Thursday, 7 March 2013


Part 2 -  by Graham Williamson

How Was This Report Written?

The preparation of this report was overseen by an editorial committee composed of the following members:
National (Commonwealth Government) members:
  • the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (convenor);
  • the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
  • the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade;
  • the Department of Primary Industries and Energy; and
  •  the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). 

State and Local Government members:
    •  a representative of the Government of the State of Victoria, nominated by the Intergovernmental Committee for Ecologically Sustainable Development to represent all States and Territories; and 
    •  the Australian Local Government Association. 

      Non-government organisation members:
      •   the Australian Conservation Foundation; 
      •   the Australian Council for Overseas Aid; and 
      •   the Business Council of Australia. 
        Initial drafts of each chapter of the report were prepared by a Commonwealth Government department or agency with the relevant domestic responsibility. These drafts were provided to the editorial committee, all State, Territory and Local Government members of the Intergovernmental Committee for Ecologically Sustainable Development, and to approximately twenty non-government organisations (NGOs) with interests in the subject matter of the reports. Comments and suggestions from all groups were referred to the editorial committee and the report was finalised on the basis of the committee's recommendations. 
        The editorial committee took the view that, wherever possible, NGO suggestions on matters of fact or emphasis should be reflected in the body of the report. Where comments critical of government policy could not be accommodated in the official response to the CSD guidelines, text reflecting the comments provided by NGOs was agreed by the editorial committee and included in the report as an identified NGO comment. 
        The report was drafted prior to the March 1996 Federal election which brought about a change of government. It has been approved by the new Government as a document describing policies and programs which were in effect prior to or as at the end of 1995. 

      • The final report was approved by the following Ministers: 
      •   the Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon Robert Hill; 
      •   the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Alexander Downer MP; 
      •   the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, the Hon John Anderson MP; and 
      •   the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator the Hon Warwick Parer.
        And again here (9):

           (Fact Sheet - CSD 1999)

          1. Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s) (e.g, Councils, Commissions, Inter-Ministerial Working Groups).
          Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Working Groups
          The principle of sustainable development is now broadly accepted and built into the working programs of the key bodies of national governance which bring together the National and State governments. An example of these key bodies are Ministerial Councils, including:
          Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) 

        Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) Australian and New Zealand Minerals and Energy Council (ANZMEC)
        Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA)
        Australian Transport Council

        2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson
        2a. List of ministries and government agencies involved:
        Agencies involved in COAG are:
        Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
        New South Wales Cabinet Office
        Victorian Department of the Premier and Cabinet
        Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet
        Western Australian Ministry of the Premier and Cabinet
        South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet
        Tasmanian Department of the Premier and Cabinet
        Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister
        Australian Capital Territory Chief minister’s DepartmentOther Ministries that contribute to other coordination mechanisms such as the Ministerial Councils include: Australian Greenhouse Office
        Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage
        Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
        Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
        New South Wales Environment Protection Authority
        New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
        New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation
        New South Wales Fisheries
        New South Wales State Forests
        Victorian Environment Protection Agency
        Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment
        Queensland Department of Natural Resources 

        Queensland Department of Primary Industries
        Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage
        Western Australian Department of Environmental Protection
        Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management
        Western Australian Fisheries
        South Australian Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs
        South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Resources
        Tasmanian Department of the Primary Industries, Water and Environment
        Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and Environment
        Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
        Australian Capital Territory Department of Urban Services
        2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participation of academic and private sectors:A range of groups may be consulted on an issues basis, including:
        Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities Inc.
        Australian Local Government Association
        National Academies Forum
        National Environmental Law Association
        Royal Australian Planning Institute
        Australian Business Chamber
        Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
        Australian Industry Greenhouse Network
        Sustainable Technologies Australia
        Australian Chamber of Manufacturers
        Australian Institute of Petroleum Ltd
        Minerals Council of Australia
        National Association of Forest Industries
        National Farmers’ FederationPlastics and Chemicals Industries Association 

        Business Council of Australia
        The Institution of Engineers, Australia
        Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Federation of Australia
        Environment Management Industry Association of Australia
        Waste Management Association of Australia
        Australian Seafood Industry Council
        Recfish Australia
        Australian Automobile Association
        Australian Coal Association
        Australian Gas Association
        Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Ltd.
        Electricity Supply Association of Australia
        Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
        Metal trades industry Association
        Road Transport Forum
        Tourism Council Australia

        2c. Names of non-governmental organisations:A number of non-government organisations are consulted on an issues basis, including: Australian Council for Overseas Aid
        Australian Conservation Foundation
        Greenpeace Australia
        World Wide Fund for Nature
        Australian Council of Social Services
        Australian Council of National Trustees
        Australian Marine Conservation Society
        Australian National Parks Council
        Humane Society International
        Clean Up Australia Ltd. 

        Keep Australia Beautiful Association Birds Australia
        National Toxics Network
        Urban Ecology Australia Inc. Ecological Society of Australia Environs Australia
        Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Queensland Conservation Council
        Conservation Council of South Australia Conservation Council of Western Australia Tasmanian Conservation Trust Inc.
        The Environment Centre Northern Territory
        Victorian National Parks Association

        3. Mandate/role of above mechanism/council:COAG’s objectives include increasing cooperation among governments in the national interest, and consultation on major whole-of-government issues arising from Ministerial Council deliberations and on major initiatives of one government which impact on other governments. Groups such as ANZECC, ANZMEC, ARMCANZ, MCFFA report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
        When considering intergovernmental matters which have implications beyond the areas of responsibility of Ministers on a Council, liaison between Ministerial Councils is carried out through the respective Chairs, to ensure that relevant factors are taken into account. Chairs of Ministerial Councils may then report to Heads of Government on issues which have major cross-portfolio or whole-of-government implications.
        Submitted by
        Name: Andrew Ross Signature:
        Title: Director, Intergovernment Unit Date: Ministry/Office: Environment Australia Telephone: + 61 2 6274 1387
        Fax: + 61 2 6274 1858 


        Your claims that AG21 is a non-binding dead agreement (and you are unaware of the above) clearly contradict testimony by your own political party and your own colleagues. You are, for some reason, simply denying the truth, denying the facts.

        But it gets worse since you claim “we have no powers over local Governments.” I notice you failed to mention former Minister for Environment Robert Hill’s endorsement of the Commonwealth’s Local Agenda 21 guide for councils

        According to the Minister:
        In 1992, the United Nations released a ground-breaking action plan for sustainable development called Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a blueprint that sets out actions we can
        all take to contribute to global sustainability in the 21st century. It recognises that most environmental challenges have their roots in local activities and therefore encourages
        Local Governments to promote local environmental, economic and social sustainability
        by translating the principles of sustainable development into strategies that are meaningful to local communities. This process is called Local Agenda 21 (LA21).
        The importance of LA21 was recognised in June 1997 by APEC Ministers for Sustainable Development when they set an APEC-wide target of doubling the number of Councils with LA21s by 2003. At the time there were approximately 61 councils in Australia with LA21 programs in place.
        The importance of local ESD has been further recognised by Environment ministers from
        all Australian jurisdictions (meeting as the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)) when they agreed to encourage the implementation
        of LA21 in their own jurisdictions in order to meet the APEC LA21 target in Australia.
        In July 1999 ANZECC Ministers agreed to encourage LA21 in their jurisdictions through
        an ANZECC LA21 Achievement Award. The award will promote LA21 by recognising best practice and raising the profile of LA21 amongst Local Government.
        Since the Pathways to Sustainability Conference in June 1997 and the release of the Newcastle Declaration, we have seen the growth of Local Agenda 21 initiatives and the LA21 movement in Australia. Moving ahead on sustainable development is not an easy
        task but it is essential to secure Australia’s future. Australia needs leadership on sustainable development and many Australian Local Governments are providing that leadership... 

        We are now starting to see strong synergies in Australia between LA21 and other
        sustainable development issues like greenhouse gas emission reduction, integrated coastal management, biodiversity conservation and the objectives of the Natural Heritage Trust.”
        Are you suggesting that Robert Hill was also unaware AG21 is “dead”?
        Let us be serious Greg. We both know AG21 is being implemented nationwide and this is being done without giving Australians a democratic choice. To deny this is to deny reality and suggest you are incompetent and unintelligent which I do not believe is so.
        So let us move on.
        Instead of constantly denying reality and arguing in the negative, what positive policies will you bring to the election to restore democracy and counter AG21. In the interests of Australian citizens, will you follow the American lead and ban all imported sustainability programs such as AG21?
        Are you prepared to take positive action, or merely continue arguing and pretending reality is not happening?
        I have been very patient and given you every opportunity only to have you insult my intelligence by denying simple facts.
        Isn’t Australia more important to you than that? Regards
        Graham Williamson

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 8:30 PM
        To: Graham
        Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy

        For the final time i had never heard of the issue, heard it raised by Ministers, MP's pr constituents until 19 years after the ing was apparently signed. Given that you are int he same position we a subject to the same degree of knowledge.
        Can I ask if you honestly think that John Howard was involved in some global Government Green left conspiracy? Given that for the first 19 years the issue appears to have escaped both of our attention can I respectfully suggest that the discovery of a dead, irrelevant declaration 19 years after the fact may cause everyone to be calm.
        I respect your views and encourage you to find and approach any councils directly and to attend Council meetings to announce and denounce any actions which you believe are part of a global conspiracy.
        I genuinely respect your rights on this front. 

        I will respectfully draw this engagement to a conclusion and encourage you from here to approach
        State based Governments as we have no powers over local Governments. Sent from my iPad

        On 21/12/2012, at 6:54 PM, "Graham" <
        grahamhw@xxxxxx; wrote:

        Hi Greg,
        My interest has gradually increased over the past 12 months as I have learned more about it.
        You can see the summarised results of 12 months research enclosed.
        While I of course respect what you have said, it is very much at odds with reality as is evidenced by enclosed. Councils right around Australia are implementing Agenda 21 with the assistance of state governments. This is a simple fact. As you can see, state governments have even incorporated AG into the school curriculum. And your government has acknowledged councils continue to introduce it without legislative authority.
        The fact that there is such extensive nationwide implementation of this program without politicians prepared to accept responsibility is an enormous problem in itself and raises serious questions. The fact that it is being implemented without being a binding agreement raises even more questions as to why this is so. As you no doubt realise however, experts have pointed out(including human rights commission) that non binding international agreements commonly end up being incorporated into state laws.
        To summarise.
        Fact 1
        Agenda 21 is being implemented nationwide by state governments and councils. (see encl) Do you deny this?

        Fact 2
        Though you claim that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions” in fact it was included in 2006 SOE report under your watch. Do you deny this?

        Fact 3
        Since the continuing implementation of AG21 is a simple fact, this raises serious questions about who is taking political responsibility for this since the electorate has never been given a democratic choice and politicians, like yourself, deny knowledge of it even though bureaucrats under their portfolio are implementing it (as is clearly evidenced from enclosed) Do you deny this?. Part of the problem of course was the decision by successive governments that Australia needed an imported sustainability program, one that was designed by a foreign agency and was monitored by the CSD(part of UN). Of course, governments, such as the Howard government, were required to send annual implementation reports to the CSD.

        You seem to be denying all this is happening and the politicians, bureaucrats, and other experts cited in the enclosed are all mistaken or not telling the truth. Is this correct?

        Australians are very concerned about what is happening to this great country and when hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats and other experts say AG21 is being implemented and yet no current politician is prepared to accept responsibility or even give the people a choice, it reflects very poorly
        • upon the credibility of politicians. The clear impression is created that politicians are not to be trusted and I think you deserve the opportunity to correct this.

    It will not be corrected by denial of the facts. You are after all, asking me to believe you had absolutely no idea about implementation of AG21 around Australia and even the warning in your government’s 2006 SOE report.
    Of course you are all busy with so many issues to attend to. You are however aware of it now. What will your policy be regarding AG21?
    Graham Williamson

    From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 5:59 PM
    To: Graham
    Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy

    There is nothing to ban. It is a 20 year old non binding declaration.
    Councils can use any number of excuses to justify their actions. The only thing that matters is whether it is within the State alas which control them.
    I would also be interested to know at what point in the last 20 years yu formed the conclusion that this declaration was a gross threat.
    I can honestly tell you that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions.
    Sent from my iPad

    On 21/12/2012, at 5:44 PM, "Graham">> wrote:
    Hi Greg,
    Thanks for that.
    So what will your Agenda 21 policy be should you win government? Will you be seeking to work with the Premiers to discipline Councils which are implementing Agenda 21? Or will you be more proactive and encourage Premiers to introduce legislation banning Agenda 21, as is occurring overseas?
    Graham Williamson

    From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 4:32 PM
    To: Graham
    Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy

    Councils should not misuse a 20 year old agreement.
    Sent from my iPad

    On 21/12/2012, at 1:17 PM, "Graham">> wrote:
    Hi Greg,
    Thanks for that.
    And what about the warning issued by your government in the 2006 SOE report regarding councils exceeding their legislative authority by implementing Agenda 21? Did you or the party follow this up? What action was taken? Do you still agree with this assessment?
    Graham Williamson

    From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 10:06 AM
    To: Graham
    Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy

    No we do not endorse a per capita budget.
    Sent from my iPad

    On 21/12/2012, at 9:00 AM, "Graham">> wrote:
    Hi Greg,
    As per enclosed, do you endorse the per capita approach to emissions (see encl)?
    One other thing, when your government warned in their 2006 SOE report that councils around Australia were exceeding their legislative authority in implementing Agenda 21, what steps did you or the Liberal party take to prevent this? Did you lobby the state parties?
    May I wish you and your family a safe Christmas and wonderful New Year.
    Graham Williamson 

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