Locals say no new coal in Bacchus Marsh

Melbourne rally against the proposed coalmine near Bacchus Marsh, September 1. Photo: Melbourneprotests Weblog

A groundswell of support for the campaign against a proposed open cut coalmine is taking place in Victoria’s Bacchus Marsh area and beyond.

This growing support for the No New Coal in Bacchus Marsh campaign was on display at a recent public meeting in the town, where a lawyer from the Environment Defenders Office spoke to a packed hall on the legal implications of mining and what can be done to stop the present exploratory drilling and proposed mine.

The Moorabool Environment Group (MEG) has officially joined its friends from northern states in the Lock the Gate Alliance against coal and coal seam gas mining. MEG is one of several Victorian groups to join the Lock The Gate campaign.

The small, local environment group is joining hundreds of local farmers and town residents, the Greens, environment groups such as Friends of The Earth, Environment Victoria, Switch Off Coal, and others concerned for the sustainable future of the land, water and the planet.

Mantel Mining is the company that is now drilling 15 exploration core holes for a coalmine in the Bacchus Marsh area. The area is large — 38,000 hectares. Mantel Mining, after analysing the first four core samples has excitedly reported to the media that it expects to mine between 1 and 2 billion tonnes of coal, said Moorabool News on October 11.



Mantel is working with an energy technology company, Exergen, to develop what they call a “clean coal” technology. This involves pumping huge quantities of water down the mine. It is still a pilot program.

Mantel proposes to then dry the coal and send it to Geelong, from where it will be exported to India. Locals are worried the state government will give Mantel the go-ahead to open the mine

Opposition to a new coalmine is on three levels. First, locals do not want to see prime agricultural land dug up and destroyed for coal. The area from Bacchus Marsh to Geelong is a food bowl, producing fruit, vegetables, grains and livestock.

The mine would also severely affect water tables and our precious water is needed for food, not coal.

Second, coalmining is irresponsible on a national level as it contradicts national government policy on climate change and a commitment to lowering Australia’s carbon footprint.

Finally, on a global level it is wrong to export polluting fossil fuels to developing nations and add to global warming — Australia’s export of fossil fuels flies in the face of all it has said at international conferences on climate change.

Please join us in the No New Coal Bacchus Marsh campaign by taking action. Write to Victorian government ministers, sign a petition (available on request) or contact Mantel Mining. Our aim is stop exploratory drilling and avoid a mining lease being given to Mantel Mining. With strong support from all of us, local and beyond, this can and must be achieved.

[Rose De la Cruz is a member of the Moorabool Environment Group. For details visit its website.]

Comments

Climate change is not on the occupywallstreet list of demands because the scientists want us to let bank funded carbon trading markets run by corporations and politicians tax the air we breath. Boycott the fear mongering climate change media. Stop the fear. Stop condemning billions to death.

“This involves pumping huge quantities of water to pump down the mine. It is still a pilot program.”

WRONG. It does not involve pumping huge quantities of water to pump down the mine. Do you honestly believe that in order to dry coal you are going to add water to it?

“It is still a pilot program.”

WRONG. The pilot was successful and Exergen want to move to commercialisation.

“First, locals do not want to see prime agricultural land dug up and destroyed for coal. The area from Bacchus Marsh to Geelong is a food bowl, producing fruit, vegetables, grains and livestock.”

WRONG. The area from Bacchus Marsh to Geelong is not going to be touched, they are only interested in the coal extension to the south of the existing Maddingley mine.

“The mine would also severely affect water tables and our precious water is needed for food, not coal.”

WRONG. Water tables are not going to be touched

“Second, coalmining is irresponsible on a national level as it contradicts national government policy on climate change and our commitment to lowering Australia’s carbon footprint.”

WRONG. This technology development will enable Victoria to significantly reduce its carbon output without significantly increasing consumers’ power bills

“Finally, on a global level it is wrong to export a polluting fossil fuels to developing nations and add to global warming.”

WRONG. The technology development will enable significant global carbon reductions.

Until about 1968 lefties all over the world couldn't care less about the environment. THe communist project was concentrated on economic progress full spead ahead and the environment wasn't a priority. When communism started decaying, and especially after its collapse in 1991, commies discovered that they could use environmentalism as a battering ram against capitalism and democracy. Lefties aren' honest about this. Environmentalism is for them just a tactic, a pretext. But I never found one who recognize this openly. They, i.e., you, are cheaters. You won't tell the public what you really think. LIARS!

lolwut?

I don't think anyone really cared about the environment until the 1960s. The capitalist "project" still concentrates on economic "progress" without the environment being a priority.

See what I did there? Come back when you have a rational and well thought out argument.

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