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.
Protesters opposing a coal seam gas (CSG) wastewater plant in northern NSW say they will not let police use of pepper spray deter them from their fight against Santos' plans to drill up to 850 CSG wells in the Pilliga. The Pilliga forest is a vital recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin, which forms the lifeblood of eastern Australia. As part of its CSG plans, Santos is building a wastewater treatment works at Leewood, which was approved without an environmental impact statement and without public consultation.
“Coal seam gas in New South Wales is dead in the water”, Julie Lyford, spokesperson for Groundswell Gloucester, said after AGL announced on February 4 it was quitting Gloucester. AGL had planned to drill at 300 sites in a geologically complex and rich farming region north-west of Newcastle. It had been facing fierce opposition for conducting tests in the Gloucester region under PEL 285. The decision has been welcomed by anti-coal seam gas (CSG) campaigners across NSW. AGL's licence was due for renewal on February 22.
Three Knitting Nannas Against Gas were arrested on January 18 after chaining themselves to the gates of the Santos Leewood water treatment plant near Narrabri.
The Northern Territory government rejected an application to explore for unconventional gas in Watarrka National Park, also known as Kings Canyon, and Coomalie on the edge of the Litchfield National Park, on November 25. The Traditional Owners have been fighting to protect the areas from fracking for three years. More than 90% of the Northern Territory is covered by gas exploration licences, or applications for fracking exploration.