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PM join us at your own pace

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Australia is an immigrant country and multiculturalism is at the heart of the Australian story, said Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week, while addressing an ethnic media conference in Melbourne. “I want people to join the team, but there is no Australian test, and the whole point of multiculturalism is to allow people to join the team in their own way and at their own pace,” said the prime minister, who went on to describe his position on multiculturalism as a “very small l liberal, if you like”.“Except for the indigenous people every single Australian is a migrant, or the descendant of migrants. We should always remember that, particularly when questions are raised about integration and attachments. While those who were born here never had to consciously opt for Australia, every single person who comes here has deliberately, consciously, willingly opted for Australia, he or she has voted with his or her feet for Australia,” said Mr Abbott. In a wide ranging interview the Prime Minister of Australia amongst others referred to the back down of his government in relation to section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act and the name issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, (FYROM). He also committed his support for an expanded export oriented education system, talked about the guiding principles of his foreign policy, clarified certain issues of his new proposed tougher standing on terrorism and indicated that migrants should be prepared to bear the costs of bringing to Australia their elderly parents.“This is a government which is committed to multicultural Australia and one of the reasons why we decided to drop the proposed changes to section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act was because we don’t want to be needlessly divided.I made the call in the interest of community harmony, in the interest of trying to ensure that as far as it is humanly possible Australians are pulling in the same direction. It’s not often governments and Prime Ministers say we didn’t get it right and I’m prepared to accept that on that particular issue we didn’t get it right,” said the Prime Minister.According to Mr Abbott the three guiding foreign policy principles of his Coalition government are: “We advance our interests, we protect our citizens and we uphold our values.”Asked about why Australia does not recognise FYROM with its own self proclaimed constitutional name, as other countries do, Tony Abbott said: “It’s a long time since I turned my attention to FYROM as we used to call it in those days. Our natural predisposition is to call countries what they wish to be called, in some instances, for reasons of international diplomacy, we don’t follow the general rule. I’m going to pass on that question. I’ll come back to you”, said the Prime Minister, to the journalist who asked the question.Speaking about International Education, he described it as a very important Australian export industry and that he would like to see it expanded. Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison are talking with the sector in order to ensure this can happen he said, whilst emphasising that he would like to see a much greater student exchange program between Australia and other regional countries. Addressing the issue of possible threats of terrorist acts inside Australia he said that some of the announced extra 630 million dollars that will be allocated will be used to boost biometric screenings in airports, the presence of ASIS abroad and the ability of ASIO to monitor more people in Australia, once they come back from possible trouble spots abroad.“It is in the interest of every single Australian that we are protected against potential internal terrorist threats. It’s particularly in the interest of our migrant communities that we are protected against potential domestic terrorism, because there are few things that will strain our social fabric as much as a major terrorist event here in Australia. It will strain our social fabric. As Prime Minister my first duty as far as it is humanly possible, is to maintain the safety and the unity of our country,” he said.“I think it is very important that as far as it is possible, when you come to the new world you are focused to your new home. Naturally, you will cherish what you bring from your old home, but it is the new home and the future rather than the old home and the past which should be our fundamental focus,” he stressed.Pressed by a relevant Neos Kosmos question, Prime Minister Tony Abbott qualified his words by stating in his concluding remarks that he is not referring to entire communities when he talks about national security, but to individual people “Who have left this country to engage in terrorism abroad” and then come back home. The Prime Minister was accompanied in his news conference by the Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews who justified the inclusion of the portfolio of multiculturalism and citizenship in his own Department as a deliberate government policy aiming at providing integrated settlement services to all migrants.last_img read more

Plan to drill in Alaskan wildlife refuge downplays climate impact US agency

first_img Email Read more… Plan to drill in Alaskan wildlife refuge downplays climate impact, U.S. agency argues Originally published by E&E NewsPlans to drill Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have underestimated the effects of climate change, one arm of the Interior department is warning another.The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pointed to several aspects of climate change that were minimized or absent in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) draft environmental impact statement (EIS). In some cases, the service corrected BLM characterizations of climate research. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country It’s an unusual—but not unprecedented—critique within an administration that has downplayed climate change in its regulatory actions, experts said. The administration has suffered court defeats after low-balling the emissions impact of projects; the FWS comments suggest Interior also might be underestimating how global warming affects the projects themselves.”The effects of a changing arctic environment should be further addressed within the EIS. There is a large body of literature that describes the potential landscape level changes on the North Slope, including changes in permafrost, hydrology, land cover and infrastructure stability,” the service said, pointing to several specific studies.”We recommend that studies like these be included in the analysis of potential impacts to various development scenarios,” said the formal comments signed by director of the FWS Alaska Region, Greg Siekaniec, a career official.The service corrected BLM’s statement that the biosphere is gaining mass as it sequesters a significant portion of human’s carbon dioxide emissions.”Please remove this line as a significant fraction of human-sourced CO2 is also not sequestered by the biosphere, resulting in increasing CO2 atmospheric concentrations and increasingly obvious patterns of climate change effects, particularly in the Arctic,” the service said.The impacts of climate change could affect endangered species protections, which in turn could alter demands on drilling projects.FWS said the draft “does not accurately assess” climate impacts on birds, and rebuffed insinuations that longer summers could help birds by bringing more insects and lengthening mating seasons. The service also pointed to already-visible effects from the landscape becoming more dry in some places and newly inundated from glacier melt in others.”Contrary to what is stated in the DEIS, avian habitat is changing rapidly, both on the coast and inland tundra areas” FWS said. “Please ensure the EIS accurately assesses the potential impacts to birds and their habitat resulting from a changing climate based on the best available science.”Sea-level rise, sea-ice loss and stronger storm surges will make conditions on the barrier islands more precarious for birds and polar bears than BLM acknowledges, potentially driving them inland toward operations, the service said.More flooding heightens the risk of drilling operations causing contamination of entire populations, especially with heavy metals, FWS said.The service also urged BLM to correct or remove its assertion that more saltwater intrusion could be a positive, saying there’s no evidence that “tundra may be colonized by salt-tolerant species and develop into salt marsh, a rare but important post-breeding habitat for geese.”The comments were dated March 13, a day after Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, released leaked internal memos on the scientific “unknowns” of Arctic drilling. PEER said Interior had hidden the memos and buried unfavorable science. The department and Siekaniec said that was false (Greenwire, 12 March).Legal experts said these comments probably won’t change the trajectory of ANWR drilling by themselves, but they could offer more grist for the lawsuits that will inevitably challenge the leasing—and could drag out beyond the 2020 election. They could also form the basis for Congress rolling back the areas available to drill.”Sounds like authentic science is raising its head above water, which is refreshing,” said Michael Gerrard, an environmental law scholar at Columbia University.”The fact that another agency has raised the [climate] issue makes it more perilous to ignore it in the final EIS, but it does not necessarily compel a different outcome,” he said.It’s notable that BLM is facing such basic scientific concerns after a draft has already been published, said Kate Kelly, director of public lands at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.”They’re ignoring existing, peer-reviewed literature, and two, they have made no attempt to fill the glaring science gaps on impacts to the refuge,” she said. “There’s a lot more that we need to know before we undertake such a massive project in this wildlife refuge.”An Interior spokeswoman said the FWS submission numbered among the 4,000 unique comments on the draft, which received more than a million comments overall.”BLM has an obligation to consider all of these comments—including those from its sister agency—and anticipates they will inform the Final EIS (FEIS) in multiple ways,” press secretary Molly Block said.Read the FWS comments here.Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net By Adam Aton, E&E NewsApr. 25, 2019 , 3:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Parts of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have been opened to oil drilling after a decadeslong battle. 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