January 30, 2011

Underground Mine Cracks Drain Water from Dam!!!

Subject:     "contaminated water from the mine will sooner or later reach the reservoir"
 Date:     30 January 2011 12:48:54 PM

As you can tell from the writer’s Comments – many will join this fight.  Please make sure news of this litany of poor decisions and reckless approvals reaches your email lists.

Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: Woronora Dam - Underground Mine Cracks Drain Water from Dam!!!

You recall that photo of the ruptured creek bed as convincing evidence of coal mining damaging creeks and the comment that despite this the govt approved extending the mine under the reservoir into which the creek fed (well, used to) .... well that's the stream, the mine and the reservoir. There is now the added probability that contaminated water from the mine will sooner or later reach the reservoir ......
Both government and mine operator must be held accountable for such recklessness. Obviously this has far wider implications than just fighting the coal mine, but its a fight I and I am sure many others would gladly join.

Sent: Sunday, 30 January 2011 7:55 AM
Subject: Woronora Dam - Underground Mine Cracks Drain Water from Dam!!!

And have a look at the second of the two links – THEY KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN AND WENT AHEAD ANYWAY BECAUSE OF THE JOBS.    Note also the influence of the miners lobbyists.  Peabody pressured the Government a great deal by the look of the stories.

From warning to actuality.    Unfortunately – the next article WON’T be about accountability – where the decision makers go to jail for negligence.    I think when you ignore warnings, you know that the dam will drain, so much so that you arrange for tunnels to be blocked in case of emergency ingress of water, and you sell the public a story about “world’s best practice” and “best endeavours” so they will trade their water trustingly for jobs – then you are negligent as a Community Representative.   This is what it looks like Christine Keneally did.

Can you believe it – Peabody convinced her to let them mine under a critical dam!!!   They would have whipped out the good old vocabulary – jobs, Community Partnerships (to divide the Community), world’s best practice, negligible and minimal risk, acceptable damage, best endeavours, we will pump money into the economy, and you won’t even see where we have been when we leave (code for we will have on-sold by then and good luck getting money out of the last man in because he will be broke).     We are just about script writers now I reckon – seeing how these things go together.   I think I missed “political donation”

I hope our Community is taking digital snapshots of the pathway our decision makers take as they lead us towards the risking of our water – just in case one day environmental law strengthens enough for negligence to be a criminal offence at the level of “decision maker”.

The first part of the journey has begun – they have scientific warning.  Now watch the pathway we follow.   Links below.

A controversial underground mine blamed for draining 30 billion litres of water from one of Sydney's biggest dams 

Rivers SOS - SMH July 23 2009 new mine could crack dam floor

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email to Water Ministerl re Airly Bore Application...

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email to Water Ministerl re Airly Bore Application...: "Dear Sir, In a previous contact we asked why the community have not been responded to with what action is currently being undertaken in r..."

January 26, 2011

Screening of Gasland - article in Mudgee Guardian

Packed audience for Mudgee screening of Gasland

26 Jan, 2011 09:13 AM
Seventy-six people attended a screening of the documentary Gasland, hosted by the Mid-Western Community Action Network (MWCAN), on Monday evening. 
The 2010 documentary shows the effect of coal seam gas mining across the United States, where coal and oil exploration is exempt from the Safe Water Drinking Act and other laws protecting the environment.

After his own home in Pennsylvania was threatened by coal seam gas mining, filmmaker Josh Fox travelled across the country, meeting people affected by coal seam gas mining.

The film focuses on the process known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in which a mixture of chemicals is injected into the coal seam, cracking the rock and releasing the gas.

Although gas companies are not required to release information on the chemicals used, analysis of “frack fluid” has identified 596 chemicals including some known to cause cancer, birth defects and brain damage.

Residents have suffered health problems and pets and wildlife have died as a result of drinking contaminated water and breathing in toxic vapours.

Tap water and well water has become undrinkable in many areas and Gasland shows water from household taps and even springs bursting into flames when a match is held near.

However gas company executives have stated that there is “no real credible threat to underground water from hydraulic fracturing”.

Before the screening, Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) interim secretary Craig Shaw outlined plans by Leichhart Resources to explore for natural gas in an area covering 1736 square kilometres of the Bylong Valley.

MWCAN secretary Rob Binks said viewers were “horrified” by the possibility that the Gasland experience could be repeated in Australia.

“People didn’t realise that what is happening there might happen here,” she said.

“Most people were shocked and horrified.”

The NSW State Government last month announced revised legislation for coal seam gas exploration including “more rigorous” community consultation and tighter environmental controls for new drilling applications.

New exploration proposals must be considered by four state departments and the government must also examine banning the use of chemicals at sites where they could threaten groundwater purity.

However, Mrs Binks said she did not believe Australian legislation went far enough.

“With natural gas mining cutting a swathe through Queensland at the moment, what happened in the USA is already happening here,” she said.

MWCAN has invited speakers from BVPA, Running Stream Water Users Association and Great Artesian Basin Protection Alliance and others to address a public meeting at Club Mudgee on Tuesday, February 16, at 6pm.



As a follow up to our posting on 18th Jan, here is the information again, hopefully set out in a way that makes it easier for you to write a letter.

Even a few paragraphs is good - the more submissions the better.

Happy writing!


Posted for President

Coalition lets miners write lands policy

Coalition lets miners write lands policy
Heath Aston
January 20, 2011

 THE state opposition has allowed the mining industry to rewrite parts of its regional land use policy, deleting commitments to toughen regulatory compliance on miners, leaked documents reveal.
The Liberals and Nationals also handed their draft policy to the NSW Farmers Association to amend - but only after changes made by the NSW Minerals Council were included in the document.
Two draft versions of the land use policy passed to the Herald show the minerals council insisted certain anti-mining lines be removed.
Advertisement: Story continues below
A draft Coalition commitment to ''improve monitoring and compliance'' for any mining project on agricultural land was twice deleted from the ''strategic regional land use planning policy'' document. The line does not appear in a later policy document given to the farmers association for comment.
The manipulation of election policy by miners is bound to call into question Barry O'Farrell's recent conversion to conservation and the environment. Less than a fortnight ago the Opposition Leader said he would create a new national park south of Sydney if he wins office in March.
It will also stir bad blood between miners and farmers in resource-rich areas of NSW where landowners, particularly in areas like the Liverpool Plains, are concerned about the rapid growth of coal and coal seam gas projects and exploration.
Mistrust between farmers and miners has even descended into industry whispers about why the opposition industry spokesman, Duncan Gay, snubbed the farmers association's Christmas drinks last month but attended the minerals council's soiree.
The documents show the miners are desperate to play down tensions, asking for the removal of a reference to growth in the industry as increasing ''land use conflict''. The council changed that to ''seeing expansion of these industries on to high value agriculture land''.
The council also asked for any reference to ''water resources'' and the potential impacts of mining on them to be removed, preferring the term ''precious environmental assets''.
Miners have had to defend coal seam gas extraction, which can damage water tables particularly when the so-called ''fracking'' or rock fracturing technique is used.
The document reveals plans by the Coalition to establish an office of agricultural sustainability and food security, reporting directly to the premier. Farmers have been calling for the office and a halt to all mining projects until detailed assessment of land use is conducted by a new government.
The minerals council is against the idea, noting that it hadn't been ''fully thought through, including how the office will be funded, role and function of the office etc''.
The Coalition, if it won office, would announce a ''transitional period'' in which tougher assessment criteria would be applied to mining projects on agricultural land, including a ''pause'' on granting new mining titles. About 70 per cent of NSW is now under mineral and petroleum title or application.
The council advises against any pause, saying it should be ''made more transparent and the community will be given a say''.
The Coalition would also move to introduce aquifer interference regulation in a bid to protect agricultural water supplies.
A senior government source said it was ''extraordinary'' to allow pressure groups to actively rewrite election policies. ''I've never heard of this before,'' the source said.
Mr Gay said it was not unusual to ''consult widely'' on policies. ''Our final policy will show that we are not beholden to either miners or farmers,'' he said.
A spokesman for the minerals council chief executive, Nicole Williams, said miners had been working ''side-by-side'' with farmers on the policy. ''Both bodies have provided comments and feedback on innumerable versions of this draft policy,'' he said.
The farmers association president, Charles Armstrong, said he was confident that the final Coalition policy would reflect farmers' concerns.
"The NSW Farmers Association is still negotiating matters relating to mining policies with the NSW opposition,'' he said.
''We are confident our policies will be reflected in their policy document.''

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Craig Shaw
Interim Secretary
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance

P: 0411 101988


Posted for President

January 22, 2011

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email from Tim Duddy

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email from Tim Duddy: "This email is from Tim Duddy who quite a number of valley residents will remember from when he spoke at Glen Alice in 2010. Dear coal..."

January 21, 2011

Bylong Valley also being explored for gas - Mudgee Guardian article 21 Jan 2011

A Queensland-based company has announced plans to conduct exploratory drilling for coal seam gas near Bylong.
Leichhart Resources holds a licence for gas exploration (PEL 468) covering an area of 1736 square kilomentres, stretching from Bylong and Murrumbo in the north to Olinda in the south.

Leichhardt has described Bylong – along with its other exploration areas in NSW – as “prospective for coal bed methane of a commercially significant scale”, adding they “appear amenable to cost effective exploration and appraisal”.

The move to explore for coal seam gas comes on top of existing exploration licenses for coal, diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

“It feels like we’re being hit with everything at once,” said Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) interim president Jodie Nancarrow.

“It’s like there’s a mining millionaires party happening in our backyard - and we’re certainly not invited.”

Ms Nancarrow said immediately to the west of the Leichhardt PEL, were PELs owned by Macquarie Energy Pty Ltd.

“PEL 456 covers an area that stretches from Gulgong in the west through Munghorn to Coggan, while PEL 460 takes in large amounts of land to the north and south of Kandos and Rylstone,” she said.

“All of these areas are potentially targets for gas exploration in the future.”

The Mid-Western Community Action Network (MWCAN) group secretary Rob Binks said the news showed coal seam gas was no longer an issue only affected “someone else’s backyard”.

“Instead, we find we’re potentially right in the thick of it,” she said

Council calls for mining moratorium - Mudgee Guardian 21 Jan 2011

Mid-Western Regional Council has called for a moratorium on new exploration and mining in the Bylong Valley and a study into the effects of mining across the region.

At an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to consider the director-general’s requirements for the proposed Mt Penny coal mine, council voted to write to Premier Kristina Keneally calling for the moratorium on approval of exploration and mining licenses in the Bylong Valley including the Coggan Valley.

In his report to the meeting, general manager Warwick Bennett said council and the community were unable to make informed decisions without information on the effects of mining on water, the environment and agricultural land.

Council also called on the new State Government to legislate to protect productive farmland, inform all affected landowners before exploration licenses are approved, conduct a proper assessment of dust, noise and water pollution, including the protection of underground water supplies, before an exploration license is granted, and extend the Upper Hunter Air Quality Network group to the Mid-Western Regional Council area.

In his letter to Ms Keneally, Mayor Des Kennedy said it was clear to the council and the community stopping applications for mining approvals was almost impossible once the exploration licenses have been approved.

“It should be noted that the community have virtually no say in the issuing of exploration licenses,” he said.

Cr Kennedy said in his opinion, the the Department of Industry and Investment was totally focused on issuing exploration licenses to get the coal out of the ground without regard to the damage left behind or the impact on the affected communities.

The land proposed to be mined in the Bylong area was some of the richest and most productive land in Australia, he said.

“You as leaders of our great country more than anyone should be aware that some of the future food bowls of this country are going to be totally destroyed for the short term financial gains of mining,” Cr Kennedy’s letter stated.

“That is not in the long term interest of this community and indeed Australia.”

Copies of the letter will be sent to Minister for Planning Tony Kelly and Minister for Industry and Investment, their heads of department, Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell, National Party Leader Andrew Stoner, Opposition spokesmen for planning and for industry and investment and all candidates for the coming NSW elections in the seats of Bathurst, Orange and the Upper Hunter.

Council will also invite the Premier, Mr O’Farrell, and all state government candidates for local state seats to attend a public meeting on March 26 to address their views on mining in the Mid-Western Region.

Debate on mining in the Bylong Valley drew a passionate response from councillors.

Cr Shelley said that with an election approaching, it was time to give the State Government a good slap.

“To have mining in pristine agricultural regions is not on,” he said. “It is time the government looked after the whole of NSW and not just the eastern seaboard of Sydney.”However, Cr Max Walker said that Mid-Western Regional Council had to face reality and work with the State Government and mines to get the infrastructure it needs to support growth.

“If we don’t work together for the best outcome for the whole of the area, we’re letting the whole area down,” he said.

“Let’s face reality. If we don’t work with the mines to help infrastructure in the shire and our roads and the whole caboodle, we’re going backwards.”

January 19, 2011

PEL468 - Bylong - Drilling to commence shortly

Email courtesy Bylong Mining

Date: 19 January 2011 10:22:36 AM
Subject: Leichhardt Resources - PEL468 - Bylong - Drilling to commence shortly (gas)

We have recently become aware that Leichhardt Resources holds a Petroleum Exploration Licence   (PEL), PED 468, that covers almost the entirety of the Bylong Valley, stretching to Murrumbo in the east and down to Olinda in the south.

We understand that exploratory drilling has either already commenced or will commence in the next few weeks in the Murrumbo area. I have written to Leichhardt Resources asking for further information about their exploration plans.

Please find attached a page from the Leichhardt Resources Information Pack, directly relevant to Bylong. I have marked in myself the approximate location of Bylong on the map shown. (The full
information pack, with some more information on Leichhardt, is available at: http://www.leichhardtresources.com.au . . . )

Note that the western boundary of the Leichhardt PEL adjoins the eastern boundary of PELs owned by Macquarie Energy, i.e. the whole Bylong area and more (stretching back toward Mudgee) is subject to potential gas exploration activity. (Indeed, Macquarie Energyʼs PEL 456 covers Munghorn, and further west to a large area around Gulgong.)

So, if youʼre thinking that coal seam gas is an issue that belongs in someone elseʼs backyard, think again. Itʼs here with us today.

Mid-Western Community Action Network (MWCAN) will be showing the multi-award winning documentary “GasLand” at the Mudgee Club, 5 Lovejoy Street, Mudgee this coming Monday at 6.30pm. Admission is $10. I urge you to make the time to see it.

Best regards,

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Craig Shaw
Interim Secretary
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance

P: 0411 101988

Double click on image to enlarge.

January 18, 2011

Gasland movie showing in Mudgee - Monday 24th January !!

Proposed water sharing in our area

Message from RSWUA President

Hi All,
here's a little homework for you all. This has come from one of our members who has been keeping tabs on this issue.
We need as many submissions as possible.I will do one from the association.

Subject: Proposed water sharing in our area.
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 17:59:48 +1100

Goday Jolieske,

You may have seen an email from me regarding the above some time ago.
I have now had a look at various information, which are all on the NSW Office of Water Website [link]
The deadline for a submission is end of January 2011.
The final plan is expected to come into law later this year.
Anyone can make a submission, and I would encourage as many as possible to do so.
It can be done online.

Should it become law as proposed at present, Centennial will have no problem whatsoever to obtain a licence, regardless of opposition.

We are in the Sydney Basin MDB Porous Rock Groundwater Source.
The boundaries of this basin seem to have extended to cover a total of 160,685 ha.
Based on the proposal the recharge, water that percolates into the aquifer is 70,274 ML/year
The environment is getting 30 %
The maximum extraction is getting 70 % or a total of 45,960 ML/year
At present there are 393 Basic Land owner right licence with a volume of 465 ML/year
There are also 29 larger Ground water licences with a volume of 1,538 ML/year
This leaves Unassigned water of 43,957 ML/year, which can be used for future extraction, as the present embargo will be lifted.
A massive expansion in new licences could be in the making, and it would all be as per the law.

In other words easy picking for Centennial

Suggestions to put in your submission would be to ask for this area to be considered a special case, and the boundaries to be maintained as it was before.
Further, ask that the Environment will get 95%, not 30% as in the draft, as otherwise all creeks, and springs would dry up at some point of time.
 also ask for the embargo to be put back in place in this area.

Also the question could be asked why food producing farmers further down the system are being asked to give up licences and yet there is the possiblity of issuing new licenses up stream. It does not make sense

Posted for President

January 14, 2011

Mid-Western Council backs Bylong residents - Mudgee Guardian 14 Jan 2011

Mid-Western Council backs Bylong residents

Mid-Western Regional Council (MWRC) general manager Warwick Bennett and councillors were on the same wavelength as the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) on Wednesday afternoon after discussions about the potential impacts of mining in the Bylong Valley and surrounding area.
After visiting Bylong, Mr Bennett said that he would recommend to an extraordinary meeting next week that council call for a moratorium on mining in the Bylong Valley area until the State Government addresses all the cumulative effects on mining. 

To read full article click here.

Further information from BVPA Newsletter of 13 January 2011

Some further information courtesy of  BVPA Newsletter of 13 January 2011.

·         The multi-award winning documentary, GasLand, will be screened in Mudgee on Monday, 24thJanuary at the Lovejoy Mudgee Club (opposite the big preschool). (NB: This is NOT the RSL!)
o   If you’re not sure that Gas is relevant to us in Bylong, think again: we’ve recently learned that Leichhardt Resources has an exploration licence for gas over a large area that includes pretty much ALL of the Valley (and more) – and that they will be undertaking test/exploratory drilling on Murrumbo in the next month or so. Ouch!
·         Admission is $10
·         For further info, contact Robbie Binks on (0427) 723249

o   MWRC councillors + GM Warwick Bennett were in the Valley yesterday for a tour, where BVPA Committee members showed them all the different EL area etc (Cascade, Cockatoo…) 
o   Reports are that they were genuinely shocked by the potential loss of prime agricultural land – and that we have their full support. 
o   Council will be holding an extraordinary meeting next week to address the issue of Director General’s requirements (DGRs) for Mount Penny (Cascade). Various letters from Council will be sent after this meeting – so watch this space! We’ll bring you reports of what they’re saying to the “powers that be” about our situation as soon as that information is available.
o   We are hoping that Duncan Gay, Shadow Minister for Industry, will be coming for a guided tour/briefing by BVPA Committee members early in February.
o   We are meeting with George Souris (Member for Upper Hunter) on Monday, 24th January, in Muswellbrook. (We are also hoping we can get him to join Duncan Gay when he visits in Feb.)
o   BVPA has had its first official contacts from Cascade. This is very welcome after such a long period of silence and “secret men’s business”.
o   The BVPA Executive has been invited to attend a site visit with key Cascade reps, before end January. We are working out dates for this now.
o   Cascade also had a site visit with MWRC Planning staff plus representatives from other key government agencies on Tuesday of this week (in the lead up to finalisation of the DGRs)
o   Once DGRs are finalised, we will make them available.

Posted for President

January 13, 2011

Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) email News

Information courtesy of Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) email News.

Just a few quick items I thought you’d be interested in:
·         A quick reminder about our meeting this Saturday at 3pm at Bylong Hall, with guest speaker Peter Bennetto, “Lessons from Bickham”
·         Also: Diary Note: February meeting, SUNDAY, 13th Feb, 3pm, with guest speaker Fiona Simson from NSW Farmers
·         I’ve mentioned already the great coverage of the mining v. agriculture battle in the Land over the past couple of weeks (and again this week). Will be putting up links to key articles later today/tomorrow, but thought you’d like to see an outstanding letter from Fiona Simson, published this week, responding to a comment piece last week by Nikki Williams, CEO of the NSW Minerals Council . (Scans of both letters are attached.)
·         Fiona’s letter is simply outstanding. It strikes just the right balance in tone (not too sarcastic, not too soft) but also, very importantly, lays bare – in a very short space – just what the mining industry “gets away with”, despite its constant bleating that it is very heavily regulated and makes use of the most stringent environmental protections etc etc. I thoroughly recommend it as a read.
·         And don’t forget: Fiona is our guest speaker on Sun, 13th Feb – should be a great session.

A copy of Fiona Simson's letter can be viewed/downloaded here.

Posted for President

January 12, 2011

January 11, 2011

Environmental Defender's Office NSW (EDO)

The Environmental Defender's Office Ltd, (EDO), is a not-for-profit community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law. We help individuals and community groups who are working to protect the natural and built environment.
The EDO is part of a national network of centres that help to protect the environment through law in their States.
The EDO has an active program of casework, scientific assessment and advice, education and law reform. In addition, we provide free initial legal advice to the community.
The EDO's mission is to promote the public interest and improve environmental outcomes through the informed use of the law. 

A link to the EDO website has been added to the Links page (see right side bar).

Lock the Gate Alliance

 The LOCK THE GATE Alliance is a national alliance of community, industry and environmental groups.
We are calling for a balanced and rigorous regulatory approach to police the development of the coal and unconventional gas mining industries in Australia.
Australia is being let down by deficient laws and governments which allow the unconstrained growth of those destructive fossil fuel extraction industries.
This is at the long-term cost of our water, food security and our communities. Fossil fuel extraction has a detrimental effect on the health of people and the environment.
An undemocratic process has disenfranchised the Australian people.

Enough is enough!

A link to the Lock the Gate Alliance website has been added to the Links page (see right side bar).

Gloucester Residents in Partnership Inc. (GRIP)

Our Vision
GRIP believes that we must act together as a community to:
  • Protect our quality of life - now and for our children
  • Protect our existing rural, agricultural, food producing land
  • Protect our growing tourism industry and promote Gloucester as the gateway to the Barrington Tops World Heritage Area
  • Protect and preserve our unique beauty (rivers, mountains, bushland, wildlife) for future generations
  • Drive a change in government thinking. The State Government advocates that if a "resource is there it should be harvested". This proposition ignores the wider reaching social, economic and environmental implications. GRIP seeks a sustainable balance which supports the community's wider needs.

A link to the GRIP website has been added to the Links page (see right side bar).

January 10, 2011

Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA)

A link to the BVPA website has been added to the Links page (see right side bar).

January 5, 2011

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email from Chris Jonkers Lithgow Environment Group...

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Email from Chris Jonkers Lithgow Environment Group...: "Following is an email to Bogee Rural Fire Service. Hi Carol & Ian My apologies for the tardy reply, our group is having a short brea..."
Courtesy of Capertee Valley Alliance Inc blog

January 4, 2011

Airly Mine Special Monitoring Committee Minutes

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Airly Mine Special Monitoring Committee Minutes of...

Capertee Valley Alliance Inc.: Airly Mine Special Monitoring Committee Minutes of...: "Airly Mine Special Monitoring CommitteeMinutes of Meeting 14th September 2010 1. &nbsp..."

Courtesy of Capertee Valley Alliance Inc blog

Mount Penny sale sign of confidence: BVPA

Article in Mudgee Guardian - 3 Jan 2011

Mount Penny sale sign of confidence: BVPA

Confirmation of White Energy’s decision to purchase the Mount Penny exploration licence from Cascade Coal for $500 million indicates approval for the coal mine is a given, according to Bylong Valley Protection Alliance (BVPA) Interim Vice President Stuart Andrews.

Minister for Planning Tony Kelly last week rejected BVPA claims that the approval for the Mount Penny coal project was being “rushed through” ahead of the state election.

At the same time, White Energy announced it would exercise its option to acquire Cascade Coal, subject to regulatory approval and approval by White Energy Shareholders.

“The decision shows the degree of confidence White Energy has that the Mount Penny mine will proceed,” Mr Andrews said.

“It makes a mockery of due process with regard to objective consideration of any future application for a mining lease in the area.

“When you spend half a billion dollars, you’re not expecting ‘no’ for an answer.

“It suggests that what Minister Kelly meant when he said on Tuesday any proposal would ‘certainly’ be given ‘full scrutiny’ was, in fact, that a go ahead is actually pretty much a fait accompli, although there might be a little additional i-dotting and t-crossing – and perhaps some extra conditions imposed – so as to give the appearance of some rigour in review,” Mr Andrews said.

January 2, 2011

Policy to blame - not mines - says Harvey

Article in THE LAND - 29 Dec 2010

Policy to blame - not mines - says Harvey

29 Dec, 2010 10:26 AM
POLITICS – not the actions of mining companies – is the fundamental problem behind issues of competing land use in NSW, says Harvey Norman chairman and Thoroughbred owner-breeder, Gerry Harvey.
Mr Harvey, a significant landowner in the Upper Hunter Valley with studs running 400 broodmares, said the actions of the NSW Government and its failure to implement a balanced strategic land use policy continued to create uncertainty.

He said the NSW Government could face a catastrophe similar to the James Hardie asbestos disaster if it did not adopt a cautious approach, particularly in relation to the impact of mining on water resources.

“For the life of me, I just can’t figure out how you can be sure aquifers can’t be infiltrated with toxic material. This could have catastrophic effects, including on our exports,” Mr Harvey said.

“We could end up in a James Hardie situation somewhere in the future, accused of acting irresponsibly.”

Mr Harvey defended the right of mining companies to operate and expand – but argued that prime agricultural land such as the Liverpool Plains should be off limits.

“We should not be mining those sorts of productive areas, or the Hunter River flats. We have enough coal to last for hundreds of years – by which time it will probably be of no value whatsoever – without mining these sorts of areas.”

Mr Harvey said the State Government’s inaction on land use strategy, with a Cabinet sub-committee report due in late October yet to be released, was at the crux of the problem.

“We need mines ... The whole Australian economy is surviving on mining and, without it, the economy would be in a dreadful state,” he said.

But “adequate planning processes” were needed to provide balanced assessments.
Mr Harvey said in such an arrangement there needed to be a better balance between landholders’ rights and the broader community benefit.

“But the great problem with governments of any persuasion is that they have great difficulty not playing politics,” he said

“Politics is a dirty game, and the only aim is to get into power and then to stay in power.

“Also, they have a great aversion to the truth – and you can sort of understand that, because to tell the truth is political suicide.”

Comment on Mudgee Guardian article re Cobbora project

Posted by SPARKS, 31/12/2010 on Mudgee Guardian site.
We currently dig up 4 times the Coal we can use ourselves and they want to expand that amount by another 129%.

Could it be that with the pissy $330mil that the NSW Gov. sold of its Coal reserves for in and around the power stations they have lost control of Coal supplies that feed Electricity Generation - bloody genius'. They are now in panic mode so a MAD UNPLANNED COAL RUSH has been created with us at the ugly end. How do you artificially depress the price of domestic coal - DOH!! CREATE AN OVERSUPPLY OF COAL!!!

How do you sweeten the sale of your publicly owned power stations - CREATE AN OVERSUPPLY OF COAL. How do you ensure Coal production is always more than our export ports capacity so there is a captured supply that can't escape overseas, which will also sweeten the sale of the power stations, CREATE AN OVERSUPPLY OF COAL. It's easy! just get the DPI to rule off some lines on a map & sell the leases (farms) off. How do you flood the market with Coal as quickly as possible - go on a fire sale of leases in and around alluvial land river systems where the Coal is quickest to get at. Bugger those selfish pesky locals - throw them off their land and take whatever you want

Posted by SPARKS, 31/12/2010 2:15:20 PM, on Mudgee Guardian

Call to suspend Cobbora project

Article in Mudgee Guardian - 31 Dec 2101

Call to suspend Cobbora project

The Nature Conservation Council (NCC) of NSW has lodged a complaint with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission asking it to investigate potential breaches to competition law arising from the State Government government’s proposed Cobbora Coal Mine project.
The NCC has called on all parties contesting the 2011 State election to rule out establishing the Cobbora coal mine and suspend any coal supply agreement that distorts energy markets by reducing the price of coal.

The $1.3 billion coalmine will supply state?owned power generators with coal
at between $35 to $40 a tonne, well below the export market price of $60 to $70 a tonne.

NCC chief executive officer Pepe Clarke said this was an artificial subsidy for polluting coal?fired power generation.

“The government subsidy of coal prices is a significant barrier to the development and growth of much?needed clean, renewable sources of power such as wind and solar?thermal in NSW,” Mr Clarke said.

“The $1.3 billion would be more wisely invested in making NSW a world?leader in innovative, low emissions power generation, driving economic growth through new jobs and export opportunities for the state.

Comment on Mudgee Guardian article re Bylong exploration lease

Posted by SPARKS, 31/12/2010 on Mudgee Guardian site.

That's how its done. A quick sale, millions of dollars changing hands and bob's your uncle a foriegn Mining company controls your life & your land.

It's Sickening & infuriating when you think that the State Government without the slightest investigation on the consequences can sell out it's community and mark for permanent destruction the furtile Bylong Valley.

If you want to see the "potential benefits for the region in terms of employment, development and investment, and addressing concerns which may be raised by the community,”

Go to nearby Wollar and see a town dying of MINING DISEASE, the community divided & evicted, the landscape ruined, the town shriveling due to the community being driven out by a noisey, dusty, thirsty greedy, destructive neighbour - King Coal.

Yes it won't happen right now BUT IT WILL HAPPEN!!

Lots of "visits" & "dialogue" from the Orange & Yellow flimflam men in 4x4's, lots of nice spin statements with big words like "STRINGENT" & "EXTENSIVE" Lots of half truths on what will happen. Judge for yourself, does the slow certain death of Wollar meet the sweat promises, or have things turned different.



Posted by SPARKS, 31/12/2010 1:47:36 PM, on Mudgee Guardian

Bylong exploration lease transaction complete

Article in Mudgee Guardian - 31 Dec 2010

Bylong exploration lease transaction complete

Cockatoo Coal Limited announced on Christmas Eve the transfer of the Bylong Exploration Lease to their investment partners had been completed.

The transaction sees KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) acquire 100 per cent of Anglo Coal’s Bylong project with a three year call option for 30 per cent interest to Cockatoo.

In a statement from Cockatoo Coal, the Bylong Exploration Lease has been acquired to undertake exploration activities with an objective of building up sufficient information for the company and its partners to make an informed decision about the viability of the project.

Cockatoo’s Project Manager for the Bylong Project, Stuart Hides, said that Cockatoo is committed to dealing with the Bylong community in an open and transparent manner.

“Over the next few months we welcome detailed dialogue about the project, sharing information on the potential benefits for the region in terms of employment, development and investment, and addressing concerns which may be raised by the community,” he said.

“I can say from the outset that Cockatoo is committed to the highest levels of practical environmental management and protection in all aspects of its operations and this will be a fundamental consideration throughout all project stages.

“The Bylong Project is at a very preliminary stage and there remains several years of planning, exploration work and environmental monitoring to be undertaken.”

Cockatoo’s newly acquired Bylong Exploration Lease has been reported to have thermal coal recources up to 423 million tonnes.

Further details of the call option were released by Cockatoo Coal on the Australian Stick Exchange on July 7, 2010.