There are a number of key battles being fought in Victoria right now against fossil fuel development. I have briefly outlined them below and provided links to further information. Please consider helping out in one or some of these campaigns. Allowing further development of fossil fuels considering the climate crisis we face is insanity and they cannot be allowed to go ahead.
Coal Seam Gas
Coal seam gas has been in the news quite a lot lately, with a massive groundswell of opposition to its development arising in rural QLD and NSW, where the industry has already begun extraction of gas from prime agricultural land, mostly against the wishes of the land owner. Apart from producing a highly greenhouse gas emitting fuel, coal seam gas extraction is dangerous and dirty – it pollutes groundwater, air and land in some of Australia’s most productive food growing areas. One company (Dart Energy) is even trying to drill for gas in the middle of Sydney!
Here in Victoria we don’t yet have a coal seam gas industry but there are exploration licenses covering huge areas of the state, from Gippsland out to the west. It’s only a matter of time before projects start to happen – so the industry needs to be stopped before it can do irreparable damage to our climate, air, land and water.
To find out more about coal seam gas, come along to hear Drew Hutton from Lock the Gate Alliance in QLD speak on Friday 7 October, 7.30pm, New Council Chambers at Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton. Drew is an excellent speaker not to be missed. For more information on this even click here.
Bacchus Marsh brown coal mine and export industry
Brown coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and currently cannot be exported because it spontaneously combusts. However, Mantle Mining, together with their financial backers Cygnet Capital want to start a brown coal export industry in Victoria, starting with a coal mine in Bacchus Marsh and then drying the coal to stabilise it before exporting to India. The locals in Bacchus Marsh, including the affected land owners, do not want a coal mine ruining their land, and we don’t want more of our precious farmland containing the market gardens that grow our veggies ruined while a new fossil fuel industry is created.
Not only that, but India’s energy system is currently at a crossroads. If they cannot get their hands on cheap coal, then they will start the shift to renewable energy. This project is a key part of keeping alive their coal addiction.
Take Action! Email Cygnet Capital and demand that they pull their financing from this project – firstname.lastname@example.org
HRL – a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley
The HRL project has been on the cards for many years. It is a brown coal-fired power station that uses new technology to make it as polluting as a black coal-fired power station. It was approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) this year and both the State and Federal Governments have committed taxpayer money to the project.
However, the Federal Government has yet to release its $100 million and may yet be convinced to pull the plug. Without federal money it will not go ahead. A petition is currently being put together (hard copy signatures only). Download it from here and get signing!
Environment Victoria and Doctors for the Environment are also taking the EPA and HRL to court, questioning the legality of the environmental approval. The case will start on 24 October.
For more information see the video below and click here.
Anglesea Coal Mine
For decades now, Alcoa has operated a coal mine right near Anglesea in order to obtain coal to power its aluminium smelter. Alcoa is now looking to extend its mining lease for 50 years past the current 2016 expiry. This will mean expanding the mine. Anglesea Primary School is about 1km from the open cut coal mine, and no independent monitoring of air quality has been done to date. The Alcoa power station fed by the mine emits 1161% more particulate matter than all of Hazelwood Power Station.
The residents of Anglesea want clean air and we want Alcoa to develop renewable energy sources for its smelter. We call on the State Government not to renew Alcoa’s lease.
For more information and to sign the petition click here.