September 23, 2011


The Running Stream Water Users Association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and we’re kicking off the festivities with the launch of the Puggles Club, a special sub-branch of the Association for kids!

The Puggles Club is a cool gang of kids learning about running streams and all the amazing creatures that play in them.

We all know how important running streams are, not just for us humans but for all living creatures. So we’re inviting young people to join us in our mission to protect them.

We’ve created an online activity area where club members can post comments and send in information about the many different animals they see in their own creeks and streams (

We’re also planning an excursion to the actual Running Stream above the village of Running Stream at the Gateway to Central NSW where we hope to spot elusive platypus and their baby puggles! Teaming up with the Association’s participation in the Lock The Gate Alliance’s National Day of Action to Defend Our Water, this excursion aims to highlight the valuable role that water plays in our lives.

Families are invited to join us at ‘Morven Park’, 6216 Castlereagh Highway, Cherry Tree Hill at 12 noon on Sunday Oct. 16th for a picnic at the source of Running Steam.

Please let us know if you and your family would like to join in the fun by calling Nell on 0413 746909 or Chrissie on 63588 531.

Looking forward to welcoming you all on board!

Here's a pic from our last excursion!

Posted for Nell

September 19, 2011

Inglenook Exploration Licenses

Dear Members
We have now had three meetings of the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), with apologies we haven't had the time yet to write up reports on the meetings.  (It's on the to do list!) However one thing we did get was copies of the Conditions of Exploration for each of the 4 licenses that cover the Inglenook Project (see Reference Documents). They appear to be the same for each, so even looking at just one will give you an idea. It is good to be familiar with them, because from experience with Ulan and Moolarben, it seems that it is up to the community to monitor and report any breaches. The EPA don't have enough staff to do it.
Happy bedtime reading!

Posted for President RSWUA

September 15, 2011


14 September 2011

The Editor
Lithgow Mercury101 Main Street

Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing to convey my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the Lithgow Council for opposing the continuation and expansion of open cut coal mining by Coalpac in the Cullen Bullen district. (6 September 2011.)

That a company needs to resort to open cut mining in a State Forest to supply coal for domestic electricity production is proof that the greed driven mass exportation of coal by international mining companies is detrimental to our way of life. 

60% of the world’s coal production is by underground mining; in NSW this figure is a mere 36%. The rest is by open cut mining. (NSW Mineral Council data) This is also evidence of the neglect shown by the companies for flora and fauna, removal of oxygen producing plants (a double whammy for carbon emissions), water, agriculture, tourism as well as aesthetic appreciation of the unique Australian landscape. 

The biodiversity offset project by Coalpac is pathetic. Not only is it miniscule compared to the amount of carbon being unlocked by Coalpac, it can’t even begin to compete with the depletion of the forest in the areas being, and proposed to be, open cut. Deception?
A further sad note is that it was once a productive agricultural property now being used to grow a row of trees to mask the utter degradation of a unique State Forest.  Still that is better than the green shade cloth on the other side of the highway. More deception??

In the article, “Open cut is vital to their survival”, the authors only mention coal for the local power stations. Nowhere in the letter could I find any reference to the corporate objectives of Coalpac to:-
  • Commence export production by FY2012
  • Secure rail and port access for export and other markets

The above is from their own website. More deception and more greed!

I find it difficult to believe that Coalpac knew nothing of the underground fires in this area. I personally feel that Coalpac would or should also have known  and that a buyer beware clause was not included. Was their plan all along to cry woe and attempt to gain public sympathy for their “need” to now justify further open cut mining? More deception I feel.

The photo in the article is not reflective of the gravity of Coalpac’s requests for continued expansion of their open cut mining operations. To me they look more like the used car industry’s “Salesman of the year” nominees.  More deception??

Guy Sim
Vice President
Running Stream Water Users’ Association

September 12, 2011


(L to R: Michael McNamara, Julie McNamara, Jolieske Lips, Sister Patricia Powell, Sister Bernadette Evens)

A group of active members gathered in the Running Stream Hall last Friday night to hear from several passionate speakers concerned about the destruction of our land by coal and coal seam gas companies. Michael and Julie McNamara from the Northern Rivers Guardians and the Lock the Gate Alliance presented a slide show detailing the extent of land in New South Wales (approx 30%) currently under Coal Seam Gas and Petroleum Exploration Licences, including vast tracts around the Mid-Western Regional Area. They pointed out that the state government receives 10% in royalties from mining and nothing from agriculture, hence its disproportional support of the industry over farming. Unlike farmers, who pay the government to use water for irrigation, these fossil fuel industries take it for free and pollute it in the process.
The McNamara's dismissed the argument that these industries provide important  jobs for communities by saying that only about 150,000 people work in mining compared to more than 500,000 in agriculture. And when farming land is destroyed and the aquifers damaged and polluted,  agriculture can no longer operate there. The couple are calling for a moratorium or even a Royal Commission into the coal and coal seam gas industries until an independent assessment of their impacts has been properly conducted.
 Following declarations from locals about the stress that they have been experiencing due to Centennial Coal's recent low flying helicopter surveys, Sister Patricia Powell from the Bathurst Sisters of Mercy gave an inspirational talk entitled 'Spirituality for Planetary Citizens'. She explained how the story of the Big Bang had deepened her faith. "It beats the creation story in the Bible," she said, "It's awesome!". The New Universe story alerted her to the fact that human beings are an intrinsic part of the incredible life system of the planet but because of our greedy and selfish actions, that system is now under threat. "I am the planet become conscious of itself," she explained; "God is at the heart of me and of every leaf on every tree, and in every river."
Sister Patricia practices her beliefs at the Rahamim Ecological Learning Centre, which is attached to St Joseph's Mount in Bathurst ( She believes that the first work to be done is remedial - healing the planet of the damage that humans have inflicted upon it. Then we need to "imagine a future where our institutions are built on a new world view", one in which we respect and nurture ourselves and our environment as an interconnected system. "We have the capacity to create a new reality", she concluded. Let's start creating it!


 It's time to abandon the old thinking and start working on some strategies that will actually protect good agricultural land from destruction by Coal and Coal Seam Gas. Here's some suggestions:

(1) Start a consumer boycott - Which Coal Seam Gas companies have retail customers? Tell their customers to cut off their gas or choose a different source for their gas or change their gas provider to someone who doesn't sell Coal Seam Gas.

(2) Mount a legal challenge - If a Coal or Coal Seam Gas company is giving you grief, wait till they take you to court. If only a hundred people did this to a Gas company their resources would be so stretched they'd have to capitulate. If a thousand people did it they'd be out of business. You don't need a lawyer and Barrister. Just represent yourself as people do everyday in court around the country.

(3) Work on a political campaign - The election is on the way. Each electorate has to vote for a local member. Choose a person from your community who is a good leader and ask them to stand in the election. Vote for them. If a dozen communities do this the major political parties will be forced into a minority government that is controlled by your local members who don't want Coal or Coal Seam Gas.

(4) Civil Disobedience - Just say yes to clean food and water and no to Coal Seam Gas. Lock Your Gate, blockade Gas company trucks, protest in the main street of your town. It's our land, our heritage and our future. The future is not Coal Seam Gas. Don't be afraid to stand up for what is right in the face of stupid laws and a corrupt government.

(5) Shareholder activism - Buy a share in each coal and gas company and write to the Directors. Show up to the AGM and protest. Get a hold of the share register (it's free) and write to the shareholders. Show up at the Directors houses and protest out the front.

(6) Don't be afraid to tell everyone you know that your life is being made hell by coal and gas companies and that if they don't get off their selfish arses and help you, they'll be next.

There's no time left to spend on feelgood stuff. The time for politeness has passed. It's now the moment to get cracking on winning this fight by thinking laterally and showing some guts in the face of adversity. It's time to show up the politicans as liars who care about revenue ahead of constituents.

As Mark Twain said, you'll regret more the things you didn't do, than the things you did.

September 10, 2011

Australian Human Rights V's Coal Seam Gas



send to "Attonery General Robert McLelland"

URGENT: Greetings Robert McLelland,

I am proud of Australia and what we have made it today since the pioneer days in the early 1800's. We are the "Lucky Country".

There is a massive growing movement against Coal Seam Gas Exploration and Drilling in Australia.

You would know that a great amount of organizations are being formed daily against this invasion on our soil in Australia. The everyday person once informed of the practices of this industry are hugely opposed to CSG entering at all and profiting at our expense.

We have just been awarded in Melbourne as the most liveable city in the World. With Sydney and Brisbane being in the top 10? I say absolutely well done to your department, government and our system and the people of Australia, every one of them.

My question fundamentally is why are we changing what is currently a working framework? We are presently a great example for the rest of the world!

Why then I ask, do we have to ruin this? Why then do we have Coal Seam Gas Drilling here on our continent? Can we have an early election? This issue will change how people vote most definitely.

My thoughts are that we will collapse our excellent food, water, tourism and health sectors and overload to breaking point our many charitable organizations in 5 years if CSG continues. I know, and I think you do to that this is not worth allowing and should be stopped immediately. Can we afford to import all our food and water? Many of us will die.

There is no return from this scenario. No plan to clean up the damage. I am advised that there is around an estimated 49% of gas available underground that International Mining CSG companies want to extract for profit to send to China and India and wherever else in the world. Abbott Point in North Queensland for example has a 99 year lease of crown land just granted in North Queensland. This is not very public information but a controlling factor in exports also.

There are plenty of documented cases in America of the health issues and environmental damages created by the current practices of CSG extraction. Will there be a huge class action legally in the future from the citizens of Australia against the Australian Government for negligent action and non transparency? I think so.

I am desperately begging that you consider this issue, please save what we are so lucky to have today. Please save our future and take action.

Please step in and cut the red tape, all contracts relating to CSG and export agreements to other countries, address parliament and advise every citizen of Australia urgently the direction that will save the paradise that the rest of the world considers Australia is.

I leave it in your expert hands as to whether an early election is a viable solution. I leave it in the hands of you and your department to help preserve Australian soil and citizens lives.

I believe you must take action NOW.

Your most sincere and concerned resident of Australia

Source: Lock The Gate Alliance <>

September 8, 2011

Why coal seam gas is the next big threat to our land and water

Dear Lock The Gate member,

Every week Tony wakes at dawn to make his regular rounds. There are already 66 wells in the Piliga State forest near his farm, and over 1,000 more are planned. It's supposed to be a conservation reserve.

He follows the pipes, looking for leaks, and often finds them. He takes photos of the unsealed ponds where mining companies store waste water from extraction, and of the trees dying off nearby. He's right to be concerned. Analysis of waste in other areas found hundreds of industrial chemicals, and carcinogens linked to leukaemia at levels 6 to 15 times safe drinking water standards1.

Undeterred, coal seam gas companies don't want anything to slow, nor regulate, their rapid expansion. So this week they launched a new PR campaign to convince the community and the Government there is nothing to worry about.

If the industry hasn't moved into your area yet, watch this video featuring Tony and other locals to see why coal seam gas is the next big threat to our land and water:

With gas reserves under as much as 46% of the country2, even inner-city suburbs are under threat from coal seam gas. The mining process includes fracking - a process where industrial chemicals and sand are pumped at high pressure deep into the earth to fracture the rock. Water supplies are often contaminated.

Locals are doing everything they can to spread the word about the dangers of coal seam gas mining and fracking. They go gate-to-gate to speak with neighbours, hand out letters, and spend days writing detailed submissions to Government. Debbi, a GetUp member from Tara QLD, even drove 5 hours down to Lynches Creek NSW to tell a community meeting what coal seam gas is doing to her kids' health.

But they can't drive far enough, write enough letters nor speak to enough neighbours to compete with the gas companies' advertising campaign.

Debbi often drives five hours to spread the word about coal seam gas - but you can help take her message right across the country with a small contribution to put this powerful ad on air.

What difference can you make? $43 can buy a TV ad during shows like Bondi Rescue in regional markets; $554 buys a prime-time commercial during the news that will reach tens of thousands.

We don't have long. Next week, Independent MP Tony Windsor will introduce a bill to Parliament to pause the expansion of coal seam gas mining until scientists have time to assess the impacts on health, land and our ancient water aquifers. That means politicians will be assessing the issue in coming weeks, and sending opinion polls into the field.

Check out this video of Tony, Debbi and other locals and help spread it far and wide.

In hope,
Lock The Gate

PS - In addition to toxic chemicals, it has been estimated that coal seam gas mining will bring over 50 million tonnes of underground salt to the surface.3 The industry admits it has no idea how to safely manage this.4 Watch this video and stand with locals calling for a freeze on expanding this industry until the impact can be understood and regulated.

1National Toxics Network. August, 2011. 'Gas industry plays down BTEX levels in groundwater'
2Based on likely coalseam occurances within Sedimentary Basin data provided by Geoscience Australia.
3 Agforce evidence to the Senate Standing Committee on the Murray Darling Basin, December 2009.
4 Senate Standing Committee on the Murray Darling Basin, August 9th, 2011.

September 7, 2011


This Friday (Sept 9), the Running Stream Water Users Association is hosting 'Defend our Water' - a regional tour to focus attention on the dangers of coal and coal seam gas mining to our precious water resources.

Organised by Northern Rivers landowner and Lock the Gate Alliance Committee member Michael McNamara and his wife Julie, the 'Defend Our Water' tour is promoting a National Day of Action planned for October 16, which marks the start of National Water Week.

Michael and Julie own land in the Tweed Valley, half an hour west of Murwillumbah, which has recently come under threat from coal seam gas mining. The pair helped form the Northern Rivers Guardians in order to protect their property and also joined the Lock The Gate Alliance. Last month they decided to use their long service leave to spread the message about the National Day of Action far and wide by touring the regions. They bought themselves a van and hit the road on a self-funded tour that has so far taken in towns like Bellingen, Gloucester, Taree, Newcastle, the Southern Highlands, Coonamble and Lake Macquarie.

Click here to see a recent Prime News story on them: 

The couple will speak this Friday evening at 7pm at the Running Stream Hall alongside  RSWUA President Jolieske Lips. There will also be an address by Sister Bernie Evens and Sister Trish Powell from the Bathurst Sisters of Mercy.

Looking forward to seeing you there!