Greens MP David Shoebridge joined members of climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle at a press conference on January 28 to condemn Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) “victim’s compensation” claim of $525,0000 against seven protesters. PWCS is pursuing the claim in response to a peaceful protest organised in September 2010, which stopped coal loading in Newcastle port for almost 10 hours.
Margaret River, a town on the southwest coast of Australia, is an important agricultural area, supporting olive farms, dairies and livestock. It attracts tourists from all over the country eager to check out its famous beaches, forests, artists and wineries. But residents were shocked when news surfaced in July that a proposed coalmine will be built just 15 kilometres from the town centre.
Newcastle and the Hunter region have a proud history of energy-related manufacturing. However, since the 1990s the sector has experienced a steady decline, born of decades of neoliberal, free trade policies that encouraged companies to move offshore. Presently, only 10% of the Hunter workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. But climate change and the need for clean energy alternatives are opening new doors.
Testimony to the NSW upper house inquiry into the sale of NSW’s electricity assets has alleged that only a fraction of the $5.3 billion price tag will reach the public purse. Billions will be eaten up by “associated costs”. These costs include about $1.5 billion in government funds to buy a new coal mine north-east of Lithgow to ensure a cheap coal supply for the new private owners. A further $1 billion in coal price subsidies is guaranteed to the private energy companies over the life of the mine.
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. ***** 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."