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.
The battle to save land and water in north-west NSW's Liverpool Plains, from coal and coal seam gas continues to be fought by Aboriginal communities, farmers, local councils and environmentalists. People in Tamworth, Moree, Narrabri, Boggabri, Gunnedah, Quirindi and Toomelah are fighting coalmining in the Leard State Forest and the Shenhua Watermark coalmine near Gunnedah. They are battling huge coal seam gas (CSG) projects in the Pilliga and gas projects in Narrabri and Tamworth.
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.
If we needed any further proof that our politicians are "fossil fools", despite recent leadership changes, look no further than the responses made by the Prime Minister and federal resources minister to the call for a moratorium on new coalmines by the President of the Pacific island nation Kiribati, Anote Tong.
With the Paris climate talks just around the corner it is timely to consider what effective policies to cut emissions might look like. Nationalisation and direct public investment are key policies that have historically been “bread and butter” political demands both for socialists and for the more radical voices within social democratic parties. Climate activists from the Greens and Labor Environment Action Network should revisit these ideas, as they are a useful alternative to the dead end that is carbon trading. Direct public investment
The campaign against fracking in the Northern Territory ramped up a few notches last week, with the government announcing a successful bidder in the North East Gas Interconnector project coming amid allegations of a conflict of interest for a key NT government advisor.
Gas miner Metgasco's surprise announcement on November 2 that it was recommending its shareholders accept a $25 million payout for its three remaining exploration licences in NSW's Northern Rivers, near Lismore, was celebrated right across the state. Anti-fracking campaigners, who have worked hard for more than three years, educating, organising and mobilising communities against the industry, are very relieved.
The National Tertiary Education Union, which covers university staff across Australia, is backing the November 27-29 People's Climate March. In a letter to members, NTEU NSW secretary Genevieve Kelly wrote: “NTEU is proud to be part of a broad and diverse coalition organising the People's Climate March, with members involved in planning and promoting Sydney's rally. “We are marching because we know we can change the world when we work together. It is time for action.”
Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance (RYSA) released the following statement on October 27 in support of the Fossil Free UTas occupation. The following day Fossil Free UTas announced that they were ending the occupation and restarting negotiations after two days of productive meetings with the university management. * * *
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) announced on October 27 that it will join the movement to screen out fossil fuel interests from its investment portfolio. It will also look for ethical investment opportunities in renewable energy. It is the first Australian union to commit to divest from fossil fuels, and follows its decision to adopt a position on ethical investment at its national meeting held in Melbourne, October 8-10. The union represents tens of thousands working at tertiary education institutions around the country.