Everyone wants prompt government response to CSG Review : #environment @richardsheggie reports

The long-awaited Independent CSG Review The Final Report of the Independent Review of Coal Seam Gas Activities in NSW was released by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer (CSE) on September 30, 2014. The technical, business and academic qualifications and experience of the Chair of the CSG Review, Professor Mary O’Kane, make her eminently suitable to have guided this complex, 18 month review The process produced a series of independent, wide-ranging and comprehensive reports which have been broadly welcomed by the government and the major CSG industry supporters and its opponents. With a few exceptions (Alan Jones, who later apologised), most responses recognise the independency of the review process and note […]

#CSG science provides no easy conclusions: @SavLance75 reports

A year has passed since Steve Ansford tied banners to the boundary fence of his rural-residential property near Tara, Queensland, where they were sure to be noticed by workers travelling to and from Origin Energy’s “Ironbark” coal seam gas (CSG) project site. As far as Steve and his wife Judy are concerned, the questions painted on those banners remain unanswered. The only thing they see as having changed in the intervening year is their determination to remain in the area they have long called home. Their desire now is to leave — the sooner the better. “We’ve got no problem with them coming in and doing stuff, but they need to […]

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 […]

Only taking it to the streets will stop #csg: Bob Debus to @RobinMosman #Pilliga

About three years ago, when I first started to become really aware of the threats presented by coal seam gas mining, I happened to meet up with Bob Debus. Some of you will remember him as NSW’s longest serving Environment Minister. Such was his capability that he typically held 4 ministries at any one time. Here in the Blue Mountains where we were lucky enough to have him as our local Member, he was affectionately known as “the Minister for Everything”. During part of that time I was president of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, and we met fairly often about various issues. In 2007 he went on to serve […]

On the turning away: Iris Ray Nunn comments on #leardblockade

It is four weeks since I went into the Leard State Forest and witnessed firsthand the widespread destruction of habitat in return for coal. In truth, I am still hurt, still angry. These difficult feelings tear at me because the desecration of our Earth continues – and I am aware that my existence, albeit simple, is still dependent on the wheel-of-harm.  So what do I do? Do I simply shut the contradiction out? Or do I, we, all of us, as Pink Floyd sings in the epic rock classic On the Turning Away: “Don't accept that what's happeningIs just a case of others' sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning away.” When I returned shaken and disturbed from Leard, […]

Water under fire: @JeanRoxon reports #Pilliga contamination concerns

[clear]   A group of farmers and councillors met last week in north-west NSW to take a stand against a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) development proposed in the area. Narrabri Shire councillor Bevan O’Reagan said: “We haven’t got a plan B if the water is damaged.” Australian gas and oil producer Santos last week submitted its Preliminary Environmental Assessment for a CSG mine in the Narrabri region. This submission follows the successful application by coal company Whitehaven, to increase open-cut mining in the nearby Leard State Forest. The northern plains region is known for its abundance of coal and gas and lies on the eastern edge of the Great Artesian […]

After the CSG boom, Narrabri farmers concerned about the bust: @CarlyWladkowski reports #Pilliga

  Residents of Narrabri, in the northwestern plains of New South Wales, met last week to protest exploratory mining on local farms, and the Santos proposal for the region. Campaign groups, such as Lock the Gate and Greenpeace, have been working with local farmers to co-ordinate efforts against a proposed Coal Seam Gas (CSG) field. Local farmers at the protest also questioned Santos’ involvement within the Narrabri community. Nicki Kirkby, a farmer from nearby Bellata, said: “The community is pretty split at the moment… [lots of people] don’t want to be publicly one way or the other”. “Our ability to sponsor lots of community things has been down in the […]

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 […]

#MarchinMarch Katoomba report by @bluntshovels

By El Gibbs  @bluntshovels 17th March 2014 Over 700 people gathered in front of the historic Carrington Hotel in Katoomba on Sunday to protest against the Federal Government, spilling out onto the street. Many hand-made signs featured, with slogans such as “What happened to taking care? Of ourselves, each other, our country”, “It’s not money trickling down”, “Peace off, Abbott” and many against coal seam gas developments. Absolutely chockablock full here at #MarchInMarch Blue Mountains pic.twitter.com/bmnaytKq1L — Annette Bennett (@abennett41) March 16, 2014   The clouds gathered but so did the crowd! Estimate 1000 #nofibsmim #marchinmarchbluemtns pic.twitter.com/sd6VB0aPsu — Amanda Carr (@amandalacarr) March 16, 2014   The local organisers, in consultation […]

Same state, different rules: Penny Blatchford @NoCSGGurley asks why some people in NSW get special treatment?

By Penny Blatchford Most Australians enjoy the freedom to make choices about their lives – whom we marry, if we will have children, where we live and where we work. It would seem for people like me who choose to marry a farmer, have a family, live on the farm and make that farm our primary business, our freedom to continue to choose our life is being taken away. Governments across Australia, without any sense of balance or democracy, are choosing to turn our countryside , including our wilderness and our farms into a nationwide industrial gasfield. On 3 October 2013, the NSW government continued to make choices on our behalf […]