Thursday, May 25, 2017

Senator Larissa Waters on Coal Seam Gas

Posted by Jim on November 15, 2011

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 

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The Greens call for a moratorium on coal seam gas

Posted by Jim on May 23, 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:

CSG well blow-out near Dalby

Greens leader, Bob Brown, last year criticised the Federal Government for not considering the impacts of CSG on prime food producing land.

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:

 

For more on coal and coal seam gas visit Action on Coal and Gas,a project of the Rural and regional Greens.

Jim McDonald, Wide Bay Greens spokesperson, 24 May 2011

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No more misrepresentation, Mr Truss

Posted by Jim on January 1, 2011

Since becoming actively involved in the Greens, I have been astonished at the persistent untruths concocted in the offices of Conservative parliamentarians and their supporters about Greens’ policies and published, often uncritically and with no attempt at balance, in the nation’s media. The Nationals finished 2010 true to form in attempting to perpetuate a mythical divide between farmers and The Greens, reported in the rural publication, Stock and Land.

In this post, I expose the National Party’s disregard for the truth by looking at our actual policy and the party’s position on farming in statements made by Green Party leaders over the last 12 months.

National Party Misinformation from Stock and Land:
Federal Nationals Leader Warren Truss said he was concerned the Greens were demonising farmers unfairly and failing to adequately recognise the work primary producers already do to care for and maintain the environment. “I don’t think the Greens are honest players in the whole exercise [the Murray-Darling Basin report],” he said. “No matter what amount of water was returned to the environment that would not be enough for the Greens.
Stock and Land, 31 December 2010.

Greens Party Facts: Sustainable Agriculture Policy:

Principles
The Australian Greens believe that:
1.the long-term sustainability of agriculture is essential for Australia’s society, economy and environment.
2.sustainable agriculture is fundamental to supporting rural communities, which are a vital part of Australian society.
3.rural Australia faces complex agricultural, environmental and social challenges; many farmers and pastoralists are actively seeking sustainable practices, but struggle to contend with increasing financial pressures.
4.the combined problems of salinity, water quality, soil degradation and habitat fragmentation require an integrated approach at the farm enterprise, catchment and landscape scales.
5.ongoing research, development and extension are essential to both improve the sustainability of Australian agriculture and to maintain its competitiveness.
6.we must plan and manage for the likely impacts of climate change, increasing climatic variability and oil scarcity on Australia’s agricultural industries
Australian Greens Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy: Sustainable Agriculture.

[Full policy below]

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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Greens call on Gympie Regional Council to oppose coalmining and Coal Seam Gas extraction in the Mary River Valley

Posted by Jim on December 14, 2010

The Greens spokesperson for the Wide Bay Federal Electorate, Dr Jim McDonald, has called on the Gympie Regional Council to stand up to mining interests in the Mary River Valley.

He said there is a serious threat of coal seam gas [CSG] extraction in the Mary River Valley and drilling exploration had commenced in Wolvi.

“People should not be complacent about their region,” he said. “The Fraser Coast Council this week announced its support for CSG exploration in Hervey Bay. It is not impossible that some Gympie councillors won’t likewise be seduced by the coal industry’s spin.

“Tiaro Coal has already commenced CSG exploration at Munna Creek and the company recently started exploration drilling in the Wolvi district. Coalmining and CSG extraction irreversibly destroys the aquifers, uses huge amounts of water, and creates problems with storage of contaminated water.

“One of the issues that people don’t think about is what happens to the water allocations when mining companies buy out farming land. If the coal companies get their way they will control the Mary River and its tributaries. Coalmining and CSG extraction in the Mary Valley will utilise millions of megalitres of water a year if mining is allowed to go ahead.

“Mining along the Mary River and its tributaries within the Gympie Regional Council boundaries and further downstream will turn the region into the Hunter Valley. That is a far greater threat to the Mary River Valley and its communities than the Traveston Dam ever was.”

Dr McDonald, who has just returned from touring the Hunter Valley and the Darling Downs speaking to residents, shopkeepers and farmers, said the region’s Councils and people were too complacent about the mounting threats to the Mary Valley from coal and CSG interests. “Already farmers and communities in the Wandoan district face huge open-cut mines and some farms already have CSG wells dug on their properties.

“It will happen here and when it does, that will be the end of the Mary Valley forever and all the excellent work done to protect the viability of the Mary River and its communities will have been for nothing.

“You have to ask what the State member for Gympie, David Gibson, and the Federal Member, Warren Truss, are doing. They turned up at Traveston Dam protests, but their silence on coal and gas mining speaks volumes about their true environmental credentials.

“There’s a lot of rot spoken about coalmining bringing jobs and prosperity. In fact, it reduces agricultural productivity, alienates good cropping and grazing land forever, destroys property values and communities, and does little to stimulate retail businesses. Coalmining is a toxic threat environmentally, socially and economically.

“Gympie businesses might be seduced by the prospects of mining coming to the region but coalmining and CSG will wreck the Mary Valley for the sake of a relatively few jobs, the bulk of which will go to skilled and experienced workers and contractors from outside the the region. This happens at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley. Retail outlets are struggling. Over the weekend the miners not on shift have left town. Muswellbrook is only 220 km from Sydney, about the same distance Gympie is from Brisbane. Coalmining offers little true benefit to Gympie’s economy.”

Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, media release

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