World Ocean Day #100daysofblogging #day6

Today is World Ocean Day.

No Super Trawler!The ocean is the giver and taker of life. The vast majority of all human life is situated along ocean coastlines for a good reason. It provides ample food, salts, minerals. The rivers which run to it provide us with fresh water for drinking, cleaning, cooking and industry.

Even the smallest ocean creatures like Plankton play a vital role in maintaining the careful balance which has kept the life functioning on Earth for millennia.

Yet we, humans, are rapidly and permanently destroying marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

In Western Australia our state government’s is slaughtering beautiful Tiger Sharks as part of an ineffectual and unpopular shark-cull policy. Not to mention the global epidemic that is shark-finning. Continue reading World Ocean Day #100daysofblogging #day6

Protect Native Forests! (Back to the roots) #100daysofblogging #day5

250+ year old tree felled.I first posted about the WA Forest Alliance and their fight to save our native Karri forests in December last year.

It was possibly the most popular post on this blog, ever. Today I will give you an update. There’s some bad news and some good.

We’ll start with the bad…

I went back down to the forest recently to find a big beautiful tree I had photographed previously had been logged, oh and the whole area around it too. That would be the tree you can see all those people sitting on and putting their hands on in the photo above.

I was standing on the stump as I took the photo with my phone.

It was a dreadful and surreal moment.  Continue reading Protect Native Forests! (Back to the roots) #100daysofblogging #day5

Logging in WA’s South West

Recently I took part in a guided tour of our remaining native Karri forests with the West Australian Forest Alliance . I remember visiting these forests as a child, it is always inspiring. The first time I climbed the Gloucester tree near Pemberton I was barely in my teens. At 72m tall, the Gloucester tree was the highest 14-year-old me had ever been.

Clear Felling in WA's Challar Forest

When I heard the new Forest Management Plan will double the scale of logging in our remaining Karri forests (1), I wanted to see the implications of this for myself. I knew it would be painful to see, but I had to go. I had to bear witness and share the tragic reality of clear-felling with you.

Only 10% of our native Karri forest remain today, BEFORE logging expands.

After what I witnessed I have no doubt this new plan, if allowed to continue, will leave us with no pristine Karri forest left. It’s no wonder activists have begun taking direct action to halt the destruction (1,2,3).

I am very glad they have.

Continue reading Logging in WA’s South West

Episode 8: Education Cuts in Western Australia

Episode 8 of the (un) Common Sense Podcast is now available! This week’s episode focuses entirely on the Barnett Government’s cuts to education in Western Australia. Luke speaks with local Society and Environment Teacher Mark, about the implications of these cuts. Topics discussed include:

  • The role of an Education Assistant in the classroom environment
  • The importance of Education Assistants to special needs students
  • Likely impact of losing 500 Full-Time Equivalent Education Assistant jobs
  • Peter Collier & Colin Barnett back-flipping on pre-election promise there would be ‘no job losses’ in public sector.
  • Risk of super-sizing schools
  • Importance of culture and community within a school
  • Likelihood of further cuts to Education under a Liberal Government
Play

Continue reading Episode 8: Education Cuts in Western Australia

Solar Cuts, Paid Parking and the Liberal Party’s budget

The Liberal Party of Western Australia are misusing the West Australian government’s budget in many ways. I only want to focus on 3 of them for now.

  1. Solar Cuts – Solar feed-in rebate to be slashed in half, despite 10 year contracts.
  2. Paid Parking – Free parking at train stations to be abolished as of July 1, 2014.
  3. Wasteful Spending – $20bn+ on Elizabeth Quay and $1bn+ on sports stadium.

One of the most controversial decision in the August 8 state budget are the “Solar Cuts” (see #SolarCuts). These will see the solar energy feed-in tariff literally halved, despite electricity prices having risen by more than 70% in recent years.

Existing customers currently receive 40c per unit sold, this will be reduced to 20c.

Continue reading Solar Cuts, Paid Parking and the Liberal Party’s budget