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Government Backs Another Loser: Jeanette Fitzsimons

Government Backs Another Loser: Jeanette Fitzsimons 

23 May 2013-- Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s announcement today that he’ll grant Australian mining company Bathurst access to mine part of the Denniston Plateau is a sign that the Government has learnt nothing from Solid Energy’s financial debacle, says Jeanette Fitzsimons of Coal Action Network Aotearoa.
 
Ms Fitzsimons is on the Coal Action Network Aotearoa’s national organising group, and has also worked with the West Coast Environment Network on its Supreme Court case arguing that climate change must be taken into account in consents on coal mining.
 
The financially strapped Bathurst, which announced this week that it’s dropping 20 staff currently working on a major part of its income stream, the Cascade mine, and pulling its drill rigs out of the Denniston Plateau to keep it “cash positive”.
 
“The Government appears hell-bent on backing yet another financially precarious coal company. It has changed the law retrospectively to give itself the power to allow access for mining, contrary to the requirements of the Conservation Act.
 
“Why allow this struggling company to rip the heart out of our precious conservation estate and wreck the climate?  This is not what the people want and it will be opposed all the way, from in the courts to on the land.”
 
“Why back coal, a sunset industry, when we could be getting ahead of the clean energy curve? All around the world investors are getting out of coal because they know 80% of it can never be burned if we are to stay within a safe level of climate change.
 
“Papers released by Treasury this week show that Solid Energy advised the Government in 2010 to mine as much as possible, as fast as possible, before the world sees the light and moves to renewable energy.  It appears to me that the Government has wholeheartedly embraced Solid’s plan to destroy as much of the climate as possible before they are stopped.”

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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