NSW Strategic Land Use - letter from Caroona

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NSW Strategic Land Use - letter from Caroona

Postby HVPA_research » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:26 pm

Carmel Flint from the Northern Inland Council has sent this to me. As she has very clearly spelt out the shortcomings of the Strategic Land Use Policy I am forwarding this on to you nearly in its original form - with a few comments in italics of mine. Please rally!


Last week the NSW Government released a draft Land Use Plan for the New England-North West which will decide the future of mining in the region.

The Plan is a flawed document that will not protect our most important assets from coal and gas mining. It won't protect water resources, communities, farming land or iconic natural assets.

It will allow coal and gas mining to roll over our landscapes and change our region forever, transforming our rural areas into giant industrial zones. It risks our health, our happiness and our future.

We are now at a crucial juncture where the very fabric of our region hangs in the balance. We have this one moment to make it abundantly clear that we will not stand by and watch our homes and livelihoods sacrificed to giant corporations. We have this one moment to send the strongest message imaginable to the NSW Government.

So, please join us for TWO BIG DAYS OF PEACEFUL PROTEST against the land use plan. If there is one thing you do this year for the GREATER GOOD AND THE FUTURE, than make it this.

19th March - A BIG PICNIC PROTEST outside the Boggabri Coal Mine in Leard State Forest.
Join the Maules Creek Community Council, the Northern Inland Council for the Environment and Lock The Gate Alliance. Three big open-cut mines and expansions in this region will clear this amazing forest and dump 18,000t per year of dust on adjoining farms, risking the health and livelihoods of local residents. Come and share scones and stories. Meet at Maules Ck Community Hall at 9.00am. Contact Phil Laird on 0428 712622 or Carmel Flint on 0400 521474 for more information.

20th March - GATHER EN MASSE IN GUNNEDAH and then PACK OUT the public forum on the Plan.
Join all the groups fighting coal and gas in the New England North West to gather en masse in a peaceful protest and then pack out the public forum on the Land Use Plan. Meet outside the Gunnedah Town Hall at 11.00am to tell the NSW Government in no uncertain terms that we don't want their Big Coal and Gas Plan. Bring your placards, banners and signs. This is the only public forum that will be held, so this is our big chance to make our voices heard. The Forum runs from 12.00-2.00pm.

Please make an effort to get to these events. IT MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO THIS YEAR. Get together with friends and family and bring a car load or two.

You may also want to consider organising vigils outside the so-called 'information sessions' being held on the Land Use Plan in the region. The dates for these are:

21st March 2012 - Moree Library 4-7pm
22nd March 2012 - Narrabri Council Chambers 4-7pm
28th March 2012 - Tamworth Library 4-7pm
29th March 2012 - Armidale Library 4-7pm

Hope to see you there.


Key Failings of the New England - North West Land Use Plan

The Plan identifies Strategic Agricultural Land but doesn't protect it, instead providing a 'gateway process' which can be used to approve mining
The gateway process doesn't apply before or during exploration, leaving areas completely unprotected until very late in the process. We know from the Kahlua experience that "exploration" can include pilot wells, extraction of methane and large amounts of water. We also know that Pilot Production has always resulted in gasfields, devaluation of our properties, a lowering of our living standards etc etc.
The Plan provides a clause for the NSW Cabinet to over-ride the gateway process in 'exceptional circumstances' - perhaps a big company knocking on the state governments door!
The gateway process will not apply to mines that have already had development applications submitted, which includes most of the contentious mines in the region such as Shenhua Watermark.
The Plan only includes limited areas within the definition of 'Strategic Agricultural Land' leaving around 90% of farm land that does not trigger the 'gateway'. Places left out include extensive areas around Narrabri and Wee Waa.
The Plan maps the highest conservation lands, including the Pilliga and Leard State Forests, but leaves them open for unfettered mining which does not even trigger the 'gateway'.
The Plan does nothing to protect communities or empower them to reject mining proposals which they do not support, and does not include any social impact assessment.
The Plan fails to protect the health of communities from dangerous coal dust, setting dust limits only at Narrabri and Gunnedah and abandoning smaller communities at risk - to say nothing of emissions from wells, compressor stations, pipelines etc where there has been no or very little research.
Mining and gas developments are basically made exempt from the Aquifer Interference Regulation which is supposed to better protect water resources but seems to leave the door open for injection of toxic salts and contaminated water.

And here are some comments and reactions re the Strategic Land Use Policy.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/fracking--time-for-a-rethink-20120307-1ukiy.htmlSMH Editorial re the strategic Land Use Policy.(SLUP).

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-09/discussion-over-draft-csg-plan/3880990 Clinton Dempster with Brad Hazzard and Jeremy Buckingham re SLUP - best question of the interview is "Where do the Nationals stand on this?" from Dempster!

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/drill-rules-may-be-too-porous-20120309-1upms.html Ben Cubby on SLUP.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/ohio-fracking-earthquakes-cause-determined_n_1334808.html?ref=green&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008Santos plans to use injection to get rid of wastewater - the briney solution after treatment - by injecting into deep geological formations. The Hunter-Mooki Fault line - still an active fault which Newcastle sits upon runs through the eastern side of the Liverpool Plains. They also plan to put treated water into shallow aquifers for reuse. There are clearly dangers associated with this activity if the experience in Ohio is an example of it. There are significant increases in seismic activity resulting in this process being banned in Ohio.

KInd Regards

Old news but still interesting!

Local communities should question alleged benefits of Santos NSW CSG projects

February 14, 2012 David Richardson

The alleged benefits to NSW communities from Santos’ plans to develop coal seam gas (CSG) reserves in the north west of the state should be questioned in the light of inconsistencies and flaws in the economic modelling used to support the project, according to The Australia Institute.

Santos recently commissioned the Allen Consulting Group to examine the economic impacts of developing coal seam gas operations in North West NSW.

Far from delivering ‘once-in-a-generation economic opportunities’ as claimed by Santos, an Australia Institute analysis of this modelling reveals that the benefits to the local economy will be quite small, in the order of 30 new gas jobs, and that the environmental costs have been ignored.


http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=11587 And Alan Jones is onto it!

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