Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bentley bockade

▶ Anzac Day at Bentley Blockade 2014 - YouTube

The protectors at Bentley Blockade held a wonderful service to commemorate Anzac Day and highlighted the real values that Australians hold dear and are prepared to fight for. 

If care for your land, water and future, do share widely and GET THEE TO BENTLEY

Produced by GasfieldFree Northern Rivers


  1. What a mess - the answer?
    "Wind back renewables"

    Gas boom risks leaving power stations ‘stranded’

    to $4 billion worth of gas-fired power stations are in danger of being “stranded” as gas prices explode and the renewable energy target pushes extra generation into a grid already oversupplied with excess power, a new report has found.

    It says this could cause investors to slash maintenance spending on older generators, potentially threatening future power supplies.

    Commissioned by the Energy Supply Association of Australia, and written by independent energy analyst Mark Lewis, the report’s modelling warns that Australia’s power system is potentially even more vulnerable to disruption than Europe’s, where power companies have faced a crisis that has forced them to retrench workers and slash maintenance spending across the sector.

    Australia’s market is already “chronically oversupplied” and it is most likely the power stations to be “stranded” are those that use gas, it says.

    Arguing that the “stranding” has already begun, the report, written by energy analyst Mark Lewis, points to the decision by Queensland’s largest power generator, Stanwell, to mothball its biggest gas-fired power station so that it can sell the gas rather than use it in electricity generation.


    ............the report says the carbon tax is still up to $40 a tonne too low to force a switch from cheaper coal-fired power stations to gas. The use of gap will only get wider when the carbon price is repealed, it says.

    The stranding of gas power stations is likely to have a “knock-on” effect and hit operational expenditure on colder coal-fired generators, nearing the end of their commercial life.

    “Companies that have endured substantial balance-sheet pain from impaired gas assets are likely to be less willing and able to invest in maintaining older assets,” the report warns.


    The government is under pressure to wind back growth in the renewable energy target to stop more power being funnelled into an oversupplied market.

  2. More mines to shut as coal woes deepen

    Matt Chambers |
    The Australian |
    April 28, 2014

    COKING coal prices have slumped to six-year lows, many Australian mines are not making money and the industry is set to close more of the mines that produce the nation’s second most valuable export.

    A dramatic fall in quarterly contract prices for the steelmaking raw ingredient has caught ­industry players by surprise and led coal giant Peabody Energy to declare it is considering the ­closure of Australian mines it recently indicated were safe.

    As boom-time-approved expansions continue to increase supply, the June quarter coking coal contract price has fallen from $US143 a tonne to $US120 a tonne, which is close to typical cash costs for the east coast ­coking coal industry, according to Credit Suisse analysts.

    This means when things such as corporate, financing and sustaining capital are added in, most producers would be losing money.


    Coking coal, mainly from Queensland, is the nation’s second-highest export earner after iron ore and brought in $22.4 billion of export revenue last financial year. Thermal coal, used primarily in power stations and mainly from NSW, raised $16.1bn.

    Contract coking coal prices that peaked at $US330 per tonne in late 2011 have fallen steadily since then as the US and Australia exported more.

    Despite the price drop, BHP Billiton (whose Queensland mines make it the world’s biggest coking coal exporter), Anglo American, Whitehaven and Peabody have all brought on or are bringing on new mines that were approved when nobody saw prices plummeting as low as they have.

    As well as the new supply, Chinese steel mills have recently stepped away from buying imported coking coal as uncertainty continues around the Asian powerhouse’s economic growth.

    Spot prices have fallen further than contract prices, with the Platts price index slipping as low as $US105 per tonne earlier this month before recovering to about $US110.


    Most Australian miners have been on a year-long campaign to cut costs, meaning there may not be too much more that can save mines that are losing money.

    Even BHP, one of the world’s lowest-cost miners, is making little if any money from coking coal at these prices.

    “While costs might be squeezed a little lower, we think the majority of cost-saves have now been made in Australia,” Credit Suisse said.

  3. The Koch Attack on Solar Energy


    At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels.

    For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive.

    Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, the Kochs and ALEC have made similar efforts in other states, though they were beaten back by solar advocates in Kansas and the surtax was reduced to $5 a month in Arizona.

    But the Big Carbon advocates aren’t giving up. The same group is trying to repeal or freeze Ohio’s requirement that 12.5 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Twenty-nine states have established similar standards that call for 10 percent or more in renewable power. These states can now anticipate well-financed campaigns to eliminate these targets or scale them back.

    The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses. That might seem distant at the moment, when nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electricity is still generated by coal, and when less than 1 percent of power customers have solar arrays. (It is slightly higher in California and Hawaii.) But given new regulations on power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants, and the urgent need to reduce global warming emissions, the future clearly lies with renewable energy. In 2013, 29 percent of newly installed generation capacity came from solar, compared with 10 percent in 2012.

    Renewables are good for economic as well as environmental reasons, as most states know. (More than 143,000 now work in the solar industry.) Currently, 43 states require utilities to buy excess power generated by consumers with solar arrays. This practice, known as net metering, essentially runs electric meters backward when power flows from rooftop solar panels into the grid, giving consumers a credit for the power they generate but don’t use.

    The utilities hate this requirement, for obvious reasons. A report by the Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying arm of the power industry, says this kind of law will put “a squeeze on profitability,” and warns that if state incentives are not rolled back, “it may be too late to repair the utility business model.”

    Since that’s an unsympathetic argument, the utilities have devised another: Solar expansion, they claim, will actually hurt consumers. The Arizona Public Service Company, the state’s largest utility, funneled large sums through a Koch operative to a nonprofit group that ran an ad claiming net metering would hurt older people on fixed incomes by raising electric rates. The ad tried to link the requirement to President Obama. Another Koch ad likens the renewable-energy requirement to health care reform, the ultimate insult in that world. “Like Obamacare, it’s another government mandate we can’t afford,” the narrator says.

    That line might appeal to Tea Partiers, but it’s deliberately misleading. This campaign is really about the profits of Koch Carbon and the utilities, which to its organizers is much more important than clean air and the consequences of climate change.


    Duchess IS Paradise - EPA Submission

    from Magali McDuffie Plus 5 days ago Not Yet Rated

    This video has been submitted to the EPA on behalf of traditional custodians from the Duchess Paradise area.

    Dr. Anne Poelina from Madjulla Inc., Dr. Jonathan Hook, Cherokee Environmental Philosopher, Prof. Peter Cook, Aquatic Flora Expert Andrew Storey, Traditional Custodian Roy Juboy, and Senior Nyikina Elders Lucy Marshall and Jeannie Wabi, make a case against the proposed Duchess Paradise Coal Mine on the Mardoowarra, Fitzroy River, on Nyikina Country in the West Kimberley region.

  5. Are they still punishing us for JPP falling over ?

    The boat ramp was very expensive but this costs a little and delivers a great deal.

    How mean can they get?


    Plea to Government over Kimberley Girl funds

    Kimberley MP Josie Farrer has written to Department of Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier, demanding funding be reinstated for Kimberley Girl.

    The program's organisers told the Broome Advertiser last week this year's event was in threat of not being delivered after the State Government withdrew funding support.

    The highly successful indigenous leadership program, run by Goolarri Media, has helped hundreds of young Aboriginal women become role models and achieve their dreams since it was launched in 2004.

    Kimberley Girl celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

    DAA has provided a total of $163,000 to Goolarri Media since 2011 to deliver a range of programs including Kimberley Girl through the Remote Service Delivery National Partnership Agreement.

    However, a DAA spokesman confirmed RSD funding was scheduled to end this June and would be unable to continue to provide funding for the program.

    Ms Farrer said it was "extremely disappointing" the State Government was withdrawing its commitment to provide further support and financial assistance to Kimberley Girl.

    "This is a flag-flying program for the north and has provided young indigenous women with essential life skills and tools to make good decision for their futures, such as continued education," she said.

    "I know the young ladies who have been involved in Kimberley Girl over the years, and it is remarkable to see them flourishing after participating in the workshops.

    "They have become excellent role models to the younger girls."

    A spokeswoman for Ms Farrer said the Kimberley politician had written a letter to Mr Collier last week to highlight the importance of the program for young Aboriginal women, and requested a commitment from the State Government to secure a long-term funding agreement to ensure Kimberley Girl was a permanent annual event.

  6. Our banks can't turn a blind eye to money trail

    April 28, 2014

    Helen Szoke

    Australia's big four banks have a duty of care to the community, whether in Australia or overseas.

    Nineteen-year-old Christophilda Milik stands with her fishing spear in a lifeless mangrove swamp in Papua New Guinea’s East Sepik province. She has stood here many times looking for dinner. The swamp once teemed with fish, before representatives of a company connected to Malaysian logging giant WTK Group allegedly forced or tricked community members into signing over 116,840 hectares of their precious land, which abuts this swamp and its water system.

    “Now almost all the fish have disappeared because water was polluted by oil from machines,’’ she says. The oil comes from the machinery used in questionable logging operations on the once community-owned land. Pollution from the operations has killed fish and prawns, damaged the reef, and caused health problems in the community.

    If two multinational giants can commit to revealing where they do business, and demonstrate no tolerance for land grabbing, why can’t our banks?

    Established food gardens have been destroyed and violence has increased as families struggle with worsening poverty. There has been little compensation for the community. This is despite estimates of the value of the logs leaving this community being $7million in 2012 alone.

    This is not WTK’s first controversy in PNG; a previous review by the PNG Department of National Planning and Monitoring recorded allegations that the company frequently used police to threaten villagers with guns, employed local women as domestic servants who were expected to provide sexual favours to expatriates in logging camps, and had caused river systems to dry up.

    Despite WTK’s record, one of Australia’s major banks, Westpac, has had a financial relationship with the company in PNG for 19 years. And this is not a solitary case. Far from it. Oxfam Australia’s report published today, ‘‘Banking on Shaky Ground: Australia’s big four banks and land grabs’’’, implicates Australia’s big four banks – Westpac, ANZ, NAB and the Commonwealth Bank – in backing companies responsible for ‘‘land grabbing’’, large land deals in which those living on or using the land are not consulted or properly compensated by the company acquiring the land.

    The big four banks have financial relationships with companies working on projects in PNG, Cambodia, Indonesia and Brazil that have destroyed crops, demolished houses and forced communities to work as cheap labour on land that had been in their families for generations.

    Oxfam’s investigations show the banks are also on shaky financial ground, risking asset write-downs and the possibility that foreign governments and courts will shut down land deals, resulting in significant losses and diminishing shareholder value.

  7. Our banks can't turn a blind eye to money trail

    That Australians’ savings may have been put at risk while assisting the forced removal of families from their land is no doubt galling. But even more galling is that there is seemingly no excuse for our banks’ ignorance of the risk. It is widely acknowledged that land grabbing is a massive issue in developing countries, particularly in the agricultural and forestry industries.

    Over the past 13 years, nearly 36 million hectares of land - an area almost the size of Germany - has been snapped up in such deals. In some cases, foreign investors are paying yearly ‘‘lease’’’ fees of as little as seven cents per hectare.

    As food prices have spiked, large-scale land deals have accelerated rapidly, especially on our doorstep; South-East Asia leads the world as the target region. And with our banks identifying the Asia-Pacific as central to growth, and with billions of dollars invested in the agricultural industry overseas, it is astounding that they do not have in place adequate due diligence processes to avoid involvement in land grabbing.

    This is especially so when other global corporations have been tackling the issue. After an Oxfam report last October that outlined the perilous condition of communities forced from their land to make way for sugar plantations, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo committed to tough policies demonstrating no tolerance for land grabbing in their supply chains. They also took steps towards disclosing major actors, and high-risk countries in their supply chain.

    If two multinational giants can commit to revealing where they do business, and demonstrate no tolerance for land grabbing, why can’t our banks?

    Oxfam’s report provides a warning to all investors including banks, superannuation funds and the Australian government. We all have an interest in stable and ethical financial relationships between Australia and other countries, particularly our near neighbours. The evidence in Oxfam’s report demonstrates significant gaps between the policies and the practices of the big four banks. While each has signed up to a patchwork of various principles regarding human rights and responsibilities, no bank has implemented a clear policy framework to guide their operations. NAB made a sizable loan to controversial palm oil giant Wilmar after Newsweek had ranked Wilmar, for two years running, as the least environmentally sustainable company in the world. Wilmar later moved to tackle the issue of land grabs but the NAB still hasn’t.

    And the evidence is just the tip of the iceberg. Companies hide their financial relationships in databases that are very expensive, and time-consuming, to access, making it difficult to ascertain just how far-reaching the problem is.

    Investment in agriculture is vital to reduce global hunger. But it has to be sustainable and respect the rights of communities. Given the evidence, it is clear that the call for action must come from customers, who surely expect their banks to invest responsibly.

    The majority of Australian companies sourcing clothing from Bangladesh signed an historic safety accord because of public pressure following the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse last year. And many more thousands across the globe pressured Coca-Cola and PepsiCo on the issue of land grabs once they learned of their devastating consequences, leading to their much-strengthened policies.

    When people get a glimpse of the workings of big business, they usually act. Now it is up to the banks to listen. The livelihoods of people like Christophilda depend on it.

  8. Indigenous protesters occupy Peru's biggest Amazon oil field

    Around 500 Achuar protesters are demanding the clean-up of decades of contamination from spilled crude oil

    Around 500 Achuar indigenous protesters have occupied Peru’s biggest oil field in the Amazon rainforest near Ecuador to demand the clean-up of decades of contamination from spilled crude oil.

    The oilfield operator, Argentine Pluspetrol, said output had fallen by 70% since the protesters occupied its facilities on Monday – a production drop of around 11,000 barrels per day.

    Native communities have taken control of a thermoelectric plant, oil tanks and key roads in the Amazonian region of Loreto, where Pluspetrol operates block 1-AB, the company said on Thursday.

    Protest leader, Carlos Sandi, told the Guardian that Achuar communities were being “silently poisoned” because the company Pluspetrol has not complied with a 2006 agreement to clean up pollution dating back four decades in oil block 1-AB.

    “Almost 80% of our population are sick due to the presence of lead and cadmium in our food and water form the oil contamination,” said Sandi, president of FECONACO, the federation of native communities in the Corrientes River.

    Pluspetrol, the biggest oil and natural gas producer in Peru, has operated the oil fields since 2001. It took over from Occidental Petroleum, which began drilling in 1971, and, according to the government, had not cleaned up contamination either.

    Last year, Peru declared an environmental state of emergency in the oil field.

    But Sandi said the state had failed to take “concrete measures or compensate the native people” for the environmental damage caused.

    He claimed Achuar communities were not receiving their share of oil royalties and the state had failed to invest in development programmes in the Tigre, Corrientes and Pastaza river basins that had been most impacted by oil exploitation.

    He said the Achuar were demanding to meet with the central government to talk about public health, the environment and the distribution of oil royalties.

    "We aren’t against oil exploitation or development we are calling for our rights to be respected in accordance with international laws," he said.

    "Conversations are under way to bring a solution to the impasse," Pluspetrol told Reuters. "A government commission is there and we hope this is resolved soon."

    Over the past year, the Peruvian government has declared three environmental emergencies in large areas of rainforest near the oil field after finding dangerous levels of pollution on indigenous territories.

    Peru’s Environment Ministry said in a statement last week that a commission formed by government and company representatives has been assigned to work with communities to tackle pollution problems and other concerns.

  9. 'Straight from the Horse's Mouth': Former Oil Exec Says Fracking Not Safe

    Retired Mobil VP confirms technology is dangerous and untested

    - Lauren McCauley, staff writer

    In a message "straight from the horse's mouth," a former oil executive on Tuesday urged New York state to pass a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, saying, 'it is not safe.'

    "Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed," Louis Allstadt, former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, said during a news conference in Albany called by the anti-fracking group Elected Officials to Protect New York.

    Up until his retirement in 2000, Allstadt spent 31 years at Mobil, running its marketing and refining division in Japan and managing Mobil's worldwide supply, trading and transportation operations. After retiring to Cooperstown, NY, Allstadt said he began studying fracking after friends asked him if he thought it would be safe to have gas wells drilled by nearby Lake Otsego, where Allstadt has a home. Since that time, he's become a vocal opponent of the shale oil and gas drilling technique.

    "Now the industry will tell you that fracking has been around a long time. While that is true, the magnitude of the modern technique is very new," Allstadt said, adding that a fracked well can require 50 to 100 times the water and chemicals compared to non-fracked wells.

    He also noted that methane, up to 30 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, is found to be leaking from fracked wells "at far greater rates than were previously estimated."

    In response to Allstadt's statement, the environmental group Food & Water Watch tweeted:

    "Straight from the horse's mouth: Former #natgas executive speaks out against #fracking: ."

    Elected Officials to Protect New York held the news conference to promote local initiatives to ban the practice in the state and to call on officials to push for more renewable energy sources. Protesters in New York have been pressuring Governor Andrew Cuomo not to lift the state moratorium on fracking, a move he said he would consider by Election Day 2014.

  10. As we discussed during Tuesday's Green News Report, Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, the most profitable corporation in the history of civilization, doesn't mind fracking --- nor the health concerns and property devaluation that come with it --- near your house.

    But now he's suing to stop it near his house...or, rather, suing to stop the construction of a 15-story water tower, to be used for fracking, near his $5 million, 83-acre mansion and ranch in Bartonville, Texas.

    It will "create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it," the lawsuit contends, charging that water used for fracking will lead to "traffic with heavy trucks" that, Tillerson's attorney says, "devalues his property."

    "Poor" fellow. Hope he wins the suit.

    But, if not, as former Mobil Oil Corporation Executive Vice President Louis W. Allstadt points out in a scathing open letter to Tillerson sent on Tuesday, he can always afford to move away...unlike most of the less fortunate victims of fracking around the nation.

    After more than 30 years at Mobil (and six months at ExxonMobil under Tillerson, after the two companies merged), Allstadt went on to become a foe of fracking and a vocal proponent of climate change action.

    "No one should have to live near well pads, compression stations, incessant heavy truck traffic, or fracking water towers, nor should they have their water or air contaminated," Alstadt writes in his letter to Tillerson, who is otherwise a champion of fracking when its not in his own backyard. "You and I love the places where we live, but in the end, if they are ruined by fracking or frack water tanks, we can afford to pack up and go someplace else. However, many people can't afford to move away when they can no longer drink the water or breathe the air because they are too close to one of your well pads or compressor stations."

    Read Alstadt's full letter to Tillerson below. Oh, and thank you for speaking up, Mr. Alstadt...

  11. Open Letter to Rex Tillerson,
    Chairman, ExxonMobil

    From Lou Allstadt

    Dear Rex,

    ...........................For the past five years, I have been actively trying to keep your company and the rest of the industry from fracking here. I understand from several press articles that you have fracking issues of your own, with a fracking water tower and truck traffic possibly detracting from your view and the value of your home.

    In response to the prospect of fracking ruining our communities, many New York towns have passed zoning laws that prohibit heavy industry, including any activities associated with drilling for oil and gas. Those laws, along with very little prospect for economic gas production in New York, mean that we probably will not have to look at fracking water towers, let alone live next to fracking well pads. I say probably, because your industry is still fighting those zoning laws in the courts.

    Ironically, your reasoning at the Bartonville, Texas town council meetings is virtually identical to the reasoning that I and many other citizens used to convince our local town councils to pass laws that prohibit the very problem you have encountered, plus all of the other infrastructure and waste disposal issues associated with fracking.

    No one should have to live near well pads, compression stations, incessant heavy truck traffic, or fracking water towers, nor should they have their water or air contaminated. You and I love the places where we live, but in the end, if they are ruined by fracking or frack water tanks, we can afford to pack up and go someplace else. However, many people can’t afford to move away when they can no longer drink the water or breathe the air because they are too close to one of your well pads or compressor stations.

    My efforts to prevent fracking started over water --- not the prospect of having to see a water tank from my home, but rather regulations that would allow gas wells near our sources of drinking water, in addition to well pads next to our homes, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. These issues are legitimate, but they are localized. I am now much more concerned with the greenhouse gas impacts of fossil fuels in general, and particularly the huge impact of methane emissions from natural gas production and transportation. These are global problems that local zoning cannot protect against. Only a major shift toward renewable energy sources can begin to mitigate their catastrophic climate impacts.

    Before closing, I should explain why I have referred to ExxonMobil as "your company."

    For several years after retiring I thought of ExxonMobil as "my company." I thought that the company’s rigor and discipline in investing in sound projects was as good as it gets, and ExxonMobil was my largest single investment. I no longer own any shares of ExxonMobil or any other fossil fuel company. I would prefer to be an early investor in alternative energy for the 21st century rather than hanging on to dwindling prospects for investments in 19th and 20th century fossil fuels.

    It is time that ExxonMobil started shifting away from oil and gas, and toward alternatives --- both for environmental reasons and to protect the long-term viability of the company. Many large energy producers and consumers, including ExxonMobil, are building a carbon fee into their long-term planning assumptions. Actively supporting the phase-in of a carbon fee would be one way to move the company into the 21st century. Recognizing that methane emissions disqualify natural gas as a "bridge fuel" is another.

    Good luck with that fracking water tank. I hope you don’t have to move, and also that you will help a lot of other people stay in the homes they love.


    Lou Allstadt

  12. More problems with Oz shale fracking.

    The first horizontal “fraccing” tests of gas-rich shale in the Cooper Basin are disappointing.


    Key Petroleum Updates on Exploration Activities in Canning Basin in WA

    by Key Petroleum Ltd.

    Press Release
    Monday, April 28, 2014

    ................Key has held a number of joint venture meetings over recent weeks pertaining to the EP104, R1 and L15 permits to discuss and determine work programs and future workovers as part of the company’s strategic exploration plans in the area.

    The Company plans to assess the infrastructure in R1 and L15 during this year’s dry season before the venturers approve any work programs for 2015.

    Last year the Company announced the pursuit of increased exploration activity and equity interests in the area in addition to other project synergies with other companies.

    Current Exploration Status of EP448, Canning Basin A two well shallow oil conventional program is planned to be conducted this year in Key’s frontier Canning Basin block, EP448. Drilling is dependent on Native Title approvals and the timing of these approvals before the onset of the wet season. To date, Key has liaised with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) on its exploration plans and is confident they will grant approvals for vegetation clearance as a result of flora and fauna studies carried out over March and April.

    Any approvals are subject to heritage clearance and appropriate approvals by the Traditional Owners.

    Last month, two proposed well locations, Patterson-1 and Griffiths-1, were surveyed for infrastructure locations and environmentally sensitive areas in parallel to identifying sources of gravel for civil engineering.

    Proposed drilling pads and an airstrip locations were also inspected.

    Fauna Studies were undertaken during March to comply with the appropriate Environmental Plan (EP) requirements by the DMP.

    Flora Studies are underway and should be completed within the fortnight prior to the lodgement of the EP for drilling activities.


    Exploration and Operational Activities in the Canning Basin

    As part of the Company’s strategic drilling objectives, Key has acquired camp and ancillary services equipment including a forklift to facilitate mobilization of the camp between Canning Basin well sites.

    This equipment is currently in the Perth Basin and will be mobilized upon the grant of relevant approvals for the 2014 drilling campaign.

    Managing Director Kane Marshall said key would continue to plan and drill wildcat wells in the Canning even though the current state of affairs in WA’s petroleum industry meant uncertainty on operational timing due to rigorous heritage clearance and government regulatory approvals.


    "the current state of affairs in WA’s petroleum industry meant uncertainty on operational timing due to rigorous heritage clearance and government regulatory approvals. "

    ARE they for real ?

    1. Senex Fails to Find Gas at Sprigg-1 Well in PEL 514 in SA's Cooper Basin

      by Planet Gas Ltd.

      Press Release
      Tuesday, April 29, 2014

      Planet Gas Ltd, an energy explorer with interests in conventional and unconventional oil and gas in Australia, gave an update Tuesday on the Sprigg-1 exploration well in South Australia's Cooper Basin as reported today by the operator Senex Energy Limited (Senex).

      Senex are quoted: “No net pay calculated with a gas show in the Paning Member.

      Well suspended pending evaluation of test results”.

      About Sprigg-1 The Sprigg-1 prospect is located in the central eastern sector of PEL 514 in the South Australian Cooper Basin.

      Planet Gas holds a 20 percent project interest in PEL 514 while Senex Energy Limited (Senex), holds an 80 percent interest and is the operator. The Sprigg-1 well forms part of the initial farm-in agreement and second agreement with Senex. Planet Gas is free carried for the program.


      CSIRO researchers study whether CSG activity causes methane seeps

      A new CSIRO study may give researchers a better idea of whether coal seam gas (CSG) activity is causing methane seeps in Queensland's Surat Basin.

      CSIRO spokesman Dr Damian Barrett says methane naturally escapes into the atmosphere from places like the Surat Basin where there are large coal deposits.

      "The outcome of this program of research will be to determine that natural variation of methane and also where those seeps are occurring in the landscape," he said.

      But he says as CSG activity in the basin ramps up, there is uncertainty over what role the industry has on seeps.

      "We don't know how much methane is naturally seeping to the atmosphere and we also don't know the variation in these sources of methane," he said.

      His team will begin field surveys later this year and will also use a new laser technique to identify where the seeps are.

      "Samples the atmosphere at two very precise wavelengths and one of those wavelengths is sensitive to methane," he said.

      Dr Barrett says it will give authorities baseline data to compare over the life of the CSG industry.

      "We'll be able to follow the eventual impacts on methane seeps to the atmosphere from these sources," he said.

      The project is funded through a partnership between the CSIRO and CSG companies.

  13. Thai PTTEP Says Could Dilute Stake in Montara Field

    by Reuters

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    BANGKOK, April 25 (Reuters) – Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, said on Friday it was considering plans to dilute its holding in the Montara oil field off Australia after several delays and rising costs.

    "We are considering several options to dilute our investment in Montara and it depends on how much interest potential buyers have," Chief Financial Officer Penchan Charikasem told reporters.

    Penchan gave no details about the plan.

    PTTEP began production from the Montara field in June 2013 but output is still below target.

    The start-up of the field was delayed several times after its development was disrupted by a fire in 2009.

    The incident led to higher-than-expected costs.


    And they got away with murder............

  14. The Australian - pushing their usual barrow


    Renewables pave path to poverty

    THE Australian government recently released an issues paper for the review of the renewable energy target. What everyone engaged in this debate should recognise is that policies such as the carbon tax and the RET have contributed to household electricity costs rising 110 per cent in the past five years, hitting the poor the hardest.


    What is true in Australia is true globally. According to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Climate change harms the poor first and worst.” But we often forget that current policies to address global warming harm the world’s poor much more.


    It is even worse in the developing world, where three billion lack access to cheap energy. They cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, producing indoor air pollution that causes 3.5 million deaths a year — by far the world’s biggest environmental problem.

    Access to electricity could solve that while allowing families to read at night, own a refrigerator or use a computer. It would also allow businesses to operate more competitively, creating jobs and economic growth.

    Consider Pakistan and South Africa, where a dearth of generating capacity means recurrent blackouts wreak havoc on businesses and cost jobs. Yet funding new coal-fired power plants in both countries has been widely opposed by well-meaning Westerners and governments.

    Instead, they suggest renewables. This is hypocritical. The rich world gets just 1.2 per cent of its energy from hugely expensive solar and wind technologies, and we would never accept having power only when the wind was blowing. In the next two years, Germany will build 10 coal-fired power plants.

    In 1971, 40 per cent of China’s energy came from renewables. Since then it has lifted 680 million people out of poverty using coal. Today, China gets a trifling 0.23 per cent of its energy from wind and solar. Africa gets 50 per cent of its energy today from ­renewables — and remains poor.

    New analysis from the Centre for Global Development shows that, investing in renewables, we can pull one person out of poverty for about $US500.

    But, using gas electrification, we could quadruple that. By ­focusing on our climate concerns, we deliberately choose to leave more than three out of four people in darkness and poverty.

    Addressing global warming requires long-term innovation that makes green energy affordable. Until then, wasting enormous sums of money at the expense of the world’s poor is no solution at all.

  15. The Australian ...................again


    Unnecessary impediment to retrieving earth’s riches

    MAJOR coal-seam gas developers Santos and AGL have agreed with the NSW government to ­obtain permission from landowners before engaging in any exploration for gas. Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has referred to this de facto landowner veto over mining development as “an inelegant solution to an intractable problem”.

    Others have much greater concerns. They see it as erecting yet another barrier to gas development in the state and spreading to other states and other minerals, undermining Australia’s century-old “finders-keepers” mining regime.


    The Australian approach to land ownership has created a very successful mining industry. Until a few years ago, Australia ­accounted for 20 per cent of global exploration spending, a share that dwarfs our 5 per cent of the world’s land mass. Australia’s performance has deteriorated in recent years (to 12 per cent). This is largely because Australian mining has been battered by tax and regulatory decisions that have increased risks and added costs. Among these was the Mabo decision in the 1990s, making many areas vulnerable to Aboriginal land claims. More recently we have seen intensified environmental restraints, industrial relations laws that allow greater scope for union disruption and resource rent and carbon taxes.

    The Abbott government is trying to undo these recent imposts but the new landowner veto rights put in place by the NSW government are a backward step.


    Allegations that mining might bring more widespread damage by, for example, disturbing or polluting the water table are, however, unfounded. Even a recent highly publicised leak of “uranium contaminated” water near Narrabri was simply water containing naturally occurring and highly diluted uranium that posed no health risk to humans, animals or plants.

    Activists’ opposition to unconventional gas extraction has brought barriers to the resource’s development in Australia.


    The contributions of these industries can be strangled by ill-­designed property rights as well as discriminatory taxes and regulations.

    NSW faces an additional early risk of being marooned with a shortage of gas and high household prices. Resolute government action to restore exploration incentives for gas is an important first step.

    Alan Moran is director of the deregulation unit at the Institute of Public Affairs.

  16. It's a weird world !


    Minister urges boycott of Ben and Jerry's over save-the-reef campaign

    Concerns over dredging are a 'propaganda' campaign by the WWF, Queensland environment minister claims

    Ben and Jerry's ice cream has been hauled over the coals by the Queensland government for supporting WWFs "propaganda" campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.

    The environment minister, Andrew Powell, wants Australians to boycott the American company, saying it has damaged the reputation of the reef and jeopardised jobs and tourism dollars.

    "Another company has signed up to the campaign of lies and deceit that's been propagated by WWF," Powell said.

    "The only people taking a scoop out of the reef are Ben and Jerry's and Unilever.

    "If you understand the facts, you'd want to be boycotting Ben and Jerry's."

    The minister said he would be writing to its parent company, Unilever, to express his concerns.

    Earlier this month, Ben and Jerry's withdrew popular flavour Phish Food because of its allusion to fish food, as a way of drawing attention to the potential damage to the reef.

    It also embarked on a road trip around parts of Australia, giving out free ice cream to highlight its concerns over damage to the reef.

    The company said the reef was at serious risk of destruction from intensive dredging and dumping, mega-ports and shipping highways.

    The brand has championed environmental causes in its 35-year history, including opposing drilling in the Arctic, and says it's a proud supporter of WWF's campaign.

    "Ben & Jerry's believes that dredging and dumping in world heritage waters surrounding the marine park area will be detrimental to the reef ecology," its Australia brand manager, Kalli Swaik, said.

    "It threatens the health of one of Australia's most iconic treasures."

  17. A few choice quotes


    Elizabeth Warren the former consumer advocate and law school professor and now a Democratic senator from Massachusetts,she became the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP),

    "A telling anecdote involves a dinner that Ms Warren had with Lawrence H. Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council and a top economic adviser to President Obama. The dinner took place in the spring of 2009, after the oversight panel had produced its third report, concluding that American taxpayers were at far greater risk to losses in TARP than the Treasury had let on.

    After dinner, "Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice," Ms Warren writes. "I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People - powerful people - listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticise other insiders.

    "I had been warned," Ms Warren concluded.

    A spokeswoman for Mr Summers did not respond to a request for comment."


    "In her telling, Mr Geithner responded this way: "The banks could manage only so many foreclosures at a time, and Treasury wanted to slow down the pace so the banks wouldn't be overwhelmed. And this was where the new foreclosure program came in: It was just big enough to 'foam the runway' for them."

    To Ms Warren, Mr Geithner's message was clear, if startling. "Millions of people were getting tossed out on the street, but the government's most important job was to provide a soft landing for the tender fannies of the banks," she writes."


  18. Our glorious colonial history


    Abusers knew authorities wouldn't act

    A former Christian Brothers student has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his abusers acted with impunity, safe in the knowledge the authorities would do nothing.

    Young boys at four WA Christian Brothers homes were repeatedly raped and brutally beaten when they reported the abuse, which often led to perpetrators being removed and simply replaced with another brother who would inflict more sexual assaults.

    John Hennessey spoke at first public hearing in Perth of the royal commission, saying the men who abused him during his time at St Joseph’s Farm and Trade School in Bindoon felt safe in doing so.

    “I was exploited and abused by criminals (who were) safe in the knowledge that the State Government and church were my legal guardians, and would never bother to meet their responsibilities,“ he said.

    Mr Hennessey was forcibly separated from his mother in Bristol, England, and sent to WA. He did not see her for another 57 years.

    While at Bindoon Mr Hennessey was targeted by Brother Paul Keaney, other Christian Brothers and older children at the school.

    On one occasion, Brother Keaney publicly stripped and savagely beat him.

    “No one came to my aid,” said a visibly upset Mr Hennessey, the first witness at the 11th case study examined by the commission. “I am now left with a stutter.”


    The level of abuse in the Kimberley would have to be extreme as only ONE person has had the courage to speak out.

    This says there are still many abusers in positions of power and the history of the police in totally refusing to do anything to help is still too much for most to bear.

  19. YES what happened ?


    Victims call for action on Redress abuse complaints after thousands referred to WA Police

    Updated Tue 29 Apr 2014

    Victims of abuse while in state care want to know what happened to more than 2,000 complaints that were referred to WA Police in recent years.

    The complaints were made to the WA Government's Redress scheme, which was established to compensate those abused or neglected in state care.

    Between 2008 and 2011, $118 million has been paid to more than 5,000 victims.

    The Department of Communities has confirmed 2,200 complaints made during the scheme were referred on, but WA Police has not been able to provide details of any arrests that resulted.

    Leonie Sheedy, from the victim support group Care Leavers Australia Network, said people wanted answers.

    "For a lot of people it's not money that they're seeking, they're seeking that the perpetrators be charged and that somebody is accountable for the crimes that were committed against them," she said.

    "I'm only aware of one perpetrator being charged by the West Australian police and has been sentenced to prison."

    Apologies are not enough: victim

    Ms Sheedy said police should have been given extra resources to deal specifically with complaints arising from the scheme.

    "A lot of people feel very disgruntled, and they feel that they weren't listened to, and that there's not the resources put into investigating these abusers," she said.

    David Francis was a ward of the state from the age of six and is planning to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

    He said Indigenous people in the Kimberley region were disappointed by the lack of action.

    "From apologies should come actions, like compensation and people charged," he said.

    "There was a promise from Redress WA that people would be prosecuted, but I haven't seen any real prosecutions from Redress WA.

    "Fair enough some of the people that were complained about are dead, but there still should be some kind of way of addressing it."

  20. One reason I am posting this here is that it explains why the people of the Broome Shire were treated worse than dogs over the gas plant at JPP.

    All this went on with the knowledge and therefore consent of the government and the police.

    I read this and I see the faces of the riot squad scum with Sutherland and Barnett behind them.

    If ever a lower form of life ever existed on this planet I have never heard of it.

    Adolf Hitler would have had them all shot !


    Royal commission into child abuse: Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual abuse by Christian Brothers

    ......................When I look back on my life I'm consumed by guilt and shame and a sense of betrayal, denial and abandonment," he said.

    "I have an overwhelming sense of helplessness, hopelessness and my inability to change my past and of complete desperation, knowing that my future would always be tainted by the past.

    "I'm tired and weary from always wearing a mask, of portraying a false sense to the outside world, of bearing this guilt and shame regarding my past while living a nightmare of inner turmoil every single day of my life".

    VV told the commission he was attacked while out on a tractor with one of the Brothers within weeks of arriving at the Bindoon school north-east of Perth.

    He said the man sexually assaulted him, then dumped him in a water drum and said "clean yourself up boy".

    "It was terrifying, I was consumed with fear," the abuse survivor said.

    Walking back to the institution, VV came across a Father Williams, who took him back to his room and put cream on cuts and abrasions he sustained in the attack, but then the man began to fondle him.

    He said the physical and sexual abuse continued over many years, and was perpetrated by more than a dozen people including older boys, Brothers and priests, and a regular visitor to the school who took boys on "picnics".

    Another abuse survivor, known as VG, described in graphic detail the brutal sexual assaults he endured and witnessed, including one so horrific he was hospitalised for six weeks.

    He said he often saw boys' beds soiled with blood and the boys themselves could barely walk or talk.

    VG, who had come to Western Australia as a child migrant from Malta, told of the night a man known as Brother Simon came for him.

    "I had always feared this. He came to my bed and said, 'Get up and come with me,'" he said.

    "After I got into his room he started pulling my pyjamas down, exposing my buttocks.

    "He pressed me down on him and I felt an agonising pain on my backside, and I realised it wasn't just his fingers that he was hurting me with. I somehow managed to get free and a got hold of a chair and hit him."

    VG was strapped on the head and lost consciousness. He spent six weeks in hospital. When he returned to Tardun, he told a priest what had happened during confession.

    Afterwards he was taken to an office and beaten by Brother Simon with a leather strap. Another Christian Brother told him he had a "dirty mind".

    "I felt isolated and desperate. It seemed suicide was the only option," he said.


    Mr Walsh told the hearing he was also beaten and that he witnessed horrific attacks during which children were punched in the face and body, and hit with straps.

    Children at the Bindoon school were malnourished and forced to do hard labour, Mr Walsh added.



    Mr Walsh said he had taken part in legal action against the Christian Brothers but they had argued the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired.

    He eventually received a payment of $45,000 from the Redress WA scheme.

    Mr Walsh also received a $20,000 payment from the church, which he said was inadequate.

    Outside the inquiry, he said each victim of abuse should be compensated.

    "The Catholic Church, who have more money than is measurable, they will never do anything," he said.

    "All they want us to do is to shut up and go away."

    1. This sort of evidence and kids feeling like this

      ""I felt isolated and desperate. It seemed suicide was the only option," he said."

      make a mockery of the Bishop of Broome and others whose mantra has become

      "it's the gunga causing the suicides"

      when it is plain to see for all but the most blind amongst us

      It is the ABUSE that it causing these feelings

      Not just the violent and sexual abuse

      BUT the despair of kids who look at this world and see the shithole the government and police have waiting for them.

      The disgusting genocide still being dished out by these colonial scum - and yes make no mistake about it they had plenty of practice long before they shit all over these shores.

    2. Trapped boys beaten and raped (and the nuns did not help them either)

      They were trapped.

      Beaten by day and raped by night, hundreds of boys at the Bindoon, Tardun and Castledare institutions had no escape.

      Orphaned or distanced from parents unaware of their plight, nobody could hear the screams.

      And those who did hear them refused to save them.

      Witnesses told the second day of the royal commission yesterday of their heroic yet futile attempts to escape the violence and depravity doled out by a sadistic club of Christian Brothers responsible for their care.

      One child told a priest visiting to hear confession he was being sexually abused - and was chastised for making up lies.

      One went to the nuns, "who cooked for the boys but were really there to look after the Brothers", and got flogged. Another was called a sissy.

      Young Raphael Ellul, who was at Tardun, made it all the way to Mullewa police station, only to be clipped over the ear by the local officer, who told him, "Don't tell lies about good Christian men".

      Another Maltese boy wrote a long letter detailing the abuse and secretly slipped it to a visiting dignitary from his home country.

      He waited to be saved but it never happened.

      (the doctors and nurses would not help)

      "As I opened my eyes, I saw the face of a woman with a nurse's hat on," he told the inquiry yesterday. "She said, 'Don't worry, you are at the Mullewa hospital'. I have no idea of how long I was knocked out for but it was afternoon.

      "I felt a bandage around my head. The nurses told me I'd had a fall. While I was in the hospital, my pyjama pants had to be changed often because I was bleeding.

      "I told the nurses what happened to me and that something had been put in my backside.

      "The matron came to me and asked to repeat what I'd told the nurses. She walked away afterwards and said nothing. I learnt later that her name was Matron Barden and that she was the sister of Monsignor Barden, who often visited Tardun."

      The boy was sent back and endured more years of abuse, for ever scarring him. He remains trapped. He and the other witnesses have not escaped, each telling in heartbreaking detail the psychological impact of being sucked into a depraved world where the powerful tormented the innocents.

      They and their families have lived with the nightmares for decades yet all but one Brother, who was jailed for three years in the 1990s, went to their graves without paying for their crimes.

      (the total crap of the 2 popes being made saints)

      Outside the commission, Clifford Walsh told how he could not hug his son because even innocent physical contact reminded him of the abuse.

      Wearing a T-shirt stating "I need psychiatric help" because "I should have got it when I needed it, but it's too late", he spoke of his hatred for the Catholic Church.

      "I see the Church on TV: they just canonised two popes, what a load of crap," he said. "I think the Catholic Church should pay everybody who was abused some compensation but the Catholic Church, who have more money than is measurable, they won't do anything. They just want us to shut up and go away."

      He said the Church should "start at $100,000 and go from there".

      Mr Ellul said it was too late for him. "I am damaged goods," he said.

      "Justice has not been done."