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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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The reintroduction of bills to repeal the carbon and mining taxes

On 23 June 2014, the Government re-introduced a package of Bills to repeal the ‘carbon tax’. A separate Bill was also introduced to repeal the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT). On 24 June 2014, the House agreed to several debate management motions that will have the effect of expediting the passage of the Bills through the House so that they are able to be considered by the Senate when it meets on 7 July 2014. The re-introduced Bills are identical to those rejected by the Senate in March 2014. Read more...

The Tarkine: more than just a forest?

The recent statement by Greens leader Senator Christine Milne at the National Press Club that 'Labor has walked away from its agreement with the Greens…so be it', led to the airing of several government decisions that her party was unhappy with. One of the key issues was Labor’s decision on the Tarkine in Tasmania, which she said was evidence that the government gave priority to mining interests.The 439,000 hectares (ha) of the Tarkine includes Australia’s largest tract of cool temperate rainforest and is home to many rare species. But on the 8th of February Environment Minister Tony Burke announced that only a small part of the region would receive National Heritage listing. Is the Tarkine ... Read more...

The deeper worries about coal seam gas

One-third of Eastern Australia cooks its breakfast, warms its homes, and generates its power from natural gas, the main component of which is methane, supplied by coal seam gas (CSG) operations. Our need for natural gas has allowed CSG operations to grow, but critics contend that this has not always been accompanied by sufficient understanding of the social and environmental implications. Ground and surface water contamination, water consumption, and waste disposal are but a few issues fuelling the ongoing debate. However, reports of deeper risks are now surfacing.The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently indicated that CSG activities in the US appear to have contributed to an incr... Read more...

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