Minister Hodgkinson admits to being industry mouthpiece on coal seam gas

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham was astounded to hear the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson read an AGL press release to answer a question about the ability of coal seam gas to coexist with the dairy industry.

Mr Buckingham asked Minister Hodgkinson whether she had read the report of the parliamentary inquiry into coal seam gas, and particularly the evidence given by North Coast dairy co-operative NORCO that they could not coexist with coal seam gas.  NORCO recently reported on their rapid expansion of its dairy exports to China.  Minister Hodgkinson answered by reading verbatim from this AGL press release.  

"It's appalling that the Minister for Primary Industries resorts to literally being an industry mouthpiece by reading our an AGL press release to answer a serious question," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Minister Roberts brainwashed on CSG

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said it appeared that Resources Minister Anthony Roberts was brainwashed after he visited Santos' Narrabri coal seam gas project and began singing from the company's hymn sheet and praising CSG.  He also rejected Minister Roberts claim the Greens wanted more stringent well integrity for farm water bores as an outright lie.

"I'm very concerned that Minister Roberts appears to have lost his impartiality and has become the Minister for Santos after being taken on a company tour of their coal seam gas facilities near Narrabri," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Environmental defender, Natalie Lowrey, just released from detention in Malaysia will deliver eviction notice to Lynas in Sydney

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and environmental defender Natalie Lowrey will outline their continuing solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians that oppose Lynas Corporations toxic and polluting rare earth refinery in Malaysia.

Ms Lowrey will deliver an eviction notice to Australian company Lynas' headquarters in Sydney on behalf of the 1.2 million Malaysians who want the company to shut down their plant.

Ms Lowrey has just returned from Malaysia where she was arrested and detained for 6 days for her peaceful solidarity action at the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) 622 Shut Down Lynas protest outside the rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Metgasco’s ‘cops and courts’ business model is doomed to fail

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham welcomed today’s decision by the Office of Coal Seam Gas to maintain the suspension on drilling for unconventional gas at Bentley, near Lismore, and told Metgasco that their business model of relying on cops and courts is doomed to fail and they should pack up and leave the Northern Rivers.

Whitehaven Backing Off From Coal Clearing at Leard Forest Vindicates Community Concerns

Greens NSW MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has welcomed news that Whitehaven Coal will stop winter clearing of the Leard State Forest for the Maules Creek coal mine. Dr Faruqi has today returned from visiting the protest camp at Maules Creek and was stopped and had her car searched twice on public roads.
 
Dr Faruqi said:
 
"This decision by Whitehaven Coal to suspend clearing of the Leard State Forest for the Maules Creek coal mine proves community concerns were justified. It is clear that Whitehaven saw the writing on the wall and went for an undertaking before it was ordered to by the court.
 
"Unfortunately, much clearing has already taken place.
 
"I have seen with my own eyes just yesterday the section of the forest bulldozed by Whitehaven Coal, presumably in anticipation of a suspension.
 
"It is outrageous that Whitehaven Coal was allowed to undertake winter clearing in the first place. This was completely unnecessary.
 
"There needs to be an investigation into how these approvals were granted by the NSW Government in the first place, as large tracts of endangered ecological communities have been cleared and cannot be replaced or offset.

Greens MPs join protest against reckless winter clearing of Leard forest

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC today joined protesters trying to stop the controversial winter clearing for the Maules Creek coalmine.
 
Senator Rhiannon said: "Whitehaven are desperately trying to run roughshod over the local community, who have consistently made a strong case against this destructive mine.
 
"Today I am joining farmers, community members and environmentalists who are standing up for our land and water by trying to prevent this destruction.
 
"The reckless tactic of clearing the forest during winter and hiring of spies to pose as activists are blatant signs that the coal companies in this region are running scared of community scrutiny.
 
"The clearing of the forest at this time of the year is particularly concerning. Many of the animals will be in hibernation and have little chance to escape.
 
"Now is a crucial time for the forest. The Maules Creek Community Council has recently announced it will seek to have the winter clearing prevented, but until this can go through the proper process, the only thing in the way of the bulldozers and the forest are the protesters.

International Day of Biological Diversity: Greens Call on Government to Commit to Conserving Biodiversity

Newcastle Greens will be holding an action outside NSW Parliament House to highlight the waste of money and inconvenience removing the heavy rail line between Wickham and Newcastle stations will have on Newcastle commuters and travellers. It is estimated that these changes will add 10 - 20 minutes travelling time to those travelling to Newcastle.

Newcastle Greens will erect a temporary gate/arch with a banner "Newcastle Transport Interchange" in front of the entrance and ask all those entering Parliament House to wait just 2 minutes at the gate to experience some of the frustration Newcastle travellers have to put up with if these new changes are implemented. We will also ask each person to donate $60 to the Newcastle Greens which represents the amount of money each man woman and child in NSW will be shelling out to pay for these changes.

NSW Police should not be used to break community blockade

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today called on Police Minister Michael Gallacher to resist pressure from coal seam gas company Metgasco to use the NSW Police Force to break a community blockade at Bentley, near Lismore, particularly given the company has close ties to the Coalition government through lobbyists and relatives of MPs.

"The NSW Police Force should not be used as private security to allow a coal seam gas company to force its way into a community that has overwhelmingly rejected the presence of gas fields in the Northern Rivers," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Minister must act to protect Gardens of Stone

Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called on the government to immediately and permanently protect the Ben Bullen State Forest and nearby areas, including the iconic stone pagodas, from coal mining. Coalpac has displayed plans to mine 315 Ha of Ben Bullen State Forest, around six months after the Planning Assessment Commission recommended a similar project be refused.

'When Coalpac withdrew their proposal to mine coal in the Ben Bullen State Forest after the Planning Assessment Commission recommended its refusal, the Government had a real opportunity to step in and permanently protect the area.

"Now there is yet another plan to dig coal out of the Ben Bullen State Forest, if the Minister does not declare the Ben Bullen State Forest and other related areas a national park, we could lose this precious environment forever.

"When I visited the spectacular stone pagodas late last year, it is very clear that this unique natural area in urgent need of protection.

Govt bungles aquifer interference policy on Santos’ giant coal seam gas project

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today expressed his dismay that the government’s centrepiece policy to protect groundwater, the Aquifer Interference policy, will not apply to the assessment of Santos’ 850 gas well project, despite admissions from Santos that there are risks to aquifers, a record of contamination incidents and the fact that it sits above a Great Artesian Basin recharge area.