Zane Alcorn

A group of 30 people held up construction of a second loader arm at Newcastle's third coal loader site on Kooragang Island on May 10, stopping a crane crew for about 90 minutes. The protest coincided with what would have been Newcastle climate activist Pete Gray's 31st birthday. Gray sadly lost a two year long battle with cancer on April 30.
Seven climate activists who temporarily shut down coal loaders at Newcastle harbour in a September protest will wait another month to find out if they owe Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) $525,000 in “compensation”. The activists appeared in Newcastle Local Court for two days of hearings on January 31 and February 3. They were convicted of “remaining on enclosed lands”. Each was fined $300, plus $79 in court costs.
Greens MP David Shoebridge joined members of climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle at a press conference on January 28 to condemn Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) “victim’s compensation” claim of $525,0000 against seven protesters. PWCS is pursuing the claim in response to a peaceful protest organised in September 2010, which stopped coal loading in Newcastle port for almost 10 hours.
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.
The NSW government has decided to cut the solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff from 60 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) to 20 cents per kW/h. The October 27 announcement came after the tariff received a strong uptake, particularly in Sydney’s western suburbs and rural NSW. The total capacity once remaining orders are connected will be around 193 megawatts (MW). The Greens and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) slammed the decision to axe the tariff.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our future, and coal is the biggest cause of climate change, yet right now there are plans for 12 new coal or gas-fired power stations around Australia. In this context, the Camp for Climate Action is taking place over December 1-5 at Liddell recreation area in the Hunter Valley, a little over an hour inland from Newcastle. The camp will take place near Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations and in the sprawling moonscape of massive coalmines in the area.
On September 26, protesters from climate change activist group Rising Tide shut down the world’s largest coal port at Newcastle. Green Left Weekly’s Zane Alcorn interviewed Rising Tide member Annika Dean. * * * What happened at the protest?
Community group Save Our Rail held a lively picket outside a 700-strong meeting of the anti-rail lobby Fix Our City (FOC) at Newcastle Town Hall on June 3. FOC is a business and developer lobby group whose explicit aim is to have the Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) “urban renewal report” implemented. The HDC report’s main proposal is to cut the Newcastle at Wickham station. Save Our Rail drew 150 people to the counter-rally. It had the support of the Rail Tram and Bus Union, which brought several large union banners.
Workers at the BHP Billiton Mt Arthur coalmine went on strike for about 26 hours on May 26 and 27. It was the first strike at the mine (formerly known as the Bayswater pit) in its 23-year operational history. A striking worker from the mine said the reliability of coal supplied by the mine was a big selling point and the strike would damage the mine’s reputation. The worker, who did not want his name used for fear of retribution, told Green Left Weekly the dispute started when another worker arrived on the afternoon of May 26 and was told she had been sacked.
Put Rudd on a boat so that he can see what it feels like to be a refugee trying to run from imperial slaughter, on a leaky boat in shark-infested waters How can these arseholes be so heartless? — lock people up in bureaucratic darkness They say they're Christian, but where’s the compassion? They put Aboriginal people back on rations It’s the Lib-Lab; hypocrisy reigns supreme, they've got their redneck corporate Australian dream they want to make you think you're playing on the same team as them as they are skimming off your share of the cream
Newcastle City Council voted on March 16 to close down the South Newcastle Beach legal graffiti wall. This is Newcastle’s sole legal graffiti wall. The only vote against the motion was from Greens councillor Michael Osborne.
On March 20, 120 protesters gathered at Foreshore Park in Newcastle to protest against the proposed Tillegra dam. The protest was the culmination of the week-long “Walk for the Williams”, which started at Brownmore, passing the site of the proposed dam near Dungog before proceeding along the Williams River to Newcastle Harbour.
The Australian Greens announced an “interim carbon price proposal” on January 21, whereby carbon would be taxed essentially within the framework of the federal Labor government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
The campaign to prevent longwall coal mining under the fertile Liverpool Plains region in NSW has suffered a setback, with a legal challenge to the mine being dismissed.
Thousands of Australians will march in every major Australian city and more than 20 regional centres on December 12, to again demand genuine climate action from our government. The rallies are part of a global day of action that will take place during the Copenhagen climate summit.
As reported in Green Left Weekly previously, the ALP New South Wales government has tabled new anti-graffiti laws. The proposed law will punish children caught with spray-paint cans without a “legitimate reason” with up to six months jail.

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