David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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Rosa the Policy Watchdog drives policy!

David Risstrom News + Views Oct:-Dec 07:Jul-Sep 07: Apr-Jun 07: Jan-Mar 07

David Risstrom News + Views: Oct-Dec 06: Jul-Sep 06: Apr-Jun 06: Jan-Mar 06

Rosa and Dave's News + Views: Oct-Dec 05: Jul-Sep 05; Apr-Jun 05; Jan-Mar 05

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2004: Jul-Sep 2004; Apr-Jun 2004; Jan-Mar 2004

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2003; Jul-Sep 2003; Apr-Jun 2003; Jan-Mar 2003

Rosa and Dave's News + Views 2002

Through Green Coloured Glasses 2003; 2002

David Risstrom's Community Involvement 2004-2001; 2001-1999; Pre-1999

Did Cr. Risstrom Deliver on His Promises for 2001-2004?; 1999-2001?

Victorian Local Government Elections 2008: 2005: 2004

 

 

NEWS AND VIEWS JULY TO SEPTEMBER 2003 OF ROSA RISSTROM - THE POLICY WATCHDOG

Rosa The Policy Watchdog

[WITH GUEST COMMENTARY BY CR. DAVID RISSTROM]

Rosa, the Greens' Melbourne City Council policy watchdog keeps a watching brief on ideas, issues and policies. If there are issues you think need to be discussed, please contact either Rosa at rosa@davidrisstrom.org or me at: david@davidrisstrom.org. I will e-mail you, and if appropriate, post a response on this website. Rosa last updated this site on 29 September 2003.


 

29 SEPTEMBER 2003

NEW WEBSITE FOR GEORGE BUSH'S AUSTRALIA VISIT

George Bush is visiting Sydney and Canberra in late October after the APEC conference to reward John Howard for his support for the slaughter in Iraq. Bush’s visit will coincide with the next round of negotiations for the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement. According to a new website, StopDubya Protest Bush Visit To Australia, "The people of Australia need to come out in force and tell Bush he is not welcome." You can visit the site by clicking on the underlined title. The site contains some interesting facts about the current United States administration and their involvement in the war on Iraq.

HOW MUCH IS THE WAR ON IRAQ COSTING?

According to a new website titled the Cost of War, the current cost of waging the war on Iraq is increasing at an incredible pace. Click on the underlined title to see more.

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27 SEPTEMBER 2003

6 OCTOBER LAUNCH OF 'FOR ETHICAL POLITICS' NEW INTERNATIONAL BOOKSHOP

Guy Rundle will be the keynote speaker and Bill Dellar, the MC, at the launch of Andy Blunden's "For Ethical Politics", a new book which examines the changing ways in which radical politics have become effective over the years, and makes a detailed critique of alliance politics. The book proposes a discussion over a new way of doing politics as a potential focus for a diverse range of radical currents to come together. The book also introduces to a wider audience issues and controversies in the field of moral philosophy and ethics which shed light on how politics is carried out. 6 pm Monday 6th October at the New International Bookshop, Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon St. Carlton.

GO COLLINGWOOD!: IT IS HALF TIME AND TIME TO LET BRISBANE KNOW WHAT WE'RE ABOUT.

Morris Magpie is drawn to the drink following a difficult first half, but as us Magpies know, grand finals are a game of four quarters. And that adds up to more than one.

Morris Magpie enjoying a cordial or two

Morris Magpie, coaching from the outer.

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24 SEPTEMBER 2003

3 OCTOBER GREENSFORUM - HUMAN GENES UP FOR GRABS?

A gentle Reminder that from 5.30 - 7.00 pm on Friday the 3rd of October, Bob Phelps of the GeneEthics Network will be speaking on the topic 'Human Genes: up for grabs?'  If you want reading material beforehand, look at the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on human genetics, which is at the ALRC website. As usual, this event will be held at CII Restaurant, 470 Lt Lonsdale St. Melbourne. For more information on Greensforums, click on the underlined title.

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24 SEPTEMBER 2003

MEJN - EJN FUNDRAISER AND LAUNCH A GREAT SUCCESS

Tonight's launch of the Environmental Jobs Network at the Nova Cinema was great fun. Thanks to all of you who came. EJN has gone national, outgrowing its roots as the Melbourne Environment Jobs Network. To anyone wanting a job in the environment field (haircut or not) try visiting the Environmental Jobs Network website I have had the good fortune to be a mentor for EJN, and receive more credit than I deserve. Cheers: David (on behalf of Rosa). A copy of the EJN media release Career Advice for a Better Australian Environment is available as a 95 Kb pdf download by clicking on the underlined title.

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23 SEPTEMBER 2003

SCHOOL LEAVERS KIT RELEASED BY MICHAEL ORGAN MP

Michael Organ, Greens MP for Cunningham, NSW, has released the very useful School Leavers Kit for young people venturing beyond those old school gates. The kit has a lot of information applicable Australia-wide, though some of its information relates to NSW students only. The kit is available on Michael's website as a 719 Kb download.

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22 SEPTEMBER 2003

JUDY, JUDY, JUDY. THANK YOU

Life was too short for someone so much who I would wish would be as good to herself as she was to others: Thank you Judy for all you have given and inspired: David

It is with great sadness that ICLEI staff announce that Judy Walker, International Director of Membership and Information Services, passed away on August 23, 2003. With Judy, ICLEI loses a significant part of its heart and soul that can hardly be replaced. We will miss Judy's inspiration; her creativity in finding solutions and bridging differences; her calm confidence; her sense of justice; and her dedication to our common cause. With Judy, we lose an outstanding individual who shaped ICLEI and who took great joy in the work she was doing. Judy had been suffering from cancer for several years. She fought against the disease with patience, strength and her most positive view of life. We will pay tribute to Judy at the World Congress in Athens, Greece.

Judy was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on July 18, 1949. She received an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Judy then went on to a successful career in recruitment advertising in New York City. In 1990, she returned to school full-time to complete a Master's degree in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. In 1994, she married Graham Dudley and they moved to Toronto where she joined ICLEI. Her time at ICLEI allowed her to devote herself to environmental issues that meant so much to her. In addition, she had the opportunity to make many close friends, both at home and abroad.

According to Judy's wishes, donations in remembrance of her can be made to the Common Thread Community Chorus of Toronto, the City of Toronto's One on One Mentoring Program, or ICLEI (either through the World Secretariat in Toronto or the U.S. Office in Berkeley, California). To make a donation, please contact iclei@iclei.org.

ICLEI will be happy to share any thoughts or messages you may have with Judy's close friends and family. Please send any messages to Ewa Ciuk at eciuk@iclei.org.

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21 SEPTEMBER 2003

MEJN - EJN FUNDRAISER AND LAUNCH - THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER AT NOVA CINEMA

The Melbourne Environmental Jobs Network has been running since early 2001. As the principle source for environmental jobs and career information in Australia, the team of volunteers that run the organisation are proud to announce a new name and logo to reflect a change in direction. To celebrate, we are holding a fundraiser on September 25th at Cinema Nova in Carlton, where the stunning documentary Wildness will be screened, introduced by its producer Michael McMahon. We will also reveal our new logo, and launch the Environmental Jobs Network, a name-change which more accurately reflects the Australia-wide service we provide.

For the uninitiated, MEJN is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers with the aim of making it easier for environmental job-seekers (primarily students and recent graduates) to find their career of choice. Our website is free to access for job-seekers and employers, and our weekly jobs and events mailout is circulated to over 3000 people (and growing rapidly). We also act as an information service, with many constantly updated pages with advice on how to get your foot in the door and find employment in your environmental career of choice.

In 10 years time, there will be a significant environmental jobs network in Australia. It will be a major resource as careers and jobs and organisations are forced to focus on sustainable options and innovations in the way business is run. MEJN has lead the way and we now want you to come along to this launch and support the hardworking team. So come to the party: MEJN fundraiser and launch
Wildness (screens with The Story of Rosy Dock) Thursday September 25th, 7 pm @ Cinema Nova, Lygon Court, Carlton
Join the MEJN team and Wildness producer Michael McMahon for drinks in the downstairs foyer after the film from 8:45 pm.

BOOKINGS: Please book your ticket for the night as soon as possible by sending an email to bookings@environmentaljobs.com.au or phone 0407-381-344.
Please specify how many tickets you want and leave a return phone number and address so that MEJN can contact you.
Ticket costs are $15 for adults, $12 for concession and $10 for all 2003 MEJN Members.

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16 SEPTEMBER 2003

GREEN ELECTRICITY WATCH ANNUAL CONSUMER GUIDE RELEASED

Make the Switch to Greener Energy! Electricity consumers can now make an informed switch to a more environmentally friendly electricity company, with the release of the 2nd annual Green Electricity Watch scorecard. All 14 electricity retailers in Australia were surveyed for the scorecard. The results are available as a pdf download (59 Kb) by clicking on Green Electricity Watch or by clicking on a weblink hosted by the ACF: Green Electricity Watch.

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15 SEPTEMBER 2003

POLITICS IN THE PUB - HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE NELSON REPORT

Politics in the Pub on 19 September 2003 qt the Tower Hotel, Burwood Rd. Hawthorn will host Greens Senator Kerry Nettle speaking on Higher Education and the Nelson Report.

The Brendan Nelson Report on Higher Education and the federal government's proposed changes to tertiary education will be discussed, commencing at 7 pm. Dinner is available at the hotel bistro from 5:30 pm/ If you have not had time for dinner prior to the commencement of Kerry's talk, please stay for further lively discussion over dinner and drinks in the hotel bistro from 8 pm.

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12 SEPTEMBER 2003

THE 2003 ALAN MISSEN ORATION AND DINNER WITH DAVID MARR - "THIS TRUSTING NATION"

Liberty Victoria invites you to the 2003 Alan Missen Oration and Dinner. David Marr, Author, Journalist and Presenter of ABC's Media Watch will be speaking on the theme of 'This Trusting Nation'.
Date: 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm. Saturday 4 October 2003
Venue: University House, University of Melbourne, Parkville (Melway Ref: 471 D6) (limited parking in University grounds)
Price per person: $75/ $60 (concession) (Price covers dinner and drinks - soft drink, beer and wine)

Bob Brown gave this lecture last year, and this year it will be David Marr, who recently authored, with Marian Wilkinson 'Dark Victory' about the Tampa controversy. This is an event not to miss. Those interested in grass roots democracy and social justice will want to be there.

The Missen lecture and dinner follow on from a daytime seminar detailed below on this site at 2 September. The "War on Terror" has led to important inroads into freedoms enjoyed by Australians. In an effort to look at the various attacks on our freedoms a symposium has been organised on 4th October on the subject "Be Alarmed! Freedoms Under Threat". Asylum seekers, Guantanamo Bay, Terror Laws, ASIO powers - great speakers and it will be a major event (but not in the Vic government sense). A 40 Kb word download of a flyer is available by clicking here.

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7 SEPTEMBER 2003

CAROLYNNE REACHES MATURITY

My partner Carolynne, who I dearly love, had her XXth birthday today. Carolynne is a ray of sunshine for me and quite a few others around her. As Lindsay Tanner has recently written, personal relationships can be at risk in political life, which often has a cost that the thrust of politics isn't always kind to. Thank you Carolynne. And a thank you is deserved to all of those people who support others, whether quietly or otherwise, in helping the world go around.

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4 SEPTEMBER 2003

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INQUIRY INTO SUSTAINABLE CITIES 2025

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage is undertaking a new inquiry into Sustainable Cities 2025. The inquiry is timely given that 2004 is the Year of the Built Environment and there will be a national focus on the spaces we live in and how we improve the liveability of our cities and settlements. The inquiry into Sustainable Cities 2025 seeks to identify current and future patterns of settlement, the sustainability issues associated with these settlement patterns, and how government policy might ensure that developed areas retain an Australian lifestyle without diminishing the future value of Australian eco-systems. The purpose of the inquiry is not to set specific actions for particular areas, but to provide a ‘national map’ of issues and approaches. Submissions currently close on 30 October 2003.

A copy of a discussion paper on this issue, Sustainable Cities 2025, is available as a word download (180 Kb) form. This discussion paper scopes some of the issues currently being raised in discussions and research into sustainability of Australian cities, but does not present the views or conclusions of the Committee. The attached discussion paper identifies several components which contribute to a sustainable city, and outlines the issues and vision of these components. At this stage, there are many more questions than answers. Two key issues for industry, government and communities is how to balance these components, and what innovative alternatives or international models can usefully be applied to the Australian situation. As a nation, once we can define a vision and a set of objectives for future city settlements, a critical issue will be developing the implementation strategies to achieve that vision. This information is taken from a Greenleap e-mail forwarded to me.

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3 SEPTEMBER 2003

FOUR DAYS TO CAROLYNNE'S BIRTHDAY

From Rosa: Having rejected my suggestions of Supercoat and a jumbo tin of Pal, David is seeking ideas on what he should give Carolynne for her birthday coming up on 7 September. Please send ideas to me at rosa@davidrisstrom.org.

 

THE MORAL SENSE TEST

This message is taken from a Greenleap email forwarded to me on 3 September 2003. The Moral Sense Test, accessible at http://moral.wjh.harvard.edu/ is sponsored by the Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Harvard.

The Moral Sense Test is a Web-based study into the nature of moral intuitions. How do humans, throughout the world, decide what is right and wrong? To answer this question, we have designed a series of moral dilemmas designed to probe the psychological mechanisms underlying our ethical judgement's. By putting these questions on the Web, we hope to gain insight into the similarities and differences between the moral intuitions of people of different ages, from different cultures, with different educational backgrounds and religious beliefs, involved in different occupations and exposed to very different circumstances. Participation in the study is easy, quick and completely confidential. 

A description from the Moral Sense Test site says: Nothing captures human attention more than a moral dilemma. Whether we are soap opera fanatics or not, we can't help sticking our noses in other people's affairs, pronouncing our views on right and wrong, permissible and impermissible, justified or not. For hundreds of years, scholars have argued that our moral judgement arise from rational, conscious, voluntary, reflective deliberations about what ought to be. This perspective has generated the further belief that our moral psychology is a slowly developing capacity, founded entirely on experience and education, and subject to considerable variation across cultures. With the exception of a few trivial examples, one culture's right is another's wrong. We believe this hyper rational, culturally-specific view is no longer tenable. The MST has been designed to show why and offer an alternative. Most of our moral intuitions are unconscious, involuntary, and universal, developing in each child despite formal education. When humans, from the hunter-gathers of the Rift Valley to the billionaire dot-com-ers of the Silicon Valley generate moral intuitions they are like reflexes, something that happens to us without our being aware of how or even why. We call this capacity our moral faculty. Our aim is to use data from the MST, as well as other experiments, to explain what it is, how it evolved, and how it develops in our species, creating individuals with moral responsibilities and concerns about human welfare. The MST has been designed for all humans who are curious about that puzzling little word "ought" - about the principles that make one action right and another wrong, and why we feel elated about the former and guilty about the latter. 

As in every modernly held view, there are significant historical antecedents. The origins of our own perspective date back at least 300 years to the philosopher David Hume and more recently, to the political philosopher John Rawls. But unlike these prescient thinkers, we can now validate the intuitions with significant scientific evidence. Over the past twenty years, there has been growing evidence for a universally shared moral faculty based on findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, and neurobiology. This evidence has created a powerful movement directed at the core aspects of human nature. It is a movement that has the power to reshape our lives by uncovering the deep structure of our moral intuitions and showing how they can either support or conflict with our conscious, often legally supported decisions.

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2 SEPTEMBER 2003

MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL MAKES DECISIONS ON CEO EMPLOYMENT

The council of the City of Melbourne has made public its decision on the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. Due to constraints imposed by a confidentiality declaration I was required to sign in order to have any input, and the fact that the Council in open Committee rejected my attempt to become a member of the Committee, I am unable to comment on matters that I consider well worth putting on the record. I have presented my views forcefully to the Council, having put an urgent notice of motion to last Thursday's Council meeting. My desire to maintain confidentiality about the process and the rules governing Council does not allow me to detail the motion put by me.

 

BE ALARMED: FREEDOMS UNDER THREAT SYMPOSIUM: SUNDAY 4 OCTOBER - LIBERTY VICTORIA AND FREE SPEECH VICTORIA

The "War on Terror" has led to important inroads into freedoms enjoyed by Australians. In an effort to look at the various attacks on our freedoms a symposium has been organised on 4th October on the subject "Be Alarmed! Freedoms Under Threat". Asylum seekers, Guantanamo Bay, Terror Laws, ASIO powers - great speakers and it will be a major event (but not in the Vic government sense).
 
In the evening the Missen lecture will be given at a dinner. Bob Brown gave this lecture last year, and this year it will be David Marr, who recently authored, with Marian Wilkinson 'Dark Victory' about the Tampa controversy.
 
This is an event not to miss. Those interested in grass roots democracy and social justice will want to be there. A 40 Kb word download of a flyer is available by clicking here.

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1 SEPTEMBER 2003

WAKAKIRRI STORY-DANCE FESTIVAL GRAND FINALS WERE GREAT FUN

I had the chance to go the Melbourne Concert hall last night on behalf of the ACF to present the Eco-Zone award for 'The Most Outstanding Use of Reusable Materials'. Amidst a great cast of deserving children and their schools, Woodlands Primary School won this prize with their fantastic creation 'Phoenix Nest', re-using hundreds of aluminium cans to create a real work of art! It was so nice to see so many great kids having fun and thinking and doing things about their environment. For me, seeing all those kids having so much fin and being so good was a real joy. Maybe it is a message to give up politics, spend more time with my partner and some other four legged companions and think about having a family.

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28 AUGUST 2003

BUSINESS RULES: WHO PAYS THE PRICE?

The World Trade Organisation ( WTO) Ministerial will be meeting in Cancun, Mexico in two weeks time. A new report release by Friends of the Earth International and Corporate Europe Observatory titled Business Rules: Who Pays The Price?- how corporate influence in the WTO affects people and the environment is available as a 1.5 Mb pdf download by clicking on the underlined title [Now only on FOE web due to size restrictions on my site: 16 Jan 04]. An extract from the preface to this very interesting report says:

Through a series of case studies, this publication highlights the powerful influence of corporations on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) process. Big business has unparalleled access to trade negotiators, and this has resulted in a set of trade rules and agreements that directly benefit transnational commercial enterprises – often at the expense of local communities and small businesses, as well as future generations and the environment.

According to WTO spin, we are all winners from ‘free trade’. Rich and poor alike, those in the global North and South all benefit from the breaking down of trade barriers through the WTO and regional trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Critically, pro-‘free trade’ governments claim that what is good for big business will also be good for people and their environment.

The reality is vastly different: all too often, communities and the environment are the losers from trade ‘liberalisation’. Communities’ interests are ignored, as they have no access to negotiators deciding on rules and agreements, and the environment loses as the protection of our natural resources is seen as inferior to international trade and investment flows.

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27 AUGUST 2003

DAVID RISSTROM RE-ELECTED TO ICLEI INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Following an international postal ballot of ICLEI members worldwide, David Risstrom has been re-elected as one of three Asia-Pacific representatives on the Executive Committee of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives. Details of David's election materials are available at David Risstrom's ICLEI Executive Committee nomination. Thank you to all ICLEI members who voted for David in this election. I understand his vote was third highest of 46 candidates worldwide. Perhaps I can get David to implement a Cafe Canine in each country!: Rosa.

 

ON-LINE HERITAGE REGISTER FOR THE CITY OF MELBOURNE

The City of Melbourne has launched a free on-line database of heritage places called i-Heritage, available by clicking on the underlined title.

According to the City of Melbourne website the City of Melbourne has commissioned heritage studies since the early 1980s and now has an invaluable collection of heritage information for more than 8 000 places within the municipality, which is available online. Heritage information has been transcribed from the original Conservation Studies and is useful for property owners, occupiers, architects, students and others who have an interest in heritage places.

The Council is releasing heritage data suburb by suburb from July 2003. East Melbourne, Jolimont and Parkville heritage places are already online.

The i-Heritage database provides a wide range of details on individual buildings, including:
· Building Grading
· Architectural Style
· Heritage Status
· Notable features
· Statements of significance
· Historical information
· Builder
· Photograph of current building

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24 AUGUST 2003

MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL 'WHITEWASH'

Robert Manne's launch of his book 'Whitewash' at the Melbourne Writer's Festival on Saturday 24 August was an interesting event. Robert was joined by Pat Dodson, Henry Reynolds and Malcolm Fraser in a panel discussion of issues surrounding claims made in Keith Windshuttle's recent book 'The Fabrication of Aboriginal History'. It was a pleasure to be immersed in a room amongst people passionate about the interests of indigenous Australians and the need to be honest about our collage of events that colours our history. The point was well made that Australia appears alone amongst New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada in failing to acknowledge the less generous aspects of our colonial history. As Pat Dodson articulated in a gentle, generous but clearly disappointed tone, we are all diminished by our failure to come to terms with how poorly Australia's indigenous inhabitants have been treated.

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22 AUGUST 2003

ANTAR FUNDRAISING SCREENING OF TWO AUSSIE FILMS: BENEATH CLOUDS AND BACKROADS

This message has been taken from a LeftLink e-mail of 21 August 2003: ANTaR Victoria invites you to a screening of two landmark Australian films: Beneath Clouds (2002) debut feature by Indigenous filmmaker Ivan Sen. Winner, Best Director, AFI Awards, 2002. Winner, Best Cinematography, Allan Collins, AFI Awards, 2002. Winner, Best New Talent, Dannielle Hall, Berlin International Film Festival, 2002. And Backroads (1977) debut feature for acclaimed Australian director, Phillip Noyce. Stars Bill Hunter and Gary Foley.

An introduction will be given by special guests Gary Foley and Tony Birch. September 20th, 7 pm at the Kaleide, RMIT Union Theatre, Swanston St RMIT. Costs are 18/15, includes films plus wine and nibbles. Bookings by 12th September 2003 Phone Fiona on 9419 3613 or email ANTaR Vic on antarvic@nativetitle.org. Collect tickets 20 minutes prior to screening. All funds raised go towards local reconciliation initiatives across Victoria.

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21 AUGUST 2003

MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL LAUNCH

I had the good fortune to represent the Council at the Melbourne Town Hall launch of the Melbourne Writers Festival. The festival was kicked off with keynote speaker Tariq Ali, whose book 'The Clash of the Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity' I am reading at the moment. Melbourne is a great city for people and ideas. As I said in my short speech, given the violence I have had the misfortune to experience during my travel in 1988 and 89 in Latin America and East Timor, it is good to know that ultimately the pen is mightier than the sword, as I prefer ink to be spilt than blood.

 

FEDERAL HERITAGE LEGISLATION GUTS REGISTER [AND OUR FUTURE]

This information is taken from a Greens media release of 21 August 2003. One can only wonder which progressive idea will be the next to become politically expedient. Could it be a national phone system that had a history of providing services as a means of building communities, rather than just profit?

The Australian Heritage Commission has been abolished under legislation passed in the Senate which excludes forests and delists thousands of places off the register of National estate.

The Senate passed the bills which the Greens and Labor opposed.

"Listing Anzac Cove, the Kokada Trail and the Opera House are a snatch: as they present the Howard Government, which has meantime effectively delisted 20 000 places, with no problems.

"It is greenwash as the bills not only leave iconic Australian forests and wildlife to the wood chippers, they impose multi-million dollar penalties on any federal government which protects forests like Tasmania's Styx Valley of the Giants.

"The independent Heritage Commission has been abolished. The Minister now has full power to accept or reject heritage listings.

"The Prime Minister intends to announce easy listings as the election approaches. We will remind voters that for each place announced he has taken 40 places off the existing National Estate Register and left them to the hyenas," Senator Brown said.

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13 AUGUST 2003

NORTHERN CENTRAL CORRIDOR CITY CORRIDOR STUDY SINKS TUNNEL BUT MAY DERAIL TRANSPORT ACTION

The long awaited Northern Central City Corridor Study draft recommendations have finally been released. Rumours are that the delays were due to a defective train at Flinders St. but when I asked for that rumour to be validated, there were no conductors to set me straight. The study's draft recommendations practically rule out a tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway, which is fantastic news for air breathing inhabitants of the inner north.

The government now needs to commit to real transport alternatives to motor vehicle traffic sewers, by giving the green light to a light or heavy rail connection to the Hurstbridge-Epping line train, rather than proposing a bus interchange on Alexandra Parade at Nicholson St as a poor compromise.

Furthermore, rather than identifying the majority of actions be taken by local government, the State and Federal governments need to deal seriously with the growing motor vehicle dominance of our cities by amongst other things, considering a congestion contribution ala London, improving public transport priority at controlled intersections and improving bicycle and pedestrian priorities.

When time allows, I'll provide a further analysis of the draft report and its implications. In the meantime, keep your ears open for more. In the meantime, I am continuing to successfully pursue transport solutions at Melbourne City Council, which can be seen on this site at: David's 100 Green Achievements under the heading 'Moving Melbourne'

The Government's draft report is available on the State Government Department of Infrastructure website at www.doi.vic.gov.au

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9 AUGUST 2003

'REMEMBER HIROSHIMA' RALLY IN MELBOURNE A SUCCESS

Today's 'Remember Hiroshima' rally in the City of Melbourne saw the good people of Melbourne remind us that maintaining peace and democracy is a human process. As the search for 'weapons of mass destruction' goes on in Iraq, the rally asked us to remember the use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the arsenals of the existing nuclear powers. A number of good speakers addressed the crowd before moving on down Swanston Street and onto the Bourke St Mall. Dave Sweeney of the Australian Conservation Foundation spoke to the crowd about the achievements in encouraging ERA to rehabilitate Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory. Greens spokesperson, Pamela Curr, also reminded us that the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have paid a dear price for nuclear war. Rosa, the Melbourne City Council Policy Watchdog even had her outlined chalked on the pavement in Bourke St. Mall as a haunting reminder that many people were effectively vapourised when atomic bombs were dropped on their cities during World War. The rally called on us to remember Hiroshima by banning nuclear weapons, avoiding future wars and ending the occupation of Iraq.

Let's hope for and contribute towards a world in which negotiation is a means of resolving difference rather than conflict. The current tensions between North Korea and the USA and its allies is a dangerous test of that resolve: David

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8 AUGUST 2003

CAMPAIGNING ON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FARMING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM; PUBLIC MEETING 14 AUGUST 2003

A public forum on genetically engineered farming will be held on Thursday 14 August at 6 pm at Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith St, Collingwood (just near Johnston St, #86 tram from the city) All welcome.

Jessica Hampson has just returned to Australia after living in the UK for the past five years. She will speak on her experiences in the anti-GE movement over that time. In 1998 the situation was similar to Australia, with many people unaware that GE was present in their food. A massive programme of farm scale trials was about to take off. In the next 2-3 years consumer opposition to GE was so strong that all the major food retailers went GE free, and sourced animal products from animals not fed on GE. Large protests took place at trial sites, and many were damaged in secret. Jessica will also show a short video is a series of clips from summer of 2002, including a bicycle tour of Devon by activists, ending in the dumping of GM crops at the government department responsible for GM pollution in the UK.

Everyone is welcome. For more information contact: Friends of the Earth: Ph: (03) 9419 8700, Fax: (03) 9416 2081, www.melbourne.foe.org.au.

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1 AUGUST 2003

AUSTRALIA'S ENVIRONMENT LEFT CARRYING THE [PLASTIC] BAG

The Federal Government has squandered another opportunity to prove it means what it sometime says when it comes to the future of Australia's environment. David Kemp has endorsed a five year stay on introducing a national 25 cents plastic bags levy. Below is a press release from Greens Senator Bob Brown received 1 August 2003:

Kemp's Plastic Bag Meltdown 'Pathetic'- Brown

Environment Minister David Kemp's agreement to a five-year stay on introducing a national 25 cents plastic bags levy is pathetic. The phase-out formula will penalise the progressive retailers: there will be no level playing field.
"It leaves the nation, once again, way behind the world's best green practice," Greens Senator Bob Brown said today. "Ireland can do it. Germany can. Denmark can. Coles Bay can. But the Howard government can't. It has caved in to the big retailers. "Prime Minister Howard says that the environment is a priority. Well, this is a bad omen. If he cannot show the leadership to bring in a levy on plastic bags, which has 80% popular support in the polls, people can have little faith that he will make any breakthroughs on harder issues like global warming, logging of Tasmania's forests or the impending loss of millions of hectares of Australia's farmlands to erosion and salinity," Senator Brown said.

Details of my initiative to reduce plastic bag use in Melbourne are at: Bagging Melbourne (in a nice way!)

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21 JULY 2003

FAILURE TO ADVOCATE FOR A FAIR TRIAL FOR DAVID HICKS BY OUR GOVERNMENT IS A DISGRACE

The failure of our Federal Government to advocate for a fair trail by the Australian citizen accused of terrorist related activity is an absolute disgrace. The political expediency being shown by our government is reminiscent of its lack of conviction for individual rights and freedoms displayed in the Children Overboard Affair and the application of its Mandatory Detention Policy. When time allows, I will expand on my views: David

 

REMEMBER HIROSHIMA RALLY AND MARCH - 9 AUGUST

There will be a rally and march to Remember Hiroshima at 12 noon on Saturday 9 August beginning at the State Library, Swanston Street, Melbourne. The rally is organised by the Victorian Peace Network, who remind us that as the search for "weapons of mass destruction" goes on in Iraq, the use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the arsenals of the existing nuclear powers should not be forgotten. Further information contact the Victorian Peace Network 54 Victoria St, Carlton South 3053, Australia: phone: 03 96593582 fax: 03 9659 3583 or at info@vicpeace.org or www.vicpeace.org.

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18 JULY 2003

NSW GREENS WELCOME SUCCESS FOR SAFE INJECTING ROOMS

The Greens have welcomed a review of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, which rated the injecting room trial a success. Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon told the media that the findings supported the Greens' drugs policy, which is based on compassion and rationality rather than the hysteria seen in the March 2003 NSW election campaign. Lee Rhiannon called for similar projects in rural and regional areas, which won strong interest and support.

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16 JULY 2003

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON PEACE AND RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE

I had the good fortune to speak on the role of local government in issues of peace and reconciliation at the The University of Melbourne's 150th Anniversary Flagship Conference, International Perspectives on Peace and Reconciliation. A conference flyer is available by clicking on the underlined title. Professor Eleanor Bourke, CO-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria also spoke, providing a strong indigenous perspective on progress so far. The City of Melbourne was invited to speak on what was described as the 'clear focus and commitment to issues of peace and reconciliation'. Details of the policies concerning indigenous reconciliation and peace that I have promoted at available by clicking here: Promoting Peace, 1% for Humanity, Refugee Justice and Achieve Indigenous Reconciliation. If time allows, I will provide background text for what I said at the conference session.

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15 JULY 2003

AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE PAPER SETS THE SCENE FOR A DOUBLE DIVIDEND

The Australia Institute has released a web paper authored by Richard Denniss titled The Double Dividend, presenting the finding that if the workforce were able to realise its preferences, it would take two extra weeks of leave rather than a 4 per cent pay rise. The web paper argues that if people were encouraged to do this, an extra 146,000 new jobs would be created, a situation that would result in benefits to those who work long hours, to those who would like to work longer hours and to the unemployment situation as a whole. The paper is available on the Australia Institute website at http://www.tai.org.au under "What's New", or by clicking on the underlined title above. A summary of the article is below.

While unemployment has been falling in recent years there are still more than 620,000 unemployed people in Australia and an estimated 589,000 underemployed workers. A lack of work therefore remains a major financial problem for more than one million Australians and imposes social costs on their families and communities. Data collected for The Australia Institute by Newspoll suggests that 52 per cent of full-time employees would be willing to forgo a four per cent pay rise in order to purchase an additional two weeks of annual leave. If workers were in a position to act on their preferences the additional leave taken by existing full-time employees would create the equivalent of 146,000 additional full-time jobs. Such a redistribution of work would also achieve a significant redistribution of income from people who have too much work to people who have too little income. There would also be spillover economic benefits, with the domestic tourism industry the most likely to benefit.

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13 JULY 2003

POWER FAILURE - WHY VICTORIAN HOUSEHOLDS ARE NOT PLUGGING INTO ELECTRICITY COMPETITION

Andrea Sharam has authored Paper no. 8 of the Swinburne University Institute for Social Research titled 'Power Failure: Why Victorian Households Are Not Plugging into Electricity Competition.' Her abstract is below, with the full paper available as pdf (248 kb) by clicking on the underlined title above.

In January 2002 the competitive electricity market was opened to Victorian and New South Wales domestic electricity customers. Victoria households were surveyed in the second half of 2002 about their understanding of the new market and their experience of full retail competition.

The survey produced some unanticipated findings. Foremost was the extensive customer disinterest and distrust in "the electricity market", which has found its expression in high levels of inertia. While policy makers had reason to investigate customer attitudes before implementing full competition, they failed to do so, despite the need for active consumer participation to make the market work. The Victorian government faces the spectre of a costly policy failure that has its roots in elite policy making that overlooks the importance of popular support if competition policy is to succeed.

A Seminar will be held on Andrea's paper on Friday 1st of August from 11 am - 12 noon Room EW (Engineering West)106 Hawthorn campus, Swinburne University see map at http://www.swin.edu.au/cwis/maps/maps_hawthorn.htm. Engineering West Building, off Serples Lane, between Glenferrie railway station and Burwood Rd. Please RSVP to asharam@swin.edu.au or 92148697.

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8 JULY 2003

WHAT VALUES ARE WE DEFENDING?

This July 7 2003 media release from Australian Green MP Michael Organ raises questions about what it is our conservative government professes to be preserving, and the values they are jettisoning in their pursuit of an alliance with the neo-conservatives currently in power in the United States of America. The Australian Government's failure to support David Hicks' right to a free and fair trial, an Australian citizen detained without charge in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is one more element amidst mounting evidence that the Australian government appears willing to jettison long standing principles of natural justice, government accountability, individual legal rights, procedural fairness, the presumption of innocence and the integrity of the rule of law, under its transparent banner of a 'war on terror'.

The Australian Government's complicity in subverting international law is a serious abuse of the trust placed in it by a majority of its voters who would have assumed governments would seek to uphold the law in their pursuit of those who are accused of breaking it. . In the case of the United States, that is an abuse of trust placed in it by something less than a majority of its voters: David

Howard complicit in kidnapping & torture of Hicks: Organ

"The Prime Minister's indifference about President Bush's plan to put David Hicks in a Kangaroo Court is a continuation of the Australian Government's disregard for the welfare of its most vulnerable citizens" Michael Organ said.

"Let's be clear about this; David Hicks has been held without charge, on an island against his will, thousands of kilometres from home in a cage smaller than many people's bathrooms for over a year and a half. Throughout this time Mr Hicks has been denied legal representation and has been denied contact with his family. - If that is not kidnapping and torture Mr Howard should say what is" Michael Organ said.

"Now Bush and Howard want to put Mr Hicks on trial where military officers are judges and where basic legal standards are abolished. Not only will all communications between Mr Hick's and his lawyer be recorded, but Mr Hick's will receive impotent representation by a military lawyer, with an obvious conflict of interest.

Recent announcements that the USA will put Mr Hicks on trial received little more than a peep from the Howard Government.

"This is a clear cut dereliction of this Government's duty to look after the welfare of its citizens. By Alexander Downer's own admission the Government worked tirelessly to secure the release of the two Australian's Kay and Kerry Danes from Cambodia prison in 2001- However, in these circumstances the Howard Government is keen to let Mr Hicks, a fair go and the rule of law rot." Mr Organ said.

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5 JULY 2003

DOPEY DAVE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED

From David: Thank you to all of you who played their part in surprising me last night when, after months of covert work by my partner, Carolynne, I was gently delivered to my surprise 40th birthday party at the Skinny Dog in Kew. It was great to be in a room with so many lovely people and to enjoy their company. Thanks Carolynne. You're a gem!

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4 JULY 2003

THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANISATION GIVES WARNING OVER CLIMATE CHANGE

This July 3 article, 'Reaping the Whirlwind' is from a website called 'The Independent' and was sourced by me from a Greenleap e-mail.

REAPING THE WHIRLWIND - EXTREME WEATHER PROMPTS UNPRECEDENTED GLOBAL WARMING ALERT

In an astonishing announcement on global warming and extreme weather, the World Meteorological Organisation signalled last night that the world's weather is going haywire. 

In a startling report, the WMO, which normally produces detailed scientific reports and staid statistics at the year's end, highlighted record extremes in weather and climate occurring all over the world in recent weeks, from Switzerland's hottest-ever June to a record month for tornadoes in the United States - and linked them to climate change. 

The unprecedented warning takes its force and significance from the fact that it is not coming from Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth, but from an impeccably respected UN organisation that is not given to hyperbole (though environmentalists will seize on it to claim that the direst warnings of climate change are being borne out). 

The Geneva-based body, to which the weather services of 185 countries contribute, takes the view that events this year in Europe, America and Asia are so remarkable that the world needs to be made aware of it immediately. The extreme weather it documents, such as record high and low temperatures, record rainfall and record storms in different parts of the world, is consistent with predictions of global warming. Supercomputer models show that, as the atmosphere warms, the climate not only becomes hotter but much more unstable. "Recent scientific assessments indicate that, as the global temperatures continue to warm due to climate change, the number and intensity of extreme events might increase," the WMO said, giving a striking series of examples. 

In southern France, record temperatures were recorded in June, rising above 40C in places - temperatures of 5°C to 7°C above the average. 

In Switzerland, it was the hottest June in at least 250 years, environmental historians said. In Geneva, since 29 May, daytime temperatures have not fallen below 25°C, making it the hottest June recorded. 

In the United States, there were 562 May tornadoes, which caused 41 deaths. This set a record for any month. The previous record was 399 in June 1992. 

In India, this year's pre-monsoon heatwave brought peak temperatures of 45°C - 2°C to 5°C above the norm. At least 1,400 people died in India due to the hot weather. In Sri Lanka, heavy rainfall from Tropical Cyclone 01B exacerbated wet conditions, resulting in flooding and landslides and killing at least 300 people. The infrastructure and economy of south-west Sri Lanka was heavily damaged. A reduction of 20-30 per cent is expected in the output of low-grown tea in the next three months. 

Last month was also the hottest in England and Wales since 1976, with average temperatures of 16°C. The WMO said: "These record extreme events (high temperatures, low temperatures and high rainfall amounts and droughts) all go into calculating the monthly and annual averages, which, for temperatures, have been gradually increasing over the past 100 years. 

"New record extreme events occur every year somewhere in the globe, but in recent years the number of such extremes have been increasing. 

"According to recent climate-change scientific assessment reports of the joint WMO/United Nations Environmental Programme Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global average surface temperature has increased since 1861. Over the 20th century the increase has been around 0.6°C. 

"New analyses of proxy data for the northern hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest in any century during the past 1,000 years." 

While the trend towards warmer temperatures has been uneven over the past century, the trend since 1976 is roughly three times that for the whole period. 

Global average land and sea surface temperatures in May 2003 were the second highest since records began in 1880. Considering land temperatures only, last May was the warmest on record. 

It is possible that 2003 will be the hottest year ever recorded. The 10 hottest years in the 143-year-old global temperature record have now all been since 1990, with the three hottest being 1998, 2002 and 2001. 

The unstable world of climate change has long been a prediction. Now, the WMO says, it is a reality.

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3 JULY 2003

CR. RISSTROM: OVER THE HILL, OR IS THAT JUST A MYTH PUT AROUND BY SISYPHUS?

Cr. Risstrom has exceeded his expected lifespan by more than 10 years now. Looks like I'll be taking him on walks for some time from now, despite his apparent inability to extricate his hands from his keyboard or his ear from a phone: Oh well, life goes on. Woof: Rosa.

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1 JULY 2003

WE DID BUT SEE HERR ROSA PASSING BY

My propensity to open my muzzle more often than banks close their branches has meant Rosa's Rave has had to move to new pages each three months. This page provides my news and views from July 1 to September 30 2003. The pervious edition of current news and views are available by clicking here: NEWS AND VIEWS APRIL - JUNE 2003 IN THE GUISE OF ROSA'S RAVE 2003: Rosa.

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.