Sunday, May 28, 2017

Merry Christmas

Posted by Jim on December 25, 2010

Wide Bay Greens wishes all our readers a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2011

Mary River Tiaro

Mary River at Tiaro, Photo Jim McDonald

May the New Year see the Mary River system, its communities, and its wildlife  protected from coal mining and coal seam gas extraction forever.

Jim McDonald

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Wide Bay Greens spokesperson interviewed on Noosa Community Radio

Posted by Jim on October 29, 2010

Wide Bay Greens spokesperson, Jim McDonald, was interviewed this week on Noosa Community Radio about a number of issues in the Wide Bay Sunshine Coast regions.

He referred to the Greens’ fishing policy which addresses the sustainability of the Australian commercial fishing industry and recreational fishing.  He has expressed concerns previously about the media’s uncritical reporting of continual industry and political misrepresentation of the Greens’ policy.  For example, the Noosa Journal recently failed to publish a rebuttal by Jim to a letter to the editor alleging that the Greens planned to ban all fishing.  He pulls no punches in this interview .

Jim also talked about the implications of a lack of vision for the Mary Valley within the other political parties.  It is an urgent issue as a matter of the national interest that needs to be addressed as part of a national food security strategy.  None presently exists.  The future of the Mary Valley is an issue that he addressed during the election campaign and he has recently raised the issue again in response to comments on the Mary Valley by Nicklin MP, Peter Wellington.  This interview can be heard here .

During the election campaign, Jim was very active in supporting the Aldershot community against the open-cut coalmine Northern Energy Corporation proposes to be dug within a few kilometres of the town. He has continued his support for the community since being appointed the spokesperson for the Federal electorate of Wide Bay.   This interview discusses several aspects of the development of coalmining in the region from Wolvi to Aldershot, along the Mary River at Munna Creek, Tiaro and Aldershot and in the Rainbow Beach – Tin Can Bay hinterland.  Listen to the interview here .

He was also asked to comment on the Moy Pocket Quarry’s plans to become a central depot for explosives in the region.  The Greens made a submission to Gympie Council opposing the project.  This was reported on this website in August.  The interview is recorded on the Noosa Community website here

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 29 October 2010

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DERM rejects coalmine’s Environmental Management Plan – Congratulations to Aldershot Community

Posted by Jim on September 30, 2010

The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management [DERM] has rejected an application for an open-cut coal mine a mere 2-3 kilometres from the township of Aldershot and just outside the Maryborough City Boundary.  A DERM spokesperson is reported to have said that the main grounds for rejection of Northern Energy Corporation’s application and Environmental Management Plan were soil characteristics, groundwater and potential impacts to waterways.

This represents a major win for the Aldershot community, which has campaigned long and hard against the mine.

We congratulate the Aldershot community in its steadfast and savvy campaign against the Colton Coal Mine, an open cut mine that was to be dug on the community’s doorstep.

Without Aldershot and District against Mining’s [AADAM] campaign, Northern Energy Corporation’s plans for an extensive mine outside Aldershot and Maryborough might have slipped under the radar and been approved by the State Government.

They did not go it alone, though, and the Wide Bay Conservation Council is also to be congratulated in standing shoulder to shoulder with the community.

The same cannot be said for local politicians, none of whom openly opposed the mine, with the exception of a single Fraser Coast Regional Councillor. The only party that consistently fought against the mine on public health and environmental grounds was The Greens.

The coalmining issue in our region is not dead, however, and The Greens have already responded to the Tiaro Coal proposals to establish open-cut mines in the Munna Creek area in the Gympie Times.

The whole question of mines along the Mary River and its basin needs to be re-evaluated by the Bligh Labor Government before any more of the mining companies seek to exploit the Maryborough Coal Basin.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 30 September 2010

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Second coalmine to threaten Mary River

Posted by Jim on September 27, 2010

The announcement last week of the extent of coal deposits at Munna Creek along the Mary Valley represents one more threat to the environment integrity of the Mary River system.  After years of threat to the River from the  Queensland Government’s Traveston Dam proposal, the threat to the world heritage wetlands at the mouth of the Mary River from the Colston coalmine application, and the Queensland Government plans to pipe water from the Mary River any way, the River now faces threats from open-cut mines at Munna Creek and Tiaro.  These are two different coal exploration areas granted to Tiaro Coal Corporation.  A third is located in the Tin Can Bay – Rainbow Beach hinterland.

The Munna Creek – Tiaro developments on top of the emergence during the Federal election campaign of the Colton Coal Mine issue represents an escalation of a campaign to protect our region from being turned into a Queensland version of the Hunter Valley, which is disastrous for public health as well as the environment.  The Colton Coal Mine is an open-cut mine planned by Northern Energy Corporation a mere couple of kilometres from the Aldershot township just outside Maryborough.  That mine is planned to expand into an area drained by the Susan River, which flows directly into the Mary River estuary and the Great Sandy wetlands reserve.

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay electorate, 27 September 2010

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River Threat

Posted by Jim on July 21, 2010

I refer to your article, “Still fighting for Mary River” [Gympie Times, 17 July 2010], which refers to State Government plans to harvest water from the river.

The Mary River also faces major threats from coal mines at Munna Creek and along the river near Tiaro. Closer to the mouth of the Mary, the estuary faces the risks of pollution from a coal mine planned along the Susan River that flows into the Mary River estuary.

What the Mary River needs is a concerted clean-up of water quality. Instead we see more talk of measures that will further degrade the river.

I have written to the federal Environment Minister to intervene in the Colton Coal Mine proposed near the Susan River, but with the timing of the Federal election we fear that the State Government and the miners will proceed with approvals that will change the ecology of the Mary River forever.

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate
Wide Bay Electorate

Published in Gympie Times, 21 July 2010

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Tiaro Coal Mine at Munna Creek?

Posted by Jim on June 29, 2010

Tiaro Coal Limited is focussing on the development of a coal mine at Munna Creek.

Munna Creek

Munna Creek flows into Mary River Photo Jim McDonald

Munna Creek has a catchment area of 1475 square kilometres.  There are problems with weeds infesting wetlands along its course.  But, this Mary River tributary faces its greatest threat: the development of open cut coalmines.

The Greens oppose coal mines in the Wide Bay electorate.  What’s your position, Mr Truss?

Comment: Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate for Wide Bay, 29 June 2010

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Queensland: Beautiful one day, open-cut coalmines the next

Posted by Jim on May 29, 2010

Coal survey maps suggest that large swathes of land from Bundaberg to the Mary Valley could end up as open-cut coal mines. This is adjacent to, and in some cases covers, tourist areas, sensitive environmental areas including watercourses and wetlands, State forests, national parks and viable farmland. It extends to the Mary Valley and the Mary River. Figure 1 is a map of the various coal basins in South-East Queensland.

Figure 1: Coal Basins in South-East Queensland

Source: http://www.dme.qld.gov.au/zone_files/coal_files_pdf/se_qld_coal_map_08.pdf,
accessed 24 May 2010

Figure 1 shows very clearly that the Maryborough Basin intrudes upon Bundaberg and Maryborough and extends as far south as Gympie and into the Mary Valley.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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