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


A Question?

 
 
The Wildnerness Society, W.A

Thursday, August 30

Workers made to sleep under stars


A housing shortage is forcing workers in Chinchilla to pitch tents on vacant land
 
RESIDENTS of Chinchilla are battling "tent city" syndrome, with an increasing number of workers and families unable to secure proper housing.
 
The Surat Basin Property Group has been working combat the spread of makeshift accommodation, but the company says demand is increasingly outpacing supply.
The resources sector continues to boom and rental vacancies continue to plummet.
Statistics from SQM Research shows Chinchilla has a rental vacancy rate of just 1.9 per cent, higher than other popular mining regions in Western Australia and Queensland including Karratha (4.3%) and Moranbah (5.1%).
Long time Chinchilla local and SBPG director Greg West said the sight of tradesmen sleeping in tents on house construction sites in the middle of town indicated how tight accommodation in the resource-rich region was.
 
 
Toowoomba Chronicle

Peru's Conga Gold Mine Project Opposed By Local Farmers


In this Aug. 21, 2012 photo, residents protest the Conga gold and silver mining project as they march past the Mamacocha Lagoon in Mamachocha, Peru, in the highlands of the northern state of Cajamarca. The mostly subsistence farmers who live downstream of what would become Peru's biggest open-pit gold mine oppose the project, known as Conga, for one simple reason: Water. The project would destroy four mountain lakes in order to extract more than 200 tons of gold. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia).
 
LA ENCANADA, Peru — The farmers who live downstream of what would become Peru's biggest open-pit gold mine oppose the project, known as Conga, for one simple reason: Water.
 
"Everything would dry up," says German Sangay, the mayor of Combayo, if Congas is not halted.
 
The project on 11.5 square miles (more than 3,000 hectares) of highlands in the northern state of Cajamarca would destroy four mountain lakes in order to extract more than 200 tons of gold.
 
The consortium that runs it, and whose majority owner is U.S.-based Newmont Mining Co., says it will build four reservoirs to replace the lakes.
 
But local elected officials including Sangay aren't persuaded. Combayo's nearly 4,000 peasant farmers draw on 30 different springs to grow corn and potatoes and raise cattle and sheep and fear Conga would taint and diminish them, he says.

Read More

Huffington Post Green

Exoma Energy, CNOOC targeting shale oil and gas with eighth Galilee Basin well



Exoma Energy (ASX: EXE) and CNOOC are continuing their aggressive drilling campaign to unlock the hydrocarbon potential of their Galilee Basin acreage with the spud of their eight well.

Rocky Creek-1 is located in ATP 999P about 110 kilometres from Longreach, Queensland. It will log and core the shale oil and gas potential of the Toolebuc Shale.

Analysis of core samples will provide additional information on the distribution of shale properties which will continue appraisal of the shale oil & gas resource identified by the Bessie, Euston and Katherine wells in 2011.

The well will be drilled to a total depth of 1,025 metres with the top of the Toolebuc Shale expected to be intersected at a depth of about 946 metres.

Once it is drilled, cored and logged, Rocky Creek-1 will be plugged and abandoned.

Exoma and CNOOC are drilling 22 wells to appraise the coal seam gas, conventional oil and shale oil and gas resources in their acreage, which covers 27,000 square kilometres.

The wells are designed to deliver a strategic understanding of the basic geology within the 5 permits with the objective of defining the most favourable areas in which to develop reserves.

These seek to measure and map the distribution of gas within the Permian Betts Creek and Aramac Coal measures; collect further shale geological and geochemical data on the Toolebuc shale and test conventional oil prospects.

 
 
Proactive Investors

Greens predict ruin if wineries not protected

The Greens say the Hunter's vineyard area will be on the brink of ruin if it's not better protected from mining, development and coal seam gas projects.
 
Greens MP John Kaye has joined Cessnock Greens Mayoral candidate James Ryan and Council candidate David Atwell in calling for Government support for new protection legislation.
 
Mr Kaye says there is also a need to preserve the historic area of Wollombi.
 
"Wollombi is really sitting at the cusp," he said.
 
"If we don't get legislated protection for this unique village and area around in the very near future it will go and it will lose all of its special character.
 
"We're determined as Greens to make sure that doesn't happen."
 
1233 ABC Newcastle

Vic gas rig still suspended after deaths

OPERATIONS on a gas rig off the Victorian coast where two workers died remain suspended as an investigation continues. 
  
The Stena Clyde Drilling unit was operating under lease to Origin Energy, about 90km southeast of Warrnambool, when an incident on the drill floor killed two men on Monday.
 
Stena Drilling managing director Tom Welo says the company is co-operating with authorities.
 
"All operations on board the drilling unit remain suspended and both Stena Drilling and the relevant authorities are conducting thorough investigations to establish the exact cause of this tragic accident," Mr Welo said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
Stena Drilling and Origin staff are investigating the deaths, with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
 
Mr Welo said the company offered its condolences to the families and friends of the dead workers.
 
 
The Australian

'Fracking' in WA to be more tightly regulated

Western Australia's emerging unconventional gas sector, which undertakes a practice known as fracking, will be subject to Australia's toughest disclosure laws.
 
This follows changes to industry regulations.
 
Resource companies will be required to tell the State Government which chemicals they inject into the ground to release gas.
 
The practice of fracking could be used to produce tight or shale gas if several planned projects get off the ground in WA.
 
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore says it is important to establish strict laws while the industry is still young.
 
 
ABC News

Wednesday, August 29

Destroying Precious Land for Gas

ON the northern tip of Delaware County, N.Y., where the Catskill Mountains curl up into little kitten hills, and Ouleout Creek slithers north into the Susquehanna River, there is a farm my parents bought before I was born. My earliest memories there are of skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk. There are bald eagles and majestic pines, honeybees and raspberries. My mother even planted a ring of white birch trees around the property for protection.
 
A few months ago I was asked by a neighbor near our farm to attend a town meeting at the local high school. Some gas companies at the meeting were trying very hard to sell us on a plan to tear through our wilderness and make room for a new pipeline: infrastructure for hydraulic fracturing. Most of the residents at the meeting, many of them organic farmers, were openly defiant. The gas companies didn’t seem to care. They gave us the feeling that whether we liked it or not, they were going to fracture our little town.
 
 
Sean Lennon (son of John)
NY Times

A message from Stop Fracking Brisbane

 
"Wake Up Queensland" !!!
 
Did you know the Queensland Government is trying to change current mining buffer zone from peoples home of current 2 kilometre buffer to just 100 metres from homes?
 
It has been rushed through Queensland Parliament in the past week and they gave epople only 3 working days to dispite or write submissions in response, obviously we missed those three days - BRISBANE - WAKE UP, THAT'S YOU!!!   You could have a mine 100 metres from your back fence!
 
 
 
 

Moratorium on fracking 'not enough', Moorabool Environment Group warns

THE state government has put on hold all hydraulic fracturing for onshore gas exploration, but Moorabool Environment Group (MEG) says the ban does not go far enough.
 
Energy and Resources Minister Michael O'Brien last week suspended all licences for "fracking" until a national framework had been considered as part of coal seam gas reform.
 
While Moorabool Council was recently urged to sign a moratorium banning coal and coal seam gas mining, a Department of Primary Industries spokesman said coal seam gas exploration was not on the agenda for exploration company Mantle Mining. An Exergen spokesman also confirmed it was not part of their plans.
 
MEG secretary Deb Porter said it wanted a ban on all new coal projects.
 
"This is a positive step forward. However, it would have provided greater community confidence in the government if all new coal projects were part of this moratorium," she said.
 
"The partial moratorium is not enough with water resources, farmland and food security, local communities and local economies and natural biodiversity all at risk from proposed new coal developments in Bacchus Marsh and the recent announcement of mining in the Wombat State Forest."
 Melton Weekly

Apex Energy seeks extension to Illawarra CSG approvals

Apex Energy has applied for more time to drill 16 coal seam gas boreholes in the Illawarra.
 
Apex Energy's approval to drill 16 exploratory wells around Helensburgh, Darkes Forest and Maddens Plains expires next month.
 
The company has applied for a new expiry date - three years after the commencement of the first bore hole, with no date specified for when drilling must begin.
 
Apex says the project has been delayed by several factors, including a complicated approval process, strong community opposition to coal seam gas and the NSW government's eagerness to allay concerns by introducing new regulations.
 
The exploration project suffered another setback earlier this year when Apex let one of its exploration licences lapse.
 
Without it, drilling cannot begin and the company is now competing for exploration rights with the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.
 
ABC News

AGL coal seam gas licence 'lawful'




OPPOSITION: Paul O'Toole of Broke speaks at a coal seam gas protest out the front of Pooles Rock Vineyard on Wollombi Road, Broke in October last year. Residents of Broke and surrounding regions gathered in protest of AGL's coal seam gas related activities in the region, including buying the vineyard where the protest was held. Picture MAX MASON-HUBERS
 
THE Land and Environment Court has rejected a challenge to AGL’s coal seam gas exploration licence in the Gloucester and Barrington Tops area, with a judge ruling that the licence was granted lawfully.
 
Justice Rachel Pepper said it was ‘‘common knowledge that the exploration for, and use of, coal seam gas is contentious’’, but she said her task was to judge the merits of the decision granting the licence in accordance with the law.
 
‘‘This judgment will, however, do little to quell the current anxiety surrounding the coal seam gas mining debate,’’ she said yesterday.
 
‘‘In this regard it must be understood that the merits, or otherwise, of the use of this resource are irrelevant to the issues raised for determination by these judicial review proceedings ...’’
 
The Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance challenged the NSW Planning Assessment Commission’s decision to grant a licence to AGL Upstream Infrastructure Investments to extract, process and transport coal seam gas from the Gloucester Basin, the court heard.
 
 
Newcastle Herald

Fracking: what's the deal?

The Victorian Government, very much out of the blue, announced a ban on the mining process called fracking late last week.
 
No-one saw it coming, not even the five Victorian shire councils and community groups opposed to coal seam gas exploration (CSG) and calling for a mining moratorium.
 
Fracking is the process of pumping highly pressurised gas, like liquid nitrogen, down an exploration well into coal, shale or rock deposits containing hydrocarbon gas.
 
The hydrocarbon will not flow on its own because it is bound up in the structure.
 
The pressurised gas expands and fractures the structure, releasing the hydrocarbon so it can escape up the well to the surface.
 
 
ABC News

Court to hand down decision on proposed Gloucester gas wells

Residents say today's decision in the Land and Environment Court over a challenge to AGL's plans to develop a coal seam gas field in the Gloucester Valley could have ramifications for communities across the country.
 
AGL was granted approval by the Planning Assessment Commission to develop 330 wells.
 
Local landholders are concerned about the potential environmental impact the wells will have and have called for an independent hydro geological study of the entire Gloucester Basin.
 
Chairman of the Barrington Gloucester Stroud Preservation Alliance says since the appeal was lodged, public concern over CSG mining has only increased.
 
"It's not just a big day for Gloucester," he said.
 
 
1233 ABC Newcastle

Coal Seam Gas

Is Ryde (NSW) covered by a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) permit?

Did the community have any say on whether CSG exploration and drilling would be allowed in their LGA? Would most people in the community be aware that their area is covered by a CSG permit?
 
Coal Seam Gas mining has been formally opposed by many councils with Greens councillors.
 
Sydney councils that have passed motions against CSG include Ashfield , Burwood, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Randwick, Marrickville and City of Sydney.
 
Coal Seam Gas is often mined near waterways and aquifers and on agricultural land, threatening water quality and food security. Coal Seam Gas mining is no cleaner than coal mining when the effects are measured over a twenty year period and it is just as strong a contributor to climate change.
 
Queensland does not allow CSG mining within 2km of residences. NSW should introduce the same limitation.
 
 
Ryde-Epping Greens

All invited to Oakdale CSG forum



Stop CSG Sydney Water Catchment group will host a community forum.

WOLLONDILLY shire residents alarmed about coal seam gas mining are urged to attend a special community forum.

The Stop CSG Sydney Water Catchment group will host the forum on Tuesday, September 4 from 7pm.

Southern Highlands Coal Action Group's Peter Martin has returned from his recent US "frack-finding" tour and will be the guest speaker.

The forum is being held at Oakdale Workers Club.
For more information phone Nadene Seisun on 0423 821 650.

Macarthur Chronicle

Menangle Park residents want answers over AGL's new coal seam gas operation



Menangle Park residents (left to right) Tania Galway, Jordan McRitchie, Sue McRitchie, Aaron Galway and Bill Galway are opposed to a new coal seam gas operation near their homes
 
RESIDENTS and Campbelltown Council are demanding answers over a new AGL drilling operation for coal-seam gas at Menangle Park.
 
People whose homes are near the new well say they were not informed of its presence until media coverage last week.
 
Tania Galway said she had not seen a leaflet which AGL said it distributed in a letterbox drop on July 18 warning of drilling noise.
 
"The noise from the drilling is keeping us up at night and the operation is happening close to the Nepean River, which flows to Warragamba Dam," Mrs Galway said.
 
 
Macarthur Chronicle

Excellon Blockade: Mexico Conflict Highlights Shortcomings Of Canadian Mining Oversight

The blockade outside La Platosa — a high-grade, Canadian-owned silver mine in the northeastern Mexican state of Durango — is by all accounts a peaceful protest.
 
Since early July, about 70 community members have camped out on the remote, sunscorched patch of land to demonstrate against what they see as repeated breaches of contract by Excellon Resources, a small scale mining firm headquartered in Toronto.
 
Against the backdrop of a bloody labour standoff in South Africa, where 34 armed miners were recently shot dead by police, the Excellon blockade would seem a relatively auxiliary dispute.
Although the blockade has halted production at the company’s only revenue-generating asset, the demonstrators — a group of communal land owners known as Ejido La Sierrita — cite only minor disturbances. For the most part, they spend their days gathering wood, preparing meals and keeping the encampment clean. When time allows, the adults can be found playing bingo or reading newspapers, while the kids kick around a soccer ball.
 
 
Huffington Post Canada

Close your gates, Aussie urges farmers

An Aussie environmental campaigner has brought his closed-gate campaign of non-negotiation with drilling companies to Taranaki.
 
Drew Hutton addressed a group of just over 30 people at the Norfolk Hall south of Inglewood last night. The 65-year-old Australian is a central figure in stopping the advance of coal seam gas drilling and fracking in Australia and, for the last week, has been travelling New Zealand addressing groups as part of a Fracking Awareness speaking tour.
 
Examples of drilling and fracking in Taranaki are limited to oil and gas wells but Solid Energy has previously outlined the huge potential for coal seam gas drilling on a prospect it has in the north of the province.
 
Mr Hutton said coal seam gas industrialised rural land, criss-crossing it with wells, pipelines, access roads and machinery. It also upset the balance of aquifers and could poison water supplies.
 
"It looks to me like the same situation as New South Wales two or three years ago where there were rumours it was going to happen but nothing much happened and the companies were pretty tight lipped about their plans.
 
 
Taranaki News Online

Drilling site protesters charged

PROTESTERS who clashed with police at a NSW drilling site have been ordered to front court.
 
Since State Government approval was given for test drilling to take place on private land at Fullerton Cove last week, anti-coal seam gas activists have maintained a blockade.
Police were called to clear the site on Tuesday and 10 protesters who refused to leave were given infringement notices.
Two women were also charged with obstruction after allegedly locking themselves to a tractor.
Superintendent Trevor Shiels called on protestors to exercise "common sense".
"Everyone has the right to free speech and to protest. However, when this interferes with people's safety and obstructs traffic then action has to be taken," Supt Shiels said.
"We have attempted to resolve this matter peacefully and exercised our discretion in taking minimal action and with minimal force.
"However, when our directions are repeatedly ignored, we have no option but to take action. This is what happened today and this will continue to happen if the obstruction continues".
 
The Coffs Coast Advocate

Arrests as Fullerton Cove blockade ends



NOT BUDGING: Police give 95-year-old grandmother Linda Reynolds a fine at the blockade. Picture: Peter Stoop
 
A BLOCKADE at Dart Energy’s Fullerton Cove site that lasted nine days has ended with two arrests and 10 fines.
 
Fullerton Cove residents Lisa McDonald and Julie Wood were arrested yesterday after locking themselves onto a tractor yesterday and defying a police direction to leave the area.
 
 
Newcastle Herald

Monday, August 27

Introducing Frack Malaise


Pond/Farm Ruined


Overwhelming evidence now exists that the Halliburton's gas drilling process proposed for our area causes contaminated drinking water, carcinogens in the farmland and food chain, torn-up roads, risk of explosions, toxic air pollution, plummeting real estate values, and screeching noise polution.

O'Farrell must visit Western Sydney and explain secret coal seam gas well approval

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham called on Premier Barry O'Farrell to visit residents in the Western Suburb of Menangle Park, and explain why his government allowed an AGL production coal seam gas well to be approved without local residents even being notified.

"The Premier proudly took responsibility as the Minister for Western Sydney, so it is incumbent on Mr O'Farrell to explain to residents at Menangle Park, why his government allowed a coal seam gas well to be approved near their homes without any notification," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Both Campbelltown Council and the Environmental Protection Agency insisted that local residents be notified and consulted regarding the proposal for a new coal seam gas production well only 40 metres from the Nepean River, and within earshot of their homes.

"It's a disgrace that there has been no real consultation with local residents about this coal seam gas well. Although residents had been kept awake all night by noise and lights, they didn't know the cause was AGL drilling for gas until I knocked on their doors and told them what was going on.

Read More
 
Mid North Coast Greens

Woodside open to offshore Browse options

WOODSIDE Petroleum has left the door open to process gas from its Browse project offshore and abandon its controversial plant near Broome. 
  
Under an agreement announced on Monday, Royal Dutch Shell, which is the world leader in floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology, will increase its stake in the Browse joint venture to around 26 per cent, almost matching Woodside's equity holding.
 
Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman on Wednesday said a final decision on whether to build an LNG processing plant at James Price Point in the Kimberley region of Western Australia would happen in the first half of next year.
 
"For somebody like Shell to take a larger piece of a project like this, given their global technology capabilities, we see that as a real positive," Mr Coleman told a briefing after the release of the company's first half results.
 
 
The Australian (22.08.12)

Magnier saddles up for battle with miners over stud 'threat'

Tom Magnier, the son of horse-racing magnate John, is gearing up to go to war with mining bosses who have discovered a rich coal seam just 500 metres from Coolmore's prestigious Australian stud farm.
Coolmore has invested millions in developing its stud in New South Wales's famous Hunter Valley where it has a 3,340-hectare farm housing 1,000 horses.
Mr Magnier has launched a campaign to stop mining in the valley because he fears pollution from coal mining could damage the family's stud.
"I'm really concerned. This farm is surrounded by coal mines and I moved out here with my family; I've got 135 people living here, with their families," Mr Magnier said.
"The thought that the coal mines can threaten our industry like this, it's gone way too far." Coolmore has created a valuable business in the southern hemisphere that has produced a series of champions including Danehill, Encosta de Lago and Fastnet Rock.
 
 
Independent.ie

CSG water for agricultural land



A holding pond for produced water
 
 
COAL seam gas water can now be transported in underground pipelines to treatment facilities across regional Queensland to be processed and used on agricultural lands following legislation passed in parliament.
 
The method eventually will replace controversial containment ponds, which have led to leakages and contaminations in local communities.
In Queensland Parliament this week, the Mining (Streamling) Amendement Bill 2012 was passed with the aim of reducing red-tape surrounding mining exploration.
One of the changes included an amendment to the Petroleum and Gas Act 2004 to allow mining companies to take water extracted during coal seam gas activities off site.
 
 
Toowoomba Chronicle (24.08.12)

Thursday, August 23

State Government committed to CSG

Renewable energy providers were left off the guest list of an Energy Forum hosted by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) last Friday, with members of the Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas (AACSG) claiming it was nothing more than a forum for Coal Seam Gas providers and energy users.

Protesting outside the forum last Friday, spokesperson for AACSG Carmel Flint was outraged that renewable energy and the community was locked out of an invite-only Energy Forum.

“We think this forum is giving a free run to the Coal Seam Gas industry at the expense of renewable energy and the community,” said Carmel Flint. “We are really concerned to see a government agency like RDANI basically picking a winner on energy, cutting out one industry and promoting another that doesn’t even exist on the Tablelands yet and may never exist in terms of Coal Seam Gas. “Yet renewable energy is proven; New Englanders have been one of the biggest up-takers of solar panels, we have a community wind farm on the way; so it is an extraordinary step and really raises a lot of questions about what is going on inside the NSW Government.”
 
 
Armidale Independent
 

‘No go’ mining zones

GREENS MP Jeremy Bucking-ham says the NSW government has failed in 18 months to keep its pre-election promise to protect farmland and water from the impacts of mining and coal seam gas (CSG) and its strategic regional land use policy (SRLUP), tipped to be released later this week, will miss the mark.
 
Mr Buckingham has a radical solution – to start afresh with a Responsible Mining Bill that will create what he calls “no go zones” for mining on productive agricultural land.
 
It will also ban exploration, mining and gas production within two kilometres of rivers, aquifers and drinking water catchments.
 
Moreover, if Mr Buckingham succeeds in his ambitious aim of getting the bill through Parliament, power over mining and CSG development will be returned to communities with local councils able to veto mining and gas activities through local environmental plans (LEPs).
 
“I have no hope for the SRLUP,” Mr Buckingham told The Land.
 
“The rumblings from stakeholders are it is just going to deliver the green light to coal mines and CSG, it won’t deliver on the government’s key promise.
 
 
The Land

AGL gas breach blasted

THE Scenic Hills Association has condemned AGL for failing to continuously monitor air emissions at the Camden Gas Project.
 
In a statement, AGL said an internal review found it had for about three years been in breach of a requirement to perform continuous air emissions monitoring.
 
The Scenic Hills Association said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" by this breach.
 
The statement said: "We do not know who knew what in AGL or elsewhere, but it is a massive failure of a system that allows coal seam gas companies to self-monitor and self-report.
 
"Despite a massive failure of the system to monitor this industry, AGL is now being allowed to engage its own consultants to self-investigate and self-report.
 
"We are not convinced by assurances from AGL's consultants that cars are a far greater polluter in the Campbelltown area than industry."
 
 
Camden-Narellan Advertiser

Give Heffron residents a say in decision-making

Fifteen years of Labor in NSW set in motion changes that severely and negatively affected the well-being of our community. Unfortunately these regressive policies are being pursued even more aggressively by the Barry O’Farrell Coalition government.
 
Labor gave the Coalition the framework for changing planning laws to take away community say in planning decisions, commenced the privatisation of electricity assets and sale of public housing, and approved hundreds of coal seam gas mining licenses including at St Peters in the heart of Heffron.
 
Successive bad decisions on these issues by Premiers Carr, Iemma, Rees and Keneally have made it easy for the Coalition to continue on the same path. Amidst this baton passing, the Greens have been the only political voice standing up for the rights of the people of NSW.
 
The Greens and I have been campaigning with our communities against coal seam gas mining to stop an industry that is not sustainable and has massive negative impacts on our scarce water resources and productive land.
 
 
Green Left Weekly

Abandoned CSG wells 'time bombs'




A SLOW-burning fire in an abandoned coal exploration well west of Dalby has raised serious concerns potentially thousands of similar abandoned test holes littering western Queensland could become "ticking time bombs" as coal seam gas production increases.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said work would begin immediately to extinguish the fire, which was discovered by two local men on Saturday night, following a meeting of Queensland government officers, Peabody Energy (which own the neighbouring Wilkie Creek coal mine) and Arrow Energy on Tuesday.
He said officers from the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate would oversee a two-stage operation that will extinguish the shallow flame, stabilise the former exploration site and then seal it.
He said the success and timeframe of the operation would depend upon favourable weather.
It is understood the hole was drilled 32 years ago for Marathon Coal.
The fire site, which is located along a stock route, neighbours three Arrow Energy gas wells, located between 750m and 1km away on both Arrow and Western Downs property.
Among the potential sources of ignition were ambers flowing from an unauthorised rubbish burn being carried out at a council dump on Saturday afternoon, which is located only a few hundred metres from the fire site, and reported to Queensland Country Life by several landholders.
 
 
QCL

AGL starts work on Sydney coal seam gas well

THE first coal seam gas production well approved under the O'Farrell government is being drilled by energy company AGL on the edge of Sydney, about 40 metres from the banks of the Nepean River.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority and Campbelltown City Council voiced concerns about water contamination during the planning process and the company's environmental assessment warned that ''deep aquifers could cross-contaminate shallow aquifers during drilling''.
The drilling was still approved by the Planning Assessment Commission and started two weeks ago near the Menangle Park Paceway, without a public consultation process.
AGL said the concerns voiced by the company's environmental consultants and the EPA were addressed during the planning negotiations.
''Independent sources have confirmed that there are no expected impacts to beneficial aquifers,'' a spokeswoman said. Evidence from other wells in the district suggests previous drilling had not damaged aquifers and the Planning Department had accepted this, she said.
The aquifers are underground bodies of water sandwiched between layers of sandstone and drilling through these layers to get to the gas can potentially fracture them, causing fresh and dirty water to mingle.
The company's spokeswoman claimed AGL had to push on, otherwise NSW could run out of gas.
 
 
Hawksbury Gazette

UQ’s Centre for Coal Seam Gas announces first round of research projects

Measuring the impact of the coal seam gas industry on Australia's underground water supplies will be one of the initial research projects at The University of Queensland's Centre for Coal Seam Gas.

Researchers in the three-year project will analyse underground water chemistry, thereby improving conceptualisation and numerical modelling of the impacts coal seam dewatering has on aquifers at both regional and local levels.

Water is intrinsic to the coal seam gas (CSG) extraction process. Once wells have been drilled into the coal seam, water is drawn to the surface to reduce pressure and release gas.

“Incorporation of water chemistry data that is held by CSG companies into a unified database will greatly extend understanding of basin hydrology, aquifer interactions and processes controlling the water chemistry,” said lead researcher Associate Professor Sue Vink.

“The project will result in publicly available databases that identify health and environmental risk indicators, provide a baseline for assessing aquifer connectivity, and guide water re-use, treatment and re-injection options,” she said.
 
University of Qld

AGL Does It Again : Menangle Park, NSW

The State Government and a major energy company are being accused of 'mining by stealth', with a new CSG Well at Menangle Park.  Problem is that its 40m away from the Nepean River and they didnt tell anyone except Mr O Farrell. 
 

Tuesday, August 21

Squawk!




We're 4000 posts strong ... and we're still here and we're not going anywhere!
 
Take a stand people and protect our country !
 
Lock The Gate and keep it LOCKED!

Paddock methane fire fuels CSG safety fears

A methane gas fire burning in a grazing paddock in Southern Queensland has added further fuel to rural concerns about the safety of the rapidly expanding Coal Seam Gas industry.

The Basin Sustainability Alliance, a group that represents landholders and rural communities, says a grass fire sparked by gas leaking from a hole in the ground at Daandine near Dalby has reinforced fears that coal seam gas depressurisation is causing unexpected and dangerous impacts.

The leak, discovered on the weekend, follows the recent sighting of gas bubbling from a leak in the Condamine River in the same region.

The Basin Sustainability Alliance, said it was eagerly awaiting the results of a Government investigation into the latest gas leak.

 BSA Committee Member Wayne Newton, who was one of the first landholders on the scene of the Daandine incident, said he’d never seen anything like it.

“Someone had heard a hissing noise, seen the ground bubbling and emitting a blue light, by the time I got there, it was alight and the grass had caught on fire,” he said.

“We are seriously concerned that the CSG companies and the Government are not looking closely enough at what is causing the gas to find pathways and escape to the surface.”


Beef Central

Mine expansion challenge seen as test case

A LEGAL challenge to a coal mine expansion in the NSW Hunter Valley is being hailed as a test case. 
  
Rio Tinto's proposed Warkworth coal mine will involve the destruction of 574 hectares of woodland which is home to the endangered squirrel glider, the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) of NSW says.

Residents in the small township of Bulga were challenging the mine expansion in the NSW Land and Environment Court in Sydney on Monday.

About 25 people held a demonstration outside, arguing the destruction of the woodland separating the town from the existing mine would expose them to more coal dust.

NCC chief executive Pepe Clark said the woodland was home to 17 threatened species and its eradication would test a 2003 NSW law requiring miners to put aside environmentally-sensitive offset land in any expansion.


The Australian

Queensland's coal mining future drowning as exports plunge and capital programs wind back


Machinery stranded in the floodwaters at Cockatoo Coal's Baralaba mine west of Rockhampton. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: The Courier-Mail
 
THE coal industry has hit a brick wall with another major miner reviewing all its expansions as exports plunge and BHP Billiton winds back its capital program. 
  
Most thermal coal mines in Queensland are now claimed to be running at a loss.

Throughput at the ports has fallen dramatically with Dalrymple Bay down 8 per cent for the financial year and Abbot Point down 10 per cent.

The Queensland Resources Council has claimed that further job losses are certain.

It is urging the State Government to find a new way to shift a vast volume of water - the equivalent of half of Sydney Harbour - from central Queensland mines that is holding back about 25 million tonnes of production.

The water has been locked in since the 2011 floods and the industry cannot dispose of it into creeks and rivers because of environmental concerns.

The floods that filled the mines cost the industry about $7 billion and allowed US producers to take about 6 per cent of the market share.


Courier Mail

Methane leak sparks Darling Downs fire

The State Government says the former owner of a mine could be liable for any damages caused by a fire at the western Darling Downs site.

Leaking methane gas caught fire at the former coal exploration site near Dalby on Saturday.
Government officials and the mine's new owner - Arrow Energy - are investigating what caused the leak.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps says the mine may not have been capped and contained properly.

"This particular case is concerning because it's a very, very old site, and we're certainly investigating that as well," Mr Cripps said.

"That is something we're endeavouring to determine and make sure we follow up on - who's responsible for that failure to proceed under that legislation."


ABC News

Editor's Note:  Surely, if you de-pressurise a coal seam aquifer to get the gas out (as Arrow is doing nearby), logically coal seam gas is no longer held in the coal seam? This is not a natural occurrence!!   Somebody forgot to cap this exploratory hole.  Surely, the new owners of the property would have known of its existence, but didnt bother to cap it off.   You can bleet all you like Arrow that its not yours, but its on your property.  Click Here to go to Video