anti-coal

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has delayed its decision on the controversial new coalmine proposed for Margaret River in Western Australia.

The EPA decision was expected early January. Yet it has chosen to give the mining company LD Operations more time to provide more information. The EPA chairperson is now expected to make a decision at the end of February.

The article below is based on a speech by Socialist Alliance upper house candidate in the March NSW state elections Patrick Harrison. He spoke at the 'Carols at the Colliery', an action held on December 21 in Russell Vale (near Wollongong) to protest a proposed coalmine expansion.

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The Socialist Alliance opposes all new coal development and infrastructure. It's what the science demands we do, and the alternatives to coal are ready to go.

The expansion of the Gujarat NRE No.1 colliery is a threat to local residents' health and safety.

Carrying signs such as "Coal seam gas stinks", "Gas mining under Sydney Park - no fracking way!", and "Gutless government giving in to gas", over 400 local residents and supporters rallied on December 19 at Sydney Park to protest the NSW government's secretive approval for exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) mining in the inner-western suburb of St Peters.

"You can't come in”, Friends of the Earth (FOE) organiser Drew Hutton told mining companies on behalf of a coalition of farming groups from South-West Queensland, outside State Parliament on November 22.

The farmers launched the campaign in opposition to mining companies’ plans for up to 40,000 coal seam gas wells and massive new coal mines on the farming land of the Darling Downs.

"All the laws are weighted in favour of the mining interests and against farmers”, Hutton said.

The third annual camp for climate action will happen in the Hunter Valley from December 1-5, between the Liddell and Bayswater power stations. The camp will bring will be an important forum for diverse groups to build stronger links with one another.

— "Queensland is now the world epicentre of pollution of our atmosphere", Greens leader Bob Brown told 200 people at a November 14 meeting sponsored by Friends of the Earth, 6 Degrees, the Wilderness Society and the Queensland Conservation Council.

"We know what is coming if we don't put a stop to the use of fossil fuels. This year is the hottest ever in human existence, and it's only going to get worse if we don't take urgent action to tackle climate change."

GasLand
A film by director Josh Fox
In Palace cinemas from November 18
www.GasLand.com.au

In September 2006, theatre director and part-time banjo player Josh Fox received an unexpected letter in the mail: a natural gas company offering him $100,000 for permission to explore his family's upstate New York property, in the lush Delaware River Basin area.

Close to 5000 protesters took to the streets on November 6, demanding the next state government replace the Hazelwood power station with genuinely clean energy during the next term of office. Victoria goes to the polls on November 27.

Rally organisers said Hazelwood was the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases per unit of electricity of any power station in Australia. It is responsible for 3% of the nation’s entire carbon emissions. It’s also the nation’s largest emitter of dioxin, the most toxic known chemical compound.

Campaign group Safe Climate Perth reached the milestone of 2000 signatures on its no new coal petition on October 30.

The petition calls for WA's parliament to stop to expansion of coal-fired power stations, mines and related infrastructure, and to fund a roll-out of renewable energy with priority access to the new jobs, with equivalent conditions, given to coal communities.

The petition was launched on October 10, and Safe Climate Perth has embarked on an energetic effort to reach 10,000 signatures by Human Rights Day.

Climate change is the biggest threat to our future, and coal is the biggest cause of climate change, yet right now there are plans for 12 new coal or gas-fired power stations around Australia.

In this context, the Camp for Climate Action is taking place over December 1-5 at Liddell recreation area in the Hunter Valley, a little over an hour inland from Newcastle.

The camp will take place near Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations and in the sprawling moonscape of massive coalmines in the area.

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