Part 13 of NoFibs Australian election coverage 2016: @Qldaah #ausvotes #auspol #qldpol

The final act in the Australian election campaign for 2016.

Red room and the quest for Queensland fixed four year terms: @Qldaah #qldpol

Opinion The referendum this Saturday on fixed four year terms for the Queensland state parliament will fail. I know this because voters have two main concerns. They fear a return of a “Campbell Newman”; not being able to oust a bad premier for four long years. Queenslanders have also expressed a long harboured desire to restore the upper house which was abolished in the constitution amendment act of 1921. At the time, it was stacked with English aristocracy. On the first point, had Newman governed for four years, his opinion rating would have been so low that current premier Annastacia Palaszcuk would have had no trouble forming a majority Labor government in 2016. If he’d been replaced by […]

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: […]

Byron Shire quick off the NO GAS mark: Sarah Buchanan reports

By Sarah Buchanan Byron Shire’s white fella past has seen some biggish mistakes over its 130-year history – and last week Byron Shire Council took a vote for country, at last. Firstly in 1770 Captain Cook changed the Arakwal’s perfectly adequate name of Cavvanbah (meeting place) to Byron Bay, which Cook named after the ‘circumnavigator of the world’, Admiral John Byron. Then, in the early 1880s, Byron Bay’s first town planners named streets for an era of poetry inspired by the poet Lord George Gordon Noel Byron, believing that that’s who Cook had in mind. Then, during the years from the 1840s to 1880s, the timber getters all but destroyed […]

Lobbyists and public commentary: Reith in the spotlight – Mark Anning @1EarthMedia reports

By Mark Anning It was interesting to see the opinion piece written by Peter Reith for The Drum – Fracking scare campaigns threaten our prosperity – especially considering Reith is a paid political lobbyist and chairman of the Victorian Government’s task force on the eastern gas market. “The public debate is soon mired in myriad false claims, partly because government has not ensured the public is fairly informed and because some activists have other political agendas,” writes Reith. To ensure that the public is fairly informed, and agendas and vested interests are properly tabled, it should be noted that Peter Reith is a lobbyist for First State Advisors and Consultants Pty Ltd. Who […]

Occupy East Coast Gas Conference – Melinda Wilson reports

NEWS COMMENT By Melinda Wilson Over a hundred people from a wide range of community groups across Sydney and NSW voiced their concerns about the coal seam gas industry outside the East Coast Gas Outlook Conference  in Sydney last week. Government and industry were at the 22 October conference to discuss ways for agriculture and CSG to co-exist, and to outline the progress in NSW of coal seam gas licensing and regulation. The Marriot Hotel street-front was crowded with people who had travelled from all over NSW, including Lismore, Gosford, Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Byron Bay and Western Sydney to demonstrate their concerns about the expanding coal seam gas industry. The event […]

Six years in a dust storm: life near a coal mine Aileen Harrison reports

By Aileen Harrison* In April 1998 we moved into our dream home at Highland Plains, near Acland, Queensland, starting a tourist attraction with bus loads of tourists arriving to see our alpacas, as well as our craft and memorabilia display. Alas for us, the Acland open cut coal mine started up in August 2002. We were told at the start there would no dust, noise, lights or any other disruptions to our everyday life. For the first two years, life next to the mine was not pleasant but it was liveable. Then Stage 2 started. We were located about 1.5 kilometres away from the actual mining, yet the lights were […]

Groundwater: out of sight, not out of mind: @molessarah reports

By Sarah Moles Very wise people have said some crucially important things about water. For me, Leonardo Da Vinci summed it up best with: “Water is the driving force of all nature”.  W.H. Auden comes a close second: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”   Given its essential place in supporting life, it ought to follow that protection of water quality, water sources – indeed the entire water cycle – would be an over-arching principle underpinning responsible and sustainable water management. But it’s not. Somehow, here on the driest inhabited continent, policy apparently trumps principle. It is a policy objective of several of our governments that there will […]

The definition of ‘data’ – Katherine Marchment reports

By Katherine Marchment I am finding it hard to understand the argument that there is ‘no data’ available for the impacts of CSG in regions around Australia. Farmers who have bores have always constantly checked them. In Central Queensland, this task is usually carried out on a regular basis by jackeroos. This is done to ensure the drinking water supply for stock and humans, and also to calculate available water for irrigation. Bore levels vary and the amount of water available varies according to seasons, use by neighbours who have bores sunk into the same aquifer and leaks or pipe blockages. This has been done since bores have existed in this […]