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Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Greens siding with Coalition won’t save the planet

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Cartoon of the week – June 19, 2024

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Pursuing a localisation agenda is a great policy initiative as outlined in the Echo’s article, ‘Climate change or system change? The real challenge’. This is a policy direction I along with many in this region heartedly support.

What was not so clearly articulated was the necessary and complimentary policies that need to exist beside localisation if we are to have any hope of saving the planet and ourselves along with it. As Naomi Klein so clearly articulated in her recent writings and at this years Festival of Dangerous Ideas: ‘We do know that responses to climate change that continue to put the entire burden on individual consumers are doomed to fail.’

And here in lies the rub for Australian politics.

Back in 2009 the Greens voted with the then opposition Liberal and National parties to defeat Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. This effectively put big picture environmental protection in Australia back a decade. A decade we could not afford to waste.

Now in 2015 the Greens have once again voted with the Liberal and National parties against tax transparency measures that will continue the gross inequality between what ordinary folk pay in taxes as compared to the large corporations.

People will only support measures that limit carbon production if they know it is balanced with policies of equality and fairness. Those with less wealth should not be asked to carry the biggest burden.

My real concern is that the Greens will now support the Liberal and National parties in lifting the GST.

If we are to have any hope of saving our lifestyles and our planet we must ensure we not only act locally we must act nationally and globally. A fairer and just world will save the planet not good intentions or localisation slogans.

The Greens need to wise up. They need to stop being a party of convenience.

They need to work with Labor to support good policy on the big picture issues (as well as within local communities) or I for one fear it will be too late.

Byron Shire Cr Paul Spooner, Byron Bay


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  1. Oh, har har. This is such a weak little troll article. There’s nothing serious about your piece, it is thin skinned politics, all about spinning up silly myths about the Greens.

    CPRS was a coal life support system, it would have been totally incompatible with the Paris Agreement and we’d be better off with nothing. But today we don’t have nothing, we have ARENA, we have the CEFC and we have the Climate Change Authority – and we have the will to act. We had a pretty good RET but Labor voted with the Liberals to tear it down. The Greens were rewarded with a record-high vote for stopping the CPRS because it would have actively contributed to climate change.

    The tax transparency thing is just a big lie. Before the Greens voted for the new tax transparency measures there was nothing (Big fat nothing). The Greens brought measures in which close loopholes, force hundreds of companies like News Limited to disclose their tax affairs for the first time. Labor is cranky because they wanted to take no action at all, so they could use it as a campaign issue. Well the Greens will be campaigning on a crackdown on corporate tax fraud eitherway, so Labor can either get on board with the Greens or keep ducking and hiding behind excuses, like they always have.

  2. Robert above has nailed the facts of the matter but Paul’s little par is most revealing of his future intentions.
    For some time we political wonks have been wondering what is on Paul’s agenda for the future after his crash and burn at the state election. Then lots of us wondered why a nice boy like Paul was consorting with a party like the ALP, we of course put it down to naked opportunism.
    But now it seems they must have made a new offer hence this well-worn ploy of distorted green-bashing.
    Unless current ALP seat-warmer Justine Who is retiring and he has the nod for Richmond I can only assume it is an opener for a the mayor’s robes on an ALP ticket – pity someone pinched the regalia years ago.

  3. Paul,
    We could face reality, the Planet is not going to be saved. Civilisation as we know it is going to be destroyed, and the planet regress and will be just like all the others, desert less and lifeless.
    Ok, now I have put a fact on the table, how do we feel about the way the modern human race lives since Aborigines have been here and looked after this place Australia, sustainably, for 8,000 years?

  4. Simply theatre. The ALP continue to be corrupted by the dollars they take from big mining and big coal… there are no solutions in relying on a sell out party who, under Rudd’s original CPRS, would have given big polluters $7billion to keep pumping out their garbage (a figure strangely close to Abbott/Turnbulls direct action fiasco). The ALP really need to decide who’s side they are on, the community or their big donors. Its blatant to a growing section of the ALP voting public that they provide no answers to the things ailing our society whilst they keep taking corporate donations and lying through their teeth in the run up to each election. Over 30 years now we have had a baton change of elections and with either major party in power we still see a slide in workers rights, hpublic health, public education, consumer rights etc etc. The ALP are treating voters like doormats and people are waking up.

  5. Seems Paul Spooner is still on the ALP list of prospects despite his crash and burn at the state poll.
    But why such a pedestrian bit of green bashing at this time?
    Let me think…
    What about this scenario.
    The rarely seen Richmond ALP seat-warmer Justine Who sees a hard fight coming in an election that may be as soon as March.
    She decides to take her substantial pension and avoid a clash with the Green’s far more appealing candidate Dawn Walker.
    So who have the ALP got left in the locker?
    Well really only Paul who has been has been bidden to get off his bum and get stuck into the Greens – but he really must do better.

  6. Interesting to see the personal attacks spring forth from, what appears to be, green supporters and activists of years past.

    Quite simply, the Greens gave danced around the truth for years. The loss of Bob Brown has introduced the market savy Doctor. He can not avoid the history i.e. The facts that the Greens have voted to support anti-environmental legalisation that the ALP had proposed.

    A vote for the Greens is a nice way to make yourself feel good.

    A vote the the ALP is a vote that gives our community the opportunity to make real and effective change for the better.

    In any sense, why the personal attacks? Is that part of the Green base philosophy? Is it just a NSW Greens thing?

  7. All good points Paul. While the CPRS was not perfect, it was one of the first in the world, would have put a price on carbon 7 years ago and would now be working to drive up the cost of high carbon fossil fuels and be moving us to a low carbon future. It is particularly disapointing given the Greens then supported a system that was basically the same only a few years later, the so called carbon tax.

    It is a pity that the Greens new leader, Richard Di Natalie, thought he needed to prove he is more to the right and a centrist and could do a deal with the Liberals and Nationals. Rather than continue to work with the Labor party to make ALL large corporations disclose their tax affairs, he did a grubby deal to let off over two thirds of big companies to prove his centrist credentials.

    Thanks Robert, for at least engaging with the issues, rather than engaging in sleazy personal attacks on Paul that seemed to follow your comment. It seems to me some people cant deal with even this small amount of legitimate critisism on the issues. Amazing given the total vitriol that is directed at the Labor party so often by some of the very same people.

  8. The Greens are looking more like the democrats each day.

    The capitulation on corporate tax transparency clearly undermined a concerted campaign with clear progressive intent. The celebration by the Greens on the issue was reminiscent of the silly grins the democrats wore when books and fresh food were to be GST exempt.

    I can’t fathom why some Greens continue to argue that no price on carbon is better than a price on carbon?

  9. If anything is to follow on from Paul Spooner’s letter it would be my hope that the Greens, particularly the local Greens, start to engage more at a ground level on real local environmental issues. We are still seeing Glyphosate ( round-up) being used through-out the Shire, even though there is the ever rising evidence on the harm it is doing to our ecology.

    We are seeing an increase of dogs and cats roaming at night and the plastic that is discarded along some road-sides is very visible.

    Personal attacks are quite common here, as herbicide free volunteers have found out, but instead of deterring us, it makes us more determined to get environmental peer reviewed facts out to the naysayers on` herbicides and other issues impacting on the environment generally. And the hope is we do have a truly environmental Council one day.


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