- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.



Tuesday, 31 January 2012

DUNDURRABIN MINING LAW WORKSHOP





Dundurrabin Community Centre at 1.30pm on Feb 11, 2012  

 
Sue Higgenson, senior solicitor from the Environmental Defenders  Office, is coming to talk with our community about mining law.


 This is an open  invitation to the whole community to address everyone's concerns regarding the  legal side of mining and our rights within the community and for our private  landholdings.  

Take this opportunity to  understand what could happen if mining proceeds in our community.


Environmental Defenders Office:


  A  community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental  law

  Mission:  promote the public interest and improve environmental outcomes through the  informed use of the law

  Functions

  Legal  Advice and Representation

  Policy  and Law Reform

  Community  Education

  Scientific  and Technical Advice


Please bring a something to share to have with a  cuppa.


Local Mining Exploration


Anchor  Resources have been doing exploratory drilling at Dundurrabin for gold and  copper.


As  reported on Anchor Resources website, (www.anchorresources.com <http://www.anchorresources.com/>   ) the  Tyringham prospect is identified as a Reduced Intrusion-Related Gold System  (RIRGS) and deposits of this type include multi-million ounce gold mines such  as Fort-Knox, Pogo and Donlin Creek (Alsaska) and Kidston  Australia.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

If the Government wants to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons it must scrap uranium deal with Russia - Greens


Media Release: Senator for Western Australia, Scott Ludlam. Friday January 27th, 2012.

The Australian Government must end uranium sales to Russia if it is serious about stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the Australian Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said strongly-worded statements on Iran from Canberra rang hollow unless the government ends the sale of uranium to Iran's key nuclear partner - Russia.

"The Russian nuclear industry built Iran's Bushehr plant and continue to work with the Iranian regime closely. Recently Moscow expressed concerns about nuclear fuel enrichment in Iran but continue to be Iran's closest partner when it comes to nuclear power," said Senator Ludlam.

"In April last year the Russian state-run company Atomstroyexport was carrying out the reloading of nuclear fuel at Bushehr. Russia has a significant commercial interest in Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology and missile delivery systems.

"In 2008, CIA Director General Michael Hayden noted Russia's assistance with civil nuclear technology and Russian company transfers of ballistic missile hardware and know-how in the annual report on Weapons of Mass Destruction related acquisitions. A similar report from four years earlier indicated Iran's technological and material acquisitions from Russian companies aided Iran's development of intermediate range ballistic missiles and that ongoing Russian-Iranian trade have assisted Iran's local missile production capabilities. I'm not a huge fan of the work of the CIA - but this is what Washington's intelligence agency is saying, and while Canberra listens to everything else the US administration tells them it seems to be ignoring the clear role Russia has in Iran's nuclear ambitions."

In November 2010 Senator Ludlam condemned the Government for cutting a deal to sell uranium to Russia.

"The concerns the Australian Greens raised then are more pressing now.  Russia has a nuclear energy sector known for low safety and environmental standards, the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and at the time of signing, had not been visited by IAEA inspectors since 2001.

"The formidable security and proliferation concerns of uranium deals with Russia were spelled out forensically by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) in 2008. The Government blindly dismissed these warnings. This is an example of short term profits taking precedence over global security interests."


Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

Link to Daily Examiner Story: Police close to charging Cansdell

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Land Article: Cansdell 'Tribute Dinner'!!!!!!

'Dinner for disgraced MP raises Labor hackles

23 Jan, 2012 07:55 AM
THE National Party has been accused of profiting from the misdeeds of MP Steve Cansdell.
A ''tribute dinner'' has been arranged to honour Mr Cansdell, who quit the seat of Clarence in September after being forced to admit he falsified a statutory declaration to avoid losing his driver's licence. He faces possible criminal charges.


Up to 200 people are expected to attend the $50-a-head function at Grafton on February 4. The organiser, Deb Newton, Mr Cansdell's former campaign manager, said it was ''not really a fund-raiser'' but any money left over would go to the Nationals' local electorate council. ''There is still a lot of love out there for Steve and a lot of forgiveness,'' she said.


The Opposition Leader, John Robertson, said: ''Fund-raising off the back of the resignation of a disgraced state MP who stood down so his generous parliamentary pension would not be cut off is an insight into the real values of the government.'' '
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ABC MNC Story:Call for Dorrigo Plateau mining ban


Coffs Harbour Greens Cr Mark Graham
January 23

Coffs-Clarence conservationists are calling for a ban on mining and exploration in the headwaters of the region's major rivers.

One company exploring for antimony on the Dorrigo Plateau, Anchor Mining, has already been fined over the impact of its activity on the Orara and Nymboida river catchments.

It is in relation to activity at the old Wild Cattle Creek mine near Bielsdown.

Coffs Harbour councillor and mining opponent Mark Graham says exploration exposed ore bodies containing toxic minerals like antimony, lead and mercury.

"There's been major damage to rainforest and contamination of the catchment," he said.

"Mining must be prohibited in sensitive catchment areas, particularly drinking water supply areas.
"We've already seen poor practice, we've seen the law being breached and fines being issued.

"The only way to protect the catchment is to prohibit mining and further exploration activities."

Cr Graham says the New South Wales Government will be lobbied to place a ban mining and exploration in the region's river catchments.

"There is huge community support for banning mining in the Orara and Nymboida catchments because of the drinking water supply," he said.

"That community support will translate into political will and pressure will be brought to bear upon the State Government to set no-go zones such as the Dorrigo Plateau."

Friday, 20 January 2012

Macleay Argus Story: Court action over supply of timbers



In the previous column I wrote of the continual breaches of numerous statutory licence conditions by Forests NSW in North Coast and South Coast forests.
While the penalty notices and fines have not been enough to worry the loggers, I am aware of a poll in the Coffs Advocate where 92 per cent of respondents said the logging of the Boambee State Forest koala habitat should be stopped.

It is plain the government and logging companies are at risk of losing their social licence and approval for an industry upon which our North Coast communities depend in some form or another.

The government and companies know they are losing credibility as corporate citizens and I have been trying to find out why they continue to commit these breaches.

The Regional Forest Agreement (including the IFOA) was drawn up in 1998 between the industry and the government, with environmentalists excluded from the discussions although they tried as hard as they could to point out the required timber was not there.

The shortfall became more apparent around 2003 when a new agreement was signed with Boral by the Forestry Commission and the government of NSW on your behalf.

In what seems now an astounding blunder, the government at that time removed the clause that allowed it to reduce commitments in line with yield reviews.

By 2004 the Allen Taylor mill at South Kempsey was merged with the Herons Creek mill to take advantage of federal government funding to set up for smaller log
processing.

This seemed to confirm environmentalists’ concerns that the big logs were going at a faster rate than they were being replaced by new growth.

Everyone knows it takes 50 years to get a decent sized tree and the big ones with hollows for critters such as possums, gliders and parrots take up to 200 years.

You don’t see too many of them if you look through the screen of bigger trees beside the highway and see the field of sticks in your State forest.

You can’t run a harvest rotation of less than 20 years and expect the forest to keep up the supply of millable logs.

So it was no surprise to find that Boral received $500,000 of your tax money in 2006 because Forests
NSW and the government failed to manage to supply the promised quotas of premium saw logs.
From that time on activists began to collate more and more incidents of breaches which the environment department, whether it was called DEC, DECC, DECCW or OEH, had been apparently unable to find without help.

It became obvious that in the relentless pursuit for timber to fill the quotas new areas were sought even if it meant breaking the rules about unmarked streamlines, oldgrowth, rainforest, percentage cut, failure to monitor or audit the take, and failure to mark up habitat trees.

But with all that, the lack of resource and the need to keep the small mills going still prevented Forests NSW supplying the agreed amount of premium logs to Boral. So it was no surprise when Allen Taylor and Co. Ltd and Duncan’s Holdings launched a summons for the Forestry Commission of NSW and the State of NSW to appear in the Supreme Court of NSW in Sydney.

Both companies are part of the Boral group and their brief alleges failure to supply the agreed quantities of premium logs (blackbutt, spotted gum and brushbox) and supply of greater quantities of smaller logs than was agreed. Boral however is not saying the logs are not there, rather they contend Forests NSW are supplying those premium high quality logs to third parties or other mills on the North Coast.

So because of the previous refusal to listen to the people telling previous government departments the supply was not there, the NSW Coalition is faced with the dilemma of denying the small mills the logs they need to survive, or on the other hand paying out Boral in a huge settlement. The court proceedings are listed for later this year. 

http://www.macleayargus.com.au/news/local/news/opinion/court-action-over-supply-of-timbers/2422727.aspx?storypage=0

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Get trawling out of NSW marine parks – Greens


Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012

Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says that the NSW
Government should take the advice of the five trawler operators from
Nelson Bay who have declared their practice environmentally damaging,
and move to ban trawling in the state's marine parks.

"Trawling is nothing less than land clearing with bulldozers and chains
at the bottom of the ocean. It kills fish and destroys habitat
indiscriminately. It has no place in a marine park," said Ms Faehrmann.

"If trawling is allowed to continue in key sensitive areas we are going
to see a rapid decline of marine life. Both the commercial and
recreational industries will suffer.

"While the federal government and the rest of the world is moving ahead
on marine protection, this government is taking NSW backwards. Winding
back measures at Solitary Islands and Jervis Bay Marine Parks that
reduced the areas available for trawling is just one example of this.

"Now even trawlers are seeing the writing on the wall, but the NSW
Government is more interested in appeasing extremists in the fishing
lobby.

"The NSW Government is dragging its heels and trying to avoid taking
action. Their much trumpeted but unnecessary scientific review into
marine parks is now late.

"Meanwhile, trawling continues to destroy vital habitat for marine
life.

"The NSW Government must heed this warning from within the industry and
ban trawling in all marine parks," said Ms Faehrmann.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hysterical gas industry attacks O'Farrell's plan and hectors media


12 January 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham criticised the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) for labelling the O'Farrell Government's Regional Strategic Land Use Policy as red tape and consistently attacking the media for reportage critical of the industry.

"The Greens are appalled that APPEA have started to criticise the O'Farrell Government's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy as creating a bureaucratic headache for industry," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"There is clearly a high level of community and expert concern over the impacts of the coal seam gas industry, and it is entirely appropriate that the government acts to protect landholders, farmers and the environment through proper and considered regulation.

"Declaring important agricultural land and sensitive environments off-limits to mining and gas is a sensible policy.  The Greens hope that Barry O'Farrell will stick by his election commitment and not bend to pressure from the big gas companies.

"The NSW public will not tolerate a policy that allows the gas industry free reign across the state.

"APPEA is increasingly hysterical in its responses to media reports critical of the industry.  It is inappropriate for APPEA to hector the Sydney Morning Herald or the ABC over their reporting of legitimate news related to the gas industry in Australia and around the world.

"The gas industry is setting itself up as the arbiter of what can be legitimately reported, yet they have a direct and massive financial interest in limiting negative reporting.

"Today APPEA criticised the ABC for reporting a study looking at the correlation between animal deaths and illness and the gas industry.  The study was authored by a Professor of Pharmacology at Cornell University and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in private practice.  Most Australians would probably think that the work of such experts has something valuable to contribute, despite the protestations of gas industry executives.

"The gas industry is hysterical because they can not fly under the radar anymore and despite spending millions on advertising and propaganda, they have been unable to win the Australian public's trust.  The public has taken a keen interest in the coal seam gas issue and has not granted the industry a social licence to operate.  Such a licence will not be earned by criticising media outlets," he said.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Monday, 9 January 2012

Minister using ASIO to spy at the behest of the fossil lobby must be held to account


Media Release by: Senator Scott Ludlam, Saturday January 7th, 2012


The Australian Greens have reacted strongly to confirmation that fossil fuel companies successfully pressured energy minister Martin Ferguson to enlist ASIO and the Federal Police in spying on climate change and clean energy activists.

"This is a deliberate abuse of the role of Australian security agencies, who have better things to do than follow the dictates of foreign coal and energy corporations," Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said.

"Instead of promoting the surveillance and intimidation of climate activists, Minister Ferguson should devote some of his time to dealing with the issues they raise."

The Greens have called on the Prime Minister to haul Mr Ferguson into line, and demanded that new Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon come clean on the degree to which Australian intelligence bodies are diverting resources into spying on environmental campaign groups.

ASIO chief David Irvine indicated to Senator Ludlam in an estimates committee hearing in February 2010: "ASIO does not devote any resources to constraining legitimate protest. We are specifically prevented from doing so by our act, and we do not do it."

Subsequent to this exchange, the Government made substantial amendments to ASIO's act (the so-called 'WikiLeaks amendments') giving the agency unqualified powers to spy on civil society organisations.

"This is a dangerous expansion of the surveillance state, a wholly unhealthy cocktail of economic interests, privatised intelligence gathering, misuse of clandestine intelligence resources and above all, a demonstration of the warped priorities of a Minister who needs to be pulled into line," said Senator Ludlam.


Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Santos disingenuous on coal seam gas royalties

JEREMY BUCKINGHAM MLC - MEDIA RELEASE
5 January 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has hit back at
Santos' claims on coal seam gas royalties saying Santos spokesperson
Matthew Doman claims where either disingenuous or highlights a lack of
understanding of the financial contribution resources projects make to
governments and communities, after he told Sky Business yesterday that
Santos would start paying royalties once they entered the production
phase.

In NSW there is a royalty holiday for the first 5 years of production.
In the 6th year a royalty rate of 6% applies, rising 1% per year to 10%
from the 10th year onwards.

Mr Dorman told Sky News "That's right, you pay royalties once you enter
the production phase", omitting the very important fact that there is a
five year royalty holiday for petroleum products in NSW where the
Pilliga project is located.

"Santos are trying to spin their way out of the fact that NSW taxpayers
will be ripped off in terms of the return they'll get for the
exploitation of this gas resource.  Yet it is the community that will
bear the risks to water, agriculture and the environment," said Greens
MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"For the first five years of each coal seam gas well, when production
of gas is likely to be highest, Santos will not pay one red cent in
royalties.

"Barry O'Farrell and Mike Baird need to answer why coal seam gas
operators pay nothing in NSW for the first five years, yet Queenslanders
get 10% in royalties from day one.  The Queensland royalty rate
certainly hasn't slowed the industry up there.

"In 2010 the only producing coal seam gas field in NSW, AGL's Camden
project with around 80-90 producing wells paid only $462,093 in
royalties in 2009-2010.   How many wells is Santos planning in NSW to
deliver their promised $150 million a year in royalties?"

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Minerals Royalty revenue in NSW 2005 – 2010: http://bit.ly/z3TgGu

Petroleum (Onshore) Regulation 2007
Current version for 2 September 2011 to date (accessed 5 January 2012
at 12:21)

Part 7Clause 23

23   Rate of royalty: section 85
(1)  For the purposes of section 85 (2) of the Act, the prescribed
annual rate of royalty is as follows:
(a)  for the first 5 years from the first commercial production
date—nil,
(b)  for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th years from the first commercial
production date—6%, 7%, 8% and 9%, respectively, of the value at the
well-head of the petroleum,
(c)  for the 10th and subsequent years from the first commercial
production date—10% of the value at the well-head of the petroleum.
(2)  For the purposes of this clause:
(a)  the first commercial production date is the date on which
commercial production of petroleum first began on the land to which the
petroleum title relates, and
(b)  a period of time referred to in subclause (1) is to be calculated
inclusive of the first commercial production date, and
(c)  the prescribed annual rate of royalty is to be determined only by
reference to the first commercial production date and not by reference
to the date or dates on which commercial production of petroleum began
in relation to each well on the land to which the petroleum title
relates.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Councillor found guilty of criticising fellow councillors

Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012
*Media Release*

Gosford City Greens Councillor Peter Freewater has been found to have
breached the council's 'Code of Conduct' policy for publically criticising
decisions made by the majority of councillors.

See SMH story here:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/councillor-frustrated-over-code-of-conduct-20120104-1pl9j.html

With the NSW government currently reviewing the Model Code of Conduct ahead
of the September 2012 local government elections, Clr Freewater's
experience is a case study of the broader problems with the Local
Government Model Code of Conduct in NSW, and the need for more than token
reform.

Greens NSW MP and Local Government spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"In many councils code of conduct complaints have become political weapons
and are used to fight essentially partisan battles using council resources.

"Councillor Freewater was raising legitimate matters for public debate and
he should not have been prosecuted for raising them publicly.

"This case highlights some of the problems with the Code of Conduct.  Each
of these complaints should have been seen for what they were – political
attacks on an inconvenient political voice.

"There needs to be a fundamental change in the way complaints under the
Code are initially assessed, with an early, independent and objective
review being undertaken by a person well removed from the council's
political machinations.

"General Managers, who only remain in office if they keep the political
support of a majority of councillors, should have no role whatsoever in
assessing Code of Conduct complaints.

"Councillor Freewater has been found to have breached the code of conduct
because he was a strident critic of some decisions of his council that he
voted against.  In effect he has been found 'guilty' of being a councillor.

"It is fairly clear that the Code of Conduct is not being used to raise the
standard of councillor behaviour, rather it has become a petty political
tool for those who are willing to use it," Mr Shoebridge.

Media contact: 0408 113 952

Thursday, 5 January 2012

0.3% per well from Pilliga coal seam gas project is a swindle


JEREMY BUCKINGHAM MLC  -  MEDIA RELEASE

3 January 2011

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has called for the land use access agreement between Forests NSW and Santos to be renegotiated after the agreement, released by Freedom of Information, revealed that Forests NSW will only receive a pathetic $2,500 per annum from every active coal seam gas well.

Eastern Star Gas (now purchased by Santos) has previously said that each well in the Pilliga project would produce revenue of approximately $800,000.  A $2,500 payment per well means Forests NSW will receive only 0.3% of the revenue from each well.

"This revelation shows how little NSW taxpayers are getting for the massive amount of damage this industry is doing to the Pilliga Forest and potentially our waterways and aquifers," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Santos stand to make billions by pock-marking the Pilliga forest with gas wells if its proposal for 1,100 coal seam gas wells if approved.  But NSW taxpayers will get little compensation .  This project is a dud.

"I've seen the damage done by the pilot coal seam gas operations in the Pilliga, including massive amounts of clearing, large tracts of dead trees where coal seam gas water has spilled, unlined waste water ponds, introduced weeds, large evaporation ponds and leaking infrastructure.

"Santos plans to turn an important nature reserve into a heavy industrial zone, but pay virtually nothing to the community.

"Taxpayers will also be ripped off when it comes to royalties from coal seam gas, with a five year royalty holiday for gas in NSW.  In Queensland gas royalties are 10% from day one, yet here in NSW the gas companies will pay no royalties for the first five years, and only 10% after 10 years of operations.  It's a swindle," he said.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

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