RMIT students call for fossil fuel divestment

Students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) marched through the university on September 22 to deliver a 1000-signature petition to the Vice Chancellor calling on the administration to divest from the fossil fuel industry.

Student group Fossil Free RMIT is calling on the university to rule out any further investment in fossil fuel stocks, make a public declaration of commitment to fully divest in a specified time as well as periodic reporting of its divestment progress.

Victoria says ‘no fracking way’

More than 1000 people rallied on September 20 to declare Victoria free of coal seam gas. Sixty-seven communities have already declared themselves gasfield free. Many regional councils across Victoria are also opposed to coal seam gas.

The rally vowed to stop unconventional gas drilling, or fracking, from gaining a foothold and demanded the state government ban unconventional gas in Victoria.

Drew Hutton, from Lock The Gate Alliance, said: “This is an historic moment. This state is officially going to become a gasfield-free state.

NT communities say no to frackers

More than 300 people, and 22 horses, marched on the Northern Territory parliament on September 15 to demand a moratorium on unconventional gas production in the NT as part of the Our Land is Our Life rally.

The rally was organised by Frack-free NT and included contingents from Aboriginal communities, unions, farmers and environment groups.

Larrikeyah elder June Mills opened with a fiery welcome to country and a smoking ceremony, condemning what she called “white man’s law” that threatened water supplies and livelihoods.

No joke: Pacific outrage at climate inaction

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction.

The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.

Glencore: Close down and clean up!

A delegation of Garawa people from Borroloola and their supporters gathered on September 2 at Parliament House in Darwin to present the NT government with a petition.

The petition, signed by 3600 people, calls on the government to shut down and clean up Glencore’s McArthur River lead and zinc mine upstream from Borroloola.

Freedom of Information documents recently revealed that several government departments had been aware of the high levels of heavy metals leaking into the waterways for 18 months.

Kiribati president: ‘Phase out coal now’

President Anote Tong from the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati does not mince words on the urgent need to phase out coal. He cannot afford to — his country is literally disappearing as a result of global warming.

Tong released a statement on August 13 calling on countries to commit to phasing out coal before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December where more than 190 countries are expected to attend.

“A global moratorium on new coal mines [is] an essential initial step in our collective global action against climate change,” he said.

Vic government warned of ‘damaging legacy’ of gas mining

The Victorian Auditor General released a report on August 19 that warned that well-recognised risks may make unconventional gas mining unsuitable for Victoria because of its dense population, scarce water resources and reliance on agriculture.

Melbourne celebrates the End of Coal

Melbourne climate activists staged an “End of Coal” parade on August 13. They were celebrating the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to cancel its involvement with Adani’s Galilee coal proposals. They called on all Australia’s Banks to stop investing in fossil fuels.

Alcoa’s exit signals death of fracking in the Kimberley

Buru Energy is an oil and gas exploration and production company that plans to explore and develop the gas resources of the Canning Basin, in the south-west Kimberley region in Western Australia.

The company wants to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to test for tight gas flows in four wells — the Asgard well in Noonkanbah, two Yulleroo wells on Yawuru country, and Valhalla in an unclaimed area.

Buru has refused to provide details of their chemical risk assessment to traditional owners.

The Wilderness Society released this statement on July 30.

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Briefs: Guatemala river 'ecocide'; Peru mega-mine opposition; Native Americans resist mining land grab

Guatemala: UN says corporate positioning of river 'ecocide'

The United Nations said 23 species of fish and 21 species of birds, reptiles and mammals in Guatemala's Pasion River have been affected by contamination caused by industrial African oil palm production, TeleSUR English said.

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