anti-coal

Hundreds protest at Maules Creek mine

About 250 people gathered at the Leard State Forest in northern NSW from February 13 and 18 to stop Whitehaven Coal clearing the forest to make way for its proposed Maules Creek coalmine.

The project has been plagued by protest for more than two years and more than 300 people have been arrested, including farmer Rick Laird and former Wallabies captain David Pocock.

Walk highlights gas risk to Sydney’s water

Hundreds of people started a week-long walk through Sydney’s western suburbs on February 21 to highlight the risk coal seam gas poses to drinking water.
Beginning at Cataract Dam the route will continue for 160 kilometres through Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Fairfield, Prospect, Parramatta, Auburn, Ryde and Gladesville before finishing at Parliament House in Sydney.
More than 10 community groups came together to organise the walk, including the Western Sydney Environment Network, Stop CSG Macarthur, Parramatta Climate Action Network and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

New coalmines approved in NSW food bowl

Three new coalmines have been approved by the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission, just weeks before the state election.

The new coalmines will be in Bengalla, near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, the Watermark Coal Project, near Gunnedah on the Liverpool Plains and Moolarben, north-east of Mudgee.

Fossil fuel divestment week

In the lead-up to the first global divestment day on February 14, the University of Sydney announced it will reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 20% within three years by divesting from heavy polluters.

But it has shied away from divesting from fossil fuels altogether.

The decision follows a sustained student-led campaign, with support from Greenpeace, that has been urging the university to completely divest its investments in fossil fuels.

Good news (for a change)

SCOTLAND AND WALES BAN FRACKING

The National Assembly of Wales banned shale gas fracking in Wales on February 4. It follows an announcement on January 28 that the Scottish government will temporarily ban fracking until a public health assessment is completed.

Early last year British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government was going "all out for shale".

Hazelwood coalmine fire blamed for deaths

Voices of the Valley released this statement on February 6.

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Latrobe Valley residents’ group Voices of the Valley has released new data and analysis regarding probable deaths resulting from the coalmine fire which began one year ago in the Victorian town of Hazelwood.

Ways to get active this week: Protest against Pyne

At 10.30am on February 13 at 66 Goulburn St (corner of Castlereagh St), Sydney, Education Minister Christopher Pyne will deliver the Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture. And there is a bonus: The address will be followed by a short Q&A session with the audience. Pyne’s proposed deregulation will destroy higher education through the creation of a two-tiered US-style system. Join us in reminding Pyne and the Liberal government that students are ready to fight in 2015 to make sure it's buried for good. Plus who doesn't love a good Q&A with Pyne.

TJ HICKEY RALLY

Good news for a change

NSW SHUTS CSG OPERATIONS IN GLOUCESTER

The New South Wales government has shut down AGL’s coal seam gas operations in Gloucester in northern NSW.

AGL voluntarily suspended operations after it detected benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, also known as BTEX, in flowback water from two of the four wells.

AGL said it did not use the chemicals, banned in CSG operations since 2011, and it was likely to be naturally occurring.

The government has suspended AGL’s licence until an investigation has been completed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Brisbane rallies against Campbell Newman

A week before the Queensland election more than 500 people rallied against premier Campbell Newman and the Liberal National Party on January 24.

Speakers included Indigenous activist Sam Watson, Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union Peter Simpson, Debbie Kilroy from Sisters Inside, Drew Hutton from Lock The Gate Alliance and Greens candidate Jonathan Sri.

Ways to get active this week

Protest camp – the Bat Attack
Join a 6-day mass convergence on Gomeroi country to say NO to further bulldozing of the Leard State Forest. Skillshares, music, art, workshops an dcommunity-led civil disobedience. Saturday February 14 to Wednesday February 18 at Maules Creek.
RSVP to frontlineaction.org/bat-attack.

Support the sit-in
Join First Nations elders from around the country as they converge on Canberra for a sit-in, vowing not to leave until a resolution is reached. Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra until February 14.

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