It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

Palmer, frienemy of the Australian public. (Carbon Price To Stay) #100daysofblogging #Day23

Price on Carbon Pollution to StayToday Clive Palmer surprised most of the country, especially progressives, by appearing with Al-Gore to announce his position on repealing the ‘Carbon Tax’.

When the announcement came it was bitter-sweet. Clive Palmer essentially agreed to follow the position the ALP under Kevin Rudd took to the election last year. He will only support dissolving the carbon tax on the condition it is replaced with an Emissions Trading Scheme.

Not at all what Tony Abbott had hoped to hear from his coal-mining friend. Not at all what most people would have expected to hear from a man who makes millions each year on digging up coal.

Not what I expected when Palmer and his soon-to-be Senator’s were elected last year.

If someone had told me three years ago that on this day Tony Abbott would be Prime Minister and billionaire coal-miner Clive Palmer would be refusing to repeal the ‘Carbon Tax’ without moving to an ETS, I’d probably have lost it laughing. Continue reading Palmer, frienemy of the Australian public. (Carbon Price To Stay) #100daysofblogging #Day23

Investigate the EPA in WA. #100DaysOfBlogging #Day18

EPA of WA should be under investigationNew South Wales are conducting a Parliamentary Inquiry into the effectiveness and performance of that states Environmental Protection Authority.

The move comes after a string of controversial decisions by the EPA and criticism that it was “more focused on protecting polluting industries than looking after the community and human health”. I’d agree with that assessment and would say it also applies to the EPA here in Western Australia too.

The Environmental Protection Act of 1986, in outlining the functions of the Environmental Protection Authority states as one of it’s key functions, this:

“to coordinate all such activities, whether governmental or otherwise, as are necessary to protect, restore or improve the environment in the State”

In WA they are at best terribly ineffective at their job.

Back in 2006, the transportation of ‘lead carbonate’ for export by Magellan Metals lead to large-scale poisonings in Esperance. Kids had high levels of lead in their bloodstream. Birds literally fell from the sky. Continue reading Investigate the EPA in WA. #100DaysOfBlogging #Day18

Coal free Collie – Let’s do it properly. #100daysofblogging #day13

Solar ThermalThe town of Collie is not something I really think of when intending to visit WA’s south west.

But that needs to change if the slated ‘SuperTown’ is to survive life after coal.

Even us Perth based locals who travel the South West often, rarely find our way to Collie. It’s a town that’s not ‘on the road to’ anywhere. As a teenager I heard stories of Collies “Friday night fight nights” and never really had a desire to visit since.

To me, Colle predominantly know as the seat of the electricity gods. All our electronic devices are belong to Collie. But the Coal will only last so long.

It’s already caused the State Government trouble, and if they decide the coal should stay in WA and only be used to fire local power plants, it may last 50 or more years. If they don’t, which wouldn’t come as a surprise, the coal will be bound for export and likely depleted within 15-20 years.

That’s not a lot of time to convert a 2 billion dollar+ economy and provide for an expected 15,000 population. But it can be done.

Continue reading Coal free Collie – Let’s do it properly. #100daysofblogging #day13

Nail in the coffin for old coal – (thx Obama!) #100daysofblogging #day2

Barrack Obama delivered the sweet sweet goodness with this announcement. The US President announced carbon emissions in the USA will be reduced 30% by 2030. It’s pretty much the ‘nail in the coffin’ for old coal. The biggest economy in the world just tipped the scales. Coal is no longer a viable sources of electricity. With any luck Americans will start moving their cars away from oil pretty damn soon too.

But here we are, in Australia, trying to repeal a carbon reduction system that works. Who actually thinks repealing the ‘Carbon Tax’ – which will become a part of international emissions trading systems next year – is a good idea?

It makes me squirm to know that when Barrack Obama talks to his Australian counter part about climate change next week, the response he’s getting is probably like this:

Continue reading Nail in the coffin for old coal – (thx Obama!) #100daysofblogging #day2