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2014-03-28 - Rural Fire Service volunteers at Bentley are
resigning after their fire station has been taken over by the police, against
local's wishes, to direct the 100 riot police and 100 regular police converging
to break a blockade against fracking company Metgasco.
Coalition & Labor vote against ICAC recommendation on
12 May 2014
Jeremy Buckingham media release - The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining
Jeremy Buckingham today condemned the Government and Labor Party for voting
against an amendment to the Mining and Petroleum Acts to establish an
Independent Expert Mine Licensing Committee as recommended by the Independent
Commission Against Corruption following the inquiries into corruptly granted
coal mining licences.
The Government and Labor Party combined to defeat the Greens amendment 29 votes
to 5 votes. They also combined to replace a broad ‘public interest power’ to
cancel mining licences and replace it with a narrower ‘fit and proper person’
The Independent Expert Mine Licensing Committee would provide publicly available
advice to the Minister on mining exploration licence applications after:
◦conducting a triple bottom line assessment
◦assessing likelihood that the application will progress to production phase
◦assessing the financial capacity of applicant to fund exploration and
◦assessing applications against a set of strategic objectives, priorities and
outcomes for allocation of mineral and petroleum resources
“It’s clear that both the Coalition and the Labor Party are still captive of the
mining industry after they failed to back an ICAC reform to implement an
independent and transparent process for assessing mining and gas exploration
licence applications,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“Only the Greens are genuine about cleaning up politics in NSW, especially when
it comes to the outsized influence the big mining companies wield.
“Since 1999, the mining sector has donated $5,753,721 to the Liberal, National
and Labor parties and they are still not prohibited political donors. It is no
wonder that both major parties refuse to implement an independent and
transparent licence assessment process.
“It is a great pity the broad public interest powers to cancel mining licences
has been restricted to a ‘fit and proper person’ test. There are many licences
that have been granted in inappropriate areas and the government should have the
power to act in the public interest,” he said.
Shock resignation of two gateway panel members
25 Apr 2014 Attacks on integrity and the threat of legal action are reported to
be behind the shock resignation of two members of the state government's mining
and petroleum gateway panel.
In the job for less than six months, two of the gateway panel members, chairman
Terry Short and Russell Frith resigned yesterday.
Mining giant Anglo American accused Mr Short of a number of
conflicts of interest, and the Farmers Association also voiced its concern.
The news comes after the panel granted a conditional
certificate to a Bylong Valley mining application despite numerous concerns over
its impacts and not meeting the relevant criteria.
"From the Bylong development we can see that development
didn't meet most of the criteria, yet it received a gateway certificate" said
New South Wales Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham
"The gateway panel needs real teeth, it needs a red light on
developments," he said.
"We've seen two members resign, two members on the panel exposed to litigation
for undertaking their role."
The six-member panel was established in October last year to protect the state's
agricultural and water resources from the potential impacts of mining and coal
seam gas activities.
Each were vetted by the New South Wales Farmers Association and the New South
Wales Minerals Council, and approved by the Department of Planning.
28 March 2014 - The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
is investigating a release of about 500 litres of produced water which
entered a diversion drain at the Santos Narrabri Gas
Field on Tuesday March 25
Land Access Principles is silent on listening to community wishes, extending &
honouring the 2km exclusion zones to include smaller villages, and industry
clusters (why isn't tourism an industry cluster)?
Loopholes exist in this
principle as AGL owns the land they want to frack at Gloucester but the wells
are only 300m from individual homes, 2km from 50 homes - but those people do not
have any say at all!
At present we still have not seen what the gas industry
consider "a best practice framework for how explorers can negotiate
access arrangements with landholders".
The Code does not set out mandatory requirements that must be included in an access
arrangement, such as promptly paying any agreed compensation; and ensuring any
information obtained about the landholder’s property or operations is kept
The Land Access Code of Practice does not
strengthen rules for coal seam gas exploration including:
• a hold on exploration and extraction of natural gas within Sydney’s drinking
• 2 km exclusion zones for coal seam gas activities around existing residential
areas and areas zoned as villages
• strengthened planning approval processes including assessments for strategic
agricultural land and aquifer interference policy
Alliance Calls for Inquiry as Another NSW Mines Minister Bites the Dust
4th December 2013 The Lock the Gate Alliance has called for a broad-ranging
inquiry into the management of coal and coal seam gas mining in NSW, after
Mineral Resources Minister Chris Hartcher resigned from Cabinet today following
reports of an ICAC raid on his office.
The action by ICAC is understood to relate to alleged illegal donations which
forced the suspension of Mr Hartcher's former staffer, Ray Carter.
"Chris Hartcher is the third Minister for minerals resources to fall under the
shadow of an ICAC investigation this year, following corrupt conduct findings
against former Ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald" said Carmel Flint,
Campaign Co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance. Full
Current Petroleum Special Prospecting
following applications have been lodged with the NSW department of Trade &
Investment Resources & Energy, Division of Resources and Energy, Minerals and
23rd November -
Exploding the Myths - Kyogle Memorial Hall -
Dr Wayne Somerville, Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Kevin Hogan Member for Page, Ian
Gaillard & Drew Hutton Lock The Gate
Lock The Gate, the Director-General &
2013 An extraordinary tweeter
exchange between Lock The Gate and the Director-General of NSW Planning and
Infrastructure, including letters from ICAC concerning the
NSW Planning Bill 2013
North West NSW Celebrates Gasfield Free
November 2013 -
Lock The Gate - The North West of NSW celebrates as Burren Junction, Cryon
and Merah North declare themselves Gasfield Free Communities.
November 20, 2013 · Lock the Gate Alliance has called for proposed changes to
coal seam gas laws foreshadowed in NSW Parliament last night to be released
immediately on public exhibition.
In Parliament last night, Minister Duncan Gay revealed that changes have been
proposed to the contentious Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013 as a result
of secretive negotiations with selected stakeholders by the NSW Land and Water
Commissioner, Jock Laurie. The changes will be introduced as Government
amendments to the Bill.
"Natural gas from coal seams" to replace "CSG", "coal seam
17 September, 2013 The federal Standing Council on Energy and Resources, which
includes ministers from each state and territory and the commonwealth has
recommended the NSW government remove the term “coal seam gas” and its acronym
CSG from official documents in the state and Australia.
The council wrote to NSW energy and resources minister Chris Hartcher
recommending the terminologies “coal seam gas” and “CSG” should be eliminated
from marketing content, replies to letters and on websites, and replaced with
“natural gas from coal seams”.
The note said the new definition aims to “improve clarity and consistency of the
terms used to describe coal seam gas in departmental correspondence,
communication and content”.
The council issued a National Harmonised Regulatory Framework
for Natural Gas from Coal Seams, which aims to make sure “regulatory regimes are
robust, consistent and transparent across all Australian jurisdictions”.
“This is part of a national harmonisation initiative adopted by all
governments,” the briefing note said.
“Government adoption of the industry’s Orwellian terminology will not
diminish legitimate concern and the real risk posed to land and water by coal
seam gas,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said while criticising the government for
playing “cynical public relations games”.
The terms CSG and coal seam gas are allowed on social media to follow the
national conversation. “Social media relies on CSG or coal seam gas references
and hashtags (i.e. #CSG),” the note said.
“In order to participate and track conversations it is therefore acceptable to
use CSG or coal seam gas on Twitter and Facebook.”
There is also a handwritten note that says the government needs to apply the
same approach within the Land and Water Commissioner and the Office of the Chief
A spokeswoman for Hartcher said NSW “has adopted the reference following the
Commonwealth’s preference to use this terminology as part of a national
She said the Land and Water Commissioner and the Office of the Chief Scientist
can use any terminology they wish as they are independent groups.
Chief scientist and engineer
Professor Mary O’Kane said misinformation is causing anxiety and wide-ranging
community concerns about CSG. She recommends stricter regulation, more penalties
for violations and more environmental research be conducted.
In Australia, the controversial coal seam
gas industry is developing rapidly, with the corporate gas giants using their
influence on governments to introduce sweeping changes to environmental and land
Unlike the USA, in Australia the 'Crown'
legally owns the natural resources regardless of land title deeds and
traditional land use. Each state government administers exploration and mining
licenses and collects royalties from the companies.
A passer-by tells the Inspector "this here is an issue that
is dangerous to people" Bentley, 2013-11-15. — at AGL Head Office, 101 Miller St North
15 Nov 2013 -
Shooters and Fishers Party MP, Robert Brown, says the
O'Farrell government's soon-to-be introduced amendments to the
Act won't get the support of his cross-benches unless there are changes.
Robert Brown says, while there's broad support for the legislation from the
Shooters and Fishers, there's problem areas that need to be fixed.
"We have problems with Section 7, [which] describes an attempt to set up a
system whereby the Minister can authorise access under a permit system, to any
person to come onto private property."
Robert Brown says that does not sit comfortably with his Party because the
Shooters and Fishers support individual property rights under both Commonwealth
or State law.
"In reality, what the government needs to do if they want to put forward bills
like this, is they have to consider equitable arrangements for property owners,"
"Give the farmers the right to 'lock the gate' but, at the same time, give the
farmers the right to access some of the government royalties on the stuff that's
under their ground; if the government's going to get five per cent royalties
give half to the farmer."
"The farmer could make up his mind whether he wants to take advantage of that
offer or whether he wants to just keep farming and keep people off his
property," he said.