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Boggabri Coal lodges plans for groundwater bores

Boggabri Coal lodges plans for groundwater bores

By Kerrin Thomas ABC

The operators of the Boggabri Coal Mine, located in northern New South Wales, are seeking permission to extract groundwater from a site close to the existing mine.

Boggabri Coal's operators, Idemitsu Australia Resources, want to construct two new water production bores and four back-up bores, to complement two existing bores.

In an application before the Department of Planning and Environment, the company said it needs the bores to ensure the nine megalitres of water the mine requires per day can be sourced.

The water is primarily used for washing coal at the handling plant and for dust suppression.

In its application the company said the groundwater model developed for the proposal identifies the potential for a drawdown of the alluvial aquifers in the vicinity of the bores.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Anti-mining groups and farmers claim hypocrisy over Pilliga gas well fire rules

Anti-mining groups and farmers claim hypocrisy over Pilliga gas well fire rules

By ALEX DRUCE The Land

FRUSTRATIONS are burning over a NSW Rural Fire Act exemption that allows mining companies to burn gas flares during intense fire conditions when farmers are forced to cease harvest. 

The Act says fires are not to be lit or maintained during a total fire ban.

But some mining activities are exempt, with companies allowed to burn gas exhaust through a chimney as long as sparks or incandescent materials can’t escape from the site. 

Anti-mining groups and landowners in fire-prone regions say the rule is hypocritical and potentially dangerous.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said its Special Hazards Working Group found the risk of bushfire from gas wells to be minimal. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

Sara Ciesiolka Opinion piece in The Guardian today

Farmers and traditional land owners are petitioning the Coag meeting of mining and energy ministers to control their livelihood, and their land

As a large scale food producer on the extremely valuable and productive lands just downstream from the largest of the State’s proposed gas hotspots at Narrabri, I live daily with the knowledge, and the stress, that ultimately we are powerless to refuse access for coal seam gas extraction on our land.

This is land that we have successfully toiled over for generations to build into a sustainable and productive enterprise capable of feeding hungry mouths both at home and abroad.

For our city cousins, it’s like someone knocking on your front door, demanding to be let inside, and taking up residence in your living room and making a mess. Sometimes they don’t even bother to knock.

The balance of power is skewed heavily in favour of the coal seam gas companies, who have all the rights, against individual landholders, who have nothing but risk.

On Friday there is a meeting of Council of Australian Governments (Coag) mining and energy ministers, and federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has promised landholders that the issue of a farmer’s right to say ‘no’ will be on the agenda.

Seventy-nine farmers, landholders and traditional owners, including myself, from every state and territory across Australia have sent a letter to minister Frydenberg and the state ministers, calling on them to grant us this right.

The signatories include beef graziers, wine-makers, and landholders struggling in the centre of the Queensland gasfields, the coalfields of the Hunter Valley, and traditional owners from the Kimberley, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

In NSW, Santos and AGL have signed an agreement not to enter freehold landagainst the express wishes of an individual landholder. But this agreement only covers drilling activities, not the extensive range of critical infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines which are essential to coal seam gas extraction.&

Friday, 4 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Farmers plead for right to ‘no’

Farmers plead for right to ‘no’

By Jamieson Murphy Northern Daily Leader

NORTHERN landholders want the NSW government to give them the right to say no to mining companies, when the Council of Australia Governments (COAG) Energy Council meets this week.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will hold discussions with his state counterparts, including NSW Energy Minister Anthony Roberts, on Friday.

Gunnedah farmer and Mary’s Mount Protection Alliance chairman Phil Herbert said it was vital the meeting delivered tangible action and gave farmers, landholders and traditional owners the power to refuse mining companies access to their land.

Thursday, 3 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Gamilaraay opposed to CSG

Gamilaraay opposed to CSG

by Samantha Walton - Moree Champion

A GROUP of Gamilaraay people from Moree travelled to Narrabri and Tamworth to take a stance against Coal Seam Gas (CSG).

A "Big Picture" event was held to show opposition to CSG developments in NSW was held in Narrabri on Sunday.

Organised by People for the Plains, Lock the Gate and a group opposed to CSG, the event attracted about 200 people.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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CSG site blockade tip of the iceburg

CSG site blockade tip of the iceburg

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 26, 2015 Northern Daily Leader

A SMALL number of protesters blockaded Santos contractors in the Pilliga forest for three hours on Tuesday and vowed the protest was the first of many to come.

Santos said it had commenced routine maintenance activates at the coal seam gas (CSG) pilot wells at Dewhurst South in the Pilliga to "ensure the ongoing efficient and safe operation of the wells".

Local residents noticed a convoy of trucks, including a workover rig, moving through the forest on Monday afternoon.

Three men held the convoy up for about an hour by sitting on the road, but left when police were called.

Coonabarabran protester Brett Sanders-Hopkinson said eight people took part in a protest organised at short notice.

"This is just the beginning of stopping Santos' work we'll be more organised now that we know activities in the Pilliga forest have resumed," Mr Sanders-Hopkinson said.

"Our protest today is a tiny taste of what Santos can expect at every step in its efforts to establish the CSG industry in our region."

Thursday, 26 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Santos waste water plant approval to face legal appeal

Santos waste water plant approval to face legal appeal

By Kerrin Thomas - ABC Sydney

The state's Environmental Defenders Office has launched legal action against the State Government and Santos, over the approval of a waste treatment facility near Narrabri.

The application for a waste water treatment plant at the Leewood facility should have been viewed as outside the scope of exploration and therefore required to face a higher level of development scrutiny, according to the EDO and its client, Narrabri-based group People for the Plains.

Under State planning laws, some CSG exploration works are exempt from requiring development consent but the EDO's Principal Solicitor, Sue Higginson, said this development should not have been exempt.

She said the approval processes are significantly different.

"The process that's been applied to this development required a less onerous environmental assessment," she said.

"It also didn't provide for the full public participation that, had it gone through the full and rigorous legal assessment and procedures, we say ought have been applied."

Thursday, 26 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Protesters Vs Santos - Wastewater court battle

Protesters Vs Santos - Wastewater court battle

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 25, 2015, 9:30 p.m. - Northern Daily Leader

A NARRABRI anti-coal seam gas group is taking the energy giant Santos and the state government to court over the approval of the Leewood wastewater treatment plant in the Pilliga forest.

People for the Plains will argue the approval given to the CSG wastewater treatment plant last week is invalid.

CSG explorations works are exempt from requiring development consent under NSW planning law, but the group will argue the plant is not for the purpose of CSG exploration and required separate development consent.

They will be represented in the NSW Land and Environment Court by the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).

Principal solicitor of EDO NSW, Sue Higginson, said the case is about ensuring proper laws and development assessment processes are followed in approving such development.


Thursday, 26 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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People for the Plains rally in Narrabri

People for the Plains rally in Narrabri

Gathering in Narrabri on Sunday to protest against coal seam gas developments.

It was billed as a "Big Picture" event to show opposition to coal seam gas developments in NSW and many turned out to do just that in Narrabri on Sunday.

Organised by People for the Plains, a group opposed to CSG, the event attracted about 200 people.

The family-themed day featured a barbecue, activities for the kids and music by local artist Sarah Leete, but the main feature was hearing speakers against CSG developments.

The crowd, which among others included Narrabri Shire councillors Bevan O'Regan and John Tough, also heard about experiences of landholders in Queensland.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Premier Mike Baird tours proposed mine sites

Premier Mike Baird tours proposed mine sites

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 24, 2015, 9:30 p.m. The Northern Daily Leader

PREMIER Mike Baird toured the sites of two proposed coal mines during his visit to the region last weekend.

Mr Baird visited the site of BHP’s proposed underground mine at Caroona and the Shenhua mine site at Breeza with a number of representatives from protest groups.

It was the premier’s third visit to the Liverpool Plains since becoming premier, and he told The Leader on each occasion he had been “struck by the beauty and importance of the area”.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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DPI Water commissions independent report into claims Whitehaven mining has helped dried up water bores at Werris Creek

DPI Water commissions independent report into claims Whitehaven mining has helped dried up water bores at Werris Creek

AN INDEPENDENT report has been commissioned by the state government into claims the Whitehaven Coal mine at Werris Creek is partially responsible for drying up the water bores of nearby farmers.

A study by the University of NSW found the coal mine was responsible for at least 25 per cent of underground water losses of between 4.5 and 15 metres, despite a predicted drop of only 10 centimetres.

The independent report was commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Water.

A DPI Water spokesperson said they anticipated the report would be completed soon.

Monday, 23 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Australia Institute report on effects of Qld gas developments a warning to NSW

Australia Institute report on effects of Qld gas developments a warning to NSW

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 19, 2015, 10 p.m Namoi Valley Independent

A NEW report by the Australia Institute highlights the impact unconventional gas developments have on towns in Queensland – and anti-coal seam gas groups in New England say the report is an important warning for NSW.

The report, based on mostly gas industry-funded research, shows local businesses in Queensland CSG regions believe gas development has led to deterioration in their finances, local infrastructure, social connections and labour force skills.

“We can now look at what actually happened to the local economy as a result of the Queensland unconventional gas experiment,” report author Mark Ogge said.

“The results show that expectations of economic benefits largely failed to eventuate.

“Most other industries reported being worse off due to the unconventional gas industry push into their region.”

The report highlighted survey results by the CSIRO that found less than a quarter of people living in unconventional gas regions approved of the industry and only 6 per cent thought it would change their region for the better.

Most other industries reported being worse off due to the unconventional gas industry push into their region.- Mark Ogge

Narrabri farmer and People for The Plains spokeswoman Sarah Ciesiolka said the evidence showed CSG mining was “highly invasive and destructive” to agricultural land and water resources, and was a health risk to communities.

“Now this new report shows it has also created boom and bust towns, with documented large-scale job losses, towns with hundreds of unsaleable and unrentable houses, contractor insolvency, coupled with depleted community services and infrastructure,” Ms Ciesiolka said.

Friday, 20 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (880)/Comments (0)/
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A Coal Seam Gas Tragedy. Never Again.

A Coal Seam Gas Tragedy. Never Again.

Letter to the Editor of the Northern Daily Leader. by Brett Sanders- Hopkinson 

Brett is a farmer from Tambar Springs who has been a highly vocal opponent of coal seam gas exploration and a critic of what he sees as the exploitation of landholders.

"They are a bunch of liars, cheats and thieves," stated 68 year old cotton farmer, George Bender, towards the coal seam gas (CSG) industry that he had been in battle with for 10 years.

Thursday, 19 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1220)/Comments (0)/
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It's time to Celebrate - We're Still Gasfield Free!

It's time to Celebrate - We're Still Gasfield Free!

While Narrabri Gas Project is close to worthless we face a powerful moment to remind Santos of the social and investor risk it faces in North West NSW and to stop CSG spreading across our land. 

Pull out the stops. Just 2 -3 hours on a Sunday afternoon. We all need to be at this one.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1258)/Comments (0)/
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Call for senate inquiry into CSG

Call for senate inquiry into CSG

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 15, 2015, 8:30 p.m. The Northern Daily Leader

THE unconventional gas industry has labelled Senator Glenn Lazarus’s call for a committee to look into the impact of unconventional gas mining in Australia as “politically motivated”.

Coal seam gas exploration is the biggest unconventional mining issue in the North West, with Santos holding exploration licences over parts of the Pilliga Forest, Narrabri surrounds and other parts of the region. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Santos shares sink 27pc on shortfall in take-up of $2.5b rights issue

Santos shares sink 27pc on shortfall in take-up of $2.5b rights issue

November 12, 2015 - 10:31AM Angela Macdonald-Smith Energy Reporter for SMH

Santos shares have slumped as much as 27 per cent after resuming trading on a shortfall in the institutional part of the gas player's underwritten $2.5 billion equity raising.

The stock slid as much as $1.60 to $4.34 after being halted all week since Santos announced its $3.5 billion rescue plan on Monday. The shares had closed at $5.91 on Friday. The decline was  almost 16 per cent from the theoretical ex rights price of $5.15.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/santos-shares-sink-as-resume-trading-after-25b-rights-issue-20151111-gkwtvm.html#ixzz3rEkfn8aN 

Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
Thursday, 12 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Food bowl protest - Festival spreads the message

Food bowl protest - Festival spreads the message

By Rebecca Belt Nov. 8, 2015, 9 p.m. the Northern Daily Leader

THE Harvest Festival on the Liverpool Plains has spread the message that Shenhua’s mine is planned for the wrong place, with more than 700 people flocking to the food bowl.

Hosted on farmer Andrew Pursehouse’s property at Breeza, the weekend festival saw more than 600 registrations, with many local farmers joining in after the registrations on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We had a good 750 people and we were expecting about 500,” Mr Pursehouse said.

“Caterers kept running out of food and we had to do emergency food runs to town.  

Monday, 9 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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North West communities want CSG protection after Metgasco announcement

North West communities want CSG protection after Metgasco announcement

Media Release - 3rd November

In the wake of yesterday’s announcement by the NSW Government that it would pay Northern Rivers unconventional gas aspirant Metgasco $25 million to essentially exit the region, paving the way for it to be “gasfield free,” communities from North West NSW want action from the Government to protect rural industries and groundwater from unconventional gas, too.
Tuesday, 3 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1083)/Comments (0)/
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ESTABLISH A ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE HUMAN IMPACT OF CSG MINING

TO: THE TURNBULL GOVERNMENT

My name is Glenn Lazarus. I am an independent Senator for Queensland in the Australian Senate.

I need your HELP to assist rural and regional communities, farmers and landowners across Australia being impacted by Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining. I would like your support to call on the Turnbull Government to establish a Royal Commission into the Human Impact of CSG mining.

Please sign this petition.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Why are you wasting my time

Why are you wasting my time

OCTOBER 27, 20158:46AM

Q&A debates CSG mining after Helen Bender asked about it on behalf of her father, who recently took his life

THE daughter of an Aussie farmer who took his life after campaigning against CSG mining, criticised the Q&A panel for not answering her question.

Helen Bender, whose father George battled to stop CSG (coal seam gas) companies coming onto his land in Queensland, recently committed suicide.

After being affected by the fight to stop the controversial mining, Helen appeared on the ABC’s Q&A program to ask the panel the question most farmers want to know.

“When will farmers be given the right to say ‘No’ to the CSG companies from coming on to their land?”

Panellist Joel Fitzgibbon replied, saying he was always a “strong supporter of the coal mining industry”, but it was a “state-based issue”.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Forum informs gas compensation

Forum informs gas compensation

Financial compensation for landholders affected by coal seam gas exploration and production was the focus of a public forum convened by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in Narrabri on Tuesday.

IPART has been commissioned by the NSW Government to make recomendations on draft compensation models as part of the Gas Plan for the state.

The forum, led by IPART chair Dr Peter Boxall AO, was gathering feedback to help inform its report and final recommendations to the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Mr Roberts by the end of November.

Friday, 16 October 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Leard Forest heritage, diversity summary release

Leard Forest heritage, diversity summary release

A government audit has led to $12,000 in fines being imposed on the three mines operating in the local area.

ABOVE: Aerial shot of mines near the Leard Forest.

The Department of Planning and Environment has released a summary report for the biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage audit carried out on the Leard Forest mining precinct in February this year.

The audit led to $12,000 in fines being imposed on the three mines operating in the area.

The audit found that:

Boggabri Coal had conducted 7.7 hectares of unauthorised understorey (or lower growth) clearing of native vegetation. The company was fined $6,000 and required to implement an action plan including rehabilitation of the area, providing an extra 19 hectares of offset land and a review of procedures to ensure no further unauthorised clearing.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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University of Newcastle tours region to investigate local attitudes to development, changing land use

University of Newcastle tours region to investigate local attitudes to development, changing land use

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are currently seeking to interview local people within the Narrabri Shire about their attitude to changing land use.

ABOVE: University of Newcastle researchers Dr Meg Sherval and Dr Hedda Haugen Askland. Interested parties should contact Hedda Askland on 0405 066 470.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are currently seeking to interview local people within the Narrabri Shire about their attitude to changing land use.

The collaborative pilot project is run by both the University of Newcastle and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and will form part of a planned state-wide study exploring changing land use in rural and regional communities.

Friday, 25 September 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1000)/Comments (0)/
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Plan points to CSG problems

Plan points to CSG problems

MOREE Plains mayor Katrina Humphries has criticised the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) draft report into coal seam gas landholder benchmark compensation rates, calling it an “admission of guilt”.

The NSW government asked IPART to undertake the review, under Action 12 of the NSW Gas Plan, to provide benchmark compensation rates for landholders who host gas exploration and production activities on their properties.

Friday, 25 September 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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IPART releases draft framework for NSW coal seam gas compensation negotiations

IPART releases draft framework for NSW coal seam gas compensation negotiations

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released a draft framework to help New South Wales landholders to assess land access and compensation proposals from coal seam gas companies.
Friday, 25 September 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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