Maules Creep Coal Mine #leardblockade. Who’s the umpire? asks @greekmcchic

The moans of senior mining industry identities are increasing as they condemn environmental protestors for “not accepting the umpire’s decision” on mining approvals and conditions. The problem is, it’s them who refuse to accept the umpire’s decision Stephen Galilee, Mark Vaile and Phillip Christensen have all emerged recently condemning legitimate community protests while big mining fails to honour key planning conditions. Controversial miner Whitehaven Coal has the ambition to be “one of Australia’s largest, and lowest-cost, producers of high-quality coal” according to the 2014 Annual General Meeting statement of its Chairman Mark Vaile. This would be largely off the back of its Maules Creek NSW coal mine, which will more […]

The #protectgloucester camp: @coolmccool reports

  The Protect Gloucester camp is now open and ready for business. Situated among breath-taking scenery close to AGL’s fracking site, the camp is manned by a team of dedicated locals, who have put in many hours of hard work to get the camp ready. Built to meet very stringent regulations demanded by the local council authorities, the camp has scores of neatly laid out and spacious drive-in/drive-out plots which would put many a paid caravan park to shame. Visitors are welcomed at the gate by volunteers and informed of the camp rules, briefed on the facilities available, and are made to feel very welcome. Some of the plots are […]

Living with coal, @Sikamikanico joins Pacific #ClimateWarriors to blockade Newcastle Port. #leardblockade

It’s pretty irritating living next to the coal train line in the shadow of the world’s largest coal port. The outside walls of our house are constantly covered in a layer of coal dust. I have to wash the dust out of the laundry baskets every time we use them (and yes, we do regularly do laundry). I quit smoking over five years ago and don’t have asthma, but I’ve a constant hacking cough that spurs strangers to tell me “those ciggies will kill you, you know”, and endless chest infections. So that’s not much fun, but it’s even to scarier to think what happens at the other end of […]

From winter clearing to spring slaughter: @RobinMosman reports on #leardblockade

The stopping of winter clearing of the Leard State Forest for  Whitehaven’s massive coal mine may have been just a stay of execution for the threatened species for whom the forest is  home. A week before their amended 2014 Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) was due to be legally challenged in the Land and Environment Court, Whitehaven have lodged a new one. If this new BMP is approved, it will allow Whitehaven to resume clearing in the spring, from 1 November.  This will turn the forest, which provides habitat for 34 threatened species, including the Koala and the Masked Owl, into a spring slaughterhouse. Threatened bird and bats species are breeding in […]

Back to the #leardblockade: report by @RobinMosman

Warwick and I are just home again after taking a group of silver-haired oldies from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society to the Leard Blockade. The plan was that our obvious super-respectability and elder wisdom would look impressive on Facebook, and hopefully add more weight to opposition to the clearing of the Leard Forest for coal mining. Here in the Blue Mountains we are no strangers to the threat of coal and CSG mining. Over the last 4 years the Society, and hundreds of its members, have put in more than 20 detailed submissions to do with the expansion of existing coal mines here and the establishment of new ones, 8 […]

Innumerate or deceptive: @adropex dissects @TheIPA ‘report’ into ABC coal coverage #leardblockade

Innumerate Ignorance or Calculated Deception It is unfortunate that the IPA, and in particular James Paterson, did not take note of the ‘scholarship’ referred to in their recent report of the ABC’s coverage of ‘Australia’s energy choices’ and apply it to their own publication. It would undoubtedly have saved them the embarrassment of making public a deeply flawed piece of political rhetoric loosely dressed up as a quasi research effort that would never pass the most basic academic peer review. A mere glance at the report’s title is sufficient to sound warning bells that the proffered document may not tick all the ethical research boxes. Whilst ‘Public Broadcaster or Green […]

The business of risk: @adropex on values exposed by Credit Suisse @SantosLtd #Pilliga #csg report

On 3 July Credit Suisse, published a report on the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP). The NGP is a coal seam gas (CSG) operation in the Pillaga State Forest in northwestern NSW, owned and operated by Australian company Santos Ltd. The purpose of the report was: “To assess the risks to the NGP due to the complex environmental and social issues encompassing the history of the project, concerns specific to Narrabri and the NW, and more general issues with CSG particularly in NSW.” The report was compiled after meeting with concerned stakeholder groups including farmers, business owners, irrigators, environmentalists, local councillors, Santos and the heads of major investment funds. Credit Suisse […]

NSW lets hibernating animals die to speed up Whitehaven mine, by a sad @georgefwoods at #leardblockade

[clear] The bitter truth and the bitter cold: chainsaw surgery for the animals of Leard State Forest You can be aware that something is true, without really feeling it, and only come up against your illusions, and your naivety, when your knowledge is made real, and you actually experience the terrible truth first hand. It’s a truism in #nswpol that coal mining companies can “say anything they like before approval, and do anything they like afterwards.” It’s a pattern with which coal-affected communities are familiar that conditions of mine approvals are regularly broken and changed after approval is secured. Mines get bigger, creeks get polluted, offset deadlines get forgiven and […]

One #leardblockade rule for Whitehaven, another for Jono Moylan: @larissawaters decries double standards

[clear] Apparently ‘false and misleading’ depends on who you are. Based on the Government’s most recent actions it seems information is only ‘false and misleading’ if it’s provided by someone acting in the public interest to protect the climate – not if it’s provided by a coal mining company with a vested interest in getting an approval. Yesterday I received documents about the Maules Creek coal mine offsets, after the Order for Production of Documents I moved in the Senate last month passed. This package included the long awaited ‘independent’ review of Whitehaven Coal’s proposed offset, albeit commissioned and paid for by Whitehaven Coal. The documents reveal that in fact […]

Digging up the drama: @1moretalk reports the demise of the Environmental Defender’s Office

By Graeme Gibson  @1moretalk For nearly 30 years Michael and Margaret (not their real names) have lived on their block outside a small north Queensland sugar town. During the sugar harvesting season they put up with a lot of truck traffic, and, being on an unsealed road, a lot of dust. “It’s so thick sometimes I reckon you could see it from space,” Michael said. He and Margaret are in their 70s, with health problems worsened by the dust. In June 2013 Michael rang the sugar mill to ask if something could be done. He was told to call the transport contractor. After a few calls he felt he was […]