Coal – a toxic brew.

Posted on May 30th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

Coal is not just a source of carbon, but also contains a mix of toxic minerals that are released when coal is dug up. These are liberated into our environment via coal dust, (ending up in our drinking water and the air we breathe) and by the burning of coal in power stations.


These heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. It may be argued that these are only present in very small amounts, lead for example is present at around 9 parts per million (ppm), but this equates to 9g of lead per tonne of coal. With each uncovered coal train wagon that passes through our towns carrying nearly 100t of coal, there is nearly 1kg of lead within each wagon’s load. Current trains pull up to 42 wagons and there are many of these uncovered trains going … Read More »

Report on coal lashes Iemma

Posted on May 28th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

Marian Wilkinson Environment Editor, SMH May 29, 2008

THE Iemma Government needs to confront the state’s lucrative $8.5 billion coal industry over its greenhouse gas emissions and the massive land subsidence it causes, according to a leaked report from its own climate-change department.

The confidential report by officers in the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) states bluntly that greenhouse gas emissions, “are still not addressed adequately in the development assessment process and mine companies are not made responsible for their greenhouse gas emissions”.

It says coalmining contributes 9 per cent to NSW’s greenhouse gas emissions and argues “the real cost of coal in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions should be addressed when considering mining approvals”.

The reports says the climate-change department should be part of the approval process, which may pit its minister, Verity Firth, against the ministers who approve … Read More »

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 »

More than just dollars on a balance sheet

Posted on May 26th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

It appears that the rumours, for once, are true.  “Doona Vale”, bounded on three sides by State Forest, has been sold to BHP.  The motives of the owners, previously fervent supporters of CCAG, are disappointing, but clear.  Experience from other coal mine-devastated communities suggests this is the usual ‘divide and conquer’ modus operandi adopted by mining companies – including ‘handouts’ to some, but not all, community groups, as if splashing cash around can make up for the cracking of aquifers, dust, noise and pollution 24/7 of their coal mining operations.



However, maybe we have got the wrong end of the stick. Perhaps BHP have decided to go into farming? After all they’re buying fertilizer companies. Has it been acknowledged by them, at last, the vital part that the Liverpool Plains, and its underground water supplies, contributes to the food security and prosperity of … Read More »

Response to Advocate May 2008

Posted on May 19th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments


Dear Sir,

 Let’s stop beating about the bush. The development of a coalmine and all its associated infrastructure by BHP Billiton is one of the biggest issues that this community will ever face. No-one can keep kidding themselves that “it’s just exploration”, or that BHP Billiton (BHP) is not clear about its future plans. In a recent letter to Caroona Coal Action Group (CCAG), Marcus Randolph, BHP Billiton Chief Executive Ferrous and Coal, confirmed this, referring to the development of “our Caroona coal mine”.

 With such an important issue, the need for open, honest and informed debate is paramount. Our  local paper is a good forum to air such debates. I am disappointed, however, that the front page article of “The Quirindi Advocate” 14th May doesn’t get it right.  We must ensure that we get … Read More »

Critical Concerns – water

Posted on May 18th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments


Coal mining has clearly been shown to wreck underground and above ground water supplies  which are an integral part of any community’s lifeblood. Coal mining uses huge amounts of water to wash the coal free of ‘nasty contaminants’ and the resulting ‘acid mine drainage’ (AMD) is highly poisonous to the environment. Good water turned into very bad. Our government’s own report into AMD  show how badly this now heavily-polluted waste water is managed and how ineffective clean up technologies are.


There are over 40 groups in NSW campaigning against the damage that coal mining and especially long walling causes to our water systems. RiversSOS, an umbrella organisation, representing 40+ coal-affected communities in NSW, has made several films on the devastation. The first film, Rivers of Shame, can be viewed for free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VGyMvBoO2I The second film, Rivers of Shame II, … Read More »

Not the full monty….

Posted on May 17th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

CCAG were disappointed that, despite media reports to the contrary, they did not have the opportunity to respond to a story published by Quirindi Advocate on 14^th May concerning the ruling of the Mining Warden’s Court prior to it going to print. Information in the article was inaccurate, misleading, and with little factual base, and the Advocate has agreed to publish both an apology and a correction by the CCAG on Wednesday 21^st .

Tim Duddy commented on the ABC here.

 In addition, Andrew Higgins of CCAG speaking to Caitlin Furlong on ABC Rural’s Country Hour on 15th May, reiterated that legal process is by no means complete and until it is and due process is followed, CCAG will continue to fight for landholder’s rights to deny access.”



Coal Ain’t Clean and never will be

Posted on May 16th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

So the Rudd government budget has maintained John Howard’s pledge to give $500 million of your tax dollars to develop initiatives for ‘clean coal’. Even though the US Department of Energy has just pulled out of its $1.8 billion ‘clean coal’ demonstration project citing “ballooning”costs, we’re going to bravely go where others have already given up. 

Instead of chasing the myth of CO2 sequestration that many scientists agree is neither feasible nor timely with respect to global warming, we could use that money to wean state governments off their coal royalties.

Someone’s got to help them with their addiction!  Then they might be able to make really clean choices for their people, their environment and … Read More »

Cakes Vs Coal!

Posted on May 10th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

SOS Liverpool Plains, a group of women from all walks of life – city, town and country – held a traditional cake stall as a fund raiser for CCAG last Saturday in the centre of Quirindi. Thanks to the townsfolk’s generosity and the cake bakers’ finesse, they succeeded in raising over $900 to support the CCAG’s education programme to increase local awareness, based on other communities direct experience, of the negative impacts of coal mining on a community’s health, wealth and water supplies. 



The ladies certainly heard on Saturday what the townsfolk thought of the black, toxic dust pollution being spread by the coal trains and were pleased to hear of their overwhelming support for an unpolluted rural life. SOS … Read More »