Monday, September 17

Arrow Energy hands back permit




Southern Downs Protection Group president Dawn Heath and committee member Marianne Irvine celebrate Arrow Energy handing its permit back

THEY heard the good news earlier this week and could hardly contain their joy.
 
On Wednesday the Southern Downs Protection Group celebrated the decision by mining company Arrow Energy to hand back a state-issued permit allowing it to explore for coal seam gas on the Southern Downs.

Southern Downs Protection Group president Dawn Heath said the area covered by the exploration permit stretched from Allora east to Lake Moogerah and south to the New South Wales border.
"It's hot off the press. We only found out on Wednesday," she said.
"We had a meeting Wednesday evening and the feeling in the room was really happy so we want to share the good news.
 
 
Warwick Daily News

Say No Way to Santos

When:  Sunday 7th October, 2012
 
Where: South Bank to the Broadwater Parklands
 
 
Santos GLNG is partnering with Bicycle Queensland to sponsor the Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge.

Santos are a race leader in the Coal Seam Gas industry...

 As the principle player against impacts from Coal Seam Gas,
We strongly object to the SANTOS spin on healthy living. While they give today with one hand, and steal tomorrow with the other...
...
Let us gather in numbers to increase awareness & momentum. To nudge & show the locals, mainstream media and sports lovers of Australia what the SANTOS spin is 'really' all about.

 Rise Up in Yellow and Black from Brisbane to the Gold Coast!

Please join us with family, friends and thousands of cyclists in their celebration of completing the 2012 Santos GLNG Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge to help alert Australia to the danger of CSG.

We are gathering in peaceful colourful numbers at the Broadwater Parklands finish site, Marine Parade, Southport, and along the road/route towns from Brisbane.

Coal seam gas extraction uses technology that taps deep into our water tables to reach the coal seam. The process of hydraulically fracturing the earth (fracking) and disturbing and redistributing our underground water is of great concern.

 Amongst water and attributed health risks, Coal Seam Gas has been linked to the increase of global earthquakes. The information and experiences reported from those overseas, in such areas as Pennsylvania U.S. and Alberta in Canada, are not at all favourable, and we need to educate ourselves and others and stop CSG with a moratorium as soon as possible.

This is an organised activity aimed to help inform mainstream Australians about some of the *games biggest players* and of the irreversible damage of Coal Seam Gas.

 We intend to organise stalls & distribute information pamphlets to the public around the finish line festivities, and talk about CSG & the SANTOS sell out.

Yellow & black are the colours for Lock The Gate, bring your friends, your banners, and be seen. We want to attract positive attention, & hopefully get some good media exposure.

We are not planning on disrupting this event, we have the greatest respect for sport, & the health of our nation, our athletes and their supporters. However this is about winning friends for the movement via the media and taking this important message to the cities, where most of our nation lives, but where many are not yet affected or aware.

 This is a perfect opportunity to promote the Lock the Gate *team*, CSG-free water safety awareness, colour, humour and hope. To have fun, and hand out information and hopefully get positively noticed!!

 A campaign for all towns along the 72km route from Brisbane to the Gold Coast to show Australia and Santos NO CSG, at an event that will be televised to many people who just haven't heard.

 Please, even if you're not going, share and invite everyone to get involved and please learn about CSG!!

Land use plan falls flat

FARMERS say the NSW Government's much-anticipated strategic regional land use policy (SRLUP) falls short of pre-election promises to unequivocally protect agricultural land and water resources from mining and coal seam gas (CSG).
NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said the final product of 18 months' intense negotiations offered "watered down protections" that provided a virtual green light for exploration and mining across most of the State.
She said more than 1500 submissions seeking protection of land and water had been ignored as the government caved in to powerful miners.
"After years of hard work by NSW Farmers, we are bitterly disappointed the O'Farrell Government has not lived up to its election promises on this issue," Ms Simson said in a missive to members.
 
 
The Land

The Nationals are worried about Chinese farm ownership yet it's European mine ownership that's harmed farmers


Sarasen gold mining operation in the Kalgoorlie region in Western Australia. Photo: Rob Homer
 
Australians, it seems, don't like selling off the farm. And the National Party really doesn't seem to like selling them to the Chinese. But while the Nationals have a long, if not always proud, history in Australia it is interesting that we seem to care far more about selling off the farms on top of our vast continent than we do about selling off the enormous mineral deposits underneath it.
 
The biggest miners in Australia, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, are majority foreign-owned. The third largest, Xstrata, is 100 per cent foreign-owned. All up, 83 per cent of mining profits in Australia flow to the foreign owners of the mining giants that operate in Australia.
 
There is no doubt that Cubbie Station in Queensland is a big farm. But its purchase by Chinese investors for about $300 million pales into insignificance when compared to the $10 billion mining investment by China in 2010-11.
 
But Chinese investment in Australia is small beer compared with British and American ownership of our resources. Indeed, last year 34.9 per cent of the $87 billion in dividends and other income flowing out of Australia went to Britain and the United States compared to only 0.7 per cent to China

Canberra Times

M'bah asked for opinion on CSG

MURWILLUMBAH gets a chance to be part of the coal seam gas (CSG)-free initiative on Wednesday when residents meet at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre to gauge community opinion on the issue.
 
"For those who want to find out how bad CSG is - we will have a video about the impact of CSG on the Northern Rivers at 6pm," Lock the gate Tweed's Michael McNamara said.
Food will be available at the end of the video.
The action meeting will start at 7.15pm.
"Currently, support for the Tweed being CSG-free is running at over 97% across communities already surveyed," Mr McNamara said.
"These community-based road surveys have been validated by the poll of Lismore residents at the weekend that showed opposition to CSG running at 88%."

Read More

My Daily News.com.au

Wednesday, September 12

Misleading seam in coal-gas lobby's argument

IT is heartening to know that the gas industry has so much empathy for NSW consumers when it comes to energy bills. 
  
What consumers may not realise is that we have a national market in Australia and industry experts agree we are not facing a gas shortage any time soon.
In the face of a rapidly diminishing social licence, gas companies are resorting to desperate measures, exaggerating the situation to push the state government into opening up 100 per cent of NSW for exploration.
But it is not a choice between gas development or locking up the state. The key is balance.
Mining and coal seam gas are important industries for our economy. But farmers, rural and regional communities and urban consumers want our land and water to be protected. That's not too much to ask, is it?
 
 
The Daily Telegraph

Thumbs down to CSG industry



NOT WANTED: CSG protest outside Metgasco office in Johnston Street, Casino

IF coal seam gas companies were sensible they would take their business elsewhere, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said yesterday following Saturday's poll which showed the council area's residents overwhelmingly oppose the industry.
 
The latest count in Saturday's poll, which asked Lismore residents if they support coal seam gas exploration and production, showed an almost 87% "no" vote.
According to the ABC, the figure was based on 83% of the vote having been counted.
As a result, Cr Dowell said she expected the incoming council would reject any applications it received from the industry.
She also said it would be up to the industry to choose whether or not to instigate a legal challenge to those decisions.
 
 
Daily Examiner

Govt gives Metgasco 'green light'

COAL seam gas company Metgasco says the state government has given it a "green light" to explore near Casino.
 
Coming just days after the people of Lismore overwhelmingly rejected the CSG industry in a referendum; the O'Farrell Government yesterday renewed 21 CSG exploration licences around the state.
The licence renewals were announced on the same day the government revealed its long awaited strategic regional land use policy, which aims to find the balance between resources, farming and environmental interests.
Metgasco chief executive Peter Henderson was yesterday celebrating the licence renewals and an official production lease approval for the Casino power station, while disappointed by the new restrictions.
 
 
Clarence Daily Examiner

NSW gov’t opens the floodgates to CSG, renews 22 exploration licenses



The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on September 12.
* * *
The Barry O'Farrell government yesterday opened the floodgates to coal seam gas mining in NSW with Minister for Resources Chris Hartcher moving to renew 22 coal seam gas exploration licences including many of the most controversial and hotly contested titles in NSW.

The full list of renewals is available here.

"Barry O'Farrell has let the Energy Minister off the leash and in one fell swoop he has opened the door to coal seam gas drilling across vast areas which include some of our most iconic landscapes," said Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance.

"This is a dark day for NSW and communities from all around the state have every right to feel they have been deceived by a government that promised the world and has delivered nothing.
"City and country people alike have been treated with contempt and their concerns about the protection of land and water over-ruled with the renewal of 22 drilling licences covering approximately 5 million hectares of land.”

Carmel Flint, campaign co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance said: "The Minister has renewed the Apex Energy licence (PEL 444) in the Sydney drinking water catchment, putting at risk water supplies for 4.2 million people and breaking a cast-iron guarantee made by the Premier before the last election.

"The Santos licence in the Pilliga Forest (PEL 238) has been renewed despite the fact that it is still under investigation for a litany of environmental failures including contamination of soils and pollution of water.

Read More

Green Left Weekly

No areas off limits to mining



THE PLAN: No areas will be off limits to mining under the final version of the NSW land use plan.
 
 
TWENTY-TWO coal seam gas exploration licences across NSW, including two of the region's most controversial, are set to be renewed after the release of the state government's final strategic land use plan.
More than 2 million hectares of land in the Upper Hunter and New England regions have been deemed prime agricultural land or viticulture and equine industry clusters, but no areas will be off limits to mining under the final version of the policy, which was released yesterday.
 
The exploration licences, which had been on hold pending the plan's completion, include two of the region's most controversial - AGL's 267, originally granted over the Hunter's vineyards, and Dart Energy's 458 over Fullerton Cove and Newcastle suburbs.
 
The government said it would enforce a requirement for 25 per cent of licence areas to be relinquished on renewal, meaning less land would be covered.
 
 
Newcastle Herald

CSG panel a toothless tiger’

A new scientific expert panel charged with assessing coal seam gas (CSG) projects will be a ‘toothless tiger’ with conflicts of interest, the Senate was told yesterday.
 
After seven hours of debate, the Senate passed government legislation to set up an advisory panel that could use the best available science to help authorities decide CSG disputes between farmers and miners.
 
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012 passed with amendments and now returns to the lower house for a final nod of approval.
 
It follows growing concern about how the rapidly growing resource projects will affect productive land and underground water systems.
 
The $150 million committee is being created as a part of a deal between independent MP Tony Windsor and Labor in return for Mr Windsor’s support of the minority government’s mining tax.
 
Liberal senator Bill Heffernan warned the committee would be a ‘toothless tiger.’
 
 
Echo Net Daily

Residents Fuming over New Revelation that New Chum Toxic Dump is Receiving Unlimited Amounts of Poison

RESIDENT’S FUMING OVER NEW REVELATION THAT NEW CHUM TOXIC DUMP IS RECEIVING UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF DDT, ARSENIC, CYANIDE & ASBESTOS

Community Protest Meeting, 1pm, Saturday 15thSeptember, Redbank School of Arts Hall, Brisbane Rd, Redbank

 Activist, DrPatricia Petersen, said that residents are livid with rage over the new revelation that the previous state Labor government, issued a licence forunlimi...
ted amounts of hazardous waste, such as DDT, arsenic and asbestos, every year, to be dumped within hundreds of metres of their homes, schools and recreation areas.

She claims that community members are also angry with the Ipswich City Council for handing over all decisions in relation to the toxic landfill at New Chum to the previous state Labor government.

“Documentation from the state government has finally come through, which confirms what we’ve known for some time - unlimited amounts of toxic, hazardous waste is being dumped at New Chum. Millions of tonnes of dangerous chemicals, pesticides and materials, are being tossed into a landfill within hundreds of metres of homes, schools and playgrounds. Residents are fuming. They are livid with rage,” she said. “Some Ipswich City Councillors have claimed that Transpacific has an application before Council to expand its operations from 50,000 to 1.9 million tonnes per year. This claim is blatantly false. This application is non-existent; it simply does not exist. In 2001, the company was granted permission from the state government to increase its operations to an unlimited amount. The company has been open about its operations – it has confirmed that 1.2 million tonnes of toxic waste is currently being dumped at the site,” she said.

 “Residents want local politicians to get behind them, stand by them and support them. They are disgusted that even now, some local politicians are denying that there is toxic waste being dumped at New Chum. It’s time for the truth and the community isn’t going to take any distortions or falsehoods about the dump lying down,”said Dr Petersen.

Dr Petersen said that Transpacific’s licence, which became effective  April 2010, states that an upper limit of 10% of the landfill’s total waste per year can be highly toxic materials and chemicals. However, she also pointed out that because the landfill is allowed to dump an unlimited, infinite amount of waste at the site, this means that the dump operators can actually dump unlimited amounts of toxic waste at the site too.

“10% of infinity, is infinity. The landfill is allowed to dump at unlimited amount of  waste at the site, 10% of which every year can be toxic waste. 10% of an infinite amount of toxic waste, is an infinite amount of toxic waste,” she said.

Dr Petersen said that an aboriginal woman who lives close to the dump and whose one year old baby has been scarred for life from sores/ rashes will be at the meeting.

“An aboriginal meeting who claims that her two month old baby developed strange rashes and sores all over his body from the dump and was wrongly treated will be at the meeting. She wants to show residents the life-long scars that were left on the boy’s body,” she said.
Dr Petersen said that she is organising a 6th and final community protest meeting for Saturday, 15th Sept. The event begins at 1pm and is at the Redbank School of Arts Hall, Brisbane Rd, Redbank.


Dr Petersen has invited Mayor Paul Pisasale, Cr’s Victor Attwood and Paul Tully and state MP Jo-Ann Miller to the meeting. Mayor Pisasale and Cr Victor have already declined the invitation. Dr Petersen said that she was hopeful that Cr Tully and Mrs Miller would be in attendance.

“Unless more information comes to light, this will probably be the last protest meeting that I organise. After this weekend, residents will have had an opportunity to see all relevant documentation regarding what’s in the dump, who’s responsible for putting it in there and the likely health impacts of the landfill staying where it is,” said Dr Petersen.

“Residents are telling me that they want action, not more talking,” she said.

Toxic Tours Ipswich

 

Monday, September 10

MEDIA RELEASE FROM Lock the Gate - Tweed, 9/9/12

LISMORE ANTI-CSG VOTE HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE TWEED

The massive vote against coal seam gas in the Lismore City Council poll at the weekend has big implications for the Tweed according to Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate – Tweed.

“The overwhelming rejection of coal seam gas by voters in Lismore City Council closely mirrors the results of community surveys conducted in various communities as part of the CSG-free Communities initiative”

“Results in polling booths situated in communities already declared CSG-free as a result of road surveys validates the results of those surveys”

“There was a close correlation between the results of the road surveys and the outcomes of the poll conducted by the Electoral Commission on Saturday”

“This gives us added confidence in the validity of the survey results from communities covering half the Tweed Shire, including all of that part of Tweed Shire contained in the Arrow Energy exploration licence”

“The road survey results for the Tweed have been overwhelmingly against coal seam gas operations in the Shire”

“We will be giving the people of Murwillumbah a chance to have their say about whether or not they want coal seam gas operations in the local area at community meetings to be held in the week commencing Monday 17 September”

“If, as I expect, the view of the people of urban Murwillumbah reflects the views of rural communities then it puts pressure on the newly elected Councillors to vote to declare the whole of Tweed Shire CSG-Free”

“Many of those likely to be elected made commitments, in a survey conducted by Lock the Gate – Tweed, to vote for and support Council taking a more proactive and positive stand against CSG in the Tweed”

“We intend to hold them to their commitments”

Friday, September 7

Mines’ big Hunter buy-up

RIO TINTO subsidiary Coal and Allied has snapped up about 15,000 hectares of farmland around Merriwa and Cassilis as “offsets” for its Mount Pleasant coal mine near Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley.
 
It’s sparked concerns about how much agricultural land will be locked up as “offsets” for mines and how much of it will continue to be farmed.
 
NSW Farmers executive councillor Tony Hegarty, “Belvedere”, Cassilis, said the buy-ups resulted in a net loss because miners were buying land to preserve on the basis they were ruining it elsewhere.
 
He said although to date there had been a population loss in the area as a result of the buy-ups, companies would eventually put farm or land management strategies in place and farmland could remain productive.
 
Mr Hegarty said the offsets scheme – outlined in the NSW government’s strategic regional land use policy (SRLUP) – was an example of how the SRLUP fell short of expectations.
 
“There are concepts that are flawed but well-intentioned, such as the offset concept, where the mining companies buy land as offsets for the activities – you can’t crucify the coal company, they are doing it due to government regulations, but it is a flawed concept and it results in a net loss,” Mr Hegarty told The Land.
 
“They say they are intending to carry out agriculture when they work out management plans, but there will be lock-ups as well.
 
 
The Land

Workshops Target Coal Seam Gas and The Law

EDO NSW will hold a free workshop in Moree to inform the community about the legal issues surrounding coal seam gas exploration and production, access arrangements, and landholder rights.
 
In response to the community’s invitation, author Paul Cleary will also speak about and sign copies of his new book, Mine-Field. Paul is a senior writer with The Australian newspaper and a researcher at the Australian National University.
 
EDO NSW, part of a national network, is a community legal centre with more than 25 years of environmental law experience, specialising in public interest environmental law, helping people who want to protect the environment by providing legal and scientific advice, community legal education and proposals for better laws.
 
EDO NSW is available for free initial legal advice about an environmental problem, with many of its services targeted at rural and regional communities.
 
The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18 between 9am and 12 noon, at the Moree Town and Country Club.
 
People interested in attending should reply by Friday, September 14.
 
For further information visit the EDO website www.edo.org.au/edonsw, phone 6621 1111, or email education@edonsw.org.au
 
Moree Champion

Gas seam protest at Hartcher's office

NO coal seam gas mining on the Central Coast - that was the clear message from a small but passionate group of protesters outside the office of Energy Minister Chris Hartcher.
 
Our Land Our Water Our Future group spokesman B.J. Futter said it was vital to raise awareness of the threat to the environment posed by the practice and to insist candidates in Saturday's local government election took a stand.
 
"Many countries around the world including France, Bulgaria and New York state have banned (coal seam gas) mining and its fracking process due to the disastrous side effects," he said on Tuesday.
 
"We have access to true natural and safe energy alternatives that should be investigated fully.
 
"This Earth is our home and we are raping and pillaging it."
 
Mr Futter said councils interstate had already said no to coal gas seam mining and it was up to the Central Coast to follow their lead.
 
"This practice releases methane into the atmosphere," he said.
 
"It poisons our water tables and destroys the structure of the planet. Our agricultural land is at risk.
 
"In areas where it is practised people are getting sick," he said.
 
 
Central Coast Express Advocate

Candidates commit to CSG fight


Tweed Valley resident Audrey O'Donnell with the coal-seam gas threat, as depicted by the Grim Reaper, at Mount Burrell.
 
 
LOCK the Gate-Tweed has thrown down the gauntlet to candidates running in Saturday's Tweed council election on the coal-seam gas mining issue.
 
The organisation opposing CSG mining on the Tweed sent a survey to each of the candidates to gain their views on the contentious issue.
Organiser Michael McNamara said the survey reflected a range of views on how to best combat the threat posed by CSG to the Tweed community.
"Most candidates and teams surveyed indicated that they opposed CSG in the Tweed and that they would take at least some steps to combat the threat," he said.
"We asked for commitments across eight policy areas and nine action areas"
 
 
Northern Star

CSG refuses to stop ad

THE organisation which represents the coal-seam gas industry and produced the "yes" case distributed to Lismore City voters ahead of Saturday's poll on the industry, has been asked by the nation's top science body to withdraw a television advertisement it says contained a false claim.
 
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) launched an advertising campaign on August 27 to sell the benefits of the coal- seam gas industry.
A TV ad, part of that campaign, included the statement: "CSIRO (and government studies) have shown that groundwater is safe with coal-seam gas".
But the CSIRO never made such a statement; it was not supported by CSIRO research and the organisation asked the advertisement be withdrawn.
In response, an APPEA spokesman said the industry-body had "taken CSIRO's comments on board", but stopped short of agreeing to withdraw the ad.
 
 
Northern Star

Plan to drill 150 gas wells across water catchment

THE NSW government is considering a bold plan that would lead to hundreds of coal seam gas wells being drilled across Sydney's drinking water catchment, supplying a fifth of the city's gas.
 
Apex Energy has a vision that amounts to industrialisation of near-pristine bushland - more than 150 commercial gas wells sprinkled across the catchment area between Sydney and Wollongong.
 
It is asking the Department of Planning to modify its permission to drill an initial 16 wells to test for coal seam gas, because its current licence expires on September 22.
 
The company would have to apply for further consent for a full-scale commercial development. Stiff opposition is likely from residents and the Greens, who say intensive drilling over the proposed 25-year period could contaminate Sydney's clean water.
 
 
SMH


Thursday, September 6

Light Horse stud hands reins to coalminer



Tarwyn Park stud owner Stuart Andrews is the vice-president of the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance, which is fighting Korean giant KEPCO's plans for a coalmine in the Bylong Valley. Picture: Gary Graham Source: The Australian
 
THE pastures of NSW's Bylong Valley has produced thoroughbred champions as well as the Walers that carried the Light Horse Brigades of World War I, but a Korean power giant has moved a step closer to turning it into an open-cut coalmine. 
  
KEPCO has acquired Bylong Park from Richard and Christine Johnston who in 2004 bought the 678ha stud that produced champions Mosheen and Driefontein.
 
It is one of several properties acquired by KEPCO and the second major horsebreeding stud.
 
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance secretary Craig Shaw believed KEPCO had acquired about 40 per cent of the privately held land within its lease, while the neighbouring Mount Penny Coal had acquired 70 per cent of the land in its lease.
 
The valley has been a famous horsebreeding area since the mid-1850s, not long after it was settled by Europeans. Bylong produced many of the Walers that served in the Beersheba and Magdhaba cavalry charges in the Middle East campaign against the Turks and hauled supplies on the Western Front.
 
The Walers were bred to carry loads of up to 130kg and could go without water for more than two days at a time.
 
 
The Australian

Murwillumbah Showgrounds - Saturday 13th October


Apex applies for extension

Apex Energy has lodged a modification to their currently frozen coal seam gas development approval in the Illawarra. They have applied to extend drilling deadlines to “three years from commencement of drilling of the first bore hole” for 16 wells spanning two drinking water catchments (Woronora and Nepean).
 
This is a necessary step to keep the Apex / Ormil (ASX:OMX) project alive. While the project is currently frozen, without this modification it will lapse for good on September 22, 2012.
 
If approved, it will give Apex and Ormil unlimited time to start drilling; to wait for the enormous community opposition and volunteer hours to tire.
 
However, approval can’t solve all the administrative problems faced by the project. Apex also needs to secure a new exploration licence (PEL138) to replace the one that lapsed in February this year (PEL442), freezing the project.
 
 
Stop CSG! Illawarra

Council Election a Referendum on Coal Seam Gas

Greens candidate for Marrickville Council South Ward-Magura, Dr David Leary has called on voters to make the council election on 8th September a referendum on Coal Seam Gas.
 
“Coal seam gas mining is just plain dumb- and proposals to mine in residential areas like Dart Energy’s proposal to mine in St Peters is simply dumber than dumb” said Dr Leary.
 
At a recent Marrickville Council meeting, Marrickville ALP and conservative Independent councillor Morris Hanna voted against a Greens motion to hold a poll on Coal Seam Gas mining at the Council elections.
 
“A referendum would have given a clear indication to Dart Energy and the state government that the community of Marrickville have not granted coal seam gas a social licence to operate” stated Dr Leary.
 
“Even though the local community has been deprived of a referendum on coal seam gas, voters can still send a strong message against coal seam gas by voting for the Greens in the Marrickville Council election on 8th September” said David Leary
 
 
The Greens
Marrickville Petersham-Newtown

More villages join CSG-free idea



Lock the Gate - Tweed’s Michael McNamara talks about the CSG-free Communities Initiative with Tweed mayor Barry Longland
 
THE CSG-free Communities Initiative has taken the Tweed Valley by storm.
Last weekend Uki, Burringbar, Crabbes Creek and Mooball declared themselves coal-seam gas free.
This adds to the communities of Tyalgum, Crystal Creek, Doon Doon, Mt Burrell and Kunghur which were declared CSG-free last week.
Michael McNamara from Lock the Gate - Tweed said half the communities on the Tweed had now joined the initiative.
 
 
My Daily News

Court interrupts Fullerton Cove drilling

A COURT has ordered Dart Energy to temporarily halt test drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) at Fullerton Cove, near Newcastle, but the energy firm says it may still be able to keep to its timetable. 
  
Fullerton Cove residents applied to the Land and Environment Court for a temporary injunction to stop drilling at the site as they prepare for a court battle in which they will try to have the project spiked altogether.
 
Justice Terry Sheahan on Wednesday partially granted the injunction, restraining Dart from any development beyond site preparation and drilling compound construction.
 
He ordered that the case be expedited.
 
Drew Hutton, president of the protesters' Lock the Gate Alliance, told AAP the partial victory would delay substantial works at the site for months.
 
"They can't do any of the real work on that property," he said.
 
"It's going nowhere fast."
 
 
The Australian

CSIRO vents over gas claims

THE CSIRO has asked Australia's oil and gas industry lobby group to withdraw an advertisement claiming the nation's peak scientific group had given coal-seam gas a clean bill of health. 
  
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association commercial says CSIRO and government studies have shown that CSG extraction is not a threat to groundwater.
 
But yesterday the CSIRO said it rejected the claim and had asked that the advertisement not be aired.
 
"At no time has CSIRO made such a statement, and nor do the results of CSIRO research support such a statement," it said. "CSIRO has stated on the public record that coal-seam gas extraction is likely to pose a 'low risk' to groundwater quality through contamination.
 
 
The Australian

Concern over coal seam gas grows

Esso has defended its plans to explore for coal seam gas deposits in Gippsland at a public meeting in Sale this week.
 
About 100 people attended a public meeting on coal seam gas on Monday, organised by the newly-formed Wellington Coal Seam Gas Wellington Awareness Group.
 
Representatives from Doctors for the Environment, the Environment Defenders Office and Monash University spoke about the potential risks associated with CSG mining and exploration and landholders rights to refuse mining.
 
Esso, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, was not invited to speak at the event but a company representative attended the meeting and answered questions from the crowd.
 
Esso and Ignite Energy Resources hold licences to explore coal seam gas options in large areas of Gippsland.
 
 
ABC Gippsland

CSIRO rejects coal seam gas claims

The CSIRO has rejected claims made by the coal seam gas industry in a new TV advertising campaign, and asked last week that the ads not be aired.
 
The commercial includes the statement: "CSIRO [and government studies] have shown that groundwater is safe with coal seam gas".
 
However, the national science body said this afternoon that this claim was not true.
"At no time has CSIRO made such a statement, and nor do the results of CSIRO research support such a statement," the organisation said.
 
The TV commercials were produced for the coal seam gas industry body, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, which said it had "taken the CSIRO's comments on board".
 
Canberra Times

Tuesday, September 4

Air pollution reaching extreme levels, warns Hunter Valley council



"We're concerned that the Hunter Valley is going to end up being a brick pit and not much else" ... Graeme Gibson. Photo: Max Mason Hubers

HUNTER VALLEY winemakers and residents will today step up the campaign against mining in their backyards as the local council warns dust in the region is reaching ''extreme'' levels.
 
In an email to a Singleton councillor on Saturday, the council's general manager, Lindy Hyam, said she had written to the head of NSW Environment Protection Authority after five separate official ''health alerts'' relating to air pollution at Mount Thorley, near Singleton, were issued in a matter of weeks.
 
Each alert stated that air pollution had ''exceeded national health standards for PM10'', or particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter.
 
''I also went out and had a look,'' Ms Hyam said in the email on Saturday. ''It was like a dust storm. Extreme in my view.''
 
 
SMH

Sean Lennon Attacks Fracking in Op-Ed

Process of extracting natural gas is 'dirty energy,' singer says
 
August 28, 2012 12:00 PM ET
 
 


Sean Lennon ripped fracking today in a New York Times op-ed, saying the process of extracting natural gas has been falsely portrayed as "clean." "Natural gas has been sold as clean energy," Lennon wrote. "But when the gas comes from fracturing bedrock with about five million gallons of toxic water per well, the word 'clean' takes on a disturbingly Orwellian tone. Don't be fooled."
 
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, uses water and chemicals to free natural gas trapped in rock deposits below the surface of the earth. Lennon says there's simply no way the process can be clean. "Fracking for shale gas is in truth dirty energy," he writes. "It inevitably leaks toxic chemicals into the air and water. Industry studies show that 5 percent of wells can leak immediately, and 60 percent over 30 years. There is no such thing as pipes and concrete that won't eventually break down.
It releases a cocktail of chemicals from a menu of more than 600 toxic substances, climate-changing methane, radium and, of course, uranium."
 
Rolling Stone

Human sign against coal seam gas mining at Sydney Park



On Saturday 13th October 2012, there will be an Australia-wide campaign by ‘Lock The Gate’ to fight coal seam gas mining. Local community group Stop CSG Sydney is joining this campaign by holding a human sign event in Sydney Park to spell out – STOP COAL SEAM GAS! A documentary filmmaker will film the human sign event.
 
Stop CSG Sydney says, “While we’ve fought back CSG so far in the inner west, the CSG industry is pushing forward in other parts of Sydney, in our water catchments & in our food bowl. The only way the community will be safe is if the O’Farrell government cancels Dart Energy’s licence & bans CSG mining in our water catchments, food producing lands & key environmental areas.”
 
Come with everyone you know. This should be a fun way to send a strong message to the NSW state government.
 
You can register for the event, which will help planning, or just turn up on the day. Volunteers to help on the day are also welcome. http://www.nogasmininginsydney.com/
 
WHEN: Saturday 13th October 2012
TIME: Noon
WHERE: Sydney Park. Meet at the old brickworks chimneys at the corner of Sydney Park Road & Princes Highway.
BRING: Drinking water & dress for the weather.
 
 
Saving Our Trees Blog

Red Sky Energy to complete Clarence Moreton farm in deal with ERM Gas

Red Sky Energy (ASX: ROG) expects its farm in agreement with ERM Gas (ASX: EPW) to reach financial close late this week, accelerating exploration and development of its Clarence Moreton Basin acreage.

Under the agreement, ERM Gas will pay Red Sky up to A$2.7 million upon achievement of certain milestones and will fund the drilling of at least six and up to nine wells in the New South Wales coal seam gas acreage.

ERM Gas will earn a 80% stake in PEL 478 and 60% in PEL 479 and PEL 457.

Red Sky will also place 150 million shares to ERM Gas at a share price equal to the Volume Weighted Average Price for the five days preceding the execution date of the agreement, giving ERM Gas a 9.5% stake in Red Sky.
 
Proactive Investors

Josephite Sisters oppose increase in coal seam gas mining

The Sisters of St Joseph are the third religious community to publicly voice their concern about the rapid escalation of coal seam gas exploration and will shortly launch an online petition, reports the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
 
"Coal seam gas is not a clean energy source, merely something cleaner than brown coal as it produces slightly less greenhouse gas," says Sister Jan Barnett rsj of the Canberra-based Josephite Justice Office.
 
"The rapid increase in licences for the exploration and mining of coal seam gas has enormous implications for our farmers, farmlands and rural communities as well as many regional towns and even cities such as Sydney," she says pointing to proposals to mine coal seam gas in heavily built-up areas such as St Peters, Rosebery and Eastern Creek.
 
 
Cath News

Hunter minefield



The Chapman Family
 
ON January 10, 2011, NSW Department of Trade and Investment executive director for mineral resources Brad Mullard wrote a letter to the Chapman family of Appletree Flat.
 
He told them the department had been requested to issue a permit giving Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd access to the Chapman property to carry out an environmental assessment, and it was the department's intention to issue the permit.
 
Any dispute with the issued permit "should be referred to the Land and Environment Court for resolution", the Chapmans were told.
 
By that time the NSW Labor government minister who approved the Doyles Creek exploration licence, Ian Macdonald, had resigned from parliament and was being described as the "disgraced" former minister, over travel issues.
 
The public already knew the Doyles Creek exploration licence was granted to a company part-owned by a mate of Macdonald's, the former union boss John Maitland.
 
 
Newcastle Herald

Arrow Energy says staying away from the Scenic Rim is sensible

Arrow Energy have put a hold on exploration for coal seam gas in the Scenic Rim.
Heidi Ross from "Keep the Scenic Rim scenic" spoke to Steve Austin

Click Here to go to Audio


Mornings with Steve Austin
612 ABC Brisbane

Comminuty Meeting : Ipswich

The next community meeting about the toxic dump at New Chum will be on the 15th September. 1pm-3pm. School of Arts Hall, Redbank.
 
An aboriginal woman who lives close to the toxic dump and whose 1yr old baby has been scarred for life because of it, will be in attendence. She will be showing everyone there, the horrific scars on her baby's body from when he was two months old and was covered in rashes from the chemicals/toxins from the landfill. She will also be explaining the extent to which many people living close to the dump are sick and covered in rashes and sores.

Update from Toxic Tours Ipswich

Ipswich City Council, and its representatives, are still refusing to acknowledge the harm that it, along with the state govrernment, has done to Ipswich residents.
 
Both levels of government have allowed over one hundred CSG mines to be placed in and around Ipswich; they have allowed CSG pipes to run throughout Ipswich suburbs; they have allowed the largest toxic dumps in the Southern Hemisphere to be placed close to resident's homes; they have just approved the 2nd gas-fired power station to be built at Swanbank; they have zoned over one-third of Ipswich's land mass "high-impact industrial" (which contains noxious and hazardous activities - "noxious" means harmful to humans).
 
 If the Ipswich City Council wants Toxic Tours Ipswich to stop showing community members how dangerous it is to live in Ipswich, then they should get rid of the CSG mines, close down the toxic dumps, close down the existing gas-fired power station and invest in renewable energy sources, not allow the 2nd gas-fired power station to go ahead and rezone Ipswich - so that it's not comprised of hazardous and harmful industrial activities. Signed Dr Patricia Petersen.

 

Friday, August 31

Land use and the National Food Plan

Australia faces the challenge of generating a secure food future with limited arable land so how agriculture and other interests, like mining, co-exist is a serious question for agriculture's long term future.
 
Land use has been a contentious topic in the Margaret River, a site for a recent National Food Plan community consultation.
 
Farmers here fought to stop a push into farmland by coal mining interests.
 
 
ABC Rural

Yoko Ono, son launch anti-fracking coalition in NY



Yoko Ono, left, and her son Sean Lennon, right, listen during an interview, following the launch of a coalition of artists opposing hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 in New York. Lennon and Ono have joined the coalition called Artist Against Fracking to lobby Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban the practice of drilling for gas in New York. Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP
NEW YORK (AP) — Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, on Wednesday launched a coalition of artists, musicians and filmmakers who oppose hydraulic fracturing in New York state.
 
The formation of the group Artists Against Fracking was announced at a news conference in Manhattan with Ono, Lennon and Mark Ruffalo, who has long been outspoken on the issue. Other celebrities joining the coalition's cause include Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin.
 
The group's formation comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to decide whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing — known as hydrofracking, or fracking — after four years of studying its health and environmental impacts. The process uses millions of gallons of chemically treated water to blast open gas-rich shale deposits deep underground.
 
Ono and Lennon are calling on the governor to ban drilling in New York, which they said can cause gas wells to leak harmful methane into water supplies. They said their group has requested a meeting with Cuomo to discuss the issue.
 
 
SFGate.com