Wednesday, November 30

CSG Convoy: ABC 612 Brisbane (Lorraine Ackfield)

The push for Coal Seam Gas development in Queensland is on the rise. And it's been increasing with the drive for more exploration and drilling through parts of the state.

 At the same time, farmers and environmentalists have been working to preserve properties and land that lie over potential CSG reserves in places like the Surat Basin and areas south west of Rockhampton.

 Just yesterday a convoy of environmentalists from northern NSW & southern Qld arrived in Gladstone - better known for diseased and damaged fish in its harbour these days - to state their case. Lorraine Ackfield is the media spokesperson for the group.


612 ABC Brisbane

NFF Goes to the Regions to Help Develop Long-Term Policies



President of the National Farmers Federation, Jock Laurie (Kim Honan)

The National Farmers Federation has gone on the road to help it develop its proposed blueprint for Australian Agriculture.

The lobby group says it will form a set of policies over the next year to help ensure the sector can prosper through the resources boom.

The first of six regional forums on the topic was held in Rockhampton in Central Queensland yesterday.
NFF president Jock Laurie says the impact of the mining and coal seam gas industries, labour shortages, water policy and access to international markets are the main issues for farmers.

"Now we know that there are going to be four or five major issues that are pretty constant right across Australia, but there could also be other things in other parts of Australia that are very important too," he said.

"This process today and tomorrow is all about talking to people about those things and make sure that we're heading down the right path too."

ABC Rural

Australia Inquiry Urges New Curbs on Coal-Seam Gas

CANBERRA Nov 30 (Reuters) - A parliamentary inquiry into Australia's booming coal-seam gas industry has called for a ban on gas production on prime agricultural land and urged the government to give more power to farmers to stop gas workers from entering their property.
It also wants gas firms to finance a fund to pay for long-term problems caused by sealed gas wells, and ensure tougher rules to protect water supplies, and ban new projects until scientific studies are completed on the impact on farming.
The proposals have broad support across all political parties, adding pressure on the national government to intervene in growing disputes between farmers and gas explorers in the states of Queensland and New South Wales.


Reuters Africa

Farmers Lose Mine Exploration Fight




VOICES: Supporters wave placards in support of Ian and Robyn Moore outside the courthouse. – Pictures by Dean Osland

A CAMPAIGN by a Hunter farming family to block coal exploration on their land near Jerrys Plains appears over with a late move by coal company NuCoal to remove deep exploration from valuable alluvial soils and aquifers.

In the Land and Environment Court sitting in Singleton yesterday, Ian and Robyn Moore agreed to an order from Justice Peter Biscoe to allow NuCoal’s three-bore hole exploration program on their farm for the development of the controversial Doyles Creek mine.

The Moores have blocked the company’s exploration access since it applied under the Mining Act in 2010 and their action was supported by environmental campaigners, anti-coal and anti-coal seam gas protesters and farmers.

After the order was issued, an emotional Ian Moore told the Newcastle Herald access would be given but not through any signed agreement with a coal company.

‘‘It was a court order,’’ Mr Moore said.


Newcastle Herald

Senate Committee Wants CSG Mining to Halt

A moratorium has been recommended for all future coal seam gas (CSG) projects until further research is carried out and the approval process tightened to cover such issues as how salt will be disposed of and the likelihood of the earth sinking.

A Senate committee on Wednesday handed down an interim report on CSG mining, which includes 24 recommendations to prevent the sector from damaging agriculture or the environment.

One of them is a moratorium on future CSG mining until approvals include an independent assessment of possible earth surface movements and whether salt and brine residue can be effectively removed.


SMH

Bio-dynamic Farmer Joins Manning Alliance

BURRELL Creek farmer Bruce Robertson has joined the Manning Alliance in the capacity of special vice president to overview and represent the Alliance in its activities in relation to clean water.

Mr Robertson, who owns and operates a bio-dynamic beef producing property on the Manning River, was a key speaker at last month's coal seam gas rally at Club Taree, and on the same day gave evidence to the NSW Upper House inquiry into coal seam gas activities.

Manning Alliance chairman Peter Epov announced Mr Robertson's decision to join the committee, saying: "I am delighted that Bruce has agreed to join the Alliance. He is a highly talented man with a wide range of skills which will greatly assist our work.

"Bruce has an excellent reputation within this community and just adds to the talent bank that we are developing to oppose coal seam gas mining in this valley."

Mr Robertson has an overwhelming passion for the Manning River, to protect it and to preserve the region's future water supply.


Manning River Times 

Call for Caution on Test Coal Seam Gas Wells

CHAIRMAN of the Manning Alliance, Peter Epov, is calling on all community groups and alliances to tread carefully on the subject of the proposed coal seam gas test wells in Gloucester.

"Groups and alliances in the region should not be talking up blockades and direct action and distracting the debate from the important core strategic issues, before they have the full background and understand all the consequences," Mr Epov said.

Groups should act responsibly and not distract the media nor the public with sensationalised concerns and assertions in an irresponsible manner just for the outcome of a few column inches or a 30 second grab on the news, he said.

"They need to remember the story of the boy who cried wolf once too often."


Manning River Times

Coal Seam Gas Plan for Fullerton Cove Goes to Federal Government

A PLAN to drill four coal seam gas pilot wells at Fullerton Cove has been lodged with the Federal Government seeking the green light.

The proposed sites for the pilot wells are within two private land holdings along Fullerton Cove Road and Cabbage Tree Road.
DART energy applied to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities in October for approval of its self-prepared environmental assessment.
If given the okay DART will still need development approval from the NSW Government.
But Fullerton Cove resident and architect Justin Hamilton said he wanted to see the federal and state governments ask DART and all coal seam gas and mining companies for independent environmental assessments, citing concerns about the objectiveness of self-reports as the reason.
A DART Energy spokesman told the Examiner the company had gone to the federal government in a bid to be environmentally responsible.


Port Stephens Examiner

Coal seam gas forum at Johns River: Saturday 10th December, 2011

THE community of Johns River is hosting another question and answer forum - this time on the topic of coal seam gas - on Saturday December 10, 2011.

The forum will start at 1.30pm at the Johns River Hall, and will include panellists Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, Greater Taree City mayor Paul Hogan, Dr Gary Ellem (University of Newcastle, Environment Institute), Peter Epov (Mid Coast Regional Council of Alliances), Deborah Willis (NSW Farmers Association executive councillor) and Peter Alley (former Labor candidate, Port Macquarie electorate).

A number of government departments have been invited but have yet to confirm.

A previous Q&A Forum at the Johns River Community Hall earlier this year focused on policing, roads and signage.

December's Q&A forum will be dedicated entirely to one topic: coal seam gas.


Manning River Times

Coal Seam Gas Mining Topic for EcoNetwork Meeting: 9th December

THE growing controversy about coal seam gas (CSG) mining will be among hot environmental topics to be debated at the next EcoNetwork-Port Stephens meeting.

The meeting is on December 9 from 2pm at the Tomaree Community Centre, Salamander Bay.

President and secretary of the Fullertn Cove Action Group, Lindsay Clout and Sue Walker, will report on the environmental risks of propsoed CSG mining at Fullerton Cove, the mining industry's latest moves and what is being done to circumvent them.

"The mining industry is serious about drilling into the Tomaree Peninsula, risking contamination of underground water and destruction of wildlife habitat," said EcoNetwork vice-president Dr Quentin Espey.

The meeting will also hear about Port Stephens Council's draft plan for Nelson Bay.

Port Stephens marine park manager Max Haste will present details about sand inundation on the port's prized marine gardens, and on foreshore erosion.

Port Stephens Examiner

All Parties Endorse Tighter Regulation for Coal Seam Gas

MARK COLVIN: A new senate report is recommending a moratorium on coal seam gas projects in key parts of Queensland and New South Wales until the completion of studies into the impact on groundwater.

Unusually, all sides of politics have endorsed the recommendation.

The interim report from the Senate's Rural Affairs Committee also calls for more establishment of a trust, funded by gas companies, to pay for any problems caused by collapsing pipelines.

But it's stopped short of recommending that landholders have the absolute right to lock gas companies out of their land.

From Canberra, Naomi Woodley reports.

PM with Mark Colvin

Senate Wants Moratorium on CSG Projects

A Senate committee has called for a moratorium on future coal seam gas (CSG) projects in key parts of Queensland and New South Wales until studies into the impact on groundwater have been completed.
In a rare display of bipartisanship, all sides of politics have endorsed the recommendation.

In all, the committee report contains 24 recommendations for overhauling the management of CSG projects.

It says a national regulatory framework should be established and comprehensive water management plans should be in place before any further production is approved.


ABC News

Senate inquiry Calls for Halt to Coal-Seam Gas Projects in Murray-Darling Basin

THE federal government should impose a moratorium on further coal-seam gas projects in the Murray-Darling food bowl that overlay the great artesian basin, according to a parliamentary inquiry into the social and environmental impact of the controversial industry.   
The report by the Senate committee on rural affairs and transport, handed down today, also calls on Canberra and the states to jointly establish a trust funded by the gas companies to pay for rectification from leaking wells, subsidence and erosion arising from drilling and piping.

Committee chairman, Liberal senator Bill Heffernan, said the committee was deeply concerned about the 700,000 tonnes of salt produced annually as a by-product of coal-seam gas extraction.

Warning that the booming industry had the potential to have a “severe impact” on food production in the Murray-Darling, which takes in gas fields in southwestern Queensland and north and central west NSW, the veteran senator said the committee had recommended that CSG production be excluded from prime agricultural land.


The Australian

More about Coal


This rather wordy post is the text of a lecture Guy Pearse gave earlier this year. I have a link to a 'pdf' of the lecture in my previous post. It seemed to me that the topic is so important and the contents are so informative that I should post it fully. The scariest part of the lecture is that Pearse has since claimed that the numbers he used in this speech 'were woefully conservative'.
"Australia may well treble rather than double its coal exports by 2020. Factor in the “carbon light” CO2 from coal seam gas projects in the East (and other LNG expansion in the north and west) and you’re talking about Australia’s fossil fuel emission exports equating to TWO Saudi Arabias by 2020, not one as I’ve been saying to many disbelieving ears.  
This would mean that by 2020 the 159mtpa CO2-e saved by the Gillard CEF (with heavy reliance on imported offsets, many of which I expect to be very dodgy for reasons I won’t get started on here) would be erased more around 10 times over, not 4 times as I said in that speech…"

Read More

Earthsign Blogspot

Agriculture Blueprint Spells out CSG Fears

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) says the rapid growth of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry is a major concern for primary producers.

The lobby group is compiling a blueprint for the future of agriculture, based on the concerns and aspirations of farmers.

The first of six agribusiness forums was held in Rockhampton in central Queensland yesterday.
The forum will hear speakers, including London economist James Shugg, about the latest global financial problems and prospects for commodities.

About 200 people are expected to attend forum again today in Rockhampton.

NFF president Jock Laurie says the resources boom must be properly managed to minimise its impact on food production over the next 40 years.


ABC News

Non Violent Action for Gloucester?

The Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance has called a public meeting to look at community responses, including the possibility of non-violent action, to push AGL to halt its drilling program until an independent examination of seismic and water studies has been undertaken.

An alliance spokesman said increasing anger is being expressed by Gloucester citizens at the refusal by AGL to halt its drilling program to allow an independent examination of the seismic and water studies that have been undertaken since project approval for the development of a coal seam gas field was given in the dying days of the previous state government in February this year.

At the NSW Government Upper House Coal Seam Gas Inquiry hearing held at Taree a month ago MidCoast Water stated they had been excluded from the early phase of planning and they now have been given preliminary water study results which indicate the presence of heavy metals and very high salinity in the water coming from the drill holes. In a Letter to the Editor in the Advocate MidCoast said they had not done measurements of the cancer causing BTEX chemicals potentially released from fracked coal seams into the ground and surface water systems.


Gloucester Advocator

Gas Export Projects Helps Resource Investment to Hit a Record $231bn



Investment in capital-intensive gas export projects has weighted the amount of money being spent on construction heavily to the oil and gas industry. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

A SERIES of massive gas export project approvals in the past six months has sent the value of committed Australian resource investment surging 34 per cent to a record $231.8 billion.   
And despite the signals of a worsening crisis in Europe, this is expected to grow again over the next six months as some of a predicted $80bn worth of project approvals targeted for 2011-12 get ticked off.

Massive investment in capital-intensive gas export projects on both sides of the country has weighted the amount of money being spent on construction heavily to the oil and gas industry.


The Australian

Tuesday, November 29

Draft Coal Seam Gas Water Management Policy: Qld

Have your say on the Government’s proposed new Coal Seam Gas Water Management Policy.

The new policy makes injection of coal seam gas the preferred CSG water management option.
This is your opportunity to have your say on an important government policy change in relation to the management of coal seam gas (CSG) water.

The Queensland Government has made a change to its Draft Coal Seam Gas Water Management Policy to reprioritise the management options for CSG water to promote conservation of Queensland’s groundwater resources.

Injection, whether aquifer injection or virtual injection of suitably treated water, is now the first priority management option for CSG water. Injection involves pumping CSG water, which has been treated to standards suitable for the receiving aquifer, back into the groundwater system.


Coal Seam Gas Water Management Policy Consultation
Energy Resources
Environment and Natural Resource Regulation
Department of Environment and Resource Management

Iconic Widden Stud Fears Encroach of Coal Seam Gas

Widden Stud, a 3,000-hectare Widden Valley property in the western region of the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, is the oldest continually owned horse stud in the world.

Ranked among the leader in the Australian thoroughbred industry, Widden Stud has been owned by the Thompson family since 1867 after John Thompson first acquired land in 1855.

Widden Stud is now owned by Antony Thompson, who is the seventh generation member of the family to own the property.

Anthony Thompson fears the encroach of coal seam gas mining.

“The impact of CSG mining on the farm would destroy our tradition, heritage and image of our business,” he says.


 What The Frack?

Coal Seam Gas Inquiry

The City of Sydney’s submission to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into coal seam gas is now online.

We believe that coal seam gas exploration licences should be put on hold until their environmental impacts have been assessed and the community fully consulted.

Gas is an important transition fuel for a low-carbon future but the Inquiry must consider whether NSW needs to develop its coal seam gas reserves, given Australia’s significant liquid natural gas reserves.

Gas can help us transition to a greener future but that can’t happen unless environmental safeguards are in place. Gas is not greener if we destroy our farmlands or water supply to get there.

We do not support the exploration of coal seam gas in built-up areas and passed a resolution of Council in December 2010 that coal seam gas extraction poses unacceptable risks to the environment.


Qld Govt to Brief on Mines to Minds Policy

The Queensland government will brief stakeholders on its plan to use mining royalties for education programs.

Premier Anna Bligh has promised a re-elected Labor government would quarantine 50 per cent of state royalties from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry for a new education fund.

The Mines to Minds policy, announced last week, will set aside an estimated $1.8 billion over the next 10 years, and more beyond that.

The government had received 100 responses a day to an online survey on the policy, with 72 per cent of respondents in favour of it, Ms Bligh said.

She said stakeholders would be invited to attend a meeting about the policy on December 12.


9 News

Chief of Peak Gas Body to Tackle Coal-Seam Critics

PEAK gas industry body the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has signalled a higher public profile with the election of Santos chief David Knox as chairman.
The emerging coal-seam gas industry in particular has been strongly attacked by environmental and community groups in the past year, and many companies in the sector have not responded to these attacks, arguing the association should play that role.

The association recently changed its chief executive from Belinda Robinson to David Byers, who told The Australian yesterday that the closer public focus on the gas industry -- especially coal-seam gas -- meant that the body needed a far higher public profile than previously.

"It's a fact that now we have a much more visible industry than previously -- it's not over the horizon any more, it's very much something that people can see," Mr Byers said.


The Australian


Coal-Seam Gas Debate Starved of Solid Data

THE coal-seam gas lobby's assault on the ABC over its extensive online report into the industry has highlighted the serious lack of solid data in the controversial debate.
The Australian Production & Petroleum Exploration Association on Friday lodged an official complaint with the ABC over the report, labelling it as "riddled with factual errors".

"The ABC is held in very high esteem by the Australian public, but most observers would concede this piece of work fails to provide the objectivity, accuracy, or right of reply that is expected of quality journalism," the APPEA said.

In an impressive piece of journalism, an ABC team over four months pored over scores of government documents such as environmental impact statements -- often each more than 10,000 pages long -- in an attempt to paint a picture of the scale of the industry and its potential environmental impact.

APPEA said the ABC claim that CSG companies had received approvals for 40,000 wells was "not true".


The Australian

Analysts Back Shell in Queensland LNG Race

IN the race to build multibillion dollar gas export plants in Queensland, the winner hasn't even left the starting blocks.
That’s the view of London-based analysts at Jefferies whose five-day tour of Australia’s big liquefied natural gas developments convinced them Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina’s slowly-slowly approach to sanctioning their Arrow LNG venture could turn out to be a smart move.

The scale of Australia’s gas investments at over $US180 billion through 2017 is creating bottlenecks in the supply of materials, driving up equipment prices, and worsening a labour shortage as gas developers compete with big mining companies for skills. The spectre of industrial action at LNG projects looms large, as does the risk of project delays.

According to Jefferies, these pressures will be most acute at Curtis Island, near Gladstone in Queensland, with its confined space and limited access.

Read More 

The Australian

Blind Farmer's Battle to Save his Land From Coal Exploration

A COAL company is attempting to force its way onto a blind farmer's Hunter Valley property against his will.
Ian Moore, who has worked his Jerrys Plains property since the 1950s despite being legally blind, took mining company NUcoal to court in an attempt to keep them off his land.

Mr Moore argued that coal exploration would damage the water table beneath his property and threaten the viability of his land.

But NUcoal has argued that under NSW law it is entitled to move onto Mr Moore's land regardless of his desires.

Dozens of protesters outside the court drowned out this morning's proceedings at times, chanting: "Save our water, save our land".

Read More 

The Daily Telegraph

Shocking Record and Record Losses for Uranium Miner

Western Australia’s peak environmental group and Australia’s leading mining justice advocates will be asking Perth-based uranium miner Paladin Energy some tough questions on environmental and human rights abuses at their African mines during the company’s annual meeting in Perth today.

Charles Roche, Executive Director of the Mineral Policy Institute said, “Today we will be asking Paladin CEO John Borshoff and his Board about corruption allegations against Paladin in Malawi. We are particularly concerned that the student who initially raised these allegations died in suspicious circumstances shortly after publishing details of the corruption.

“In addition, in June 2011 an independent European assessment found there were serious issues with Paladin’s operations in relation to death of workers, inadequate safety equipment, dumping of contaminated water into community water supplies and using local police to brutally suppress striking workers.”


Conservation Council of Western Australia (24.11.11)

Mineral Resources Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines

The NSW Government is inviting input from the community and industry on revised environmental assessment guidelines for mineral and petroleum (including coal seam gas (CSG)) exploration activities.

The guidelines have been developed by NSW Trade & Investment – Division of Resources & Energy, in consultation with the Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW Office of Water and the Department of Planning & Infrastructure.

The guidelines will strengthen environmental assessment requirements for mineral and petroleum exploration activities.

In particular, additional requirements for petroleum exploration activities will help to ensure that these activities are safe and environmentally appropriate.

Please see the links below to access these documents.

Making a submission


Feedback on the Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines and Additional Part 5 REF Requirements for Petroleum should be submitted to:
Post: Coal Seam Gas Working Group
PO Box 344
Hunter Region Mail Centre
NSW 2310

Closing date

The closing date for submissions is Friday 2 December 2011.


NSW DPI

The Real Story: Allan Billison



As a mining billionaire, Allan Billison is not that different from ordinary everyday people like you. He has a regular commute, regular job. Allan's job is to keep the economy completely unbalanced in favour of mining.

Monday, November 28

Message From: Clarence Valley Against Call Seam Gas Fracking

Dear fellow Australians,

As the debate rages on about the CSG industry, the communities surrounding Casino Nth NSW, site of proposed Metgasco's gas fired power station and subsequent explorative and active CSG wells around prime agricultural land, our concerns continue to be ignored by the CSG industry and State Government.

In fact , one Deputy Mayor has decided that working for the community AND a CSG company is totally aye OK.
...

It has now been confirmed.

Stuart George Deputy Mayor of Richmond Valley Council is now a paid employee of METGASCO (gas company in it's region) but he is still the deputy mayor, according to the General Manager of RVC.

Local residents also rang Metgasco for confirmation. Stuart is the son of Thomas George MP member for Lismore Nationals, Thomas refuses to front the people of his constituent as requested for months... now. Could his son's new position have something to do with that? Interesting to note that RVC is one of the only Councils who would not support a moratorium on CSG, also RVC refused to share details of wells etc that RVC had with Rous Water as requested for water safety by Rous.

Stuart George also happens to sit on the board of Rous water ~ Conflict of interest?

Area all sewn up?

AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC - > what are we Northern Rivers people supposed to do ? We have morally corrupt players in positions of community trust concerning the rights of the community, our rights to have sustainable farmlands, uncontaminated water acquifers and right to enjoy our lifestyles.

Lismore City Council took the stance of rescinding a Metgasco seismic testing application last week after consultation with the community. Moree and Murwillumbah Councils have taken a stance against CSG also.

But with Casino Council licking their lips at the prospects of CSG kickbacks, our water acquifers, prime agricultural farmland and united communities are small change to them.

All over Australia, ex-parliament people are in CSG mining roles. Sickening and morally wrong. Since when did money become more important than your fellow Aussies?

PLEASE HELP US!!!

We do not consent to CSG in our area.

Warm regards,
 Wanda

Rock Valley GAS Rangers
"Residents united against stopping CSG (coal seam gas) exploration/extraction in the pristine Rock Valley area of Northern NSW"

General Post Office
ROCK VALLEY NSW 2480

You can find us on facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rock-Valley-GAS-Rangers/304260319584235

Fishers Raise Funds for Sick Fish Tests



Fishers in Gladstone say they are doing their own independent testing into diseased fish in local waterways in central Queensland because they are not confident about a State Government investigation.

Authorities are investigating an outbreak of sick fish in Gladstone Harbour. Several fishermen have received permits to collect and send fish away for testing.

Gladstone Fish Market spokesman Ted Whittingham says they need to raise about $500,000 for the research.

"We're doing this testing to try and find the answers to the problem," he said.


ABC News

Voices From the Gas Fields


For residents of a western valley, methane gas development has meant uncertainly, doubt, and dragging fear.

by Rebecca Clarren
photographs by Christopher LaMarca



WHEN THE LIGHT OF EARLY morning shines on the red-ribboned mesas of western Colorado’s Garfield County, and the Colorado River shimmers like a silver snake on the move, it’s easy to see why the rural people who live here say they cling to this place. Then the light catches one of the hundreds of gas wells newly set upon the land, intimating a more complex story.

Deep underneath the county’s dry sagebrush plateaus and irrigated farmland—and 250 miles north of Aztec, New Mexico—lies the Piceance (pronounced pee-awnce) Basin, home to an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet or more of recoverable natural gas, sandwiched between layers of sandstone and coal.

 Running beneath a quarter of the county’s 1.9 million acres, the basin rolls west off the Rocky Mountains down to the desert country of northwestern Colorado. One of America’s richest sources of natural gas, the Piceance holds enough gas to power the nation at current consumption rates for around two years. As the price of methane—a primary component of natural gas—has quadrupled in recent years, energy companies have sprinted here to drill rock and capture gas.


Orion Magazine

Report on Kaitangata Multi-Well Coal Seam Gas Programme: NZ

Progress Report on Kaitangata Multi-Well Coal Seam Gas Programme

• Appraisal well, Lockington-2 drilling has intersected approximately 4.2m of coal to date and is drilling ahead at 229m

• A multi well programme of up to 6 production testing and stratigraphic wells are to be drilled during Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 at the Kaitangata coal field 60 kilometres south of Dunedin

L&M Energy is pleased to provide the following update regarding its initial Kaitangata CSG appraisal programme within PEP 38219, located 60km south of Dunedin.

Lockington-2 is at a current depth of 229m and is drilling ahead towards an estimated target depth of 350m. The hole has intersected approximately 4.2m of net coal from the Capstick seam which is the first of up to five anticipated coal seams, namely the Capstick, Jordan, Kai Main, Carson and Shore seams. Five cored coal samples have been taken for further analysis, including measurement of gas content and saturation levels.


Goldfields' Green Energy Potential Touted

The Federal Government's climate change commissioner, Tim Flannery, says Western Australia's Goldfields region could become "a hotbed" of green energy technology.

Professor Flannery visited Kalgoorlie-Boulder last week to discuss ways for the mining industry to tackle climate change.

The professor answered heated questions from residents about climate science and the carbon tax during his visit.

He says despite Kalgoorlie-Boulder being a "gold city", it has a strong potential for green development.
"I think Kalgoorlie is magnificently placed to shift to renewables," he said.


ABC News

Fisherman Claims Proposed Marine Reserves Favour Gas and Oil Drillers




A Northern Territory fisherman says the Federal Government's proposed Northern Marine Reserve Network proposal unfairly advantages the oil and gas industry.

Under the plan, which closes to public comment today, eight reserves in northern waters would allow varying levels of fishing and mining.

But Biagio Spinella, from Austop Fisheries, says gillnet fishermen will be the worst off.
"These aren't marine parks, these are just exclusion zones," he said.

"If they're gonna make marine parks, make them totally green and ban everyone from being in there.
"If you look at some of the maps, you'll see all these marine parks have been actually done around the mining industry."


ABC Rural

Mining Approvals System 'Corrupt'



Barry Carbon has labelled the environmental approvals system for WA developments as being corrupt. Picture: Marie Nirme Source: PerthNow
  
WA'S approvals system for development projects, such as mining, has been slammed as "corrupt" by the former chief of the Environmental Protection Authority.

In a hard-hitting speech Barry Carbon said developers are being "blackmailed" into making financial contributions to secure environmental approvals.

Mr Carbon told the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand that mining companies and other proponents were forced to make contributions sometimes millions of dollars to government agencies before approvals were even considered.

Meanwhile, detailed environmental assessment reports paid for by proponents are not being read by bureaucrats because they are too long, he added.

Mr Carbon said the contributions, called offsets, used to be rare and were demanded by officials to compensate for environmental harm when it was unavoidable.


Perth Now

Council Questions CSG Environmental Impacts

Wollongong council will finalise its submission to the New South Wales Government's inquiry into coal seam gas (CSG) at tonight's council meeting.

The council wants CSG mining in water catchment areas banned within the city's boundaries.
A draft submission prepared by council staff raises more than 20 questions about the potential environmental impacts of CSG activities and the threat to the region's water supplies.

Greens' councillor Jill Merrin will appear before the Upper House inquiry when it visits Bowral next month.

She says she is also concerned about the planning approval process.


ABC Illawarra

Murray Darling Basin to be Sacrificed for CSG

The risky coal seam gas industry looks set to secure millions of litres of groundwater from the Murray Darling Basin while the environment misses out, Australian Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said today.

The draft plan released by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) appears to have doubled groundwater allocations, contrary to a $5 million study undertaken by the CSIRO over three years which recommended a 10 per cent cut to groundwater allocations from the Basin.

“The Environment Minister has questions to answer about how much of that groundwater is earmarked for coal seam gas,” Senator Waters said.

“It is unjust and unreasonable that the river stands to miss out on the millions of litres necessary to ensure its survival, while the CSG industry appears to have been given hundreds of gigalitres for free.

“300 gigalitres of groundwater per year is allowed to be extracted in the NSW region of Gunnedah-Moree alone, where there are plans for coal seam gas extraction.

“The Environment Minister has said this decision was made by the MDBA, while MDBA chair Craig Knowles has protested that he’s not the hand-maiden of the coal seam gas industry – obviously someone is, and Australians deserve better than this embarrassing blame-passing.

“Australians need answers right now as to why the river must miss out, but the CSG industry - an industry which treats water as a waste product - looks set to be given a free ride at the expense of the whole Murray Darling system.”

Senator Larissa Waters - Queensland Greens

APPEA Running Scared on CSG

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has been thrown into a panic over the ABC’s new online research project on coal seam gas mining, Australian Greens spokesperson for mining Senator Larissa Waters said today.

“The ABC has pulled together qualitative and much-needed research into the extent and impacts of coal seam gas mining in Australia, and APPEA have responded like schoolyard bullies,” Senator Waters said.

“Firstly Mark Textor of the Crosby Textor Group was sent onto Twitter to denigrate the new site, which he did while failing to reveal he’s a paid lobbyist for APPEA.

“And today we see threats directly from APPEA that they will formally complain to the ABC Managing Director, demanding ‘immediate investigation’ into the website they claim is ‘riddled with factual errors’.

“Australians are getting tired of APPEA’s tantrums and constant attempts to quash any meaningful and comprehensive research into the long term impacts of the risky coal seam gas industry on our land, our water and our environment.”
The ABC’s data journalism project on coal seam gas can be viewed at; www.abc.net.au/coalseamgas

Senator Larissa Waters - Queensland Greens

Rally: Community support for Ian Moore at court case

Representatives from various groups in the Hunter Valley will gather at the Land and Environment Court at Singleton tomorrow (Tuesday) in support of blind farmer, Ian Moore, who is attempting to stop a coal mining company, NuCoal, from entering his property at Jerrys Plains.

When:   9.30 a.m., Tuesday 29th November 2011

Where: Land and Environment Court, Elisabeth Street, Singleton

Mr Moore has taken the company to the Court after the state's arbitration process ruled in favour of NuCoal.

The exploration licence was originally granted to Doyles Creek Mining by former Labor minister, Ian Macdonald, who is being investigated for various matters by ICAC. The decision to grant this licence by Mr Macdonald has also been referred to ICAC.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said groups opposing the expansion of coal and coal seam gas mining in the Hunter region were all supporting Ian and Robyn Moore and these groups would be ramping up their campaign against coal and coal seam gas over the coming weeks.

"What this coal mining company is attempting to do to Ian and Robyn Moore is typical of the bullying and bluster these companies use against landowners," Mr Hutton said.

"Although legally blind, Ian is an excellent farmer who has worked his
property at Jerrys Plains since he 1950s and he should not be forced off by a mining company so they can trash his land.

"The people of the Hunter are saying 'enough is enough' about coal and coal seam gas. Mining might create jobs but it also ruins good agricultural land, destroys the landscape and underground water and damages the health of those who live nearby."

Mr Hutton called on the New South Wales government to stop breaking the promises it made before the last state election about protecting areas from mining and to introduce a strategic land use plan for the Hunter region that maintained food and water security, and protected the health of communities, important environmental areas and cultural heritage.

Contact: Drew Hutton 0428 487 110

Fitzgibbon Welcomes Decision on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining

I welcome the Government’s moves to ensure that all future decisions about coal seam gas projects and large coal mining developments are based on the most rigorous scientific evidence available.

Mining has brought great wealth to our region but we can’t allow the exploitation of our finite resources to threaten sustainable industries like agriculture, viticulture and thoroughbred breeding.  We must strike the right balance, and that includes protecting our water resources.

This can only be achieved by ensuring all environmental approvals and licensing decisions are made on the basis of transparent, objective scientific evidence.

The new science-based framework being introduced by the Government will provide certainty for regional communities around coal seam gas and large coal mining developments, jobs and investment, as well as protection of water.

Read More

Joel Fitzgibbon
Federal Member for Hunter


LNP's 'No-Go' Zones




LNP Member for Condamine Ray Hopper and state parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney at Gowrie Junction

AN LNP government will not approve any mining or coal seam gas activity across Gowrie Junction and the Felton Valley.

Continuing aggressive campaigning across regional Queensland following the LNP's release of its Resource and Energy Strategy last week as the next election looms, LNP state parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney addressed gatherings across the Darling Downs on Wednesday, where he said no coal mining or coal seam gas activity would be approved if an LNP government was elected.
 
Under the Statutory Regional Planning scheme the LNP has proposed to challenge the Bligh government's Strategic Cropping Land (SCL) legislation, controversial resource hot spots such as the Darling Downs and Central Highlands will have regional plans fast-tracked to provide assurances to current users.


QCL

The Pilliga Forrest: Next on the Agenda for Devastation: Watch Video



The Pilliga is a vast expanse of bushland, located between Narrabri and Coonabarabran in western NSW.

It is the largest forested area left west of the Great Divide, an amazing refuge area for wildlife that are in decline all around the state.

It is a truly iconic and precious place. Stretching across 500 square kilometres it bursts into flower in spring, carpeting the landscape with colour.

It is perhaps the only place left in NSW where you can look out across flat land and see only forest as far as the eye can see.

It filters the water that recharges our greatest inland water resource -- some of the sweetest water that you will ever taste lies beneath the Pilliga sandstones in aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.

An amazing diversity of plants and animals live here, including threatened species such as the Eastern Pygmy Possum, Pilliga Mouse and Black-striped Wallaby.

But all is not well in the Pilliga. All this beauty is now threatened by the beast -- a massive coal seam gas development.

See the place for yourself. Ask yourself the question. Will you stand up for the Pilliga?

Moorabool Environment Group Questions Minister Ryan Smith's Ability to be Fair

A LOCAL environment group fighting to keep a coal mining company from operating in Moorabool Shire has said it has lost faith in the Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith’s ability to be fair.

Moorabool Environment Group president Kate Tubbs’ comment follows revelations the minister owns shares in two companies involved in coal seam gas exploration. The companies are Brisbane-based Galilee Energy, and Molopo Australia.

Ms Tubbs said ministers should not have shares, especially ones that go directly against the portfolio they were representing.

“It is not right,” Ms Tubbs said.


The Courier

Resident Fear at Fullerton Cover Gas Plan



SUBMISSION: Fullerton Cove residents, from left, Justin Hamilton, Lindsay Clout and Sue Walker. – Picture by Phil Hearne

A COAL seam gas application for Fullerton Cove has prompted resident fears over potential risks to drinking water resources.

A submission made by Fullerton Cove resident and architect Justin Hamilton on behalf of residents and businesses has raised major concerns with the DART energy plan for two exploratory wells.

The plan is being assessed by the federal government, who will decide if it requires their approval on top of any state response.

The Department of Environment had been due to make a decision on November 21, but has deferred ruling pending more information from the company.

Mr Hamilton said that while he was not opposed to coal seam gas mining, he believed the Fullerton Cove area’s natural resources made it too risky a prospect.


Newcastle Herald

ABC Map Fires up Coal Seam Gas Industry

THE coal seam gas industry has reacted angrily to a new interactive ABC site which claims to be the "the most comprehensive map of Australia's coal seam gas activities made so far."

The website, Coal Seam Gas by the Numbers, shows the location of wells and contains information about the industry's projected growth and water use.

But mining industry group Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has alleged the website is "riddled with factual errors."

APPEA chief operating officer for eastern Australia Rick Wilkinson said the ABC had failed to uphold its own editorial values.

"The ABC is held in very high esteem by the Australian public, but most observers would concede this piece of work fails to provide the objectivity, accuracy, or right of reply that is expected of quality journalism," he said.

The APPEA claimed the site listed out of production and conventional gas wells as coal seam gas wells, overestimated the amount of water used by the industry and contained "wrong and misleading graphics."

The ABC unit responsible for the site has said it will investigate the claims of inaccuracy.

The North West Star

Sunday, November 27

Dirty Money: Audio

We’re all aware of the mining activity going on in Queensland, but what about the dirty side of mining?

Matthew Benns, author of ‘The Men Who Killed Qantas’, has a new book out called ‘Dirty Money’ in which he outlines what he claims is the true cost of Australia’s mining boom. Here Matthew Benns begins by talking about who the really big mining companies are in this country.


612 ABC Brisbane

Coal Seam Gas Exploration Map




The topic of coal seam gas is very popular in media in recent months due to well publicised protests by farmers and overall uncertainty of the impact of coal seam gas exploration on the environment, and ground water in particular. Australian national broadcaster, ABC created an online, interactive educational guide that explains key issues under debate. It is titled Coal Seam Gas – By The Numbers.

As a part of this resource, ABC published a map containing information about location of wells and exploration leases granted to private companies so users can assess what activity is undertaken in their immediate neighbourhood.

Read More

All Things Spatial Blogspot

Metgasco Critical of the ABC

Metgasco, the coal seam gas company exploring the north coast region, has also criticised the ABC's data project 'Coal seam gas by numbers."

Data gathered from industry and government suggests the cumulative affect of CSG mining would see 31 million tonnes of waste salt produced over the next 30 years but Metgasco says that won't be a problem on the north coast.

CEO Peter Henderson says the information about wells his company is responsible for in Casino is not correct.

"Some have been abandoned, some have been rehabilitated, some are conventional wells, not CSG wells at all."

He says some of the information about how is coal seam gas mined is not correct either.

"That's not material to the discussion but fundamentally it's not correct."

He thinks the ABC should have shown the data to APPEA before publication to have it corrected if necessary.He questions the ABC's assessment of the amount of salt that will be produced from coal seam gas mining.


ABC Rural