Climate Emergency Petition

Here is a link to the Australian climate emergency petition, both online, and paper versions. Many people are trying to help gather as many signatures as possible. We need Australians to tell governments to treat climate change for the emergency that it is, and has been for some decades. This is just one way to do it, and many repetitions of the same message are necessary.

The online page is also asking for answers to small survey questionnaire, about what people say they are already doing, or intend to do as their personal response to climate change. It is already changing lives.

Here is the link to the petitions on-line version, where petition forms  can be downloaded from their toolbox page,  for off-line signature collection with physical person to person impact

Steve Posselt provided a focus today for the petition gatherers here in Sydney with his own personal one-man (plus support team) kayak journey to boost global climate change awareness, called “Connecting Climate Chaos“.

Man O’War jetty, from Botanic Gardens Shade

Steve arrived in Sydney Harbour this morning of 28th January 2017, in his one-man kayak craft, an ocean-worthy miracle of lightness, with a tiny bit of wind sail assist, which was collapsed as the jetty neared. He got a big welcome from those who came to answer the social media event notifications.  Big local groups included, the Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle, ParraCAN, a large contingent from the always ready for music at call Ecopella , and some from the growing Citizens Climate Lobby. We all gathered by 10 o’clock near the Man O’War Jetty, which is next to the Sydney Opera House.

For Steve this was just one of several stops that he will be making on his way to Canberra, as he navigates river or ocean,  or just walking while pulling his Kayak on the road on wheels. Steve has travelled a long way, acquiring a lot of stories to tell. He has authored a book from his journey down rivers in Australia – “Cry Me a River”. He continues to provide updates and next itinerary on his website, and his site has a big link to this climate emergency petition of course.

I hope Steve gets all the way to be a celebrated big part of presenting an overwhelming number of petition signatures to the Australia Federal Government, on 25th February. A big thank you to all of those keen people who are doing the work of petition gathering.

It was a humid hot beginning to a big morning. Many passing members of public, visitors to the Botanic Gardens and nearby foreshore area, found themselves contributing their signatures and details, in a majority of cases. On Australia Day just two days ago, ParraCAN members had already been busy in Parramatta Park collecting many signatures, from among those coming to those big public celebrations set up by Parramatta Council.

Welcome Party

The welcome parties began arriving early, and soon all were grateful for the ample shade of a few impressive trees of the nearby parts of the Botanic Gardens, overlooking the jetty.  Picnic planners and providers, had brought enough for a small picnic and refreshments table.  By the time of the big arrival, their were about 80 participants altogether.

Ecopella ready to sing, making this event special
Amphibious kayak with wheels

After bringing his craft onto land, everyone headed back to the picnic shade, for the official welcome to country, speeches and refreshment. The attached wheels make an easy transition to land travel.

Overcoming AGW Denial

The “Connecting Climate Chaos” to our own behaviour is still an ongoing problem.

Speeches and interruptions
Speeches and interruptions

In the background is a Botanic Gardens security vehicle, with two personnel who seemed to think that this was entirely their land, and people with even a tiny portable microphone and speaker, banners and placards, must be foreign intruders. Nevertheless, a ParraCAN banner was re-unfurled briefly just as they were leaving. In the blue shirt in the middle is Steve Posselt, looking very fit and stable on land. Left is David Hook, speaking clearly in his natural loud voice.

Other speakers included Kate Smolski, from the NCC, a representative from Sydney Council on Clover Moore’s team, and of course Steve Posselt.  Nothing was said that wasn’t a surprise to all of these climate-aware activists, words were brief but sincere, and it all felt very good to be there, in one of the most iconic beautiful spots in Sydney, next to the water, in overwhelming sunny weather. David Hook was probably the most academically qualified to speak.

David mentioned the Climate Change Policy statement put out by the “Engineers Australia”, as late as 2014, which includes the clear statement that

Engineers Australia accepts the comprehensive scientific basis regarding climate change, the influence of anthropogenic global warming, and that climate change can have very serious community

consequences.

Engineers in Australia have a great capacity to give technical help on climate problems, but too many area still working on the old fossil fuel ways, and being paid to do things the old ways. Perhaps political change of direction is required first. Have we had such a clear statement from our political parties? Too many personal political statements begin with the words “I’m not a climate scientist”, and go downhill from there.  Now climate change is an emergency we at least need to get politicians to acknowledge that climate change is a human – caused emergency.

Are the findings of climate change science so difficult to accept? Do you need to be a biological scientist with degrees and peer-reviewed results in order to know how babies are made? The cause and consequences of our global greenhouse enhancement have been well known for several decades. We fight against denial and inaction of vested interests of our fossil – fuel powered civilization.

Global warming, causing climate change, whatever the details in the past,  is now being forced by human beings. We are making the greenhouse effect much stronger, very quickly, by adding lots more more greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, into the atmosphere, from burning fossil fuels. The rest is details, which a lot of people still manage to understand.

No politician ever needs to be a scientist to understand this. It has been common knowledge for more than a hundred years already. We cannot afford to be paying for politicians who won’t make the connection.

Stop the global party, its an emergency

If and when will these bloody stupid minded fossil fueled blockers ever learn?  Denial is a strong human trait, related to death denial, self-esteem, tribal identity. Human understanding sometimes a strange a mix of Religion, Magic, and Science. So we are already inclined to be persuaded against our better interests by those who can manipulate a large choice of leverage points, which make the work of con-artists so much easier.

When politics becomes largely driven by vested interest, paid for by party donations, and abuses trust, it causes the biggest bugger-up by stupidity in democracy. It is a culpable corruption. Are not these people traitors to their nation?   These puppets of foreign vested fossil fuel interests or billionaires, such as Donald Trump by his billionaire backer. Such people need to be locked up, and not tolerated as elected or public officials. “Oh, you mean those fossil fuel emissions”!

Its a One Coal Nation Party in operation in Canberra, as Liberals cosy up to One Nation on WA election preferences, leaving the Nationals behind.

Maybe we should get all “Pauline Hanson”-ite against climate change denial. Denial (including theOne Nation senator Malcolm Roberts) aims to prevent public acknowledgement of a climate change emergency. Denial needs to get called out more often than it does.  The emergency is we need to speed up what little progress we have made on collective mitigation. Their is a pervasive undertow of corruption of democracy, which seems to be biased towards interests of very rich people. We have miss-understood exponential growth, and failed to identify resource depletion, and ignored system limits. At the same time we keep trying new ways to continue our dependency on fossil fuels. The result is a visible waste of growth of generations to build a house of cards, an entire set-up of civilization has has been built with supports that are ready to collapse very soon. The networked global links of fossil fuel energy systems have oil supply as their weakest links, ready to collapse, another kind of emergency on the way.

We needed to learn to become fossil fuel free as soon as possible. There is now no more “More”. Now it looks like the quickest option is steer into collapse.  Carbon emissions reductions need to be much faster than current political proposals, which are figments of imagined mitigation timetables, incompatible with delusions of continued economic growth, still promised by political parties. We still don’t get the term “emergency”. Everyone’s emission target reduction dates are way past their terms of office. It is still full speed ahead, with all privileges being served, for the first class passengers cum drivers of our Titanic Civilisation.

Back to the arts of denial

Ecopella performed their climate change denial song in the form of a tango. Its a song made by “Men with Day Jobs”, which was performed it in 2015 together with Ecopella, at big climate change march in Sydney. Remember this?

The Denial Tango

 Finally we took our leave, packed up, and I found myself going to the next activist meeting or event, kicked on with a dose of caffeine. The meeting just happened to be on that afternoon and I was without a committed plan for something else.  Climate change related events, meetings, talks and forums, are happening all over the place, every week, except in important places where insight is blocked by the back quarters of political denial. This has to be changed, as now there is no escape from climate change for us, our descendants, and all the other species not quite yet made the extinction list. There should be no escape for politicians who are trying to escape from hearing it mentioned frequently
Iconic location before the flood

Everyone has their work cut out for them, because we can’t easily cut out politicians from the corrupt system that keeps feeding itself at our expense. This is a real emergency.

Westmead Hospital could lose up to $650 million in federal funding over the next decade

The Greens candidate for Parramatta, Phil Bradley today said “The Parramatta Greens condemn the changes made to Federal-State funding arrangements in the 2014 Federal Coalition’s budget, which saw $57 billion axed from local hospitals over the next decade. The Turnbull government’s recent budget restored only $2.9 billion of these cuts. Based on this, figures provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office and hospital bed figures provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimate has been made that Westmead Hospital could lose up to $650 million in federal funding over the next decade. This is roughly the equivalent of 400 hospital beds, or 700 nurses, or 400 doctors’ salaries each year!”

“On the other hand, The Greens support phasing out the Private Health Insurance Rebate. This will return more than $50 billion over the next decade for reinvestment directly  in the public health system.  This would fund the growth in hospital costs for well over a decade and allow for a greater investment in primary care, including dental care and other allied health services. The savings would also support lower patient to nurse ratios in all hospital units throughout NSW, especially in intensive care units.”

Mr Bradley added “As the Greens candidate for Parramatta, I will work with Greens MPs for these ratios to be made mandatory in the nurses’ Award. Ratios should also be extended to the community health system. There is plenty of well researched evidence that improved ratios not only save thousands of lives, but also lead to better heath outcomes and save overall health system costs.”

Medicare must also be protected with dental and mental health services included in it.

“The Greens see health as an investment, not a cost. Ensuring that our health system will always be accessible, affordable and universal is our priority because patients must be at the heart of the system. By closing  major tax loopholes for the rich we can then invest much of the savings in healthcare, so that we can take advantage of new life-enhancing treatments,  improve access to health services and reduce out-of-pocket costs.”

“Last week, the Greens also announced an amazing new mental health policy which based on population, would mean at least $300 million additional funding for mental health over the next four years for NSW. This will provide better support of the mental health and wellbeing of NSW people, including in Parramatta with a renewed focus on primary care,” Mr Bradley added.

For more information, please contact Phil Bradley Greens Candidate for Parramatta  on 0425 265 170.

Greens vision for a clean transport future includes $500 million for Parramatta Light Rail

The Parramatta Greens welcomed the Australian Greens’ announcement of a dedicated $10 billion funding allocation over four years, to prioritise the public transport that Australians need to fix traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make our cities and towns healthy and liveable.
“After years of neglect it’s time to invest in public transport and give people the choice to leave their car at home,” said Senator Janet Rice, the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport and infrastructure.

The Greens candidate for Parramatta, Phil Bradley said, “People in Western Sydney are fed up with wasting their precious time stuck in traffic. It’s stressful and creates wasteful fossil fuel pollution which contributes to dangerous climate change. The exorbitant $16.8 billion WestConnex $11 one-way toll road will only worsen traffic congestion during its construction and in ten years will be just as congested as the M4 is now!
“What Western Sydney and Parramatta need urgently is more light and heavy rail, creating efficient public transport cross connections to existing rail lines radiating from Sydney.
“Instead of polluting toll roads, the Greens will invest an initial $10 billion over four years as the first instalment in a ten year $25 billion commitment to prioritise clean energy driven public transport works. The Greens’ commitment for public transport will turbo-charge priority projects still awaiting federal funding contributions, including $500m of federal money for the urgently needed Parramatta light rail system from the $1 billion Sydney light rail allocation. There will also be about $125m to upgrade NSW buses to hybrid/electric buses, which are quieter and less polluting,” added Mr Bradley.
In addition, the $10 billion four year Greens clean transport plan will:

  • Establish an annual $250 million Active Transport Fund for cycling and walking infrastructure.
  • Fast track desperately needed high speed intercity rail powered by clean energy to obviate the need for an extravagant polluting 24X7 Western Sydney Airport.
  • Commit an additional $500 million to shift freight onto rail through new rail freight lines.
  • Invest an additional $250m in arterial road works to maximise efficient traffic flow and enable better bus services to suburban and outer-urban communities.
  • Commit to $300 million in additional funding for the Black Spot road safety program.
  • Accelerate the electric vehicle revolution through $201 million in infrastructure and fleet grants, and five years’ worth of free registration for new fully electric vehicles.

For further information contact : Phil Bradley on 0425 265 170

Liberal Party betrays Parramatta business on NBN

Phil Bradley, Greens candidate for Parramatta, is challenging the Liberal candidate Michael Beckwith to support business, jobs and sustainable growth by backing high speed internet for Parramatta.
“In the twenty first century, business needs high speed broadband, just like it needed telephones last century,” Mr Bradley said. “Without a good internet service, Parramatta business will be limited to using outdated technology, while the rest of the world roars ahead.”
“Parramatta is ideally positioned near the geographic centre of Sydney, and should become a hub for business and for employment. But with the Liberals’ fibre to the node (FTTN) mixed with the old copper network, Parramatta will be severely constrained from competing nationally and globally.
“In the past, states and cities attracted business by offering cheap power (like the aluminium smelters at Bell Bay and Tomago), roads and rail (to serve agriculture, mining and other industries) and when all else failed, the government even offered reduced taxes. In the twenty first century, governments overseas are offering high speed internet.
“The experience of cities that have invested in 1000 Mbps broadband shows that it is a catalyst for all types of business. It is not just about streaming movies as the Liberals seem to think. It is about online retailing, supply chain management, media production, using 3D printing instead of holding inventory. It is about industrial design, professional services, financial services and medical imaging. It is about e-commerce, high-tech startups, transport management and more. Above all, it is about business and jobs. The possibilities are endless. And these possibilities will be denied to Parramatta if we accept the Liberals’ substandard ‘NBN light’, based on last century technology.
“However the most important part is the ability to upgrade a network. Fibre to the node will be overloaded and out of date by the time it is completed. Worse, it cannot be easily upgraded to cope with increased demand. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) will have capacity for a decade or more, using current technology, but better still, new technology is becoming available to upgrade fibre to the premises to ten or a hundred times its current capacity, without a major rebuild. Fibre to the premises will “future proof” Parramatta for decades.
Mr Bradley continued, ”Current estimates show that the costs of FTTP and FTTN are about the same, although the high speed, upgradeable FTTP might take a bit longer to complete. The Liberals are building a substandard, slow speed network. Parramatta needs a high speed, state of the art network (with space for growth) even if it means waiting an extra year.
“In short, the Liberals’ “fraudband” will be out of date before it is completed, condemning Parramatta to become a business backwater. The Greens proposal of FTTP will provide Parramatta with a springboard for innovation, sustainable business growth and increased secure employment.”

For further information contact:

Phil Bradley, Greens Candidate for Parramatta:  0425 265 170

Greens at Granville

A great night at Granville with Parramatta Greens hosting Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale, NSW lead Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Mehreen Faruqi MLC and about 12 Greens candidates. Almost 120 attended and applauded the Greens’ great policies addressed and explained in Richard’s enthusiastic speech. Go Greens!!

GreensGranville-2016-05

Welcome Refugees at Parramatta Park : Challenge to Coalition and Labor Policy

 Organised by Parramatta Greens, and Co-Hosted by The Refugee Action Coalition and People Just Like Us

The Parramatta Greens today urged the old Parties to end their cruel treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

A Welcome Refugees Picnic held this week in Parramatta was attended by nearly 40 people, including refugees from South Sudan, Syria, Sri Lanka, Iran and Iraq. Greens candidate for Parramatta, Phil Bradley spoke to those at the Picnic, saying “We challenge the old major parties to acknowledge before the federal election, that seeking asylum is a human right and that sending refugees to offshore prison camps must stop. Refugees are fleeing wars, torture, threats of death and persecution by discriminatory regimes. These people need our help, not further inhumane treatment. Others also need to be welcomed, such as our Pacific Island neighbours who are being forced to abandon their homes due to climate change.”

Lead Greens Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon, who welcomed the refugees to the picnic, said, “Earlier this month some refugees on Nauru passed 1,000 days in detention. Rather than turning men, women and children who are seeking asylum away, we should be welcoming them to our country. The Greens policy will continue to call on the Liberal, National and Labor parties to increase our humanitarian intake from refugee camps to at least 50, 000 people per year.”

Some of the refugees at the Picnic gave powerful accounts of their terrifying experiences.

A refugee from Syria described how his country now has almost nothing left to sustain people’s lives. No jobs, no infrastructure. Battles, bombing and ISIS have destroyed almost everything. He referred to the Australian government’s promise to accept 12,000 Syrian refugees. He said that because of slowness of bureaucratic processes, only a few hundred have been processed so far, when at least 4,000 were supposed to be here by last Christmas. He congratulated Canada for managing in the same time period to process and accept 26,000 Syrian refugees.

A Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka said that he fled for his life during the 2002-4 civil war and that had he remained he may not have survived the May 2009 massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils. He said that conflict and repression of Tamils is still ongoing. He is now a successful businessman.

A South Sudanese refugee spoke about spending 14 years in a refugee camp in North Uganda, which the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army raided, stealing food and raping women. There were no facilities at first, until NGOs later added some basic support. He depended on scholarship aid to get an education and got to Australia via a “re-union” program in 2004, as his brother had arrived in Australia much earlier. He is now fully employed in community service helping the disadvantaged.

A young woman whose Iraqi parents fled from Saddam Hussein’s terror regime, told us she was born in a refugee camp. She is now employed to support young people into “transition to work programs”. She urged us to continue supporting refugees to adapt to our society and to find productive jobs.

For further information, including contact with the relevant refugees, phone

Phil Bradley Greens Candidate for Parramatta – 0425 265 170

Senator Lee Rhiannon’s media officer Freya Newman – 0411 669 022

 

90 Storey Aspire Tower an Inefficient, Expensive Monstrosity for Parramatta

The Greens candidate for Parramatta Phil Bradley today said: “I’m amazed that the 70-90 Storey Aspire tower was described in the Parramatta Sun in such glowing terms. I think most people would think it an inefficient monstrosity, totally out of context with other lower height buildings nearby and premature without the additional public services necessary for its hundreds of additional residents.
It will be thermally inefficient because of the high external surface to floor area ratio – this means high energy bills and more carbon emissions. Structurally inefficient because of high wind stresses due to its excessive height and high surface to floor area, and due to high foundation loads – this means higher building and buyer costs.
Hydraulically inefficient due to the extremely high water pressures needed for upper level fire protection – this means higher costs and possibly greater fire risk.
Socially inefficient and alienating as is  recognised by social science experts for high rise structures.
Expensive because of all of the above. The building will be an ugly eye-sore rather than the euphemistic architect’s description ‘highly recognisable on the skyline’ because it will stand out like the proverbial ‘sore thumb’.”
Mr Bradley added, “Unfortunately, the designers were stuck with a Council brief to design a 90 storey building on a relatively very small site with the top 20 storeys infringing aircraft safety surfaces. I think the hundreds of Parramatta home seekers and those overshadowed by this building would much prefer one with affordable housing and no more than 30 storeys high.
For further information, please contact Phil Bradley on 0425 265 170.

Greens Preferences in Parramatta Electorate still likely to be decisive

The Greens today announced Phil Bradley as their candidate for the electorate of Parramatta in the federal election this year. Mr Bradley will work with NSW Greens lead Senate candidate, Lee Rhiannon during the campaign with a view to banning political donations from developers and mining companies.

Mr Bradley said, “With Parramatta being a marginal electorate, our Greens supporters’ preferences are likely to again be critical in deciding the winner, as they did in 2013.

Greens NSW anti-corruption spokesperson Jamie Parker MP has already given notice in the NSW Parliament of a new bill to reduce corruption risk by banning political donations from mining companies.

Mr Bradley added, “Senator Lee Rhiannon presented a similar bill to the Senate, but both major parties have opposed limiting political donations and they voted against the Greens plan to form a national ICAC.

“In considering our How to Vote recommendation, the Parramatta Greens will give strong consideration as to whether the Liberal and Labor candidates have publicly supported formation of a Federal ICAC and a ban on political donations from the mining, development, tobacco, alcohol and gambling industries.

The Greens see both old parties leaping to the right, especially in their support for overdevelopment, subsidising the polluting fossil fuel industry with many billions of dollars of our taxes ($30-40B in 2015 says IMF) and in their inhumane treatment of refugees”, Mr Bradley said.

“The Greens are the only party prepared to act against dangerous climate change by cutting subsidies, banning mining corporations’ donations to political parties, and by placing a moratorium on any new coal mines and coal seam gas extraction, such as was proposed close to Parramatta at Prospect. Instead, we will fund a green jobs-rich economy powered by clean renewable energy by stopping the billions of dollars now being squandered on fossil fuel subsidies for the big mining corporations. Higher taxes on the excessive profits of the big banks and mining companies would also help to provide:

• billions more to our schools than the current Gonski proposal, more funding for job skills training in TAFE and for the reversal of university funding cuts; 

• major public transport and health improvements;

• more affordable social housing; 

• restoration of support for struggling single parents; 

• and much more”, said Mr Bradley.

“I have worked closely with Senator Rhiannon on a number of local Parramatta campaigns including protecting the Female Factory Precinct’s heritage value from overdevelopment. Senator Rhiannon’s motion on this issue was passed by the Senate.

Mr Bradley urges people to VOTE 1 GREENS including for Greens lead NSW Senate candidate Senator Lee Rhiannon, for a healthy, caring and equitable Australia.

For further information, please contact Phil on 0425 265 170.

Coalition disrespects local democracy and Greens call for constitutional protection

The decision of the NSW Coalition to push for forced mergers of local councils builds on years of disrespect for democracy by the Coalition at every level of government. To preserve local democracy the Greens are renewing the call to protect local government in the Commonwealth Constitution.
Whether it is supporting property developers running for local council, selling the public electricity grid or allowing rivers of corporate donations to political parties, the story is always the same. Now the Coalition is again backing big business instead of ordinary residents. Forced amalgamations is only the latest in this series of attacks on our democracy.
Our local councils have the respect and support of the great majority of local residents and only an out of touch Premier would miss this.
Parramatta Greens convenor Phil Bradley said:
“. . .We Parramatta Greens oppose the proposed forced council amalgamations, as most people believe that as many decisions as possible should be made at a local level. This starts with deciding on the size and shape of your own local council. As councils get bigger they become more dismissive of the needs of local communities. This means less effective service to locals.
. . .Parramatta Greens will promote protection of local government through Constitutional recognition as one of the key themes in the Federal election.
. . . We will work with Parramatta, Holroyd and Auburn Council residents to keep their councils local!”
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has also said:
“. . .The Greens want to protect local democracy and this means guaranteeing its existence in the Commonwealth Constitution.
. . .For too long local government has been the plaything of arrogant state governments and it’s time we levelled the playing field by giving local councils constitutional recognition.
. . . The Baird Coalition government is making a blatant power grab with its forced amalgamations push and communities are awake to this.”
For further information, please contact:
Phil Bradley
Convenor of Parramatta Greens
0425 265 170