Today's announcement by Mines Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, that his department would provide free legal aid to central Queensland farmers faced by mining companies wanting to take over their land is just one more example of this government's one-sided approach to dealing with the destructive impacts of mining.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said central Queensland farmers had taken the most sensible step in the face of threats by mining companies to take over their land – they had locked the gate.Read more
The NSW state government has reached new depths in its lack of responsibility in planning for coal seam gas development with state government developer, Landcom, neglecting to inform prospective buyers in south-west Sydney that AGL plans to drill coal seam gas wells in the area.
While AGL is now saying they will drill no closer than 200 metres from a home, their original planned minimum buffer, apparently with state government approval, was 20 metres.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said even city residents who couldn't care less about country residents having to put up with this sort of intrusion into their lives would now have to sit up and take notice.Read more
The announcement that carcinogenic chemicals have been found in five monitoring bores at Arrow Energy's Tipton West and Daandine gas fields near Dalby is another example of alarm bells going off about the coal seam gas industry.
Significant levels of benzene, toluene and xylene were discovered at levels considerably higher than those considered by regulatory authorities as acceptable.
For example, benzene was found at 15 and 16 parts per billion (ppb) and toluene at 8 ppb. These are well beyond the usual limits of 1 ppb. The State Government shut down Cougar Energy's underground coal gasification plant at Kingaroy when outside monitoring bores registered 2 ppb.Read more
With the campaign to stop heavy-impact mining and gas extraction on good agricultural land and underground water well under way the Lock the Gate Alliance has decided to extend its campaign to include important natural areas not currently protected from mining.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said there were still many i important areas in New South Wales and Queensland that coal and coal seam gas companies were targeting and didn't hacve locl landowners to defend them.
In New South Wales these areas include the Pilliga forest threatened by coal seam gas, Leard state forest near Boggabri, threatened by open cut coal mines, the Border Ranges world heritage area threatened by a major gas pipeline and the world-heritage listed Wollemi National Park threatened by coal seam gas drilling.Read more
The Lock the Gate Alliance will be organising a rally outside Sydney's Sofitel Hotel this Thursday to coincide with NSW Mineral Exploration & Investment 2011 Conference organised by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.
The conference will be showcasing the state's controversial, new coal seam gas industry and delegates to the conference will be paying $900 registration.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said his organisation was concerned no invitation had been issued to him or anyone from his organisation and he had written to the Premier asking him to address the crowd outside the conference.Read more