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Issue #1712      November 25, 2015

Dingo

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, a sentiment that seems to be a meal ticket for ex-politicians and sometimes their parties as well. For instance, former NSW deputy premier and trade minister Andrew Stoner has started a new career as a part-time advisor to Yuhu Group Australia – a Chinese property firm. Yuhu manages and owns commercial real estate including the Eastwood shopping centre and office towers in North Sydney. The Australian electoral commission has records showing Yuhu Group (Australia) declared donations of $670,000 to the Liberal and Labor parties during 2013-2014, mostly before the 2013 federal election. A former state secretary of the NSW ALP Mr Roozendaal now works as Yuhu Australia vice-president. It’s not that these people cannot be employed by some company or other. The problem arises when there is a conflict between their positions and their influence on the government’s decisions.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has launched a Federal Court challenge to the Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s re-approval of the Carmichael coal mine. The Adani coal project in Queensland will be the largest coal mine in Australia, if approved. It will cover more than 45,000 hectares and produce as much carbon annually as does the whole of New Zealand. Australia has obligations to protect the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. Extracting coal and polluting the environment is not the way forward and governments should be held responsible for their actions. The coal industry causes great harm to the environment and many countries are working hard to find environment-friendly and inexpensive energy sources. Money would be better invested in research, creating jobs and training people for the future, rather than the past.

November 27-29 will see millions of people march for a safe and environmentally-friendly world we all want to live in. People’s Climate March Australia will see thousands across the country marching as world leaders meet in Paris. For the Sydney march gather at 12.30 on Sunday, November 29 at the Domain. For the nearest march details for your locality go to www.peoplesclimate.org.au

Next article – Regional Briefs

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