The #SunflowerProject @stephaniedale22 comments

Australia’s political ‘solutions’ to the asylum seeker ‘problem’ are despicable. On this not enough of us agree, but we have mass enough that we ought to be able to make a difference. We march in the streets, we light candles, we share on Facebook, we sign petitions, we express our dismay when this or that news report manages to expose the horrors of life in detention centres on Nauru or Manus Island or when this or that former employee blows the whistle. Yet still absolutely nothing changes. Except for the worse. Usually around election time. What can we do? Our collective helplessness is stupid. Rather than sharing compassionate thoughts for […]

Repair and hope for the #Pilliga Forest, by long-time campaigner Iris Ray Nunn

  By Iris Ray Nunn 18th March 2014 Margo: Iris covered the battle to save the Pilliga State Forest from Santos CSG for the No Fibs CSG Citizen Journalism project late last year. It seemed hopeless, then… I know big business has not pulled their CSG operations out of the Pilliga, Yet, but, also, as well – I have to share how encouraged and inspired I feel right now at how far this campaign has come in such a short time. It seems like only yesterday that I was in Narrabri reading the front page of The Courier heralding ‘Big rig arrives to begin work’ in the Pilliga, and felt sick […]

Fancy a holiday in the gas fields? @1EarthMedia comments

By Mark Anning  @1EarthMedia 17th January 2014 In assessing AGL and Panagea Resources’ plans to place gas wells on farms and near residences in the Gloucester Basin and Manning Valley, it is difficult not to conclude that the industrialisation of farmland in the region is incompatible with existing sustainable industries. Many millions of dollars has been spent over many decades by private businesses and government building sustainable industries in the region, such as tourism, wine, thoroughbred horses and agriculture. All these are under threat as gas companies enforce their existing legal right to enter land to begin drilling. Here’s the reality for anybody not in the pocket of the mining industry: […]

Twitter and the discerning citizen journalist

No Fibs relies on social media to broadcast our news. In particular, we are a Twitter experiment. The wonder of social media is that it enables us to disseminate news quickly – very quickly. Its inherent danger is that is also encourages citizen journalists to spread false information quickly – very quickly. As a citizen journalist your credibility is 100% dependent on your accuracy. Your readers must be able to trust your work and the authenticity of your sources. So how do you check the accuracy of information you find on Twitter? The link above leads to an excellent interview with University of British Columbia educator Alfred Hermida on ABC Radio National’s Media […]

Show us the #CSG data on health and wellbeing: Mark Doyle reports

By Mark Doyle What are the risks of coal seam gas mining on the health and wellbeing of people and their communities? I am a facts and figures kind of person. When people claim health benefits for coffee or chocolate, or health risks from eating saturated fats, my response is, ‘show me the data!’ Such data are generated through well designed epidemiological studies. Studies of chemical exposures can be complex to design and interpret. Researchers often need to disentangle possible associations with a range of illnesses, and multiple exposures. For example, farmers frequently use pesticides and herbicides, and farms can be risky places to live and work. If you add […]

Art: what for? by James McCaughey

By James McCaughey* At the heart of the Gasworks Arts Park (in Melbourne) lies the gift of imagination. This is symbolised by the fact that artists work in the studios that ring the park, giving the Gasworks Arts Park its character. We have always been proud that this is so – this evening, and in ensuing weeks, we celebrate it. In the work of the artist, a different world is imagined. Or a different way of seeing this world is created. And through engaging with what the artist creates, we see the world anew. It is unnecessary, this act. It may make demands upon us. It could even, sometimes, be […]

#CSG pilot project winds up: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale No Fibs CSG editor The pilot No Fibs CSG citizen journalism project is winding up. It’s been an absolutely wonderful project to be involved in – in just four weeks we’ve harnessed the talents of 13 new citizen journalists and triggered the interest of many more. We’ve introduced new writers and showcased new voices in the public news arena. We’ve claimed news space in a highly competitive field, sparking the attention of mainstream news media with CJ Mark Anning‘s piece exposing former Workplace Relations Minister and ABC commentator Peter Reith’s conflicts of interest in the CSG debate. We’ve inspired citizens with no prior writing experience to tap […]

An uneasy truce: Sally MacKinnon reports

  By Sally MacKinnon I live on top of a mountain on the edge of Lamington National Park, the largest protected subtropical rainforest in the world. It is on the eastern edge of the Scenic Rim region, a Local Government Area (LGA) in south-east Queensland covering 4256 square kilometres. It is home to approximately 39,000 people living in towns, villages, hamlets, farmland and forests including Aratula, Beaudesert, Beechmont, Boonah, Canungra, Kalbar, Kerry, Lost World Valley, Kooralbyn, Mount Barney, Mount Maroon, Rathdowney, Tamborine and Tamborine Mountain. We live on the edge of the McPherson Overlap where the southern tip of Queensland’s tropical rainforests meets the northern reach of Australia’s southern temperate […]

#CSG showdown in Gloucester @1earthmedia reports

By Mark Anning reports from Gloucester, NSW The NSW Government is considering an application by giant gas company AGL to begin the controversial and risky process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at Forbesdale, just south of Gloucester in the Manning Valley NSW – less than 300 metres from the nearest family home and less than 600 metres from 35 homes in a zoned residential area. Premier O’Farrell is expected to announce his decision this month on AGL’s application to the NSW Office of Coal Seam Gas for their Review of Environmental Factors (REF)  for a fracking stimulation management plan – and local residents are digging in to fight the good fight. Federal […]

A fair go – the right to say ‘no’: Phil Laird reports

  By Phil Laird Weeks of rumours that peak industry bodies were providing input into the proposed amendments to the Petroleum (Onshore) Act, regarding access agreements and permits, finally found their way into social media. The Act has had amendments proposed, the most controversial of which are about access to land for petroleum (read: unconventional gas) exploration. NSW irrigators confirmed on Twitter that the Land and Water Commissioner, Jock Laurie, is in discussions about the development of a draft code for access in order to push forward the NSW Government’s CSG  agenda. Mr Laurie and NSW Farmers are yet to make comment. In recent times, the community has been mobilising house […]