Saturday, May 31, 2014

The corporate mindset

Australian Filmmaker John Nikolakopoulos was trying to tap “directly into the corporate mindset” when he made this parody promotional video for a fake coal company’s new climate change public relations strategy. If you don’t like f-bombs, head for cover now.

Friday, May 30, 2014

DMP Claim Confidentiality Over Fracking Environmental Regulations

Fracking for ancient fossil energy ... is so dangerous in the long term ... every well uses millions of litres of fresh water ... the waste is radioactive and toxic ... and in a country like Australia, where fresh water is one of the most important resources, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, that mega money is invested in this method ... it is far better that our leaders take us forward into a self-sustainable renewable energy future, than going for the short term monotary gain, that only leaves us with a long term pollution problem, that cannot be fixed by any kind of clean up known to man. When our soils, water and air is poisoned,  we is poisoned ...
Contaminated water syphoned off into the surrounding environment
The fracking industry is hiding behind commercial-in-confidence laws and may be breaching environmental regulations, according to Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC.

Mr Chapple said he was particularly concerned about contaminated water leaks from lined dams at several of Buru Energy Limited’s Yulleroo wells in February this year, but had been unable to gain access to the relevant environmental information from the Department of Mines and Petroleum.
“I’m absolutely astounded by the lack of transparency here,” he said.
“To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time in history that environmental regulations have been commercial-in-confidence.
“We don’t know the environmental requirements of Buru Energy with regards to this site, nor are we allowed to access them so how can we possibly hold them accountable for any environmental breaches that may or may not have happened.
“The Fracking industry is being managed by a set of rules and regulations without public oversight.”
Buru's Bullshit
Mr Chapple said the Department of Mines and Petroleum had refused to acknowledge the leakages in February this year despite him having provided photographic evidence.
“They don’t want to have to deal with this issue,” he said.
“Modifications to the Yulleroo wells were made in May last year after a similar overtopping incident occurred.
“These modifications were supposed to prevent any further leakages; they haven’t.
“The DMP haven’t even inspected the site nor have they notified the Environmental Protection Authority or the Department of Environmental Regulation.
Mr Chapple said it was even more alarming that the Department of Water weren’t notified of any water leakages from Buru’s Yulleroo sites as, according to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967, jurisdiction for this matter remained solely with the Department of Mines and Petroleum.
In response to questions in parliament a spokesperson for the Minister for Environment stated the Buru proposal was a small scale, “proof of concept” project unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment and would therefore be handled by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Draft regulations are shocking, contain no pollution or contamination limits

The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum have come up with new regulations for gas fracking which they are seeking public comment on. the Comment period closes on Friday. The draft regulations are shocking, contain no pollution or contamination limits, and are based on 'best practice'. We know best practice gas fracking equals poisoned communities, contaminated groundwater and massive carbon pollution so that is not good enough! Send the DMP a quick email to let them know their regulations are not good enough!
To view the draft regulations on the DMP website:
Western Australia’s peak environment group has expressed serious concern about...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Listening to and understanding one another isn't just necessary, it's critical.

It took me some time to realise that the "small, simple" actions I was taking against oppression in my own daily life, even if simply raising an important issue with my friends, family and colleagues, added up to more activism than I thought, and it was just as real and impactful.

In fact, we're all activists to varying degrees; it just depends on how you look at it.

After all, who hasn't at some point in time in some small way stood up against injustice - especially when it becomes personal?

Perhaps, then, I have to redefine my definition of activism. Who are activists anyway? People who have nothing to lose? People who have everything to lose? People who feel a sense of right and wrong more so than others? What I'm coming to realise is that activism comes in all shapes and sizes and can be witnessed in the most unlikely of places. global environmental and social issues become more and more of a pressing concern across the world, it's imperative that all types of activists work together, no matter what socioeconomic class or background they may come from. Listening to and understanding one another isn't just necessary, it's critical.

The Earth has never felt smaller as we come together to solve massive issues like climate change, and everyone will need to do their part. After all, the process of large-scale change isn't short term, and it isn't about working in isolation: It's about working across party lines, not against them; it's about protesting, but then getting in the door so your voice is heard; it's about humanizing issues and doing everything possible to protect our planet for generations to come.

That's the common thread that links all activists - whether rich or poor, famous or not; it's the issue at hand that's most important and what ultimately unites us. When we're faced with daunting threats to the very planet we live on, there really is no alternative: Work together to improve the system, or we all go down. The stakes are higher than ever.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

​Community conflicts costing miners billions | Mining Australia

​Community conflicts costing miners billions | Mining Australia

In the new study, Conflict translates environmental and social risks into business costs, UQ Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining deputy director Dr. Daniel Franks said conflict in the resources sector has now become a major contributor to project costs, with a number of flagship projects abandoned or delayed following community opposition.
“Our analysis shows that mining and hydrocarbon companies fail to factor in the full scale of the costs of conflict. For example, as a result of conflict, a major, world-class mining project with capital expenditure of between US$3 and US$5 billion was reported to suffer roughly US$20 million per week of delayed production in net present value terms,” the report states.
“There is a popular misconception that local communities are powerless in the face of large corporations and governments,” Franks explained.
“Our findings show that community mobilisation can be very effective at raising the costs to companies.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Killing The Kimberley, One Coal Mine At A Time |

Killing The Kimberley, One Coal Mine At A Time |

By Anne Poelina

The underground coal mine is to be located on a remote pastoral station, almost 200km south east of Derby, in a region of the Kimberley — the Fitzroy Valley — renowned for its diversity and beauty. It’s also to be situated just kilometres from the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, or as it is known to my people — Mardoowarra, meaning "living water".

The Mardoowarra is the lifeblood of the Kimberley, sustaining one of the last great wilderness areas left on the planet. Mardoowarra flows from the hill country past the Great Sandy Desert, through the tropical savannah to the saltwater mangroves on the coast. The entire river was added to the Australian National Heritage list in 2011, and the site ear-marked for mining is home to 35 wildlife species of conservation priority, such as the critically endangered Biyal Biyal (giant freshwater sawfish).

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sinister Franchise: Exporting the Tea Party to Australia

Sinister Franchise: Exporting the Tea Party to Australia

So Australia has turned a dark corner. Once, this was a nice place to live, easygoing, friendly, where everybody was more concerned with the Melbourne Cup and the beach than the antics in Parliament - but no longer. In a series of insidious moves, we are being herded in the direction of the Tea Party, driven by odious people who can't keep their fingers out of the till and who apparently don't have the brains to avoid getting their photos taken with notorious criminals. 

What is their goal? That hasn't been revealed in ICAC yet, but it isn't what we thought we were voting for (don't worry, I vote Green). I believe the Liberal Party wants to dismantle the welfare state, impoverishing workers while setting up a state where a very small group of haves totally dominate a very large group of have nots, for the purpose of enriching themselves and their serpentine mates.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Browse gas fields: Rocky outcrops could change WA's share of offshore fields - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Browse gas fields: Rocky outcrops could change WA's share of offshore fields - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation"
The discovery of three rocks off the Kimberley coast means Western Australia's share of Woodside's Browse gas field could jump from 5 to 65 per cent.
The rocky outcrops discovered by Geoscience Australia are part of the North Scott Reef and are technically islands, which will prompt a redrawing of Western Australia's maritime boundaries.
The discovery, which could result in more royalties and a greater say in how the gas is processed, has been welcomed by the State Government.
Mines Minister Bill Marmion said the find could give the state a greater say in several gas fields now deemed to be in Commonwealth waters.
"It's a very exciting development and potentially a great windfall for the state," he said.
"We believe it's significant and we are now working closely with the Federal Government to determine WA's share of the Browse field and it's exact implications.
"The fact that all of a sudden more of the field is in Western Australia's waters, all that gas from West Australian-owned land comes to Western Australia."

Three rocky outcrops, each no bigger than a kitchen table, have become the most lucrative pieces of real estate in WA's history. Their chance discovery will result in the State earning billions of dollars extra in gas royalties from the Browse offshore petroleum project. The tiny outcrops are part of the North Scott Reef, more than 300km north-west of Cape Leveque, and were found during a recent satellite sweep by Geoscience Australia.Though no more than 1m above sea level and no more than 3m long, they are regarded as "islands" under the law of the sea because they are naturally formed and "above ordinary high water". It means they belong to WA, prompting a radical redrawing of maritime boundaries.The previously unseen rocky outcrops are directly above the Torosa gas field. The Federal Government has previously argued that WA owns as little as 5 per cent of the Browse resource but now grudgingly acknowledges the State may own up to 65.5 per cent of Torosa, which is more than half of Browse. The two other gas fields that make up Browse, Calliance and Brecknock, are not affected.

Sussex police under fire for 'criminalising' fracking protests | Environment | The Guardian

Sussex police under fire for 'criminalising' fracking protests | Environment | The Guardian

Of 114 charges, relating to 90 individuals, only 29 resulted in convictions, according to reports. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
"What they did criminalised protest. They used the section 14 orders and bail conditions, which were imposed on everyone and which stopped them from going within miles of the site, to stop them from protesting. It was like an injunction by the back door. If you turn up – new to protest – and you think you are going to be sitting down singing the anti-fracking anthem and then see people being arrested and handcuffed, it is quite shocking and frightening and puts you off being there."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Metgasco licence to explore suspended and complaint lodged with Icac | Environment |

Metgasco licence to explore suspended and complaint lodged with Icac | Environment |

Metgasco, the company behind a controversial plan to drill for gas near Lismore, has had its exploration licence suspended and a complaint lodged with the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac).

Anthony Roberts, NSW minister for resources and energy, said the exploration licence was suspended because Metgasco had not had a “genuine and effective consultation” with the local community. (Buru Energy take note)
The decision could head off an anticipated showdown between police and protesters at the Bentley site, near Lismore on the NSW north coast.
Anti-gas protesters, who have set up camp at the drill site for the past month, have said they expect a massive police operation, involving 700 officers, to descend upon the camp on Monday. It’s understood the operation has now been stood down.
Roberts said the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) was conducting an audit of all petroleum exploration licences, triggering concerns over Metgasco’s operation.
Separately, Roberts said he had written to the commissioner of Icac “following receipt of information concerning shareholdings and interests in Metgasco Limited”.
“I have been advised by OCSG that fundamental concerns have been expressed by members of the affected community about the way in which Metgasco has characterised its activities.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Buru's Energy, drown in your own toxic crap

What do you do when the oil and gas industry tries to force its way into your community, threatening your health, your way of life, and your future? Ask the Broome community.
  • •       Educate community about fracking.
  • •       Motivate action.
  • •       Lobby the investment community
  • •       Push government into compliance and monitoring action and prosecution as described in legislation
  • •       Engage in the corrupted approval process (got to be in it to win it)
  • •       Collect our own base data, do the science and monitor the sites
  • •       Waylay their equipment and workers.
  • •       Delay them in their operations.
  • •       Provide our own updates to the share market.
  •          Take them thought the Courts.
  • •       And stop the project

Buru Energy and Mitsubishi have a Google researched template about how to deal with Broome and the Kimberley Indigenous communities who oppose their fracking plans for the Canning Basin, in the Kimberley.  
  • •       To beat us 
  •          To divide us
  • •       To convince us (or the kids in schools)
  • •       To pretend they are listening/care!
  • •       To make concerned community members exclude themselves from Buru’s process (road map)
  • •       To lure in collaboration
  • •       To get us to abandon the issue

This is never going to happen given Broome’s recent history. We are so much wiser now with our Woodside abrasions that Buru Energy’s weekly half page ads in the local paper are heedless in their efforts to convince anyone. On the contrary, these ads just scream “BURU BULLSHIT” to the readers.
Buru’s clinical template to undermine our community will not work. Woodside also made the very same mistake, they underestimated our community’s tenacity and our "never ever give up” aptitudes.
In communities across the world, people are standing up to the fracking industry, passing bans and limits on fracking and defending their right to do so in court. When the gas industry tries to bully communities into backing down or shutting up, communities are fighting back—and winning.
Buru’s bullshiters and their cohorts may wish it were otherwise, but communities have the right to determine what types of development and land use is appropriate within their area. They issue the Social Licence to operate. The Broome community has clearly shown that they are firmly committed to defending that right.

Buru Energy's toxic unfenced tailings dams at Yullaroo, just north of Broome have been left unattended and unmanaged. These toxic tailings dams posed an ongoing threat, not just to birds and animal populations but to our ground water and downstream human communities.

Species that rely on water, especially in dry areas, this can be devastating. Radioactive waste water is stored in these dams and poison birds and other animals:  goannas', bilbies and kangaroos that land in, swim in, or drink or fall into this toxic soup. Wastewater is also a breeding ground for mosquitos, which can transmit various diseases to birds, animals and people.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Proposed drilling fluid supply base facility on the foreshore of Roebuck Bay 

MI Australia is not operating as responsible corporate citizen, cannot perform to World Best Practise and have continued operating illegally without the appropriate approvals or licences?

MI Australia are currently operating without appropriate approvals in accordance with the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 Category 73 & Category 75 at their sites on Decastillia Street and the OTS (Port Drive) storage of bulk chemicals and the mixing of chemicals.

In Broome, on the 23rd January 2014 the Kimberley Joint Development Assessment Panel issued conditional planning approval for proposed drilling fluids facility on the foreshore of Roebuck Bay. In accordance with one of the conditions, the applicant needed to prepare an OEMP, which was open for public comment.

MI Australia current unlicensed activities and proposed new development is causing emissions and discharges to air, land and or water?

MI Australia can not be trusted to undertake compliance or be delegated to be self monitoring given their non - compliance history and questionable management abilities.

Regulatory Obligations
M-I Australia Pty Ltd states within their OEMP that one of their key policy objectives is ‘compliance with environmental legislation'. M-I Australia, its staff and its Contractors are required under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) to prevent environmental harm, and also have a duty of care under common law to protect the environment from foreseeable risks.

MI Australia clearly have all the necessary template dialogue to appear convincing in their stewardship of the environment however current history has proven that they are incapable of professional management of such a toxic and dangerous industry. They have failed to demonstrate to this community that they can function with proficiently or conscientiously. They should not be permitted to operate on the very foreshore of Roebuck Bay.

In their OEMP, they are adamant that Under the Schedule 1 of the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987, the M-I Australia facility will comprise Category 73 & 75 Prescribed Premises (refer section 2 for additional detail). A License to operate under Part V of the EP Act is therefore required at the Site.

However, it needs to be clearly understood that MI Australia are currently operating without appropriate approvals or licences in accordance with the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 Category 73 & Category 75 at their sites on Lot 30 No 6 De Castilla Street and the OTS (Port Drive) in Broome. 

Department of Environmental Regulations have investigated and have confirmed in writing, months ago that MI DO NOT HOLD THE APPROPRIATE LICENCES however they failed to prosecution under the Act and this corporation continues to operate and in fact expand their operations and toxic wastes streams. DER also stated in this correspondence that MI Australia has now made an application to DER for the relevant approvals required at both current sites. However, to date MI Australia’s applications have not been advertised in accordance with Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 5CAA. Manner of advertising prescribed (Act s. 54(2a) (1) & (2) for their existing sites.

The EP Act requires a works approval to be obtained before constructing prescribed industrial premises and a licence or registration to operate the premises. MI Australia has not even applied for additional approvals for their proposed new site on the foreshore of Roebuck Bay?

Proposed location Broome Port within red lines
Under Section 38(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) this proposal was referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for a decision on assessment level. The EPA's decided not to assess was appealed.

The Office of the Appeals Convenor, is currently investigating these appeals lodged in objection to the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision. It is my understanding that these appeals were heard the week starting Monday 28th April 2014.

Public Comments on this OEMP closed on 24 April 2014, four days before the Appeals Convenor started their deliberations. This issue and this ineffectual OEMP should not come before the Broome Shire Council for endorsement until the Appeals Convenor of the Environment Minister hands down their decision.

Town Planning Scheme No 4
Under the provisions of the Shire of Broome Town Planning Scheme No 4 (TPS4) any industry activity that requires licensing as a “Prescribed Premise’ under the Environment Protection Act 1986 is defined as ‘Industry Noxious’ Industry Noxious is a D use within the Industry zone.

The Shire of Brome, on the 11 April 2007 issued a Planning Approval for ‘Industrial Development –Warehouse’ for Lot 30 No 6 DeCastilla Street. Application for a Change of Use from Industrial development – Warehouse to Noxious Industry Under TPS4 needs to be addressed and to date has not been undertaken.