The fight to stop the James Price Point gas hub in the Kimberly in Western Australia's north reached a critical point on July 4 as police arrested dozens of people. The arrests were an attempt to break the spirit of the community protesters who have blockaded the site for a month. Woodside Petroleum is the lead company in a consortium that is planning to build a $30 billion gas-processing hub that would destroy pristine environment and result in up to 39 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution a year.
The statement below was released by a coalition of groups that held a protest on July 5, disabling a coal seam gas rig in Pilliga State Forest in NSW. * * * Yesterday, in a first for NSW, a coal seam gas rig was the target of a peaceful protest, with a protester scaling 25m into the air and hanging suspended from the rig for almost 16 hours. The rig was working in the Pilliga Forest, near Narrabri in north-west NSW. The protester, Warrick Jordan was arrested late on Tuesday afternoon, and spent close to five hours being processed by police at the Narrabri police station.
The NSW Nature Conservation Council released the statement below on July 5. * * * In a first for NSW, peaceful protesters have this morning stopped a coal seam gas exploration rig in the Pilliga Forest, south of Narrabri. One protester in climbing gear is suspended high above the ground at the top of a 25 metre rig at an Eastern Star Gas operation, with another group of protesters on site.
The Socialist Alliance adopted a coal seam gas policy at its June 26 National Council meeting. The policy appears below. * * * The gas industry is rapidly increasing its scope in the Australian energy market. Gas is talked up by some as a clean energy source, or as a “transition fuel”, while we develop renewable energies. But gas is a fossil fuel. Burning it creates carbon emissions. For a safe climate, we need to cut net emissions almost totally within the next decade. In fact, we then have to move below zero net emissions: to draw down more carbon than we produce.
About 150 protesters rallied at a mining expo in Toowoomba on June 22 to protest the expansion of coal and coal seam gas mining in the Darling Downs region. They confronted state mining minister Stirling Hinchliffe to demand that other areas in Queensland should be exempted from coal seam gas mining — similar to the recent rejection of a mining permit in Toowoomba, the June 23 Brisbane Courier Mail said.
Western Australia has always been proud of its natural resources and mining industries. Criticise it, and you bare the wrath of not only the elitism of rich investors and industrialists, but pretty much 80 to 90% of the population. Woodside is considered one of the pride. When meeting its representatives in 2003, as one of the 40 of so school students attending the “Australian Student Mineral Venture”, we were told in loud volumes about how they employed Aborigines too … obviously the only tick box needed to be ethical, or so they thought.
Public opposition to a plan by an Australian mining company, Lynas, to build a rare earth refinery in Pahang, Malaysia, was on show at a protest outside Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on May 20. Lynas plans to ship ore from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia, through the port of Fremantle, to Malaysia. There it will be refined to extract rare earths, which are widely used in the manufacture of computers and electronics.
On Friday June 3, NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham launched a bill in state parliament that would place a 12-month moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in NSW and prohibit CSG mining in the Sydney metropolitan area. Speaking at the bill launch, Buckingham pointed out the risks associated with CSG extraction, including wastewater, fugitive emissions, land impact and depletion of aquifers.
The Pilliga State Forest in northern NSW will be turned into a gas field if the government approves Eastern Star Gas's (ESG) mining proposal for the region. The proposal set out by ESG seeks to develop the Pilliga into the state's largest coal seam gas (CSG) project. The development would include the drilling of more than 1000 gas wells and the clearing of vast stretches of native bushland to make way for gas pipelines and other associated infrastructure, such as a water treatment facility and access roads.
About 150 representatives engaged in the campaign against coal and coal seam gas mining attended the inaugural annual general meeting of the Lock the Gate Alliance, held in Murwillumbah, NSW, over June 11 and 12. Lock the Gate (LTG) is a national body that represents more than 90 community groups and hundreds of individuals concerned about the impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining. The meeting elected four office bearers and five committee members, including Sarah Moles as secretary and Sean Gough as treasurer. See also::