Queensland Libs Get It – What about NSW?
With an election in the offing, the LNP has been listening to country people and has pledged to identify Prime Agricultural Land in Queensland and protect it from mining and urban encroachment. Opposition Leader Lawrence Springboard said this week: “We’re willing to put in a planning regime to ensure we can protect what is the best farmland … in Australia from disruptive mining development. We believe the mining industry is extremely important but we also believe that it’s absolutely stupid to have disruptive open-cut mining … in an area which is largely the most prime agricultural land in all of Queensland.”
Mr Springborg cited Haystack Plain and the Darling Downs area of Felton as two prime agricultural areas currently under threat from destructive coal mining. So QLD Libs get it, the Federal government which is in the middle of a Senate … Read More »
BHP purchases sensitive floodplain land, CCC the last to know?
Further exposing the dysfunctionality of the Caroona Community Consultative Committee, BHP denied recently purchasing land which includes the Mooki River around the time that it was indeed purchasing this land.
Using the standard modus operandi of mining companies in ‘exploration’, BHP have paid over-the-odds for this land suggesting that its water assets were highly prized. After all, BHP have repeatedly stated they can not mine under the floodplain.
Will the Mooki River be used to cool a power station as their own proposal stated – a proposal that BHP’s GM said he knew nothing about? Can we believe anything BHP tell the CCC when they appear confused over the simplest of matters? Why are floodplain properties with water of interest when BHP say they can’t mine there? What do they have planned for our River, the Caroona water supply and the … Read More »
SOSLP brief Parliamentarians about Protecting Prime Ag Land
Carol Mackerras and Pauline Roberts of SOS Liverpool Plains spent two days inside Parliament House last week presenting their concerns about food security to MPs and Senators as part of the annual Australian Women in Agriculture delegation.
City and rural representatives in both houses were given briefings about Prime Agricultural Land and why it needs protection from inappropriate gas and coal-mining development. Ministers, Senators and MPs from both sides have requested further information and are being invited to visit our black soil country to see for themselves the Liverpool Plains’ contribution to Australia’s food security.
[Download the SOSLP new facts brochure here]
Mine feasibility questioned but Farming Powers Ahead
Engineering company Connell Hatch, (Aurecon) have been awarded contracts by BHP to undertake mine feasibility studies at Caroona. However, one well-placed industry insider intimated that without the flood plain mining, the Caroona “greenfield” site [sic] may not actually be a viable mine…
Whilst the mining bubble continues to bust, farming on ‘greenfields’ (or in our case the ‘flat black’) again increased its contribution to GDP. According to a recent NFF report, farming already “underpins 12% of GDP” keeping Australia out of recession and this percentage is set to rise again in 2009/10 as world demand for food grows.
Farming’s next generation are also enthusiastically fighting for Food Security, see these two new U-Tube videos by Felix Nankivell and Hugh McKellar.
Shame on Shenhua: Sham Session.
Breeza hall was packed to overflowing with farmers,consultants, media, local and federal politicians, and local indigenous representatives to hear Shenhua Watermark in a stage-managed, feel good, patronising session.
Questions were posed on access agreements, zero harm responsibility, precautionary mining principles, cross country water and flood flows, power station siting, flora, fauna and aboriginal sites but mostly were deflected or ambiguously answered. The GHD Shenhua project team personified the engineering project development rather than the notional Exploration Lease and parried questions on drilling or excluding the black soil plains, while simultaneously declaring absolutely no intentions of mining there.
Many of the audience, having heard BHP’s similar claims to environmental responsibility at Caroona, were sceptical and wary of Shenhua’s sincerity. Shenhua is described on the Hong Kong stock exchange as a coal and electric power generation company.
Coal Waste Residues Impact Food Safety
Meat & Livestock Australia are worried about coal mine waste residues. In their Risk Assessment Audit, which ensures Australian meat production is clean and safe, free from chemical residues they ask (Q7): “Do stock have access to leaking electrical transformers, capacitors, hydraulic equipment or coal mine wastes?
They go on to say that carcinogenic PCBs, very persistent industrial chemicals, “have been found in soil below leaking electrical transformers, in the oil leaking from capacitor starts on larger electric motors, on former coal mining leases and in materials such as coal washery wastes (chitter) that have been brought on to farms for use as road base of stockyard surfaces”.
So, the MLA know that coal mine waste contains nasties that should not be in the food chain. Yet the mining companies tell us that ‘food production’ and mining can co-exist.
If the Australian … Read More »
GAS – The Great Aquifer Sucker
Santos merely ticked a few more boxes this week with its latest hastily-arranged ‘community consultation’, a highly stage-managed event to look at bore sites by a few selective invitees. A personal report from one of them can be found here.Having extensively researched the effects of coal seam gas wells, in Australia and overseas, on water quality and quantity – the community remains convinced and very concerned that gas mining on the Liverpool Plains will do irreparable damage to our aquifer systems. Our new sign says it all. [signs now available @ Agracom Quirindi]
Carbon Capture & Storage is “just not doable”
Not a good week for the dinosaur mining industry in the news.
Graham Brown, a well-respected, ex-coal miner from the Hunter Valley, pointed out that “Carbon Capture and Storage is a complete waste of tax payers money”, and that the mining industry knows it but is happy to have the tax payers foot the bill. He maintains, as many do, that our tax dollars would be better spent on ramping up the green collar power industries creating real, sustainable jobs, rather than pouring more money into knowingly hopeless schemes.
Former NSW Sustainability Commissioner Peter Newman advised the Rudd Government to move away from coal (presumably because it’s unsustainable!) and “all the Minerals Councils are to be merged’ according to a report in The Age to “centralise their lobbying power”.
Their cash-strapped ‘supporters’ are clearly feeling the pinch or maybe not getting … Read More »
Water Study Welcomed As Farmers Rally Outside NSW Parliament To Protect Prime Farmland
After a three year battle, the Caroona community has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of an independent water study of the Namoi catchment to ensure the risks to the Liverpool Plains aquifer systems are fully understood prior to any mining operations being approved.
The decision came as more than 200 farmers rallied outside the NSW Parliament in support of a Greens amendment to the Mining Act 1992 to prevent any mining or exploration anywhere in areas designated as prime agricultural lands. Despite Labor’s pathetic attempts to delay debate on the Bill, debate ensued in the afternoon session with packed public galleries of farmers in the Upper House.
After fiery debate, with the Coalition and several independents eloquently supporting the Greens quoting from farmers’ emails, compared to improbable statements and politicking by a clearly rattled Minister Macdonald, this amendment to the Mining Act … Read More »
Fantastic Community Support for SOSLP
The SOS Liverpool Plains group had wonderful support for their cake stall held in Quirindi on Saturday 2nd May.
With perfect weather and a good crowd gathered for the annual Rally and Swap meet, the cake stall proved to be popular with locals and visitors alike. The stall was not just a fund raising opportunity, but a chance to talk to some of the locals and visitors about the threats posed to the continued productivity of our farming community by coal and gas exploration. Raising awareness about the pollution and destruction coal and gas mining causes to aquifers and soils is a very high priority for the SOS group.
With the very generous support shown by the community, we will continue lobbying governments and businesses about the inappropriateness of mining such highly productive agricultural country.