Tag Archives: coal seam gas

YCAN joins rural and urban alliance against new coal and gas projects

Coal mine destroying agricultural land in NSW. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham MLC

Yarra Climate Action Now is a proud member of the rural and urban alliance, launched yesterday, calling for a ban across Victoria of all new coal and coal seam gas exploration and development. As of this morning, Forty-five community organisations had joined the alliance.

This call is also backed by the State and Federal Greens. The Victorian Labor Party is supporting a moratorium on coal seam gas development (but not coal).

Friends of the Earth, who put the alliance together, is running a petition. If you haven’t signed it yet, please do so here.

Below is further information about the alliance and the call for a moratorium on new coal and gas developments, taken from Friends of the Earth.

 

Rural and urban Alliance calls on State Government to ban new fossil fuel projects

Victorian government wants more coal – the community wants farmland and clean water

As Victoria faces a wave of exploration licences for coal seam gas (CSG), coal, and tight gas, there is growing opposition to this industry. “Community groups have formed across the ‘coal belt’ of southern Victoria, from the Otways to Wonthaggi to Toongabbie” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “Clearly local farmers and residents do not want to see their lands and water sacrificed for short term fossil fuel development.”

“In Queensland and New South Wales there is a massive community backlash against the CSG industry” said Merryn Redenbach, spokesperson for Quit Coal. “Elsewhere in Australia, governments and individual members of parliament are standing up against the growth of CSG exploration and new coal mining in rural and urban areas. Locally, the Bass Coast Council has called for a ban on mining and gas operations, and Liberal MP Ken Smith has supported this demand”.

Mr Walker said “the only response from the government of Ted Baillieu has been to increase opportunities for further coal development. Just this week it was reported that the Baillieu government is working on a strategy to try to head off community objections to its plans to develop Victoria’s brown coal reserves.”

An alliance of 45 groups has today called on the Victorian government to ban all new on-shore coal and un-conventional gas operations until there has been a thorough investigation into the likely impacts of this industry on:

  • water resources,
  • farmland and food security,
  • local communities and natural biodiversity, and
  • greenhouse emissions.

Sue Anderson, a dairy farmer from near Bunyip, said “the industry needs to provide guarantees for the integrity of aquifers and surface water before it is allowed to proceed.  Blind Freddy could see that mining is detrimental to the production of food.  In a competition between food and coal seam gas, food has to win.”

“In the specific case of our area in West Gippsland, any government that approves CSG operations where 15% of Melbourne’s food is produced must be both barking mad and broke”.

Community member from Toongabbie, Tracey Anton, said “rural communities, state wide, are forming powerful alliances with environmental organisations against new mining explorations and development. Why? Because in our time of need, they are the only ones there to answer our questions.  To prevent the social and economic erosion of our communities, will Government and Industry work with us or against us?”

“The government is pretending there is no problem with new fossil fuel developments in Victoria” said Mr Walker. “Recent revelations that it is considering new coal allocations shows that they are out of step with community sentiment across rural Victoria. It is time they made their position clear: will they support a call for a moratorium?”

For further comment:
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047

Groups which have supported this statement

To add your group please email cam.walker@foe.org.au

Coal seam gas extraction causes water pollution

Alternative Technology Association
Ararat Greenhouse Action Group Inc
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Benalla Sustainable Future Group
Beyond Zero Emissions
Brimbank Climate Action Network (BrimbankCAN)
CLIMARTE
Climate Action Moreland
Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)
Climate and Health Alliance
Community Over Mining (Gippsland)
C4 (Communities Combatting Climate Crisis), Healesville
Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Assoc Inc
Darebin Climate Action Now
Emerald for Sustainability (EmFSus)
Environment Victoria
Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc
Friends of Gippsland Bush Inc. (FOGB)
Friends of the Earth
G CAN [Geelong Chemical Action Network Inc]
Global Warming Action Party Australia, East Gippsland
Gippsland Environment Group Inc (Bairnsdale)
Gippsland Action Group
GreenLeap Institute
Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Groundswell Bass Coast
Grow Lightly South Gippsland
Healesville Environment Watch Inc.
INC3
Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group
Lighter Footprints
Locals Into Victoria’s Environment (LIVE)
Lock The Gate Alliance
MADGE Australia Inc
Melton Community Supported Agriculture
Moonee Valley Climate Action
Nillumbik Climate Action Now
Quit Coal
Riddells Creek Sustainability
Surf Coast Energy Group
The Wilderness Society
Western Regional Environment Centre
Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)
WTree Progress & Promotion Association
Yarra Climate Action Now

 

Who supports this moratorium?

More than 1,200 individuals have signed the petition calling for a moratorium. http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-dangerous-coal-seam-gas-mining-in-v…

Adam Bandt, Federal MP for Melbourne
Richard Di Natale, Senator for Victoria

Colleen Hartland, State Upper House MP for Western Metropolitan
Greg Barber, State Upper House MP for Northern Metropolitan

 

What are people saying about a moratorium & fossil fuel impacts on rural Victoria?

ALP

The state opposition supports the call for a moratorium on new coal-seam gas exploration.

Opposition energy spokeswoman Lily D’Ambrosio said there were growing concerns about coal-seam gas projects. ”New evidence has emerged that raises questions about the safety, health and environmental impacts of coal seam gas exploration, and it’s important these concerns are fully investigated”.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/labor-call-to-ban-fracking-20120411-1w…

Alex Arbuthnot, from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation, says areas of high food production should be protected from CSG mining.

“Food security, following the adoption of a national food plan and perhaps a Victorian food plan next year … is going to become a major, major issue,” he told the Victorian inquiry.


“I have flagged to the mining industry here, there could be some no-go zones for food.”

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/farmers-call-for-csg-nogo-…

The VFF issued a stronger statement after we launched our call for a moratorium:

“Farmers are calling on the Vic Coalition Government to extend wind farm veto laws to cover coal seam gas projects. The VFF’s Gerald Leach says landholders should have the right to veto mining on their property. He says farmers are concerned coal seam gas mining could cause long-term damage to aquifers and their land. Leach says the Vic Government has given landholders the right to veto in respect to wind towers”.

ABC Gippsland (Sale), 08:30 News – 13/04/2012
In March 2012, the Bass Coast shire voted to reject exploration for coal and gas within its jurisdiction.

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/03/23/460155_latest-news.h…

Colac Otway shire mayor Brian Crook said in 2011 that a ban on exploration was essential until the government improved its “seriously flawed” consultation process and could assess the impact of mining.

“Until we have the process evaluated and there is a 100-per-cent guarantee there will be no impact on aquifers and the community is happy with it, coal-seam gas exploration must stop,” Cr Crook said.

He said the council called for the mining companies to abandon exploration and would push for the support of major political parties in the Colac district’s fight against coal-seam mining.

http://www.colacherald.com.au/2011/09/coal-seam-gas-miners-resist-demand…

Federal Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman, who is a qualified geologist, supports a call to ban Coal seam gas mining.

“There’s absolute community outrage. Western Victorian has some very valuable environmental assets and highly productive agricultural land and this industry has been proven to do tremendous damage.”

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2011/10/06/283971_news.html

State MP for Bass (Gippsland) and Liberal party member Ken Smith has supported the call for a ban on exploration for coal and gas within his electorate.
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/03/23/460155_latest-news.h…
“We’ve got a farming community down here and the last thing that we need to have now is people exploring the countryside from the shoreline up into the hills looking to dig the place up,”

The Weekly Times editorial“The risks of mining CSG are real; the benefits temporary and the profits go to mining fat-cats”.

A polluted aquifer could end food production in an agricultural region indefinitely – a contaminated aquifer is impossible to decontaminate”.


“The Victorian government needs to show it will not be pushed around by mining giants.


It should declare prime food-producing land off-limits to mining”.

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/10/19/396331_opinion-news….

Battles against fossil fuel developments heat up in Victoria

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.

And please sign the petition to ban coal seam gas extraction in Victoria.

For more information on coal seam gas see the Lock the Gate Alliance and Gasland.

 

Bacchus Marsh brown coal mine and export industry

Shaun from the Switch Off Coal collective stops drilling for brown coal at Bacchus Marsh, 19 Sep 2011

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 projectdj@cygnetcapital.com.au

 

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.