Campaigners against the mining companies’ push to open up the Kimberley region in WA to vast gas and mineral exploitation told a public meeting on April 19 that this was the “Franklin Dam campaign of our time”. The forum “Saving the Kimberley: Our Land or Gasland?” was organised by Stop Coal Seam Gas, Sydney.
Tintaya is an open-cut copper and gold mine 4000 metres high in the district of Yauri, Espinar province, southern Peru. It is a spectacle of modern industrial devastation that contrasts jarringly with the timeless beauty of the surrounding altiplano landscape. Finally, after years of aggravated environmental abuse, the mine's owner, Swiss-based Xstrata, will be investigated by Peruvian authorities. After the discovery of large deposits, a copper mine was established at Tintaya in the mid-1980s. Extractive operations were hugely expanded when BHP bought the site in 1996.
The campaign to protect Western Australia's Kimberley region from gas extraction will be the topic of an April 19 meeting in Sydney. WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, The Wilderness Society national director Lyndon Schneiders and Beyond Zero Emissions' Geoff Cameron will address the public forum, Saving the Kimberley: Our Land or Gasland?
LIVE BLOG Sunday March 25 Green Left Weekly is reporting live from the Coal Seam Gas Community Conference at Wollongong Town Hall on March 25. ----
The planned expansion of coalmining in Victoria has led the member for Bass, Liberal MP Ken Smith, to oppose his own party on the issue. Bass Coast Shire Council said it “is totally opposed to new mining of coal, and to gas extraction associated with coal (unconventional gas), within the shire,” in a resolution on March 21. The motion asked the government to exempt land within the shire from coal and unconventional gas exploration or mining licences.
Of all the people infuriated by billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer’s March 20 claim that the Greens are funded by the CIA, it is not hard to imagine the angriest were heads of the Murdoch media. Having declared in an Australian editorial in 2010 its intention to “destroy the Greens”, the Murdoch press has worked hard to relentlessly spin a tale of the political party as far left lunatics — old-style commies in green T-shirts.
Farmers, environmentalists, irrigators, winemakers, horse breeders, the NSW opposition, and coal seam gas (CSG) campaigners have all been angered by the NSW Coalition government's new land use plans, which give the go-ahead to CSG and coalmining across the state. Despite Premier Barry O’Farrell’s pre-election promise that key agricultural land would be protected from mining and CSG activity, the government's draft Aquifer Interference Policy and draft Strategic Regional Land Use Plans "have left the gate open", said the NSW Farmers Association.
March 11 was the first anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in north-east Japan and the meltdowns, explosions and fires at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The impacts of the nuclear disaster have been horrendous. More than 100,000 people are still homeless and some will never be able to return. Homeless, jobless, separated from friends and family, the toll on people's health and mental well-being has been significant — one indication being a sharp rise in suicide rates. One farmer’s suicide note simply read: “I wish there wasn’t a nuclear plant.”
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on March 16. * * * Thursday March 15 2012 was a big day for the coal seam gas (CSG) issue in our state parliament. In the morning a motion was put to the NSW Upper House by Jeremy Buckingham of the Greens — to place a moratorium on all CSG projects in the state, other than the Camden production field.
About 200 people marched in Melbourne on March 11 to commemorate the Fukushima nuclear disaster and call for an end to uranium mining. Long-term anti-nuclear campaigner Margaret Beavis told the rally: “We need to phase out nuclear power. Why are we risking everybody’s health with this terrible power source?” Tomo Matsuoka from Japanese for Peace said: “Australian uranium ended up as fallout at Fukushima. Nuclear power has never been sustainable and never will be. Australia is the supplier of the fuel — we must stop it.”
As a tropical downpour loomed, about 400 people stayed put to spell out "SOS" next to a huge banner that read "Reef in Danger" on the city’s Esplanade on March 11. The rally marked the visit to the city of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) commission, which looked at the possible impacts of the dramatic rise in shipping through the Great Barrier Reef expected over the next decade. UNESCO has responsibility for the World Heritage listing for the reef.
Media watchers should be forgiven for a degree of confusion over statements by federal treasurer and deputy prime minister Wayne Swan in the past two weeks. He began the month with a Press Club address, published in The Monthly’s March edition titled “The 0.01%” where he attacked “the rising power of vested interests” — naming mining magnates Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart — for “undermining our equality and threatening our democracy”.