Minister Canavan is recklessly misleading the public on petrol prices: Greens

Resources Minister Matt Canavan is misleading the Australian people by linking petrol prices to drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, the Greens say.

“Saying that letting big oil drill in the Bight will lower petrol prices is plainly wrong and highly misleading,” Greens environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“The Minister is either deliberately lying, or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about by trying to link current petrol prices to the push for drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

“The Minister has himself said that drilling for oil in the Bight, if approved, wouldn’t be in operation for at least a decade. Even then, the oil is earmarked for foreign companies to ship straight overseas, not for use here in Australia.

“Thankfully South Australians are not as easily fooled as the Morrison Government seems to think we are. There is no link between today’s petrol prices and the campaign to protect our Bight from devastation of an oil spill. To argue otherwise is a lie.

“South Australians are not willing to risk the devastating impact of an oil spill in the Bight. The jewel in our crown, Kangaroo Island, our tourism and fishing industries, and our precious marine life are too important to risk.

“This hip-pocket manipulation is disrespectful and dishonest to people struggling with mounting cost of living pressures.

“Renewables are on the rise and electric car technology is getting better every day. In 10 years’ time, with a bit of ambition and political will, we will be less reliant on fossil fuels. The UN’s harrowing climate change report makes plain that we urgently need to phase out fossil fuels. We must heed that warning for the planet, and for our communities.

“There is no social licence to drill in the Great Australian Bight. The Greens stand firm with the South Australian community who want our Bight protected.”

Letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison Regarding Live Sheep Exports

Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP PO Box 6022
House of Representatives, Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing today asking that you allow a free vote in the House of Representatives on the ‘Animal Export Legislation Amendment (Ending Long-haul Live Sheep Exports) 2018’, which was passed by the Senate on September 10.

The non-partisan bill, which was cosponsored by the Australian Greens, Sen. Tim Storer and Sen. Derryn Hinch, would bring an immediate end to long-haul sheep and lamb export voyages to the Persian Gulf or through the Red Sea during the Northern Hemisphere summer. After a transitional five-year period, that ban would be extended to cover the entire year.

Australians are demanding action to bring an end to live exports because of systemic and repeated issues of animal abuse. The horrifying images of suffering animals have shocked the community to its core. Unfortunately, the live export industry has shown itself to be incapable of or unwilling to address these serious deficiencies in its conduct. The recently released Moss Review has shown a system that has failed animals and is based on money, not animal welfare. The community is looking to Parliament for leadership.

We believe that the House of Representatives has a right to vote on the matter and that the numbers exist for the legislation to pass, in line with community sentiment and expectations. The only thing standing in the way of resolving this problem to the satisfaction of the Australian public at this point in time is your Government. By not allowing the bill to be debated, democratic process and the wishes of millions of Australians are being disregarded.

We therefore request that you allow debate on the bill to proceed to a vote on the week of November 26. In addition we request that you allow a free vote on the bill in your party and agree not to seek retribution against any MPs who cross the floor.

Thank you.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi

Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson

Richard Di Natale

Australian Greens Leader

Supercars documentation made public

The City of Newcastle has welcomed a decision by the Appeal Panel of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to withhold financial details relating to the Newcastle 500 that were subject to a commercial-in-confidence agreement with Supercars and Destination NSW.

In line with the Appeal Panel’s decision, the documents, including the Services Deed, have been placed on the City’s website but with the dollar amounts redacted.

The Deed was signed in 2016 by then interim CEO Peter Chrystal and sets out the rights and obligations of Supercars and Council as its “service provider”, for the five years of the Newcastle 500.

The document and its content was extensively reported upon by the Newcastle Herald on 24 August this year.

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said the City welcomed the Appeal Panel’s decision to respect the need for parts of the documents to remain commercial in confidence.

“The Appeal Panel agreed with City of Newcastle that the Tribunal had made errors of law in the original decision and that dollar figures were not considered in the public interest for release,” Mr Bath said.

“The City of Newcastle is committed to open and transparent governance. We had already provided the vast majority of these documents to the Newcastle East Residents Group, but with the dollar amounts redacted.

“We have a legal and commercial responsibility to support commitments made to Supercars and Destination NSW almost two years ago regarding what was commercial in confidence and what was not.”

A Hunter Research Foundation Centre (HRFC) analysis found the inaugural Newcastle 500 boosted the local economy to the tune of $30 million and strengthened the city’s capacity to stage major events.

HRFC’s research found the Newcastle 500 delivered massive economic benefits within the Newcastle LGA, including:
• $8.94 million in direct expenditure by visitors
• $9.71 million in the flow-on effects
• $4.97 million in direct local expenditure by Supercars
• $6.5 million in flow-on effects of Supercars Australia’s local spending

The HRFC report was informed by an analysis of mobile phone data, banking records and business transactions.

The documents may be viewed on the City’s Supercars Newcastle 500 web page.

Dress up your business for Newcastle 500

The 2018 Newcastle 500 is just around the next turn – and City of Newcastle is calling on all businesses to dress up and rev up to welcome Supercars fans into the city.

Dress up your business with Supercars livery for a chance to win an exclusive Newcastle 500 prize pack, with competition now open.

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Members of the City’s Customer Service team dressed up our reception area in the City Administration Centre.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City aimed to find the business with the most striking display.

“We’re now around three weeks out until Newcastle’s biggest event, so it’s time for everyone to get into the spirit as we welcome tens of thousands of visitors to our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Last year we saw bars decked out with chequered flags and event posters, bottle shops sporting balloons and bunting, even a day care centre with decorations custom-made by their kids.

“Lowes in the Hunter St Mall was the stand-out and last year’s winner. Their staff went above and beyond to get into the spirit of things and I reckon they will be hard to beat again this year.

“City of Newcastle is kicking things off by dressing up the foyer of the City Administration Centre as well as the Newcastle Shop located at Newcastle Museum.”

The winning business and staff will receive six three-day Newcastle 500 passes, six merchandise packs and six behind-the-scenes tours of the pit lane garages.

Here’s how to compete and win:

  1. Register – Email your contact details to events@ncc.nsw.gov.au with subject “Dress up your Business”. The first 200 businesses to register will be eligible for a free starter pack.
  2. Dress up your business in support of the Newcastle 500 and take a snap. You can use items provided in the starter pack, but also add extra decorations to get the Wow! factor
  3. Upload your photo to the  City of Newcastle Facebook page
  4. Tag @CityNewcastle.au and include #entertainnewy.

Competition closes Friday 16 November and the winner will be announced Wednesday 21 November. Conditions apply.

Safety the number one priority at weekend’s music festivals – Newcastle

Police are urging event goers to enjoy themselves at this weekend’s music festivals in Newcastle but warned they won’t tolerate behaviour that risks the safety of others.

The “This That” Music Festival will be held at Wickham Park, Newcastle from 1.30pm on Saturday 3 November 2018 and the “Scene and Heard” festival will be held the following day (Sunday 4 November 2018) from 12:30pm at the same location.

Organisers are expecting up to 20,000 people to attend the festivals over the weekend.

A large police operation will be conducted involving officers from Newcastle City Police District, with the assistance from drug-detection dogs.

“Thousands of people will make the journey to be involved in the two festivals and while the vast majority of people are well-behaved, police will act swiftly if you choose to do the wrong thing,” Superintendent Brett Greentree said.

“We want people to enjoy the two festivals in Newcastle this weekend, but not at the expense of other people’s safety, so make sure you behave responsibly and think before you drink.”

“Police will not tolerate any form of anti-social or criminal behaviour and will be targeting any illegal activity as well as alcohol-related crime.”

Additional Traffic and Highway Patrol officers will be deployed to ensure music fans and other motorists make it to and from their destinations safely.

“Community safety is our number-one priority, and we urge festival-goers to take care of themselves and their belongings while visiting Newcastle for the festivals,” Supt Greentree said.

“Poor choices can have serious consequences and we urge all people attending these festivals to remain safe, look after your friends, and don’t risk your health or your good reputation.”

$20 MILLION BOOST FOR NEWCASTLE SCHOOLS

New figures reveal that Newcastle schools will get a $19.4 million funding injection from 2020 if Labor wins the upcoming Federal election.

New figures reveal that Newcastle schools will get a $19.4 million funding injection from 2020 if Labor wins the upcoming Federal election. [See below for full school-by-school list of funding increases.]

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP said every student in every public school in Newcastle will be better off under Labor’s commitment to invest an extra $14.5 billion in Australia’s public schools.

“Newcastle public schools will receive an average increase of $450,000 each over three years,” Ms Claydon said.

“Parents and teachers can find out how much extra funding their school will receive at www.fairgoforschools.com.au.”

Ms Claydon said the funding would restore cuts made by the Federal Government when Scott Morrison was Treasurer.

“The Federal Government abandoned signed contracts with the New South Wales Government. This has resulted in $14.5 million worth of cuts to Newcastle schools over 2017 and 2018 alone,” Ms Claydon said.

“These cuts have meant fewer teachers, less individual attention and less support to help kids achieve their potential.”

Ms Claydon said Labor could afford to make the investment in public schools  because of decisions to scale back excessive tax concessions that largely benefit wealthy Australians.

“Labor has chosen to close a number of tax loopholes so we can afford to invest in the schools, hospitals and public services that benefit all Australians,” Ms Claydon said.

“While the Government is backing in tax breaks for the wealthy, Labor is investing in our children and our future prosperity.”

NEWCASTLE PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING INCREASE UNDER LABOR
School Name Extra Funding (Three Years from 2020)
Callaghan College Wallsend Campus $1,430,000
Newcastle High School $1,340,000
Kotara High School $1,260,000
Lambton High School $1,230,000
Hunter School of the Performing Arts $1,160,000
Merewether High School $1,070,000
Callaghan College Jesmond Campus $960,000
Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus $830,000
The Junction Public School $530,000
Glendore Public School $530,000
New Lambton Public School $510,000
Wallsend South Public School $480,000
Maryland Public School $470,000
Belair Public School $450,000
Hamilton South Public School $420,000
New Lambton South Public School $390,000
Waratah Public School $380,000
Lambton Public School $370,000
Mayfield West Public School $360,000
Elermore Vale Public School $350,000
Adamstown Public School $330,000
Wallsend Public School $310,000
Shortland Public School $310,000
Merewether Heights Public School $300,000
Plattsburg Public School $290,000
Tighes Hill Public School $290,000
Kotara South Public School $280,000
Hamilton Public School $270,000
Stockton Public School $260,000
Mayfield East Public School $250,000
Newcastle Senior School $220,000
Heaton Public School $210,000
Jesmond Public School $210,000
Newcastle East Public School $200,000
Merewether Public School $170,000
Islington Public School $170,000
Hamilton North Public School $160,000
Newcastle Middle School $160,000
Waratah West Public School $120,000
Carrington Public School $120,000
Minmi Public School $100,000
Kotara School $100,000
New Lambton Heights Infants School $70,000
Electorate Total $19,420,000

Kids need to be brought off Nauru now

Reports that the Australian Government plans to bring the children it is detaining on Nauru to Australia by Christmas removes any excuse to keep people in offshore detention, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“The warped logic of offshore detention is crumbling around the major parties. There is now no excuse not to end offshore detention and conclude this dark chapter in our country’s history,” Senator McKim said.

“Christmas is not soon enough – we need to get every child and their family here to Australia now, which we can do if Labor supports the legislation we currently have before the Parliament.”

“Public pressure is finally having an impact on Government policy, and as a result the entire artifice of offshore detention is falling apart.”

“There is now no logic behind holding any man, woman or child on Manus Island or Nauru for a single day longer. It is vital that we give them safety and freedom in our country permanently.”

Labor’s environment plan missing key parts

Members of the Labor Party agitating for improving their stance on the environment must fight for investment, and change on the party’s stance on fossil fuels, if they are to take a strong policy to the next election.

“The real test will be how much they are willing to prioritise funding to protect and restore the environment. If they are on the side of protecting our natural environment, it will need investment,” Greens environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“We are in the midst of an extinction crisis yet we have little detail on Labor’s plan to save our threatened species. Labor continues to ignore the calls to phase out coal and stop the Adani mine.

“They are still split on drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, which not only comes at great risk to the marine environment and local fishing and tourism industries, but locks us to burning fossil fuels into the future.

“Until Labor is committed to phasing out fossil fuels, their stance on environmental law and protection will not be enough. So long as we are mining and burning fossil fuels, we will continue to contribute to a warming planet at a time when action to arrest climate change is more urgent than ever. “

Adani produces more spin than coal

In an effort to drum up investment in its ailing Carmichael mine, Adani has again announced the project is about to get off the ground adding to its already long history of false starts, Greens spokesperson for Mining and Resources, Queensland Senator, Larissa Waters said.

“Adani are producing more spin than coal,” Senator Waters said.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times Adani has said they are about to “hit the green light” on their mega coal mine.

“Adani keep desperately reducing the size of their plans to attract investors, but all it proves is that nobody wants their coal, because clean energy is a better investment.

“From environmental law breaches overseas, investigation and prosecution of alleged breaches here, their application for a 12.5 billion litre water-sucking pipeline in a drought-stricken area, fake jobs claims, and the massive scaling down of the project because no-one is stupid enough to invest in new dirty coal projects – the alarm bells are well and truly ringing.”

Senator Waters said today’s Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report makes it clear the coal export industry is in “terminal long-term decline”.

“Between 2014 and 2017, the LNP and Labor accepted $3.94 million from the resources sector,” Senator Waters said.

“The major parties need to stop doing the bidding of their donors in the fossil fuel industry, put an end to the Adani Carmichael mine once and for all and start transitioning to renewables.

“We need real jobs not Adani’s fake jobs. There are almost 10,000 construction jobs being created in renewables across Australia, that’s where our future lies – and must lie – if we are to prevent further damage to our Reef and planet from climate change.”

Telling the stories of our service men and women

Our government is backing plans for the Australian War Memorial that will honour Australians who have served in our armed forces, and those men and women who serve today.

Our $498 million investment in the Australian War Memorial’s redevelopment will help them tell new stories in new ways.

It means the Australian War Memorial will be able to display more of their collection and proudly tell the stories from recent years in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East Timor.

We want to recognise the service of our Australian Defence Force members and safeguard a place for history to present and communicate those stories not yet written.

The redevelopment will increase visitor areas by 83 per cent or ar ound 10,000 square metres to expand the exhibition and public program space which is currently at capacity. The Australian War Memorial will be able to better tell the stories of current and recent conflicts, operations, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions.

It will include a new temporary exhibition space, improved visitor orientation, wayfinding and amenities, areas for respite and reflection, new education facilities, and a theatre and functions space.

Our ex-serving organisations which play a vital role in supporting our veterans and their families will also be recognised along with the proud communities throughout Australia whose loved ones never returned.

This funding builds on our new Australian Veterans’ Covenant, Veterans’ Card and lapel pin, as well as the $1.4 billion we’re investing for fairer indexation of defence force pensions, free mental health care for all veterans and our veterans to work program.

Whether it’s respecting and recognising our veterans and their families, record investment in defence force capability or building a place where we can proudly tell their stories for generations to come, our government is committed to putting our service men and women and veterans first.