Over 100 Farmers were present on Thursday 27th October to launch the community blockade to stop Santos from commencing CSG pilot production at George’s Island Spring Ridge. The second day brought another 90 people to show their support. Our Farmers should be growing our food not manning blockades but the community feel they have no other choice. They are committed to protect our most valuable resources and it is a credit to them.
Kevin Anderson, the local member for Tamworth pledged his support as did Fiona Simson of NSW Famers when they called at the blockade last week. Tony and Lyn Windsor visited on the weekend and Tony is right behind us doing whatever he can in Canberra. Jeremy Buckingham Greens MP and his wife Sarah came over from Orange. Jeremy has lobbied hard against CSG. It was his initiative that … Read More »
The coal seam gas extraction saga dominates media interest, while debates continue as to its relative environmental friendliness compared to coal burning. Some commentators see farmer land rights and struggles in purely financial terms, promoting farmland and its production areas as flexible and malleable, as society’s needs change. CCAG has always, and continues to argue that prime production land and its water resources should be sacred, and should be fully quarantined from the ravages of mining activities.
As the fight to highlight these adverse mining consequences continues, CCAG congratulates its foundation executive member Fi Simson on her appointment as president of NSW Farmers.
CCAG welcomes the announcement that NSW will at last have a government inquiry into the Coal Seam Gas industry thanks largely to the efforts of Greens MP, Jeremy Buckingham, who recently toured CSG affected communities and met with residents to hear their concerns.
The NSW Parliament has agreed to the most comprehensive CSG inquiry ever initiated in Australia by gaining bi-partisan support for what is an essential investigation into the environmental, social and economic issues relating to the CSG industry.
This inquiry is distinct from the recent Senate Inquiry. It is focussed on the NSW environment and the NSW laws that are responsible for approving and regulating CSG. It is not limited to the Murray Darling Basin and will bring together regional communities and farmers with the city and coastal communities.
Another important speed bump for mining development in our State.
Last week in Quirindi and Gunnedah, in the latest round of the Water Study public reporting process, the consultants presented their update to the community, to mixed reviews. The enormous quantity of data which needed to be distilled and collated into the computer model goes someway to explaining the process delays, but, for example, the reluctance of BHPB to divulge subsidence data is further exacerbating this already long process.
Concerned landholders also queried evidently missing effects of CSG with its extracted contaminated water, on the models, and the effect on infrastructure and of future flooding events.
Also visiting the district, NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Harcher, still was unable to find time to meet CCAG directly, preferring the company of mining company representatives, but berating anyone with the temerity to propose alternatives to a purely gas and coal mining future.
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 »
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.
With a new Government in Macquarie Street, the new NSW Resources Minister Chris Hartcher was coy today, when the media reiterated CCAGs questions as to the extension of the expired BHP exploration lease covering Caroona Exploration Area. Trusting the mining companies to ‘do the right thing’, for example, not to mine under aquifers, or not to route gas pipe lines through black soil plains etc etc is not something that is apparent to Liverpool Plains landholders.
As CCAG chairman Sandy Bloomfield said today, this mining lease renewal is a great opportunity to revisit mining exploration conditions, to formalize mining companies promises and to implement real environmental safeguards.
Shenhua’s bid to dig a hole at Watermark to rival anything yet dug in Australia, has been pushed along with its 11th hour bid for a ‘preliminary’ development license, just prior to the NSW State Election.
Media interviews with a seemingly deliberative miners spokesman contrast with almost universal condemnation of the application made under State Labors detested Part3A planning law, which politically gives carte blanche to development over local concerns. Whilst this might remain Labors legacy, voters look to Nationals and Liberals, if elected, to follow through on their promises to curtail this excess.
CCAG condemns this blatant push to progress mine development before any real scrutiny, before the Water Study reports and especially before the current political electoral process runs its course.
And rumour has it that Shenhua has offered its pit as toxic waste repository for Sydney!
Another great day on the Plains.
Thoughts of coal and gas mining were displaced by great food and entertainment as exuberant crowds of locals and visitors joined to take advantage of a great day of fun food and entertainment at Caroona, in the heart of the Liverpool Plains. Opera and country singers, fashion parades, poetry readings were just part of the fun, as thousands joined in .
On a serious note, guest speakers Assoc. Professor Julian Cribb outlined the coming critical world food shortages, Matt Wright from Beyond Zero Emissions discussed an alternative non coal, non gas electric future based on proven solar and wind technologies. Other speakers included Deborah Tabart CEO of the Australian Koala Foundation, Adam Blakester from Paradigm Play Armidale, Professor Paul Martin from UNE Aglaw centre, Tim Wright a holistic farmer from Uralla and living legend, Jack … Read More »
With the end of NSW parliamentary sittings, the last before the March 2011 election, the implementation of political promises by the principal parliamentary protagonists seems further away than ever.
The State Labor Premier’s promise last May to set up a strategic review of the effect of mining on land and water, has faded, and the assurance by the prior Minister for Ag, Paul McLeay, at a Caroona visit, of a full cabinet sub committee to vet legislation, does not seem to have materialized. Similarly, and again at a Caroona meeting with CCAG, National shadow Minister Duncan Gay and Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell signaled the development and release of a full Prime Ag policy before last Christmas, but even then this promise looked distant and has became lost in the noise of the approaching election.
A draft Bill would go a long … Read More »