Mining company ECI International has “submitted a surrender request” to the state government for its coal and gas exploration licence covering 500 square kilometers — including the town of Colac and a large region of the Otway Ranges — said the October 7 Colac Herald. This is the second coal exploration venture in the area that has withdrawn after Mantle Mining pulled out of its project in the Deans Marsh area. The withdrawal occurs less than two weeks after 100 residents packed a hall at Forrest, in the Otway Ranges, to organise opposition to the project.
Just about every passerby stopped at a recent Green Left Weekly stall in Hamilton, Newcastle, to sign a Lock the Gate Alliance petition for a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) mining. All those who stopped were concerned about plans to mine CSG at nearby Fullerton Cove.
More than 100 locals attended a public meeting in Forrest, in Victoria's Otway ranges on September 16 to show their concern about coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in the area. Two companies, CFT CBM Holdings and ECI International, have CSG exploration licences over large areas in the Otway Ranges.
More than 60 people assembled outside Blacktown Council on September 24 to protest plans to mine for coal-seam gas in Blacktown. Mining has already begun in the Blacktown area at Eastern Creek and threatens the integrity of the Prospect Reservoir, organisers said. Ben Hammond from the Blacktown Greens told the rally that Dart Energy was already mining coal-seam gas in Blacktown while AGL was seeking approval to mine also.

The development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry brings risks to Australia’s limited water resources. It draws contaminated water out of the ground, damages aquifers and uses and pollutes large quantities of freshwater. These risks, and the implications for health, agriculture and the environment, are central reasons for the growing community campaign to stop CSG mining. Images in the documentary Gasland of people setting their tap water on fire have made many question the impact of unconventional gas on water supplies.

Toro Energy has submitted an application to build Western Australia’s first uranium mine, at Wiluna, the start of WA’s iconic Canning Stock Route. The debate over the proposed mine has far-reaching ramifications. The construction of WA’s first uranium mine is likely to be the “thin edge of the wedge”, whereas a strong show of public opposition can significantly increase the likelihood of keeping WA uranium-free. That, in turn, is important in the context of the national debate over uranium mining.
About 160 people gathered at The Gap State High School on September 8 for a community forum on the potential impacts of the coal seam gas industry. Gubbi Gubbi elder Nurdon Serico gave a welcome to country, saying he had seen what mining can do to country and community, and highlighting that this industry will lead to the destruction of sacred Aboriginal sites as well as farming land.
The Lock the Gate Alliance, a national alliance of more than 105 community, industry and environmental groups concerned with the damage caused by coal and coal seam gas mining, released the statement below on September 6. * * *
An advertising campaign to promote coal seam gas (CSG) in a bid to “balance” the mounting community opposition to the industry has been launched by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA). APPEA have dubbed the effort “We want CSG”, and say it is an “information campaign” designed to focus on “investment, jobs, environmental benefits, and enormous opportunities that this industry generates”.
National environmental justice and indigenous rights organisation the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) that took part in the largest act of civil disobedience in decades at the White House in Washington DC from August 20 to September 3. The purpose of these actions was to send a direct message to President Barack Obama to deny approval of the 2739 kilometre Keystone XL pipeline.
About 200 protesters against the coal seam gas industry and supporters of refugee rights rallied outside a federal government community cabinet meeting at Yeronga State High School on September 1. Despite three separate requests from the Lock the Gate Alliance management committee and individual members of the campaign against coal seam gas, no interview with federal environment minister Tony Burke was granted.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) have called on the Victorian Liberal government to “immediately ban any coal seam gas or new coal developments in the state”. The environmental group says Victoria “faces a wave of exploration licenses for coal seam gas (CSG), coal, and shale gas” and has urged people to write to Premier Ted Baillieu to demand “a thorough investigation into the likely impacts of [the coal and coal seam gas] industry on water resources, farmland and food security, local communities and natural biodiversity."
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