Midnight Oil

Subject: RE: RE: [powderworks] Your opinion of Pete's approval of the Pulp Mill
From: "TimC" <tim_augustus@yahoo.com.au>
Date: 23/10/2007, 7:28 pm
To: <ashokachowta@optusnet.com.au>, <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>

Well firstly, PG didn’t ‘approve’ the pulp mill per se – That was Malcolm Turnbull’s job. Secondly, I think it’s a standard cynical political move – Labor for the last 10 months has been bending over backwards to avoid being ‘wedged’ by Howard, and the pulp mill commitment has to be seen in that light – a pragmatic gesture to avoid scaring the punters unnecessarily. The fact is that the pulp mill has been approved by those with the power to do so – the Gunns… I mean Labor Tasmanian Government and the Federal Government. I’m not sure that it will be possible to alter that fact even after the election – big business tends not to like that behaviour, and it would merely be a rallying point for the defeated Coalition. And the fact is that Labor has, whether either party likes it or not, the Greens off to the side running the ideological war for them. The Greens would probably never admit it but Labor is naturally much closer in general ideology than the Libs/Nats, as demonstrated by the strong flow of Green preferences to Labor at most elections.


As the article argues there’s little doubt that Garrett (along with many colleagues) isn’t comfortable with the mill or the process surrounding it – but there’s no point throwing the election away crying about things that can’t be changed. A lot of shall we say less-enlightened people are uncomfortable with the idea of that rabid greenie as the Minister of Environment and he’s been quite obviously doing everything he can to allay their fears; a bit of pragmatism goes a long way in politics! No doubt there will be room for changes in the future – tightening of effluent and emissions restrictions on the mill and adjustments to the amount of old growth available for clearing two major examples.


I am quite optimistic about his future in (hopefully) the next Government, as we all know he’s an intelligent and passionate bloke and I hope he will be able to put in motion the changes necessary to move Australia in a more sustainable and clean direction – and show the ‘economy first’ types that one can be green and prosperous!


From: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au] On Behalf Of ashokachowta@optusnet.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2007 5:33 PM
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: Re: RE: [powderworks] Your opinion of Pete's approval of the Pulp Mill


interesting article,

what do you think of Peter decision to approve the pilp mill

> TimC <tim_augustus@yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> Since you bring this up, I read an article on Crikey.com.au that I
> wanted to
> share with the list but was foiled by it's untimely demise ;-)
> Mungo: Garrett abandons utopia for results
> Mungo MacCallum writes:
> You have to feel sorry for Peter Garrett. He's had a pretty rough time
> since
> he joined the Labor Party more that three years ago, and it all came to
> a
> head last week.
> When Garrett, on behalf of the ALP, signed off on the government's
> decision
> to approve the Tamar Valley pulp mill, the Greens turned carnivorous.
> From
> being a trusted environmental warrior, Garrett had become a sell out and
> a
> cipher, the shadow minister who didn't cast a shadow. As everyone had
> predicted, the Labor Party had chewed him up and spat him out. From
> being an
> idealist and a man of principle, Garrett was now just another
> politician.
> Well yes, he was, and this is precisely the point. After spending his
> youth
> banging his impressive head against various brick walls in pursuit of
> noble
> causes, Garrett has now grown up. In 2003 he became convinced that
> actually
> achieving change for the better, imperfect though it might be, was more
> useful than spending the rest of his life yearning for an unattainable
> green
> utopia. Whether consciously or not he accepted the truth of Gough
> Whitlam's
> dictum: the impotent are always pure. He may even have turned it around:
> the
> pure are always impotent.
> From the start he knew politics would involve compromise, that he would
> no
> longer be the free spirit his fans had idolised at Midnight Oil
> concerts. He
> would have to balance the interests of the many against the dreams of a
> few.
> But he made the choice, and to his great credit he has stuck with it.
> Moreover, he has seen how dire the consequences of uncompromising
> idealism
> can be. In 2004 Labor under Mark Latham went down the deep green path in
> Tasmania. Seduced by the Greens Leader Bob Brown, Latham was persuaded
> that
> a policy of quarantining large areas of forests from loggers would be
> vote
> winner both in the state and across the mainland. Garrett embraced the
> move
> and campaigned vigorously in the short time remaining before polling
> day.
> The result is now history: not only did Labor lose the seats of Bass and
> Braddon in Tasmania, but the party forfeited any chance of picking up
> mainland forestry seats like Eden-Monaro and Gippsland. The policy did
> not
> lose the election for Labor, although the contrast between Latham
> sneaking
> away from timber workers through an underground car park while Howard
> was
> cheered by them in a mass rally was one of the enduring images of the
> campaign, and one which would have swung many waverers to the government
> in
> the final week. But there is no doubt that the net cost was at least
> two,
> probably three seats. Those on the left now excoriating Garrett's
> pragmatism
> might care to remember this if in 2007 Howard scrapes back by a similar
> margin.
> There is no doubt that the man himself feels uncomfortable with the pulp
> mill decision, or that he is hurt by the attacks from former friends and
> allies. But he has held the line and will continue to do so. And he can
> take
> more than marginal comfort from the fact that Labor's primary vote
> continues
> to run at 47 percent, while the Greens are at just 7.6. As a result
> there is
> every possibility that in two month's time Peter Garrett, Minister for
> the
> Environment, will be signing the ratification documents for the Kyoto
> treaty
> and preparing to implement a radical and far-reaching program on
> sustainable
> energy, pollution control and climate change, while Bob Brown, Greens
> leader
> in the senate, will still be leading futile demonstrations against a
> pulp
> mill.
> The purists will no doubt dismiss the political rise of Peter Garrett as
> his
> 30 pieces of silver, the wages of treachery. Those of us more interested
> in
> results than rhetoric will applaud it as a hard-earned laurel wreath, a
> reward for courage and vision, but above all for common sense.
> _____
> From: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
> [mailto:powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au]
> On Behalf Of ashokachowta@optusnet.com.au
> Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2007 12:55 PM
> To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
> Subject: [powderworks] Your opinion of Pete's approval of the Pulp Mill
> I want to know something, what's your opinion on Peter Garrett giving
> the
> approval for the Pulp Mill to go ahead, even though he says as long it
> meets
> the environmental standards or something like that?, I know he's losing
> fans, one fellow what's his money back from 11 Oils albums be bought,
> there
> are people including environmentalists in his electorate who are
> planning on
> voting him out, the Labor Party are thinking of chnaging his portfolio.
> So
> what do you reckon, u think he has sold out or not etc etc?
> Personally I'm not jumping to any conclusions, I don't think we've heard
> the
> full story of Peter's reasons. All will be revealed when if the Labor
> Party
> wins
> Oh and another thing and this makes me smirk now when I think about it
> but I
> thought one of the reasons that Powderworks was closed might be because
> of
> my and others occasional swearing.
> Ashoka Chowta Graphic Designs
> Myrtle Bank SA, 5064
> Australia
> Mobile: 0404 217 028
> Tele: 8379 8756

Ashoka Chowta Graphic Designs
Myrtle Bank SA, 5064
Mobile: 0404 217 028
Tele: 8379 8756