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

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Budget cuts force prison lockdowns

MEDIA RELEASE - 16 December 2011

NSW government budget cuts to Corrective Services are forcing prisons to institute prison-wide lockdowns in order to 'achieve efficiencies', aggravating tensions within correctional centres and endangering the lives of prison officers.

NSW Greens MP and Corrective Services spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

"Lockdowns should only be used when the security of guards and inmates is at risk, not because it's cheaper to run a prison when all the inmates are locked in their cells.

"Multiple-day lockdowns to save money create a number of serious problems.

"After being locked up by themselves for a number of days inmates are likely to have a large degree of pent-up aggression, which they often take out on other inmates and prison guards.

"Sydney's Long Bay jail, for example, is reportedly imposing regular lockdowns. Last month a fire started by inmates following a three-day lockdown led to eight prison guards being treated for smoke inhalation.

"Corrective Services took a hit in the O'Farrell government's first budget. This included the closure of a number of prisons, a push towards privatisation and the cutting of up to 600 prison officers' jobs.

"This kind of excessive cost-cutting puts extreme pressure on the whole correctional system, and will likely lead to further outbreaks of violence in prisons,"

"The long term answer to prison resources is law reform to reduce prisoner numbers, not cutting corners in administration," Mr Shoebridge said.

Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Friday, 16 December 2011

Victorian plan to log 'parks and reserves' a cause for alarm in NSW; Media Release

“We are horrified that as the International Year of Forests draws to a close, we have a Government in Australia proposing to open up protected areas for logging” said NCEC President Susie Russell.

“In response to the Victorian timber supply crisis resulting from decades of over-cutting and unsustainable practices, the Victorian Liberal Minister responsible is recommending the logging of 'parks, reserves and water catchments' 1 as well as reducing protections for endangered species, bringing in 20 year wood supply contracts and making taxpayers liable for any timber shortfalls.

“The Victorian Timber Action Plan released yesterday is an ecological and social disaster,” she said.

“What is alarming is that instead of seeing the writing on the wall for an industry that has failed to develop its own resource or respect the environment, the Victorian Government plans to head back to the dark ages and repeat the same mistakes by entrenching over-cutting, taxpayer liability and weakening environmental protection of key natural assets.

“It is a recipe for ongoing conflict in Victoria's forests. You would think they would have learned something from the NSW experience. In NSW where 20 year contracts have been in place for more than a decade, and despite lax environmental regulation, taxpayers are already paying compensation to timber companies.

“The fight for the forests will be well and truly on again if the NSW Government follows suit and tries to open up protected areas for logging. We certainly hope they have more sense than to return to an era of protracted forest protest, ” she warned.

“We ask that Premier Barry O'Farrell and Forestry Minister Katrina Hodgkinson rule out solving the timber supply crisis in NSW by opening up national parks and other protected areas for logging, or watering down what we consider to be the already weak environmental protection measures that apply to logging.

“The timber supply crisis in NSW can only be dealt with by reducing contracted volumes, and reducing taxpayer liability. The biodiversity and climate crises can only be dealt with by protecting habitat, carbon stored in large trees, reserve connectivity and water catchment integrity.

“The way forward is less native forest logging not more... Victoria is certainly marching backwards under Bailleau,” Ms Russell said.

Monday, 12 December 2011

NSW gun numbers approach pre-Port Arthur levels

Following reports that the number of registered firearms and firearm
owners in NSW is fast approaching pre-Port Arthur levels, Greens NSW MP
David Shoebridge has called for the government to take action to reverse
the creeping gun culture in NSW.

"It is time to put the brakes on the emerging gun culture in NSW," Mr
Shoebridge said.

"The Port Arthur tragedy led to significant gun law reform across
Australia in 1996. However successive state governments have weakened
the gun laws in order to secure the votes of the Shooters Party in the
Upper House.

"In 2011 the total number of people with a firearms licence in NSW
jumped to 188,149, which nearly matches the pre-Port Arthur level of

"This has been matched by a surge in the number of licensed guns in NSW,
with the numbers growing from 619,000 in 2001 to a staggering 758,802
this year.

"The prime policy agenda of the Shooters Party is getting more guns into
the hands of more people and these figures prove they are delivering on

"Not only is the number of registered firearms increasing, so too are
the number of guns per registered shooter.

"Over the last 10 years, the number of registered guns per licence
holder has risen from just over 3 to an average of almost 5 guns per

"There may be valid reasons for an individual to own 1 or 2 guns, but
what we are seeing is people developing small arsenals. It's dangerous,
unnecessary and it has to stop.

"We don't want the next positive firearm law reform to come after
another tragedy. The government has a responsibility to get ahead of the
game, stand up to the Shooters, and make NSW safer now," Mr Shoebridge

Media contact: 0408 113 952

Today's Sunday Telegraph:

At least 500 coal seam gas wells planned for Northern Rivers

12 December 2011
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham feared 500 or more coal seam gas wells will pockmark the Northern Rivers if Metgasco plans to export gas to Queensland or to an export terminal off Northern NSW after Metgasco have evidence at hearings of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas on Thursday 8th December in Sydney.
After refusing to reveal internal estimates of the number of wells required, Metgasco Managing Direction Peter Henderson had this exchange with Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham:
"The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: In your estimation, would you need more than 500 wells to
deliver that type of project?

Mr HENDERSON: Mr Buckingham, I am sure you have a lot of data from other operations to gain
your own view of that, but certainly 500 wells would be in a reasonable range."

"If Metgasco are serious about earning a social licence from the community they should be honest and up front and say how many gas wells they are planning," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
"If a pipeline hooks up the Northern Rivers to Queensland's LNG export market, there will be a large demand for gas. 500 wells may be just the start.
"The nature of this industry is to march across the landscape, looking for new gas and drilling new wells as the productivity of existing wells falls away.
"It's not good enough for this information to be kept secret. Knowledge of the number of wells planned is crucial for the community to make an informed decision about the future of the Northern Rivers," her said.
Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916
The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: You said earlier on that there was an economic benefit from
this and there was also a suggestion that you are planning to provide gas to the proposed Richmond Valley Power Station. The other proposal you have suggested that you are interested in executing is an export liquefied natural gas project—what is known as the Lions Way Pipeline. Your submission states that it is looking to produce and export 1.5 million tonnes per annum. How many coal seam gas wells do you require to make that a viable proposition?

Mr HENDERSON: There is a question of the size of the market and there is also a question of the
productivity of the wells. The size of the market is clearly an important factor, but so too is productivity, and that is why we have not gone out with a number. Clearly, if a well will produce a million cubic feet a day rather than 100,000, you need ten times fewer wells. We have not gone out with numbers on that simply because we have a lot more work to do to establish exactly how many wells we would need.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: Considering that you have been established for some time and you have assessed the productivity of your wells as they are, you have done no modelling on an average across those wells of how many wells you would need to supply 1.5 million tons per annum?

Mr HENDERSON: Clearly we have done modelling, but we are certainly not at the point of making the final investment decision on that and we would anticipate having more data before we get there. It is not the sort of figure that we generally quote until we have actually gone through the process and are ready to make some sort of development application or commitment.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: So you have done modelling of how many wells you may

Mr HENDERSON: We have done internal modelling—

The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: Point of order: It would seem to me that we are now delving into a public examination of matters which are of commercial-in-confidence in relation to the operations of this company. While they may have done modelling, I do not see it provides any benefit if they tell their competitors exactly the productivity of the wells that they are currently looking at or could be implementing in the future.

CHAIR: I remind all committee members that witnesses who come to these inquiries do so as guests of the Parliament. They are here to give evidence. If Mr Henderson does not wish to give out information which he feels may be of detriment to his company—or of benefit to his company—particularly in terms of commercial information, he is quite at liberty to decline to answer that particular question.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: The issue I am interested in is not productivity, which may be commercial-in-confidence; it is the number of wells.

The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: How can you work out the number without the productivity of each well?

CHAIR: Order! I am sure the witness is capable of answering the question.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: In your estimation, would you need more than 500 wells to
deliver that type of project?

Mr HENDERSON: Mr Buckingham, I am sure you have a lot of data from other operations to gain your own view of that, but certainly 500 wells would be in a reasonable range. The other thing you need to take into account is the nature and type of wells. Clearly, we are going to be trying to minimise the footprint of our wells, and it is not so much the number of wells but how many sites you need to have. If we can drill six or ten wells from one site, it will look largely like one well. If you are trying to get the impact and basically what disruption there is going to be to the land area, it is the case of the number of wells and our ability to get as many from one site as possible. A figure we have quoted a number of times is that we would expect to be able to take no more than 1 per cent of the land and certainly less than 2 per cent. That is the sort of measure that we will be taking in terms of managing the success and effectiveness of our operations.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: Speaking of 2 per cent, if I told you that 2 per cent of the
water you are drinking at the moment contained brake fluid, caustic soda, NF-6, GEL stabiliser, potassium chloride, ethanol, sodium bicarbonate and all the other chemicals you have listed, would you be concerned? Would you continue to drink that water?

The Hon. RICK COLLESS: Point of order: That is purely a hypothetical question and I do not think it should be answered.

CHAIR: The question is out of order.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: You say in your submission that no chemicals or drilling
fluids are discharged into the environment. Are you saying that you retrieve 100 per cent of all your drilling chemicals and fracking chemicals from coal seams?

Mr O'BRIEN: We have not done any fracking in coal seams yet, but certainly drilling fluids we
recover. One of the things you have to do with coal seam gas is you have to dewater the well. You recover all your drilling fluids plus the water from the well.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: One hundred per cent—there is absolutely none left in the
coal seam?

Mr O'BRIEN: One hundred per cent.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: In relation to drilling chemicals, you say:
'All of the above chemicals are removed from Metgasco operations and placed in approved industrial waste disposal sites.'
Could you expand on what those approved industrial waste disposal sites are?

Mr O'BRIEN: Our water handling currently is that our water is disposed of in above-ground holding ponds. We have two styles of pond, one that takes produced water and another one that takes drilling fluids. When those ponds are decommissioned, we will sample the water and any sediment in those ponds, and then we will dispose of both of those according to the quality at that stage.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: Are they evaporation ponds?

Mr O'BRIEN: They are holding ponds. In the Casino area you get significant rainfall; you also get
some evaporation. Over a 12-month period you will get net evaporation out of those ponds.

The Hon. JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: The only way you deal with produced water and drilling fluids is to hold them in those ponds?

Mr O'BRIEN: Currently, for our production pilots, that is the case, but when we go into production we will look for a beneficial use for the water. We have done a number of studies so far and there appear to be a good range of options for disposing of our water. Our production water, on the knowledge we have so far, is of relatively high quality. It is good enough for stock use as it is, without any upgrading, and then there are multiple parts to upgrade it so that it becomes a fully usable water source.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Fracking contaminated water in Wyoming a warning for Australia

9 December 2011

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said today that the US EPA finding that fracking for gas had contaminated a drinking water aquifer in Wyoming provided a stark warning to Australia not to let the dangerous unconventional gas industry loose on Australia, and called on the NSW Government to make public the number of wells that had been fracked.

The US EPA found that fracking to stimulate gas production by Encana at Pavillion, Wyoming was likely to have contaminated the drinking water aquifer with chemicals from gas production, including the carcinogen benzene at 246 micrograms per litre, and issued a warning for residents not to drink from the aquifer.

The report found: "Chemicals detected in the most recent samples are consistent with those identified in earlier EPA samples and include methane, other petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds. The presence of these compounds is consistent with migration from areas of gas production."

"The EPA's  Wyoming findings shows that fracking is a danger to our groundwater and that gas and chemicals can migrate underground and pollute other aquifers," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"The experience in the US should be a big red flashing warning light saying 'stop the coal seam gas industry before it is too late'.

"The depth of the Wyoming gas wells blamed for the contamination is very similar to the depth that many Australian coal seam gas will operate, and much shallower than typical North American East Coast shale gas wells.  This is a direct warning for the Australian situation.

"The NSW Government should make public a list of all coal seam gas wells in NSW that have been fracked and their location, and initiate an investigation to see if there has been any contamination of adjoining aquifers.

"We heard evidence in the coal seam gas inquiry yesterday that AGL had fracked 117 wells at its Camden Gas Project but also heard that no groundwater monitoring has been conducted by the company of surrounding ground water," he said.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Epidemic of prison escape rates of concern in Clarence

During the last year, there has been an epidemic of escapes from gaols in NSW. Of particular concern is the escape of a maximum security prisoner from the privately-run Parklea Gaol.

We don't want the Grafton Gaol privatised, nor do we want it closed down.

Prison escape rate triples
MEDIA RELEASE - 4 December 2011

Questions on notice asked of the Corrective Services NSW Commission Ron Woodham by NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge during recent budget estimates hearings have revealed that the number of prisoner escapes tripled from FY 2010 to FY 2011.

"These figures show that there has been an epidemic of prison escapes in the last 12 months with the number of escapees tripling in that time," Mr Shoebridge said.

"Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham needs to answer for this breakdown in prison security.

"These 29 escapes in just 12 months is too many, especially given the fact that 4 of these escapes occurred from the newly privatised Parklea facility with one a proven murderer.

"This is the first escape from a maximum security prison in NSW in the last decade and the privatised operators must be under closer scrutiny.

"While the Coalition has ruled out further prison privatisations in NSW for the moment, there is a real concern that their search for 'efficiencies' will lead to staff reductions and greater security concerns.

"The Coalition government needs to seriously review the management of our private and public prisons given this threefold increase in prison escapes", Mr Shoebridge said.

Media contact: 0408 113 952

Greens welcome govt move to shut down NuCoal exploration


Greens welcome govt move to shut down NuCoal exploration

1 December 2011

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has cautiously welcomed Minister Hartcher's request to suspend NuCoal's exploration activities around Jerrys Plains, including drilling on legally blind farmer Ian Moore's property, until the ICAC Inquiry has reported.

"Minister Hartcher's action on NuCoal, which will help protect farmers Ian and Robyn Moore's property, is great news and a sensible decision," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"The NuCoal project has had a stench about it from day one, and the way it has forced its way on to farmer's property against their wishes was alarming.

"Mr Moore's fight to honour his pledge to his father to "look after the place" is highly commendable and deserves the support of government, even if this particular action has been initiated by the ICAC Inquiry.

"The recognition that NuCoal should cease exploration should not be just an ad hoc political fix, but hopefully signals a change in attitude to protect farms, communities and important environments from irresponsible mining activities.

"The law around mining access needs reform.  Currently it is geared towards facilitating access for mining companies.  The rights of landholders should carry more weight before the law.

"If Barry O'Farrell fails to act, the Greens will look at legislative options to give the above ground operations of landholders increased weight before the law."

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

Extension of fracking moratorium welcome

Contrary to the advice provided by Chris Gulaptis MP during the by-election campaign, fracking has not been banned in NSW. It is however subject to a moratorium that was due to to expire at the end of the year.

We cautiously welcome the extension of this moratorium for 4 months.


2 December 2011

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has cautiously welcomed the four month extension of the moratorium on fracking in NSW. The government is heading in the right direction by recognising the need for a precautionary approach to coal seam gas, as had been the call of the Greens for at least 18 months.

"Extending the ban on fracking is a sensible decision that the Greens welcome, but should be extended to the whole industry," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"Our water resources are precious and the precautionary approach to drilling and fracking is required, as the Senate Inquiry recently recommended.

"The government must ensure that the review of fracking processes is transparent and accessible for the public.

"The Minister should clarify whether the fracking ban pertains to existing approvals such as AGL's operations at Camden and Menangle Park?

"While welcome, this announcement continues the piecemeal approach to coal seam gas by the O'Farrell Government.

"What the community wants is a moratorium on the entire industry until the science is clear, strategic regional land use plans have been completed and accepted by the community, and the aquifer interference regulation has been finalised to the satisfaction of farmers and experts," he said.

Fracking has been banned in France. There is a moratorium in South Africa. It has been associated with earthquakes in the United Kingdom. Water contamination has been blamed on fracking in the United States and New York is currently moving to ban fracking within 1200m of critical water catchments.

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

'Public' Meeting with Lismore MP!!! Message from GAG

From GAG,  Kyogle

For the past 6 months I have been trying to setup a meeting with Thomas George Nationals MP Lismore, to meet with the hundreds of concerned landowners around Kyogle district about his "position" on CSG.  It now appears Mr George feels "PUBLIC CONSULTATION" need only involve a handful of "selected" people to a PRIVATE meeting at his office on Monday at 10am 5/12/11. 

I was finally told last week Mr George would not be meeting in public that this private meeting was sufficient.

So please join us to take the "PUBLIC MEETING" to his offices this Monday to let him know how you feel about the situation. 

Mr George is not responding to his constituents letters of concern about CSG and people are furious at yet another snub. 

9.45am meet time Monday 5th December 2011 at address below:

Thomas George MP Lismore (Nationals)
Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Telephone: 02 6621 3624

If you can't make it, please feel free to email or phone his office and let him know what you think of his "community consultation". ...............

p.s We have now gone public with this meeting............  and we will be holding this meeting outside the offices with media REGARDLESS of whether there is a last minute pull out by Mr George.  See you there!!

Richard Deem

Thursday, 1 December 2011

ABC News: Spill sparks Greens' call for antimony mining ban

Spill sparks Greens' call for antimony mining ban

Updated November 30, 2011 09:43:55

The Greens are calling for a ban on antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau, after another heavy metal spill.

The Department of Environment says a stormwater dam at the old Hillgrove mine near Armidale overflowed into the Macleay River last weekend. Last month, the Environmental Protection Authority imposed new regulations to try to stop spills from the mine, which has been bought by mining company Ancoa.

Greens' MP Jeremy Buckingham says the New South Wales Government should stop Ancoa reopening the mine.

"The Dorrigo Plateau feeds a couple of NSW most important rivers, the Macleay and the Clarence," he said.

"Any antimony mining on that plateau is unsafe.

"We want the Government to rule this area out for mining and protect our precious water resources.

The Environment Department says Macleay River water quality is unlikely to be affected, despite the mine spill. However, Mr Buckingham says the Government should ban antimony mining on the Dorrigo Plateau.

"These spills should not be allowed to continue," he said.

"For the people that rely on that river for their drinking water, for agriculture, for irrigation, any spill is one spill too many.

"The assurances from the various departments, that these spills are minor and will be diluted doesn't carry any weight with these communities."

Related ABC NEWS: macleay-river-spill-sparks-contamination-fears

Dr Johnston researches the controls on arsenic behaviour in coastal floodplain groundwater

Dr Scott Johnston
Dr Scott Johnston sampling in the field.

Two emerging Southern Cross University researchers have caught the attention of the Australian Research Council.

Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, presented almost $1.1 million in funding to Dr Scott Johnston from Southern Cross GeoScience and Dr Joanne Oakes from the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry at a ceremony in Canberra recently.

Dr Johnston received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship worth $709,212 to explore the controls on arsenic behaviour in coastal floodplain groundwater. Dr Oakes was a recipient of an inaugural Discovery Early Career Research Award worth $375,000 for her investigation into carbon and nitrogen cycling in coastal systems.

Dr Johnston said more than 100 million people in south-east Asia relied on arsenic-contaminated groundwater for drinking and other domestic purposes, leading to what experts describe as one of the largest cases of mass poisoning in history.

“Arsenic is a highly toxic element found naturally in the environment. However its behaviour is poorly understood, particularly in iron-rich, coastal floodplains and lowlands with dynamic hydrology,” he said.

“The problem is particularly acute in the coastal floodplains and lowlands of Asia, such as on the Ganges and Mekong deltas.

“Research undertaken by Southern Cross GeoScience has shown that when these lowlands are inundated with seawater, the iron oxides dissolve causing associated arsenic to be released into the groundwater, surrounding soil and in some cases into waterways.”

According to the World Health Organisation, long term exposure to arsenic-rich drinking water can lead to skin problems; skin cancer and cancers of the bladder, kidney and lung; diseases of the blood vessels of the legs and feet; diabetes; high blood pressure; and reproductive disorders.

For the next four years Dr Johnston’s investigation will explore how arsenic behaves in complex natural environments and in the groundwater of coastal floodplains.

The 40-year-old Southern Cross University alumni was a recipient of the ARC’s Future Fellowships aimed at attracting and retaining the best and brightest mid-career researchers whose work is deemed of critical national importance.

Dr Johnston will travel to Switzerland and the United States to work with collaborators.

For Dr Joanne Oakes receiving the Discovery Early Career Research Award - a new ARC funding scheme for promising early-career researchers - means the 30-year-old will be able to pursue her study entitled, ‘Unravelling transformation pathways and fate of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in shallow coastal sediments’.

“This project will significantly advance our understanding of the cycling of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen in shallow coastal sediments, which is potentially a major part of global carbon and nitrogen cycles,” said Dr Oakes, who will sample locally and at Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

She said rivers and estuaries were a major source of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen to the oceans.

“These inputs are intercepted and modified by shallow coastal sediments. Processes occurring in shallow coastal sediments therefore determine the form and quantity of carbon and nitrogen in the ocean – and therefore are a potentially major, but overlooked, part of global carbon and nitrogen cycles.”

Macleay Argus Story: Controlled release at mine site

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NO Antimony Mine on the Dorrigo Plateau- Protect Our Water: Sticker

The by-election may be over but the campaigning on specific issues that affect the Clarence continues.

One of these issues is the proposal for an open-cut antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek. If approved, this mine would threaten the Nymboida River and every animal that relies on it (including the people on the town water supply in the Coffs and Clarence LGAs, and our unique and endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod) - not to mention the downstream industries of fisheries, agriculture and tourism.

And yet our new MP, Chris Gulaptis, does not consider it a key issue for our electorate.

These stickers will be available at the Clarence Environment Centre in South Grafton.

Media Release: NO Antimony Mine on the Dorrigo Plateau- Protect Our Water: Sticker

This sticker will soon be appearing on the bumpers of many local cars.

Local residents, protesting the proposed reopening of an antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek near Dorrigo, funded the sticker. A generous donation by Jamie McKinnon of Pepperprint Colour Printers, Coffs Harbour, also made the printing possible.

The sticker is being distributed by the Dorrigo Environment Watch Inc., Antimony Action and local NSW Greens groups.

Antimony and many of its compounds are toxic; the effects of antimony poisoning are similar to arsenic poisoning. In small doses, antimony causes headaches, dizziness and depression. Larger doses damage the kidneys and the liver, causing violent and frequent vomiting and will lead to death within a few days; otherwise skin contact causes dermatitis. ......The proposal by Anchor Resources Ltd to undertake Antimony mining activities within the headwaters of the Nymboida River is of immense concern, particularly when considering that this catchment provides drinking and potable water for in excess of 100 000 residents between Yamba and Sawtell.

Motion put to Coffs Harbour Council meeting by Greens Cr Mark Graham and seconded by Cr Rodney Degans. June 23, 2011.

Further information about the proposed reopening of the mine and about the dangers of antimony mining in high rainfall areas is available at


ABC Story : Poison in Paradise at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-21/proposed-mine-prompts-poison-fears/3594644 and http://mncgreens.blogspot.com

The stickers are available from Kombu Wholefoods in Bellingen, The Happy Frog in Coffs Harbour, The Clarence Environment Centre in South Grafton, Sawtell Paradise Fruit, The Sawtell Newsagency, Hickory Wholefoods in Dorrigo and the groups listed above.


Link to Macleay Argus article: More Water Discharged From Mine

Flood plain development at West Byron.

Climate change! What climate change?

NCEC Media Release  November 28, 2011

With world Governments due to meet in Durban, South Africa to keep trying to hammer out a global agreement for action on climate change, it's clear that Australian Governments are still largely in the denial phase.

According to NCEC President Susie Russell, this is demonstrated by the business as usual approach to  planning and development, where Governments still encourage development of land subject to increasing natural hazards, using the same energy-guzzling designs.

“The proposed new suburb of Byron Bay – West Byron, is a case in point.

“The development will see about 1000 homes, plus retail and industrial buildings built on the floodplain of the Belongil Creek. 

“Developing the floodplain of a coastal estuary is not wise.  With sea-levels rising and rainfalls intensifying due to climate change it will subject future landowners to massive risks and hardships.  

“Scientists have been telling us since the mid- 1990s that we can expect more intense rainfall events, with a likelihood of more flash flooding. One in a 100 year floods can be expected every 20 years. This is consistent with what we are seeing in Northern NSW.

“If the NSW Government accepts this 'concept' and rezones this floodplain for residential, retail and industrial development, will the taxpayers of NSW be responsible for picking up the tab for flood damage to this suburban infrastructure?

“The public has less than 2 days to comment on this development 'concept'. 1 Many questions about it remain unanswered. Changes to the planning process introduced under the previous Government mean that developers can get approval before detailing exactly what they plan to do, how they plan to solve various problems or deal with particular environmental impacts.

“As a community we should be planning and building for a future of greater climatic instability, not continuing the folly of building new suburbs on flood prone land,” she said.

1. http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3547

For comment contact Susie Russell 02 65504481

Friday, 25 November 2011

Shooters and Fred Nile strike deal with Coalition to betray police

Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 *media release - David Shoebridge MLC - for immediate use*

The Shooters Party and Fred Nile have sold out NSW Police, striking a last
minute deal with the O'Farrell government to pass the government's
contentious Police death and disability legislation in the NSW Upper House,
David Shoebridge & Janet Cavanaugh with Grafton police representatives
according to Greens NSW Police spokesperson David Shoebridge.

"The modest amendments proposed by Fred Nile and the Shooters Party mean
that the O'Farrell government's attack on police death and disability
benefits remains little changed.

"The government's legislation delivers a low-cost and unfair scheme that
will leave seriously injured police paying the price for their service to
the State.

"Police deserve better than this. Slashing benefits will not make the job
any safer or reduce the number of injuries suffered by police.

"With their benefits cut there is a real risk we will see seriously injured
police remaining at work despite the risk to their health simply because
they can't afford to leave the police force. This will likely only compound
their injuries and place their fellow officers and the public at risk.

"By supporting the O'Farrell government's attack on Police disability
benefits, the Shooters Party and Fred Nile have revealed themselves as well
out of touch with the genuine needs of serving police.

"Police do some of the toughest and most challenging work and when they are
injured, they should expect their government will fairly compensate them.
Sadly, after tonight's vote, they no longer have this protection," Mr
Shoebridge said.

*Media contact: 9230 3030 | 0408 113 952*

Government shuts down parliament to avoid coal seam gas moratorium bill vote

Hear Jeremy Buckingham being interviewed about the Greens' Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill 2011 by Alan Jones


24 November 2011

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham has condemned the O'Farrell Government's move to cancel this week's Private Members Business sitting day as a cynical manoeuvre to avoid a vote on the Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill.

The Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill was next in the order of business due to be debated on Friday morning, the last sitting day of the year.

"Last year Barry O'Farrell condemned Kristina Keneally for her decision to prorogue Parliament in an attempt to avoid scrutiny on the electricity privatisation, yet now he has canned the last sitting day of the year to avoid a vote on the Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

"With the ban on fracking expiring on December 31, it will be back to full speed for the coal seam gas industry over summer because the O'Farrell government was too gutless to debate the merits of a moratorium or vote on it.

"Regardless of the government's procedural tricks, the coal seam gas industry has not earned a social licence to operate and the community will use direct action, such as the Spring Ridge blockade, if they try to roll out."

Contact: Max Phillips - 0419 444 916

The ABC has put up an informative website highlighting the environmental dangers the industry poses as part of a data journalism project: Coal seam gas by the numbers.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Gulaptis meets his traditional foe

For those who can remember, Chris Gulaptis's one and only political success to date has been getting some 'action' on the flying-foxes that used to roost in and around Maclean High School. It was a major issue in late 1998 and the lead up to the 1999 state election, and we are still living with the ramifications of this action. The Maclean Rainforest Reserve is a weed patch, though it is nice to see that the plaque commemorating the official opening of the walking track by then environment minister, Tim Moore in September 1988 is still there (albeit hidden behind the lantana).

Well, the bats are back and, according to an article in the Daily Examiner, our new MP said he would get to work on finding a solution to the bat problem when he is officially the member for Clarence.

He is quoted as saying "I will be looking at the options that are available to proceed with a logical scientific dispersal".

Trouble is, dispersal has been shown time and time again NOT to work. The flying-foxes show incredible fidelity to this area, returning year after year to the site of their traditional maternity colony.

So it seems Chris Gulaptis MP has a lot to learn about flying-foxes and, it seems, the Maclean Flying-fox Management Strategy.

Dispersal efforts since 1999 have been a waste of time and money, and have just shifted the problem to the wider community, including residents near Maclean Gully.

This isn’t just my view: it is one of the key findings of the Strategy which has been endorsed by several NSW Government departments and Maclean High School.

We can only hope that our new MP concentrates on ensuring there is full funding for the urgent implementation of the Strategy to permanently resolve the Maclean flying-fox issue.

High priority actions are regeneration works in the Maclean Rainforest Reserve and the identification of nearby areas away from residential areas that can be revegetated to provide alternative habitat.

And, Chris: forget about Farlows Swamp. It just doesn’t provide the type of habitat needed by a maternity colony. That's why the bats don't roost there at this time of year.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Election analysis

I've had time to digest the election results now.

I'm really pleased about the significant increase in vote in all of the Grafton booths (47% increase overall). My vote at the Community Centre in Duke St almost doubled compared to the March state election. The photo on the left is of me with Tony and Esther at the Community Centre in the afternoon.

I was the highest scoring candidate at the Nymboida booth on Saturday. This is the first time that the Greens have ever won a booth in Clarence. Woo hoo!!

In contrast, Labor didn't outpoll the Nationals at any booths across the electorate.

I admit to feeling ambushed by Labor's shift to focus their campaign purely on coal seam gas mining on Saturday (i.e. stealing my platform and presumably many votes that would otherwise had been first preference for the Greens). The budget for this shift must have been phenomenal, with large banners throughout town (see photo, right), and a different how-to-vote featuring a membership form for Country Labor on the back under the heading: "Join Country Labor and help stop coal seam gas mining in our valley".

I claim this as a victory of sorts: it cost me votes but I believe it reflected the strength of my campaign in making the by-election about mining regulation. I take the credit for forcing NSW Labor to reverse its policy on coal seam gas.

I can only hope that John Robertson follows through and works to get a change in Federal Labor's stance, and will vote in support of the Greens bill for a moratorium on the coal seam gas industry.

I believe I ran a good campaign, and one which I can be proud of. I certainly felt that I earned a lot of respect across the whole electorate, for myself and The Greens. We'll be back next time.

PS. As a Richmond Valley resident, I have to say that I was disappointed throughout the campaign by the poor coverage in the Northern Star. I spoke to a number of people in the Mid Richmond last week who did not even know there was a by-election happening on Saturday. There was no mention in their on-line version and the only articles in the last week of the campaign were buried after page 10.

The Northern Star is losing touch with the Richmond Valley local government area. I am glad that, despite this, my vote in the Mid Richmond booths remained relatively unchanged and strong (Coraki - 12.7%, Broadwater - 13.6%, Evans Head - 9.3%, Woodburn - 15.6%). My vote in South Casino increased by 40%.

2011 Clarence By-election Results

Friday, 18 November 2011

Daily Examiner Article: Q&A with candidate Janet Cavanaugh

QUESTIONS and answers with Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh. Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh.
Debrah Novak

QUESTIONS and answers with Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh.

1). What is your policy on a second bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton. Where would you prefer it to be located and when will it be built?

The second bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton needs to be located so that it serves the needs of the whole community for the next 80 to 100 years. We have to get it right this time.

I recognise that traffic congestion on the bridge is a major problem for Grafton and the productivity of local businesses. However, the RTA's decision to focus solely on this in its current planning exercise ignores the future traffic volumes on the Summerland Way, particularly once the rail hub at Casino is constructed.

I was pleased that the RTA appears to have taken a backward step in planning the second crossing. I hope they are open to suggestions, such as mine, that the new crossing should allow heavy traffic using the Summerland Way or accessing the industrial estates at Koolkhan / Trenayr to bypass the town. We need to get B-doubles out of the residential parts of town.
My preferred location is the northern edge of town.

In terms of timing, I would like it to be built sooner rather than later but am enough of a realist to recognise that Grafton is probably too far from Sydney for our bridge to be considered a priority for the current government.

While waiting for bridge promises to be kept, Grafton commuters and businesses need to take measures to improve traffic flow by switching to active transport (park and walk or cycling), car pooling and being more flexible in terms of working.

2. What will you do to ensure the Pacific Highway is upgraded to dual Carriageway. When do you expect the upgrade to be completed?

I have consistently called for a safer highway and firmly believe that this could have been achieved by now and at a much lower cost by making the current highway a dual carriageway.
It distresses me that our community is being asked to wait for the RTA's preferred option of the super-motorways before the highway is made safer for the people who use it every day. And we are paying for this delay - in terms of the cost to tax payers, in terms of the environment and in terms of our lives.
I will demand that the RTA install safety barriers down the centre of the existing highway in all sites where head-on accidents have occurred in the past 20 years.

3. How many new police do you hope to deliver to the Clarence Valley and Casino? Where will they be stationed and when will that happen?

While I agree that there is a need for more police in our region, particularly so that Casino and Yamba can have 24 hour police stations, I do not want to give an actual figure at this stage. Instead, I would be influenced by the views of the Local Area Commands and ensure that the additional police provides adequate coverage to backfill those police officers who are on leave.

Extra police and 24 hour policing are only part of the solution.

The Greens are calling for justice reinvestment, which focuses on addressing the underlying causes of crime, rather than just another 'law and order auction' which exploits community fears.

The Greens support youth clubs and other early intervention measures such as smaller classes, better educational opportunities and annual hearing tests for all Aboriginal kids. These have been shown to reduce crime and are cost effective. It costs as much to hold a person in prison as it does to employ a teacher.

The O'Farrell Government is promising 550 new police for the state but at the same time is undermining the morale and conditions of serving police officers, making the job far less attractive.
Police officers in NSW have a tough job. We expect police to place themselves in harm's way on an almost daily basis when at work, in return the government must ensure they are fully protected when they are injured. They deserve better support than the O'Farrell Government's watered down Death and Disability scheme.

The Greens are calling on the Police Minister to take a step back and return to the negotiating table with the Police Association to come up with a remodelled scheme that better protects injured police.

4) The current increase and interest in the mining of Coal Seam Gas seems to be paramount in the electorate of Clarence as the large mining companies are coming into our area and carrying out their operations by stealth all in the sake of greed.

Are you for it or against it? And are you prepared to accept the blame if their actions contribute to the pollution of the Mighty Clarence and Richmond Rivers through "Run Off," because of the chemicals that have to be used in "Fracturing?"

I've used my efforts in this campaign to make the by-election a referendum on mining regulation, and was pleased to receive the endorsement of the Lock the Gate alliance's Drew Hutton earlier this week (see Clarence Greens blogspot).

The NSW Greens started demanding better regulation of coal seam gas mining last year. Since the NSW State Election in March, The Greens have successfully moved to get a parliamentary inquiry established and have introduced a bill for a moratorium on CSG activities.

I have spoken to a lot of locals about this issue. Most people agree with me that, as a basic precaution, there should be a moratorium on the industry until the current NSW parliamentary inquiry submits its report and its recommendations are implemented. I believe we need a moratorium on CSG until it is proven safe. The rapid growth of this industry has out-stripped our current regulations. We can learn from the experiences in Queensland and do not need to repeat their mistakes.

In Federal parliament, the Greens have tabled a bill which would give land owners greater rights when it comes to dealing with mining companies, and allow the federal Environment Minister to consider the impacts of CSG on water.

Hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' is one of the more riskier activities associated with the extraction of coal seam gas and other forms of unconventional natural gas such as shale gas. It involves injecting sand, water and chemicals into the coal seam under pressure to create fissures for gas to flow. This can crack aquifers and contaminate underground water.

I am also concerned about the amount of saline and chemical laden water that is produced when extracting gas from the coal seams. The use of evaporative ponds to dispose of this water has been banned for new exploration licences but continues on existing licensed areas.

I have welcomed the NSW Government's current moratorium on the practice and hope this will be extended indefinitely.

5). Could the candidates for the Clarence By-election please give their preferred location for a second bridge crossing for Grafton and provide an explanation as to why they reached their conclusion?

My preferred location is the northern edge of town so that the new crossing will allow heavy traffic using the Summerland Way or accessing the industrial estates at Koolkhan / Trenayr to bypass the residential parts of town.

In making this decision I am considering future traffic volumes on the Summerland Way, particularly once the rail hub at Casino is constructed.

6).Would you go against your political party's policy to protect your electorate from any threat to, say, pure clean drinking water? 

There is no conflict between my views and Greens policy regarding the need to protect the Clarence electorate from any threats to our drinking water supply.

Greens councillor Mark Graham (from Coffs Harbour City Council) first alerted the media about the potential impacts of the proposed antimony mine at Wild Cattle Creek on the Nymboida and Clarence Rivers, and our communities that rely on these rivers for their water.

Antimony is a highly toxic substance. Any leak at the mine would have a devastating impact on the Coffs-Clarence water supply, and downstream industries such as fishing, agriculture and tourism.

The NSW Government has to give a guarantee that antimony mining will not be permitted in this area. Proposing a 'balance' between mining and farming is not good enough. The fate of the Clarence catchment population rests in this 'balance'.

7). I would like to know about your interest in the manner in which "Cooperate greed" is increasing at such a rapid rate and wether you consider it is now time to act to stop its increase. Or do you favour it as most of our retired politicians seem to be getting involved in it through becoming members of mining company boards?

Unlike other parties, The Greens are not about money or power. We share your concerns about corporate greed and big business destroying the world in the name of short-term profit.
As far as I know, there are no ex Greens MPs working for mining companies (unlike the Nationals). I believe this give The Greens a unique strength when we're dealing with mining companies.

8). When you make a promise, will you actually keep it?

The Greens stand for honesty and integrity in politics. If I make a promise, I do intend to keep it. However I am enough of a realist to recognise that, as new information comes to light, some decisions need to be changed to ensure the best possible outcomes.

9). Sports and tuition tourism is the fast growing tourism areas for rural Australia. What do the candidates feel need to happen to improve this for the electorate?

The State Government needs to provide funding for improved facilities and also event organisation.

10). With support for some of our long running festivals beginning to dwindle due to a change in demographics, should we also be putting more money into tuition events such as the heavily underfunded Artsfest?

I was disappointed that this year's Artsfest will be the last. After 18 years as Australia's premier creativity workshop event, its loss from Grafton will affect not just the economy but also the cultural environment of our community.

The Greens NSW believe that the arts are an integral part of people's lives, and we recognise the importance to all Australians of a rich and lively artistic life, both as audience and as participants. In particular, we believe everyone should have a right to education that develops individual creativity, irrespective of their age, financial circumstances, or their physical or cultural differences.

If elected, I will work to increase substantially the total funding of arts organisations in NSW, and the proportion of arts funding set aside for small to medium organisations. I will also work to increase the proportion of the NSW Arts Budget devoted to community and local projects in the regions.

Events need to be coordinated and funded, and it annoys me that Events NSW has not supported any events this year in the Clarence electorate, apart from the Coffs Harbour World Rally Championship (which only marginally benefited the electorate). This contrasts markedly with Port Macquarie which has benefited from several flagship events this year.

The role of tuition events needs to be recognised by Events NSW and I would lobby for both State and local government support for future cultural and tuition events in this electorate. 

Janet Cavanaugh, the candidate opposing antimony mining in your water catchment

Janet opposes the reopening of the antimony mine
Mining and its threats to the Clarence’s water and food security is the key issue in this by-election. We have antimony mining proposed in the catchment of the Coffs-Clarence water supply and coal seam gas operations expanding throughout the area. 

    Janet Cavanaugh is the candidate saying, ‘Never!’ not ‘maybe’ to the antimony mine. The Clarence electorate is yet to become aware of the danger an antimony mine represents to the Clarence. We are not talking of a little bit of pollution. We are talking of open cut mine 1.5km x 0.5km under a very high rainfall. A tailings dam will collect antimony and arsenic (a byproduct) in polluted water, and must eventually overflow into the Clarence catchment. Like the Macleay River, our river will be poisoned for thousands of years. For a few jobs on the Dorrigo Plateau our  jobs including farming, tourism and fishing will be lost.

Janet Cavanaugh is one of the few local candidates really opposing dangerous mining practices. The Greens’ priorities are long-term investment in education, health , services, an upgraded highway and other transport services, and the creation of local jobs for our youth. Janet Cavanaugh wants to expand and improve the quality of tertiary education in the area, to improve transport options to jobs and services, and will fight to keep public sector jobs in our towns.

Media Release from Beyond Zero Emissions: CSG report

An explosive report demolishing gas industry claims that coal seam gas is "clean energy" has been suppressed by the Board of the company that wrote it.

The report was commissioned by the not for profit renewable energy research group Beyond Zero Emissions and fully completed in September.

Worley Parsons have a $580 million contract with Queensland Gas Company for engineering and procurement services for the company’s massive Queensland Curtis LNG project.

"We have a contract for the delivery of this report. The report has been completed, and the fact that its findings are inconvenient for the gas industry and Worley Parsons is not a good enough reason for its suppression. It is of the utmost importance that the proper scientific research into the true emissions impact of coal seam gas sees the light of day" says Matthew Wright, Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions. "We need to clear the air on gas emissions."
This report supersedes a report selectively and repeatedly quoted by oil and gas industry lobby group APPEA, but hidden from public view until its release under pressure a few days ago.

***The supressed report includes information that:

There is no Australian field data on fugitive emissions and that the American Petroleum Industry data that the industry and government rely on is out dated and superseded, including well workovers having emissions around 8500 times previous estimates. Individual wells in the US have reported fugitive emission levels of up to 30 percent, and fields of up to 15 percent of total well yield.

In addition the American Petroleum Industry compendium which is the basis for industry claims that coal seam gas is lower emissions are blown out of the water by the compendium itself which says:

"The Compendium is neither a standard nor a recommended practice for the development of emissions inventories"

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Shooting and Trucks Don’t Mix

17 November 2011
Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, today was joined by Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge in calling for safer highways while inspecting the new section of motorway through Glenugie State Forest, an area that the government is proposing to keep open for recreational hunting for the next decade.
Ms Cavanaugh said: “As a regular highway user I continue to be dismayed by the delays in making the highway a dual carriageway.
“However, this proposal to allow recreational hunting in the forest on both sides of the highway raises another fear with motorists at risk from hunters’ bullets.
“I question the new sign for Glenugie State Forest declaring that ‘Your forests are in safe hands’.  80 hectares of forest has been lost to construct this 7km road.
“Glenugie State Forest is one of 39 state forests which are being proposed to be kept open for recreational hunting for the next 10 years.
“This is effectively turning our state forests into Game Reserves to the exclusion of other users and causing a risk to highway traffic through the use of high-powered rifles,” Ms Cavanaugh said.
Janet and David at Glenugie State Forest
Mr Shoebridge said: “The Minister is supposed to give consideration to issues such as public safety, other users of state forests, and also whether recreational hunting is actually the most humane and effective form of feral animal control.
“However the current proposal lacks even basic details on how the public can be heard on this proposal.  In recent hunting declarations the only voice the government has listened to is the pro-hunting Game Council.
“How can the Minister give proper consideration to the local needs, including safety issues, via a mass declaration with no proper consultation process?
Feral animal control is a serious issue, for landowners, the agricultural industry and the environment. But it should not be done by done by amateur hunters, who have an ongoing interest in maintaining feral animal populations on public land, in order to have game to hunt next season.
“The Government must review the process for declaring public land open for hunting and prohibit hunting in forests adjoining public roads,” Mr Shoebridge said.


Contact: Janet Cavanaugh         0429 479 968
David Shoebridge                          0408 113 952

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Piccoli's preschool fees bad news for public education in Casino

The O'Farrell government is sacrificing educational outcomes for a short term boost to the state's budget bottom line, according to the Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election Janet Cavanaugh and the party's education spokesperson Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Nationals MP and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli announced as part of the September state budget that compulsory fees will be introduced from next year in the 100 preschools attached to public primary schools.
The fee structure for 2012 for preschools attached to the two public primary schools in Casino will be as follows:
Full fee (per child per day)
Aboriginal children (per child per day)
Healthcare card (per child per day)
Casino Public School
Casino West Public School

For more information see: 

Media comments:
Greens candidate for the Clarence Janet Cavanaugh said: "Compulsory fees are not only a deterrent to entry for low socio-economic background families but an insult to the notion of free, secular and comprehensive education.
John Kaye MP & Janet Cavanaugh in Grafton
"Requiring principals to ask parents to demonstrate hardship in order to obtain the cheaper fees is an insult to their professionalism. It will also undermine the important relationships principals have fostered with members of their local community.
"School principals are educational leaders not fee collectors.
"Strong relationships based on trust and compassion between schools and their communities are integral to improving student outcomes," said Ms Cavanaugh.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The lack of consultation with the early childhood sector, parents, teachers and their union before this new fee structure was announced suggests that the Minister knew that he was breaking faith with the community.
"The benefits of preschool are well established in Australian and international studies, particularly in towns such as Casino which have problems with youth crime.
"Fees put at risk improvements to lifelong learning outcomes, social adjustment to school life, long-term further engagement in education and income levels.
"These benefits comprehensively outweigh any budget savings that the fees will bring.
"This isn't even good economics, given the long run savings on costs in the health, criminal justice and school education systems," Dr Kaye said.

Contact: Janet Cavanaugh 0429 479 968, John Kaye 0407 1954 55

Greens support regional jobs and services

Janet Cavanaugh & David Shoebridge MP outside Grafton Jail
Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, and Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge today spoke at Grafton Jail in support of regional jobs and public sector wages and conditions. 

Ms Cavanaugh said: “The O’Farrell Government is attacking the public sector that is vital to deliver government services to our region. 

“This was a government that came to power by promising jobs in regional NSW and yet one of its first actions was to slash jobs here at Grafton Jail and at the Forest Science section in Trenayr. 

“The relocation of the long-term female inmates to Kempsey has led to the loss of 13 jobs at the Jail. 

“This is 13 pay cheques taken out of our region, with flow on effects to the rest of the local economy,” Ms Cavanaugh. 

“The relocation of the women prisoners means their families now have hundreds of kilometres to travel to maintain contact. This is a punishment on their innocent children,” she said. 

Mr Shoebridge said: “In eight short months, a pattern has developed of the O’Farrell Government consistently attacking the public sector. 

“Cuts in jobs and wages and conditions will have a real ongoing impact on the Clarence’s economy. It will also see the government’s ability to deliver quality services continue to decline,” he said. 

Janet Cavanaugh – 0429 479 968 David Shoebridge – 0408 113 952

Ian Price Anchor Resources; ABC interview November 16

Well my concerns weren't allayed, soothed or otherwise calmed. Jacquie Hudson from the Antimony Action Group spelled out the concerns of a Sawtell citizen, why she was worried about the proposed antimony mine in the catchment for Coff Harbour's water,  very clearly.

When Ian Price from Anchor Resources was interviewed the main point he wanted to make was that Anchor Resources is at the exploratory stage and the company has not decided to mine. Well we knew that. It is necessary to argue against further investment by Anchor Resources because once more is invested by the foreign and local shareholders the prevention will be much more difficult. Indeed Anchor Resources is very clear on its website that mining prospects are very 'positive' at that site, otherwise why spruik the asset to prospective shareholders?

"A scoping study released early 2011 indicates that positive financial returns are achievable from the project."

However, mining companies do not invest millions in exploration to walk away from a viable mine if they will make a profit for their shareholders. Under incisive questioning Mr Price admitted there was at least a 'moderate' amount of antimony ore. He did say some of the ore was deep and could not be mined using an open cut but he did say some of the ore could be mined using an open cut.

Once the company has invested in exploration and environment studies and reports the company's investment is massive. Anchor Resources will promise 'the world' to persuade the government to approve the mine. We know that mining companies walk away from polluted sites and we know that governments do not have a strong track record in monitoring and preventing pollution. We know this from the Hillgrove mine experience.

We all want productive industries with job opportunities but not at the expense of our children's health or jobs in other industries.

John Vernon for the Clarence Greens


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