Author: Morpheus Being

Nature Conservation Council NSW: Protest Anti-Protest NSW Legislation

Dear Everyone,

As early as tomorrow, the Baird government plans to rush through anti-protest legislation in an attempt to silence community protest against mining giants, logging companies and climate polluters.

The right to protest is at the core of our democracy. Show Premier Baird you won’t sit by and let big business re-write our laws – join us for a protest at midday tomorrow (Tuesday) outside the NSW Parliament.

If it weren’t for committed people standing up for what they believe in, the Franklin River would have been dammed, our beautiful rainforests would have been logged and the Northern Rivers and Gloucester would soon have become coal seam gas fields.

Join us tomorrow and leave Premier Baird a message that coal and gas giants should never decide our laws.

When: 12pm, Tuesday, March 15.

Where: In front of the NSW Parliament, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney. Map here.

What: Show Premier Baird you oppose his anti-protest laws and hear from community leaders concerned about the changes.

Share: Invite your friends to come via the Facebook event here.

The proposed anti-protest laws were announced on the same day the government said it would reduce fines for mining companies breaking the law from over $1 million to only $5,000.

If passed, the proposed anti-protest laws would:

  • Increase fines for aggravated entry onto inclosed lands (i.e. trespassing on a mine site) tenfold from $550 to $5,500;
  • Threaten up to seven years jail for those who interfere with mining or coal seam gas equipment;
  • Expand the powers of police to break up protests and forcibly move people on; and
  • Give new search and seizure powers to police to reduce the ability to ‘lock-on’ anywhere in the state, not simply at protest sites.

    Today we stand on the shoulders of a proud history of protest in NSW. In honour of those who have laid the path for us and those who will come after, we must show the Baird government the right to protest is non-negotiable.

    Let us know you’re coming on Facebook and ask you friends.

    If you can’t join us, please leave a message for Premier Baird by calling his office on (02) 8574 5000. By hitting the streets and the phone lines, let’s send our Premier a loud message that we won’t be silenced.

    Onwards!

    Daisy Barham
    Campaigns Director
    Nature Conservation Council of NSW

Red Dirt Alert March 2016

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Thank you to every single person who has made the #PilligaPush what are today, we have pushed this industry and government to a whole new realm.

We now have one 4-6 weeks left of serious construction of Leewood, Santos water treatment facility in the Pilliga NW NSW.

After the construction we will broaden the campaign strategy and ask everyone in NSW to become involved and active before the next election.

The recent legal retaliation by the Baird Government is an attack on our peaceful efforts to protect land and water from CSG in the Pilliga.

We cannot let this deter us. At the Pilliga Push camp over coming weeks we will use new creativity to help support the local community and demonstrate that people from near and far will not accept the CSG risk to our collective future.

On March 22 is World Water Day; on this day we will join global celebrations of our planet’s most important resource. In the Pilliga the water flows underground, it filters through the sandstone and recharges the aquifers below. The Pilliga sits atop the Great Artesian Basin, a giant underground water source that the farming communities of North West NSW and beyond utterly rely upon.

On the 22nd we will join with the local community to celebrate this resource in creative ways and it would be great to have you here to do this with us!

Please phone the camp phone for more info: 0499 384 557

Learning the Gomeroi Language

Yaama (Welcome, g’day, hello).

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At recent visit to camp, some Gomeroi teachers introduced participants to their spoken language. It is hard to convert a spoken language to a written one like native english speakers are used to, but here goes.
We were introduced to dhiibuungindandangayibadhaay which are several words rolled into one as the language is a flowing, rythmic language, unlike english.
Some of the things learned:
Dhiibuungindandangayibadhaay – would you like/do you like a cup of tea in the morning?
Wanagidjah – stop.
Yanaya – must go, bugger off
Burraybidigiirr – stinks, stinking, big fart
Warray-aabal-danha – all stand up
Walarr-milanda-walarr – shoulder to shoulder
Inarr – women
Gunyar – police
Guurraamalaabala
Marrii
Wanda
Ngiyani
Maalgirr
We all resist
Blackfellas
Whitefellas
All of us
United
You can learn more from the online dictionary.

CSG and Santos

Santos threatens to build invasive CSG (Coal Seam Gas) fields across north west NSW starting with Narrabri.

Santos has initial plans to build 850 CSG wells across the Pilliga Forest and farms in the Narrabri Shire. Santos has CSG exploration licences that cover most of north west NSW and have mapped 4 large gas fields.

CSG fields require a network of roads, gas, water and electricity lines, as well as massive amounts of industrial infrastructure to support them.

Santos has signed no guarantee that gas will flow to NSW, but has signed contracts to sell gas overseas. The independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has stated that gas prices in NSW will be increased by at least $160 per household due to linking to the export market.

What Is Coal Seam Gas

CSG is methane that is held in coal seams. It differs from conventional gas, because it requires unconventional methods to extract. The methods involve removing the groundwater from the coal seam and hydraulic fracking and/or horizontal drilling. A cocktail of dangerous chemicals are used to drill, with or without fracking.

CSG Mining Is Not Safe

In the worst case, Santos’ drilling in the GAB (Great Artesian Basin) recharge zone in the Pilliga could stop the free-flow of bores right across the GAB area which covers 22% of Australia.
CSG waste water is also toxic. Testing in the Pilliga has shown it contains a range of heavy metals, radioactive substances, salts and hydrocarbons. During exploration, Santos has already:

  • contaminated an aquifer in the Pilliga with heavy metals and uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water standards
  • received fines for wastewater discharge into a local creek
  • been prosecuted for environmental harm as a result of at least 20 major spills and leaks of wastewater

What Does It Mean For Your Health And Your Children?

Research by Doctors for the Environment found that the current level of assessment, monitoring and regulation of CSG exploration and mining activities in Australia is inadequate to protect the health of current and future generations of Australians
They have outlined three (3) key areas where there is a potential for adverse human health impacts:

  • through contamination of water, air and soil (look at what has happened at Hopelands in Qld)
  • through diversion of water and land away from agriculture and food production
  • from mental health impacts on communities who have gas field changes imposed on them

In late 2013 an independent health survey found that 58% of the 113 surveyed residents from within the coal seam gasfield at Tara in Queensland reported that their health had been negatively impacted by CSG.

What Are The Impacts of CSG Fields On Local Landowners?

Property values may decline. The Queensland State Valuation Service applies a reduction of up to 20% in valuations of properties with CSG production wells located on them for rating and taxation purposes. Personal experience of property sales, suggest closer to 50% value reduction.
You may be underinsured. The NSW Chief Scientiest and Engineer, Prof. Mary O’Kane has stated that the CSG industry in NSW is largely under-protected.
Producers/farmers may be held liable if they have signed an NVD and their livestock are contaminated. A report by Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation cited a Queensland case where a landholder was advised by their supply chain partners that they would be liable for CSG related contamination. Neither the CSG company nor the insurer would agree to indemnify the landholder against that risk.
Bank finance access may be affected. Rabobank has stated that “… the net impact of CSG mining activities on a banking relationship may include a diminished production base that reduces a borrower’s ability to service debt, a diminished asset base, … and diminished land value, which affects borrowing levels”.
What about your water, is it safe? The Chief Scientist of NSW Prof. Mary O’Kane recently stated that safeguards protecting water supplies from CSG are not adequate. She also stated that “there is currently no assurance that impacts are being comprehensively detected”.
What is it like living in a gasfield? In rural areas, gas wells can be drilled as close as 200m to your home. You may end up with an increasing number of wells on your propertly, plus pipelines, roads, compressor stations, and water holding plants. There will be lights, gas flares, noise, traffic and unknown staff with unlimited access to your property 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

More Information

Find our more and get involved.
Call Phil on 0428 431 548 or Megan on 0427 476 232
Email northwestalliance@yahoo.com.au