Saturday, March 28, 2009

Walmadany Concert for Heritage

Thousands thronged to the Town Oval in Broome, Kimberley, Western Australia on Friday night at the Walmadany Concert for Heritage, to join and sing and dance for heritage. The message for the world is Broome does not want LNG gas processing on our coastline or country. This message is not just to the gas proponents, but to governments, to industry, to multi-national corporations. The people in our small community are not just saying hands off country. Last night they sang and danced to protect heritage, culture and country, for the planet, for their families, for their future and for the children. Gas proponents and governments would do well to listen to the people, to everyone.

Joseph Roe Lawkeeper and Custodian Goolarabooloo welcomes John Butler.

A brilliant celebration of heritage, family and community guided by the Pigram Brothers, thank you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Please Don't Sell Country

The social and emotional impacts of the systematic dislocation of Broome’s community.

The Proposed establishment of Mtpa 25 Gas Hub is already having distressing, social and overwhelming emotional ramifications on your community and on your country.

Hands Off Country has been sitting back for a few weeks, in order to try and understand what was actually happening to your community.

Although Red Hand’s observations are not surprising they are well concerning. The industrial forces’ manoeuvring tactics and so called consultations’ techniques are having a tsunami effect over the Broome community. People are already in distress, families and family groups are being divided; there is intimidation, disengagement of key stakeholders, lots of misinformation, lack of correct information and even aggression.

Social and emotional impacts will never be quantified by social impact studies; you can never measure the ramifications that puts father against son, brother against brother or people working against each other’s wishes within a once harmonious community.

The current social impact assessment study is being undertaken by people who have no connection to your community, who have no understanding of your true community values, your heritage, your history or insight into the fears you hold for country, community and your families. Nor will they delight in your hopes you hold for your future. These studies cannot be undertaken effectively or efficiently when you do not know what door to knock, whose door to knock and what is the right door to knock. Information will never be given freely to strangers. What will be the starting point of such a study, do you start from the homeless, the level of street violence, lack of affordable housing and the mental anguish and substance abuse that is happening across your community, within all walks of life?

Elderly Traditional Owners (known as TO’S) are under enormous pressure with the mirror and bead games, they are forced into playing. Their health and spiritual wellbeing are being compromised as people play political games with the last years of their lives. Heritage and cultural custodians’ concerns are whitewashed, whilst key stakeholders are being excluded from the know.

Currently, there are people morally and ethically challenged over the conflict between their personal and employment interests. Now more than ever in history you can’t afford to have this excuse I was just doing my job any longer.

These dilemmas are accumulating because people are understanding that this is not just about protecting country, this is about saving the planet (one very small corner of it) and the strong survival instinct you all hold as humans beings to ensure you do leave some places in the world free of industrial crap.

Yes the battle lines are drawn straight through the heart of this community. Rich are pushing for more riches and the poor are still trying to seek basic services. You have people who are deeply affected by this proposal, you have young visionaries who are articulate and have the concept of the bigger picture being cut down like tall poppies. You have groups not sharing information with each other because of legal ramifications or personal ego trips.

Nookanbah was about people protecting country and cultural heritage with their lives. Land Councils grew out of this type of non-violent direct action, people’s actions. They are now acting like real-estate agents willing to sell land, the most precious thing that binds Indigenous people together, culture, heritage, language and their only true sense of belonging, country.

We have got a young population within the township who have not been given equal access to training and education, like those in other parts of Australia. When provided, this would ensure they will participate in the existing hospitality, eco-tourism, pearling, fishing, supermarkets and other industries. What makes you think they can participate now in this new industry? The youth are angry and this will bubble to the surface, displacement, detachment and alienation that your youth are already feeling in your community will intensify. The community’s children will never be able to afford their own home and this gas hub will not be the answer to their prayers or meet any of their basic needs.

The processes currently being employed to ensure that this proposed gas hub goes ahead has been nothing short of thuggery, people are being bribed, bullied, back-stabbed, sidelined, violated, compromised and are left with little or no capacity to defend. Meanwhile, Woodside and the State Government are sitting back. Rest assured that the divide and conquer rule lives on.

The community is beginning to feel like it’s been deliberately kept in the dark, lied to and manipulated, with half truths and blatant lies. The community has been led to believe that James Price Point will be the focus of this precinct and would operate within a 3,000 hectare operational site. According to some recent maps, Woodside’s plans are to base the Mtpa 25 Gas plant directly on Quondong Point and the precinct will sit within 6,000 – 8,000 hectares.

The Broome Shire Council resolved to organise a Broome community forum to inform the community of all the pros and cons that this proposal would have on the Broome community. It has been deferred. Reasons being that major players were unable to attend and so the forum would not have achieved the outcomes the Shire sought, the full picture. If this project is as beneficial as you are being led to believe then surely this forum and the opportunity it presented for all stakeholders would have been an unique opportunity to present the case. This forum is greatly needed now, not in the future when you will not have the same opportunities to make an informed decision before a green light is given by external parties.

In true Broome style, your special community has the ability to pull together the fragile strings that bind its residents, past families and children of the future, together. You will see this at Walmadany Concert for Heritage, Male (Town) Oval in Broome on Friday night 27 March, 2009

The real social ramifications can never be studied. One thing is for sure, you will not have access to beautiful country, resourceful fishing grounds, fresh-air, clean water and nor will you feel the joy of sharing country.

Hands Off Country, Stand Up for the Planet,
(Sorry no pretty pictures with this blog)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Singing for Country

This song was composed and sung by Jude Bales who has strong connections to the Kimberley.

Transcript following soon:

Hands off country

Monday, March 23, 2009

Barnett to Open Helicopter Port at the Broome International Airport,

On Thursday, the 26th March, at 12 noon. Barnett will be in Broome to open helicopter port at the Broome International Airport.

Apparently, the Broome International Airport Management are frantically ringing around town, seeking traditional owners to welcome Barnett into country.

In additional, there are five Woodside Maps being currently circulating around.

Map 1. Operations Only

Map 2. Operations and Construction

Map 3. Full Expansion, Operations Only

Map 4. Full Expansion, Operations and Construction

Map 5. LNG Precinct – Entire Precinct

However, Redhand questions whether these maps are a red heron, circulated to discredit both the indigenous and environment groups! Should we view these maps with a grain of salt? Although, the maps are labelled Woodside the format and legends appear very similar to Department of Planning and Infrastructure maps!.

Hands Off Country has sighted Map 1 and 2 which clearly shows that the Operations and Construction site for this 25 Mtpa Gas Plant will not be located at Walmadan (James Price Point) but at Murrjal (Quondong Point).

The entire precinct will stretch from Biningankuny (Coulomb Point Nature Reserve) to Kardilakan Jajal (Barred Creek) with the estimated 6000 – 8000 square hectares not the 1000 – 3000 hectares we all have been lead to believe. According to the maps sighted: up to seven trains will be operated, a main road cut through from the Derby Highway, desalinations plants, seven kilometres of jetty and break water constructions. Once, Red Hand has a bloggerable size copies of these maps, they will be posted.

Meanwhile, the local quarry has been asked by Woodside for a quote on 2 million tons of road base and 80 thousand tons of rock.

Redhand's speculative Timeline
Friday, 27th March 2009
Concert for Heritage

and while we're dancing and singing for country on Town Oval, the Traditional Owners may sign off an Agreement with the Western Australian State Government

31st March, 2009
Premier Colin Barnett will announce an
Agreement to take everything he wants and more for a gas precinct
and on
Thursday, 9 April, 2009
Woodside announcement on their decision to pipe to and process gas on the Kimberley coast.
Is this to avoid media scrutiny?

Good Friday 10 April, 2009
The media is quiet and a dead news story in the coming week.

Easter Tuesday 14 April, 2009
Government employees still on Easter holiday.

Wednesday 15 April,2009
Battle lines are drawn.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walmadany Concert for Heritage

Broome Friday 27th March, 2009 on Town Oval

ALAN PIGRAM, BROOME MUSICIAN: You think money can fix your problems, you'll say "Yes". If you think your culture and lifestyle is what's needed to be preserved, then - and at no cost, sold, well then, you will say "No".

.....................and local musicians are planning a concert to send a clear message to the Premier.

STEPHEN PIGRAM: We're just not gonna sit back and let him ride roughshod over our country, basically. And we're just gonna make as many people as we can aware around Australia, around the world, that this is a place that shouldn't be tampered with.

Sourced from ABC TV Stateline 13 March, 2009
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Australia Unveils Draft Emissions Trading Scheme Legislation

There was a flurry of media activity yesterday and today ahead of the release of the Australian Government's Emissions Trading Scheme draft legislation, which was unveiled a short time ago. (Skip to legislation outline)

Last night the Greens and Coalition formed an alliance in regards to a senate inquiry into the Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Yesterday, Professor Ross Garnaut, who is the government's climate change advisor, told Four Corners that he is disappointed with the scheme. Professor Garnaut said industries that are the highest emitters of greenhouse gas have had too much influence over the scheme and that the Government's emissions reduction targets are too low.

The Australian coal industry took the opposite stance, crying foul, saying it had been unfairly excluded from receiving free emissions permits - even though it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the Federal Government. Former treasurer Peter Costello has said the Government should reconsider the ETS in the light of the economic crisis. Malcolm Turnbull would prefer to see a start date of 2012 and Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said he could not see how the legislation would pass.

The ETS is rapidly shaping up to be the issue that defines the Rudd Government's time in power due to its far reaching implications for Australia and for that matter, the world.

However, with all the debate over the ETS, something that not many politicians appear to be keeping in mind according to some green groups is every minute of every day, greenhouse gases are being spewed into the atmosphere at an ever increasing rate; pushing humanity ever closer towards a point of no return from catastrophic climate change. Some say that we've already arrived at that point and that the time for debate is over and radical action from government is needed immediately.

Draft Emissions Trading Scheme Legislation Summary

After months of criticism and heated debated from all corners, the draft legislation for the Emissions Trading Scheme has finally been released and as was expected, the Government has adhered closely to its recent Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme white paper. The following is a brief, simplified outline of the 392 page Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 document:

- The Act will set up a scheme to reduce pollution caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

- The scheme will begin on 1 July 2010, and operate on a financial year basis.

- The scheme is administered by the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority.

- A person who is responsible for greenhouse gas emitted from 4 the operation of a facility must surrender one eligible emissions unit for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalence of the gas.

- A person who imports, manufactures or supplies synthetic greenhouse gas must surrender one eligible emissions unit for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalence of the gas.

- A person who imports, produces or supplies eligible upstream fuel must surrender one eligible emissions unit for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalence of the potential greenhouse gas emissions embodied in the fuel.

- Each of the following units are eligible emissions units:
(a) Australian emissions units issued under this Act;
(b) certain Kyoto units;
(c) certain non-Kyoto international emissions units.

- Most Australian emissions units will be issued as the result of an auction.

- A national scheme cap limits the total number of auctioned Australian emissions units.

- Some Australian emissions units may be issued free of charge or for a fixed charge.

- Australian emissions units are transferable.

The Emissions Trading Scheme timetable from this point according to the Department of Climate Change's web site at the time of publishing:

March to April 2009: Phase 3 consultation of exposure draft legislation
May 2009: Bill introduced into Parliament
June 2009: Government aims to achieve passage of bill by Parliament at this time
3rd quarter 2009: Act enters into force; scheme regulator established
2010: Emissions trading scheme will commence

While high polluting industries have continually raised the spectre of massive job losses as a result of the implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme and in spite of the global economic crisis, Australians still appear to be worried about the issue of global warming impacts. According to a survey of 1,400 people commissioned by The Climate Institute, 78 percent indicate concern over climate change. Supporters of renewable energy have said that the economic and climate crisis actually provides a great opportunity for Australia to restructure, a "green new deal", turning jobs with high polluters into careers in clean energy.