Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Greens call for immediate freeze on CSG mining - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Greens call for immediate freeze on CSG mining - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


  1. CSG company suspends NSW operations

    Coal seam gas company Dart Energy has announced it is suspending all field operations in New South Wales and slashing 70 per cent of its workforce in response to tighter controls on the industry.

    The announcement comes on the heels of new federal environmental laws covering CSG projects, and stricter regulations on the industry in NSW, including a ban on drilling near homes.

    Dart says it is putting its projects in New South Wales on hold until a new policy approach is adopted in Australia.

    Company chairman Nick Davies said in a statement that Dart's board is extremely disappointed with the uncertainty created by the state and federal government decisions.

    He says the consequences are that investment's leaving the country and Australian jobs are being lost.

    The company is now focusing on projects in the UK, which it says is actively seeking to support the industry.

    Earlier another CSG exploration company said it would review its coal seam gas projects.

    Planet Gas has used its annual report to criticise additional regulations which include buffer zones around certain residential areas.


    'Emotive' rhetoric on the reef threatens development: business

    PORT operators and miners have lashed the "uninformed rhetoric" around the development of coal and gas export infrastructure on the Great Barrier Reef, saying a regulatory crackdown on the iconic marine environment could damage the national economy.

    As some of Australia's wealthiest environmental philanthropists gear up to bankroll a campaign against coal and liquefied natural gas developments around the reef, the resources industry has warned a federal government-commissioned review against "populist or emotive" reactions to pressure from special interest groups. The Australian can reveal that the Queensland Resources Council - whose members include the nation's biggest coal producers, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and Rio Tinto Coal - has told the review that it strongly opposes changes to the conditions on existing projects or new policies that could apply retrospectively "as this creates enormous project risk and uncertainty".

    "Additional regulation may risk impacting the economic development of the Queensland and Australian economies and provide little in the way of additional environmental benefit," he said.

    The review was commissioned by Environment Minister Tony Burke to look specifically at the environmental management arrangements and governance of the Port of Gladstone, which is the main bulk commodity port for Queensland and a future LNG hub, but is also rolling out a massive expansion that is considered the most environmentally contentious project in the nation.

    The Gladstone port expansion has been dogged by controversy since a widespread fish disease was discovered in the harbour in 2011; a state government-funded report blamed flooding, but a report commissioned by commercial fishermen blamed dredging.


    The World Heritage committee is considering whether the reef will go on its "in danger" list, prompting a joint strategic assessment of the reef by the federal and Queensland governments that will determine where development can occur, what types will be allowed - or restricted - and under what conditions.

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