Kelly Ryan

Multinational gas company Dart Energy met with residents from St Peters on June 6 to discuss the company’s plans to carry out exploratory coal seam gas (CSG) drilling in Sydney’s inner-west before the end of the year.

Dart have plans to drill at a now vacant industrial site in St Peters close to residential properties and Sydney Park.

The exploration licence held by Dart covers not only St Peters but an area of 2392 square kilometeres, encompassing most of metropolitan and suburban Sydney.

On Friday June 3, NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham launched a bill in state parliament that would place a 12-month moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW and prohibit CSG mining in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Speaking at the bill launch, Buckingham pointed out the risks associated with CSG extraction, including wastewater, fugitive emissions, land impact and depletion of aquifers.

The Pilliga State Forest in northern NSW will be turned into a gas field if the government approves Eastern Star Gas's (ESG) mining proposal for the region.

The proposal set out by ESG seeks to develop the Pilliga into the state's largest coal seam gas (CSG) project.

The development would include the drilling of more than 1000 gas wells and the clearing of vast stretches of native bushland to make way for gas pipelines and other associated infrastructure, such as a water treatment facility and access roads.

About 150 representatives engaged in the campaign against coal and coal seam gas mining attended the inaugural annual general meeting of the Lock the Gate Alliance, held in Murwillumbah, NSW, over June 11 and 12.

Lock the Gate (LTG) is a national body that represents more than 90 community groups and hundreds of individuals concerned about the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining.

The meeting elected four office bearers and five committee members, including Sarah Moles as secretary and Sean Gough as treasurer.

See also::

The annual Sydney Writers' Festival brings together a diverse range of acclaimed writers from around Australia and the world.

This year's theme “Words. To Live By” engaged readers and writers in a week long festival of ideas ranging from discussions about the future of media to the ongoing revolutions in the Arab World.

Some of the highlights of this year's May 16-22 festival include:

Songs of Blood and Sword

It took Arrow Energy more than 24 hours to cap a major gas well blow-out. The well sprayed water and methane up to 90 metres in the air on a farming property west of Dalby in Queensland.

The leak took place on May 22 when the well was being prepared for production.

The leak was not reported to authorities until two hours after it occurred, and it took the gas company a further four hours to inform property owner Tom O'Connor.

Locked Out
Directed by Joan Sekler
www.lockedout2010.org

Locked Out, a film by Joan Sekler, documents the struggle of workers at the Borax mine in Boron, California, against the mine's multinational owner, Rio Tinto.

The mine is integral to the towns economy, employing 570 workers ― about a quarter of the population of Boron.

In September 2009, Rio Tinto revealed it intended on scrapping the workers' contract. The pay, benefits, and conditions set out in the contract had been negotiated for with workers over the past 40 years.

A Palestinian solidarity conference held in Sydney over May 14-15 brought together more than 200 people to discuss the campaign in Australia in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

The conference took place on the anniversary of al Nakba (“the catastrophe”) — as Palestinians call the day that marks their dispossession that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

See also:
Sydney community discusses the 'boycott Israel' campaign

After 12 hours on the road, travelling 800 kilometres from Newcastle through Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree and Goondiwindi, just after sundown, our big blue bus pulled into Tara showground for four days of workshops and direct action as part of the Rock the Gate festival against coal seam gas mining.

A request by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, to visit alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, United States soldier Bradley Manning, was denied in April.

At the time, Manning was being held in solitary confinement at Marine Corps Brig, Quantico in Virginia.

Speaking through his lawyer, Manning accused the guards at Quantico of treating him differently to other prisoners and reported he had been forced to strip naked by guards every night.

Mendez said US authorities had “not been receptive to a confidential meeting” with Manning.

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