Documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal extraordinary opposition to coal seam gas in rural NSW which is impeding the industry, and should send a warning signal to investors everywhere, according to Lock The Gate Alliance.
The documents include draft instruments of renewal for controversial coal seam gas exploration licences, and correspondence between gas companies and governments on those renewals.
The documents show that the NSW Government plans to renew most licences across 100% of the original area, waiving a mandatory requirement that licences are reduced by 25% on renewal.
The departmental unit considering renewals, Petroleum Geoscience, is on the record in the documents admitting the impediments to the industry are substantial. For example, it states that:Read more
The Lock the Gate Alliance launched its federal election campaign today by taking demands for national law reform on coal and gas mining to federal parliamentarians across Australia.
The 'Call to Country' incorporates a passionate plea for protecting Australians and the environment from the current onslaught of irresponsible mining as well as a program of legislative reform to address this issue.
Its demands challenge the often-stated assertion by both Labor and Coalition parties that the Federal Government has very limited control over the regulation of coal and coal seam gas.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said many Australians did not appreciate the immensity of the scale of mining tenements in Australia.
"Our new mapping, released today, reveals that an estimated 437 million hectares of our land is covered by coal and gas licences or applications - that is more than half of Australia and an area 18 times the size of Great Britain," Mr Hutton said.Read more
The Lock The Gate Alliance has welcomed moves by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to review the Mt Penny open cut coal mine proposal, and called on him to block it and the other three coal mine projects shrouded by corruption.
Premier Barry O'Farrell announced this evening that his government would be asking Cascade Coal to resubmit a development application for the Mt Penny Coal Project to the Department of Planning, and that corruption findings from ICAC would be assessed in a “public interest test” of the project. The move opens the door for the O'Farrell government to kill off the project.
However, in addition to the Cascade Coal mining proposal at Mt Penny, ICAC is probing the Yarrawa Coal project by Loyal Coal (formerly Monaro Coal), the Doyles Creek project by NuCoal Resources, and the Glendon Brook project, also by Cascade Coal. Two of the projects, Yarrawa and Glendon Brook, are in advanced exploration stages, while the others – Mt Penny in the Bylong Valley and Doyles Creek at Jerrys Plains – have mine development plans awaiting State and Federal Government approval.
“These four coal mine projects stand to have calamitous impacts on people and the environment, if they are approved. They have been forced onto unsuspecting and unwilling local communities through a dodgy process that is now the subject of one of the most far-reaching investigations in ICAC history,” said Steve Phillips, Hunter regional coordinator for the Lock The Gate Alliance.Read more
Central Queensland landholders will this week lodge objections to the Alpha mine, the first of a string of nine 'mega mines' proposed for the Galilee Basin in Western Central Queensland.
Ellie Smith, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance, said a number of landholders had indicated that they would be objecting to the mine.
"Understandably their biggest anxiety is the fate of future water supply. The groundwater modeling undertaken by GVK/Hancock is insufficient. Locals know groundwater fluctuates within and between seasons. To establish credible baseline data entails years of monitoring levels and testing for quality," said Ms Smith.Read more
According to Lock the Gate Northern Rivers, the new CSG exclusion zones announced today by Premier O’Farrell completely ignore the needs and concerns of rural residents and established industries in the Northern Rivers.
In his press release on the changed rules Barry O’Farrell stated: “Families in residential areas should not have to worry about their quality of life being affected by the noise, visual impacts and other effects of coal seam gas mining.”
“Why is it that the quality of life of urban residents is deemed more important than rural residents in regions such as the Northern Rivers whose health, amenity and livelihoods are under threat from coal seam gas operations?” questioned Ian Gaillard, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Northern Rivers.
“Similarly, if the government is prepared to protect wine and horse producers, what about the vital industries of the Northern Rivers like eco-tourism, dairy farming and sustainable agriculture that will be negatively impacted by the large scale CSG production planned for the region?”Read more