AUSTRALIA DAY – TIME FOR CELEBRATION OR MOURNING?
These are difficult days. With a mainstream media dedicated to excluding critical environmental issues, an increasing domination of regional newspapers by Murdoch, Australians are subjected to a barrage of what can only be described as propaganda and spin.
US writer, Naomi Klein hit the nail on the head with her description of the Trump Presidency as a ‘corporate coup d’etat’. Much the same thing is happening in Australia with a PM who carps on daily about the need for the Trans Pacific Partnership ( even if it is dead in the water) and how this country must have international free trade so we can have schools, hospitals, roads etc.
Trouble is, if we look back at the same promises which made up the regular spin from the Labor and subsequent Coalition governments on the LNG corporations in Gladstone, we were badly let down. The benefits of the resources industry in this country are simply not visible, but the environmental damage certainly is. The coal mines in the Hunter Valley are shocking to witness. Now yet another Chinese company looks like it will be given consent from the Foreign Investment Board to buy up the formerly owned Rio Tinto coal mine. Coal to be transported to Port of Newcastle now leased to Chinese corporation.
The Reef is in the most vulnerable state with massive coral bleaching and a continuation of warming seawater which will see more damage and more coral bleaching. Yet in the face of this visible evidence combined with the evidence of coral reefs around the world dying off because of climate change, the Turnbull government is supporting the Adani Carmichael mine. The Galilee basin is the site of other massive coal interests and once a rail line is built to Abbot Point ( paid for the taxpayers), the coal industry will be full on. Carbon emissions and coal dust will have a disastrous impact on the Reef, it’s going to take some kind of unknown miracle if this majestic natural heritage is to survive.
Climate change is hardly worth mentioning in terms of the Turnbull government other than to promote efforts to eradicate the renewable energy target. Australians are hostage to ” jobs and growth” and the big stick being increased electricity prices if we don’t give up on renewable energy. Hmm. not sure how solar panels and wind energy contribute to higher electricity costs.
Our wildlife is under siege. We are losing species at a dramatic level. The appalling Baird government pushed through the badly named Biodiversity Conservation Act which repealed the Threatened Species legislation, Native Vegetation Act, sections of the National Parks & Wildlife Service Act putting all threatened, vulnerable and endangered wildlife remaining in NSW at risk. Protests have been hindered by Baird’s legislation which promises 7 year imprisonment terms for any protest. Yet the mainstream media has fawned over this man, describing him as an honourable, compassionate politician.
Not one word about the environmental catastrophe which is Baird’s legacy. His refusal to listen to those who disagreed with him. His dreadful Minister for Planning Rob Stokes who has taken away any possibility of Council’s approval or disapproval of developments, putting the approval mechanism in the hands of government.
Queensland is a disaster zone. Pauline Hanson is likely to gain a number of members of Parliament in the forthcoming election. People who apparently, like their leader, don’t believe there’s any problems for the Reef.
Meantime, Australia is flooded with immigrants and refugees knocking at the door. This ancient land has an extremely limited carrying capacity. Climate change is impacting water supplies, our farming land is being bought up by foreign interests. Young Australians are being denied the ability to buy houses because of the flood of foreign buyers pushing the market to unreasonable levels.
Australia is in one big mess. This is no time for celebration. Look at what’s happening to the US under Trump. It’s happening here but unfortunately, the mainstream media was long ago taken over by corporate interests so there’s no public voice which mounts opposition. The ABC is no longer objective and the standard of journalism for the most part sucks.
What transpires in the US should be a big red light for Australians. We’re headed down the same path.