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The Australian Democrats' record

on the environment since the 1993 Federal Election

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The Australian Democrats are passionate about

the environment. We always have been. From the

early 1980s when •Don Chipp and Norm Sanders campaigned to save the Franklin River and we

drafted Australia's first World Heritage legislation,

our members, MPs and Senators have all shared a

strong commitment to the Australian environment.

We have an 18 year history of achievement on.

environmental issues and an 18 year record of

parliamentary action on the environment. We are

justifiably proud of both our history and our

record. From forests to endangered species, from

coasts to world heritage areas, from greenhouse to green jobs

SENATOR CHERYL KERNOT Leader Australian Democrats

SENATOR MEG LEES Deputy Leader Democrat environment spokesperson

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1. Forests & the national reserve system 2. World heritage. 3. Water management 4. Land management 5. Coasts and marine 6. Sustainable cities & industry 7. Greening industry & the

economy 8. Green jobs &taxation 9. Uranium & nuclear 10. Endangered species &

• biodiversity 11. Miscellaneous Animal welfare, genetic property rights, constitutional change, electromagnetic fields

Authorised by Senator Meg Lees 722 Anzac Highway Glenelg 5045

Printed by Australian Democrats 711 South Road Black Forest 5035

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Forests

The use of native forests to resource our timber industryprovides the industry with a hidden subsidy and destroys anatural resource of great beauty and complexity. The timberindustry must become self- sustaining. It must establish its ownunsubsidised resource base in plantations on reclaimedagricultural land. The vast majority of Australians do not wantto see our native forests .logged - it is time governments alsorecognised the economic, social and environmental benefits inmoving the timber industry out of native forests and giving it afirm and secure future in plantations.The Democrats have a long record of action on forests.We have been at the forefront of the woodchipping and nativeforests debates for more than 15 years. We have consistentlycalled for native forest logging to be phased out along a definite.time table and for export woodchipping from native forests tocease by the year 2000. We have funded legal challenges towoodchip export licences and set up the Woodchip FightingFund. Our Wood Products Industry Policy Statement is a blue-print for developing a long-term future for the timber industry -without destroying Australia's old growth forests and withoutfurther loss of forests of high conservation value. We believethe timber industry can be restructured with minimal job lossesand with new employment opportunities created in plantations,value-added processing, resource management and ecotourism.The current team of Democrat Senators has given more than 200speeches and asked the Government more than 100 questionson forests and forest management. They have visited foreststhroughout Australia and attended and spoken at rallies andblockades. They have taken every opportunity to pressure theGovernment to act urgently and decisively to protect ournative forests.7

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k th ue last C1.6cofiwn Some historical highlights 1.979 Senator Colin Mason criticised the

Federal Labor Government for ignoring the report of the the Senate Science and Environment Committee on woodchipping

1.979 Senator Michael Macklin urged the Government not to issue any new wood-chip licences, other than in respect of the use of sawmill waste, until the environ-

mental matters outlined in the Senate Comittee's report were resolved.

1.980 MLA Norm Sanders described the Tasmanian forestry situation as "a perfect example of selling off our precious assets to -the first shrewd operator who sails over

the horizon with a shipload of mirrors and beads". He noted that Japan did not abuse its own forests and accused Australian governments of letting Japan ruin our

forests to preserve theirs. -

1983 Senator Mason successfully amended the Income Tax Assessment Amendment .. Bill 1993 to eliminate tax breaks for the removal of indigenous trees.

1.983 Senator Mason proposed a national plan for the proper conservation and use of Australia's forest resources.

1.988 Senator Macklin called for full dis-closure of donations to political parties after a $10,000 donation to the Labor Party from Harris-Daishowa was revealed.

1.989. The Democrats used our balance of power in NSW to defeat a bill exempting the NSW Forestry Commission. from conducting Environmental Impact State-

ments prior to logging opera tions.

1989 Moved for a Senate inquiry into the effects of pulp mills on the environment. The proposal was rejected, but the Govern-ment did establish a pulp mill task force as part of the CSIRO.

1990 Senator John Coulter questioned the Hawke Government's'commitment to ES] given the Government's decision to allow extensive and destructive logging in the

South,-East Forests of NSW.

1.990 Introduced a Bill to ban the import of rainforest timber. Defeated by the com-bined vote of Labor and the Coalition.

1.991 Senator Coulter and Senator Cheryl Kernot negotiated a three-year bounty program for recycled tissue paper manu-facturers after the Government removed

the sales tax exemption on recycled paper products.

1991. Senator Coulter called for the devel-opment of an ecologically sustainable management strategy for the forest and forest products industry.

1992 Senator Robert Bell successfully moved to have the Hawke Government's Resource Security legislation (the Forest Conservation and Development Bill 1991) examined by the Rural and Regional

Affairs Committee. The Committee recom-mended not proceeding with.the Bill.

1992 Opposed the Forest Conservation and Development Bill, calling it one of the most `dishonest and potentially destructive pieces of legislation' which would promote

forest destruction and not forest conserva-tion. The Bill was defeated.

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1993 December• Senator Cheryl Kernot met with theMay Prime Minister to discuss the issuing of• Called on the Government to remove woodchip licences issue and to urge thebarriers to investing in plantations and to protection of Australias native forests.retain and expand the tax-exempt statusfor recycled paper products. • The Democrats again pointed out thatthe National Forest Policy "Most Australians want to see old growth and wildnerness forests Statement included a protected - now, before it is too late. The Federal Government moratorium clause on the must take genuine and effective action to protect forests such as logging of high conserva the Karri and Jarrah forests of south west Western Australia, theGreat Western Tiers and the Tarkine in Tasmania, along with the tion value old-growthErrinundra Plateau in Victoria's East Gippsland." forest and wilderness areasSenator John Coulter January 1994 which must be Ieflected in the decision to grantAugust export woodchip licences. Senator Robert• Forced the Government to admit there Bell called on the Minister for Resourceswas no conclusive research showing that to accept the advice from the Minister fornatural regeneration was a viable method the Environment, Sport and Territories andof achieving sustainability for tree fern to reject any applications for licences forharvesting in native forests, the export of woodchips derived from old- growth forests and wilderness areas ofSeptember high conservation value.• Senator Coulter called on the PrimeMinister and the Minister the Envi- • Senator Sid Spindler warned workers inronment to enforce the tional Forest Nationalthe timber industry that they were . likely to Policy Statement's "moratorium clause". be the victims of a game of rapid, butIn unsustainable, exploitation of old-growthOctober 1993, Senator Cheryl Kernot forests..also wrote to the Prime Minister urgingthe Government to implement the mora- "As Professor Ian Lowe, President of thetorium clause. To date it has not been Queensland Conservation Council, says,enforced. our comunity must provide the voice for two groups who cannot be heard -firstly, all theNovember other species with which we have the privi-• Democrat Senators and MPs began a lege to share the earth and secondy, future generations of Australians who have no say round of visits to forests in South-East in our present choices, but who will have toNSW, Southern Tasmania, South-East live with the consequences. When it comes toSouth Australia and East Gippsland to forests, we must make make good decisionshighlight the effects of woodchipping. now. By continuing to destroy our old growthforests, we are not only acting arrogantly and• Senator Meg Lees urged the Federal . selfishly, we are acting against the interestsGovernment to take action to stop 'State of our children and grandchildren."Governments breaching the national Senator Cheryl Kernot June 1995X

October

• Condemned the Government for its approval of a licence for the export of a further 500,000 tonnes of woodchips from New South Wales forests.

November • Senator Robert Bell presented photo-graphic evidence showing that recently harvested logs lined up for the chipper (some on Tasmanian railway wagons and others in the loading yard of APPM's pulp mill at Burnie) were not all eucalypts, but included minority species, such as white

and red myrtle, sassafras and blackwood. He pointed out that this was in contraven-tion of the National Forest Policy.

• Senator Meg Lees asked on what basis had the Minister for the Environment identified only 80 to 90 forest coupes throughout Australia as worthy of protec-tion from logging. She also asked why the Minister had rejected the advice of the Department and further cut the number of

coupes to be protected to 40 or 50.

In December 1994, Ln.Itor Rcibert '. Bell co funded i legal l halknge to wuodchip' ieences with thi I i inanian " x ,sa ^,c^, ,..m-.- :n4 r'r ri' inn rii'r II , 1 his l dti

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February• Senator Robe rt Bell exposed the fact thatin one Tasmani an logging operation, only6% of trees felled were used as sawlogs,while 94% were designated "waste" andconveniently diverted to woodchipping.Senator Bell said that in some coupes, thepercentage may be as high as 98%."I certainly have a high regard for . timberindust ry workers. But I think they are mistakenif they see continued logging of native forestsas offering them secure employment and a-long-term future for their local towns andcommunities. I believe a shift towardsplantations will create more long-term jobsin the forest indust ry than are likely to becreated by some of the current short-sightedpractices which should be rejected."Senator John Woodley . May 1994.• Senator John Coulter asked the Ministerfor Resources to table copies of sevenhardwood woodchip export licencesgranted in violation of the government'smoratorium policy on the logging of highconservation forests.May• Senator Woodley rejected the view thatlogging of sub-tropical rainforest wassustainable and called on the FederalGovernment to begin negotiations with theQueensland Government to bring about animmediate halt to the logging of the rain-forests of central Queensland.September.• Senator Sid Spindler called on theGovenment to act to prevent clear-fellingoperations in the Hensleigh Creek catch-ment in East Gippsland - operations whichhe said were a clear and deliberate viola-tion of the National Forest Policy.M

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SflC9 ths I$t 818CtOII • Senator Robert Bell— criticised the FederalGovernment for failingto implement its ownNational Forest Policy.In January 1995, Senator Sid Spindler and Senator He said there were stillRobert Bell announced the establishment of a fighting no adequate, comprehenfund to finance legal challenges to woodchip licences. sive.and representativePatrons of the Fighting Fund are Justice Elizabeth forest areas protected byEvatt, Phillip Adams, Peter Garrett and John the policy.Williamson. On World Environment Day,'theDemocrats announced the first distribution of funds Marchfrom the Fund. $5000 each was allocated to three • Senator John Coulter ,conservation groups challenging the validity of called the Governments consultation process on export woodcliip licences in old growth forests: the old growth forests "inad- Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Environment Victoria equate, physically im-and the North Coast Environment Council. possible and totally-unrealistic".1995January• Senator Cheryl Kernot announced aletterboxing campaign of 250,000 housesacross Australia, targeting seven marginalLabor Party seats, to inform Australians ofthe lack of Government action to preventthe destruction of old growth forests. .• Senator Kernot called the woodchiplicence approval process "a debacle" and.raised the idea of a Senate Inquiry into it.The Coalition parties announced theywould not agree to any such enquiry.February• Senator Robert Bell tabled legislationbanning the export of woodchips. Thebill drew criticism from the TasmanianPremier for giving the Federal Minister for.the Environment too much power and forattempting to curb the woodchip industry. May

• The Democrats demanded the Govern-ment table a report into the illegal wood-chipping of coupes 7 and. 8 of the Giblett block in Western Australia. Senator Bell

demonstrated that illegal woodchipping had occurred and used this to argue for better monitoring processes.

Petitions

Throughout 1994/95 Democrat petitions calling for action on National Forest Policy flooded into Senators' offices. Drafted by a Democrat

candidate, Simon.Disney, and Noel Plumb, of the South-East Forest Alliance, the petition was widely distributed around Australia. These petitions '- and a similar one from the Earth Repair Foundation -

have been tabled by the Democrats in the. Senate, with the tally standing at more than 120,000 signatures.

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i8CO: SflCe the last .eTrcon facing the future s The Australian Democrats Wood Praduct5'1hdustryPohcyStatement In March 1995, the Democrats

publicly released our Wood Products Industry Policy Statement which outlines an 8-point plan for . restructuring the timber industry.

The plan was delivered to the Prime Minister in March, and the Govern-ment has indicated it is looking seriously at some of the Democrats'

proposals, especially those calling for changes in forestry taxation arrangements.

Releasing the package in Canberra, Senator Cheryl Kernot said it was "yet another example of the Democrats' role as catalysts for

policy solutions. It shows, once again, that we are about delivering constructive, achievable solutions to environmental problems".

The eight parts to the package are: 1. Phasing out all native forest logging along a definite timetable. 2. Phasing out all export woodchipping

along a definite timetable. 3. Introduction of a 110% tax deduction for the expansion of plantations. 4. Removing subsidies for logging of native

forests and introducing a sawn log levy of 15% for logs taken from native forests (or an export tax on woodchips taken from native forests). 5. Introduction of a regional planning

process to fully utilise plantation timber, to develop opportunities for environment-ally sound downstream processing, and to provide assistance - and develop new

employment opportunities -for forestry workers affected by restructuring. 6. Promoting efficient use of existing plantations, including the reintroduction

of a 110% investment allowance for saw-millers to update their technology. 7. Reducing the sales tax on recycled paper products from 21% to 11%. 8. Encouraging pulp and particle board

manufacturers to produce pulp from fibres other than wood.

"Strange as it may sound, it seems that we really do not know the true net income from woodchipping. Some time ago, I asked the Minister some questions about this in the hope that he would be able to demonstrate that in economic terms the costs and benefits of woodchip exports have really been properly analysed. For example, I asked

the Minister what was the total value of capital equipment imported and used in the export woodchipping industry. The answer was: we don't even compile the data. I also asked the cost of overseas borrowing to finance the purchase of capital equip-ment used in the industry. That data is not . collected either. In other words, no-one has

thought it necessary to analyse the cost. to the nation of the imported log trucks and equipment being used, against the income derived. We are constantly told by the industry that woodchipping has an economic benefit, but the truth is that we really have no idea just what woodchipping is - or isn't - worth."

Senator Robert Bell Speech September 1995

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May

• Senator Robert Bell called for the Fed-eral Government to establish a compliance unit to ensure the conditions of woodchip licences were not being breached.

June • In Budget talks with the Treasurer, Senator Cheryl Kemot ,proposed a tax on export woodchips, a reduction in the diesel fuel rebate for mining, a review of defence contracting arrangements and improving energy efficiency within government departments as four replacement revenue measures for the blocked sales tax on building materials.

August • The Democrats hailed forest economist Judy Clark's report Australia's Plantations: Employment, Industry, Environment as

"the way to the future". Senator Cheryl Ke rnot congratulated conservation groups on " an impressive and informed cont ribu-tion to this c rucial debate".

September • Senator Ke rnot called for the Prime Minister to take a leadership role in the Deferred Forest Assessments process. She also said it was "time for John Howard to tell us what the Coalition would do to reconcile the interests of loggers and the protection of old-growth forests".

• The Federal Government agreed to establish an independent taskforce to scrutinise export woodchip licence holders in response to allegations raised by Senator Robert Bell that companies in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Aus tralia were illegally logging and woodchipping forests

National Reserve System

Much of our land has been altered - byclearing, changing watercourses, pollu-tion, grazing, erosion, roads and urbandevelopment. Unfortunately, very littleplanning preceded these alterations. Thechallenge for the future is to ensure landuse planning is ecologically sustainable,protects endangered species and bio-diversity, and promotes the concept ofequity between generations. A NationalReserve System must take into accountall these aspects.The Democrats have called for theurgent development of a comprehensivenational reserve program, involving asystem of marine and terrestrial reservesaround the country with the main aim ofprotecting ecosystem diversity. This .system should be based on a scientificassessment of the range and type of areaswhich need to be protected. We havecalled for areas listed on the. Register ofthe National Estate to be protected.Highlights of our work include:1993 Senator John Coulter reaffirmed theDemocrats' support for an independentrole for the Australian Heritage Commis-sion. He called on the Government to re-define its forestry policy and redefine therole of the AHC'vis-a-vis State forestagencies. In doing so, community confi-dence in the ABC would be restored.1.993 Senator Coulter called on the.Federal Government to follow its ownNational Forest Policy and act to ensureareas of high conservation value wereprotected from logging while the nationalreserve system was bein g established.13

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.1993 The Democrats called on the FederalGovernment to intervene to prevent thesale of the Starcke Wilderness area inQueensland to foreign interests. SenatorCheryl Kernot urged the Government tomake funds available to purchase the landand hand it back to its original Aboriginalowners..1994 Senator Coulter criticised the NSWGovernment for rejecting federal fundingfor regional assessments of wildernessareas and areas of old-growth forest.1994 Senator Coulter moved amendmentsto ban offshore exploration or miningactivity in marine parks or marine reserves.Labor and the Coaltion combined to defeatthe amendment..1994 The Democrats' 1994 BudgetProposals criticised the Government'sfailure to move towards a national reservesystem and included $16 million for thedevelopment of such a system. TheProposals also made provision for thepurchase of private land . to expand WorldHeritage Areas and for Wilderness RescuePackages for Jervis Bay, the Daintreeand the Starcke Wilderness..1994 Senator Robert Bell reminded theGovernment that it had agreed under theNational Forest Policy to put in placecomprehensive, adequate and represent-ative reservation systems to protect oldgrowth forest and wilderness values bythe end of 1995. He asked the Governmenthow many areas had been reserved in thelast two years as a result of the NationalForest Policy and he sought assurancesthat the December 1995 timetable will bemet. The Government indicated it wasunable to respond. 1.994 Senator Coulter condemned a report

prepared by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics on Shoalwater Bay as "poorly researched and revealing a complete contempt for commu-nity and non-market values".

1.994 Senator Spindler called on the Government to ensure no areas of old-growth forest or wilderness are logged in the future.

1995 Senator Bell urged the Government to protect Tasmania's world heritage area from planned logging operations.

1995 Senator Coulter expressed doubts that any significant progress towards a comprehensive national reserve system could be made while the Federal Govern-ment continued to rely upon negotiating

with the States, rather than enacting national legislation.

1995 Senator John Coulter highlighted the Labor Government's broken promises on protecting the environment and creating reserves. He said: "The Government has

simply walked away from its commit-ments. The Government failed in 1993 to protect pristine areas and other areas of

high conservation value. It continues to fail to fulfil that promise. In 1990, the Government promised a major increase in funding for a comprehensive biological

survey of Australia to be completed by the year 2000. But funding for the Australian biological resources survey has riserr only slightly. It will take centuries to complete

the survey at this current level of funding. That remains the situation today. It is only in the context of the Opposition offering to do less that the Government looks at all

good." .

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World heritage

"We have not inherited this Earth from our forebears; we have borrowed it from our children."

The Australian Democrats have.been integral to the protection of Australia's World Heritage.

From drafting the original World Heritage legisla-tion in 1982 - which was passed by the Senate on the last sitting day of the Fraser Government -through to the present day, protecting Australia's

unique World Heritage has been a Democrat priority.

The Franklin, the Daintree, Kakadu, Jervis Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, Shoalwater Bay: whether these are already World Heritage areas - or should be - the Democrats have played a vital role in the

great environmental battles of our time.

And our commitment is ongoing.

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reclai in reclaiming our heritage On October 91986, Dr Norm Sanders, cofounder of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society andDemocrat Senator for Tasmania, spoke in the Senate on the occasion of Democrat founder DonChipp's retirement from parliament:-"We were embroiled in a fight in Tasmania to stop the Hydro-ElectricCommission damming the Franklin ... Rather than stand as an independent,• I thought that it would be better if I tried to go in as a member of a party.At that time the Australian Democrats, of course, had no representatives in Tasmaniabut I was aware of the party. I researched its policies. I found that, in fact, its policieson_the environment, on caring for the future, were exactly the same as mine and DonChipp, of course, was central in framing those policies. (But) I never really got to knowthe man until he decided that he would liketo take a look at the Franklin River himself."Chipp rafted the Franklin with a broken wrist. "... He did really become very movedby the Franklin and spoke -often about it in subsequent years.""I think it is time that the nation recognised the role Don Chipp and the.Australian Democrats of that time played in the salvation of the Franklin River be-cause it was the Democrat initiative that set up the Senate Select Committee on SouthWest Tasmania, the Committee that actually looked into the requirements for the dam... The Democrats brought in a Bill for the conservation of land in Australia. It becamethe World Heritage Properties Protection Act. This was actually a Democrat Bill whichwas brought in and passed by the Senatein the dying days of.the Fraser Government. It was later picked up by the HawkeGovernment and pushed through. This was the Bill which was thebasis for the ultimate salvation of the Franklin."So often the things that happen in this chamber are forgotten by historians - there isso much that goes on - and then certainly by the people themselves; but I think it istime that Australians realised the great role that Don Chipp played in the most impor-tant conservation battle that Australia has ever seen."Some historicalhighlights1981 The Democrats campaigned againsturanium mining in newly declared KakaduWorld Heritage area - a battle to this day..198.1 Don Chipp established landmarkSenate Select Committee on South WestTasmania to inquire into "the naturalvalues of South West Tasmania toAustralia and the world" and "federalresponsibility in assisting Tasmania to,preserve its wilderness areas of national and international importance".18

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May 1982 Senator Colin Mason intro-duced the Rainforests Preservation Agr6ments Bill 1982, the first attempt to pro-tect Australia's rainforests.October 1982 Senator Mason introducedthe World Heritage Properties ProtectionBill 1982. He said: "The introduction ofthis legislation marks a significant turningpoint for environmental law in Australia."November 1982 Senator Chipp's SenateSelect Committee recommended theFranklin River be preserved in its naturalstate as a matter of national priority.December 1.982 The Democrats slammedthe Fraser Government decision not tointervene to protect the Franklin. DonChipp registered "deep shock and dismayat this most incredible decision".December 1.983 The Democrats' WorldHeritage Properties Conservation Billpassed the Senate. Four Liberals crossedthe floor to support it.September 1984 Democrat SenatorsMacklin and Chipp called on the Environ-ment Minister to resign for his "pathetic..abdication of responsibility for the naturalheritage of this nation" in not acting toprotect rainforests in North Queensland.October 1984 Senator Macklin intro- .duced the Queensland Rainforests Con-servation Bill 1984, to protect the, rain-forests of North-East Queensland Heintroduced an identical bill again thefollowing year.November 1985 Senator Sanders intro-duced the Great Barrier Reef MarinePark Amendment (Prohibition of miningor drilling activities) Bill 1985. May 1.986 Senator Macklin introduced the

World Heritage Properties Conservation Amendment Bill 1986, to strengthen the World Heritage legislation, and in particu-lar to save the Daintree. The Bill was not

passed, but the ALP eventually adopted weaker legislation to protect the Wet Tropics which passed parliament in March 1988. It was opposed by the Coalition.

November 1986 Senator Mason intro-duced the Koongarra Project Area Repeal Bill 1986 to prevent mining and return the. Koongarra mining project area to stage

one of the Kakadu National Park.

February 1988 The Koongarra Bill was re-introduced by Senator Jean Jenkins.

June 1988 The Democrats began the parliamentary fight to protect Jervis Bay from becoming a naval armaments depot.

August 1.988 Called for immediate world heritage listing of "the tall forests and wilderness areas of western Tasmania identified by both Commissioner Hitch-cock of the Helsham Commission ... and

the Australian Heritage Commission as being of World Heritage value".

April .199.1 Senator Kernot urged immedi-ate use of the World Heritage Act to prevent the- building of the proposed Tully-Millstream hydroelectric scheme.

September 1992 Backed Wilderness Society's nomination of the Tarkine Wil-derness as a World Heritage Area.

October 1992 Senator Bell introduced the World Heritage Properties (Protection of Exit Cave, Tasmania) Amendment Bill 1992, to provide permanent protection for Exit Cave.

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j$ j i 1 i i •I.s ii . FI1(J; [I4jJi)11 1993 • Senator Coulter c riticised the Govern-ment for the lack of management pl an forMay the Willandra Lake World He ritage• Senator John Coulter warned that an oil region.spill disaster on the Great Barrier Reef wasonly a matter of time and called for greater • The Democrats urged the Governmentregulation (inclduing mandato ry double to take Jervis Bay off the list of possiblehulls) of oil tankers in Australian waters. sites for the east coast armaments com-plex. Senator John"We are slowly but surely des troying our natural he ritage. Woodley said locatingIt is staggering to realise that in the 200 years since the complex at Je rvisEuropeans occupied Aus tralia, three qua rters of our Bay was "out of therainforests have been cleared. It is a ter rible record.of question" and wa rneddestruction. Tropical rainforest is the world's most rapidly the Democrats woulddisappearing resource and the protection of our remaining not accept such a deci-rainforest must become one of our most urgent priorities." sion. The Democratshave a long record of Senator John Coulter February 1994 acting to protect Je rvis• Senator Coulter welcomed funding. for Bay and we campaigned - both in themanagement of the Great Bar rier Reef Senate and outside parliament - through-World Heritage area via a commercial out 1993 against it becoming the ECACoperator levy. site.August October• The Democrats called on the Federal • Senator Robert Bell questioned theGovernment to intervene to prevent the spending of "Helsham" package moneysale of the Starcke wilderness area in on felling forests.Queensland to foreign interests. Senator.Cheryl Kernot urged the Government to • Senator John Coulter raised concernsmake funds available to purchase the land about maritime safety on the Great Bar-and hand it back to its original Aboriginal rier Reef.September • Senator JohnWoodley raised concerns• Senator Robert Bell moved to protect about a fire on Beecroft Peninsula atExit Cave by including a gazettal notice Jervis Bay as a result of army exercisespreventing blasting at Benders Quarry into and warned of the likely detrimentalthe World Heritage Properties Conserva- - impact on endangered birds and animalstion Act. His move was defeated by the in the area..combined vote of Labor and the Coalition. • November• Senator. Kernot continued to pressure the • Senator Meg Lees criticised the Gov-Federal Government to act to prevent the event for continuing to approve log-Starke Wilderness sale. ging in national estate areas with world heritage values..^I^s]

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our reoi ^e the last elect IM , February• The Democrats combined with conser-vation groups to "declare" East_ Gipps-land's Er rinundra an d CoopracambraPlateaus to be World He ri tage areas (inline with nominations from the Victo rianGovernments in 1987 an d 1988).• The Democrats supported the WetTropics of Queensland World HeritageConservation Bill and successfully movedamendments to tighten up restrictions oncommercial development in the wettropics heritage area an d to recognise priorAboriginal ownership of World.Heritageforests in No rth Queensl and:• Senator Che ry l Kernot hosted Visions ofJe rv is Bay with Peter Garrett at ParliamentHouse as part of the campaign to preventJerv is Bay becoming the site of the eastcoast armaments complex. March

• Senator John Coulter welcomed the launch of the Daintree Rescue Campaign, and called for a well-funded Government package to protect the Daintree rainforest.

• The Democrats moved amendments to allow tax deductibility for donations of land to 'natural heritage conse rv ation organisations' -*such as the Australian Bus] Heritage Fund and the Daintree Rainforest Foundation - which are established to protect threatened land. Senator Coulter

said that as governments were apparently unwilling to acquire land to protect it, then they could at least assist individuals wish-ing to do so. The amendments were de-

feated by the combined vote of Labor an d the Coalition parties.

April • Senator Cheryl Ke rn ot toured World Heritage areas in Tasmania.

• The Democrats' 1994 Budget Proposals provided for Wilderness Rescue Packages (for the Dain tree,

Jervis Bay and the Starcke Wilderness), the develop-ment of a national reserve system, tax deductibility for

donations to the Natural He ritage Fund and $25m for the management and protect-ion of World Heritage areas.

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During 1994 and 1995, the Democrats, . .

• Senator John Woodley asked 29 led by our two Queensland: Senators questions in parliament about the John Woodley and Cheryl Kernot, proposed Kur anda Skyrail in the conducted a major-cainpaign against Barron Falls National Park. the proposed Port Hinchinbrook'

development at Cardwell. •

• Senator John Coulter noted with concern the Queensland Gove rn - The ,battle for-Hmchinbrook' got ment's failure to provide matching underway nr June 1994 wli"en Senator fundin for the Daintree Rescue g f D Woolley calle^d for Federal Govern • Package in its State Budget. He g g r t merit i► iferventiori^under"World'Heri',

criticised the Federal Government age legislation, to protect Hinchinbrook for making the rescue package Channel and Island. The Democrats contingent upon funds from the then raised the matter in the Senate on State, calling it "a haphazard more than 40 occasions in 1994 - asking

approach to the environment". questions and demanding action from the Minister for En 'iro'nrneit:and the • Senator Woodley raised the Governmen t. question of World Heritage pro-tection for the Hinchinbrook Senators K ernot and Woodley visited Channel, thereby starting the the area and met with residents, local 'battle for Hinchinbrook'. ' tourist operators and conservationists .-. .,

opposed to the development

• Senator Coulter welcomed the findings of the Commonwealth The. Democrats constantly drew atten-Commission of Inquiry into tion to the World Heritage values of the Shoalwater Bay. Senator Ke rn ot Hinchinbrook area and raised concerns received a letter of thanks for the I about th e possible damaging impact of Democrats' assistance to the ACF the _ ro proposed d vejo merit on the Great Shoalwater Bay delegation. Barrier reel, critical seagrass habitats,

local mangrove communities, tidal_.

• Senator Vicki Bourne in troduced dynamics and sediment movements in her Parliamenta ry Approval o e e the. channel and endangered marine ^, - -; Treaties Bill, which also ensures I animals such as dugongs and sea turtles current Treaties cannot be rejected without parliamenta ry approval - Senator Kernot described the campaign

thereby preventing a Coalition y p g •^T as being about the mega Government from escaping its i s-tyIe" development -especially m sensi s 3 World Heritage obligations g g ^ n the areas - , and the of

superbYWorld Heritage area She said

• Senator Woodley repeatedly "This is not about" tourist' development -raised the issue of the Hinchin- this is about totally I mapproprrT i te : = brook development, calling for tourist development". Federal Government intervention. y Y Y

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•• Senators Kernot and Woodley wrote to • Senators Kernot and Woodley con-the International Union for the Conserva- demned the Queensland State Govern-tion of Nature to register "grave concern ment's actions in assisting developer about the Hinchinbrook development Keith Williams in his development pro-which we believe threatens the World posals at Hinchinbrook and called for an Heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef immediate moratorium on mangrove World Heritage Area". clearance until the baseline study was

finalised and considered.

August • Senator John Coulter called on the • Senators Kernot and Woodley wel-Government to stop logging in the Huon comed the World Heritage order protect-and Picton Valleys which was degrading ing Hinchinbrook and further criticised the World Heritage area. the Queensland Government for abetting

the developer and allowing destruction of

September :- - - mangroves the .. -- = e mgroves to continue after e order. • Senator Woodley called for the release th came into force. of the Valentine Report into Hinchin-brook's World Heritage values. Senator • The Senators also attacked a Goss Kernot followed up with questions in the Government advertisement on Senate, sparking major debate. Hinchinbrook for being misleading.

• The Democrats received and tabled December parts of the Valentine Report, putting • Senators Kernot and Woodley main-further pressure on the Government to - tamed their attack on the Hinchinbrook act to protect Hinchinbrook. development. The development was now

being defended by Liberal Senators.

October • Senator Woodley lodged more than 700 objections to the Hinchinbrook proposal. In 1994, more than

S hoal water

He also exposed the collapse 30 years after the Bay of the bind wa l and first public protests the role began, Shoalwater Bay, " ".-w- `"':^^:,^-. `: «.- of the Queensl and Govern- no rth of Rockhampton in ment in avoiding environ- Queensland, took a major step towards total protection. mental protection measures. The Democrats have been active in the campaign to protectShoalwater Bay and we welcomed the recommendation ofNovember the Commonwealth Commission of Inqui ry into Shoalwater• Senator Robert Bell asked that no mining or mineral exploration of any kind be per-the Minister for the Environ- mitted. Senator John Coulter had toured the area, askedment if there was any logging questions about its protection and urged the Governmentin forests having World on many occasions to rule out sand mining. The day beforeHeritage value. The Minister the Commission released its findings, Senator Coulter andwas unable to answer. Peter Garrett presented a documentary on Shoalwater Bay to a media conference in Canberra.23

our ffiec•1'd

1995 February 11

• Senator Robe rt Bell urged the Federal

Government to stop the T asmanian Gov-ern ment pushing ahead with its "road to nowhere" in the Tarkine in north-west Tasmania. The Government said its h an ds

were tied by the 1988 deal between the Federal and Tasmanian Governments to "not initiate any further inquiries int o. forestry in Tasmania or to propose any

other areas of Tasmania for World He rit-age listing without the concurrence of the Tasmani an Government".

March • Senator John Coulter successfully moves amendments enshrining the 'precautiona ry principle' in the Great Barrier Reef Marini Park Act. Senator Coulter said: "These

amendments mean the onus of proof for ensuring the reef is free from environmen-tal harm now lies with developers and others seeking to exploit the reef area."

• Senator Coulter again raised concerns about logging in forests of World He ritage value.

• Senator Bell welcomed the interim listing on the National Estate of the Tarkine and called for the road to be stopped immediately.

• Senator Bell also asked more questions about logging in world heritage areas, again exposing the Federal Government's refusal to act.

•- The Senate Privileges Committee found that Senator Woodley was threatened by developer Keith Williams over the Senator's stand against the Hinchinbrook developmen t.

llrjhr."^ w

• Senator John Woodley voiced concerns about maritime safety and the potential for environmental damage on the Great Barrier Reef.

In March 1995, Senator John Coulter introduced his Constitution Alteration (Ecology, Diversity and Sustainability) Bill. The legislation seeks to add a clause

to section 51 of the Constitution which compels the parliament, when making a law, to take into account the probable ef-fects of that law on "the maintenance of

ecosystems and of essential ecological processes; the biological diversity of Australia; and the utilisation of the living natural resources on a sustainable

basis for the benefit of all Australians, both present and in the future".

May • Senator Vicki Bourne introduced the second version of her Parliamentary

Approval Treaties Bill.

• Senator Coulter raised questions about the release of contaminated water into the '.World Heritage Area of Kakadu National Park.

June • Senator Woodley asked further ques-tions about CSIRO's involvement in the Kuranda Skyrail development.

September • Senator Kernot welcomed the Govern-ment's decision to place limits on the Port Hinchinbrook development. Senator -

Kernot said the Democrats were pleased the dredging, breakwater wall and artifi-cial beach had been rejected and that a mangrove planting program was ordered.

She said she remained concerned about erosion of the foreshore.

24

urworid ourfu"

Water management

Many of our rivers have been widened, deepened, dammed and diverted to provide us with power and irrigation and to supply growing areas. We have gained great benefits from our rivers, but we now face the con-

sequences of our failure to protect and preserve them. Pollution, chemical poisoning, over-use, loss of wetland and riverbank habitats, erosion, salination, siltation -these are problems we have created and which we must

solve if we want to protect, use and enjoy our rivers, wetlands and waterways into the next century.

The Democrats believe our rivers and wetlands require specialised management as an integral part of Australia's national natural heritage. We see an urgent need for a national approach to all aspects of water management.

We have called for funding to enable landholders to preserve and restore riverbank habitats, for tougher penalties for polluters, for the compilation of an inven-tory of all Australian rivers and for certain wild or scenic

rivers to be preserved and protected within national parks. In recognition of its status as one of Australia's most important multiple use rivers, we have proposed a national scheme to manage the Murray-Darling system -

and bring to an end the disastrous management by the States. The Democrats believe the 'user pays' principle should apply to those using water from - or putting water f into = any river system. We remain strongly opposed to

the privatisation of any aspect of the supply and management of water.

27

TT:TtTTT:

qh

1993 1994

May February

• Senator Robert Bell congratulated four • Senator Vicki Bourne raised the issue of protesters arrested in Tasmania for their environmental damage to the Narran Lakes efforts in trying to stop the Tasmanian wetlands region caused by cotton irrigation Government poisoning rivers and streams agreements in the region. She sought assur near Lorinna, a small country town south ances from the Government that it was

of Devonport. Senator Bell called on the conforming to international agreements to Commonwealth Government to investi- protect migratory birds using the wetlands. gate the incident, as a matter of urgency, before Australia's growing international March reputation for the production of quality, • On United Nations World Day for Water, clean and safe produce was damaged. Senator John Coulter called on the Govern-

ment to get serious about water pollution problems in Australia

"The Federal Government's pursuit of a cooperative approach and to fund a national with the States and Territories to develop consistent water urban stormwater and -quality guidelines ..... is guaranteed to fail If the Government sewerage program. is serious about protecting Australia's rivers and beaches, it

must develop national mandatory standards for water quality. • Senator Courser drew Stringent national water quality-standards- have the added attention to reports by advantage of benefitting the water technology industry - an the Sydney Water industry with enormous export potential toSouth-East Asia." Board detailing the

Senator Vicki Bourne . World Environment Day statement June 1995 pollution of rivers, estuaries, harbours and

July oceans from sewage and stormwater run-

• Senator John Coulter criticised the off in the Sydey area. Federal Government for its failure to honour prior promises to clean up the. May .

Murray-Darling river system. •

The Democrats' 1994 Budget Proposals called for a national urban sewerage and

September

stormwater program, designed to deal with

• Senator Coulter referred to research the critical problem of ageing sewerage

demonstrating that timber harvesting in infrastructure, the lack of stormwater treat-

eucalypt forests can reduce water produc-ment and the urgent need to replace exist-

tion from those forests by as much as 50 ing technologies with new methods of

per cent. He asked whether Common- effluent treatment, recycling and reuse. wealth Government approval of export • The Budget Proposals also included woodchip licences was in breach of section funding for waste water management in 100 of the Australian Constitution, which rural areas - in particular, for innovative covers actions by the Commonwealth. effluent treatment and water recycling and which impact upon water production: resue technologies to address the issue ofsewage effluent into inland river systems. 28

June

• On World Environment Day, the Demo-crats called on the Federal Government to legislate national water quality standards. Senator Bourne said the Government.

needed to look at population growth, urban expansion, logging of native forests and the loss of riverbank vegetation if it was serious about wanting to improve water quality. Senator Coulter called on the Government to develop a strategy to re-use water and nutrients currently being discharged to rivers and oceans from

sewerage systems.

• Senator Robert Bell called for the Tasmanian Government to develop and implement a proper water catchment policy to protect small communities from the

effects of chemicals 'in agriculture and forestry.

December -

• Urged the Government to refuse any new woodchip licences for the Wombat State Forest until the problem of salinity in the Murray River had been overcome.

1995

January • Criticised the Government for its slow response to outbreaks of blue-green algae' in the lower part of the Murray River.

March • Senator Cheryl Kemot addressed the Clean River Rally in Brunswick Heads and called for State and Federal Govern-ments to act to stop the discharge of waste water into rivers.

J f Yf y /-' r y {

y

June

• Senator Kernot'referred to water issues in her speech on the Government's Competition Policy Reforms. She 'raised concerns about water privatisation and

"the conflict that could arise [between] the imperative to unleash market power and the equally important need to conserve and promote more efficient resource use".

October • Senator Kernot confirmed the opposit of the Democrats to water privatisation.

29

wofid our fatal

Land management

The way we manage our land now is crucial to both our present and future quality of life. Land management encompasses many different things, including the concepts of sustainability and intergenerational equity, urban development, waste disposal, Indigenous land use,

erosion, salination, tree clearing and pollution. It is a balancing act between the use of the land -for mining, recreation, tourism and farming - and the need to protect it from abuse and degradation. If we want to continue

to use - and enjoy - the land, we must develop policies and practices which promote responsible land use, which preserve unique areas and habitats and which address issues of medium- and long-term sustainability.

The Democrats have campaigned long and hard in all aspects of land management for many years. We have a strong policy commitment to land management and our policies include the establishment of a National Soil 'Conservation Service, funding to encourage farmers and other rural and urban landowners to adopt improved land

management practices and tax breaks for investment in soil conserving methods of farming.. Our policies provide incentives for tree planting programs and discourage large-scale tree clearing. We have a strong commitment

to land management , practices which preserve the habitat of protected and endangered species. We have called for the appointment of Independent Commissions in each State and Territory to prepare and assess Environmental

Impact Statements.

33

1993

November • Senator Robert Bell urged the Govern-ment to consider organic food producers as part of an overall strategy to convert current systems to a more ecologically sustainable basis.

In December 1993, the Democrats sup-ported the Native Title Bill (the Mabo legislation). This is an extract from Senator Cheryl Kernot's speech in the Senate:-

"We stand at the brink of a moment of great change. This Bill signals our intent as the parliament of this nation to put aside the opppression of our colonial past and move forward to owning our history and to forging a new partnership in this land of ours ...... We cannot separate native title from reconciliation. To do so displays a blatant lack of understanding of the special

attachment Aboriginal people have for the land and Torres Strait Islanders have for the sea ...... Reconciliation is an ongoing process - and how we respond to this under-standing of special attachmentto land is a measure of how we are performing in our partnerhip as we move towards reconcilia-tion ...... L and rights in Australia can no. longer be about largess, sympathy or guilt. They are now about the recognition and restoration of legal rights. This Bill is not

about creating land rights - it is about restor-ing them ..... Unfortunately, the fact is that there are some in this country who simply do not want to share in a new part-

nership, who have never accepted that Indigenous people are full citizens entitled to the same rights and protections under the law as anyone' else. These rights extend to land ownership and a special type of land tenure which recognises the special attach-ment Aboriginal people have to the land."

1994

March • Senator John Woodley raised land man-agement issues associated with Eastlink, a 400 kilometre long power line stretching

from Queensland to NSW. He pointed out there was a lack of consultation on land use and compulsory land aquisition.

April • Called on the Federal Government to act quickly to save the Daintree rainforest from land clearance, further subdivision and commercial development.

May • Senator Meg Lees warned of the detri-mental impact of rural poverty on land use environment programs.

• Senator Robert Bell warned Landcare and the Government to think carefully about accepting sponsorship for environ-mental programs after revelations of a deal between Landcare and the chemical giant Monsanto. Senator Bell pointed out that Landcare had sent a letter to volunteer

groups advising they could get tree kits containing two different herbicides made by Monsanto. He argued that chemical use was one of the reasons Landcare was

needed in the first place - and that the use of chemicals took the pressure off Govern-ment agencies and programs to find other weed control techniques.

• Senator Bell raised the issue of the need for restrictions to apply to the use of organochlorine pesticides which take account of proximity to static_and flowing water, urban or rural dwellings and the possibility of pesticides leaching into soil

and water tables.

34

• The Democrats' 1994 Budget Proposals

August

included a 50,000 place, three year • Senator Coulter moved to establish an Regional Environmental Employment inquiry into the extent of desertification in Program to carry out environmental repair Australia, the actions required to halt and

and land management work - including reverse desertification and the impact of revegetation, weed control, feral animal Australia's signing of the International control, soil conservation and erosion Convention on Desertification on land prevention activities and biodiversity management. projects.

September

• Accused the Federal Government of • Called for government support for 'going backwards' on the environment. farming practices which are less energy Senator John Coulter said that two years and chemically intensive. after the Rio summit, Australia had done a 'backflip" on a range of issues and was October now out of step with the United States, • Supported the Land Fund Bill, which the European Community, Canada and provided funds for land management on Japan. Indigenous held land. Senator Cheryl

Kernot said: "the Democrats are commit-

• Senator Robert Bell again raised the ted to this Bill, which encourages self; issue of sponsorship of environmental sufficiency, environmental protection and programs by chemical companies. He sound land management". said: "one of the problems is that free containers of chemicals are being issued

of 1995 on behalf such groups as Landcare and Greening Australia and these chemicals are causing problems - such as severe June nosebleeds - for the volunteer operators". • Senator Woodley raised concerns about Senator Bell pointed out there were still the threat to the Mahogany Glider and no adequate controls on the use of such some koala habitats as a consequence of chemicals after sale. large scale land clearing in Queensland.

Throughout 1994 and 1995, Senator John Woodley continued to voice his concerns about the land management implications of the Sugar Industry Infrastructure Package. Senator Woodley pointed out that the Package was encouraging unchecked clearing of native bush for sugar cane planting in Queensland. He drew attention to

the loss of vast areas of coastal lowland habitat in North Queensland - a loss which was putting the last remaining species of Mahogany Glider, Coastal Cassowary and Red Goshawk at risk. He said certain vegetation communities - such as Melaleuca veridiflora - were in danger of disappearing completely. In mid-1995, Senator

Woodley said: "I ask any farmer who is thinking of engaging in indiscriminate felling to think about the value of this vegetation and of the terrible environmental and economic consequences which may occur down the track." He called on both the Federal and Queensland Governments to take urgent action to stop the clearing.

35

r

world our futw

At

Coasts and marine

Australia has thousands of kilometres of coastline andmore than 7,000 beaches. Our coastal and marine envi-ronments are a vitally important social, recreational,economic and environmental resource. Despite theirsignificance, Australia still does not have a nationalstrategy for dealing with the many problems threateningour coastal and marine environments: pollution, marinedebris, inappropriate and insensitive coastal develop-ment, poor resource management and the dischargeof sewage, stormwater and industrial waste. Australianswant to look after their coasts and beaches - they arebeing let down by governments unwilling to take onresponsibility for • the protection and proper managementof the coastal and marine environments.The Democrats' record of achievement in the area of• marine and coastal protection is unmatched. Since the• last election, we have conducted many communityconsultations, made many submissions, raisednumerous issues, ran campaigns and conducted fact-finding and awareness initiatives. The Democrats are • strongly committed to the development and implement-ation of a national management strategy for Australia'scoastline and we have called for national legislation to•ensure the proper management of our coastal and marineenvironments and to ensure the sustainable use ofmarine resources. r

39

r

the s election

1993 May• Called for a moratorium on sand miningand for an inquiry by the Resource Assess-ment Commission into the mineral sandsindustry. Senator John Coulter criticisedthe Federal Government for failing todevelop a mineral sands policy based onecologically sustainable development.• Senator Coulter raised questions aboutthe role of the Great Barrier Reef Marine October

• The Democrats urged the Government to take Jervis Bay off the list of possible sites for the east coast armaments complex. Senator John Woodley said locating the complex at Jervis Bay was "out of the

question" and warned the Democrats woulc not accept such a decision. The Democrats have a long record of acting to protect Jervis Bay and throughout 1993, we cam-paigned - in the Senate and outside parlia-ment - against it becoming the ECAC site.

Park Authority in the failed Magnetic Quays development on Magnetic Island in Queensland. He called for greater scrutiny of develop-ment applications in

"One of our biggest problems is that the Federal Labor Government is just not showing any leadership when it comes to managing our coastal areas. Instead, we are seeing an abdication of the much-needed and much-

recommended Federal Government role. " Senator Meg Lees December 1994

sensitive marine and coastal environments.

• During debate on the Protection of the Sea Bill, Senator Coulter reaffirmed the Democrats' commitment to protecting the marine and coastal environment from oil

spills by adopting amendments in line with the MARPOL agreement to make all oil transport vessels double hulled and to eventually phase-out single-hulled vessels

in Australia's waters

• Senator Coulter highlighted the impact of fishing, tourism, coastal development, mariculture, agriculture and other activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine

Park and urged the Federal Government to maintain its responsibility to the marine and coastal environment.

September • The Democrats called for the 'user pays' principle to apply to companies which ai responsible for oil spills.

• Senator Robert Bell expressed concerns over coastal development approvals by the Tasmanian Commissioner for Town and Country Planning. He asked whether par-

ticular councils had breached the Environ-ment Protection Act.

November • Senator Coulter challenged the Govern-ment to avoid any further embarrassing 'exemptions' to the London Dumping Con-vention following the dumping of Jarosite

into Australia's marine environment.

1994

February • Senator Bell criticised Australia's role in the dumping of Jarosite into the ocean and called on the Federal Government to file a

declaration of acceptance of the ban on dis-posing industrial waste at sea.

iILI 4IIIIJtILiI 1:11 1111

(1 ['IijfljTh

• The Democrats opposed legislationwhich allows mineral exploration in fmarine reserves.March• Senator John Coulter again condemnedthe Government for letting Australiabecome the only country in the world toseek an exemption to the London Dump-ing Convention to allow us to continue todump industrial waste in the ocean.May• The Democrats' 1994 Budget Proposalsgave high priority to responding to theResource Assessment Commission'sCoastal Zone Inquiry. The Proposalsincluded a $100 million, 3 year coastalzone management and repair program.September• The Democrats welcomed Cabinet'sdecision to ban mining at Shoalwater Bayin Queensland.t iJi November• Senator Kemot called for a nationalapproach to coastal zone management.December• Senator John Coulter noted that an ex-otic species of worm introduced throughthe ballast water of domestic sea traffichas the potential to spread out of controlalong Australia's southern coast. He calledon AQIS, governments and the shippingand.fishing industries to respond withgreater urgency to this growing crisis inthe marine environment.• In Perth for Coastal Watch, Senator MeLees warned that Western Australia'scoastal lifestyle faced irreparable damagewithin 10 years unless authorities . acted tocontrol urban sprawl.• The Democrats named North GlenelgBeach in Adelaide as Australia's dirtiestbeach. 41

• Called for the disposal of wastewater in

• Coastal Watch identified Ralphs Bay in

ocean s to be banned. Senator Meg Lees Tasmania as Aus tr alia's worst case of confirmed that a morato ri um on oce an marine deb ri s. outfalls remains "a high p ri ori ty for the Democrats". March

• Senator John Coulter called for the

1995

purch as e of Can adian Air CL215 aircraft to assist in the protection and surveill ance of shipping along the Great

"Marine debris is the hidden villain of the marine environ- Barrier Reef. ment. It threatens to destroy our coastal integri ty within the decade. We are littering our own beaches and killing off our • Senator Woodley marine life - and only strict policing, tough penalties and new criticised permit

design codes for products which minimise, the impact of arrangements for marine rubbish disposal at sea will stop it." tourism operators seek-

Senator Robe rt Bell February 1995 ing to impo rt dolphins

and whales.

January April

• Senator John Woodley lodged more than • Senator Woodley released a CSIRO 700 objections to the proposal by devel- study of the Port Hinchinbrook reso rt site oper Keith Williams to develop a 1000 showing there was potential for sulphuric room resort and 250 berth marina at acid to run into the Hinchinbrook Channel. Cardwell. Throughout 1994 and 1995, the Senator Woodley again called on the Democrats campaigned strongly against Federal Government to refuse the permits

the proposed development on the grounds needed to proceed with the development. that it threatened World Heritage values in the Hinchinbrook Channel. Over the past three years, the Demo-

crats have attended and contributed

February

to 100 community meetings and con-

• The State of the Marine Environment ^tahons on the marine and coastal environments. We have made several

Report (SOME R) was released. The major submissions to coastal and Democrats pointed out it is the 56th report marine inqui ries and addressed a

on the subject since 1980. Senator Cheryl number of forums and conferences

Kern ot asked: "how much more informa-relating to coastal and marine zone

tion does the Federal Government- need management.

before it acts to prevent further degrad- The Democrats have taken an active a tion of the marine environment?" interest in communi ty coastal and

marine initiatives. We have called

• Addressing a conference at the Univer-for a National Indigenous Coastal

sity of Queensland, Senator Che ry l Kernot Taskforce - to give Indigenous people a much greater role in

urged scientists to speak out more often on managing Australia's coastline. critical marine environment issues. She

also called for action to protect Australia's Our latest initiative is a 50,000 print coast to be given high priority in the 1995 ru n of a Save Our Surf petition to be ^®s

Federal Budget.

presented in Parliament in late 1995.

42

W

a'c6CO? hice a iast

May• Called for the establishment of aNational Coastal Management Act andAuthority to manage and protect Austral-ia's coastline."The Federal Government continues toavoid taking responsibility for coasts by itsfailure to introduce Commonwealthlegislation ..... The Government admitsthat 'numerous inquiries have found that,fragmented and uncoordinated manage-ment effort is the major impediment toeffective coastal management - and yet itstill refuses to adopt a national approach.The Government should start takingnote of its own advice. "Senator Cheryl Kernot June 1995• The Democrats welcomed the Govern-ment's $53 million, 4 year coasts package,but criticised its continuning reliance uponcooperation with the States to deliverproper coastal management.• Senator John Coulter raised concernsover the death of millions of pilchards amurged the Government to immediately in-vestigate the cause of the deaths.June• Called on the Government to givegreater weight to environmental costs inall its decision making processes and torecognise that certain decisions made bythe Government were contributing to thedestruction of the environment by allow-ing the polluting of rivers and oceans.• Senator John Woodley called for birdscaring devices (tori poles).to be mademandatory in the Australian fishing zonefor all Japanese tuna longline vessels toreduce the kill of Australian seabirds. August

• Senator Woodley raised concerns about the effect of sand and gravel operations and associated land use on aquaculture.

September • Senator Bell called for a moratorium on coastal development in Tasmania until the findings of the Resources Assessment Commission are handed down and imple-mented.

• Welcomed - with some reservations -the Government's decision to place limits on the Port Hinchinbrook development.

• Senator John Coulter - as Chair of the Senate's Environment Committee -launches an inquiry into marine pollution.

October • Senator John Coulter described as "hypocritical" the Government's decision to cut $15,000 funding to Ocean Care Day when only a few months earlier it had said it wanted to raise community awareness on marine and coastal issues.

Since the last election, the Democrats have campaigned for a ban on all further ocean outfalls of sewage and for the upgrading of current plants - plants which discharge 5 billion litres of treated sewage daily into Australia's marine environment. We have

also called for greater land disposal of ef-fluent to land.

The Democrats have called for better stormwater management, including filtra-tion of stormwater sources. We have called for funding for a national urban sewerage

and stormwater program.

43

1

rworid ourfgqi

Sustainable cities

and industry Now, more than_ ever, there is a pressing need for• governments to commit themselves to implementingpolicies which will give us the capacity to developsustainable cities, industries and lifestyles.The Democrats.' policies call for a vigorous and interna-tionally competitive economy which is equitable,environmentally sustainable, democratically controlledand internationally responsible. Our economic policiesreflect our belief that economic, environmental andsocial policies and objectives must be integrated if weare to achieve a sustainable economy. Our UrbanPlanning Policy calls for more detailed, communitydriven and independently developed environmentalimpact statements on development proposals. It calls for.urban planning with an emphasis on public transport andwhich protects and rehabilitates urban parkland andbushland. It also calls for better management of urbanwaterways, 'foreshores and wetlands and the banning ofcanal estates and strict controls on marina developments:The Democrats' Housing Policy calls for the expansionof public housing and supports changes to buildingregulations and planning acts to encourage improvedresource and energy conservation and better land use inan environmental and social setting, while allowingmedium density housing where appropriate.

T`

.:3JP

J

^g

1993 • Forced the Government to agree to a $36

million lead-reduction package (as part of

July the 1993 Budget settlement), including an

• Called for Australia to move faster to cut ethanol bounty to promote ethanol as an lead levels in petrol in order to reduce the alternative fuel and funding for research risk of intellectual damage in children. into alternative additives to lead.

August 1994 • Agreed to the Budget increase in taxes on leaded petrol but insisted on increasing February • compensation to low income earners and • Welcomed the Industry Commission's called for more . Government assistance to public housing report for its recognition of

enable low income earners to convert from the cost effectiveness of maintaining and leaded to unleaded fuel. improving public housing stock.

"The Democrats' success in winning a $36 million alte rnative May

fuels package.[as part of the 1993 Federal Budget negotiations] • The Democrats 1994 represents the most significant environmental commitment ever Budget Proposals called for made in Australia to developing alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and lowe ring lead levels." an $80 million boost to

Senator John Coulter September 1993 public housing.

.

September • The Democrats' Budget Proposals also

• Senator Robert Bell - with support from included funding for major public transport CSR - provided 200 litres of ethanol to a . ventures in each capital city (under a new Hobart service station to encourage the National Urban Public Transport . Scheme owners of older cars to trial fuel alcohol designed to arrest the decline in investment

in public transport).

• Criticised GATT for its lack of attention to environmental issues. • The Ethanol Bounty Bill (arising from th

1993 Budget discussions) passed both

• Supported the setting up of the National houses. Senator John Coulter said the Registration Authority for agricultural and bounty offered a chance for large scale veterinary chemicals, but called for public ethanol production to be established in access to information on all registered regional centres.

chemicals. Senator Bell called for more funding for the development of alternatives • Senator Robert Bell called for the to using chemicals in agriculture, closure of rubbish tips in Tasmania which fail to properly manage the dumping of

October chemical containers.

• Called for an urgent ban on ."The first indust ry for which the Government should develop dieldrin and heptachlor after a a strategic plan is the Environment Indust ry. This industry WA survey found'high levels offers opportunities for the development of new industries,of the pesticides in the breast • with great export and job potential"milk of nursing mothers. Senator Sid Spindler Indust ry Statement May 1994 EI

our record

th u

• The Democrats' Industry Statement Septembercalled for support for the Environment • Senator Robert Bell used the occasion ofIndustry, including: the development of a the report of the Senate Environment50,000 place Regional Environment Committee on .waste disposal to pressureEmployment Scheme, the establishment the Government on the need for it toof an Environment Industry Training provide better information to local govern-Council, increased funding for renewable ments about the options and technologyenergy research and reductions in sales ta available.on recycled paper. -- - October• Senator Robert Bell called on the ---_ • Combined with the Coalition to-forceTasmanian Government to support the -the Government to agree to a sales taxestablishment of a local -fuel-ethanol exemption for-recycled pre-manufacturedindustry and urged the Govenment to set goods. -an example by running its car fleet onethanol. November • Senator Sid Spindler called on the• Senator Sid Spindler condemned the Victorian Government to redirect fundsVictorian Government's closure of the earmarked for freeways into better publicToora Windfarm, calling it "economic transport for Melbourne.and environmental short- -sightedness". "If we want a better environment for our, children and our grandchildren, we have to change our way ofJune thinking - and change it now - because our continuing• Urged hospitals to make failure to repair and protect our environment issure their practices are ultimately going to cost us dearly in economic, asenvironmentally friendly - _ well as ecological, terms."including reducing their Senator Cheryl Kernot Speech May 1994energy consumption, re-ducing medical waste and re-using and • Questioned the Government's mad-recycling equipment where safe and equate handling of medical waste andpracticable. called for a "cleaner" health industry.• Senator Meg Lees introduced legis- • Senator Vicki Bourne forced the Gov-lation to ban the advertising of tobacco ernment to agree to implement a codeon health and environmental grounds. governing the construction of Telecom mobile phone towers. The code allowsJuly consumers to complain to the CEPA about• The transitional assistance to manufac- towers. The Democrats also forced theturers of recycled paper negotiated by the Government to agree to review the code inAustralian Democrats in 1992 ended, and the second half of 1995 because of ourthe Democrats pressured the Government concerns that it did not accommodateto resurrect the CEPA Inquiry into recy- mandatory community notification andcled paper products. consultation.49

re

.c.ora shoe last election the r. In November 1994, Democrat Senators voted against legis- lation implementing the General Agreement on Tariffs andTrade (GATT) and setting up the World Trade Organisa-tion. The Democrats said the Government had failed toensure Australia's record of environmental protection wasnot compromised under GATT. We also argued thatGATT did nothing to assist developing countries protectand repair their .environments and that the likely outcome . .of GATT -was that "First World" countries --would benefit - —at the cost of the "Third World' .'. Throughout 1993-4,Senators Co*ulter, Splindler and Kernot raised concernsabout the impact of GATT on Australia's ability to enforceenvironmental standards. The Democrats also criticisedattempts by the Australian Government to challenge theClinton Government's proposed energy tax as being a"non-tariff barrier" to Australian fossil fuel exports.November 1995 • As part of his ongoing campaign againstpesticide use, Senator Robert Bell calledfor national legislation to monitor and Februarycontrol the use of agricultural chemicals. • Senator Kernot moved to establish aSenator Bell also urged the Government Senate Inquiry into Aircraft Noise atto ensure greater public access to inform- Sydney Airport, focussing on the environ-ation on dangerous chemicals. mental implications of the third runway, the proposed Sydney West Airport andDecember the privatisation of the operation of the• Opposed tax concessions for private Sydney Airports.sector infrastructure investment. SenatorMeg Lees argued that the bonds provided March -excessive encouragement for construction • The Coalition parties agreed to Senatorof private roads and power stations, but Kernot's proposed Inquiry into Aircraftexcluded health, education and environ- Noise at Sydney Airport.mental infrastructure. Throughout 1994,the Democrats pursued issues such as the • Senator John Woodley raised the issueprovision of public transport in outer of Eastlink in Queensland and the seriousmetropolitan suburbs and the need for environmental consequences along thenational action on rail. infrastructure. We main range of the massive power linealso raised concerns about the support : corridor. He successfully moved in Marchprovided by the Federal Government for to establish a Senate Inquiry into theprivately operated freeways in Sydney. economic need for - and the environmental consequences of - the Eastlink.50

our record ncs the last eflection

• Senator Vicki Bourne introduced a billto extend the curfew on Sydney Airportsand limit the number of aircraft move-ments. The Government responded inSeptember with a watered down versionof the Democrats' legislation.June• The, Government's continuing rundownof funding for public housing and theimpact of its high interest rate policy onhouse affordability were cited by SenatorKernot as key reasons for the Democrats'decision to block the 12% sales tax onbuilding products.• Moved to re-instate the sales tax exemrtion for recycled paper - a move defeatedby the combined vote of Labor and theCoalition.• Senator Cheryl Kernot moved 16amendments to the Government'sCompetition Policy Reform Bill on behalfof environment, consumer, welfare, localgovernment, public sector and trade unionorganisations who had been ignored in theconsultation process. Her amendmentswere defeated by the combined vote ofLabor and the Coalition.September• Continuing the Democrats' interest inTelecom mobile phone towers, SenatorRobert Bell called on the Government tofollow the New Zealand example ofbanning mobile phone towers in schoolyards - operating under the "precautionaryprinciple" and based on the radiation thatemanates from the towers. The Govern-ment is yet to respond. An extract from Senator Kernot's second

reading speech on the Competition Policy Reform Bill 1995:

"This Bill will set in train one of the most radical and far-reaching public reforms seen in Australia..... In the Democrats' view, competition policy represents

the victory of economics over eq----- ----uity, of competition over compas-sion and of accounting over ac-countability in the management of

public services..... The Democrats want to make sure that higher user charges, the end of cross-.subsidisation, the narrowing of

community. service obligations and the inevitable path to privatisation paved by this package do not lead to fewer public services to those,

who need them most - low income earners and people living in re-gional and rural areas..... Competi-tion policy has great potential for

banditry and bastardy and we want to make sure that we keep the bandits'and the bastards as honest as possible..... [One] loser in all this is the environment - as State-owned

water, electricity, forestry and gas bodies across the country seek to make a buck out of resources, while the unprofitable conservation ele-

ments of their charters wither on the vine.....The consumer and envi-ronment movements, the Australian Council of Social Services, the Australian Local Government

Association, public sector workers, professional bodies, farmers - all are very concerned about aspects of this legislation. I . do not believe

their concerns have been ad-equately addressed."

51

world:

our futui

Greeningindustry

& the economy,.-_ A healthy economy relies upon a healthy environment andgovernments throughout the world need to recognise theimportance of integrating environmental and economicgoals. We must develop, as one of our basic aims, theability to meet our current needs without . compromisingthe ability of future generations to meet theirs. We mustacknowledge the economic value in maintaining our"natural capital" - clean air and water, productive soiland land, renewable energy resources - and take actionnow to ensure those vital assets are not irreparablydamaged or destroyed.The Democrats are proud of our long record of puttingforward alternative views to the current economic agenda.Over the past decade, we have consistently called forsocial and environmental considerations to be given equalweight alongside, economic ones. We have consistentlyrejected the premise - and the practices - of 'economicrationalism'. We have opposed the privatisation ofpublicly owned assets and community services. Wehave called for the adoption of an 'abuser pays' principlein relation to pollution and for the users of non-renewableresources to pay some premium to the public (such as acarbon tax or natural resource rent tax) in recognitionof the loss of that asset to future generationsof Australians.55

r ciE i

election .:... ,

1993 1994

May February

• The Auditor=General's report on the • Called for a major commitment from inadequacy of the Government's green- the Government to develop and support house gas strategy was released. Senators environment industries in the Employment Robert Bell and John Coulter used the White Paper, following a damning OECD`

occasion to pressure the Government for report on Australia's poor environment further action. Senator Coulter accused-the industry-record ---

Government of "maintaining a facade and

going through the motions" without any • Moved an amendment to the Offshore serious intention of implementing the Mining Act to prevent exploration and necessary reforms. The Democrats also mining in marine parks. reaffirmed our strong political support for the role of the Audit Office in assessing March Government performance. • Moved an Urgency Motion debate in the

Senate criticising the

"Australia ranks as one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse Government for its in-gas polluters. Our use of non-renewable and polluting fossil fuels is adequate response on profligate. We must turn this record around - and that means the greenhouse gases. Government has to start getting tough with those industries which

are the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions." • Senator John Coulter Senator John Coulter January 1994 condemned the Govern-

ment for letting Australia become the only

• Senator Meg Lees introduced legislation country in the world to seek an exemption on food labelling. Senator Lees continued to the London Dumping Convention to to pursue the issue of more -appropriate allow us to continue to dump industrial food labelling throughout most of this . waste in the ocean.

term, successfully forcing the Government -

to abandon its own inadequate legislation. • Senator Coulter again raised Australia's continuing exports of hazardous wastes

September _ overseas and the Government's reluctance

• From September 1993 until May 1994, to pursue stronger domestic enforcement. Senator John Coulter increased pressure of the Basle convention on the internat-on the Government on its greenhouse ional movement of hazardous wastes. response in the lead up to the Berlin

Conference. Throughout 1993 and 1994, May -

the Democrats consistently used Parlia- • The Democrats' Industry Statement was ment to draw attention to the failure of the released, identifying the environment Government's greenhouse gas strategy. industry as a key source of potential jobs In the lead up to the 1994 Budget, we growth and expansion.--The Statement also strongly pushed for a levy on carbon called for the full implementation of the emissions, with the proceeds to be used to recommendations of the Ecologically

fund energy efficiency and conservation Sustainable Development Working Parties measures and public transport. (set up in 1990).

56

August

• The Democrats reluctantly supported the Government's National Environmental Protection Council, but called for a much stronger body able to enforce tougher

environmental protection standards.

ur r9COfi skice the last eectbn

May• The Democrats' 1994 Budget Proposalsincluded a carbon tax, a $56 millionhousehold energy conservation programand a substantial increase in funding forresearch and development of renewableenergy. The Budget Proposals alsoprovided for extending the InvestmentAllowance. for two years-for. energy_efficiency measures: We called for theGovernment to lead by example andimprove its own energy conservationmeasures (with a potential. saving of $46million a year). We called for the development of a sectoral industry plan for theenvironment industry, for the funding ofenvironment industry traineeships andfor a Regional Environment EmploymentProgram to help kick start the expansionof a domestic environment industry.• Senator John Coulter again criticisedGovernment for allowing Australia tobceome one of the world's greatestexporters of toxic waste.June• Opposed the Plant Breeders Rights Bill,which allocated exclusive rights over planvarieties - effectively setting up a systemof private property rights over livingorganisms. Senator Coulter called thelegislation "morally objectionable" andsaid it would reduce biological diversityand could allow companies monopolycontrol over access to all seeds from aparticular plant species. October

• In a major speech to senior business leaders, Senator Cheryl Kernot called on Australian business to harness market

forces to protect the environment, rather than abuse and exploit it. She pointed to growing economic opportunities in the burgeoning global environment industry

and urged business leaders to support economic and taxation policies which would assist Australia to take advantage of those opportunities.

1995

57

March

June

• Senator John Coulter reaffirmed the • Opposed the decision by the Coalition Democrats' support for a form of carbon and the Greens to provide a potential $80 tax as part of an 'abuser pays' approach to million windfall to quarrying and dredging the use and protection of the environment. companies under the diesel fuel rebate He called for the revenue raised from such scheme.

a tax to be directed into research and development of alternative energy sources. September • Following the BHP Ok Tedi-disaster, • The Government released its greenhouse Senator Sid Spindler used Question Time

gas emissions reduction strategy prior to to pressure the Federal Government to the Berlin Climate Change Conference. develop a code of conduct for Australian • The Democrats called the strategy "a companies operating overseas - especially failure" and said it showed "a disappoint- where companies are receiving public

ing lack of initiative and leadership". _ assistance through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

May 0

• Senator Bourne introduced the second • Senator John Coulter also called on the

version of her Parliamentary Approval Government to require Australian compa-Treaties Bill, designed to ensure full public nies operating overseas to observe ,environ-debate occurs prior to Australia ratifying mental protection conditions at least as international treaties. The Coalition stringent as if the company were conduct-indicated its support for much of Senator ing its operations in Australia. Bourne's Bill, although the Government remained opposed. However, the Govern- • Senator Coulter pointed to new evidence

ment agreed to table copies of treaties in suggesting there is only a one in forty the Senate. On June 21 1995, for example, chance that global warming is due to over 26 treaties were tabled on a single natural climate variability. He confirmed day - and Senator Woodley spoke on a that, "against this background of very number covering important environmental careful scientific analysis, the Democrats

issues. will continue to be extremely critical of

governments for going ahead with transpo

• Senator John Woodley called for a food and other energy intensive proposals which labelling requirement for genetically totally ignore the results and predictions of engineered foods. this work".

"BHP is jeopardising our reputation as an environmentally sensitive and responsible corporate world citizen. A voluntary code of conduct for Australian companies operating overseas is a reasonable first step. But if that voluntary code of conduct is either unsatisfactory or proves that Australian companies are pre-

pared to ignore it, this parliament certainly has the powers to pass legislation to ensure that our corporate citizens behave overseas in a responsible manner." Senator Sid Spindler Speech September 1995

58

^J

Green jobs

&taxatiofl Concern for the environment does not mean a loss of jobs.There are many - mostly unexplored - opportunities to createjobs in the environment industries. What is required is acommitment from governments to promote and support ashift towards creating jobs in those industries - and awayfrom employment in' unsustainable or environmentallydamaging activities.The Democrats' Employment Policy recognises that society,through government, "has an overiding obligation to provideemployment for all those who wish to work, and to minimiseimpediments which prevent them from doing so." Our policiescall for a reappraisal of the concept of work to incbiporate amore flexible approach to working hours, job-sharing, trainingand retirement. Our Taxation Policy calls for a tax systemwhich "promotes social, economic and environmentalsustainability" and which "shifts productive activity awayfrom environmentally dangerous paths and towards a sustain-able economy". We support tax incentives for environmentallyfriendly new industries and tax measures which penalise,rather than encourage, a high use of natural resources. Our .Finance and Banking Policy recognises that deregulation hasreduced Australia's capacity to control its own economicdestiny. It calls for intervention - where appropriate - in themarket place to achieve social and environmental objectivesand for selective re-regulation and public sector involvementto redress the current imbalance.61

oUt £BOOfd uiice the last election

1993 1994 March March• From March 1993 to March 1994, the • As part of formal Budget consultationsDemocrats continued to express our oppo- with the Government, the Democratssition to the Keating income tax cuts and submitted a 55 page, fully costed Budget •to call for a 1.25 per cent Jobs Levy to Proposal developed in consultation with•fund the creation of 150,000 jobs in public community, conservation and industryinfrastructure development, community groups. Employment proposals included:services and the environment industry. - a $1.2 billion boost to employment pro-.grams including "The sad fact is that, over the past decade, we have been encouraged to see 12,500 trainee- our national goals almost exclusively in economic terms. We have been ships under an encouraged to measure our success in terms of our economic performance Environ ronmenti Training and our economic development. And we have been encouraged to see merit Industr in looking to the economic short term, rather than the long term ..... It is Council; time we broadened some of our economic parameters. If we want to survivein the brave new world of the global economy, it is time we looked - 50,000 placesbeyond narrow economic goals." (over three years)Senator Cheryl Kernot Speech August 1994 in a Regional EnvironmentAugust Employment Program (covering environ-• Forced the Government to agree to mental repair work, revegetation, farmchanges to She 1993 Budget including forestry, weed, control, conservation man-increasing the low income earners tax agement, biodiversity projects, feral animalrebate to compensate for petrol and sales control, riverbank rehabilitation, culturaltax increases, and the development of a heritage conservation and waste manage-national lead abatement strategy (see ment and recycling); andSustainable cities and industry). - expanding Extra Work places to 120,000 with an emphasis on community servicesOctober and the environment industry.• Reached final agreement with the Gov-ernment on a $36 million, 3 year package • e Budget Proposals also called forwhich included an ethanol bounty, $2 $1.2 billion for public infrastructuremillion for surveys of blood levels, a projects, including:national lead education program and $2 - $250 million on urban public transportmillion for research into alternative addi- and railways and $140 million on urbantives to lead and for the development of a and rural waste water managementnational environmental standard for petrol. projects; and - $35 million for ecosystem, biologicalNovember diversity and endangered species research• Senator Kernot succeeded in obtaining (with a spin off of about 2000 extra jobs);Government agreement to allow the - $32 million for sectoral industry planningRSCPA to be exempt from sales tax, with the environment industry one of threeproviding a $200,000 a year benefit to key growth industries targeted).RSCPA.62

• The Budget Proposals included six

specific taxation measures to discourage exploitation of native forests and fossil fuels, encourage energy conservation, nature conservation and the use of recy-cled paper and to phase out the diesel fuel rebate for the mining and forestry sectors.

• Senator John Coulter moved to make donations of land to the Natural Heritage Conservation Trust tax deductible. His amendment was defeated by the com-bined vote of the Labor Government and the Coalition.

• Senator Cheryl Kernot used her keynote speech at Envirofest to call for the expan-sion of green jobs and environment indus-try employment and career opportunities.

May • The Democrats criticised the White Paper on Employment for failing to encourage the growth and development of green jobs and environment industries..

September • In an address to the International Conference of Australian Environmental Educators, Senator Kernot focussed on the role of science and vocational education in creating ecologically sustainable jobs.

October • Senator John Coulter again moved to make.donations of land to Natural Conser-vation Trusts tax deductible. Labor and Coalition again voted them down.

Extract from Senator Cheryl Kernot's speech to ACOSS October 1994

"Dr. John Stocker - former head of the CSIRO - has been highly critical of what he terms "the unceasing, almost obsessive analysis of our economic performance

[which] remains largely divorced from considerations of sustainable development". Dr. Stocker calls this" a grievous flaw in public and political debate" because it ignores the very obvi-ous fact that our present lifestyle is not sustainable. I agree with him.

Here, once again, we see the poverty of Australian political imagination -reflected in our major parties' refusal to challenge mainstream economic reasoning on its failure to recognise the environmental costs involved in the pro-duction of certain goods and services. We should not continue to accept such flawed logic - a logic which effectively implies that resources are limitless.

That inability to see the link between environment outcomes with economic performance is reflected in the policies of our governments.

Our governments refuse to look at taxing goods with very high environmental . costs. They refuse to introduce 'abuser pays' charges on products which are directly responsible for pollution or environmental degradation. They won't shift public re-sources away from industries which damage the environment towards industries which either restore the environment or have a -neutral or minimal impact on it. They are

reluctant to give tax breaks to businesses which want to invest in energy saving capi-tal stock. They have repeatedly refused to reduce or eliminate sales taxes on re-usable or recycled products. They would rather sell-off a public asset than invest in public infratructure. And their neglect of the potential to create and generate jobs in the environment industries has been close to criminal.

The fact is that environmental sustainability is not one of the outcomes Labor or Coalition governments seek to generate from their economic policies.

We are all the worse-off for that."

t

! F9C d 1noetbA? 1at CtOII November April• At 'The Other Economic Summit', Sena- • Acting Democrats Leader Senator Megtor Kern ot highlighted the damage done by Lees again called on the Government toeconomic rationalism to the development target the mining and forestry . sectors foraof an environment industry and jobs phase out of the diesel fuel rebate.growth based on ESD principles.June "The Democrats have campaigned strongly for raising the ve ry low • In her final response level of investment in public infrastructure in Australia, but we to Treasurer Wil lis on cannot suppo rt this Labor Government's user pays, privatised ap- the 1995 Budget, proach to infrastructure provision. We cannot support schemes which Senator Che ryl Kernot encourage private sector ownership and control of vital public assetssuch as roads, electrici ty, gas, sewerage and water." proposed a tax on ex- po rt woodChips, a Senator Meg Lees Speech December 1994 reduction in the dieselfuel rebate for mining, a review of defence December contracting arrangements and improving • Moved amendments to allow greater use energy efficiency within government of voluntary and community based work departments as four replacement revenue by unemployed persons. measures for the blocked sales tax on• Opposed tax concessions for private building materials.sector infrastructure investment. Senator .Senator Kernot used the debate on sales Meg Lees said the bonds offered excessive tax on motor vehicles to raise the issue of encouragement for investment in roads and the low tax status of high polluting cars, power stations, but excluded health, educa- P icularly four wheel drive vehicles. tion and environmental infrastructure.• "We have always argued that the govern- • In the lead up to the 1995 Budget, Sena- ment should use the tax system to encourge tor Cheryl Kernot called for higher taxes better environmental outcomes. For exam- on polluters, tax avoiders and speculators. pie, it is possible to raise revenue from She also wrote to the Treasurer offering the motor vehicles in a more environmentally Democrats' suppo rt for higher taxes on f riendly and economically responsible timber from native forests, a 110% tax way.The Democrats have often floated the allowance for plantations, a 110% Invest- idea of a sliding scale of sales tax based on ment Allowance for retooling of sawmills ienc This idea has merit an el efficiency and f y ^^^^ and reducing sales tax on recycled paper. g Y p p we wi ll keep raising it.Senator Cheryl Kern ot June 19951995 September• Senator John Woodley strongly criticisedMarch the final Industry Commission report on• Senator John Woodley successfully Charities and its proposal to change thecampaigned for sales tax exemptions for tax exempt nature of chanties - a proposalQueensl an d producers of garden edgings with major ramifications for communitymade from recycled plastics. and environment charity groups.

1

rworldourtube 4

Uranium mining.

& nuclear issues The need for peace and security in the world has neverbeen greater. The escalation of the ,nuclear arms racecontinues - both in terms of numbers of weapons and thenumber of countries with nuclear weapons capability.The superpowers have stockpiled more than 50,0000nuclear warheads. More countries are developing thecapacity for nuclear weapons. The potential for aconflict involving nuclear weapons remains high.The nuclear industry is also costly in environmentalterms. Australia should play its part in bringing to anend this situation by repudiating the nuclear industryand our involvement in it through uranium mining.The Democrats have a long history of opposition to thenuclear industry and uranium mining. In the Senate since1981 we have introduced 20 pieces of legislation dealingwith nuclear issues (none of which was adopted by Laboror the Coalition), asked 191 questions, delivered 419speeches and introduced 71 notices of motion.We have repeatedly called for the immediate closure ofall exisiting uranium mines and for a ban on the export ofuranium from Australia. We strongly opposed the re-sumption of testing by the French Government atMururoa Atoll and have introduced legislation toimmediately end uranium sales to France.67

our red shiee te last &tectIn

Some historical highlights 1983 Senator Don Chipp said that "the Australian Democrats totally, unequivo-cally and passionately disagree with the premise of the Liberal Party of Australia"

who wanted a continuation of the develop-ment of Australian uranium resources.

1984 Don Chipp introduced a bill to prohibit the passage of nuclear powered ships through Australian waters. The bill was defeated by the combined vote of Labor and the Coalition.

1985 Don Chipp introduced a further 6 pieces of legislation to prohibit nuclear weapons, to ban nuclear ships in Austral-ian waters and to prevent the import and export of nuclear weapons. Labor and

Coalition again joined together to reject the legislation.

1986 Senator Norm'Sanders called on the Government to remove all foreign bases and installations from Australian soil unless it could be positively shown they did not form any part of the United States' nuclear strategy.

1986 Senator Don Chipp warned of the implications of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and called for the closure of Australian uranium mines.

.1987 Norm Sanders introduced the Foreign Bases (Pine Gap Removal) Bill.

1987 Senator Jean Jenkins said: "Pine Gap is not a joint defence or space research facility.. .it is there as part of the United States' offensive role in a nuclear war..."

1988 Norm Sanders raised the issue of flag' swapping, using evidence from leaked Euratom documents to demonstrate that Australian uranium was being enriched for nuclear weapons programs. He pointed out

this directly contravened Australian safe-guards.

1988 Senator John Coulter said: "No reliance can be placed on safeguards whatsoever. The process is a lie behind which the civil and military nuclear pro-grams are established and maintained."

1988 Senator Paul MaLean said-itwas a matter of urgency that Australia's defence forces demonstrate and maintain a strong anti-nuclear stance.

1.989 Senator Janine Haines criticised the Australian Government for using our defence forces against Australian citizens on Australian soil in defence of the US Military Base at Nurrangar.

1991 Senator Janet Powell warned of implications of exporting fighter aircraft to Pakistan which has a well developed nu-clear weapons program and could well

supply air support for a nuclear strike.

1992 Senator John Coulter warned of a recent Swedish analysis which concluded all RMBK nuclear reactors would be susceptible to a Chernobyl type explosion. He said Australia could be a target for

nuclear fall out should Indonesia build a nuclear reactor. He also pointed out that if we were exporting uranium to Indonesia, the fall out could be of Australian origin.

1.992 Senator Karin Sowada called for the Government to ban the import and export of radioactive waste.

•:

Our record SIIC8 the last CASCtIOII

1993 • Called on the Federal Government tocommit itself to blocking any moves by a May South Australian Liberal Government to • Introduced the Nuclear Power, Uranium Uraniun establish a uranium enrichment plant. Enrichment and Reprocessing (Prohib-ition) Bill 1993 to prohibit activities in December relation to nuclear power production, • Proposed a Senate inquiry into plans by uranium enrichment and reprocessing. Indonesia to build 12 nuclear power sta-tions on Java and Australia's likely role in October supplying technology to the plants. • Expressed grave concern that Chinaconducted an underground nuclear test1994 on 5 October 1993.• Queried whether funding for the con- Februarystruction of a new research reactor was • Called for a comprehensive nuclear testagainst the national interest. ban treaty."The economic as well as the environmental future of the nuclear • Urged an investigat-energy indust ry is dismal indeed. Nuclear energy has proved to be ion into Western Min-far more expensive than expected. The problems associated with ing's m anagement of thedecommissioning old nuclear reactors as well as the problem of Roxby Downs uraniumwhat to do with waste generated by reactors have not been satisfac- mine following repo rtstorily solved. It is time to remove the impediments standing in the of waste water seepingway of applying other, renewable energy sources." into the undergroundSenator John Coulter January 1994. water table.• Questioned the Government on the • Condemned the Government for provid- likelihood of Australian uranium being ing $250,000 for a nuclear world safe- dumped into the Sea of Japan by the guards conference at ANSTO which woul Russians and demanded an undertaking not be open to the public and from which that no more of our uranium be supplied no papers, reports or minutes would be to Russia. made publicly available.• Demanded the Government justify its June contribution of $5 million to the Interna- • Opposed a Government paper which tional Atomic Energy Agency in 1993-94. suggested exporting spent fuel rods toScotland for reprocessing and then • Revealed that Australia was seeking to reimporting the highly radioactive liquid sell uranium to Taiwan through a third waste end product. country."Bastille Day can no longer mean liberty, -equality and fraternity. It is now synonymous withpermanent ecological destruction, radio-active poisoning and death. There is nothing for theFrench to celebrate in holding the world hostage to the fear of nuclear war."Senator Cheryl Kernot Speech to Sydney rally July 1995•^

Ulir

reCO!d hics tL1S last July • Senator Cheryl Kernot called on the• Opposed Government plans for a low- Government to ban mining and export oflevel radioactive waste dump in outback uranium from Australia. Her motion toAustralia. debate the issue was gagged by the com-bined vote of Labor and the Coalition.August• Senator John Coulter reaffirmed the • Senator John Coulter introduced a bill toDemocrats' opposition to uranium mining prohibit the export of uranium to Franceand any other part of the nuclear fuel or while it continued testing in the Southnuclear weapons cycle. Pacific. Labor and the Coalition votedtogether to stop the bill being debated.• Joined with conservation groups to warnthe Labor Government that an "open gate" Julyapproach to uranium mining would be • Senator Cheryl Kernot addressed 20,000remembered at the next federal election people rallying in Sydney to protestagainst the resumption of"As far as the Democrats are concerned, the only French nuclear testing.acceptable uranium mining policy is a no uraniummining policy." AugustSenator John Coulter August 1994 • Democrats' Senators SidSpindler, Robert Bell and JohnCoulter travelled to Tahiti to join protests September against the resumption of French nuclear • Threatened to go to the World Heritage testing at Mururoa. Bureau in Paris to block any expansion ofuranium mining in Kakadu National Park. September• Senator Vicki Bourne travelled to Europe1995 as part.of a parliamentary delegation seek-" ing to convince France's neighbours toMarch condemn French nucelar testing.• Warned of the dangers of plutonium • The Democrats tried again to bring on shipments and the long term hazards if our bill to ban the export of uranium to they are lost at sea. France. Debate on the bill was againgagged by the combined vote of Labor and June J Coalition. the on. • On behalf of the Democrats, SenatorCheryl Kernot strongly condemned theresumption of French nuclear testing inthe South Pacific andwarned that the United "While John Howard and Paul Keating play tactics, the rest of us areStates could use the left wondering whether they really do care about the core of the nu-French tests as an clear issue - the mining and selling of uranium to France. Theirexcuse to resume its silence on that is deafening."own testing program. Senator Cheryl Kernot Letter June 199570

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73

1

Endangered species

& bio'diversity Australia's record on extinct species is among the worst in theworld. In the past 200 years, at least 30 Australian animalsand 100 species of plant have been wiped out. We continue todestroy -. or badly manage - the habitat of some of our mostprecious and rare creatures. We have no comprehensivenational map of our native flora and fauna and we spendmore money looking after Parliament House than onendangered species programs. We have been entrustedwith the care of some of the most unique flora and fauna inthe world, yet we continue to ignore our custodianshipand abuse our heritage.The Democrats are proud of our record of taking action toprotect Australia's threatened species. In 1992, prior to the lastFederal Election, we ran a nation-wide campaign in support ofSenator John Coulter's Threatened Species Bill. This high-profile and successful campaign involved widespreadcommunity consultation and a travelling art exhibition withcontributions from some of Australia's leading artists,including Brett Whiteley, Ken Done and Michael Leunig.Since the, last election, the Democrats have continued to call.for national legislation to protect endangered species. We have,called for increased funding for improved habitat managementand biological research. We have campaigned to protectspecific threatened species, including the bilby, the quoll, themahogany glider, the cassowary and Leadbetter's possum. Wehave also opposed the international trade in endangeredwildlife.

ast

: j

^e

flff 3flTd. ^^ *

1993

May • Condemned the Federal Government for delaying ratification of the International Convention on Biological Diversity and for failing to adopt a National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity.

• Endorsed the proposal for an Antarctic whale sanctuary and urged the Govern-ment to stand firm in its opposition to

4

May The Democrats' Budget Proposals included a $22 million funding boost for the Endangered Species Program, an increase

in funding for the Wildlife Protection Agency and an increase of $12.5 million for the implemntation of the National Biological Diversity Strategy to enable Australia to meet our commitments under the International Convention on Biological Diversity.

commercial whaling. - '

"Itis a facrthar the Stat s are not necessa"rily gi ven to Iookrng: after their endangered species and this Government's end 1ered July species leg^rs7attan is ve y weak. It is . within the pravirice f the • Called for a Govern- ` Common s ealth top touch stranger legislation As :I have>sau1 ment recovery plan for 72ti liinesI believe "the trade and comma rce powers and corpora Acacia axillaris (listed powers mild do most of the things necessa ry :ta.pratec t en as a vulnerable species). &,gered specie-d without the inuvty neat "of the' States' :; trs is afterall, a na wiial issue and it shb.'W Plot be left to the StatesAugust f f x en tor J4hu Cou1tei Speeci^ Ehe SLn it r AuLu^t 199 t'"• Called for forest areas s'L ______ _in the Nalbaugh State Forest to be pro-tected as. they are the home of 84 speciesof protected Australian animals, includingthe endangered species: the sooty owl,yellow-bellied glider and the tiger quoll.• Tabled petitions calling for nationalThreatened Species legislation which usesthe powers of the Constitution to halt theloss of species in Australia.September• Raised concerns about the export ofkoalas to foreign zoos.October• Called on the Government to strikeJervis Bay off its list of possible sites foran armaments depot, pointing out thelikely detrimental impact on endangeredbirds and animals in the area. June

• On the first anniversary of Australia's ratification of the Convention on Biologi-cal Diversity, Senator Coulter called on the Government to nominate native veg-etation clearance as a key threatening process under the Endangered Species

Protection Act.

• Called for more action to protect the bilby and drew attention to the success of the Easter bilby campaign.

August • Again called for stronger national legislation to protect endangered species.

December • Called for woodchip export licences to be refused for areas known to be the habitat of Leadbetter's Possum.

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our record skice th last ooction

1995 • Condemned AQIS and the governmentfor their inaction in dealing with a diseaseMarch which threatened to decimate native spe-• Criticised the -Queensland Government's cies of pilchards.sugar infrastructure package for threaten-ing endangered mahogany gliders and • Senator Coulter again criticised thecassowaries and called on the Federal Government for its continuing failure toGovernment to urgently set aside $10 pass adequate, comprehensive nationalmillion to buy back critical habitats. legislation to protect Australia's endan-.gered species.June• Questioned - and strongly condemned - "We have made enormous mistakes in the pastthe Government for its position at the regarding the importation of exotic species into• Convention on International Trade in Australia. And yet we still have a paucity ofEndangered Species of Wild Fauna and information to enable us to properly regulateFlora (CITES) when it voted to allow the movement of animals and plant from onetrade in African elephant products and an part of the world to another. That means theincrease in export quotas of leopard skins, precautionary principle should lead us to not do something - if there is any chance that theresults could be irreversible.-" • Drew attention to the large numbers of ., Senator John Coulter Speech September 1995 albatross killed. by tuna fishing and urgedthe Government to take action to address• the problem. August• Called for the creation of a Great Bight• Repeatedly raised the issue of the threat Marine Park in the headwaters of the Greatto the mahogany glider of large scale land Australian Bight to protect the breedingclearing in Queensland. Wrote to the and calving grounds of the endangeredMinister for the Environment seeking southern right whale.urgent funding for purchase of the gliders'habitat. Pressured the Federal Governmen Septemberto take action to stop the loss of major • Supported the Wildlife (Regulation ofhabitats in Queensland as a result of land Exports and Imports) Bill and successfullyclearing, moved amendments to allow for a onemonth public comment"We must act now if we want. to save the mahogany glider.• period on applications toIts existence is being threatened right now, at this very import or export certainmoment, by large scale clearing of its habitat.. This is a endangered species.real test for governments - both State and Federal. This isa real test of their priorities. If we cannot act to save the • Opposed the importhabitat of one small creature, how can we possibly face and sale of medicinesour grandchildren? What will we say to them when they which contain threatenedask us why we were unable to stop the disappearance of species.this beautiful, harmless and unique animal? • Opposed the export of Senator John Woodley Speech June 1995 live freshwater fish.75

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world our 1111w

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Electromagnetic

fields

Senator Robert Bell began raising concerns about the dangers from electromagnetic radiation after he received an unsatisfactory answer

from the Government about the setting and enforcing of EMF Since the last election, he'has:

• Called for new electromagnetic radiation exposure limits to be put in place throughout Australia.

• Called for compulsory EMF label-ling on all electrical appliances.

• Commissioned and released a 110 page report on EMFs and human health entitled Non-ionizing electro-magnetic fields and human health:

are current standards safe? The report lists health hazards associated with domestic power

supply frequencies and with EMFs from powerlines, building wiring, office equipment, electrical appli-ances and computers.

• Called for mandatory limits on EMFs for computer monitors sold in Australia.

• In March 1995, Senator John Woodley successfully moved for a Senate inquiry into the proposed Eastlink high-voltage powerline in

Queensland, citing concerns about EMFs as one of his motivations for pushing for an inquiry.

Genetic property rights

The Democrats have repeatedly raised concerns about genetic engineering, the patenting of life and genetic property rights. Since the last election, we have:

• Raised concerns about trade related intellectual property rights under the GATT. Senator John Coulter asked the Minister for Trade if the Government felt it appropriate to impose, through GATT,

a system of ownership of life and genetic material which is at variance with the ethics, culture - and interests - of many of the world's people.

• Opposed the Plant Breeder's Rights Bill, calling it "immoral and unethical". Senator John Coulter told the Senate the Democrats would not support legislation

which allowed for "the ownership, the commercial exploitation and the exclusive use for commercial purposes of genetic material".

• Senator John Woodley raised concerns about genetic engineering in the produc-tion of pork and chicken meat and called for wider public debate on the desirability of such practices.

Green Olympics

The Democrats have called for Sydney's 2000 Olympic Games to be "a showcase for the viability of environmental technologies". We endorsed Greenpeace proposals for a trial

personal public transport program, funding for a prototype solar co-generation plant and the development of water and energy projects for the Olympics. Our 1994 Budget Proposals

included $3.2 million towards innovative projects designed to "green" the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

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Animal welfare

1993 September • Senator John Woodley called on the Government to carry out an assessment of

the health implications to consumers of the presence of cancer in battery chickens.

November • Senator Cheryl Kernot succeeded in obtaining Government agreement to exempt the RSCPA from sales tax, giving a $200,000 a year benefit to the RSCPA.

1995

March • Speaking at a protest rally in Brisbane, Senator Woodley criticised the lack of action to address the appalling conditions endured by battery hens throughout Australia.

• Senator Woodley drew attention to the serious animal welfare problems in piggeries.

• Senator Robert Bell called for the pro-tection of wildlife in Tasmanian wetlands from lead contaminatign from recreational shooting.

May • Senator Woodley criticised the granting of permits for the importation of whales and dolphins to be kept in captivity.

September • Senator Woodley raised the issue of cruelty to calves in veal production.

Constitutional change

Since the last election, the Democrats have campaigned for the inclusion of an environmental head of power in the Australian Constitution which gives the Federal Government explicit powers to deal with environmental problems of national significance.

This year, on World Environment Day, Senator Cheryl Kernot set out the areas such a head of power could cover: the discharge of substances into air,

land or water affecting more than one state or territory; the prevention of air, land or water degradation affecting

more than one state or territory; the use of nuclear fuels, nuclear energy and ionising radiation; the protection of areas of Australia of national and inter-national significance; and the protection of native species from extinction.

We have called for a referendum on the inclusion of the new head of power into our Constitution (which currently does not mention the environment). .

Senator John Coulter has also tabled legislation which aims to make parl-iament take into account the impact of laws on the environment. This proposal

does not give the Commonweith any new powers.

Introducing his legislation in March 1995, Senator Coulter said it was de-signed to "provide a reminder that ..... the Commonwealth, as custodian of the nation's natural heritage, has a respons-

ibility to exercise its exiting powers in such a way which takes account of that heritage for both the present generation and for all future Australians".

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