Margaret Gleeson

On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani.

The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.

The Butterfly Prison
Tamara Pearson 343pps
Open Books
www.open-bks.com

In her debut novel The Butterfly Prison, Tamara Pearson, an Australian journalist working for Latin American news site TeleSUR in Quito, uses a poet’s sensitivity and language combined with a journalist’s eye for reportage. She weaves storylines that situate the poor and alienated as actors in resisting the living prison which dehumanises them.

Environment groups have welcomed the passage of legislation on November 12 that restricts sea dumping and port expansion in the Great Barrier Reef heritage area as a victory for people power.

The Queensland Land Court has begun hearing objections to the expansion of New Hope Coal's Acland Stage 3 coalmine in the Darling Downs, one of Australia's richest agricultural and pastoral regions.

There are 27 objectors to the mining lease applications and 35 objectors to the draft Environmental Authority.

The objectors include Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Darling Downs Environment Council, Clean Air Queensland and many local farmers concerned about the impact the coalmine expansion will have on the sustainability of their operations.

As the pantomime that is the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, stumbles to its conclusion at the end of the year, figures released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on October 27 reveal a 2% drop in union membership to 15% of the workforce.

According to the ABS report, in August last year 1.6 million people were members of trade unions in their main job.

In an October 26 editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia Caroline M de Costa and Heather Douglas argue that laws relating to abortion are out of date, and variations in laws between states have led to serious barriers for women access terminations.

The editorial calls for uniform legislation across the country, “so that the law is in step with modern medical practice and so that women regardless of where they live have equal access to abortion services”.

“Current Australian abortion laws continue to disadvantage many women.

The Zero Carbon Australia: Renewable Energy Superpower report published by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is now available.

Author Gerard Drew and a brigade of contributors provide much detailed technical evidence that demonstrates the potential for Australia in a global transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled for December in Paris, federal resources minister Josh Frydenberg has sought to invoke “a strong moral case” to justify his government's green lighting of the Carmichael mega-coalmine in the Galilee Basin.

However, his argument is as spurious as the economic justifications made by Adani and federal and Queensland governments in support of the project.

Environment minister Greg Hunt gave formal approval on October 15 for a massive new coalmine in Queensland's Galilee basin, “in accordance with national environment law” after the Federal Court set aside the previous approval in August.

But Indian coal mining giant Adani is unlikely to receive the federal government funding it needs to open the Carmichael mega mine.

As resource prices crash and more than 1000 coalmining jobs have been lost in Queensland alone this year, Adani's competitors have come out in opposition to any federal government assistance for the mega mine.

The Queensland government's Reef Water Quality Protection Plan released its Report Card 2014 on September 21. It states, “Results show the need to accelerate the rate of change and drive innovation to meet the ambitious targets.”

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles, who released the report, said there was more bad news than good in the report.

“If one of my kids came home with a report card like this, I'd be a bit disappointed,” he said.

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