The Shenhua Watermark mine application is currently with the NSW Planning Department awaiting determination. The Caroona Coal Action Group is currently preparing for the Planning and Assessment Commission application and hearing which provide a final opportunity to speak on the project and raise concerns of the material harm to the environment that this project poses. CCAG has identified suitable scientific experts to ensure the community has the best representation possible.

If you would like more information on how you can help e-mail us.

NSW Chief Scientist acknowledges long, difficult road ahead for CSG

Posted on August 1st, by SOSLP in CSG. No Comments

Media Release
Lock the Gate Alliance
31st July 2013

Lock the Gate Alliance has responded to the initial report on CSG by the NSW Chief Scientist, Mary O’Kane, in which she urges great caution with any roll-out of the industry, by calling for the an immediate moratorium on CSG until concerns she raises relating to subsidence and underground water have been fully researched.

Professor O’Kane’s report makes it clear that the State should accept nothing less than world’s best practice if the industry were to go ahead and that this would involve substantial baseline studies and cumulative impacts of multiple developments, and she has also acknowledged “wide-ranging community concerns about CSG”.

Professor O’Kane also highlighted the importance of developing an effective regulatory framework, including adequate resources for further research, monitoring and compliance by the state.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said that while the … Read More »

NSW gas crisis a fabricated myth of the export CSG industry

Posted on July 15th, by SOSLP in CSG, Renewables. No Comments

Media Release, Zero Emissions Media Centre, Melbourne
15 July 2013

Gas Crisis! NSW to suffer from shortages within five years. That’s the story being peddled by the big fossil gas companies, AGL, SANTOS, Dart or Origin.

“This is a scare campaign with no basis in fact, the public is being completely misled with a lot of postulating and huff and puff from the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, which is desperate to develop as much gas as it can and ship it out to Asia at high Asian prices,” said Matthew Wright Executive Director of energy security think-tank Zero Emissions Australia.

“The gas miners just want to make as much money as possible exporting gas, and they’re using gas consumers, large and small as leverage by pretending that open slather on developing coal seam gas projects will lower prices to pre 2008 levels and … Read More »

Zero Emissions to join forces with Gunnedah Basin farmers to STOP Santos

Posted on July 2nd, by SOSLP in Agriculture, Renewables, Santos. No Comments

Media Release
Zero Emissions Media Centre, Melbourne
28 June 2013

Energy think-tank Zero Emissions is joining forces with Gunnedah Basin and Liverpool Plains farmers to stop Santos extracting gas from the pristine Pilliga state forest in north-west NSW.

“Fossil gas company Santos wants to create a massive gas field, far bigger than anything NSW has ever seen, in the beautiful Pilliga state forest near Narrabri and we will stop them,” said Zero Emissions executive director Matthew Wright.

Santos is attempting to appear conciliatory by claiming it will not develop 50 core wells across a wider region and will instead seek approval for 18 core and pilot wells in the state forest at Narrabri.

“The claim that Santos will only work in the Pilliga forest is crafted to make the Gunnedah community believe that they will be immune from this mega industrial project. When in fact … 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 »

Gunnedah Basin Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Posted on May 13th, by SOSLP in Coal, CSG, Health. No Comments

The Gunnedah Basin Health Impact Steering Committee, constituted of community groups and organisations in the Gunnedah Basin, has been charged with commissioning a study of the health and welfare risks of mining and gas extraction in that basin.

The purpose of this proposed study is to analyse the health and welfare risks associated with various mining and gas extraction scenarios for the Gunnedah Basin, and to consider potential strategies for the avoidance, minimisation and management of these risks.

The study should:

Assess risks to physical, mental, social/community and environmental wellbeing, potentially reflecting scenarios aligned to Namoi Catchment Water Study, broadened to include development scenarios across the Gunnedah Basin.
Establish baseline levels of water quality, air quality and noise in the region, subject to defined benchmarks.
Identify cause and effect (or causal pathways) of a range of identified health and welfare issues.
Consider short, medium and long … Read More »

Chinese mine in NSW fails to meet standards

Posted on May 13th, by SOSLP in Agriculture, CCAG, Environment, Shenhua, Water. No Comments

May 13, 2013 – 12:07AM
Sarah-Jane Collins
Sydney Morning Herald

A controversial mining proposal slated for prime agricultural land on the Liverpool Plains in northern NSW fails to meet basic environmental standards, an independent assessment of the project has found. A subsidiary of Chinese mining giant Shenhua, Shenhua Watermark Coal, is seeking environmental approval for its proposed Liverpool Plains coalmine and has filed an environmental impact statement as part of the process.

If they get this wrong they could poison two thirds of the Murray-Darling system. But farmers and agricultural groups paid for an independent review of Shenhua’s EIS and say the report exposes significant problems with the proposed mine. The report, by consulting group Earth Systems, found the mine would likely breach a prohibition on open-cut mining on the Liverpool Plains.

It also found that the mine’s risk assessment lacked detail, and there were … 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 »