Lock the Gate Alliance says a decision by the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, to delay a decision on two coal mines near Boggabri in north-west NSW, including the Whitehaven Maules Creek Coal Project, has exposed gaping holes in the NSW planning process which approved the mines.
The time frame for making a federal decision on the mines has been delayed until the 30th April.
"We welcome the wise decision by Tony Burke today to defer a decision on the two proposed coal mines in Leard State Forest," said Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance.Read more
Grafton man John Wyborn, who was arrested at the anti-coal seam gas protest last week at Glenugie, has spent more than a week in Kempsey gaol, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
The news came as the President of Lock The Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, joined the people of Kyogle at the anti-CSG blockade at Doubtful Ck where the CSG drill rig is expected to arrive today.
"John Wyborn has made a heroic effort to protect the Glenugie area from invasive gas mining. He has been arrested twice at the site and has now spent a week in gaol," said Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance.
The president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, will be attending the blockade of coal seam gas company, Metgasco, today (Thursday) at Doubtful Creek near Kyogle.
Organisers are expecting perhaps as many as 200 blockaders to be at the site.
Mr Hutton said the Lock the Gate movement was committed to stopping Metgasco from establishing a foothold in the Northern Rivers and would continue to mount blockades whenever the company attempted to enter a new drill site.
Lock the Gate Alliance has called on the Federal Environment Minister to reject the proposed Boggabri coal mines tomorrow, including the Whitehaven Maules Ck Project, or to expect legal problems. A decision is due on the mines under Federal Environment laws on the 7th February.
An independent scientific study released two weeks ago indicated the environmental assessments on which the mines were based was flawed and that the data used was incorrect.
"We are calling on the Federal Environment Minister to think long and hard about this one - it would be a very bad precedent to approve these mines based on false and incorrect information," said Carmel Flint, campaign co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.Read more
Media Release, 4th February 2013, Hunter & Central Rivers Alliance
A new regional alliance of 34 community groups has called on NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to suspend all licenses subject to the current Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiries under Operations Jasper and Acacia.
The Hunter and Central Rivers Alliance (HCRA) is a collaboration between community groups (listed below), covering the Central Coast, Greater Hunter, Gloucester, Great Lakes, and Manning Regions.
The groups in the Alliance are campaigning to restore balance to decision making on coal and coal seam gas development in the region. The Alliance met in Rutherford over the weekend.
“The evidence given in ICAC hearings last week is damning,” said Steve Phillips, regional coordinator for Lock the Gate, one of the HCRA groups. “While we recognise that the investigation is not over, it would be irresponsible to allow continued exploration in license areas that may have been issued under a flawed and corrupt process.”
“A pause on exploration is a sensible response that recognises the impact that uncertainty around these projects is having on local communities, landholders, and other stakeholders,” said Phillips.