CSG exploration in Victoria: bipartisan 'burn, burn, burn it all' policy


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- Mr Elsbury just spent 21 minutes talking about fossil fuels and never once mentioned climate change. He almost said something about agreeing with something to do with a carbon constraint, but then he threw it into reverse and got the hell out of there. Mr Elsbury does not believe in climate change.

Greens call for Baillieu to act on Wombat Forest mine

Victorian Greens MP Colleen Hartland says the Baillieu Government has had ample warning of community consultation flaws in the mining licence application process and must act.

"Last year it was Moorabool residents who were surprised to find that drilling was about to commence and that they may soon have a 2 billion tonne open cut coal mine on their land or nearby."

"Baillieu should have acted then, but instead we have another community around the Wombat Forest shocked to find that an open cut gold mine will be carved through the forest next to the historic Lerderderg River."

Q: Port of Melbourne Corporation shoaling warnings


8196 MS PENNICUIK — To ask the Minister for Planning (for the Minister for Ports): In relation to Port of Melbourne Corporation Notices to Mariners No. 120 (T)/11 issued on 25 October 2011, No 117 (T)/11 issued on 28 October 2011 and Nos. 126, 127 and 128 (T)/11 issued on 3 November 2011, which warn of the presence of shoaling in the South Channel:

Victoria paying heavily for outdated water pricing


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- We can live without coal, but we cannot live without water. Last year, the Baillieu government raked in an extra $400 million from Victorian consumers on their water bills. That is equivalent to about one-quarter of what the carbon tax might collect next year, but the Baillieu government's water revenue is going to continue to rise.

Make health purchasing environmentally friendly - by law


My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Health. As the minister is aware, the Auditor-General recommended Health Purchasing Victoria realign itself with its legislated activities. Today I will concentrate on the part of the Auditor-General's report that pointed to Health Purchasing Victoria's obligation to build capacity within the sector. In this I think the Auditor-General is referring to part 6, division 2, section 131(e) of the Health Services Act 1988, which states that one of Health Purchasing Victoria's functions is 'to foster improvements in the use and application of purchasing systems'. I also think the concept of capacity building exists in the term 'best value', which is also used in that section of the act.

Alcoa law unto themselves

Scroll to the bottom of this story to view the Alcoa License Agreement

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- It is quite clear from my research into this issue, which has been ongoing throughout the year, that Alcoa's operation of a coalmine and a coal-fired power plant in Anglesea is making certain citizens ill. The operations are also destroying an internationally significant ecosystem.

Alcoa is polluting the atmosphere through an inefficient form of power generation, which we are all very familiar with, and it is doing this with a whole series of favourable terms and subsidies from the state of Victoria's taxpayers to it. It is doing large parts of it in secret, for reasons which I will now turn to before going back to canvass some of these issues.

Greens condemn 50 year mining extension

Greens Senator for Victoria, Dr Richard Di Natale, and Leader of the Victorian Greens, Greg Barber MLC, have condemned the expansion and 50 year extension  of the Alcoa coal mine in Anglesea.

"As the country begins to build its clean energy future, now is the worst time to lock in 50 more years of burning coal, said Senator Di Natale. "What the Victorian government should have done is plan an exit strategy to wean Victoria off coal on a much shorter time frame."

Mr Barber lamented the environmental record of the Baillieu government and labelled it the 'Pollution' party.

Government Carbon Spin: Where's the Evidence?


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- I move:

That this house requires the Leader of the Government to table in the Legislative Council by 12 noon on Tuesday, 13 September 2011, a copy of all documents modelling the impacts of carbon pricing on employment in Victoria prepared by Deloitte for the Department of Premier and Cabinet and released to the Herald Sun in August 2011.

On Thursday, 18 August, the government issued a press release headed 'Gillard government carbon tax to choke Victorian economy, new modelling shows'. The first line of the press release states:

The Victorian coalition government has released new economic modelling by Deloitte Access Economics showing --

hold it right there. In fact the government did not release the economic modelling by Deloitte; it released the results of the economic modelling by Deloitte, and it released them in a particular format. It released them to the Herald Sun, coinciding with the press release.

Take the Pledge

Logging native forests is detrimental to our climate, our wildlife and our water – will you take the pledge to stop it?

The mountain forests east of Melbourne are some of the most carbon dense ecosystems on the planet.  Instead of protecting these forests as a critical carbon store, Ted Baillieu is allowing them to be bulldozed, wood chipped and burnt, with the wood going to the Maryvale pulp mill to make Reflex paper. Logging and post-logging burning releases enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

Questions that need answers


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- "It is fundamental to the work of members of Parliament that they are able to ask questions. When we end up voting on various measures that go through the Parliament, that vote has to be informed.

"It cannot be that members vote with the blinkers on or with only the information they can obtain through public and other sources. The government may not like it, but we have every right to ask these questions. If government members think they are better than members of the last government, which it is abundantly clear they think is the case, they should do better. The fact that they may not like the pointed nature of some of the questions that are being put to them at the moment does not change anything. In some cases the questions relate to matters of general interest that could come before the house for a vote at some future time; in other cases they relate to matters that are being dealt with by the house right now; and then there are questions relating to matters that are of public interest right now. With one or two notable exceptions -- some conscientious ministers -- the government is systematically avoiding the answering of these questions.