The occupy movement is spreading, and in more ways than one. It’s spreading across the globe — by October 11 occupytogether.org could boast of 1273 occupy events planned worldwide. But the movement, united under its slogan “We are the 99%”, is also reaching out to, and involving, other established social movements. Environmentalists and climate campaigners have linked up with Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Hundreds of climate activists joined a 5000-strong march there on October 5. Their message was well received by other protesters.
coal seam gas
Dart Energy company executives, accompanied by their minders, were roasted at a 200-strong Town Hall community meeting on August 16 in the inner city suburb of St Peters. Dart is the coal seam gas company with a licence to explore for coal seam gas under the whole of the Sydney basin. Dart CEO Robbert de Weijer unsuccessfully tried to allay community fears about a number of issues. He argued it was “unlikely” drilling would even happen in St Peters and that the company doesn’t use the controversial fracking (hydraulic fracturing) process or BTEX chemicals (Benzine and similar toxins).
Australian musician Olivia Newton-John released this open letter on July 31. * * * My fellow Australians: I love this country, its people, its rugged beauty, its rainforests, its vastness and unique wildlife. And, as a longtime advocate of the environment, I am greatly concerned for the continued health and wellness of Australia. My dream is that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the Australia that we all know and love. That is why I am horrified to learn of the extensive plans for coal seam gas and shale gas exploration in Australia.
Local residents made clear their opposition to plans for coal seam gas (CSG) drilling in Sydney’s inner-west at a heated public forum held in Leichhardt on Monday 1 August. Dart Energy told the crowd that it intention to drill was no longer immediate, but that exploratory drilling at the site could commence from mid-2012.
More than 3000 people turned out to Austinmer Beach in the Illawarra on May 29 to form the "STOP COAL SEAM GAS!" human sign. Three helicopters, each from a major media outlet, circled above the cheering and waving crowd to film the historic event. Check out all the pictures and media coverage by visiting Stop CSG Illawarra's website. A big team of more than 40 volunteers from Stop CSG Illawarra helped make the day such a success.
Coal seam gas exploration is becoming a key political issue in NSW. The Labor and Liberal parties are pushing for a huge expansion in gas mining, including coal seam gas. But farmers, regional communities and city-dwellers are becoming increasingly worried about the health and environmental consequences of the gas rush. The NSW government recently approved energy company AGL’s bid to drill 90 coal seam gas wells and build a pipeline and processing centre near Gloucester, north of Sydney.
Carrying signs such as "Coal seam gas stinks", "Gas mining under Sydney Park - no fracking way!", and "Gutless government giving in to gas", over 400 local residents and supporters rallied on December 19 at Sydney Park to protest the NSW government's secretive approval for exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) mining in the inner-western suburb of St Peters.