Victorian desalination plant may send the state broke!

A forum held at Wonthaggi on Saturday 22nd May heard some shocking revelations about Victoria's desalination plant.

Secrecy surrounding the contracts between the government and the desalination consortium led Kenneth Davidson, a senior journalist at the Age, to question the Victorian Auditor General. Mr Davidson found evidence of further secret contracts and indications of the real cost of the plant. “$900 million a year will eventually come from the pockets of Victorians, to pay for the desalination plant and its water”.

He considers this amount to be unaffordable and could send the state broke within five to ten years.

Gunns case shows we need anti-slapp laws in Victoria

Victorian Greens justice spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MLC, today welcomed the news that the final four defendants in the long-running Gunns 20 case can finally get on with their lives.

"More than five years has passed since Gunns issued their terrible writ against the 20 defendants", Ms Pennicuik said. "Now, on the eve of going to trial, Gunns Ltd has pulled the pin and opted to pay out the remaining four defendants, rather than go to trial".

Court upholds public interest in Brown Mountain forest proceedings

The Supreme Court today refused VicForests' application for up to $163,000 in security from a small environment group. VicForests was asking for this sum to be secured before a court injunction is granted to stop logging on Brown Mountain. 

"If EEG had been required to pay such a large sum of money, it could have stifled an important piece of public interest litigation", said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood. 

VicForests sued for illegal logging

Today, Environment East Gippsland commenced proceedings against VicForests in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

A writ was filed with the court this morning and has just been served on VicForests.

“We ask the Court for a permanent injunction to stop VicForests from logging Brown Mountain” said Jill Redwood, Coordinator of EEG. “We also ask the Court to declare that the logging of Brown Mountain is unlawful”.

Wildfire Recovery

After the tragic fires in February which cost so many lives and destroyed thousands of homes, the Victorian community opened their hearts and produced an overwhelming response. More than 180 million dollars was generously donated to the bushfire appeal and tens of thousands of people registered to volunteer their time.

There will be further opportunities for volunteers as the longer term effort is required to rebuild communities. This webpage is a collection of contact details and organisations that are involved in the recovery and rebuilding.

Hartland report challenges government on recycling

Greens MLC Colleen Hartland has released a report that details the financial, social and environmental benefits of a 10c deposit on drink bottles, challenging the Victorian government position on the scheme.

"I commissioned this report to show that a 10c deposit system is not only good for the environment, but also makes sound financial sense. It takes the packaging industry spin, and unspins it"

Heartbreak at Brown Mountain

Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik visited the Brown Mountain area over the Australia Day  weekend and described the destruction of the old growth forest to the east of Brown Mountain Creek as 'heartbreaking'.

"I spent Sunday morning walking through one fantastic stand of old growth to the west of Brown Mountain Creek, where trees with 11 and 12 metre circumferences towered above us. They could be up to 400 years old," said Ms Pennicuik. Anyone who went there could only be awed and inspired and would want to see it protected.

"I was devastated to then visit an adjacent area that has been clear felled by Vic Forests over November and December. To see what just a few weeks ago was magnificent rainforest smashed to pieces is just terrible. It is senseless. Giant trees that have lived for hundreds of years and were home to threatened species have been just knocked to the ground in what now resembles a moonscape.

VicForest breaches law at Brown Mountain

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik drove up to Brown Mt to witness the destruction and breaches of the law which have been occurring. She spoke with contractors (in Stony Creek) and spoke with protesters. Walked into these areas - where there has been rainforest logging, the illegal taking of a giant tree outside the designated logging boundary and where there is much evidence of the illegal taking of burls (commercial operation).

Parliament can block desalination plant approval

Greens MLC's in the state Parliament will try and block the approval of the desalination plant. "We will move a motion of disallowance when Mr Madden tables planning scheme amendments in the Upper House this year" said Greg Barber. 

Video Clip of Brown Mountain

Please check out this brand new 3 1/2 minute clip on Brown Mt and send it to everyone you can think of. Thanks (it's my first effort at making a YouTube video).

Wean Melbourne from the Murray

Sir, I write in response to your article 'Mitchell Dam supporters slammed' (Bairnsdale Advertiser 31/10) in the interest of setting your readers and Mr Craig Ingram MP straight.

For many years the Australian Greens have been campaigning for better amd more sustainable environmental flows for river systems across this country. This, of course, includes the once-might Murray River. We oppose the north-south pipeline because of the precious water that would be extracted from an already stressed river system.

Logging on Brown Mountain is state sanctioned vandalism

Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik said today that logging at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland is state sanctioned vandalism and a blatant overturning of the ALP's 2006 commitment to protect old growth forests in East Gippsland.

Turning point in campaign against desalination plant as Bob Brown joins protest

Bob Brown has thrown his support behind the campaign against the desalination plant near Wonthaggi.  The Greens leader will fly down to the Bass Coast site for a protest rally today.

The rally against the $3.1 billion plant will be addressed by Senator Brown and Greens lead Senate candidate in Victoria Richard Di Natale.


Three Greens MPs visit Eden Chipmill

Greens MPs from Victoria, NSW and the ACT will converge on South East NSW to step up the Greens campaign to end the logging of native forests.

Greens MPs Sue Pennicuik (Vic), Lee Rhiannon (NSW) and Deb Foskey (ACT) will visit Eden Chipmill and the South East forests area.

Latrobe Valley takes the first bite at a new future.

The people of the Latrobe Valley have responded to the need to change to a clean sustainable future said Greens candidate, Dr Malcolm McKelvie.

“The Greens primary vote in the Latrobe Valley has grown significantly this election while the ALP vote has fallen which shows more people are aware of the need to move away from the pollution and global warming coal industry to a better, more sustainable future in renewables and associated manufacturing.

Bob Brown Visits Traralgon

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown will be campaigning in Gippsland tomorrow with Greens candidate Dr Malcolm McKelvie.

Senator Brown and Dr McKelvie will hold a press conference tomorrow morning at 12.30pm to discuss the Greens’ policy to reduce power bills and greenhouse gas emissions by retrofitting houses for energy efficiency and the Greens’ policy to increase aged pensions by $30 a week, which has been adopted by the Liberal candidate.

  12.30pm – Press conference with Senator Bob Brown, Australian Greens Leader and

A brown budget with green tinges - Coal corporations are the winners

Greens candidate for Gippsland Dr Malcolm McKelvie has said the first Rudd / Swan Budget fails miserably to meet the urgent challenge of climate change.

"Labor is spending $44 on defence to every $1 to tackle climate change. Yet this is the most urgent issue facing Gippsland, Australia and the globe."

Health system disadvantages rural areas

Greens candidate, Dr Malcolm Mckelvie, is calling for a root and branch overhaul of Australia’s health system to make it fairer and more efficient. Dr McKelvie believes Gippsland is a classic example of the system being stretched to breaking point.

Gippsland by-election date set

The Federal by-election in the Victorian seat of Gippsland will be held on June 28th.

The Speaker for the Federal House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins will issue a writ on May the 19th. It will be a 40-day campaign.

Both the Liberals and Nationals have held official campaign launches, but the ALP has been waiting for the date of the by-election to be announced.

The Former National Party MP, Peter McGauran, announced his resignation from the seat in early April to take up a job in the racing industry.

Backlash is unlikely: McGauran

FOR the first time in 86 years the Federal National Party faces the prospect of losing the seat of Gippsland.

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