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The Social and Environmental Costs of Coal Seam Gas Mining in New South Wales

 In the past decade, the expansion of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in Australia has been nothing short of momentous. In the Eastern states, where the growth has been concentrated, this progression has generated increasing social and environmental concerns. Uncertainty regarding the effect of coal seam gas extraction upon ground water aquifers, the full impact of hydro-fracturing, and how to effectively dispose of gallons of “associated” water without causing cross-contamination have all contributed to this. Additionally, land-holders in these areas have been subjected to what the New South Wales Senate Standing Committee has recently described as an “aggressive” assertion of mining rights.

Timor Leste, the 5th Constitutional Government and the 'good governance' Template.

East Timorese newspaper Tempo Semanal published an article this week which claims that the new Timorese Government represents "an oligarchy", and criticises the new government for its size and for the fact that it contained some brothers and sisters. There was criticism of the last Timorese Government for many reasons, including corruption. However, this same government established the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) which has led to some former ministers being investigated and in one case found guilty.

The Scapegoat, About the Expulsion of Michael Rasmussen from the Tour De France 2007

Book Review: The Scapegoat, About the Expulsion of Michael Rasmussen from the Tour De France 2007 and beyond, Verner Møller , Akaprint, Aarhus, 2011.

 

Martin Hardie

 

Reflections upon the National Symposium on Multiculturalism at Deakin University

On July 6th the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation hosted the National Symposium on Multiculturalism in Australia: from theorising to policy making. The aim of the symposium was to gauge current debates and trends concerning ‘multiculturalism’ in the academic, government and community sectors. There were key themes and concerns both new and longstanding that became apparent from this event. These included a repositioning of our understanding of an “Australian multiculturalism” to include concerns of migration and citizenship, away from the traditional academic and policy tendency to attempt to isolate multicultural and settlement concerns from debates on immigration and population.

On any Sunday

Poor old Julian

Q: How long can Julian Assange stay in the Ecuadorean embassy in London?

A: Probably as long as the Ecuador government is happy to host him there. Unless the UK government is prepared to declare all the Ecuadorean diplomats persona non grata, so that the embassy would have to close up and all the Ecuadoreans go home. The cops could then grab him.

If Ecuador could make Julian a citizen of Ecuador, which probably depends on their Constitution, then he could probably go to Heathrow and get on a plane to eg the Galapagos Islands. He might have to give up his Oz nationality, perhaps not too great a cost. International law frowns on nationalities of convenience, however,  plural nationality is surely the way of the future.

Julian may be exaggerating the danger of US extradition but he is right to be wary, even if most people accept that as the Monty Python team would say, he's not  a terrorist, "he's just a very naughty boy."

International status of the Vatican/Holy See

With criminal allegations against Roman Catholic priests in the news, not for the first time, the question of international legal status for the Catholic Church/ Vatican City/ Holy See comes up.

Is the Catholic Church like any other global faith-based movement from a legal point of view -- Bah'ai, Anglican, Scientology -- or does it have special status that confers some kind of immunity on its officials? Is the Pope some kind of Head of State?

Geoffrey Robertson argues that the claims for statehood, or anything like statehood, are bogus, and I agree.

The relationships between the Vatican, the Holy See, the office of the Pope, and the worldwide Catholic Church are immensely complicated. That is ok -- faith-based movements can organise themselves in complicated ways if they want.

It is also ok for the state of Italy to allow special privileges for the section of Rome occupied by the Vatican.

When the price isn’t right: ACCC sets sights on price gougers in wake of carbon tax

In the lead-up to the introduction of the carbon tax on July 1, there has been considerable focus on the potential for price gouging – inflating prices beyond the cost increases reasonably attributable to the tax. In recent days, this has been fuelled by a letter sent to small business from the opposition, urging them to place flyers in their shops apologising for any carbon-tax related price increases.

What business can and cannot claim following the introduction of the carbon tax

Businesses are generally free to increase or lower their prices as they choose. In the context of the carbon tax, there are no specific laws preventing price gouging. However, the law does prohibit false or misleading claims regarding the cause of any price hike. For example, if a business reasonably estimates that its costs have increased by 5% as a result of the carbon tax then  ..

Coal Seam Gas is Coming to Victoria

 Coal seam gas mining is rapidly expanding beyond the eastern basin states. The Inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria recommends the Victorian Government establish a process to consult stakeholders about the future development of goal seam gas. But Victoria’s laws simply aren’t ready for this new form of mining.  

For a full outline of this article please see The Conversation

 

 

 

 

 

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