Lions Operation Smile Australia Project
Host Club Brisbane Holland Park Lions Club Inc
MD Lions Prostate Cancer project
Host Club Brisbane Holland Park Lions Club Inc
Leukaemia Foundation "Worlds Greatest Shave"
Would you ??? Could you ???...... be as brave as Melissa Glassington. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be so brave.
Marshall Road State School Fete
Busy 2 days at the annual Brisbane Orchid Society Show at Mt Gravatt State School
Lions Youth of the Year Quest Club Final 2013
This year the Brisbane Holland Park Lions Club had 8 incredible entrants in the Lions Youth of the Year Quest. Unfortunately only 1 could be chosen to progress to the next round, though as far as I can see, they were all equally amazing. Well done everyone.
Youth of the Year Speeches
The first well was drawn in 1996. It is now estimated that there will be over 40,000 by 2040. Coal seam gas has been in the spotlight in recent times for its apparent environmental effects. It is claimed that tapping into this resource contaminates the groundwater, induces seismic activity and uses huge amounts of water which is currently in the service of Australian farmers. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Coal seam gas is responsible for thousands of new jobs in rural areas, millions of dollars of investment, revenue for state and federal governments and it provides a much needed boost to the Australian economy. Given the benefits of both sides of the argument, the issue is in need of careful attention.
The environmental feasibility of coal seam gas is under scrutiny by many of the country's leading scientific organisations. When extracting the methane trapped in the coal seams, a well is dug and fracking is performed; a process where a mixture of water, sand and other chemicals involved in maintaining the well are forced down the well at high pressure and into the ground below. The force of the water causes the ground to crack and grains of sand hold these gaps open so the gas can escape from the coal seam. The water and gas are then drawn up, the gas collected and the water placed in open air waste ponds. While this is a rather ingenious method it is not without criticism. Some scientists claim that as well as making space for the gas to escape the fractures caused by fracking allow potentially contaminated water to seep into the ground water, which, is an invaluable source of irrigation for our farmers. Some also state that due to the high pressure of the water and the reactivity of the coal seam, fracking induces minor seismic activity. This can potentially damage the gas lines causing leaks and malfunctions in the mining equipment. In addition to this, fracking, uses vast amounts of water which, once used, is useless in an agricultural sense until it has gone through an extensive cleansing process. It is estimated that over the next 30 years desalination of the water will produce 31 million tonnes of salt enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the brim 15 times. Along with the enormous quantities of salt, the coal seams contain an assortment of heavy metals and radionuclides which are brought to the surface with the saline water where they don't belong, where they can cause harm.
However when we alter our perspective, coal seam gas has exceptional benefits economically. It creates and will continue to create thousands of jobs in rural areas and it creates revenue for the state and federal governments; which can only be a good thing, particularly when considering their maliciously high levels of debt. In addition to this, exporting coal seam gas as liquid natural gas will aid the Australian economy and in collaboration with the other sectors, bring the Australian economy back into boom times. As well as its economic benefits, coal seam gas is actually environmentally friendly, be that more so than coal, releasing 70% less greenhouse gas than regular coal. Moreover, Geoscience Australia estimates that Queensland has around 150 trillion cubic feet of coal seam gas which is enough to power the whole state for the next 1000 years. Therefore, what is made out to be a damaging and evil industry, is actually a viable and abundant source of energy for Australia's future.
Whether or not Australia should tap into the vast coal seam gas resource is a complex issue, particularly as many of richest reserves are in the heart of the nation's food bowl areas. In light of this many of the issues such as gas leaks, water contamination and seismic activity would be resolved if the methods used were perfected and proven to be fail safe. Even at current standards the CSIRO, after completing in depth research into the issues, concluded that coal seam gas extraction poses a low risk to ground water quality through contamination. If we can manage to resolve these issues the energy security of our country is without question for long after we have ceased to be.
Capitol Punishment: Justice or Retribution?
Picture this; you've been held in a cell, roughly two-and-a-half by three-and-a-half metres - slightly larger than the average trampoline. You know the exact date and time you are going to die, down to the very minute. You even know how it will happen. You pray that someone is going to come for you, save you, but no one does - this is because it is the government that is carrying out this barbaric act and it is the government to which you make your appeal. What you just imagined now isn't even close to how inmates on death-row must feel, waiting to be killed.
While the death penalty, thankfully, is no longer used here in Australia, other countries still apply it, and not just developing ones - America is one of the few first world countries that still allow the death penalty to be carried out on their own citizens. This is a horrific breach of human rights and the trust of American citizens, that their rights will be upheld and respected. The Eighth amendment of the American Constitution states: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." If imprisoning a man, informing him of the time and instrument of his demise and forcing him to wait months for this to come true is not 'cruel' or 'unusual', then what is? This is clearly a form of mental torture, ended only by a brutal, agonising, humiliating death. Not only that, it also sends a nod of approval from a so-called civilised nation to second and third world countries when it comes to their own use of capital punishment.
Seventy-seven countries around the world practice the death penalty, but only America is a democratic, first-world country. While America is, in essence, endorsing the death penalty, Australia, by doing nothing about this practice, also condones the killing of citizens by the government. As role models to developing countries, we should be pressuring America to abolish the death penalty by vocally expressing our views that the death penalty is simply not OK, that it is not acceptable to kill another human being under the pretence of "justice".
Skewed concept of "justice" aside, there is always the possibility that the executed could have been innocent, as history has shown countless times before - Statistics show that wrongful incarceration and sentencing to death is not uncommon, with 68% of people on Death Row released due to new evidence proving their innocence, or serious legal flaws in their cases. In all likelihood then, some of these cases slip through the cracks, and a guiltless human is killed. Unfortunately, the last person to be executed in Australia, Ronald Ryan, was not acquitted, and is believed to have been innocent - years after his hanging for the murder of a prison guard, another guard came forth, claiming that he had shot at the accused, but may have hit the guard. What is to keep something like this from happening again? If the accused is simply incarcerated, there is the chance to make things right. If they are executed, the best the government can do to amend the wrongful punishment is to pardon the deceased's corpse.
Yet another reason why the death penalty needs to be abolished is that it costs more than incarcerating someone for life and does nothing to deter crime. On average, it costs ten times more to execute someone than to imprison them until they are paroled, released or die from old age or other causes. Not only is life imprisonment cheaper, it deters crime just as much, if not more, than the death penalty. In 2010, there was a significant difference in the amount of murders committed in states of America that enforced the death penalty, and states that don't, with 'lifer' states having 25% less murders. In fact, a number of studies have speculated that the abolition of the death penalty tends to lead to a drop in crime rates in the years that follow. This shows that even the claim of using capital punishment as a deterrent is invalid, inadequate and incorrect.
We, as Australians, have a duty to be the example to the rest of the world, to use our voices to condemn this barbaric practice, to prevent further killing of innocents. In the eyes of the world, I am not quite a child, but not quite an adult, yet I have the decency to see that the death penalty, the slaying of other humans, is wrong, and I have the courage to tell others why this is wrong. So, all of you here today, please, for the sake of all the men and women who were murdered in cold blood, who were a part of a family, just as you are, who are no different than you and I, stand up and speak out. You can make a difference.
Help show the rest of the world that the death penalty is wrong, and help save the lives of countless human beings - because no one should be allowed to kill another human being, no matter how justified that killing may seem.