Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter to Josh Frydenberg: Please drop your proposed mandatory data retention regime

Josh,

I ask you to drop your proposed mandatory data retention regime.

Police and intelligence agencies already have broad powers to request information about the communications of specified individuals be retained to support their investigations.

What you are seeking now is for that information to be retained for two years for ALL Australians, even if you're not being investigated.

You  want the following information retained:

Phone calls: detailed records of phone calls you make and receive, including the two numbers. If a mobile phone is involved, that will include the location of that phone, resulting in a detailed record of your location and movements being collected. See this example to understand just how revealing this information can be.
Email: detailed records of who you're sending emails to and receiving them from.

George Brandis provided confusing and conflicting information about whether details of web browsing are to be included.

You do want to retain a record of the address assigned to connections  when you access the Internet (originating IP address). This information will allow the police and ASIO to identify who has visited specific websites that are of interest to them. It will also allow copyright owners (via subpoena) to identify people they believe are infringing their copyright, by downloading or file-sharing.

Even without web browsing information included, a mandatory, society-wide data retention regime represents a massive invasion of the privacy of all Australians. It also subverts the principle of presumption of innocence by treating us all as potential suspects.

There will be substantial costs associated with implementing such a regime. One estimate is that it will add $100 per year to each internet bill.

The massive databases of highly sensitive (and valuable to organised criminals) information will also be highly prone to hacking and misuse, posing genuine threats to the safety of many Australians.

There are already more than sufficient powers available to Australia's intelligence and law enforcement agencies to have information retained about communications involving 'persons of interest'. There is no justification for this information to be retained on the rest of society.

I call on the Federal Government to drop its proposed mandatory, indiscriminate data retention regime, and to treat ordinary, law-abiding Australians as Citizens, Not Suspects.

Regards, Peter Campbell


Sign the Citizens Not Suspects petition, GetUp!



Sunday, August 03, 2014

Open letter to Josh Frydenberg: Please retain or increase the RET

Josh,

You recently voted against Australia's carbon tax.

Please do not compromise Australia's Renewable Energy Target.

The RET is a very important and effective mechanism for transitioning Australia towards zero emissions clean energy.

The RET has only contributed 8% to electricity price increases from 2007/08 to the present.

The Carbon Tax only contributed 16%.

Over this same period distributor costs and charges have contributed 70% to electricity price increases

Investment in renewable energy has risen $5 billion per year.
Renewable energy capacity has almost doubled from 2001 to 2012.
86% of Australians think that Australia needs more renewable energy.
71% of Australians support the RET
90% of Australians want more electricity from solar
80% of Australians want more electricity from wind.

Overall the RET comprises only 3% of the total price of electricity bills.

Please support meaningful action on climate change and transitioning Australia to a new economy with clean energy and associated local industries and jobs.

For example, there are very significant opportunities for local manufacturing and services industry jobs around the Geelong region if more wind farms are built.

Regards, Peter Campbell
[address supplied]

=====================
Response from Josh Frydenburg 27/8/14

Dear Mr Campbell

Thank you for writing to me concerning the review into the Renewable Energy Target (RET).  I have noted your views. For your information the review has been established to allow the general public to make submissions to the Government.

As you are aware, the Government has released the Terms of Reference for a review into the RET, upholding a clear commitment to ensure the RET is working efficiently and effectively and to meet a legislative requirement for a review to be conducted in 2014.

An independent expert panel which brings together extensive policy, business and energy sector expertise will lead the review. The chair of the review, Mr Dick Warburton, has had an extensive career in business and industry, including time as a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia.  Mr Warburton was appointed by the former Climate Change Minister in the Labor Government, Senator Wong, to head its Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed review under the CPRS process.

The Terms of Reference include examining the economic, environmental and social impacts of the RET, in particular the impacts on electricity prices, energy markets, the renewable energy sector, the manufacturing sector and Australian households. The review will be mindful of sovereign risk issues in any proposals it may present to the Government. Unlike the pattern from the previous Government, the review will be open and transparent and engage in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, seeking submissions from the public and industry.  The review will be supported by a Secretariat based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet involving specialists from the Departments of Environment, Industry, Treasury and the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Government will receive the report by the middle of the year and it will provide important input into the Government’s Energy White Paper.

Thank you once again for writing to me about this matter.

Yours sincerely

Josh Frydenberg
Federal Member for Kooyong | Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Parliament House Office | a: R1:44 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 | p: 02 6277 4606 | f: 02 6277 8546
Electorate Office | a: 695 Burke Road, Camberwell VIC 3124 | p: 03 9882 3677  |  f: 03 9882 3773
Email: josh.frydenberg.mp@aph.gov.au  |  Website: www.joshfrydenberg.com.au

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Get your skin checked regularly for melonomas

I visited my local GP recently when I was recuperating from my broken shoulder.  He also examined my back and said I should get a dark patch of skin checked as it had a darker spot in the centre.

I visited Dr Segal, a dermatologist in Camberwell, who agree it should be removed.  He excised it a week later after I returned from a short holiday in Queensland.  I look at the piece of skin - it was slightly smaller than a 20c piece and had a circle of darker pigmentation about 10mm round with darker spot in the middle.

Four days later I returned to have the dressing changed. Dr Segal informed me that it was a melanoma (skin cancer) about 0.4mm deep, which meant that it was detected early.

Four days later I got the dressing changed again and Dr Segal said that the melonoma showed signs of regression - my body's immune system had been fighting the tumour and it may have been bigger.  He recommended that more surrounding skin and tissue be removed as a precaution -a "wide clearance".

He took more out at about 7 days after the first excision.  The local anaesthetic blocks the pain but once in wore off I certainly felt sore for a couple of days.

The second excision was also sent to pathology and came back clear, so it would seem there will be no further action required.

Skin cancer (Melanoma) is scary - there is no blood test for it, and if they go undetected and spread throughout the body then its virtually a death sentence.

Here's a photo of the second scar.


My back has not been exposed to sun much for the last couple of decades, but I did get sunburnt occasionally during my childhood.

If you don't get your skin checked by your GP or a dermatologist, consider doing so.

I am also now taking Vitamin B3 (Nicotanimide) tablets as they can act to block the immuno-suppression effect that UVA and UVB has on the skin, thereby possibly preventing melanomas forming.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Victorian state election priority issues

Here is my list of priority issues for the 2014 Victorian state election

Transport
  • The East West Link tunnel road project should not proceed.
  • Public transport network plans for 2014-2020
  • Funds allocated to building a safe and comprehensive cycling network segregated from cars - 
  • Cycling network plans for 2014-2020 - aiming to provide a connected safe bike route to within 5km of every Melbourne resident.

Environment
  • Logging in Victoria's native forests should cease.
  • The Great Forest National Park to be proclaimed.
  • A complete overhaul of our train network - and new lines built to the airport, Rowville and Doncaster
Education
  • State secondary school system needs more resources and funds.
Housing
  • 7 star efficiency rating for buildings - commercial and residences
Energy
  • Energy plan to increase renewable energy production to 80% of total demand by 2020, including investment is solar and wind power and local energy storage capacity

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My email to the 39 Senators who voted for the Carbon Tax Repeal

You recently voted against Australia's carbon tax.

Please do not compromise Australia's RET.

The RET is a very important and effective mechanism for transitioning Australia towards zero emissions clean energy.

The RET has only contributed 8% to electricity price increases from 2007/08 to the present.

The Carbon Tax only contributed 16%.

Over this same period distributor costs and charges have contributed 70% to electricity price increases

Investment in renewable energy has risen $5 billion per year.
Renewable energy capacity has almost doubled from 2001 to 2012.
86% of Australians think that Australia needs more renewable energy.
71% of Australians support the RET
90% of Australians want more electricity from solar
80% of Australians want more electricity from wind.

Overall the RET comprises only 3% of the total price of electricity bills.

Please support meaningful action on climate change and transitioning Australia to a new economy with clean energy and associated local industries and jobs.

Total Electricty cost increase 2007/08 to present
Wholesale costs 55 5%
Distributor costs & charges 746 70.4%
Carbon Price 172 16.2%
RET 87 8.2%
$1060



You can send your own email to the 39 Senators here: http://www.savetheret.com/

Links

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Is Tony Abbott assembling the apparatus of a fascist state?

Is Tony Abbott assembling the apparatus of a fascist state?

I see some worrying trends, such as:

  • Tell very big lies, such as "I am a conservationist" and "Loggers are conservationists"
  • Backflip on several critical election commitments.
  • Tell further lies such as "I have not told lies, I have not broken election commitments"
  • Pretend there is a "budget emergency" when there isn't - and use this to justify bad policies such as GP CoPayments and dramatically increasing the cost of tertiary education and student HECs debts

  • Criticise the ABC for having a "left-wing bias"
  • Insert Janet Albrechtson  - a trenchant critic of the ABC - onto the ABC and SBS Boards
  • Demonise asylum seekers who attempt to enter Australia by boat, equate them with terrorists, deny them their human rights under the UN Convention for Refugees and incarcerate them in "offshore processing centres" for indefinite periods.  Keep saying that all this is a "border protection issue"
  • Support corporate fossil fuel interests and encourage ongoing carbon pollution despite clear scientific evidence and consensus that carbon emissions are causing global warming
  • Attack and undermine renewable energy projects - with more lies such as "the RET is responsible for electricity prices rises"
While these developments are still a long way from a fascist state, there does seems to be a direction towards this.

Against this trend is the curious Federal push by Abbott to "eliminate red and green tape" and "hand back powers to the (Australian) States"

According to Wikipedia, the characteristics of a fascist state are:
  • Radical authoritarian nationalism
  • Combining more typically right-wing positions with elements of left-wing politics
  • Opposition to liberalism, Marxism, and traditional conservatism. 
  • Unify the nation through an authoritarian state that promoted the mass mobilization of the national community
  • Leadership that initiates a revolutionary political movement aiming to reorganize the nation along principles according to fascist ideology.
  • The veneration of the state
  • Devotion to a strong leader
  • An emphasis on ultra-nationalism and militarism. 
  • Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation,and it asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations.
  • Replaced socialism's focus on class conflict with a focus on conflict between nations and races.
  • A mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
  • Ideological dishonesty
  • Emphasizes direct action, including supporting the legitimacy of political violence, as a core part of its politics
Fascism maybe an old term, usually used pejoratively by political opponents, that maybe no longer relevant in today's world.  Hopefully this is the case.

More on this to follow.

Links

Monday, June 23, 2014

Open letter to Josh Frydenberg: Your attempt to delist Tasmanian forest is very wrong

Open letter

TO: Josh Frydenberg, MP for Kooyong.

I wish to draw to your attention that the Abbott government's attempt to withdraw the World Heritage nomination of Tasmanian forests is very wrong.

Tasmania world heritage area rally: the committee will hand down its decision late on Monday night. Photograph: Rob Blakers/AAP Image
The IUCN has found that, contrary to your government’s claim that the area was heavily degraded, that:
  • 85% of the 74,000 hectares was natural forest 
  • 45% is old-growth forest. 
  • Just 4% could be described as heavily disturbed by logging, roads and other infrastructure. 
Eric Abetz and Tony Abbott have grossly misrepresented this situation and told outright lies about this forest nominated for protection.

I wish you to represent my views on this in the Australian Parliament. Could you please confirm to me when you do this and provide me the the Hansard reference?

Regards, Peter Campbell
Home address supplied