How you can help

Posted on July 13th, by CCAG in Agriculture, CCAG, Coal, Environment, How to Help, Media, Political, Shenhua. 2 comments

Since Hunt’s decision to conditionally approve the Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine, the petition on change.org has over 42,000 signatures and we have received plenty of support through the media. We MUST build on this momentum!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

If you think the Shenhua Watermark Coal Project should not be approved you can do ALL of the following:
1. Contact Mike Baird and let him know that he should not approve this new coal mine
2. Contact Tony Abbott and let him know that this project should not go ahead
3. Sign and circulate to everybody you know the change.org petition
4. Circulate this email to ALL your friends, family and colleagues who would think THIS MINE IS A DUMB IDEA!

Why do the Liverpool Plains need protecting??? Watch this video to find out

TOGETHER WE CAN prevent the government … Read More »

Repeat offender Santos stuffs up in the Pilliga AGAIN

Posted on March 10th, by CCAG in Agriculture, CSG, Environment, Media, Newspaper, Santos, Water. No Comments

The EPA hands out little more than a slap on the wrist to Santos for uranium contamination of aquifers near the Pilliga. The offence has attracted a mere $1500 fine, which the EPA claims reflects the environmental damage. Doubtful…. See the full SMH article.

This is after being fined $52,500 earlier in the year for failing to report a spill in the Pilliga. See full article.


EPBC Amendment Passes

Posted on June 21st, by CCAG in CCAG, Coal, Community, CSG, Environment, Media, Political, Science, Water. No Comments

The ‘water-trigger’ legislation which Tony Windsor has fought hard for over the past few years has finally been passed to become law. This monumental piece of legislation was passed through the Senate yesterday, Thursday June 20, 2013.
This is huge win for water, with CSG and mining projects now requiring the green light from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee to ensure that these projects will not damage water resources.
This process will allow the Federal Government to step in where State Government has all too often been both the consenting body and a major beneficiary of such projects.
“Federal oversight based on independent science will help protect Australia’s most productive farmland from potential damage and encourage mining companies to pursue projects with lower risk profiles. After seven year fighting alongside local communities for a more balanced mining approvals process, I know farmers and … Read More »

Northern Tablelands’ candidates respond to weight of community concern around coal and CSG

Posted on May 25th, by SOSLP in Coal, CSG, Media, Political. No Comments

Media Release
North West Alliance
22nd May 2013

All candidates except Nationals candidate Adam Marshall have shown support for a moratorium on coal seam gas mining until more scientific research is conducted. Statements about these matters were made in response to questions put to all candidates by the North West Alliance.

“The questions asked candidates whether they supported a moratorium on unconventional gas development and new coal mines or expansions until rigorous scientific studies have been completed” said Bea Bleile, spokesperson for Armidale Action on Coal Seam Gas and Mining.

“Candidates were asked whether they will support a proper health impact assessment into proposed coal and gas exploration and mining in the local area and ‘no-go’ zones for mining in productive agricultural areas, important groundwater sources and high conservation value lands.

“The final question was ‘Will you publicly advocate for NSW and Federal Governments to implement … Read More »

North West Alliance grows, new groups join to protect the region

Posted on May 14th, by SOSLP in Coal, CSG, Media. No Comments

Media Release
14 May 2013

A weekend meeting in Narrabri of the North West Alliance resulted in four new community groups joining up to help protect the region from coal seam gas and open cut coal mining. The growth comes amidst growing concern about the impacts of coal seam gas and coal on health, water resources, agriculture and bushland.

The meeting falling on Mother’s Day afternoon did not deter the enthusiastic attendees who celebrated the efforts of the many mothers who are part of the alliance.

“We were happy to spend our Mother’s Day afternoon working together to ensure our children have a bright and healthy future in the North West, where our water resources and lands are protected from damaging coal seam gas and open cut coal mine expansions,” said North West Alliance member and mother Carolyn Bishop.

“We are spurred on by the … Read More »

Expert Report Finds Shenhua’s Mine Plan Lacks Basic Detail and ‘Understates Environmental Risk’

Posted on May 14th, by CCAG in Agriculture, CCAG, Coal, Environment, Media, Science, Shenhua, Soils, Water. No Comments

An independent environmental report has identified a litany of deficiencies, missing data, and failures to meet basic planning requirements in plans lodged by the Chinese mining giant Shenhua for a major coal mine on the Liverpool Plains.

The report, by the internationally respected consultants Earth Systems, has found there are such major gaps in baseline data on water quality and geochemistry that “…it is not possible to fully assess environmental impacts”.

It says not only does Shenhua’s 325-page EIS dedicate just a single page to its risk assessment which “appears to understate the likely impacts and risks” but has also uncovered the fact that Shenhua’s plans involve mining on the iconic floodplains – a clear breach of its exploration licence.

CCAG spokesman Tim Duddy said the Earth Systems review was damning of Shenhua’s approach to environmental protection and confirmed the community’s fears.

“From the … Read More »

Is the coal industry economically worthless?

Posted on May 7th, by SOSLP in Coal, Media. No Comments

By David Shearman on 1 May 2013
Renew Economy

A report released on April 24 by the Australian coal industry, Adding value to the Australian Economy, unsurprisingly documents only one side of the ledger. It is perhaps more surprising that this one-sided report has some academic imprimatur, when review of the international literature reveals a very different picture.

The complete picture shows coal is expensive. The cost of legacy coal assets may appear cheap to the consumer but the community pays the true cost in many other ways; this article details the health costs.

Coal mining and combustion have harmful impacts on land, water and air quality all of which can be costed. There is evidence from renowned economists that these costs, particularly those of air pollution, render the net value of the industry as neutral or negative.

A study on the true cost of … Read More »

Christine Milne, leader of the Greens, pledges support for Agriculture

Posted on April 25th, by SOSLP in Agriculture, CSG, Media, Political. No Comments

24 APRIL, 2013

Accompanied by leader of the Greens, Christine Milne, Cate Faehrmann, who is aiming to win a seat in the Senate in the September Federal Election, and Jeremy Buckingham returned to the Liverpool Plains today to hear the concerns of farming families in this unique area.

When bad weather recently caused Jeremy to abandon a planned helicopter trip to the Liverpool Plains, he promised to return. Today shows he is clearly a man of his word.

Representatives from several local groups gathered at a woolshed in the Mullaley district to welcome the Greens representatives.  Set high on the western slopes of the Liverpool Plains with a panoramic view to the east, the venue offered a perfect backdrop for those present to hear what Christine had to say.

“In a short and well received address, Christine Milne spoke of her … Read More »

Tide Turns – Half a Million Hectares on the Liverpool Plains Protected from CSG

Posted on April 22nd, by SOSLP in Agriculture, CSG, Environment, Media, SOS. No Comments

Media Release

Communities across the North West of NSW have come together to protect their groundwater, farmlands, urban areas and the environment in which they live from Coal Seam Gas mining. A simple survey is being conducted “Do you want your land and road CSG Free?”

“With  an  overwhelming  majority  of  95.9%  of  community  members  rejecting  CSG  across  local districts comprising 515,000 Ha on the Liverpool Plains, the results are pouring in. More results are expected soon.” said Phil Laird from the Lock the Gate Alliance.

“Road  signs  that  state  “CSG  FREE,  Protected  by  the  Community”  are  being  raised  on  our regions  roads  as  house  by  house,  road  by  road,  community  by  community  the  people  of  the North West declares the region to be off limits to Santos and their drilling program for coal seam gas” he said.

“The  ‘People  Power’  within  … Read More »

Santos to build workers camp – NVI 11/4/13

Posted on April 17th, by CCAG in CSG, Media, Newspaper, Santos. No Comments

The Namoi Valley Independent has reported that Santos is seeking approval to build a temporary workers camp south west of Gunnedah on private property on Voca Road, which runs from Curlewis to Wandobah.

This move is in stark contrast with the actions of locals, who are moving to close the roads to CSG.

The Council should consider this very carefully….

Land Biography

Posted on July 16th, by rooify in Community, How to Help, Media. No Comments

Robbie van Hemert, Natural History Illustrator and artist, has launched her idea of a Land Biography.Robbie’s concept of a Land Biography is aimed at creating a lasting visual record of significant Australian country.She recognises the importance of the Caroona region as a highly productive food growing region and sees the initiative of the community to create a blockade in 2008 as changing the place of agriculture in Australia forever. She sees the purpose of the Land Biography as raising public awareness to the significance of this region to our food and fibre production.The Liverpool Plains is well known for its exceptional soils, reliable rainfall and water resources which makes this region a strategic area in Australia for food production.The first Land Biography in the series, entitled the Majestic Foodplains Project will be a two year rigorous research program, followed by … Read More »


Posted on February 16th, by rooify in Agriculture, CSG, Environment, Media. No Comments

CSG production is still continuing in the Pilliga even though there is a risk that the recent 10,000 litre spill is not a one-off spill and may be still continuing in one of the last of the great temperate woodland left in NSW. Environmentalists are not only calling for the NSW Government to shut down the Santos operation at Pilliga but to suspend all coal seam gas exploration licences following the saline spill. Soil and water samples taken six months after the Pilliga spill show a high level of lead, arsenic, chromium, salts and petrochemicals. Hear more on the toxic spill by accessing the following links.

“they don’t give a stuff”

Posted on November 2nd, by rooify in Agriculture, CCAG, Coal, Community, CSG, Environment, How to Help, Media, Water. No Comments

“The Government is broke and they don’t give a stuff about the Farmers”…..
That was how broadcaster Alan Jones concluded the Food Forum held at Gunnedah Town Hall on the 12th October, calling on more people to protest and said “it was up to us to fight for food security”.

Key speakers included clinical psychologist, Dr Wayne Somerville, who warned of the psychological effects for rural communities under the threat of CSG expansion. Dr Pauline Roberts, health expert and until recently a resident of the Liverpool Plains, advocated activism as the only thing that will stop this madness. Drew Hutton of ‘Lock the Gate Alliance’, battling CSG in Queensland, warned that the Liverpool Plains in 2012/2013 could look similar to todays Chinchilla, with over 4,000 gas wells. “The Darling Downs will not only have 40,000 wells, but 20 to 30 coal mines … Read More »

Excuse me?

Posted on June 14th, by rooify in Community, Media, Political. No Comments

Revelations overnight as to the NSW State Government position on mining on the Liverpool Plains have dealt another blow to coal and gas development-weary landholders . To use a cliche term, reports of the death of Labors infamous Part 3A “are greatly exaggerated”.

Responding, Deputy Premier Stoner disingenuously sought to paint the document release in purely political terms, claiming the new Government has not mislead the community vis a vie the Namoi Water Study. He further asserts that the Water Study is only ‘a desk top study ‘ and therefore is not relevant to the huge Shenhua Breeza mine, and a ‘site specific’ study is more relevant.

CCAG has been seeking meetings with the relevant Ministers since the march election to reconfirm their explicit pre-election assurances to respect the Water Study, and to delay new mining developments until the study release. However, … Read More »

Save the Pilliga!

Posted on May 24th, by rooify in Agriculture, CSG, Media. No Comments

As Rosemary Nankivell, CCAG’s gas spokesperson says, Coal Seam Gas is in the news everywhere these days. With Arrow Energy having another well blowout, on the Darling Downs, calls for shutdowns and moratoriums are being heard clearly down in political circles.

While CCAG welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement of a 60 day freeze on new exploration licenses for coal and gas, it’s only a start. It comes as news of the NFF fighting fund financial backing of a Queensland farmer challenge to Gas Company and State Government mining approvals. This NFF backing was critical too in CCAG’s recent successful challenge to NSW unfair mining exploration laws.

Locally the Pilliga is threatened by a reportedly planned 550 gas wells, and networked pipelines across the black soil Liverpool Plains. And as the cartoon shows, Santos cannot accurately find the Scrub for the trees.

Sky Not Falling In

Posted on March 12th, by rooify in Radio. No Comments

Contrary to hysterical media reports from the mining industry this week, the sky is not going to fall in because of the Brown & Alcorn decision this week in the Supreme Court.

Her Honour Justice Schmidt effectively pointed out in her decision that the Mining Act was reasonable, sensible, and perfectly clear.  However, the miners did not comply with it as they should, and now they are required to do so.

This issue is as much about blatant non-compliance with the Mining Act as it is about consulting all affected parties.  Calls now for the Mining Act to be changed beg the question why have laws at all if there are no consequences for flouting them, and no government department is monitoring compliance?

In this situation, landholders and rural communities have become the de facto monitors (as many coal communities already know to … Read More »

Farmer victim of Planning Laws

Posted on June 7th, by rooify in Newspaper. No Comments

The Australian newspaper reports a Mudgee grazier is a victim of new NSW Government planning powers granting the Minister absolute authority.

Out in the Open:

Posted on May 27th, by rooify in Newspaper. No Comments

The Minister for Mines, NOT primary industries

 It’s official. The allegedly schizophrenic Minister for Primary Industries and Mining is no longer stuck between a piece of corn and a hard piece of coal. Ian Macdonald is not even pretending to do anything positive to support food production in this country any more. As far as he is concerned, mining comes first and he is only now wearing one hat, that of Minister for Mines.

As the Australian newspaper reported on the 27th of May, even Judge Tobias of the Supreme Court was surprised. [By the time judges get to the Supreme Court they’ve usually seen enough government shenanigans to be shock proof] The Judge was moved enough to say he faced “ the odd situation of a minister giving away to another minister his powers”. Yes, the Minister for Mines gladly gave … Read More »