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 »
PILLIGA SPILL, SPILLS OR SPILLING?
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”
“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 »
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!
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
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
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:
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 »