Greens Senator Larissa Waters recently addressed the Senate calling for a moratorium on CSG until decisions can be made based upon the science relating to effects on the water table and the Great Artesian Basin. She also drew attention to the inconsistencies between Warren Truss’s failure to support the Nationals’ rural constituency on mining and CSG and the Nationals’ recent declaration on mining and CSG:
Jim McDonald Greens Spokesperson Wide Bay electorate
A link to Senator Larissa Waters’ maiden speech in the Senate is now included on this website.
Senator Waters’ speech epitomised what The Greens stand for: the strong links between family, a sustainable future, the commitment to the environment, and the contribution to community through social justice, a renewable energy economy, and protection of our resources.
Senator Larissa Waters with Wide bay Greens Candidate, Jim McDonald, during the 2010 Federal Election campaign
We welcome the Senator’s contributions to making Australia a better place, not only now but for our grandchildren and future generations.
She will make a difference – we all can.
Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 11 September 2011
There is no doubt about the immorality of CSG extraction and coalmining on productive land and in people’s homes, but the laws are not geared towards what is best for Australia’s food security, nor what is best for the aquifers and the Great Artesian Basin, nor for the atmosphere as methane leaks, nor for the destruction of family lives and the peace of communities. On these grounds alone you have an absolute reasonable excuse.
The work you have done for the farmers and communities of the Darling Downs is sowing seeds across the country sustained by your’s and the farmers’ courage to stand up against multi-nationals and Australian companies out for a fast buck whatever the damage they do.
Drew, you should be proud of what you have achieved for all of us in bringing the pernicious industrialisation of our land and its resources to the public consciousness. I am!
Your coverage on global emissions (SMH 9/7/11) highlights Australia’s percentage of the total world emissions (1.5%). What it fails to do is to compare our emissions with countries that emit a similar percentage. Australia’s population is 35% of France’s, 37% of the UK and Italy, 44% of South Africa and South Korea, 48% of Spain’s and 9.5% of Indonesia’s, yet shares the same percentage of the world’s emissions as each of these countries. These figures put Australia’s poor record on emissions into a context that requires a serious programme of emission reduction. I hope the carbon tax accelerates the moral obligation on all polluters to improve on this national disgrace.
Jim McDonald, Noosa Greens Candidate, 9 July 2011
Published Sydney Morning Herald, 11 July 2011
Sadly, I have to report that Wide Bay and Noosa Greens stalwart, Bob Borsellino, passed away last night. Bob had suffered a heart attack during his last rehabilitation session at Sunshine Coast University on Tuesday. His health had improved amazingly after a stent procedure some months ago.
Greens members in the region will be aware of his great contribution to the Party. Queensland Greens Senator-elect, Larissa Waters, said of Bob, “he was such a grand figure in the Greens.”
Bob worked tirelessly and was my campaign director during the 2010 Federal election. I learned much from him and we became good friends.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Jennie, and his daughters.
An obituary will be posted in due course.
Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay electorate, 16 June 2011
Yesterday’s accident at Arrow Energy’s gas well near Dalby, where a coal seam gas well exploded, is another incident which should tell the Bligh Government to suspend coal seam gas extraction [CSG] in Queensland immediately.
Coal seam gas exploration wells have been drilled in the Mary Valley near Munna Creek not far from Gympie. We suspect that exploration drilling along the Coondoo Creek near Wolvi is likewise for CSG.
CSG extraction is highly risky for health, water resources and farm production as we have seen in Gaslands, 4Corners and in events on the Darling Downs, such as the fourth well explosion at Arrow Energy near Dalby:
The Mary Valley, Darling Downs and the South Burnett are all rich food producing areas that must be protected.
In calling for a moratorium on CSG – a principle that must apply to the intentions of coal miners to turn the Mary Valley into a Queensland version of the environmentally damaged Hunter Valley – Bob Brown said the Australian Greens will move to amend federal laws to add climate and coal seam gas triggers to the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act, so the cumulative impacts of this new industry are properly considered before approval is given.
With Queensland Green Senator-elect, Larissa Waters, due to take her seat in a few weeks together with a number of other new Greens senators, the Greens will be in a position to strengthen calls to suspend CSG extraction. Meanwhile, Wide Bay Federal MP and leader of the National Party remains silent about protecting the Mary Valley from coalmining and CSG. Likewise there is deafening silence from Gympie State MP, David Gibson, who actually voted against a moratorium in the State parliament on 24 November last year, voting with the Bligh Labor Government [see Hansard for 24 November, p. 4287]. This is what Mr Gibson voted for:
That this House:
• notes that the CSG industry has been operating successfully in Queensland for at least 10 years;
• acknowledges the extensive laws and regulations that the CSG industry is now subject to in Queensland;
• recognises the substantial benefits that will accrue to rural and regional Queensland from the development of this industry;
• supports the ongoing development of a sustainable CSG/LNG industry in Queensland; and
• supports the adaptive management regime in place to ensure the ongoing monitoring of the environment.
It was a sell-out of the farming sector, rural communities the environment, the Artesian Basin and our grandchildren’s future. Mr Gibson, who made a speech in Parliament opposing the Traveston Dam, by his silence does not seem to think that coalmining and CSG extraction will be as damaging – if not more so – to the Mary River as the proposed dam.
The Greens opposed Traveston Dam and Bob Brown articulated the Greens’ concerns about the degradation of the river that would have occurred from the dam. His comments apply equally to mining along the Mary River and its tributaries:
An alert Maryborough member has drawn attention to the announcement of a new coal exploration permit in the Mary Valley, 25 kilometres south of Maryborough, east of the Bruce Highway, by Scorpion Energy Pty Ltd. Scorpion Energy was established only 18 months ago and presently only has a one page web presence without any content.
The continued allocation of coal exploration permits in the Mary Valley by the Queensland Government shows scant regard for the environmental values of the Mary Valley – values which the Federal Government endorsed when it refused the Bligh Government’s planned dam at Traveston. This is the sixth exploration permit in the Mary Valley that the Queensland Minister for mining has issued.
The National Party opposed Traveston Dam and supported the environmental arguments against its construction. Why are Warren Truss, the Nationals’ Federal member for Wide Bay and David Gibson, the LNP State member for Gympie, silent on coal mining and coal seam gas, which Tiaro Coal Corporation plans to develop along Munna Creek, which will do vast damage to the ecology of the Mary River and the Mary Valley? Are the Nationals and LNP compromised by their links with the coal industry?
The silence of the Nationals is a true indication of how committed to the environmental values of the Mary Valley they really are.
Greens leader, Bob Brown, supporting the community in opposing Traveston Dam.
If Warren Truss spent as much time looking after his farming and regional constituency, thinking positively about a real food security policy, as he does advocating against mining taxes on behalf of his mates in the coalmining lobby, perhaps less of this would be happening. The Mary Valley in his own electorate – some of it good farming land – faces devastation on a Hunter Valley scale from coalmining and CSG. What has Warren said about it? Nothing.
"No world leader can ignore the planet's population burden. There were 3 billion people when Kevin Rudd was born. There are 6.8 billion now. There will be 9 billion by mid-century. This population boom is not economic wisdom, it is a recipe for planetary exhaustion and great human tragedy."
Bob Brown, September 2009
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