26 March, 2009

Premier Bligh Re-arranges the deck chairs on the "Bounty"

The Honourable Anna Bligh


{in a return to the days of Sir Joh - the Queensland Government is consolidated into a dictatorship. Jobs take precedence of ecological sustainable development. The Smart State reverts to the Coal State}

The Queensland Public Service will undergo its most sweeping and significant reform in almost two decades with the existing 23 stand-alone government departments streamlined into 13.
Following the swearing-in of her new look Cabinet today, Premier Anna Bligh announced plans to dramatically modernise Government and deliver better coordination and better service delivery to Queenslanders.

{by better coordination and service delivery - She means you will get sports stadiums, tunnels and freeways whether you like it or not}

Ms Bligh said the shakeup would see the 13 new departments lead by the government's 18 Ministers grouped under six clusters -
* Policy and Fiscal Coordination (selling coal) ,
* Employment and Economic Development (mining coal),
* Environment and Sustainable Resource Management (filling in holes where the coal was) ,
* Social Development (filling in holes where the coal was) ,
* Law, Justice and Safety (protecting coal miners from activists) ,
* Government Services (moving coal around),

- reflecting the Bligh Government's priorities of employment (coal) , social development (coal) , environment (coal holes) and law and justice (all Queenslanders are equal but some are more equal than others).

Ms Bligh stressed there would be no job cuts under the restructure of 23 stand-alone departments into a streamlined 13, with any efficiency savings redirected to front-line services.
"I made a commitment to Queenslanders that I would change the face (facade) of this Government and deliver better front-line services and to do this, Queensland requires a modern public service structure," Ms Bligh said.

"This is about simplifying Government, reducing bureaucracy and cutting red tape." (fast tracking coal mines, rail for coal mines, solids to liquids and keeping Queenslanders dependant on coal, cars and cows).

"Under the changes, similar or complimentary departments will be grouped together under six clusters encompassing 13 'super departments' to allow better coordination of services (less transparency or democracy).

"For example under the Social Development cluster, the new Communities Department will include Community Services, Housing, Local Government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships, Disability Services and Multicultural Affairs and Child Safety and Sport.

"The new Department of Employment and Economic Development will encompass the new employment and economic development responsibilities of the Treasurer along with Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Trade, Primary Industries, Fisheries and Tourism and Fair Trading.

"Ministerial portfolio responsibilities will remain unchanged and I want to assure all public servants - particularly those on the front-line - that I stand by my commitment to jobs, not job cuts and this reform does not mean jobs will be lost.

Ms Bligh said the changes would be of particular benefit to regional Queensland.
"This will put more regional services under the one roof, making access a lot easier through departmental one-stop-shops."

The new departments are:

* Premier and Cabinet
* Treasury
* Health
* Employment and Economic Development
* Infrastructure and Planning
* Transport and Main Roads
* Environment and Resource Management
* Communities
* Education and Training
* Justice and Attorney-General
* Police
* Community Safety
* Public Works

Ms Bligh said the Machinery of Government changes would take effect immediately.
"I have told my new Ministers I want them to hit the ground running, and I have told my Director-General that I expect the same of these new departments.
"I want to see the efficiency of services at the front-line as quickly as possible," she said.
26 March 2009
Media: 3224 4500

21 March, 2009

Queenslanders have no real options - Democracy is failing us

Today Queenslanders will decide who leads our great State through the biggest challenge of modern times - the Global Financial Crisis.

{and the challenge of addressing anthropogenic climate change will not be addressed by Labor or the Liberal-National Party}

This election gives Queenslanders a clear choice;

{like choosing between syphilis and gonorrhea}

A choice between my Government's experienced leadership team, or Lawrence Springborg's untried and untested front bench - only Labor can provide stable majority government.

{by stable - she means autocratic}

A choice between my plan to shield the Queensland economy from the impact of the financial crisis,

{by continuing to exploit the natural environment like there is no tomorrow}

or Lawrence Springborg's plan to cut $1 billion by scrapping thousands of jobs in construction and vital services. How will that help our hospitals and schools?

{a tenuous leap of logic between jobs and hospitals and schools: by construction, she is referring to:
  • more roads for motor vehicles;
  • rail for coal miners;
  • centralised services like the water grid

During my 17 months as Premier, I've worked hard to keep Queensland strong.

{by strong she means arrogant and pig headed - particularly about Traveston Crossing Dam}

But I know my Government must work even harder to keep up with our rapidly growing population.

{rather than address the issue of population directly through regional planning and urban development plans}

That's why we've embarked on our record $17 billion building program - the biggest in the nation - that's creating 119,000 jobs.

{building stuff like shallow, leaky dams, sports stadiums and more freeways, bridges and tunnels for motor vehicles, whether we need it or not - with little thought to the consequences on Greenhouse gas emissions}

Unlike Lawrence Springborg, I won't cut those projects and will press ahead with building the roads, schools and hospitals we need for our future and protecting those precious jobs.

{precious jobs in the coal sector - who are funding the Government and the Opposition's election campaign}

My Government will work harder to support Queenslanders by further improving public services. Over the next three years, we'll deliver 1000 extra teachers, more literacy and numeracy programs in our schools, an extra 600 police, and 3500 extra doctors, nurses and allied health workers.
We'll continue investing in the nation's fastest growing health budget and build or rebuild 10 major hospitals around the State.

{treating the symptoms of a health crisis rather than community based preventative health strategies to keep people out of hospital}

My priority is protecting jobs because behind every job is a working family. I believe that at times like these, government must do more, not less, to give working families the support they need.
It has been a great honour to serve as Premier of Queensland. With your support, I'll continue to work hard to keep Queensland strong. Thank you.

17 March, 2009


what we do to earn a "living" seems so remote from what we need to live.

Late last year, I quit my cushy job with the public service. I have been attempting to forge out an existence as a mercenary envioromental consultant. Work has been erratic and teh bust of the resources boom has sent shock waves through the Engineering Consulting community.
A couple of weeks ago, I began Environmental Management within the built environment at its most fundamental.

I have taken a casual job, emptying garbage bins and cleaning toilets within the central business district.

During the week I am collecting:
By volume

* 40% MX newspapers ( a local free commuter newspaper);
* 20% bottled water containers;
* 10% soft drink bottles;
* 10% Juice foam containers;
* 10% putricibles - food scraps;
* 5% aluminium cans;
* cigarette butts and miscellaneous stuff

On the weekends there is less MX and more glass bottles....

I wrote the following to the Editor of the MX afternoon edition Newspaper:

"I just started a new job this week, picking up rubbish in the city. I just wanted to thank you (and the City’s smokers) for creating me a job. Please keep your editorial content at its current level. The front cover seems to create just enough interest for people to pick up a copy of your illustrious publication, before throwing it away (sometimes in a bin)."

Last night, they rolled out a red carpet across Elizabeth Street and while I walked the streets, emptying bins and sweeping the footpaths, the Prime Minister dined at the Irish Club. Had an American President been dining at the Irish club, they may have cordoned off the city and had secret service people everywhere.

As I cleaned the street, I compared my job to the Prime Minister's job. I think I am on a better deal. I don't take work home with me. I have reasonable flexible working hours. I don't have a great deal of stress. I wondered if the Prime Minister is on an hourly rate? I wondered if he gets paid extra when it rains?

My other thoughts last night centred around all the things I could do, that would make my job redundant. I have figured out the composition of the waste. I know the major point sources of waste generation. I have figured out cleaner production strategies for reducing the quantity of solid waste. I have even worked out strategies for resource recovery and waste minimisation that do not involved "Dumpster Diving".

14 March, 2009

my correspondence with the ACCC

5th March 2009

Neverfail bottled springwater Coca Cola Amatil

To whom it may concern,

Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) market a product called "Neverfail" with a slogan: Neverfail Springwater...the way nature intended it to be!

I have not consulted nature, but last time I checked water in high density polyethylene bottles delvered by road transport does not appear to be the way she intended....

CCA are marketing Neverfail as: "Authentic Australian spring water with a refreshing clean taste and crystal-clear presentation In reality, to obtain the taste and the presentation, the water is more likely to be processed through energy intensive continous microfiltration plants .....

I would be really interested to see the life cycle analysis and the GHG emissions associated with this form of water treatment & distribution....

I believe CCA and Neverfail are misrepresenting "Nature"....surely this is a breach of the Trade Practices Act....

Rowan Barber

Dear Mr Rowan Barber,

Thank you for your email of 5 March to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding Coca Cola Amatil.

The role of the ACCC is to ensure compliance with the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA), which is designed to encourage fair trading and discourage anti-competitive conduct through a specific set of competition and consumer protection rules.

Section 52 of the TPA prohibits corporations engaged in trade or commerce from engaging in behaviour that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. While the claim that the bottled water is intended by nature might be difficult to sustain, it should be appreciated that there is a fine line between mere exaggeration on the one hand and misleading conduct on the other. The courts have recognised that a degree of latitude is to be allowed in relation to advertising. It is, by its nature, likely to reflect the enthusiasm of the advertiser to place its product or service in a favourable light and consumers generally understand this. The test to be applied is one of reasonableness. Ordinary readers can and do read between the lines in the light of general experience and knowledge. Accordingly, it is the view of this office that a court is unlikely to consider the any such representation made by Coca Cola Amatil would be misleading or deceptive.

In assessing any complaint, staff of the ACCC would generally determine whether or not the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the TPA, whether or not there appears to have been a breach of the TPA, and if so, whether the impact of the conduct is so serious and widespread that it is appropriate that the ACCC should take some action.

As part of its role the ACCC also monitors emerging trends across consumer and business complaints to determine whether there is a pattern of behaviour by a particular trader or in a particular industry that requires attention. In this regard, your complaint has been recorded and is an important part of our ongoing analysis.

Thank you for contacting the ACCC and I hope that the above information is of some assistance.

Yours sincerely,

ACCC Infocentre
1300 302 502

Extreme Litter Heroes

Now here's a little story
To tell it is a must
About an unsung hero
That moves away your dust
Some people make a fortune
Other's earn a mint
My child's old man don't earn much
In fact....he's flippin'.....skint

Oh, my child's old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he works for a council rat
He looks a proper narner
In his great big hob nailed boots
He's got such a job to pull em up
That he calls them daisy roots

Though my child's old man's a dustman
He's got a heart of gold
He started Carbon Counters
Though he's 41 years old

Prima said 'Ear! Hang on Dad
you're getting past your prime
'He said 'Well when you get to my age
''It helps to pass the time'

Oh, my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he works for a council rat

Next time you see a dustman
Looking all tired and sad
Don't kick him in the dustbin
It might be Prima's dad

11 March, 2009

What would I like MARK WOOD to help fix in BRISBANE CENTRAL?

Mark Wood
Candidate for Brisbane Central

Dear Mark,

I just received a flyer from you in the mail, with the question: “What would I like MARK WOOD to help fix in BRISBANE CENTRAL?”

1. Would you please stop Lord Mayor Campbell Newman from building TRANSAPEX and the Northern Link Tunnel for motor vehicles and suggest that he build an iconic public mass transport system instead?
2. Would you consider decentralised water supply systems and allow urine separation, dry composting toilets within urban areas?
3. Would you introduce more decentralised energy generation capacity and a rapid phase out of our reliance on coal fired power?
4. Would you please provide assistance for cattle farmers to transition to growing alternative forms of protein?
5. Would you not only protect Prime Agricultural land from mining but also protect forests from land clearing?

While Health, infrastructure, Schools etc are important the most significant issue for me and my 14 week old embryo is Climate change. One of the most significant global threats today and Extreme Weather (fires, floods, freak events) is of major public concern in Australia. Yet I find that substantive action on climate change within the state of Queensland is sadly lacking. For over ten year period a Federal Liberal-National Government presided over climate change denial. I would be interested to know what has changed in the LNP.

I am campaigning the conservatives to consider cars, coal & cows culpable for climate change.


Rowan Barber
Non-partisan Climate Advocate

09 March, 2009

Qld Greens are too soft core

Our politicians have failed us.

We cannot sit and wait for them to act on Climate change. Clearly they are not going to.

Every consumer choice we make is a vote for or against the planet. If everybody (including industry) stopped buying coal fired electricity, they might actually stop making it.


Rowan Barber

Carbon Counters Pty Ltd


Sent: 09 March 2009 06:24To: 'ronan.lee@parliament.qld.gov.au'; 'leeronan@hotmail.com'; 'Indooroopilly Electorate Office'Cc: 'brisbane.central@qld.greens.org.au'

Subject: FW: Ronan Lee eNews - a commitment to jobs, light rail and new rail links

Ronan Lee
Incumbent Member for Indooroopilly

Dear Ronan,

I am frustrated with the QLD State election campaign. Even the Greens seem to miss the point.

You and Drew have a few ideas but in reality the Greens appear to be so focused on appealing to the mainstream that they are missing the critical issues.

Cars, Coal & Cows cause Climate Catastrophies!

Climate change is one of the most significant global threats today and the issue is of major public concern in Australia. Yet we find that substantive action on climate change within the state of Queensland is sadly lacking.

The reality of the situation is that drastic structural changes will be necessary to break my society's addiction to fossil fuels.

The QLD Greens are still very soft core.


Rowan Barber
Non-Partisan Climate Advocate

From: Indooroopilly Electorate Office [mailto:Indooroopilly@parliament.qld.gov.au]
Sent: 08 March 2009 18:27To: Indooroopilly Electorate Office
Subject: Ronan Lee eNews - a commitment to jobs, light rail and new rail links

Ronan Lee MP - Indooroopilly eNews March 8th, 2009
In this edition:
1. Ronan Lee launches Greens campaign with commitment to jobs, light rail, new rail links
2. Greens announce plans for FREE public transport for students and young people
3. Sustainable jobs package for Queensland
4. Do you need a Postal Vote?

1. Ronan Lee launches Greens campaign with commitment to jobs, light rail, new rail links Ronan Lee yesterday launched the Greens campaign for the Queensland State election with a commitment to a new light rail network for Brisbane, a plan to create jobs by making Queensland the renewable energy and sustainable industry capital of Australia and new rail links to Bellbowrie (via Darra), Toowoomba, Redcliffe and a passenger service for Beaudesert.
New Light Rail Plans The Greens will build a light rail network for the Greater Brisbane area.

This will include:
* A Northern Line to Aspley
* A North-West Line to Bridgeman Downs
* The Gap Line to Brisbane Forest Park
* The Western Line through Kenmore and Moggill, linking up with the Ipswich rail line
* The University of Queensland Line and
* The Eastern Line to Capalaba.
* The South East line – making use of the existing busway.

Queensland’s bus ways are designed to be capable of running light rail and we will make sure that we take full advantage of this.

This light rail network will fill in gaps in the heavy rail system and give Brisbane a world class public transport system. We would be applying to the Federal Government under their new public transport funding program to underwrite part of the cost.

A helping hand for renewable energy to create jobs Our vision for a new Queensland is based on building a diverse, strong economy that pollutes less, generates clean energy and employs more people.

The Greens want Queensland to be the world leader in the creation of green jobs and we want green companies to come to Queensland. These companies sometimes need a helping hand when they are locating in Queensland for the first time.

The old parties were quick to give financial incentives to the Indy car race and Virgin airlines but they have refused the same opportunities for manufactures of solar cells.

For the lack of any meaningful incentive from the State Government the Spark Solar company, which has been given Major Project Facilitation status by the Federal Government and which has the potential to be the largest supplier of solar cells in the Southern Hemisphere, states on its web site that it is looking to base themselves in one of the southern cities. At full production, the factory is initially expected to produce more than 10 million solar cells each year, generating an estimated $135 million in annual export revenue and employing more than 115 Australians in high tech positions.

The Queensland government’s refusal to understand the potential of renewable energy is costing Queenslanders jobs and holding back our economy.

The Greens will waive all State Government levies, fees and charges for any company generating green jobs that comes to Queensland. This won’t cost the taxpayer one cent because these are new companies.

New Rail lines Green action will create jobs by building new rail links to Toowoomba, Redcliffe, Bellbowrie via Darra, a passenger service for Beaudesert and speeding up construction on the Springfield and Sunshine Coast lines.

New trains built in Queensland and new rail lines mean more jobs for Queenslanders, a better transport system, less traffic congestion. This is win-win but the old parties can’t see the job opportunities here.

And we will fund these important commitments from the massive savings that will be made when we stop pointless billion dollar road proposals like the Kenmore Bypass. Our plan will solve transport problems not just shift them the way the old parties would.

2. Greens announce plans for FREE public transport for students and young people The Greens today announced at the University of Queensland Market Day a plan for free public transport for young people in Queensland.Under the Greens' plan young people under 22 years of age and all students would ride free on all trains, buses ferries and CityCats.Greens MP for Indooroopilly Ronan Lee said such a policy was important because it provided young people with free public transport to encourage them to use and learn more about the system before they learned how to drive. This means they were less likely to become habitual car drivers.Students and young people would register for an EasiCard which would use the GoCard system and provide them with free transport."This scheme would cost the State Government $40 million a year but this would be more than compensated for by such benefits as improving safety around schools by reducing the number of vehicles dropping off students," Mr Lee said."This is a congestion-busting policy and would save future governments from having to build new roads."There's a short-term cost to the government with a long-term benefit to the community."
For more info visit: http://www.ronanleemp.com/

3. Sustainable jobs package for Queensland Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and Greens MP Ronan Lee launched a plan to create more than 7600 green-collar jobs in Queensland.
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and Greens MP Ronan Lee launched a plan to create more than 7600 green-collar jobs in Queensland.

"The Greens will create thousands of green-collar jobs in Queensland by retrofitting homes for energy efficiency and investing in clean energy infrastructure," Senator Brown said.
"Unlike President Obama, who has committed to creating 5 million green-collar jobs, the state and federal Labor governments are spending taxpayers' money to support big banks, big polluters and big developers.

"The Greens EASI-Q program will retrofit Queensland homes with better insulation and solar hot-water tanks, reducing power bills for ordinary Australians and creating 3,200 jobs by its fifth year of operation,” Senator Brown said.

Greens MP Ronan Lee said the Labor and Liberal parties were locked into an old approach to job creation.
"There’s not a single environmentalist or renewable energy expert on the Premier’s so-called Jobs Squad," Mr Lee said.
"The Greens want to see Queensland develop an economic base that continues to create jobs into the 21st century. That’s why the Greens would invest in two 250 megawatt solar power stations for Townsville and the Darling Downs," Mr Lee said.

The solar power stations will cost a total of $4 billion, with State and Federal Governments underpinning half the cost. The development of the clean energy infrastructure will create 4,000 jobs in the construction phase with 400 ongoing jobs.

4. Do you need a Postal Vote?
If you will be away or unable to get to a polling booth on election day you can apply for a Postal Vote by downloading a form by visiting file://www.ronanleemp.com/ or you can phone Ronan on 3878 1928 or email ronan.lee@parliament.qld.gov.au and he will arrange a Postal Vote for you.

Authorised: Drew Hutton, 49 Station Road, Indooroopilly for the Greens.

Ronan Lee MP State Member for Indooroopilly Queensland Greens
Ph: 3878 1928 Ground Floor, 49 Station Road Indooroopilly Qld 4068

06 March, 2009

Environmental Management

I started a new job last night.

It is Environmental Management at its most fundamental.

I empty rubbish bins, ash trays and pick up litter.

Up until November last I was a Public Servant. I joined the QLD State Government to gain some insight into working with Bureacracy.

My ultimate goal is to work in Santitation & water in developing communities. As 7 year old child sitting in Sunday School, I listened to the missionaries describe the plight of poor people in exotic places. I did not want to go to try to save people (from their sins), I just wished I could give them water to drink and designated places to poo.

That's what got me into the profession I am now in now and has influenced my career. I have worked in industrial water & waste water in order to gain some process engineering skills. I have worked in sales to develop interpersonal skills.

Currently I am collecting waste and learning a great deal about my own society and some of the things that i would not like to see replicated in developing communities. I suspect my own society has much to learn about "resilience" and how to survive with out fossil fuels, from developing communities.

05 March, 2009

The QLD State Election - the best Candidates that money can buy

Friends of the Earth (and/or six degrees) are lobbying the Major Parties in the QLD State election to remove perverse subsidies and/or redirect subsidies to the Renewable Energy sector.

It would appear to me, that Australians (in general) want to keep on:
  • driving cars;
  • flying around in planes;
  • eat processed & refrigerated foods;
  • run their air conditioning

.....but actually would not mind if their fuel/energy came from alternatives to fossil fuels.

The incumbent Bligh Government is clearly in bed with "Big Coal". I am hoping for an "Fitzgerald-type" inquiry into the Coal-gate affair - Former state government minister Gordon Nuttall has been accused of receiving $300,000 in corrupt payments from former Macarthur Coal chief Ken Talbot between 2002 and 2005. Both men have denied doing anything wrong.

The opposition are also clearly in bed with "Big Coal" with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) reporting Mr Clive Palmer's company Mineralogy donated $542,000 to The Nationals and $100,000 to the Liberals.