Linc Energy will stand trial on five charges that it breached Queensland's environmental laws at its underground coal gasification site. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has accused the company of wilfully causing serious harm at its trial site near Chinchilla on the Darling Downs.
"This is a law to protect the rich. We will need to break these laws to protect our democratic rights," Aboriginal activist and lead NSW Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance team in the federal elections Ken Canning, said on March 15.
Experts have laughed at a prediction by the environment minister Greg Hunt that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked 10 years ago. Hunt told the ABC’s AM program: “I believe that we have reached what is sometimes known as peak emissions. In my best judgment … we reached peak emissions in 2005-06 ... and the course of history to come for Australia is that we will continue to be below that figure.” Experts have laughed at a prediction by the environment minister Greg Hunt that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions peaked 10 years ago.
The NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee is keen on new anti-protest laws in NSW. He claims to be concerned about the safety of the workers as well as the protesters “illegally accessing mine sites”. Mining and Energy Minister Antony Roberts has been a little more blunt: he says the new law is aimed at better enforcing the protection of private property and “lawful business activity”. Most, however, can see through the spin.
The powers-that-be in NSW have deemed that there are so many examples of “unsafe protest activities” across the state that, to make everyone safe, we need new laws that will protect “lawful business activity”. Protesters will be able to be jailed for up to seven years for “intentionally” or “recklessly” interfering with a “mine” — the definition of which has been changed to include an exploratory or test site.
Rob Pyne (MP) is now the independent Member for Cairns in the Queensland Parliament, following his shock resignation from the Australian Labor Party on March 7. Pyne was a student leader at James Cook University, then served on the Cairns Regional Council between 2008 and 2015 before becoming Australia's first quadriplegic member of parliament in last year's Queensland state election.
Anti-coal seam gas (CSG) activists took direct action on March 2 to prevent Transpacific Waste Water from accepting waste water from AGL's coal seam gas operations in Camden. Members of the Knitting Nannas Against AGL, CSG Free Western Sydney, Stop CSG Sydney, Stop CSG Penrith, Stop CSG Camden, Stop CSG Blue Mountains and Stop CSG Hawkesbury showed their concern about Transpacific's handling of AGL’s waste water by blockading their trucks.
What do politicians do after leaving parliament to earn a few more dollars? They go and work for gas and coal companies. • Former Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson became chair of Eastern Star Gas — the company behind the Narrabri Gas Project now owned by Santos — about 2 years after leaving politics. • Former National's leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile became a director and then chair of Whitehaven coal.
Hundreds of environmental protestors made their voices heard against coal and coal seam gas (CSG) mining over the weekend of February 20 and 21. In the Pilliga, more than 300 people defied a police roadblock to protest the construction of Santos' Leewood waste water treatment facility and in the Leard State Forest a group of about 30 people blockaded the gates to Whitehaven and Idemitsu's Tarrawonga coal mine. Protest in the Pilliga
Five climate guardian angels were arrested by police on February 9 while blockading the road to Santos' Leewood wastewater facility in the Pilliga forest near Narrabri in north-west New South Wales.