The third annual camp for climate action will happen in the Hunter Valley from December 1-5, between the Liddell and Bayswater power stations. The camp will bring will be an important forum for diverse groups to build stronger links with one another.
These include rural anti-mining campaigners from the Hunter, Mudgee and Liverpool Plains area; heath advocacy campaigners from the Upper Hunter focussed on the effect of dust and power station fallout on the local population; anti-privatisation campaigners from the power stations adjacent to the camp; and Climate Action Group (CAG) activists from Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Ballina and other parts of NSW.
Another climate camp, organised by Cairns Climate Action Network, will also take place on December 4 and 5 on Fitzroy Island just outside Cairns. (Visit cafnec.org.au.)
The camp comes at an important time. On December 5, climate camp will mobilise en-masse with a rally calling for the NSW government to scrap its plans for a second coal-fired power station in the Hunter, “Bayswater B”. The NSW government should be making a transition to renewables and phasing out existing coal-fired plants, not building more of them.
The rally is part of an international day of action, coinciding with the Cancun climate summit in Mexico, which is the follow up to the failed Copenhagen Summit of 2009.
The camp will be held on Wonnarua land, and is strongly supported by many elders from the local land council. However, a dispute about the suitability of the site recently created delays and divisions in the collective.
Three weeks before camp was due to begin, a Wonnarua woman who had been working with the organising collective informed the group that she had just found new information about the site that meant it was no longer suitable and requested that the camp be moved. The land council disagreed.
The collective tried, unsuccessfully, to find an alternative site at late notice, but eventually resolved to stick with Liddell, since the only real alternative was to cancel.
The Wonnarua Land Council told the camp organising collective quite clearly that they were supportive and very much wanted the camp to still go ahead.
For a more detailed overview of the organising collective’s discussion and decision, visit the the Climate Camp website.
Bringing the issue into clearer resolution, on November 26 it emerged that, upon further inspection, the dissenting traditional owner withdrew her opposition to the campsite and now endorses the camp.
[For more information about getting to climate camp (including via public transport) and to register, please visit the Climate Camp website.]