Posted by: jkirkby8712 | August 10, 2011

Monday, 8th August 2011- a few newsworthy notes of interest.

I noticed in this week’s online news from ‘National Seniors’ that they are about to send out the 4th edition of their travel publication  ‘Journeys to Remember’, to be sent directly to registered members in October.
Compiled exclusively for National Seniors members, Journeys to Remember features a great range of escorted tours and holidays. This edition will also highlight a couple of NEW soft adventure holidays – ideal for the more adventurous traveller. I’m a bit surprised by the word ‘soft’ being used in regard an ‘adventurous’ traveller!!! Will be interesting to see what comes of that!

Meanwhile, news on Tasmania’s forests came through from GetUp, via email, over the weekend – ‘Exciting news: yesterday 430,000 hectares of Tasmania’s magnificent native forests, including spectacular areas such as the Blue Tier, Tarkine, Upper Florentine and Styx were announced for immediate protection by Prime Minister Juila Gillard and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.  Just weeks ago it looked as though the forests would only be declared ‘informal reserves’ — but now those forests will be protected from logging by a legally binding Conservation Agreement, which can only be removed by both houses of Federal parliament. The Federal Government has also ruled out providing any funds for Gunns’ proposed pulp mill.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have fought long and hard for over thirty years to see these forests saved, especially through community groups and conservation groups such as Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation. Congratulations to the tens of thousands of you who over the last two weeks have written to the Prime Minister calling on her to give the forests immediate legal protection. As a result of that pressure, combined with the work of other groups and the parliamentary Greens, the forests that go into informal reserves will also be given additional protection by a legally binding Conservation Agreement.   Many forests, including high conservation value forests on public and private land remain threatened. There still remains a lot of work to do before we can feel secure that Tassie’s forests have received the permanent and lasting protection they deserve as globally significant treasures.
The Federal and State Governments have committed a total of $276 million to deliver the agreement, including funds to manage the new forest reserves and to initiate regional development opportunities.

Our ongoing efforts will be required to ensure the passage of the National Park legislation through the Tasmanian parliament. We will also need to keep the pressure on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to make sure all 572,000 hectares of Tasmania’s high conservation value native forests are permanently protected, including giving the globally significant areas World Heritage status’.

At the same time, a Court injunction, has delayed the first ‘shipment’ of new boat refugees from Christmas Island to Malaysia, due to happen today, I believe. While I guess the process will eventually go ahead, I’m pleased to see that there is enough pressure been put on the government, over this matter to at least delay proceedings, and perhaps give some hope to this rather heartless policy of our government.

On the personal front, another very enjoyable Monday night on the radio for 3 hours up until midnight, and as indicated previously, were it not for work on a Tuesday morning, I’d happily continue on beyond that hour! Maybe later in the year! Meanwhile, a little element of concern about my two ‘student’ children [adults] – one seems to have given the study away, and appears a little directionless at present, while the other is revealing signs of general disillusionment with some aspects of his work and lifestyle!!   In both cases, aspects to keep an eye on, despite feeling somewhat inadequate in terms of providing direct assistance, or more realistically, having that ‘attempt at assistance’ accepted! Life continuers to throw up a range of challenges, though of course, little compared to the kinds of challenges many have to face in this world today. Quite disturbing in fact, to read and hear of the riots and  bare violence currently happening over in the UK, ostensibly in the name of ‘protest’ but quickly going far beyond that.

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