Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

The WA Liberal Party’s vague new anti-protest laws are a legal over-reach which reverse the ‘onus of proof’ and damage the credibility of the entire legal system.

Having lost several pet projects to public opposition, Barnett has moved from ignoring and ridiculing activist to trying outlaw us.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill means any person suspected of preparing to use a ‘thing’ to obstruct a ‘legal activity’, could be locked up for 24 months and face huge fines.

Additionally, people charged under these laws will be forced to pay costs associated with their arrest; violent criminals aren’t even forced to pay that.

But these laws will not stop activists from putting our bodies on the line in defence of what we believe in. We know this means we are having an impact, our strategy and tactics are working. We will continue.

It begs a few questions though: Continue reading Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

Credit rating loss shows cuts not the answer

Western Australia lost it’s AAA credit rating at Moody’s today, the second agency to drop WA to the second highest credit standing Aa1.

This has primarily happened due to a structural budget deficit and growing debt under the Liberal Government here in WA.

The problem is less how we are spending tax, and more how we collect it.

Too many eggs in the one mining royalties basket was never a good idea, and nor are the many tax loop holes and subsidies for the ultra-rich. Our State Government is hamstrung in it’s revenue raising capacity because it gives up so much in subsidies.

For instances, Gina Rinehart receives over $4bn in tax breaks and subsidies per year.

Cutting funding to essential public services is not the answer to our governments budget woes, it’s short term thinking and bad economics.

Those services have multiplier effects, the people whose incomes they pay are working people, and spend their incomes quickly. This creates tax at point of sale then goes on to be spent by those it employs, with tax paid as income tax and business tax on profit too.

By the time this process is repeated a few times in the economy, each $1 of government spending in say schools or hospitals is likely to actually create tax income in the mid-term. The long term improvement of social outcomes also leads further tax generation.

If the Government are serious about balancing the budget, they need to start shovelling cash from the nearby truck that’s over-flowing with $100 bills, not shuffling budget papers and scraping out the last few coins from working peoples piggy banks.

 

 

 

Two fracking free towns in Western Australia

double win waThere are now two towns in Western Australia to declare themselves fracking free zones, where fracking activities are not welcome.

Earlier this week the town of Greenough declared itself frack free and now they have been followed by the Shire of Coorow.

On Wednesday Coorow councillors unanimously backed a request to put a hold on all fracking work at energy company AWE’s Drover-1 well.

The request was submitted by residents from the local Green Head and Leeman communities.

Of course it drew the usual responses saying fracking is a ‘safe’ process and doesn’t need to be put through rigorous environmental assessment, despite our aquifers being at risk.

But neither the process of injecting high pressure chemicals into the earth, nor the resulting escape of methane is safe for our environment.

Methane is far more potent a green house gas than carbon dioxide in the immediate term, and fracking wells are notorious for creating methane leaks.

It’s simply not worth the risk.

I stand with the peoples of Greenough, Green Heads and Leeman in their fight to prevent fracking in Western Australia.

We will win the day.

WA Farmer’s fear for livelihood as fracking moves in.

No FrackingFarmers in the Green Head area of the Perth basin, south of Geraldton, are worried about their water supply.

Gas exploration company AWE is pushing ahead with plans for Western Australia’s first hydraulic fracturing (fracking) project to extract ‘shale’ gas.

Local resident Peggy Hodgson has been farming in mid west since 1960s.

She has fought to keep her drinking water safe from mining companies for decades, and will continue that fight now in her retirement.

“Our water supply our water quality and our water quantity. All of it is under threat should anything go wrong with the fracking and the boring that’s going to go on out here” said Peggy.

The Department of Water confirmed that the AWE project will drill through the same aquifer that supplies the town’s drinking water.

Department of Mines and Petroleum spokes person Jeff Haworth says the the Perth basin is “by far” the most likely fracking project to go ahead.

Watch the ABC report by Kathryn Diss

 

Over 1000 unique views in 1 month! #100daysofblogging #Day28

That's My Two CentsWhen I started this #100daysofblogging challenge 28 days ago, I hadn’t written published a post on this bog since January.

Resultingly I was averaging about 96 unique views per month, or a little over 3 views per day. If you don’t post content, no one is going to come to your site.

Well, maybe 3 people will. But even they don’t hang around long if the content is old.

I have now posted for 28 days in a row. My average unique views per day has increased by more than 1100% to 34 views per day, or 1020 unique views for the month. Not including any this post gets before midnight.

So what are the most popular posts so far…? Continue reading Over 1000 unique views in 1 month! #100daysofblogging #Day28