An Introduction & Chronology of Agenda 21 in Australia
Agenda 21 – a brief introduction.
Agenda 21, or the Agenda for the 21st century, is a detailed United Nations designed and controlled program, agreed to at the Rio conference in 1992, which was aimed at utilising so called ‘sustainability’ to control countries around the world. By deciding which practices are ‘unsustainable’, especially land use and life style practices, the UN could be empowered to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states, to outlaw what they deem unacceptable, and to redistribute wealth and resources from wealthier nations to socialist and impoverished nations. As Doug Bandow pointed out 3 decades ago, the UN seeks to expand its global power base by “redistribution of natural resources”, “redistribution of financial resources”, “redistribution of technological resources”, “regulation of speech and culture”, and by increased “foreign aid”.
The impact of this Agenda is visible everywhere today, as wealthy countries embrace multiculturalism and surrender their wealth and resources, land owners lose control of their property through onerous land use restrictions, energy use and life style practices are increasingly policed, and our children are increasingly ‘educated’ as activists for the UN agenda. So called ‘climate change’, is just one part of Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 is considered the globalisation of environmental law, with Australian laws increasingly originating from outside Australia (see Kellow; The Australian Joumal of Natural Resources Law and Policy [Vol. 3, No. 1, 1996J). Agenda 21 is part of post war attempts to create a new world order, as noted by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in the Appendix to their 2001 Annual Report.
Enduring for more than 2 decades, and implemented by successive Commonwealth governments, State governments and local Councils around Australia, Agenda 21 is the most comprehensive, pervasive, insidious and enduring policy initiative of Australian governments since Federation. It is also fundamentally undemocratic and anti-Australian. Although often promoted as an ‘anti-poverty’ program, it is a program which has been consistently considered NOT to be a vote winner, and a program which must be permanently shielded from the light of democratic scrutiny.
The desire to achieve absolute control by a fundamentally undemocratic power transfer to a foreign agency is the quintessential feature of Agenda 21, and it is the reason why, even after more than 20 years, the people have been unable to democratically reverse this process. Agenda 21 is driven by the belief that the democratic power to control private property, life style, and energy consumption, must be removed from the people and transferred to a foreign agency. It is part of the undemocratic global collectivist agenda which is very popular with those who regard themselves as the ‘elite’.
A Chronology of Significant Events – documenting the betrayal in Australia
Keating Government Introduces Agenda 21 – but the people are given no choice.
As noted by the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, Justice Brian Preston, In order to implement the provisions of Agenda 21, in 1992 the Keating government introduced the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (IGAE).The IGAE was considered ‘necessary’ in order to give the Commonwealth sufficient environmental power over the States, and ultimately local Councils. The IGAE even required the Prime Minister and Premiers to acknowledge the Australian Constitution is outdated and irrelevant in the modern world of ‘global problems’. Not surprisingly, the IGAE was developed “behind closed doors” and the people were denied any input and Intergovernmental agreements were even considered unconstitutional. In February 1997, then Treasurer John Fahey commissioned the Industry Commission to produce an Issues Paper on Ecologically Sustainable Land Management. The Issues Paper noted that although the environment was the Constitutional responsibility of the states, “the Commonwealth has a significant role in setting the agenda for land management as a result of a number of international conventions and treaties, as well as domestic agreements it has signed – particularly in the area of the environment”, and additionally, “the Commonwealth has considerable influence through tax measures and funding.” The Issues Paper also pointed out that the IGAE is based upon the precautionary principle, as outlined in Agenda 21 and Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration.
Agenda 21 was introduced to Commonwealth Parliament on 26th May 1993 (see Hansard page 951) by the Environment Minister in the Keating Government, and wife of journalist Paul Kelly, Ros Kelly. Opposition Liberal Member Christine Gallus subsequently indicated that the Liberal Party would ensure the ALP did not renege on their Agenda 21 commitments.
In 1994, Gareth Evans, then Foreign Affairs Minister in the Keating Government, advised the United Nations in New York that the UN must be strengthened and the UNCSD “must develop a genuine capacity to monitor the implementation of Agenda 21”. Subsequently, in the Foreword to Australia’s report to the UNCSD in 1995, then Prime Minister Paul Keating emphasised how diligently Australia was complying with the UN’s Agenda 21 implementation requirements, even though the people had been given no choice.
Australia was required to use extensive resources to compile comprehensive compliance reports to the UNCSD in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, in order to convince the UN that their Agenda 21 directives were being effectively implemented by States and local Councils around Australia. During the reading of the Local Government Amendment (Sustainable Development) Bill in NSW Parliament on the 21st October 1997, Greens MP Ian Cohen pointed out that some of the provisions of Agenda 21 were already enforced by national law under the IGAE which is “annexed to the National Environment Protection Council (New South Wales) Act 1995.” Throughout the 1990’s, and based upon Agenda 21 and its enforcing legislation, States around Australia began to introduce native vegetation legislation to control land use practices. Local Councils were at the forefront of this campaign.
Nevertheless, the Howard Government was not satisfied the implementation of Agenda 21 was proceeding satisfactorily. In 1998 Peter Costello instructed the Productivity Commission to complete a report into the Implementation of Ecologically Sustainable Development by Commonwealth Departments and Agencies in order to “make recommendations designed to further implement the objectives and principles of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development.” In their report the Productivity Commission noted that the principles of Ecologically Sustainable development (ESD) had already been thoroughly embedded into the bureaucracy. While the decision to embed in the bureaucracy was clear, also clear was the continuing decision to avoid granting the people any democratic choice.
In 1999, Senator Robert Hill and Senator Ian MacDonald in the Howard government, officially launched the Commonwealth government’s Agenda 21 instruction manual for local councils. This was also reported in the February 2000 edition of Local Government Focus when Senator Macdonald announced that the Commonwealth was driving the implementation of LA21 at the local council level by providing funds. In 2002 local government organisations met in Adelaide to further commit to the implementation of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) at the ‘Sustaining Our Communities’ International Local Agenda 21 Conference. The following year, at the inaugural International Union of local Authorities Asia Pacific (IULA–ASPAC) Regional Congress in Sydney, as reported In the May 2003 edition of Local Government Focus, then Environment Minister David Kemp, confirmed his satisfaction with the implementation of Agenda 21 by Councils around Australia.
The Howard Government was about to introduce “the most far-reaching changes to Federal environmental laws in twenty years”. These changes would emphasise two recent trends.
1. An increasing allegiance to undemocratic foreign agencies (ie. ‘international obligations’) rather than democratic domestic obligations;
2. They would strive to make these changes ‘invisible’ and unaccountable by embedding them throughout both the bureaucracy and also the school curriculum.
Continued in PART 2: 1999 – 2017