Okay I know I said weekends were for the funny but since I’ve already fallen off the wagon in that regard I feel just fine about launching into my new rant. So two issues Fracking and new legislation aimed at hobbling protest against the government.
Let’s start with number two shall we (both literally and metaphorically – this legislation is a piece of crap after all).
In direct response to the recent decision by the high court to hear the case against dumping in the Great Barrier Reef our government has moved forward with a new bill that has already made it through the lower house and is on its way to the Senate where they hope it will pass with minimum fuss. This is to stave of potential legal cases being brought against the government as they move to embrace Fracking in some of the most fertile areas in Australia. Global Information Against Coal Seam Gas (GIACSG) has been working with a number of Australian groups to inform the general public about the serious dangers associated with the Fracking process. Farmers and other speakers from the US have come and are travelling to the various areas to tell their stories of loss of livelihood, poisoned land and contaminated water. As these have been gathering momentum and collecting support from those who would traditionally support the conservatives or at least sit on the fence the government has reacted by trying to cut off any legal means to protest.
This leads us to the issue of Fracking itself. The process has been shown to be extremely damaging, not just to the area surrounding a site but up to miles away as the poison leaks through waters tables and soil. There are already major protest in the US and the government has had to spend billions of $US in compensation to farmers for the loss of the their land as well as attempting to restore what the process has destroyed.
This is what they wish to do here in Australia and they are quickly moving to cut of any legal forms of redress. What is worse is that this situation is not being reported in the general news due to the support of big business (Murdoch) for the governments policies. Unless you watch the Parliamentary question time and keep track of the various bills coming up for vote you would not know that this legislation is already halfway through the process.
Multi national corporations spend billions buying government support and they will keep doing so as long as it proves effective. Perhaps one of the few avenues we may have left if this legislation passes is to start to lobby for a court hearing regarding ceilings on election campaign funding here in Australia. In all honesty I think we will win the court case in regards to the reef but if this legislation passes it will be the last time something like that happens and that is a depressing thought.