Category Archives: Coal and CSG Mining

Frackman: What CSG mining does for Australians

UPDATE: The movie Frackman is being screened in GOULBURN 29th May, 6-30 pm at the Soldiers Club, tickets must be bought in advance through

Dayne Pratzky was chasing the great Australian dream when he upped sticks from the city and moved to Tara in south east Queensland. He bought a bush block to build a house and make a home.

One day a gas company man drove down Dayne’s driveway, “He told me we’re gunna sink a well down the back of your place and if you don’t like it, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Dayne shares his story in a gripping new film that has been five years in the making: Frackman. It’s the real life story of what happened when coal seam gas came to Australia. In Frackman we share Dayne’s trials and triumphs, as he and his neighbours work together to fight back against coal seam gas.
It’s the must-see cinema event of the year and the film that Bob Brown says no Australian should miss.

Click for cinema bookings, other viewing options, and more information

Local (more or less) cinemas coming up:

Wed. Mar 18, 6:30 PM – CAMDEN Civic Centre
Thur. Mar 19, 7:00 PM – CAMPBELLTOWN Event Cinemas
Sat. Mar 21, 7:00 PM – KANGAROO VALLEY Upper Kangaroo River Community Hall – SOLD OUT
Sun. Mar 22, 4:00 PM – WARRAWONG Gala Cinema
Wed. Mar 25, 7:00 PM – NEWTOWN Dendy Newtown

Click for cinema bookings, other viewing options, and more information

Coal: your day is done

Flier based on SHCAG for rally, 7 Mar 2015
The direct impact of coal mining on water resources is bad enough, but it’s not the only reason to turn up for tomorrow’s rally.

97% of practising climate scientists agree that burning coal is changing the climate to something civilised humans have never known. That’s another reason.

Need another one? Coal harms the health of people who live and work in the Hunter Valley at a money cost of around $600 million a year.

Long story short: King Coal’s day is done. People and the planet can no longer afford coal.

Whatever your reason, tomorrow come along and rally against coal mining in the Highlands. See you there!!

Some questions for Premier O’Farrell

Southern Highlands Coal Action Group has some very good questions for NSW Premier Barry O”Farrell.

Maybe you could also explain to the people of the Southern Highlands why it is acceptable for a foreign company to slowly buy up our land by stealth using front companies and retired real estate agents. The latest being a property behind the Berrima Cement Works adjacent to the railway line, very handy for coal loading.

While you’re at it, you could tell the whole Wingecarribee Shire why POSCO may be planning to send their produced water from the mine to Goulburn via the Wingecarribee pipeline. Remember Premier, the one that was built to drought proof Goulburn. And yes, POSCO have approached the Goulburn Council to discuss this idea.

Oh and while we are talking about water, maybe you should have a look at our newly completed water study, the one that clearly demonstrates approximately 200 square kilometres of the Southern Highlands will lose all of its vital underground water supply because of POSCO’s long-wall mining if they get approval. This is because the coal seam sits right under the aquifer and acts like a plug in a bath!

Maybe you could also reassure the 8,200 residents of Berrima, Bowral and Mittagong that rely on the Medway Reservoir, that it is okay to put a polluting coal mine in the same vicinity as the rivers and creeks that feed the dam and risk permanent damage of the waterways through subsidence. All this in the Sydney Water Catchment.

Read the entire letter to Premier O’Farrell (PDF)

SHCAG is fund raising to cover legal costs for the battle against POSCO. The first event is a Jazz Picnic at Montrose Berry Farm, Ormond St, Sutton Forest next Sunday September 22nd. Gates open at 12 noon and the event finishes at 4pm. On site parking is available.

Tickets $25 at the gate include afternoon tea (BYO picnic).

There’s also an auction on the day, with items including a prize Angus Bull, king size beds from 40 Winks, a Christmas turkey cooked and stuffed for you on Christmas morning by chef Alain Brousse, theatre tickets or farm stay accommodation to name a few.

For all inquiries please contact Ross Parker on 0418918153 or Kim Martin on 0412443142.

More information about the behaviour of POSCO and Hume Coal at the SHCAG website

This Thursday 6pm: Coal Seam Gas expert Peter Stone

Gas wells and access roads on agricultural land

Low impact? Coal seam gas mining in Queensland

For weeks the media have been full of the demonstrated risks of mining coal seam gas: broken rivers, poisoned water, disrupted farm management, damaged city water, and all the time escaping methane. What benefits could outweigh such risks? Why do some people still think coal seam gas is a good idea?

This Thursday put those and other questions to industry expert Dr Peter Stone. Dr Stone is Deputy Director of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship and Director of the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA). GISERA’s current research projects are about “the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the natural gas industry”.

bigfootrunner6-9pm TODAY, Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral Country Club Golf Course, Boronia Street, Bowral
Cost $15 ($5 students and CANWin members). Includes supper.
More info. See you there!

Thanks to our sponsor

I love a sunburnt… ?

In the last few years Australia has shown off her “droughts and flooding rains” in a very big way. Some people say this is normal, and point to Dorothea Mackellar’s famous “I love a sunburnt country” as proof. But specialists from many fields have now gathered enough evidence to be sure that this is not the normal that Dorothea Mackellar knew. Along with the rest of the world, Australia is starting to shift to a new normal, where the average climate is hotter than the world has known since civilisation began.

The reason is people burning fossil fuels. The fossil fuels that can do the greatest damage are coal and coal seam gas.

Photo of Kurrumbede homestead taken about 1917

Dorothea Mackellar’s home on the sweeping plains of Kurrumbede, proposed site of an open cut coal mine

So it’s beyond ironic that Whitehaven Coal wants to put an open cut coal mine on “Kurrumbede”, the home of Dorothea Mackellar. Just imagine it:

I love a sunburnt coalmine,
A land of toxic dams,
Of cracked creek beds and rivers
Of coal dust and methane.

How can this be happening? What are you doing to stop it?

(You can find the full text of the poem at

Water supplies at risk

Some days you wonder if decision makers in government and industry need a livable climate or clean water the way ordinary people do. If they drink, eat and wash, why do they persist in putting water supplies at risk?

Rivers SOS LogoCoal and coal seam gas (CSG) mining threaten both the global climate and our local water supply, but they’re not the only threats.

CANWin’s focus is on climate, but we’re people who do drink, eat and wash, and we know that good water is critical to a good life. So we’re publishing this edited media release from Rivers SOS. It tells an interesting and troubling story.

Media Release, Rivers SOS, 16 September 2012

How our Water Supplies are being Sold Down the Drain

We concur with protests made by various groups about the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy and the Aquifer Interference Policy released last Tuesday by the O’Farrell government.

Some examples:
The NSW Irrigators’ Council is “profoundly disappointed.”

The Total Environment Centre says that “environmental protection has been reduced to lip service.”

And the CEO of CSG developer Metgasco says that this “sends a clear message that the NSW government is 100% behind the industry.” Indeed.

Despite pre-election promises, no part of NSW is protected from the extractive industries – not prime agricultural land, not tourist sites, not vineyards or horse studs, not river systems, drinking water catchments, aquifers, lakes or wetlands. The promised “ring-fencing” of valuable areas didn’t happen.

Rivers SOS is concerned with the protection of NSW’s water resources, and we object to the fact that the Aquifer Interference Policy does not lay down legally binding regulations. Huge volumes of groundwater to be sucked from aquifers during CSG extraction will just be “licensed and accounted for” not disallowed.

Prof. Craig SimmonsProfessor Craig Simmons, Australia’s representative on UNESCO’s groundwater governance programme, observes that “humanity is extracting groundwater much faster than it is naturally replaced”. The rate of extraction has doubled since 1960. “Most countries and local regions are now extracting water unsustainably” (The Land, 9.1.12). Under this new regime it is set to escalate in NSW.

The NSW Office of Water will “assess” the potential impact of proposals that will impact aquifers. “Expert advice” can be obtained from a Commonwealth Independent Scientific Committee. “Independent” Planning Assessment Commission panels of “experts” will consider placing conditions on a “Gateway certificate” for sensitive applications.

Or not.
Continue reading

Fracking on TV

Tuesday 28 February, 8pm on ABC1, Foreign Correspondent reports on fracking for gas in the USA.

As the fracking question gathers momentum locally – are we glimpsing an Australian future?

Rally: Our Water, Our Land, Our Future

Saturday, 19 Nov 2011, 11.00am

Corbett Gardens, Bowral
(Wet weather venue, Bowral Memorial Hall)

Learn why we must say NO to coal and gas mining in the Southern Highlands and other special parts of Australia.

Speakers include radio host Alan Jones, Senator Bill Heffernan, Drew Hutton of Lock the Gate

For more information see Shoo Cockatoo