Lock the Gate Alliance welcomes Tony Abbott’s support for landowners over mining companies

Published: August 12, 2011

The Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed today's announcement by federal Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, that he would support the right of landowners to say 'no' to mining companies wanting to come onto their land.

Speaking on Alan Jones' 2GB program this morning Mr Abbott called for a re-think of the threshold at which the Foreign Investment Review Board must approve agricultural land acquisitions.

President of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said Mr Abbott's statements should cause state governments and oppositions, especially those in Queensland and New South Wales, to re-think the level of support they have been giving both coal and coal seam gas mining.

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LNG developments in Gladstone harbour a threat to world heritage values

Published: August 05, 2011

The Queensland and federal governments have been embarrassed by a UNESCO report expressing 'extreme concern' about liquid natural gas developments on Curtis Island and in Gladstone harbour.

UNESCO indicated they considered these a potential threat to the world heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef since the harbour is part of this world heritage area and it called for a comprehensive strategic assessment of the reef, including a long-term plan for sustainable development.

This has not occurred in Australia since the late nineties when UNESCO raised threats to the world heritage values of Kakadu after several damaging toxic spills from the nearby Ranger uranium mine.

President of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said the UN was far more sensitive to the threats and showed far higher concern than the Bligh government which cared only about the royalties that would come its way from coal and coal seam gas developments.

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APPEA fudges report on groundwater impacts

Published: August 04, 2011

Statements released today by the industry body for coal seam gas, APPEA, on the groundwater impacts of CSG are not an accurate representation of an original report.

Spokesperson Ross Dunne stated the study commissioned by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) shows the coal seam gas industry will have little impact on either the Great Artesian Basin or aquifers relied on by agriculture.

Spokesperson for the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said this was a willful misinterpretation of the original study which was a desktop study based on data from two years ago.

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Alarm as fourth dugong death reported in Gladstone

Published: July 25, 2011

With a fourth dugong found dead, washed up on a beach in Gladstone harbour, environmentalists are warning of an ecological disaster in this section of the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area.

Four dead dugong, three dolphins and more than 40 turtles have all been found since May washed up around the harbour.

Spokesperson for Friends of the Earth and president of the Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said he had witnessed first-hand much of the destruction which has already begun in Gladstone harbour as a result of construction of the LNG facilities.

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NSW govt puts moratorium on fracking: what is the Bligh govt doing?

Published: July 21, 2011

Today's announcement by the NSW government of a moratorium on the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in coal seam gas extraction exposes the charade by the Bligh government that they are pursuing the public interest with their policy on this industry.

NSW Resources and Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, announced today a moratorium on the controversial "fracking" process put in place until year's end.

The government will also introduce tougher restrictions on the use of groundwater, and new public consultation guidelines.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said that, while the NSW government's policy was still well short of what was needed, it did show up the inadequacies of the Bligh government's policy.

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