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Illegal protest activity in Tasmania: “Simply criminals who are out to damage the Tas­manian brand”, say Tasmanian Forest Contractors

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

According to Ferdie Kroon, CEO of Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association, he was amazed and incensed to read the Mercury’s front page report (5 September) into the actions of Altana Beltran, in The Mercury (6/9/2007, p. 30).

Front page coverage ‘unfair’ : “ How could a newspaper indir­ectly support the proponent of illegal activity by giving her and the Tasmanian Greens front-page status? Protesters like her are not engaging in peaceful and legal protests, they are engaging in illegal and criminal like activity. Actions which stop lawful works must be condemned by society and the media that represents us. A protestor recently mali­ciously cut the rope of a police officer who then fell about three metres to the ground”.

Distinction between legal and illegal protest activity: ” Let us not forget the costs to businesses, employees and com­munities of these illegal activi­ties, which could be in excess of $15,000 per day, not inclusive of damage to equipment. The Tasmanian Forest Contrac­tors Association does not stand in the way of legal protest activity but we will not support illegal activity and we encourage the Tasmanian community to draw the distinction between legal and illegal protest activity. Purveyors of the latter are simply criminals who are out to damage the Tas­manian brand as well as significantly impede hard-working com­munities”.

Posted in Australia, Forest, Lobby Groups, Protest, Tasmania | Leave a Comment »

NSW carbon trading scheme on brink of collapse: jobs, companies at risk because of govt inaction, says millionaire Easy Being Green chief

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

The NSW carbon trading scheme was on the brink of collapse as the falling price of credits looked likely to send several companies to the wall, reported The Age (13/9/2007, p.4).

Undermining CO2 efforts: “The announcement of a federal emissions trading scheme has caused the price of carbon credits to plunge from $12 to $6. This was undermining companies such as Easy Being Green, which helped households cut greenhouse gas emissions in return for carbon credits. Easy Being Green would hold a rally in Sydney, expected to be attended by hundreds of people protesting against the NSW Government’s decision not to bolster the Greenhouse Gas Abatement scheme”.

Govt inaction: “More than 1000 jobs would be lost through the collapse of the scheme, Easy Being Green chief executive Paul Gilding said. “The purpose of our company is not to make money but to cut carbon,” he said. “The real tragedy is that next year there will be 10 million tonnes of carbon that won’t be cut because this policy, which has been successful, will be scrapped. We know how to cut emissions, we have distributed 10 million low-energy light globes to NSW homes, saved households over $150 million a year off energy bills, but we can’t do it at the current prices. It is outrageous that the NSW Government hasn’t done more to extend the scheme.”

The Age, 13/9/2007, p. 4

Posted in Australia, Carbon Price, Markets, NSW, Policy, Protest, Registry | Leave a Comment »

Police seek deals with Sydney universities to covertly monitor “IMGs”, or “interest-motivated groups”, identify key members, in run-up to APEC

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Police had spent months secretly monitoring university political groups in the run-up to this week’s Asia-Pacific Econ­omic Co-operation forum, docu­ments obtained under freedom of information revealed, reported The Age (3/9/2007, p. 4).

Only “publicly available materials” discussed: A unit operating in the intelli­gence section of the NSW Police APEC Security Command had been in contact with security personnel at Wollongong Univer­sity, Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney, requesting permission to covertly monitor “IMGs”, or “interest-motivated groups”, The Age said. “The universities said they had only discussed publicly available materials with the unit and had not allowed covert surveillance of student groups”, the newspaper said.

Identification of key activists: “However,” according to The Age, “in one email, sent from an officer to the UTS secur­ity manager on December 7, the unit’s brief was made clear. ‘Given that next year holds events including state/federal elections (and) APEC, there is a strong possibility that IMGs will become more active in 2007,’ the officer wrote. ‘Our main charter is to moni­tor these IMGs and identify the current key members.’ He said the intelligence unit planned to attend ‘scheduled events’ on campus.”

Policing “politicised”: “When contacted about the correspondence,” The Age said, “a spokesman for UTS confirmed they had been in contact with APEC police but said they were not aware of covert monitoring. He did not deny, however, that intelligence officers had been on the grounds.” A spokesman for Wollongong University confirmed that offi­cers from the unit had twice met university security staff. The university had not given per­mission for officers to monitor university students, he said. One of the 29 student activists excluded from APEC areas, UTS tutor Paddy Gibson, 24, said the monitoring was part of the reason he had been blacklisted. “I think policing has become in this case very, very politicised,” he said. While refusing to confirm the existence of the unit, the commander of the APEC Security Command, Assistant police Commissioner Dave Owen, said “intelligence collection” was a legitimate police function.

The Age, 3/9/2007, p. 4

Posted in Australia, Policy, Protest | Leave a Comment »

Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund refused delegate status by APEC organisers

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

A spokeswoman for Greenpeace, Cindy Baxter, said her organisation and the World Wildlife Fund had approached APEC organisers to gain delegate status but were refused, reported The Canberra Times (1/9/2007, p. 7).

A different view offered: Both organisations then asked if they could gain access to the official APEC media centre but were again refused, the newspaper reported. The non-government organ­isations had set up an international non-government organisation media centre near the official media centre in the hope of attracting inter­national coverage — but APEC organ­isers had also refused to hand out flyers. “We are setting up serious policy analysis so journalists can come and get a different view about the effect APEC decisions will have on millions of people around the world,” Ms Baxter said. “It brings a lot of ideas to the forefront.”

Lawful protest: The Canberra Times reported the convenor of the Stop Bush Coalition, Alex Bainbridge, as saying the police and Government’s lack of cooperation had galvanised oppo­sition to the APEC forum. “Nothing we have proposed is against the law … the Government and the police are trying to prevent peaceful protests,” he said.

The Canberra Times, 1/9/2007, p. 7

Posted in Australia, Policy, Protest | Leave a Comment »

Forty-one-second clip of APEC antics incident on The Chaser MySpace page receives more than 50,000 hits

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Team members from The Chaser said their APEC motorcade stunt was a silly gag gone wrong and that they had “never expected to get past the front gate,” reported The Sydney Morning Herald (12/9/2007, p.6). The fake motorcade has polarised public opinion – with the ABC receiving 266 complaints and 177 letters, phone calls and emails expressing appreciation, and radio talkback callers jamming switchboards in an effort to have their say. A 41 second clip of the incident had received more than 50,000 hits by Sunday night. Dumbfounded by lack of security: Chas Licciardello and Julian Morrow said they were shocked their convoy of black cars bearing Canadian flags and second-hand motorbikes had made it into the restricted zone last Thursday. “We were absolutely sure we would never get past the first checkpoint,” Licciardello, who dressed up in an Osama bin Laden costume for the stunt said. “It was panic stations when we realised. We looked up and saw the Opera House and said we can drive all the way down there or we can turn around now and not get arrested. It was a stupid gag that backfired.”

APEC-specific charge has 6-month potential jail sentence: Morrow and Licciardello maintain that they turned around voluntarily and were heading out of the restricted zone when police stopped them. The pair and their crew of nine were arrested and charged with entering a restricted area without justification under the APEC Act – a charge that carried a maximum jail sentence of six months.

Posted in Emissions, Energy, Protest | Leave a Comment »