Environment

BHP used to be called “The Big Australian”. It is now BHP Billiton — a global corporation, the largest mining company in the world and the largest Australian headquartered corporation by market capitalisation. Its CEO Marius Kloppers is described as being one of "the top 20 most powerful people in business worldwide".
Environment groups The Wilderness Society, Environment Tasmania and the Australian Conservation Foundation signed a “forest peace deal” with the Forest Industry Association of Tasmania on November 22. Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre released the statement below on November 23. ***
The Wilderness Society released the statement below on November 18. * * * Western Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion’s approval of the James Price Point gas processing precinct in the Kimberley is so completely flawed that Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke can only reject the WA assessment, which breaches the Strategic Assessment Agreement between the two governments in many ways.
Simon Butler, coauthor with Ian Angus of Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis, gave the speech below to a November 17 seminar in Sydney, “Sustainable population: towards a meaningful dialogue,” organised by the Nature Conservation Society of NSW. * * *
A global survey of 27 of the most important cities in the world has ranked Sydney as fourth-worst for public transport. Sydneysiders also pay more for public transport than anywhere else. The study was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. If this was not bad enough, the situation is set to worsen. The November 16 Sydney Morning Herald said a high-level RailCorp document outlined another 690 jobs to be cut in the train sector.
Reporting on the release of the mid-year budget update in the Canberra Times on October 22, Peter Martin wrote that “Tax collections from both wages and the GST are running ahead of projections. Dramatically lower company tax collections account for most of the $21 billion write-down.” Included in that $21 billion is a revenue downgrade of $4.3 billion dollars over four years in resource rent tax from petroleum and mineral extraction from a projected $13.4 billion.
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW released the statement below on November 14. * * * Revelations about the high levels of methane leakage from the Tara Estate coal seam gasfield in Queensland cast serious doubts on claims the industry’s greenhouse impact is relatively benign, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
The High Court of Malaysia lifted a two-month suspension on November 8 of a temporary operating licence granted to the Australian company Lynas Corporation to operate a controversial rare earths refinery near the city of Kuantan in Malaysia. Angry residents and environmental activists now plan to bring their objection to Australia when Lynas holds its shareholders' annual general meeting at the luxury Sofitel Hotel in Sydney on November 20. Eighteen activists will travel to Sydney to take part in the protest and speak to concerned Australians, politicians and the media.
This article is republished from The Conversation. * * *

Burn it all. That is the plan in Australia’s new Energy White Paper.

Released yesterday by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, it talks about responding to climate change while planning the opposite.

Representatives of Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).

Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa counts on a high level of support at home. But internationally, he has been criticed for policies on development, the environment and indigenous peoples.

The Infrastructure NSW chair, former Liberal premier Nick Greiner, delivered a vision for the state for the next 20 years on October 3. For the 4.5 million people living in Sydney, the State Infrastructure Strategy, titled First Things First, will mean more roads, more congestion and more transport frustration for years to come.
The statement below was released on November 5 by community groups that took part in a protest outside the NSW government’s Community Cabinet meeting in Tamworth. * * * Residents of north-west NSW have united in numbers outside the NSW Community Cabinet being held in Tamworth to expose the Barry O'Farrell government’s broken promises on protecting farmland, water catchments and sensitive environments from coal and gas mining.