anti-mining

When then-Minister for the Environment and Water Tony Burke signed over more than 1500 hectares of native vegetation, including endangered woodlands, to Whitehaven Coal in 2013, he did so amid contention and uncertainty. It would not go unchallenged.

Today, a parapet of accumulated earth protrudes from the Leard State Forest. The Maules Creek open-cut coalmine is now fully operational. But when exploitation ceases, the crater left in the mine's place will not be filled for centuries.

In a unanimous decision on September 27, the Queensland Court of Appeal rejected the challenge by environment group Coast and Country to the proposed GVK Hancock Alpha coalmine.

The appeal was lodged in October last year. Hancock Coal Pty Ltd and the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage, were respondents at the hearing on June 7.

Fossil fuel divestment is gathering pace around Australia and the world. More and more individuals and organisations are pulling their investment assets out of companies involved with the exploration, extraction, production or financing of fossil fuels.

One year after spilling enough cyanide solution to fill at least 40% of an Olympic-size swimming pool at the controversial Veladero mine in Argentina, Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold owned up on September 15 to another cyanide leak at the same gold mining operation in the country’s mountainous and river-rich San Juan province.

Barrick announced it had suspended work at the mine to address the leak, caused on September 8 by a damaged pipe carrying dilute cyanide solution used in gold processing.

Ecuadorean indigenous groups’ years-long court battle to force oil giant Chevron to pay US$9.5 billion in damages for the environmental disaster known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” began a new phase on September 12 — this time in Canada.

Plaintiffs from Ecuador have been trying for years to collect damages it won in its 2011 lawsuit against Chevron in a court in Ecuador, where the multinational oil giant no longer has assets that can be seized.

Conservationists who gathered outside the Land and Environment Court on September 13 were extremely disappointed by the court decision to allow the continued discharge of polluted mine water into Sydney's drinking water supplies. They chanted "Wild rivers, not waste water" and "Clean water, not coal water" after the ruling.

Colong Foundation for Wilderness Director Keith Muir said: "4nature has failed to overturn the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) decision that allows Centennial Coal to discharge polluted water from the Springvale mine into the Coxs River.


Fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves.

Mapuche Indigenous communities in the Argentine Patagonian province of Neuquen have denounced fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale reserves, which they claim are contaminating their land and groundwater, killing their livestock.

Gamilaraay people are engaged in an epic fight for country against coal and gas giants supported by state and federal governments. For Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall, from the Gunu Gunu clan and the Biridja clan, the fight is about totems — “our water, the environment and the land itself”.

As one presidential candidate faces charges for spray-painting construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest on September 6, many are calling for President Barack Obama and White House Democrat presidential candidate Hilary Clinton to oppose the controversial project.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein would be charged for taking part in an action in which 150 to 200 people protested at a DAPL worksite in North Dakota.

After a two-year campaign by students and staff, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Vice Chancellor Peter Coaldrake has committed to divest the university’s $300 million endowment fund of its shares in coal, oil and gas companies.

The move, announced on September 2, means QUT has joined three other Australian universities — Australian National University, La Trobe University and the University of Sydney — in a global divestment movement to withdraw support from industries fueling climate change.

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