environment

As the newly-elected Queensland state parliament met for the first time on February 14, a small group of dedicated Protectors from Families Against Fossil Fuels and Standing with Sandi held their regular #StandAgainstCSG protest outside its doors.

Sandra Bamberry (Sandi) is the mother of two little girls who have experienced negative health impacts, including ongoing nosebleeds and nausea, from the many coal seam gas (CSG) mines that now surround their home on the Tara gasfields.

An environment plan for petroleum exploration company Asset Energy to start seismic testing off the coast of Newcastle has been accepted by the federal regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.

More than 500 people gathered at the Coonamble Bowls Club on February 10 to declare they do not want a gas pipeline across NSW’s western slopes and would fight to protect the Great Artesian Basin.

The meeting expressed deep-seated concern about the potential threat of coal seam gas (CSG) mining to the Great Artesian Basin.

APA has been contracted to build a gas pipeline through the NSW slopes and plains for gas giant Santos, which wants to sink 850 CSG wells in a 95,000-hectare project area in the Pilliga State Forest.

Less than three weeks out from the Batman byelection, Labor has yet to announce a definitive policy on Adani’s Carmichael coalmine.

Climate activists have focused their campaign on calling for Labor to announce that in government it would reverse existing approvals for new coalmines in the Galilee Basin. Labor leader Bill Shorten has responded with statements that have been interpreted as being “tougher on Adani”, but that have fallen far short of the demands of the movement which regards Labor as still straddling the fence.

Members of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) gathered in Acland on February 14 for the Queensland environment department’s decision on the environmental authority for New Hope Coal’s proposed Acland Stage 3 project. 

Expecting the worst — that the department would reject the recommendation of the Land Court — local farmers and community members were overjoyed at the decision by Queensland’s Environment and Science Department to reject New Acland’s environmental authority amendment for the Stage 3 coalmine expansion. 

Cape Town — in which some of Africa’s most affluent live — is rapidly running out of water. Population growth and a record drought, exacerbated by climate change, are creating one of the world’s most dramatic urban water crises.

Ireland’s Dail Eireann (its lower house of parliament) voted by a large majority on February 8 in favour of a bill to ban the government issuing new contracts for oil and gas exploration.

The Next Generation (TNG) wants to build the biggest waste-to-energy incinerator in the world at Eastern Creek in Sydney’s west. Local residents are defiantly opposed and have organised for more than a year to bring Labor and the Coalition onside.

At a rally outside NSW Parliament on February 6, Labor pledged it would oppose it. Tanya Davies, the local Liberal MP, told the rally that while she was concerned, the decision was a planning issue, not a government one.

After 1000 submissions were made — mostly opposed — to the proposal, TNG has submitted its third revision.

The Murray-Darling Basin Declaration was signed on February 5 by 12 eminent scientists and economists — Quentin Grafton, Darla Hatton MacDonald, David Paton, Graham Harris, Henning Bjornlund, Jeffery D Connor, John Quiggin, John Williams, Lin Crase, Richard Kingsford, Sarah Ann Wheeler and Richard Davis — who are concerned that the current Murray-Darling Basin Plan is not working.

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Police broke up a peaceful blockade of an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland, Victoria, on January 31.

Conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) established the blockade and for 10 days managed to prevent logging of an untouched area of old growth forest.

A man, known as Possum, who was suspended in a hammock hanging from a 10 metre tripod structure that blocked access to the logging site, was arrested. He was charged and will appear in Orbost Magistrates court in April.  

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