Friday, September 30

Landholders May be Denied Coal Seam Refusal

AUSTRALIAN farmers look set to be denied the right to say no to coal seam gas on their land, as Labor, Liberal and National parties last week spoke against a Greens bill previously introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters.

The Landholders' Right to Refuse (Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2011, which was debated last week, would give farmers the right to keep their land free from coal seam gas exploration and production.
 
"Hot on the heels of rejecting the Greens' proposed moratorium on coal seam gas last week, the old parties have today spoken at length about their intention to deny farmers any rights to protect their prime agricultural land from coal seam gas," Senator Waters said. "By indicating they will vote against my Bill, both Labor and the Coalition are allowing the mining industry to continue to ride rough-shod over Australian farmers.
 
"The Federal Government want to leave coal seam gas regulation up to the states, but an additional tier of federal protection is warranted since the states are failing to adequately protect groundwater and food security.

Read More

Coffs Harbour Independent

Miner Told to Detail Environmental Impact

The WA mining warden yesterday ordered a company fighting to explore for coal between Busselton and Margaret River to give details of its impact on South West water sources.

Objectors to Western Coal's bid to search for coal north of Margaret River called for the exploration licence applications to be thrown out of court after the company did not attend a warden's hearing in Busselton yesterday.

Hetherington Exploration, which acts on behalf of Western Coal, said it had not been formally advised of the court hearing.

It declined to make any further comment.

Read More

The West Australian

Looking after our farmers - Alan Jones

Alan Jones speaks to Senator Bill Heffernan about food security and looking after our farmers.

Click Here To Listen

Broome Residents Ordered to Remove Anti-gas Signs

The Shire of Broome in Western Australia's Kimberley region has come under fire for ordering the removal of anti-gas hub signs from people's homes.

Banners condemning the State Government's plan to build a 25 square kilometre LNG precinct just north of the town have been hung from porches, wheelie bins and boab trees in recent months.

The shire says, even though the banners are on private property, they breach local laws.
The shire is writing to all property owners who are displaying unauthorised signs and ordering them to be removed.

Read More

ABC News

Lock the Gate Alliances Lodges Complaint about CSG Advertisements

The Lock The Gate alliance has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Bureau about claims made in the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s “We Want CSG” advertising campaign. Alliance president Drew Hutton said the campaign risked misleading the community through “phoney claims”. Mr Hutton said there was no partnership agreement between farmers and miners as implied by the advertisements - farmers were forced by the law to accept access agreements against their will or otherwise faced being hauled into court, he said. Additionally, the coal seam gas produced by mining in Australia was not going to power the city of Sydney for 1000 years, but would instead be shipped for export until supply was exhausted.

The complaint also challenged the claim that mining will breathe new life into country towns. “The gas rush is disadvantaging other industries who can’t compete for employees and leading to social disruption from a fly-in workforce,” Mr Hutton said. “The community is locked in a David and Goliath battle against a cashed up industry that thinks it can change public sentiment by spreading phoney claims. The fact is that Australians are smarter than that – we don’t want this industry and we won’t accept the risks it poses no matter how much they spin it.”

Beef Central

Community is the Real Cost of Coal Seam Gas

You get the feeling not much happens on a Saturday morning in Merriwa. The sleepy country town in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales just hums along quietly. Except for its proud and tidy RSL, where the front bar opens at 10am, horse races flash across the television screens and tickets pump out of the Club Keno machine.

In a stuffy back hall, on neat rows of red vinyl chairs sit the Merriwa Healthy Environment Group; a group of local farmers and landowners who came together in February to unite against the coal seam gas companies as they rode into town. Seven months later, they feel under attack.

Their enemy? PEL 456, PEL 468, PEL 4 and PEL 433; coal seam gas exploration licences for Merriwa and its surrounding areas of cattle, sheep and cereal farming land, up for sale to the highest bidder.


The Punch

Koalas Threatened by Coal Seam Gas

Coal seam gas mining is a threat to our communities, to our farm land, to our wine country, and as the Northern Inland Council for the Environment point out, to our wildlife too.

Koalas in the Pilliga face having their habitat destroyed by the likes of Eastern Star Gas, soon to be Santos, as the gas companies expand their CSG operation in the state forest: clearing more land, dropping more wells, laying more pipelines, and mining more gas.

Read More

Power Generator Takes Stake in East Coast Gas

INDEPENDENT electricity generator ERM Power has taken its first stake in the gas sector on the east coast, snapping up a 6 per cent stake in Metgasco, as a ''hedging investment'' against the widespread anticipation of rising gas prices.

ERM disclosed the holding yesterday, which is believed to have been picked up at about Metgasco's present share price. It closed trading yesterday at 32.5¢, up 2¢, valuing the company at about $135 million.


BusinessDay.com.au

Thursday, September 29

Mines That Eat Forests – Maules Creek Coal Project

Another major mining project is threatening to destroy more of the state’s key ecological assets.  The Maules Creek Coal Project in Leard State Forest is now on public exhibition. It will require approval by the NSW Department of Planning. The project has also been referred under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and will therefore require approval of the federal Environment Minister as well.

This project will clear 2,180 hectares of native vegetation (including endangered ecological communities) and produce 13 million tonnes of coal per annum. The mine operator, Aston Resources, is chaired by former National Party MP Mark Vaile and owned by Nathan Tinkler.
Submission period ends on the 11th October.   You can see the details of the project and make a submission here. 

This massive proposal is in close proximity to the Boggabri coalmine, which is also soon to be expanded with a further 1,384 hectares cleared.

Read More

Cate Faehrmann - NSW Greens MP

Fracked Gas Well Flaring and Dewatering into Unlined Pit


Fracked gas well flaring into unlined pit in the town of Casino, Northern NSW.

CSG Can’t Possibly Win Farmers’ Hearts and Minds

COAL seam gas was once regarded as a major hazard to coal miners because of the risk of explosion. Today it’s become a major hazard to graziers and farmers as the rush by mining companies encroaches upon the very land they are trying to make a living out of.

Governments throughout Australia are set to make billions of dollars in royalties from the rush and appear to be turning a blind eye to the possibility of major ecological damage caused by the fracking process used to extract the gas. The process reportedly is already banned in China.

In the recent past chemical pollution of underground water reserves in Australia has occurred after mining companies have used this process and there are records of more serious cases of ecological disasters in different places around the world, particularly in the US.

Read More

Call Out for us to unite as One Mob One People 16th October National Day of Action Against Coal Seam Gas





To my respected Elders, all Mobs, all Aboriginal People and Community Members

To protect this Sacred Land on the 16th October there is a National Day of Action Against Coal Seam Gas.

Thousands of people are gathering all over Australia, all local, regional and national media organisations are covering this event.

I am calling out to Mobs to conduct Smoking Ceremonies on this day in your regions.

I would like to assist all Mobs the Elders with coordinating and attending the actions here in SEQ and the Nthn Rivers NSW.

The people in the communities that I work for do not know how to approach you all,
they want to observe the correct protocol's, and so do I. There are actions occurring in each community in each region.

I am calling out for us to unite as One Mob and One People on the 16th October to support the communities who are defending our Sacred Lands.

I feel in my Heart of Hearts and my Spirit that I should ask this of you all,

Respect,

Ads

Adam Sharah  
Environmental Activist
Indigenous Cultural Liaison
adamsharah@gmail.com     0402463820

I acknowledge the Spirit of this Land and the Indigenous Traditional Custodians, my Elders.
One Mob, One People.

The Sign In The Field

Community Forum: Brisbane Thursday 29th September


Dear friends near Sandgate,

Queensland is the epicentre of the coal seam gas mining problem. There are tens of thousands of wells planned for the state and many in the community are already feeling the negative impacts of the industry.

With little reassurance that coal seam gas mining won’t affect our water, land, environment and health, locals in Sandgate have joined the movement of people around the country who are concerned about the rapid growth of the coal seam gas industry.

That’s why Lock the Gate Sandgate and Friends of the Earth have organised a community forum to discuss coal seam gas mining in your area. They’ve secured representatives from the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) to answer your questions about coal seam gas mining and regulation in Queensland.

GetUp is helping promote community events right across Australia – events like this one tomorrow night are a great opportunity to learn more about coal seam gas mining in your area, to hear from those that have been impacted elsewhere in the state, and to get involved in the campaign.

What:    Community forum on coal seam gas


When:   This Thursday September 29, 6.00pm – 8.30pm

Where:  Sandgate Community Centre, 153 Rainbow Street, Sandgate (near the train station)

Who:     Representatives from DERM, Beyond Zero Emissions, Lock the Gate director Drew Hutton, and Tara landowner Scott Collins.


All are welcome – whether you’d like to learn more, meet with others who are already concerned, or you’re just curious about what this means for Sandgate. We’d love to see you there.

For more information, contact Meg on 0422 303 621.

Hope you can make it along,

Justine, on behalf of the GetUp team.


Wednesday, September 28

Trial Fears After Toxin Found in Aussie Plant



BLOT ON LANDSCAPE: Cooling towers and smokestacks outline the Vresova coal gasification plant in the Czech Republic, which is heavily dependent on coal.

The halting of an experimental energy trial in Australia has sparked concerns about a similar trial in the Waikato.
An underground coal gasification project in Queensland – which involved setting fire to a coal seam hundreds of metres below ground – was stopped when traces of the cancer-causing chemicals benzene and toluene were discovered in groundwater near the Cougar Energy-owned plant.
State-owned mining company Solid Energy is establishing a $22 million scheme to tap energy from impossible-to-mine coal near Huntly. The pilot was due to get under way in March, but has been delayed until Christmas.
Members of a community group that fought for more than a year to have the Queensland plant shut down say Waikato residents should be worried.


Waikato Times

The Importance of Land Use Plans


Meetings, the importance of Land Use Plans, rapid expansion of coal and coal seam gas industries in the Hunter, CSG Industry’s statistical spin.

Last Thursday I went with others from Putty to a meeting at the Department of Environment at Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney. The security in the building was daunting but the meeting gave us a chance to put our case forward for a mining free zone at Putty.

We were advised that the Regional Land Use Plan for the Upper Hunter which is currently being prepared by the NSW government is going to address this issue and were told that through this process communities are going to have a once in a lifetime chance to influence the future of their areas.
The Putty Gasbag

Daewoo International makes inroad into Australian mining

NARRABRI, Australia -- Daewoo International Corp., Korea’s leading trading company, is making fast progress in resources development in Australia.

The trading firm shipped 75,000 tons of coal extracted from Narrabri, 600 kilometers northeast of Sydney, to Japan on Thursday. It was the first time Daewoo International had sold mineral products from a foreign mine it had invested in, according to the company. Daewoo International, in partnership with the state-run Korea Resources Corp., currently holds a 7.5 percent stake in Narrabri coal mine, operated by an Australian mining company, Whitehaven Ltd.

“Daewoo International has been trading mineral and energy resources so far. But this case shows that the company has started to generate new revenue from investments in resource development and exploration,” said Jeong Je-bong, chief representative of Daewoo International Sydney branch.


The Korea Herald

Wesfarmers Sells Premier Coal to China

Wesfarmers Ltd is to sell its Premier Coal business to Chinese-owned Yancoal Australia for $296.8 million.
The Premier Coal mine, in Collie, 200 kilometres south of Perth, produces about 3.5 million tonnes of thermal coal annually.
Premier Coal supplies coal to Western Australia's state-owned power generator Verve Energy.


NineMSNews

Coal Seam Gas: Climate Disaster Brought to You by the Carbon Tax

The coal seam gas (CSG) industry is rapidly expanding across the country. There are even efforts to drill for CSG in central Sydney. Labor’s carbon tax is encouraging the gas rush. But it’s a disaster for the climate.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has described gas as a “cleaner energy source” and mining and gas companies argue that gas power generates fewer emissions than coal-fired power. That’s only true if you take into account the emissions from the power stations alone. As Melbourne Energy Institute researcher Patrick Hearps has said, “Taking into consideration the total life cycle emissions of coal seam gas, particularly methane, its emissions intensity is likely to be a lot closer to coal fired power.”

During coal seam gas mining, methane, a potent greenhouse gas, leaks out at a higher level than during conventional gas extraction. Not only that, the extraction process is an environmental disaster. The process, “fracking”, involves pumping toxic chemicals into the ground in order to force out gas.


solidarity.net.au

Coal-Seam Gas Opponent Visiting Colac



Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton

AN anti-coal-seam gas mining campaigner will visit Colac to shed light on the dangers of coal-seam gas exploration.

President of Lock the Gate Alliance Drew Hutton will speak about the need for scrutiny on the CSG industry at Colac RSL on Tuesday.

Friends of the Earth have planned similar meetings at Warrnambool, Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne.

Mr Hutton has raised concerns about the viability of coal-seam gas as a clean energy source and its impact on the environment.


colacherald.com.au



COMMUNITY FORUM: Food Security Forum, Liverpool Plains


When:   Wednesday 12th October, 2011   11.00am

Where:  GUNNEDAH TOWN HALL,  GUNNEDAH

THE MULLALEY GAS PIPELINE ACCORD (MGPA) CAROONA COAL ACTION GROUP (CCAG) AND THE SAVE OUR SOILS LIVERPOOL PLAINS (SOS) GROUP

TO BE HOSTED BY ALAN JONES
We would be delighted to welcome those communities affected by coal and coal seam gas exploration, extraction and mining developments to be part of the forum, ask questions, nominate a key speaker. It is an event to hear your stories, raise public awareness and send out a strong message to all that our communities will not accept the rapid expansion of these industries with scant regard to our future food security, the health of our people and the devestating impacts upon our water.

Please contact the below for further details:
Rosemary Nankivell
Chairperson of Coal Seam Gas Committee
James Bishop MGPA Spokesperson
Caroona Coal Action Group
0428 437803
0428 643284
02 67474004

Farmland Protections may Restrict Farmers as Much as Mners

Hidden in the detail of draft Strategic Cropping Land legislation in Queensland are controls that will not only restrict what mining companies can do in protected areas but also what farmers who own the land can do as well.

Earlier this year Queensland became the first state to develop draft legislation to protect farmland deemed to be of vital importance for future food production from high-impact mining developments.

When then deputy premier Paul Lucas met with landholders who were calling for greater protections of farmland from mining at Dalby in 2007, he said the Government would consider it, but warned that greater restrictions could also apply to farmers as well as miners if protective legislation was developed.

It was a case of “be careful what you wish for”, and landholders studying the detail of the draft legislation are beginning to see what he meant.


Beef Central

Energy Company Linc to Burn Underground Shale



Peter Bond. Picture: Paul Loughnan Source: The Advertiser

A PROCESS never before used in Australia -- burning shale deep underground to produce oil -- will be used by Linc Energy to develop deposits in a remote part of South Australia.   
Linc Energy is best known for underground coal gasification, a process that involves burning coal while still underground to produce energy.
The company claims it has found 200 billion tonnes of oil shale in the Arckaringa Basin in northern South Australia, and claims it can produce 8.2 billion barrels of oil by burning the shale while still underground.

The shale containing the oil deposits is 850m underground and covers 1150sq km.

The Australian

Greens Call for Dredging Ban in Qld

Mass dredging off central Queensland to make way for the booming coal seam gas industry must be suspended until science shows it's not linked to hundreds of dead turtles and festering fish, the Australian Greens say.

Around 46 million cubic tonnes of seabed is being dredged to make way for two liquefied natural gas plants and export hubs on Curtis Island, as well as the expansion of the Gladstone port.

Deaths of turtles and dugongs off Queensland have nearly doubled this year to 999 and 150 respectively, state authorities this week revealed.


Sydney Morning Herald

Rush of New Gas Projects Expected

THE Environmental Defenders Office expects a flood of new coal seam gas applications following new state planning laws.

Principal solicitor Kirsty Ruddock said she believed a significant number of projects had been put on hold while the new laws were clarified.

Under the new Part 4 laws, all forms of coal seam gas (both exploration and production) will need approval.

‘‘Before [under Part 3A] it was only for certain areas, but now you need it for everything. We think that’s where the backlog will occur,’’ Ms Ruddock said.

‘‘A lot of communities are very concerned about what it means.’’

A Department of Planning spokesman said it was not possible to predict how many coal seam gas applications would come to the department because of the new planning regulations.

The coal seam gas rush is proving to be a boom for sections of the legal fraternity that is providing advice and services to concerned farmers.

A relatively small number of lawyers specialise in the coal seam gas industry.

Ms Ruddock said the Environmental Defenders Office was working with farmers and communities across the state that were dealing with coal seam gas issues.

Newcastle Herald

Dirty Work Clearing up CSG Landholder Complaints

FROM unauthorised land access to overflowing sewerage, the state government LNG enforcement unit has investigated 337 landholder complaints since the group was formed in February.
Of the 337 inquiries received, 276 have been resolved and 61 are outstanding. LNG enforcement unit manager Andrew Brier said more than 80 percent of inquiries were resolved through providing information about CSG activities, regulation and legislation to landholders and providing mediation services between the complainant and the relevant coal seam gas company.
He said there were still vast differences in the levels of understanding of CSG industry protocols and legislation among landholders.


QCL

Nats Dig in Over Coal Seam Veto

THE Nationals have defended voting against a Greens Bill that aims to give farmers protection over mining.

The move comes as opposition to coal-seam gas mining in Colac grows and independent MP Tony Windsor introduces legislation to allow the Federal Government to ban mining where it could hurt aquifers.

The Greens' Landholders Right to Refuse (Coal Seam Gas) Bill would have allowed farmers to bar mining companies from entering their properties, but the Government and Coalition voted it down.
They had blocked a Green bid for a moratorium on coal-seam gas the previous week.

Greens environment spokeswoman Larissa Waters said "the old parties" had "spoken at length about their intention to deny farmers any rights to protect their prime agricultural land from coal-seam gas".


Weekly Times Now

Tuesday, September 27

State Fast Tracks Cropping Policy

THE State Government is set to introduce laws to protect the state's best cropping land into Parliament in late October, as much as two months earlier than expected.

Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan said the fast-track would create more certainty for landholders sooner and was a further sign that the Labor Government was deadly serious about protecting farmland for the future.
"Our government's strategic cropping land laws will put Queensland well ahead of other Australian states," Ms Nolan said.


The Chronicle

Red Sky Energy Secures $3m funding, Platform to Commercialise Coal Seam Gas Assets




With a $3m facility funding to take it to next phase, and former head of BHP Billiton's CSG business, Rohan Gillespie at the helm, Red Sky has developed a commercialisation path to add significant value


Red Sky Energy has secured a $3 million funding facility from U.S. based Investment Fund YA Global Master SPV Ltd.

With the facility, Red Sky has sufficient cash reserves to fund the proposed Talma pilot test at the company’s shallow gas discovery at Kangaroo Creek in the Clarence Moreton Basin, in north east New South Wales.

Under the terms of the funding facility, Red Sky can issue shares to YA Global at any time over the next three years, up to a total of AUD$3 million. Red Sky may draw down up to AUD$100,000 in any 10 trading day period.

The funding facility can be drawn down at any time over a 3 year period, and can be cancelled at any time.


Pro Active Investors Australia

Coal Search: Concern Premature, Says Driller



Pushing on: Mantle Mining says fears about its drilling program are premature. Picture: Ari Hatzis

MANTLE Mining will forge ahead with its search for coal in Moorabool, despite public protests.

However, after an activist chained himself to the top of a rig at the Parwan-Exford Road site last week, the company says it will not disclose the locations of drill sites on private property "out of concern that activists may harass landowners".

Mantle's exploration manager for Moorabool, Callum Lamont, said drilling had begun at a new site in Moorabool, the first on private land.

He said the company would protect the privacy of the landowner.

"I'm loathe to mention landowners now, but we do have very good relationships with the people whose land we intend to work on."


Melton Weekly


Exploratory Gas Wells Planned at Eastern Creek





A COAL seam gas company holding a lease covering most of Sydney may be planning to build exploratory wells at Eastern Creek.

Dart Energy has government approval to drill at inner-city St Peters and Channel 7 reported last week the company was planning a core drill site at Eastern Creek to test the quality of the coal seam.

More than 60 people gathered on Blacktown’s Village Green on Saturday to protest against the controversial method of mining.

Doonside teenager Ben Hammond helped start the Stop Coal Seam Gas Blacktown group and was surprised by the turnout.


Blacktown Advocate

Anti-Mining Rally Planned: November 19

PARTICIPANTS in a public rally about coal and gas mining in the Wingecarribee Shire will march through the streets of Bowral and gather at Corbett Gardens November 19.
 
A preliminary plan was drawn up by the Rally Working Group of council's Community Coal Reference Committee (CCRC) at a meeting last Wednesday which was chaired by Cr Larry Whipper.
 
Members of the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group will be involved in organising the rally.
"The purpose of the Rally is to allow citizens of the Southern Highlands to express their concerns at the increased coal and coal seam gas activity in the Southern Highlands and to argue the case for better protection of aquifers and arable land so sorely needed for food and water security," coordinator Tim Frost said.
 
Participants will form at two separate points in Bowral and march through the streets from 10.30am led by a piper or drummer, though the route has yet to be determined.
 
The two groups will then converge on Corbett Gardens at 11am to hear from guest speakers including a Hume Coal representative and possibly a politician and/or a celebrity yet to be confirmed.
 
There were also plans to have some form of entertainment proposed for Corbett Gardens.

Southern Highland News

 

Clive Palmer Risking Coal Shoulder Again with Resourcehouse fFoat

CLIVE Palmer is likely to have another crack at floating off his Resourcehouse company with a $2.4 billion listing in Hong Kong.
According to the environmental impact study into the $8.3 billion Galilee Basin coal project, about 85 per cent of the funding for the project will be Chinese debt with the remaining 15 per cent to come from the Hong Kong offering.

Resourcehouse has already had three unsuccessful attempts to raise the funds and the next appears to already be running late with the EIS saying the likely timing of the float was mid-2011.

Read More

Courier Mail

Waratah Coal Galilee Basin Project's Mark on Landscape 'iIreversible'




ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: Waratah Coal drilling at the Alpha mine site, west of Emerald. Source: The Courier-Mail

CLIVE Palmer's Waratah Coal claims its $8.3 billion central Queensland coalmine project will create 70,000 jobs over 30 years and pump about $1 billion a year into state and federal coffers.
But an environmental impact study on the Waratah Coal Galilee Basin project has warned of "irreversible" changes to the landscape and social fabric from the project, near Alpha.
It will need almost an entire town to be built on the site housing 2500 people, most of whom will be part of a controversial fly-in, fly-out workforce.

Read More

Courier Mail

Raid on 'Protected' Ridge





EXPOSED: Progress association spokesman John Krey on his land, with Saddleback Ridge beyond. – Picture by Peter Stoop

MINING giant Coal & Allied has applied to remove an Upper Hunter landform originally earmarked for conservation.

Saddleback Ridge is home to endangered animal and plant species and forms a natural buffer between the Mount Thorley Warkworth mine and the village of Bulga.
 
While the company acknowledges it ‘‘previously stated [the ridge] would not be mined’’, big increases in coal prices have ‘‘fundamentally changed’’ its view of the area.
 
‘‘It has become economic to mine and, in addition to creating 150 new jobs, this will provide ongoing employment for our existing workforce ... of more than 1300 people,’’ a Coal & Allied spokesman said.
 
Nearby residents, such as Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association spokesman John Krey, argue the ridge is protected under a 2003 deed of agreement with the then-minister assisting the minister for planning Diane Beamer.

Read More

Newcastle Herald

Mental Health Concerns for Farmers Impacted by Coal Seam Gas

My latest for New Matilda, on the commencement of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into coal seam gas (CSG). Leading with concerns about the potential mental health impact the CSG industry could have on rural communities, raised by a psychologist living and working in the Northern Rivers during the first inquiry hearing held last week in Alstonville:
It’s not just residents who are anxious about coal seam gas – industry groups are urging caution too, as submissions to an ongoing NSW parliamentary inquiry reveal. Kate Ausburn reports:
The coal seam gas industry (CSG) could have an impact on the mental health of farmers and communities in rural NSW, a psychologist told the first public hearing of the parliamentary inquiry intoCSG last week.

The hearing took place in Alstonville, a small town west of Ballina in the north of New South Wales. It provided an opportunity for the parliamentary inquiry committee — seven members of the NSWLegislative Council — to hear from people and groups affected by CSG.

Read More

kateausborn.com

Government Moves to Bring in Strategic Cropping Laws





The Qld Government says its strategic cropping laws will create more certainty for landholders. Alice Roberts: ABC News - file photo

The Queensland Government will introduce laws into Parliament next month to protect cropping land from mining.

Legislation will be brought into State Parliament next month to ban open cut mines or large industrial developments, where soil is top quality in "strategic cropping land protection zones".
The question of farming versus resources is set to be a major issue at the next election, with the major and minor parties all claiming to have the best policy.

Queensland Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan says , sooner.

Read More

ABC News

Locals Fear CSG Drilling Could Damage Great Artesian Basin




Hot water bore hole into the Great Artesian Basin in Thargomindah, Queensland. (Kdliss)

A coal seam gas company has begun drilling its first exploration well near Richmond in north-west Queensland, raising concerns for the health of the Great Artesian Basin.

Brisbane company WestSide is set to drill 85 exploration wells in the region over the next four years.

Richmond mayor John Wharton says he supports any operation that brings jobs to the region, but he's worried about artesian supplies.
"That's the biggest issue, making sure the Artesian Basin is not contaminated," he said.
"So far, we don't believe there's enough proof there that it won't be.

"A senior hydrologist said from the government that it could be 30 or 40 years before you know whether the water is contaminated in the Artesian Basin, due to the fact it's so big."

ABC Rural

Imminent Threat - Wollombi Valley

Rumours are swirling around the valley that AGL are set to expand their coal seam methane gas field operation southward from Broke into the Wollombi Valley and are in negotiations with landholders including someone at Stockyard Creek by Paynes Crossing.

If true and having already drilled an exploration well on one property at Stockyard Creek, the company would probably now be looking to establish a test well which is run for period of time to check the quality and rate of flow of the gas coming up from the coal seam to the wellhead. This would involve removing very large amounts of water from the aquifer and, possibly, fraccing the coal seam with all the inherent risks.

However much truth there may be in this rumor, it tells us that for as long as AGL holds a gas exploration licence over this area the threat remains and we must be vigilant.


WAGE - Wollombai Valley Against Gas Extraction

Chevron sanctions $29B Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia

US super-major Chevron (NYSE:CVX) has sanctioned the $29 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Western Australia.
Chevron has made the milestone final investment decision, moving the construction forward for the upstream offshore development and the downstream onshore facility.
Estimated to cost $29 billion, the initial phase of the Wheatstone LNG development will include two LNG processing trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tons per annum (MTPA), as well as a domestic gas plant. The upstream portion of the development will include drilling, subsea equipment, processing platform and export pipeline.
First gas on Wheatstone LNG is scheduled for 2016.


PennEnergy.com

Tax-break Row Looms over Carbon Scheme in West

A NEW battle over royalties is looming, as Western Australia rejects calls to give tax breaks to help resource companies claw back the costs of complying with Julia Gillard's carbon pricing scheme.   
Some business groups -- including the Corporate Tax Association, whose members include more than 100 of Australia's biggest companies -- say the states should allow a cut in state-based royalties to cover carbon tax costs.

Sections of the business community have been unclear about whether the costs of the carbon tax could be deducted under the minerals resources rent tax negotiated by the Prime Minister, and the treatment under state-based royalty regimes.


The Australian

New Zealand - Welcome to CSG!

Comet Ridge announces Recoverable Gas Resource Certification for New Zealand

  • Comet Ridge first CSG resource booking for NZ’s prospective West Coast
  • Certification of 244 PJ of 3C Resources across the Greymouth Coalfield
  • Recent strategic addition of PEP 50279 Extension Area, key to commercialising this resource
Comet Ridge Limited (ASX:COI) today announced its first Coal Seam Gas (CSG) resource certification in the Greymouth Coalfield, located in the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.


Comet Ridge Limited

Preliminary Test Results Received on Gladstone Fish Samples

The temporary fishing closure in an area centred on Gladstone Harbour will remain in place while further testing is carried out on conditions affecting some locally-caught fish.
Fisheries Queensland General Manager of Habitat and Assessment Dr John Robertson said initial test results identified two conditions, red-spot disease and a parasite.
"Red-spot disease is endemic and is seen in Queensland waters occasionally," Dr Robertson said.
"In Queensland, red-spot disease usually occurs either during winter months when the immunity of the fish is lower, or following the first heavy rainfall of the wet season.
"Red-spot disease starts with a red spot, hence the name, but can develop into burn-like marks, or ulcers with red centres."
"It is typically caused by a fungus and often occurs in fish when they are under stress."


QCL

Oil Sands Pipeline Protesters Arrested

OTTAWA, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Dozens of people protesting TransCanada's oil sands pipeline project were arrested peacefully Monday during a rally at Parliament Hill, officials said.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported an attempt by protesters to jump a fence and enter the main parliamentary building with dozens of police officers and security guards at the ready was a peaceful affair. The CBC said protesters and police were seen laughing and joking as the arrest took place.

Protest organizer Peter McHugh of Greenpeace called the demonstration "a historic mass act of civil disobedience."


UPI.com




Katter Party a Real Threat

WITH Member for Kennedy Bob Katter's newly registered Katter's Australian Party rapidly gaining traction with Queensland voters, leaders of the major parties have voiced concerns the fledgling outfit will force a hung parliament at the next election.
A recent Galaxy poll showed Mr Katter's party had ample support in Queensland with one in four surveyed indicating they were "totally likely" to vote for the Australian Party at the next election.
A further 23 per cent said they were "very" or "quite" likely to vote for the party.
Liberal National Party (LNP) parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney said a hung parliament would hogtie any new state goverment.


The Northern Star

It's Time - for Governments to Actually Govern

Australia's embrace of free trade was inevitable - it was the way the world was going. And no one would be inclined to argue against the economic reforms adopted during the Hawke, Keating and Howard years in a country where initiative was being to some degree stifled by a tired system.

But the trouble with changing policy settings is our tendency to over-correct. It's as if we are all over one side of the boat making it lean dangerously and in an attempt to right things we all rush over to the other side, with similar consequences. In addition, it is hard to separate free trade from the wider system in which it is an integral part - the whole free market economics package.

One of the main problems with free market economics is that instead of an economic system it became a full-blown ideology, with all the false promises of utopia, which radical ideologies from Marxism to fascism hold out.

Read More

onlineopinion.com.au


Local Councils Consider Tighter Gas Control

Upper hunter shire councillors are today considering a wide-ranging recommendation proposing tighter controls on coalmining and coal seam gas extraction.
A report prepared by council environmental services director Murray James is recommending stricter regulations for the mining industry and the introduction of exclusion zones.
CSG exploration and extraction is the focus of the report, which suggests laws need to be reviewed to ensure the community is involved in mining developments.


Australian Mining

Monday, September 26

Adelaide Meeting: Save The Kimberleys

Hi Adelaidians,

 The Adelaide Rally to Save the Kimberley and associated information night and/or film night is getting back on track.
3 of the SASEN crew who are visiting the Kimberley dropped in on us yesterday delivering funds raised at the benefit gig.
 
A December date for an Adelaide Kimberley event was discussed and a planning meeting date set:
 
Thursday 6th October 5pm at the Adelaide uni learning hub  (all welcome.)

 Please distribute an invitation to attend to all who are interested. Think about who we can get onboard to help, creative promotions, musicians and entertainment and bring your most positive attitude and cooperative spirit.
It is exciting times in the campaign to save the Kimberley and this is the right time and the right thing to do to keep the pressure on at a crucial time. Woodside and the WA Barnett Government are vulnerable and we are getting stronger every day. Together we can do this and protect the Kimberley from inappropriate and unsustainable industrialisation.
Thank you and best wishes,
Josh for Save The Kimberley

BP Planning to try Deepwater Drilling in Australia


The Great Australian Bight is put at risk by this latest oil project. Credit: Martin Davies (ABC).

Drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight is technically risky and environmentally damaging. So why would we want anyone to do it?
NOT CONTENT WITH whacking a gas refinery in the pristine Kimberley wilderness and fracking Australia's prime agricultural land, the Gillard government now has its heart set on putting oil rigs across the Great Australian Bight.
The Bight includes a designated marine park, supporting - according to the government's own environmental authority "some of the highest levels of marine diversity anywhere in Australia", much of which "is found nowhere else in the world".


ABC

Commercial fishermen, pregnant wife of deckhand and two Children Ill after Eating Sick Fish Caught off Gladstone



HEALTH FEARS: Fishing has been banned in Gladstone harbour until authorities can determine what is causing illness in fish. Picture: Rob Maccoll Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

THE commercial fishermen who blew the whistle on what they call an environmental disaster in Gladstone Harbour say dead fish will soon wash up on its shores.   

They insist sick, blind and ulcerated fish were being pulled out of the harbour for months ahead of last week's official ban by the State Government.

Operators say they were working alongside Queensland Fisheries officers, who were monitoring possible turtle kills, when they dragged sick and slime-covered fish from waters around Gladstone Harbour.

The fishermen say the Government acted only after it was presented with an ultimatum a fortnight ago that they would go public with their concerns. The ban was slapped on 24 hours later.


Sunday Mail

The Wilderness Society Kimberley TV Advertisement - Say No Kimberley Gas Plant!



The Wilderness Society has combined with Traditional Owners and the local Kimberley community to produce a powerful 30 second TV ad. The commercial highlights the importance of the Kimberley environment and the threat of proposed industrialisation at James Price Point near Broome.
Filmed onsite and featuring Indigenous Traditional Owner Neil McKenzie, the ad is designed to encourage action and will be crucial in combating Government and industry spin that presents the proposed development as a done deal. Visit www.wilderness.org.au/kimberley to find out more.

Save The Kimberley


John Butler - Revolution. From the protest camp and blockade to save the Kimberley.   For more see http://www.savethekimberley.com and the short documentary made by the same filmmaker.

Trampling Farmer’s Rights to Protect Farmland from CSG

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’- 
Ronald Reagan

Several days ago here in a post, “Protecting cropping land from mining, and farmers” I mentioned some of the nasties that were included in a Draft State Planning Policy for Strategic Cropping Land. A number of normal farming activities would be removed from local control and be subject to central government decisions.

Dale Stiler from ‘Just Grounds’ has sent in a link, which makes it clear that this is a whole lot more serious than the issues raised before. Now it appears that an incredible number of activities that farmers could be expected to carry out in the pursuit of diversification, will be illegal on land that is designated “Strategic cropping land.”


Thoughts of Freedom - Australian Libertarian Society Blog

CSG Levy to Fund Groundwater Management

COAL seam gas (CSG) companies will fund the ongoing management of state groundwater resources, with a levy to be introduced next year.
Under the plan revealed by Queensland Environment Minister Vicky Darling (pictured) at the APPEA Water Forum in Dalby on Thursday, a levy on petroleum tenure holders would fund more than $4 million required each financial year for the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) to carry out its role in investigating and monitoring groundwater resources as the CSG industry continues to expand.
"It's only fair that the industry pays for the costs of ensuring the environment is protected," Ms Darling said.


QCL