Renewables cheaper than coal & gas in Australia

Renewables cheaper than coal & gas in Australia

“This may come as a surprise to most people, that renewable energy is cheaper than electricity from new-build coal or gas-fired power stations in Australia. Go to the link to read an analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance research film.”

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The CSG Invasion vs Australian Communities

The CSG Invasion vs Australian Communities

The invasion of the coal seam gas (CSG) mining industry is now coming closer to the Gold Coast, with exploration in Canungra, in Beechmont, in the Tweed and Byron Shire. Over 80% of the state of Queensland is under permit for mining or exploration for mining. This month’s guest speaker at Gecko House was Michael McNamara from the Lock the Tweed group. He is also on the Board of Lock the Gate Alliance, a national advocacy group opposing coal seam gas mining, particularly on agricultural land. Michael spoke about the coal seam gas industry and the Lock the Gate campaign, including a nine week blockade at Glenugie in the Clarence Valley, New South Wales and a blockade near Kyogle next to the Eden Creek State Forest.

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Are coal seam gas wells a bush fire risk?

Are coal seam gas wells a bush fire risk?

Further to concerns raised about burning flares at CSG wells, suggestions these may cause bush fires and questions about why CSG companies, in NSW at least, are exempt from total fire bans, I did some research and came across reference to Santos Gas being able to invoke a Total Fire Ban Exemption Under regulation Schedule 15 of the Rural Fires Act 1997, as published in the Government Gazette. There is a particular regulation called ‘SCHEDULE 15 – Exhaust Stacks for Gas Exploration, Collection, Drainage, Refining Facilities, Oil Refineries and Steel Works’ which allows Santos to continue to operate no matter the fire weather conditions.

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A Challenge Awaits Us All-Say “No thanks” to plastic bags.

A Challenge Awaits Us All-Say “No thanks” to plastic bags.

The Bag Free February campaign was launched by Queensland Conservation Council late with Ian Kiernan

speaking at a function in late 2012. Ian is the founder of CleanUp Australia and despite the success of that campaign the number of plastic items including plastic bags that end up in our waterways, bushland and ocean continues to rise.

We are all asked to stop using single use plastic bags in February and remember to take our own reusable bags. This is easy enough to do if you just keep them in the car and return them there after unpacking the shopping. Compostable bags that meet the Australian standard (AS4736) are the only plastic bag you should consider using if you really have to.

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Is debris clean up feasible in the “garbage patches” of our oceans?

Is debris clean up feasible in the “garbage patches” of our oceans?

(This is an article about the pollution of our oceans because of  the plastic we discard.  We must bear in mind that plastics by and large to do not biodegrade, they simply become smaller and smaller until they reach microscopic size and are part of the “soup”of the ocean and are ingested by all marine creatures. In turn we ingest it via the fish we eat.-Dereka Ogden)

The answer to this

question of marine debris cleanup  is not as simple as you may think. It is certainly not cost-effective to skim the surface of the entire ocean. Even a cleanup focusing on “garbage patches” would be a tremendous challenge. Keep in mind these points:

Marine debris concentration areas move and change throughout the year.  These areas are typically very large (see below)

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Plastic Bags–India did it, so can we.

Plastic Bags–India did it, so can we.

Plastic bags were banned in the Indian capital of Delhi in 2009. As of this past month, the government has imposed a far more extensive ban, with new rules outlawing plastic wrappers on magazines and greeting cards. The ban covers “all use, sale and manufacture of plastic bags in the city” and “no exceptions will be made,” as an anonymous official said to AFP (via the Telegraph). Plastic bags can also not be used for garbage collecting in the city and the bags cannot be imported, notes The Hindu.

Delhi’s population of 17 million generates 1.2 million pounds of trash, plenty of it plastic, per day. As the anonymous official comments, citing the health hazards to humans and animals:

Plastic is an environmental disaster. These bags clog the city’s drains, they are non-biodegradable. It might take time, but we have to ensure that this ruling is enforced throughout Delhi.

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Mining boom has cost Australian farmers $B43.5 in export income

Mining boom has cost Australian farmers $B43.5 in export income

Yesterday The Australia Institute released our most recent research paper on the economic impacts of the mining boom “Beating Around the Bush: The impact of the mining boom on rural exports” . The full report is available here

Some of the headline figures are that last financial year the rise in the Australian dollar as a result of the mining boom has cost Australian farmers $43.5 billion in export income, including $14.9 billion in 2010-11 alone. 

This represents a decrease of 41 per cent in export income because of the high exchange rate attributable to the mining boom. This cost the beef industry $2b last year alone, and the sugar industry over $500m.

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Why Qld’s Coal and Gas Boom Matters to You

Why Qld’s Coal and Gas Boom Matters to You

The Australia Institute invites you to a free public forum…
WHY QUEENSLAND’S COAL AND GAS BOOM MATTERS TO YOU

It is often claimed that the enormous expansion of coal and gas mining in Queensland is good for the economy. Yet there is mounting evidence that many Queenslanders are losing out as the resource boom continues to “crowd out” tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and education businesses.

This forum brings together representatives from key non-mining sectors of the Queensland economy to discuss the implications of the resource boom for their industries.

Findings will be presented from a new study by The Australia Institute which quantifies the losses faced by farmers as a result of the high Australian dollar, largely resulting from the resource boom.
Speakers include

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Protest Against Santos-CSG-Greenwashing

Protest Against Santos-CSG-Greenwashing

Lock the Gate Rally at Southport Parklands this Sunday 7th October at 12 noon.

Wear Yellow and Black.
Bring Signs – No Coal Seam Gas / Protect our food –No Coal Seam Gas/ City people against Coal Seam Gas/ Save our Food and Nature – No Coal Seam Gas/
Live music, stalls and vendors.
Support our rural communities suffering loss of land, livelihood, environment and health from coal seam gas and coal mining.
Santos GLNG are partners with Bicycle Queensland to sponsor the Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge, a 100km ride from South Bank to the Broadwater Parklands. Event starts at 9am.

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CSG Protest 9th October 2012

CSG Protest 9th October 2012

“The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), the peak industry body for the Australian oil and gas industry, proudly invites you to take part in the southern hemisphere’s premier CSG event.”

Well, that’s what it says on their web site. So get ready to go ! This Conference aims to celebrate their plundering of Australian resources at the expense of virtually everything else.
Lock The Gate Alliance (which includes Northern Rivers Guardians Inc.) has written to the event organisers asking for free admission for one or more representatives to be admitted as observers. This will test their sincerity in seeking “a social licence to operate. “
The morning of 9th October the APPEA conference will be addressed by Martin Ferguson the Federal Minister for Resources and Energy (via video) and state ministers from both Queensland and NSW in person. NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher’s talk is titled “Unlocking new gas supply for NSW.”

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