FoE

Ban Underground Coal Gasification

Ban_Underground_Coal_Gasification_-_Slider.jpg

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is an undeveloped, high risk mining technique involving the combustion of coal seams underground.

It has already caused pollution disasters in Australia and overseas.  In South West Queenland, Linc Energy polluted 175 square kilometres of prime agricultural land with dangerous chemicals and gasses, causing the death of livestock and damaging farmland for the foreseeable future.

The Queensland government recently responded to this disaster by banning Underground Coal Gasification.

However, this technology is not banned in other states or territories. There are currently plans to fuel a power station in the South Australian outback town of Leigh Creek through “in-situ gasification” (UCG).

It’s time to build on the momentum of this Queensland ban by instating a national ban on this dangerous practice.

We cannot let agricultural land, ground water and natural environments become the collateral damage of these high risk mining experiments, especially when we have safe, renewable energy options available.

There is no room for this dangerous, high emissions technology in a forward thinking country.

For background information on UCG, please check here.

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, JOSH FRYDENBERG, HAS THE POWER TO ACT TO BAN THIS DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY
Email Josh Frydenberg NOW!

 … Read more >>

Where do the parties stand on the top ten environmental issues for South Australia?

33 environmental and community organisations scored parties on 36 key environmental issues.

The full response, with details on questions at  https://www.ourfuturesa.org.au

A summary of the “top ten” issues at star_ratings_for_top_10_issues (Out of 50: Liberal 18.5, Labor 21.5, Greens 50, SABest 38.5)

The ACF

The ACF have been handing out their leaflet comparing the parties on pollution, clean energy and protecting nature

 

They note:

  • The Greens are leading the way in South Australia, with five stars for policies on cutting climate pollution, ramping up clean energy and respecting and protecting nature.
  • SA Best made some good commitments on banning oil exploration in the Bight and fracking in the South East, but only back a 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2025, which SA has almost already reached.
  • We found Labor scored well on policies to make SA a global leader on clean energy (a 75% Renewable Energy Target by 2025!), but has a blind spot on banning oil and gas.
  • The Liberal Party scored lowest with 1.5 stars – they’re weak over radioactive waste dumping in SA and want to scrap the Renewable Energy Target.

 

 

 

Solar Citizens

Solar citizens have provided a detailed report on where the parties stand in renewables, and how they respond to issues raised in the Solar Citizens’ Repowering South Australia report. See https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/south_australian_election_guide

Solar Citizens’ Solar Scorecard

See separate entry on the nuclear waste dump issue.

 … Read more >>

Southpaw Backhander

The return of the Liberal Party government in Tasmania with a bare, reduced majority was not an unalloyed catastrophe for the progressive forces in the island State. Labor was returned with an increased minority on an issue of principle, pokies reform. This confirms the strong leadership of Rebecca White, who is arguably well poised to regain government at the next election, circumstances permitting; the Green vote was alarmingly static, not to say worse. There is the consolation that losing with a sound policy at least leaves a legacy to build on. But it is nonetheless a setback for progressive forces in Tasmania and nationally. It once again shows that excessive tension between Labor and the Greens only benefits the Tories, in keeping with the maxim that disunity is death. It is unhealthy that the Hodgeman dynasty administration has been returned to office, with its plans to log wilderness extensively and restrict the democratic right to protest to appease capital. Despite Hodgeman’s denials that the election was bought, there is no doubt that the massive advertising campaign by the gambling lobby, led by the Federal Group which owns the island’s two casinos, was a powerful factor.

Labor and the Greens can now only govern together. Labor’s primary vote has fallen to historic lows, while Bob Brown’s ambitions to `replace the bastards’ are illusory. Labor and the Greens are as doomed to serve the public together as the Liberals and Nationals are condemned to loot the public purse on behalf of vested interests as Coalition partners in crime. As a Tasmanian expat I have been arguing this case like Cassandra since my teenage years in Tasmania during the rise of the Greens in the 1970s. These basic political principles have national implications. As the 2018 Tasmanian General Election shows, they are ignored at the peril of the interested parties and the public, not to mention the environment.… Read more >>

Memorial/Adelaide Festival

Review by David Faber

Helen Morse

Memorial/Adelaide Festival 

Starring Helen Morse

By Alice Oswald

Direction by Chris Drummond

Director Chris Drummond has dramatically realized upon the stage poet Alice Oswald’s compelling elegy to the fallen of the Iliad. The author has succeeded in interpreting the atmosphere of the epic, by stripping it of narrative detail.

The narrator, her words echoed by a numerous chorus and small orchestra, recounts the humanity of the dead warriors, the horror of their injuries and the grief of their loved ones in a dirge of mourning for the human cost of war, never sufficiently accounted for in the millennia of slaughter which continue to traumatize the human race. It is fitting that the production has been brought to Adelaide in this year which sees the centenary of the final year of the Great War, in which so many Australians amongst others were sacrificed.

The problem of war and peace is an environmental issue, as was demonstrated in the wake of the shock and awe visited by Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, when catastrophic pollution was unleashed during the destruction inflicted upon the invaded country being `liberated’. Moreover while the calculus of conflict preoccupies policy makers, the environmental crisis facing us is unlikely to receive due attention. This well received play helps move us nearer to a proper appreciation of the preciousness of life, a perspective which represents our last best hope.
David FaberRead more >>

Repower SA: aim for 100% renewables by 2025

Solar Citizens worked with Nicky Ison from the Community Power Agency on a new blueprint called Repowering South Australia, which not only shows how South Australia can get to 100% renewables by 2025, but also how we can ensure nobody is left behind along the way.

To get there, Repowering South Australia recommends:

  1. Making South Australia a renewable energy superpower by setting a 100% renewable energy target by 2025 and making a plan to export a further 50% outside of the state through technologies such as hydrogen.
  2. Supporting low-income households by establishing a publicly-owned non-profit retailer to secure cheap, renewable power.
  3. Boosting local manufacturing by establishing renewable energy industry precincts in locations where renewable energy hotspots meet energy-intensive industry.
  4. Working with Aboriginal communities to design a well-funded Indigenous Communities Clean Power Program.
  5. Giving communities back power by establishing regional community energy hubs that increase community benefit from renewable projects.

— Dan Spencer outlines the reccomendations here on reneweconomy.com.au

The Repower SA campaign launch is at The Joinery, February 14 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm. RSVP here

Read more >>