March 22, 2011
Mining battle has just begun in South-West: Greens
The WA Greens have welcomed the EPA’s decision to reject the Vasse Coal project, but warn that continued exploration for coal seam gas in the South-West poses an ongoing threat to the region.
“Coal seam gas is just one of the ‘unconventional gas’ resources in WA being spruiked by the WA Government in its Strategic Energy Initiative: Energy 2031 document,” WA Greens Water Spokesperson, Alison Xamon MLC said.
“As yet, there is no clarity from the WA Government about what, if any, chemicals are being used in these processes and what the implications may be for local water tables.
But given the extensive problems we have already seen in the eastern states from fracking, including falling water tables, groundwater contamination and uncontrolled methane leaks, we have every reason to keep an eye on this emerging industry in WA.
“In the South-West, test drilling is underway near the Kaloorup Road near Busselton and possibly other areas.
So Mr Barnett’s claims that he supports the EPA’s decision and cares about the environmental risks don’t seem consistent.
“Sooner or later, we may see proposals to mine coal seam gas or other forms of unconventional gas and the same fight to protect our water sources and private property will start all over again.
“If the media doesn’t report as widely on the next mining proposal, I wonder if Mr Barnett will be so quick to speak up about his environmental concerns,” added Ms Xamon.
For media enquiries, please contact Alison Xamon
See also story below on Government land theft
Golden Gecko Awards a public relations exercise for environmental disasters
Western Australia’s peak environment group today questioned the credibility of the Golden Gecko awards for environmental management in the mining and petroleum industry. The awards were announced last night by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Hon. Norman Moore.
Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen said “Three of the projects that have received Golden Gecko awards are operating in areas that should be off-limits to the mining industry and instead protected. (Barrow Island nature reserve, Irvine Island in the Kimberley, and Jack Hills mine in the ecologically unique Banded Ironstone Ranges)
“Two of these projects were rejected by the EPA as environmentally unacceptable. (Chevron Barrow Island LNG plant and Pluton resources mining on Irvine Island)
“The EPA ruled against Chevron’s massive LNG development on Barrow Island, only to have their advice overturned by Government. Since then the project has had an appalling environmental record including numerous quarantine breaches, killing endangered turtles, and most recently the sinking of a service vessel carrying hundreds of liters of diesel.”
“Irvine Island in the Kimberley is another area where mining should not even be considered.”
After the Conservation Council appealed this project, the EPA stated in formal advice to the Appeals Convenor:
“Given the very high conservation values on and surrounding the island, and the currently near-pristine condition of the area, mining is seen as inappropriate”
“The idea that these projects should be given environmental awards suggests that the Golden Gecko awards are little more than a public relations exercise.”
“In a previous year the Esperance Port Authority received a Golden Gecko award for dust management before they went on to contaminate the town of Esperance with lead dust.”
“Perhaps these awards should be re-named the Golden Gecko Awards for environmental incompetence in the minerals industry” concluded Mr. Verstegen.
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Meanwhile the owners of land in the Kimberly accuse the Barnett Government of theft. Read ABC story here
This 3 min audio was posted via a Skype call to a US landline ( provided by WordPress ) using the awesome Blue Yeti USB mic. It’s phone quality output of THX quality input.
Click the blue link below for my high quality, local recording of the Skype call ( using Call Recorder V2.3.10 ) saved in Quicktime and uploaded as an mp3 – it includes the cool botVoice…Sweeet!
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7 December 2009
“Such an amalgamation of assets and liabilities in the Pilbara will have many sustainable benefits that the Greens endorse”, Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple said today in relation to the announcement of the joint venture project.
“It will lead to lower production costs and place Australia at an advantage in the international market place” Mr Chapple said.
“Combining adjacent mines into single operations will have two environmental benefits; first, cumulative impacts should now be more readily assessed and dealt with; and second, end of life mine planning and pit infill can be approached in a more regionally strategic manner”, said Mr Chapple.
Joint use of rail infrastructure will mean more energy efficient line use and curtail the development of standalone rail systems that were required in the previous competitive environment.
“With JV planning, the future rail footprint will be smaller than would otherwise have been necessary”, said Mr Chapple.
As far back as 1964, the National Bulk carriers mining company had called for an integrated plan for the railing and shipment of iron ore out of the Pilbara (referred to as the Ludwig Plan). In June 1992, the then Government endorsed the Pilbara 21 Final Strategy Report in which the need for an integrated rail network was again highlighted.
However the Greens’ support for the infrastructure JV proposed by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto is conditional on the fact that there will be no job losses caused by the joint venture.
“Mr Barnett’s push for a more equitable return on royalties derived from the now commercial iron ore fines market is to be supported, but not by way of a threat of blocking this amalgamation”, said Mr Chapple.
All the best
Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872
41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005
Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610
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- Rio and BHP Sign Deal on Ore Venture (nytimes.com)
The Wilderness Society of WA protested effectively outside an oil and gas industry headquarters in Perth as the Atlas West Oil rig owned by Thai/Burmese operators continues to kill ocean, reef and mainland wildlife in the Timor Sea.
See Bikini clad Perth protestors cover themselves in oil, click the pic for the video link
Please visit the TWSWA website http://www.wilderness.org.au/regions/western-australia
and follow them on twitter at @TWSWA
Meanwhile, the Governments of Kevin Rudd and Colin Barnett are yet to answer key questions on the lamentable response to the oil disaster by it’s operators, let alone address the issue of profits possibly going to the Generals.
See the link below for the 6PR interview, pictures of the spill taken by the Greens and an interview with Senator Rachel Siewert Youtube slideshow of the oil slick – also, Kevin Rudd doesn’t even use the word “environment”in his brief spin on air at 6PR with Simon Beaumont (6pr.com.au )
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2009 ANNOUNCEMENT
Today June 5th 2009 marks the tolling of official death knell of the plastic shopping bag.
The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation and its many friends and allies all around the world on Saturday September 26 2009 will call for the world to BAN THE BAG. Our vision will be that by the turn of the clock at midnight on December 31st 2010 they will be BANNED forever globally.
The STOPlasticBags campaign will demand government action, Company and business commitment and consumer support to eradicate what has become a profligate plague of our current times.
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- METRO to charge five cents per shopping bag in its Ontario and Quebec stores starting tomorrow (newswire.ca)