Friday, March 21, 2014

A rational fear: Red tape industry suffers after Abbott announces cuts – videos | World news | theguardian.com

A rational fear: Red tape industry suffers after Abbott announces cuts – videos | World news | theguardian.com



There have been unforeseen consequences following the Abbott government's announcement to cut back on red tape: not least in the red tape industry itself. The team from comedy troupe A Rational Fear dive head first into the issues that matter most to Australia - from a satirical point of view. Will the federal government see the error of its ways?

Buru Bullshit continues



LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Question on notice
Thursday, 20 February 2014
760. Hon Robin Chapple to the Minister for Agriculture and Food representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
With regard to the Buru Energy Limited wells at Yulleroo 3 and 4 and with reference to photographs of these wells, being IMG_0797.JPG, IMG_0794.JPG, IMG_0823.JPG and IMG_0827.JPG ofYulleroo 3 and IMG_0814.JPG, IMG_0809.JPG, IMG_0804.JPG, IMG_0805.JPG and IMG_0808.JPG ofYulleroo 4 that were taken on 12/02/2014, which are located at http://www.robinchapple.com/gdata. 

I ask:
(a) at Yulleroo 4, why is there a difference in water height between the water levels in the two dams;
(b) at Yulleroo 4, what is ,the material floating on the surface of the water in IMG_0804.JPG and IMG_0805.JPG;
(c) at Yulleroo 4 in IMG_0804.JPG and IMG_0805.JPG there is evidence of water having escaped from the lined dam, as shown by the riling on the flank of the pond that is closest to the camera. Is this permissible:
(i) if yes to (c), why;
(ii) if yes to (c), what processes are available to ensure that dams used to contain chemical fluids used in the process of fracking will not be similarly dispersed into the environment in times of seasonal flooding;


(iii) if no to (c), what action will the Minister take;
(iv) if no to (c), was the department advised of this event and when; and
(v) if no to (c)(iv), why not;

(d) what were the contents ofthe dams at the Yulleroo 4 site;
(e) were the contents of the large dam depicted in IMG_0809.JPG and IMG_1808.JPG drained, siphoned or pumped out via the pipe that is seen leading to a large body of water outside the boundary of the pad in the top right hand comer of the photos:
(i) if yes to (e), is this activity permitted and on what grounds;
(ii) if yes to (e), was the department advised ofthis activity;
(iii) if yes to (e)(i), what processes are available to ensure that dams used to contain chemical fluids associated with the process of fracking will not be similarly dispersed into the environment in times of seasonal flooding; and
(iv) ifno to (e)(i), what action will the Minister take;

(f) At Yulleroo 4 in photos IMG_0809.JPG and IMG_0808.JPG there is evidence of the contents of this lined dam having overtopped to the left-hand bottom comer of the pictures. Is this permissible:
page1image22712
.
(i) if yes to (f) why; and
(ii) ifno to (f) what action will the Minister take;
(g) at Yulleroo 3, why is there a difference in the water height between the water

levels in the three dams;
(h) at Yulleroo 3, what is the purpose of the pipe that is submerged and leading from the dam to a large body of water at the other end of the pipe shown in IMG_0827.JPG; and
(i) ifthe purpose of this pipe was to drain the three dams shown in IMG_0827.JPG, is this activity permitted:
(i) if yes to (i), was the department advised of the activity;
(ii) if yes to (i), on what grounds is the draining of these dams permitted; and (iii) if no to (i), what action will the Minister take?

Answer
The Department of Mines and Petroleum advises: (a)
The difference in water height in the two ponds relates to the time the fluids have had to evaporate and the evaporation rate based on the surface area and design of the ponds.
(b) The material is drill cuttings and cement. (c) No
  1. (i)  Not applicable
  2. (ii)  Not applicable
  3. (iii)  Bum made modifications to ensure that there will be no further overflow from the retention pond and have been conducting weekly inspections of the site since May 2013.
  4. (iv)  Yes, in April 2013.
  5. (v)  Not applicable
(d) One pond contains drill cuttings, drill fluid, cement and collected rain water. The fluids in this pond were being left to evaporate in the dry season. The other pond was used to hold bore water for drilling operations however now contains collected rainwater.
(e) Yes
  1. (i)  Yes. Bum's approved Environment Plan allowed for the discharge of this water to the well site firebreak providing the water was tested for constituents of potential concern and determined to pose no risk to the environment.
  2. (ii)  Yes
  3. (iii)  Bum are required to maintain sufficient freeboard in all retention ponds holding flowback water and have a contingency plan in place should there be potential for the maximum capacity of ponds to be exceeded.
  4. (iv)  Not applicable
(f) No. All retention ponds, including ponds containing only rainwater, should be maintained to ensure there are no uncontrolled discharges.
  1. (i)  Not applicable
  2. (ii)  The overflow was caused by a storm event. Buru was advised that there should be no overflow of retention ponds at their well sites at any time and have made modifications to ensure that there will be no further overflow from the retention ponds.
(g) At Yulleroo 3 there is one retention pond containing drill fluids and drill cuttings, the other ponds contain collected rainwater. The difference in water height in the ponds relates to the time the fluids have had to evaporate and the evaporation rate based on the surface area and design of the ponds.
(h) To drain excess water in the water retention pond. (i) Yes
(i) (ii)
(iii)
Yes
Buru's approved Environment Plan allowed for the discharge of water to the well site firebreak providing the water was tes~ed for constituents of potential concern and determined to pose no risk to the environment.
Not applicable 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Maja

No need to say anything, its all been said below. We are just catching our tears, trying to find our feet and stop pitching ourselves. All who loved this man have  been rocked with this great loss to the very core of our beings. But we will never give up our dreaming in our protection of Country. We will continue the vision and than we will walk it together, again.

21st Century Maja (Law Man)
Photos: Damien Kelly reproduced with the permission of the Roe Family
24 April 1966 – 26 February 2014 

When a father dies, a great symbolic mountain falls into the sea. Bearings are gone. Life can never be the same. When a son dies there is inconsolable grief. Yet when the mountain is gone an awareness grows of its strength and majesty. Adjustments must be made. New challenges emerge. Family, sons and daughters grow to new heights. Feelings of loss give way to feelings of what has been achieved and what must be done now. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers of the future are born. The cycle continues.

In all of this, traditional law does not change. The land is the parliament. The spirit beings of Bugarregarre created all life. They made the law in which all things live in harmony. This law encoded in the Song Cycle was passed down unbroken since creation. It is the Law-keepers, Law- people, and Custodian's job to keep passing Bugarregarre ceremonies and stories from one generation to the next.
In the period since the colonization and Federation of Australia it has been the greatest of challenges to uphold traditional law and to ensure the newcomers to this land understood its significance. In a
thousand generations there was never such challenges. Through the greatest tribulations, traditional people have succeeded in imparting the majesty of the Australian environment into the unconscious of all Australian people. Great warriors and statesmen and women Peumulwuy, Windrayne, Bennelong, Truganini, Yagan, Jandamurra, Kangushot, Wonggu, Arimi, Broger, Broughton, Mr. Tigan, and countless others who we are only now discovering, fought for their law, their land to be understood and respected. Only in 2014 is the special detail and quality of traditional law being understood. Far from being archaic or lost, the law, the song lines are a dynamic salvation – a cause of hope for the new millennium.

In the precious coastline around Broome in the North West of Australia we owe a great debt to the great mountains of men, we may call in customary and respectful terms, grandfather and grandson. It was the special genius of the old man, grandfather, to record in mainstream terms the significance of the coastline from Minuyarr to Minarriny and to place it into the European consciousness in a way that even scientists from another world could appreciate. It was the courage and strength of grandson to build and grow this knowledge and to stand up to the corruption of morals and law and to mindless greed and to uphold the song lines in the face of a proposed $40 billion industrial development. Few have faced greater challenges of life, intellect and cross-societal justice and won.

Grandson the world knows you through the song and your words “I’m going to fight for my country but they don’t believe me”. “I will win this fight”. These words reverberate through us all now and we all know you. We know you through the eyes and strength of your brothers Phillip and Ronnie who now take on your mantle... We know you through the hearts of so many quiet, hard men of the Kimberley and Broome who became mellow like children when they spoke of you, protected you and stood alongside you. We know you through the women of your family and of all families whose instincts are simple and sure. We know you through the stories of those who opposed you and just made you bigger and stronger. We know you through the sacred mission of your mother. We know you because you were a very big man born to a very big job. We know you because your vision of Bugarregarre was made real to us. We know you because you made us understand that the possessions and money are nothing against the forces of life and love that are visible and accessible on the sacred camp sites of the 85 kilometre Lurrujarri trail. We know you because you showed us how the world would end if Walmadany was disturbed and if the flows of life stopped.
We know you as the grandchild of the sting ray who lies placidly, wisely in the sand, meditating, watching with wisdom but whose barb is deadly and painful. We know you as maja because we know that the truth of the land came to us in whatever language we spoke, whatever religion we followed, whatever political views we expressed. It was undeniable and it was your special gift to us to let us know these things.

Hard men of the lands now weep. But they will not weep long. Loving daughters, mothers, grand- daughters now weep. But they will not weep long. There is much to lament of a life cut too short but soon the pain will turn to energy and your legacy will grow immeasurably. More will hear you. Only two years shy of 50. Yet every year worth ten. We hear your words grandson. They were meant to stand. Your new fathers and grandfathers yet to be born will hear them and take inspiration from them. We too hear what you say. Over the millennia the cycle continued and there was always a contingency plan. The times require innovation and imagination. This is not a time for plodding or rules or regulations. It is a time for swift action, deft movement and disobedient, respectful resistance. Now those who could not see your reason and your purpose see. You taught us these things. We cannot ignore the torturous pain and cost that every Aboriginal family endured. They must be acknowledged, reflected upon, felt, carried, held and sweated out like a fever. Like every great man and woman, like every leader who breaks through, you bore this pain and turned it around. Tough became gentle, bad became good, hopeless became hopeful, weak became strong, pain became feeling, death became life.

Like the discovery of open tuning on a guitar, the melody from Broome is something to savor and love. Behind the closed gate was a hot-house diaspora of knowledge and life that could not possibly be known by the starch white administrators and mainstream bosses. There are precious few places such majic evolves. New Orleans, Harlem, Paris, and in congregations of the dispossessed at odd times and odd places. Little did the stuffy, pith-helmeted veranda-dwelling tea-drinkers know that their fence created an academy of the highest learning, an academy of life and land, a place of romance and wildness, fun and creativity. The Anne St mob, the Guy St mob were living, learning, sharing, understanding, playing together, surviving, thriving, grieving, dreaming, hurting, growing and adapting. In the Native Hospital neighbourhood knowledge grew. In the pearling precincts respect and cooperation blossomed. When you kiss the dirt enough times you get up stronger, harder and with a passion that knows no bounds. None of the small children who grew up here could possibly know that their community was what Australia craved to be: a place of great learning unfettered by racial stupidity. None of these children could know that they would lead the world. In this hot house on Yawuru land the dreams of other nations were nurtured and kept alive and in so doing Yawuru and Kimberley-wide law was protected as well. For here in the frontlines, in the heart of the colonisers hq and out-post, were many camp fires, a sand dune, a sacred keeping place, a great academy of learning for all. When ceremony faltered it was protected here. It found new witnesses, apostles and advocates, peoples who were dispossessed and victimized from shores far across the seas. The purest law of the land survived. Words and books and writing mean nothing. You must work, live, taste, dance, breathe the land and here behind the closed gate all this precious living and communicating took place. Old men and women tutored not in classrooms but in a living oasis where the azure ocean meets the red sands, in the mangroves, on the ocean, in the desert, in the flood plains, in the crocodile patches, swamps and rivers. New merchants and traders lived with the greatest guardians of land and sea. Here so many grandsons were nurtured and you too, maja, emerged. It was here that grandfather evolved his brilliant philosophy: come all, share in the top soil, share our precious places, and we the custodians and keepers of the law below the top soil, we will preserve you and all of the precious gifts of life and earth through our ceremony, our knowledge, our songs, our law. But it was never going to be easy. Lord Vesty, Lord Mc Alpine, Lords of machinery, Lords of money, Lords of the South, each one more troublesome than the last would come. It would take a child of great strength and fortitude to resist and to never compromise on the fundamental, deep law. As one administrative solution rolled out into another even the great law men would become confused. Hold this piece of paper and you will have title to the land. Become like us and you will have rights and privileges. And so the great wild resistance and creative spirits fought back. So arose a young boy whose spirit was so pure and so hard nurtured in the streets of Broome, nurtured on the quests through deserts and along the coastal treks, nurtured by grandfather. You became the greatest man, the greatest of heros, a prince, a knight, a warrior in thongs on the Walmadany sands.

Sweet, loving, care can come as a roughness in a man. To those who dwell on the surface of things, the depths of the ocean are invisible. In your work trousers, with your sweat, your furrowed brow and your tousled hair you were so irregularly fitted to courts and yet you were the greatest counsel, advocate and fighter for justice. You made the learned men work for you because they knew they must. There had to be times like this, times of sacrifice and darkness for the truly ignorant to see. Drip, drip, drip they go. It is enough to drive you insane. You cannot do it this way. You must put your hands up and vote and have your say. You must prove your bloodlines on a piece of paper. You must participate in a great farce. To hell with that! They build tension in your veins and arteries. You just want to retreat into the dimension beyond time and space. It draws you there before your time. So many young ones are lost too early. But your quest above all else was to make this world a place to stay and dwell and to have joy. Your mission was for all of us - a never-ending job. You never retreated. You fought on until your nerve endings were frayed and worn, until your heart pumped for a whole land, a whole country, a whole people.

“These luggers sails are moving too slowly” sang the poet-philosopher-brothers. That moment of impatience to return to the town by the bay, that moment of incredulity as the desert women dived to the bottom of the sea as true and straight as a spear, that first meal of fish soup and rice and chili crab, that time when the land became home, in these times of adoption and mergence, knowledge evolved in the minds of the diaspora. Just as the Macassans and Garray had been adopted in the North East, so too Irish Nuns and Chinese, Malaysian and Japanese sons and daughters were admitted into the families and introduced to the ancient law and lands of the Bugarregarre. This was the genius of grandfather following the lead of Walmadany and the old men and women. It was the lived experience of you, grandson. Woe be to those who held up diagrams, family charts, lines and maps and talked of the purity of skin and blood. Woe be to the petty-minded legal bureaucrats, representatives of real estate agents, who evolved a doctrine of traditional ownership based on a barbaric concept of continuous physical occupation. The eugenic horror that stole children from families had its ongoing effects in the narrow imaginary of judges and legal advocates and native title law and state governments. How can families be counted, cut-out and corralled like cattle without regard to the fundamental law? This was the tyranny of the vote of hands of the chosen few. This was the terrible legacy of Milirripum v Nabalco still yet to be truly understood for its utter injustice and ignorance. Like fences on the landscape built with no knowledge or wisdom it was a nuisance and a torment. This was your fight grandson, and wha how you fought for the spirit and how you mobilized the world to come to understand. This was not something done through words. It was your very being grandson, your presence, your annoyance, your stress, your body and your face that expressed these things. You just had to appear. Thus the grief and depression and weeping of so many even beyond those immediate loved ones, your town, your childhood gang, your country. Your physical presence, your instincts guided by more than just the logic of European courts and politics, is an immeasurable loss. Personal grief wells and grows in a thousand hearts. Now a whole population, a whole movement support the enduring presence of your brothers, mother, wife and daughters and through them the unchanging law of the land. 

The Roe family spirit and strength grows wide, beyond the lands and the seas. Greedy merchants, Rudolf Diesel engine and Whittle- Ohain gas turbine driven capitalists and visitors slip past the law of the land. It is their loss whaterver gold they may possess. They miss the greatest gift. For a new philosophy open to all, tempered by grandfather, advocated by grandson, arises: respect the land and it will respect you. Come with
grace, gentility, respect, humility and quiet to the North West and you will understand what true wealth is. Having won a great battle this is the challenge that you leave us with. Lurrujarri is a model for all of us. It is not a place to cordon off, not a national park, it is a place of spirit, culture, education, knowledge, discipline, intelligence, ceremony, life and family. Learn here and go back home and practice what you have learned; not only in the North West, but across this great land and well beyond it shores. Here at Lurrujarri we may truly ponder the narrow-minded, plundering gallop of industrialization, the clumsy management of land and sea, the boring plain-same-ness of cities, buildings, hotel rooms and resorts, laws made with votes of hands not the collective beats of hearts and so many places without spirit or heart. Our eyes are opened to the beauty of this land, to museums more wonderous than any made by man, to monuments a thousand times older than the ancient pyramids, to the great draw of the moon and the greatest tidal movements on earth, to the primordial patterns of land and sea creatures – these are the greatest classrooms and learning chambers, more precious than any tangible product the human brain can imagine or realize. The challenge of those who have lost these things is to regain them, the challenge for those who still have them is to protect them at all costs. Thank you so much for this awareness grandson.

As we look across the world at this time, the warring tribes of Eastern Europe fight again, the tensions of East Asia and the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima are ominous, the great flows of people seeking refuge and peace, the creeping industrialization and worrying exploitation of the resources of the world – all these things - implore us to make things right in our own backyard. In 2014 the enduring will and testimony of you, Mr. Roe, maja, grandson is that we must recognize the Aboriginal ontology of land that is there like a shining light in every one of our communities. It can guide us and help us to live wisely and truly. It can help us to face up to the problems of the world. It shows us how we can live in this land with grace, light and dignity. There has been tragedy, injustice, exploitation and cruelty across all of the lands of this great southern continent. The sorrys and band- aids are not enough. There must be a determined effort to make things right as best as can be, not at a minimum, not in keeping with ignorance or what is politically possible, but as best as can be. Grandson you have been so humble and honest you implore us to make this effort. None of us mainstream Australians can know the torment of the wise Aboriginal men and women across the wide Kimberley and beyond. All faced the greatest tribulations, sadness, all faced pillage, disease, death and mercenary assault. All had to try to apply ancient concepts and ideas as miners, machines, towns, police, administrators and courts pressed. There were very few points of convergence. Our culture exploited the land and left little in return. The job of dealing with us new comers was, with few exceptions, thankless, hopeless and absurd. That is why your victory, grandson and grandfather, is so profound. This is why your heroic legacy can only grow and become stronger. It is like an unstoppable force blowing through time to finally touch us and make us understand. There is still much to think about and question. This is understandable. For this was a time of innovation and majic. For some who knew Ghandi and Mandela as mortal men, their achievements were impossible to comprehend. It is perhaps only from a far that your great achievement, grandson, can be appreciated. As well as a challenge, you leave us with an obligation. For it shouldn’t have been so hard. It should not have been so solitary. It should not have been so lonely. The ceremonial exchanges and points of contact have been so badly disrupted. In a wise country that did truly recognize the authority and knowledge of so-called “traditional owners”, great resources would be placed in the hands of the maja, to make things right. The term traditional owner betrays our own ignorance. Elders who master and learn the ceremonies and songs and live what they mean are truly men and women of high degree. They are spiritual leaders and guides, they are statesmen and women, they are the keepers of law and order, they are protectors of land and the purveyors of peace. It falls to all of us, who have made our livings and have settled our families and our children on these great lands, in the spirit of Wirnin, to make resources available to protect and revive the ancient rights of the people of the lands. If governments will not do it, then the responsibility falls to us as individuals and citizens. This is our responsibility, our debt which must be paid. We will know things have been made right when there are no more early deaths, no more stress to the bone and no more unnecessary suffering in the hearts of old men and women, no more ignorance about the laws and ceremonies which hold everything and everyone together. Without the ceremonies and the discipline of managing and learning about the land, without lives devoted to learning the song cycles, we are all lost and lose so much. In 2014 maja’s tribulations implore us to establish a national endowment across this country that allows learned traditional elders, men and women, to pass on their law, conduct ceremonies and to teach the young as a learned profession. Secret law, public law, outside law, inside law – whatever it may be within the 300 Indigenous communities in Australia – we all need to understand that its practice is as vital to our future as any learned or political practice that takes place in our parliaments, universities, schools or market places.

Sweet, loving, caring Mr. Roe you now return to the ancestors to guard over the sacred lands. The power of the place is enhanced now. You will protect us with a power beyond life. You have built an awareness that now extends across the Australian nation and the world about your sacred protectorate. You have built a great army of supporters that will never subside. The spirits and the feeling of place are so strong. This is your immeasurable gift.

Sweet, loving, caring, gentle Mr. Roe you hover over us watching this place. Wuyunungu swim and dance at Minuyarr, Ngunungurrukun. Wirrkinymiria, Nuwirrar, Kardilkan, Walmadany. They come to guide you on your journey ensuring a safe passage. It is a joyous and lovely journey. You have endured the greatest tribulations and triumphed. You have planted the legacy, as grandfather and the old people intended, in the hearts of all peoples of the world. You have ensured that the Goolarabooloo asnd Jabirr Jabirr people of the land will prosper and live well on their country. In so doing you have preserved the world for all. Mission impossible, at least in the eyes of the mainstream, has been achieved. You grandson give succour to all the peoples of Australia who have seemingly lost their land, languages and culture. They have not. The land awaits them and talks to those who want to hear. The law of the land cannot be replaced. Knowledge will flow again. It is waiting to give up its secrets. Even land which is raped and scoured and scraped into giant trains will never lose its law. It is etched in the steel and in the machines. In the humming streets of the giant mega-pols, where the sun does not shine, where the stars never appear, where there are no clouds and the sky is grey, the land still sings. It cries: wealth is the natural land, wealth is the sea, wealth is the sooty oyster catcher and the blue-bone, wealth is the great earthly flow of tides and currents. Do not take us on your kamikaze ride! Do not take us into your chemical soup! Do not try to tell us that working in a box all day is life! Do not make poison taste sweet! The industry, the wealth of the future will come from true wealth embodied in the law of the land. Let us build upon your vision. Let us cherish and protect your daughters, like the sacred sisters of the north east. With them let us build a new future for Broome in which the diaspora comes together around the law that never changes. So many now have come to your lands and been touched by its beauty. Their eyes have been opened not only to the land of the north-west but to their own homelands. Grandfather and grandson, you have opened the world’s eyes. The world will come to see the millennial wisdom of time and land on the coast of the sun. You will be there to oversee these things. You have built this movement of people across all cultures. It will never go away.

So let us come in great armies of good-will to the Lurrujarri trail. Let us come as a great army to meditate there and to celebrate the Goolarabooloo and Jabirr Jabirr. Let us be generous and forgive those who lost their way. Let us come with intentions of peace and good will. Let us close our eyes and contemplate the great ships that carry earth from one place to another. Let us meditate upon the temporal quality of miners and machines. Let us never allow traffic lights in Broome and truly understand what that means. Let us make Lurrujarri a symbol of peace and tranquility for the entire North West. They call it a wilderness but of course it’s a cultural mecca for the world. Let us get into our psyche the horror of those who would explode harbours and mountains as if they were toys. Let us overcome the narrowness of geologists and anthropologists and writers who would box everything into cartons for supermarket shelves. Let us think on the emptiness of schools and universities and training colleges against the classroom of land, culture, animals and sea. Let us do the infiltrating now. Let us seduce the engineers and chemists and architects. Let us teach them how much they don’t know. Let us learn about true wealth and power. Let us just walk along the shore line. Let the children play and explore. Let us make the pilgrimage to Lurrujarri - something that all parents revere, all children crave. Let us model Lurrujarri – a journey of learning that never ends. Let us renounce the motel and hotel rooms that all look the same and the holidays which leave us more weary than working. No parks, no gardens, just wild things living according to law. Let us use the stupidity, futility and arrogance of yet another cheap fuel, gas, to help us learn what is true and right in the new millennia. Let the custodians think well on these matters. Let us do what maja did. Let us do the impossible. Let us turn the tide.

Sweet, loving, caring Mr. Roe, maja, old, young man, there can be no greater triumph than yours. There can be no greater victory. Small tiny minds subside and give way to your majesty. You have eclipsed the fame of all those who were famous around you because of your simplicity, humility and passion. You have walked beyond the seeming wise men. You have taught those who would compromise, when to be true to their land and themselves. Return to mother earth to be devoured by the microbes and life forces. Merge with the spirit of the land. Guard us well and rest now! Your triumph is a universal triumph. It reverberates through time and space like a never ending comet. Songs will be written, stories will be told, you will fly on eternally.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ignore page count, just note number on the front

Ignore page count, just note number on the front




This is the official industry line: ''The natural gas industry was responsible for an estimated 100,000 Australian jobs last year.''

Never mind that total additional jobs in Australia last year was 173,537 (in other words, 58 per cent of all job creation must have been related to gas). And never mind that total employment in oil and gas was just 9372, they still managed to get to 100,000.

It's a round number, it's a good number, but it's just not big enough. Expand the methodology: make it Australasia, not just Australia. Make it part-time jobs, too. Introduce a measure of new jobs, say ''putative jobs'', which estimates the number of people who might have accepted a job had the pay and conditions been suitable to their tastes.

Mind you, they did give it a shot. Try this one from Santos last year: ''[CSG miners] secure the more than 15,000 industrial jobs which are dependent on gas supply as a feed-stock, and the future of 2.5 million people who are employed by those companies who use natural gas for power.''

Nice number. It seems Santos got there by including anybody who had a gas heater in the office. The figure was barely questioned, except for an Australia Institute paper that had the cheek to point out that the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics showed 91 per cent of gas consumed by businesses in Australia was consumed by miners and manufacturers. Data from the Bureau of Statistics moreover showed these sectors employed 300,000 workers in NSW.

So, of the 2.5 million jobs the gas industry claims to support, 2.2 million are employed in businesses that use gas for running the hot water taps in the bathroom.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/ignore-page-count-just-note-number-on-the-front-20140307-34cre.html#ixzz2vMRxQ5es


Friday, March 7, 2014

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia



Inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, 'green tape', and one stop shops                       On Thursday, 27 February 2014 the Minister for the Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, asked the Committee to inquire into and report on streamlining environmental regulation, 'green tape', and one stop shops.

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday, 11 April 2014. Please refer to our brochure called preparing a submission for more information.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Buru Energy Fracturing Plans Put On Hold


The fossil fuel company Buru Energy that wants to frack the Kimberley is saying the project is now in limbo because of the appeals against the EPA decision not to assess it. Have a look at the story from GWN here:

A controversial plan to mine gas in the Kimberley has hit a road block.
Conservationists and local residents are lobbying for an environmental assessment of the project.
Buru energy had hoped the hydraulic fracturing of gas reserves would begin in just eight weeks.
Now, everything is on hold.

See video: http://au.gwn7.yahoo.com/w1/news/a/-/local/21838234/fracking-on-hold-video/

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Call for caution amid fracking uncertainty | Herald Sun

Call for caution amid fracking uncertainty | Herald Sun



AUSTRALIA should view the relatively new practice of fracking for gas with as much caution as the introduction of a new drug, says an essay in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.
"The uncertainty over the health implications is greater than that surrounding any other energy choice, write Dr Alicia Coram and her colleagues.
"The absence of concrete evidence of harm does not equate to evidence of its absence."
They say the current evidence does not provide a clear picture, which is a good reason to put the brakes on.
They say the biggest public concerns include contamination of drinking and irrigation water.
However, wastewater and community disruption are also major issues.
"Natural contaminants present in wastewater can include heavy metals and radioactive materials, which have serious and well known health effects."
Fracking involves injecting large quantities of water and chemicals into gas reservoirs. Materials like sand are pumped in to keep the fractures open and allow the gas to flow.
The authors argue that it is incorrect to compare the process with the environmental impact of coal, because the damage caused by coal makes it a poor benchmark.
The comparison also obscures renewable energy options like solar and wind energy.
The uncertainties, including doubts about the greenhouse profile, weigh heavily against proceeding with proposed future developments, they write.
"Additionally, the burden of potential health hazards from gas extraction would fall on the most vulnerable children, the elderly, the poor, those living in rural, agricultural and indigenous communities, and future generations."

Fracking plans fuel fight over environmental impact - 04/03/2014

Fracking plans fuel fight over environmental impact - 04/03/2014



SARAH FERGUSON, PRESENTER: It's the energy source that's fired up the ailing American economy. Now the shale gas bonanza has come to Australia.

In Western Australia there's potentially enough shale gas to power the state for centuries. But, just like the shift to coal seam gas in the eastern states, it's fuelling deep anxiety about the possible environmental impacts.

Sue Lannin travelled to the remote Kimberley region where traditional land owners are gearing up for a fight.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Watch Dateline, Fracked off Online | theage.tv

Watch Dateline, Fracked off Online | theage.tv



As Australia considers a natural gas future, what has been the experience in the US? Claims of health risks and depression, polluted rivers and contaminated water supplies, allegations of political intrigue and big business interference has led thousands onto the streets in protest. Dateline investigates the controversial coal seam gas mining known as Fracking.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

James Price Point Aboriginal cultural leader passes away - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

James Price Point Aboriginal cultural leader passes away - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sunrise in Broome this morning. Damian Kelly Image
He was best known as the face of Aboriginal opposition to gas processing at James Price Point north of Broome, and for being a grandson of celebrated Broome cultural leader, Paddy Roe.

Tributes have flowed today for the man from the Australian Greens with Senator Rachel Siewert expressing deep sadness at the man's passing.

"His courage in fighting the James Price Point Gas hub proposal was inspiring and his leadership was a key to the success of the campaign," she said today.
"His work will long be remembered and respected across Australia. It is a great shame to lose a leader at such an early age. He will be greatly missed."
"I offer sincere condolences to his family, friends and community."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rookie coal miner threatens Kimberley’s iconic waterways



·         Project EIS released today for 8 weeks public comment

·         Coal mine proposal threatens Fitzroy River and King Sound National Heritage Sites

·         Monster road trains would create transport nightmares on highway

·         Australia’s most spectacular region too precious to risk on coal mines

Rookie miner Rey Resources’ proposed coal mine and port threatens to damage two of the Kimberley’s most important National Heritage sites, the Fitzroy River (Mardoowarra) and King Sound (Moorrool Moorrool).

Rey proposes to build a coal mine near the mighty Fitzroy River and a coal export facility in the stunning King Sound near Derby.

Carrying the coal from the proposed mine to port would be a road transport nightmare, with 50-80 monster road trains every day trying to navigate a 175km stretch of the flood-prone Great Northern Highway, a popular tourist route and the lifeline for local communities in the Fitzroy valley.

The heavy monsoon rains of the Kimberley make the proposed mine a potential disaster, with a high risk of toxic heavy metals and acid mine drainage leaching into the groundwater and the unspoiled Fitzroy River.

Coal mines have been banned in some parts of Western Australia, such as Margaret River, because of risks to groundwater. The Environment Protection Authority should do likewise with this proposal.

As with Margaret River, coal mining would be a lasting blight on the Kimberley’s international status as a unique and extraordinary destination.

Transport of coal, dust management and the release of heavy metals and coal dust all pose a significant threat to remote communities, the residents of Derby and visitors to the region.

Northern Australia’s healthy rivers are critical for wildlife to survive in the harsh and often extreme climate. The “Mighty Fitzroy” River is the lifeblood of the Kimberley, sustaining one of the most diverse and intact areas left on the planet.


The River and King Sound are home to threatened species including 18 species of native fish found nowhere else, 15 species of mangroves, rare snubfin dolphins, the critically endangered sawfish, freshwater whipray and the threatened purple-crowned fairy wren.

The river flows over 600km through striking boab country with lush seasonal wetlands which link billabongs and freshwater springs and through stunning gorges.

The Fitzroy River, or Mardoowarra (meaning ‘living river’ in Nyikina language), plays a pivotal role in the culture of the Kimberley’s Indigenous people.


For further comment contact:
Wilderness Society Western Australia Campaign Manager Peter Robertson on 0409 089 020


For more information, contact Wilderness Society media adviser Alex Tibbitts on 0416 420 168

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ungani fears hit Buru hard - The West Australian

Ungani fears hit Buru hard - The West Australian


Within the last year alone, there has been a 20% increase in BHP Billiton’s
Western Australian iron ore exports. In spite of this enormous growth,
the company only paid US$29m in minerals resource rent tax (MRRT).
As it stands, the tax is in no way making BHP uncompetitive – its bumper
profits are a testament to that.



While mining companies such as BHP Billiton
are making a motza, we need to be reminded that 83%
of Australian mining operations are foreign owned
. The net income
balance – the difference between the profits of Australian investing
overseas, and profits made by foreign companies in Australia – has
suffered as a result of mining companies extracting greater amounts of
Australian mineral wealth for foreign owners.

From 2003 to 2011, the net income balance
reduced from minus
2% to - 6% of Australian GDP
. In other words, Australia is being held at gun point by day light robbers.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pillaging The Pilliga | The Global Mail

Pillaging The Pilliga | The Global Mail

previous



For the past four years, Pickard has scouted the forest, a ladder tucked under one arm, and a camera slung over the other. He’s captured images of a turtle, a goanna, and a dozen frogs, all floating dead in the cloudy ponds or wells that litter this coal seam gas (CSG) drilling site.



All this in a "Noah's Ark" for declining bird and mammal specials, as an ecological study released this week called the Pilliga forest.
In recent months, the state government has taken concrete steps to help CSG drilling expand. On September 11, NSW lifted its moratorium on fracking, a controversial method of extracting coal seam gas. The state has granted several new exploration licences and it has renewed others — including the licence that was granted over the Pilliga. And in early October, the NSW Resources and Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, told a coal seam gas industry conference that he wanted to ramp up CSG production in NSW.

Batgirl shuts down Boggabri coal mine | Mining Australia

Batgirl shuts down Boggabri coal mine | Mining Australia





According to environmentalist group Front Line Action on Coal, activists dressed as bats scaled the coal loader early this morning and unfurled a banner that read ‘Save the Leard’.
The mine has been shut as a result of the action with police forced to remove the protesters after they refused to descend from the loader after more than nine hours.
The activists say they are protesting against Idemitsu’s expansion plans which they claim will lead to the “destruction of the Leard State Forest”.
“Globally, there is only 0.01% of critically endangered box-gum woodland left in good condition, of which the Leard State Forest contains the largest remnant," it said.
"It is time for JBIC and ANZ to stop funding coal projects. It is not worth investing in, especially considering the swell of resistance from local and broader communities.”

'Unjust' mining laws slammed by former judges

'Unjust' mining laws slammed by former "It's time to stand up and be counted," said former Family Court judge Ian Coleman, SC, of his decision to represent landowners without payment as they struggle to deal with "bullish" coal mining companies.

'I just saw more and more of what I thought was an unjust system': former Family Court judge Ian Coleman.
'I just saw more and more of what I thought was an unjust system': former Family Court judge Ian Coleman.
"I just saw more and more of what I thought was an unjust system, and I wanted to help," he said.
"The existing process is such that if you had a dispute with your next-door neighbour over a barking puppy you would have access to a more legal assessment of the issues than some [access matters] being heard at the moment, and some of these are extremely complicated legal matters."
Legislation was inadequate to deal with the reality of a coalmining industry backed by multinational companies, in an era of "super mines", and with governments relying on coal royalties.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/unjust-mining-laws-slammed-by-former-judges-20140219-32zi0.html#ixzz2tqfV7nPZ

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inquiry told fracking wells could be drilled through drinking water aquifers - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Inquiry told fracking wells could be drilled through drinking water aquifers - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)



A WA parliamentary inquiry has been told that wells for fracking to release natural gas could be drilled through public drinking water aquifers.

Roebuck Plains Wet Season image Kimberley Media


The Department of Mines and Petroleum's Jeff Haworth told the inquiry he would prefer energy companies to drill away from public water sources. However, he said drilling may be approved by the regulator, the DMP, if companies met safety requirements on well design.

The department says it believes there has been no drilling for oil and gas in a public drinking water area although there has been drilling in water catchment areas like the Swan River and Whicher Range in south-west WA.The Water Department can advise against fracking below public water supplies but it has no veto over the practice.The Health Department says it is concerned about the impact of shale gas fracking on the environment and public health. Chief health officer Tarun Weeramanthri told the parliamentary inquiry he was worried about the possible contamination of water supplies from chemicals used in fracking and air pollution.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lateline - 29/07/2013: Climate change could cost 60 trillion dollars

Lateline - 29/07/2013: Climate change could cost 60 trillion dollars



New research published in the journal 'Nature' warns that the release of huge reserves of methane from permafrost could increase the mean global temperature by more than two degress which could wipe 60-trillion dollars off the global economy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fire in the hole: After fracking comes coal - environment - 13 February 2014 - New Scientist

Fire in the hole: After fracking comes coal - environment - 13 February 2014 - New Scientist

(Image: Simon Pemberton)



Setting fire to coal underground could answer our energy prayers, or start an environmental disaster on a bigger scale than ever before
IF YOU thought shale gas was a nightmare, you ain't seen nothing yet. A subterranean world of previously ignored reserves is about to be opened up. These are the vast coal deposits that have proved unreachable by conventional mining, along with gas deposits around them. To the horror of anyone concerned about climate change, modern miners want to set fire to these deep coal seams and capture the gases this creates for industry and power generation. Some say this will provide energy security for generations to come. Others warn that it is a whole new way to fry the planet.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Indigenous workers on Inpex project given falsified certificates, say trainees | World news | theguardian.com

Indigenous workers on Inpex project given falsified certificates, say trainees | World news | theguardian.com



One trainee told Guardian Australia, at the beginning of the full-time course she and her colleagues were informed they would not be paid, despite believing other Rockstar programs around the nation gave trainees an allowance. Instead, they were guaranteed employment on the Inpex construction site, she said.
Mick Huddy from the Northern Territory CFMEU told Guardian Australia the union was led to believe funding of up to $5,000 per person was made available for the six weeks.
“But the trainees saw none of that,” he said. “There was no food bought for them for their smoko or lunch breaks, nothing to compensate for their time, they were there for six weeks full time.”