob Abbot envisages through community consultative processes well known to Noosa residents, may clash with the State’s vision to which our new super Council must defer, given that there is still no Federal legal recognition of local government. The Sunshine Coast and other regions which desire and plan for more realistic and truly sustainable development and population caps with majority support from their electors and which had opposed amalgamation can still be overridden by the State. The States can also argue for Federal support on the basis outlined by Andrew McNamara, Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, when he supported population distribution omitting to mention the addition of a more sensible, palatable and sustainable federal policy of negative population growth with a truly innovative economic strategy to match. Rudd has thrown his national condom out the window as well.

Regardless of the warm, fuzzy wording of the SEQRPIP, the travesty of Traveston Dam has already provided a clear example of the State Government sacrificing the environment and existing landholders for the “greater good of Queensland” … in other words, the good of those requiring development at the expense of irreplaceable natural habitat and communities.

As Captain Bligh called her new lieutenants to a Brisbane summit, Bob Abbot expressed similar suspicions about Bligh’s real agenda:

“I’ve got a great fear that the next attack on local government will be in the planning sphere and I think they (state government) need to look very closely at what the communities are saying about how they want to be managed in the future as regards to development,” he told a Brisbane newspaper.

“Any further attack on local government in the development sphere would create another Gold Coast highway koala corridor type fiasco for the government – and would bring them down.”

Centralised decision-making may facilitate government planning aligned with big money, yet a government markedly out of step with its constituents could pay a high price at the next State election. Big Bob, with 70% of the Sunshine Coast vote has a clear mandate for sustainability. Perhaps Captain Bligh is counting on voters forgetting her and Beattie’s attack on democracy by then, yet Howard’s end was largely due to his deafness to the voice of the people, from his outrageous disregard of public feeling against his draconian no choice work laws, his ignorance of the realities of climate change to his pandering to Bush with the disgraceful war on Iraq.

When politicians step above their role as servants of the people, the people whom they are elected to represent will teach them humility.

Turtle Travesty in Brisbane

Take note, Brisvegans – the feeding of the habits of the profligate industrial corporations and unsustainable agricultural enterprises who use the lion’s share of the water in South East Queensland, predominantly to maximise their export profits, will have a permanent, disastrous effect on the ecosystem of the Mary River if the Traveston Crossing dam is constructed.

Anna Blight is not backing down on either Beattie’s dictatorial dam proposal or Council amalgamations, though she has whined in the understatement of the century, “To be frank, I think we could have and should have handled it better along the way”. With an environment impact report due out this month, Big Thighs also admitted “Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull could knock it back on environmental grounds.” Here’s hoping.

Travis the endangered Mary River Turtle comes to Brisbane again this weekend

After being a hit with the crowds last Sunday at Northey St Markets, this Saturday 6 October, Travis, a 40 year old Mary River Turtle will be in New Farm Park from 8:30 – 10:30am.

Bob Brown, Senator and Parliamentary leader fo the Greens will be at New Farm Park at 9:30am to meet Travis in “person” and discuss the threat to the Mary River Turtle posed by the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam on the Mary River.

The Mary River Turtle is an endangered species and occurs in only one river – the Mary River a couple of hours drive north of Brisbane!

To find Travis and Trevor (Travis’s human size counterpart) enter New Farm Park from Brunswick St and follow the internal road to the childrens playground. Travis and his support crew will be in that area.

For further information please contact Tanzi on 0405848375.

Hope to see you and your family there.

Please forward this message to anyone who you know who would like to meet Travis,

Kind Regards,

Australian Freshwater Turtle Conservation and Research Association (AFTCRA) Inc. and the Save the Mary River Co-ordinating Group.

Endangered Marry River catchment species

Chaser team to be chastised and chastened?

No point waffling on to the blurgaverse when one is overwhelmed by post-viral horrors, a foul, swampish sense of being shafted by the abdicated Peter Beattie over the forced and greatly despised council amalgamations, predictable stock market slumps and recoveries, and mammoth work and play commitments. It’s not as though one has millions of avid readers complaining about the Fringe’s absence, and neither does the Fringe care.

Of all these tribulations, it is Beattie’s intransigence which most peeves us. For nights we pore over the dry old Australian constitution and conclude the only solution permissible in our defence is to form a new state to encompass our local water resources. A friend however points out that we would have no chance of defending our precious water should the profligate hordes further south whine that their swimming pools need filling. They could simply send in the military. Still, as a media event, and as a protest against the scything of our grassroots democratic representation and mutilation of our local identity and sustainability, for which Noosa just won a UNESCO award, it needs to be done.

Rudd’s popularity sank with the impact of Beattie’s ill-considered attack, and has now recovered, helped by little Johnny Moron’s pathetic flailings about the hospital systems amongst other gaffs. People have had enough of their irksome prime monster and all going well, and a few marginal seats lost, and even his own seat to Maxine McHugh, Howard will be out on his ear, dumped like a dead cat with no bounce. Then again, who knows what the malevolent rodent will pull out of the hat at the last minute. Nothing has turned out well for him of late though. At APEC, an event where his mighty miniatureness rubbed shoulders as he so loves, with the doyen of world leaders, he was joyously upstaged by the wonderful Chaser team, who will face charges this week for successfully and mischievously crossing the barrier between the people and those who rule from afar.

Our best wishes are with them this week – and may humour triumph over all adversity.