Turnbull’s plan to defund Australian Renewable Energy Agency will cause loss of 100s of solar energy jobs in Queensland
Queensland solar projects that could create 2,600 jobs at risk in federal cuts
Many schemes may not go ahead if the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is defunded in the government’s omnibus bill, ACF warns, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 25 Aug 16, Thousands of jobs could be created in Queensland if 10 large-scale solar projects were to receive funding, according to analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation.
The projects, earmarked for funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), would create around 2,695 jobs according to the study.
The figure compared favourably with the 1,400 jobs which the Indian conglomerate Adani estimates its $16bn Carmichael coalmine would bring to the state if it obtains approval for the controversial project, the study claimed.
However, the findings comes as Arena faces defunding by the federal government, placing the projects in jeopardy. Continue reading
19 August 2016
Traditional Owners say govt acted shamefully,
fight to stop Adani’s Carmichael mine continues
Defence of rights and country still has a long way to run
“Senior Traditional Owner and spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners family council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, says he is not surprised by the decision handed down in the Federal Court in Brisbane today, while reiterating that they stand strong together and will continue to defend their human rights, and protect their traditional lands from Adani’s destructive Carmichael mine.
““The issuing by the Palaszczuk government of the mining leases, in support of Adani running roughshod over our right to say ‘no’ to this mine, was a shameful episode. We will continue to pursue all legal avenues, Australian and international, to defend our rights and stop this massive coal mine going ahead,” Mr Burragubba said.
“Wangan and Jagalingou council representatives, including Mr Burragubba, are currently challenging the leasesthat have been issued by the Palaszczuk government for the Adani Carmichael coal mine ina Judicial Review in the Queensland Supreme Court. The matter will be heard in November; and further legal actions are underway. …
“Lawyer for Mr Burragubba, Mr Benedict Coyne said: “My client will take some time to review the reasons for judgment, and consider his appeal options in the context of numerous other legal avenues he is pursuing for justice for his people, both domestically and internationally.” …
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-19/indigenous-challenge-to-adani-carmichael-coal-mine-dismissed/7765466~ Andrew Kos 19 August 2016
“The Federal Court has dismissed a challenge from a Queensland traditional owner to mining leases for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.
“A member of the Wangan and Jagalingou people was trying to put a stop to the multi-billion-dollar Galilee basin project.
“Senior traditional owner for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, Adrian Burragubba argued that a determination made in April 2015 by the National Native Title Tribunal, relating to the proposed granting of two mining leases, was made incorrectly.
“He argued the approval of mining leases would extinguish native title over parts of the group’s lands.
“Mr Burragubba made the application for judicial review against the Queensland Government, Adani and the National Native Title Tribunal. …
“In his judgement, Justice John Reeves concluded that none of Mr Burragubba’s grounds of review had merit. “Justice Reeves said the tribunal did not fail to observe the rules of natural justice or constructively fail to exercise its jurisdiction. …
“While I respect the judgement of Justice Reeves, we will seek advice from our legal team on an appeal,” Mr Burragubba said. … “
Greasing The Wheels: Report Lays Bare Extraordinary Govt Access For Queensland Miners, New Matilda By Hannah Aulby on July 29, 2016 There’s something rotten in the state of Queensland, and it smells a lot like gas and mining. Hannah Aulby explains.
There is little doubt that the mining industry enjoys a higher level of access and influence over government in Australia than the average citizen. It’s often difficult to measure exactly how far that influence extends, but at other times it becomes glaringly obvious.
A report released today by The Australia Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation shows that the influence of the mining industry on government in Queensland is systematic and ongoing.
The report, ‘Greasing the Wheels: the systematic weaknesses that allow undue influence of mining companies on government, a Queensland case study’, provides six case studies of mining companies using political donations, high level political access, gifts and the ‘revolving door’ to influence legislation in their favour.
It shows that Beach Energy, Sibelco, Karreman, New Hope, Adani and Linc Energy have all received favourable treatment from government including retrospective mining project approvals, revocation of environmental protections and reversals of party mining policies.
These case-studies are just the tip of the iceberg. In recent days Linc Energy and QRC have provided fresh insights into a frightening trend…… https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/29/greasing-the-wheels-report-lays-bare-extraordinary-govt-access-for-queensland-miners/
Construction Mt Emerald wind farm expected to start in December The Cairns Post July 28, 2016 CONSTRUCTION on the Tablelands’ Mt Emerald wind farm is expected to start in December, following the selection of preferred contractors for the $360 million project.
Developer Ratch Australia has awarded its wind farm contract to Dutch manufacturers Vestas and the Sydney-based Downer Group.
Vestas and Downer will share responsibility for the entire 180MW project, including supply and construction of more than 50 turbines, a substation, cabling to the grid, civil and electrical works, and wind monitoring equipment.
The announcement follows Ergon Energy’s decision to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030……..http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/construction-mt-emerald-wind-farm-expected-to-start-in-december/news-story/09b600f1c8d9b6e2a4eb929d34b27768
Sections of Great Barrier Reef suffering from ‘complete ecosystem collapse’
Coral Watch investigator reports ‘shocking’ lack of fish and says the surviving corals are continuing to bleach, even during winter, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 22 July 16, “Complete ecosystem collapse” is being seen on parts of the Great Barrier Reef, as fish numbers tumble and surviving corals continue to bleach into winter, according to a scientist returning from one of the worst-hit areas.
“The lack of fish was the most shocking thing,” said Justin Marshall, of the University of Queensland and the chief investigator of citizen science program Coral Watch. “In broad terms, I was seeing a lot less than 50% of what was there [before the bleaching]. Some species I wasn’t seeing at all.”
Marshall spent a week this month conducting surveys on the reefs around Lizard Island………overall, Marshall estimate that more than 90% of the branching corals had died around Lizard Island. He said many of the huge porites corals, which could be a thousand years old, had died.
Coral and other organisms like anemones and giant clams bleach when water temperatures are too high for too long. When they become stressed, they expel their colourful symbiotic algae that provide them with energy, becoming pale or white. Unless the water temperatures quickly return to normal, many of those organisms die.
Lizard Island was particularly badly hit by the global bleaching event that hit every major reef region in the world and killed almost a quarter of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef. But, in the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef, between Lizard Island and the Torres Strait, a majority of the coral is thought to have died.
The mass bleaching this year was driven by climate change, which raised water temperatures close to the maximum threshold coral could stand, and a strong El Niño that bumped the temperatures above that threshold. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/21/sections-of-great-barrier-reef-suffering-from-complete-ecosystem-collapse
Frydenberg signals $5 billion taxpayer frolic with Adani’s unwanted
fossil flop, Independent Australia Sophie Vorrath 24 September 2015 In a shock interview yesterday, the Turnbull Government’s new energy and resources minister, Josh Frydenberg, signalled that taxpayers would be stumping up funds for Adani’s unpopular Carmichael coal mine.Renew Economy’s Sophie Vorrath reports.
IF AUSTRALIA’s new Prime Minister and refreshed front bench are showing signs of being more progressive about renewable energy investment and R&D, it looks like they are also going to be far more candid about coal, and their plans to invest heavily there, too.
In an interview with Fairfax media on Wednesday, the newly sworn in energy and resources minister Josh Frydenberg was crystal clear on the government’s intent to use taxpayer money from its $5 billion Northern Infrastructure Fund to help get the Adani-owned Carmichael coal mining project off the ground.
And he was equally clear that the Turnbull Government’s attitude to developing new coal projects – despite the smart money being on all untapped fossil fuel resources staying in the ground, and despite the fact that most banks and institutional investors won’t touch the Galilee Basin project with a 10 foot barge pole – remains the same as the Abbott Government’s. Frydenberg told the AFR, repeating the mantra of his former boss:
[Carmichael coal mine is] a very important project, which will see significant investment in Australia and provide electricity to millions of people in the developing world,”
Anti-development activism can create major delays in projects and send investment offshore, and you have to be very conscious of that when there are such large time frames involved and we are competing internationally for investment in this country.
The trouble is, the sort of investment Frydenberg sees Australia competing for is looking more like divestment to the rest of the world, with a new report showing that there is now an estimated $2.6 trillion in coal, gas and other fossil fuel assets set to be dumped from the investment portfolios of 430 institutions and 2,040 individuals around the world…….https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/frydenberg-signals-5-billion-taxpayer-frolic-with-adanis-unwanted-fossil-flop-,8193
Logan becoming south-east Queensland’s greenest city , Brisbane Times, July 17 2016 The greener side of Logan is starting to show through, with the south-east Queensland city embracing solar energy, recycling initiatives, DIY kits and sustainable living workshops.
Energex statistics from June revealed Logan was ahead of nearby cities when it came to solar power, with more than a quarter of all properties having solar panels on their roofs.
This was compared to 17 per cent in Brisbane and 18 per cent on the Gold Coast.
The city of more 308,000 residents is 70 per cent rural or semi-rural, an appealing factor for those in the area who enjoy their open spaces…….
“A lot of schools are becoming a lot more sustainable, Calvary Christian College at Springwood have their own chickens and sell their eggs, the children involved in gardening, selling produce, checking the eggs,” ………..http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/logan-becoming-southeast-queenslands-greenest-city-20160717-gq7mp0.html
Vatican praise for Townsville Catholic diocese solar scheme http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-14/vatican-praise-for-townsville-catholic-diocese-solar-scheme/7630890?section=environment By Ben Millington Catholic schools in north Queensland have caught the eye of the Vatican with a solar project that is cutting carbon emissions and saving millions of dollars.
The Diocese of Townsville, which stretches from the coast to Mt Isa in the state’s north-west, has installed solar panels on roofs of all its eligible schools. The diocese has invested $6 million in one megawatt of solar panels, but diocese director of education Dr Cathy Day said this could deliver a much higher return. “The best figures that I like to think is a saving of $40 million over 25 years,” she said.
“Now when you turn that into teachers that we can pay for, or resources for students, that’s quite a substantial amount of money and I think it’s a great investment.”
In combination with the use of low-energy LED lighting, she said, the diocese had cut carbon emissions by 40 per cent, which is equivalent to taking 40,000 cars off the road. Dr Day said her main motivation had been to set a positive example for students and the broader community. “We’ve all got to start investing in technology and energy efficiency,” she said. “This is the way of the future. Our students are going to be in these industries. Nobody’s going to be working in a coal-fired power station in years to come.”
Emissions will eventually be cut by 80 per cent With further investment, Dr Day said they expect to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in emissions through installing more solar and energy-efficient air conditioning, as well as using batteries to store the power generated.
She returned last week from a visit to Rome, where she presented the project to Vatican officials in meetings led by former deputy prime minister and onetime ambassador to the holy see, Tim Fischer, who has become a spokesman for the project. Mr Fischer said the scheme was well received in Rome and he would like to see it rolled out in schools across the world. “What has happened in Townsville is mildly revolutionary and is extremely positive in terms of energy savings because it works and it can be monitored in real time,” he said.
“That’s what caused positive ripples in Rome. They saw in this sustainable, cut-through, realistic energy savings created without massive capital expenditure.”
The project is already being replicated in other Catholic schools in Cairns and the Northern Territory.
Queensland’s $500m Coopers Gap wind farm could be operational by 2020 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-04/hope-qld-500m-coopers-gap-wind-farm-project-operational-2020/7562124?section=environment By Ellie Sibson An energy company planning to build Queensland’s largest wind farm is hoping to have the project operational by 2020.
AGL Energy’s proposed $500 million Coopers Gap wind farm would be constructed at Cooranga North, about 200 kilometres north-west of Brisbane in the state’s South Burnett region. It has a proposed capacity of 350 megawatts and could power 190,000 homes each year.
Under the plans, up to 115 turbines would be built across 11 properties.
Last month, the wind farm was declared a coordinated project and community consultation on the draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement is currently underway. Dozens of residents attended a recent public meeting at the nearby township of Bell to raise concerns and ask questions about the project.
Project manager Neil Cooke said most of the feedback had been positive. “Some of the community are concerned about the noise being too high and concerned about sleep,” he said. “We’re in the process of organising a second trip down to our wind farms in Victoria so people can actually get to see wind farms close up.”
Wind farm would ‘drought-proof property’ If the wind farm is approved, Cyril Stewart would have three turbines built on his cattle property. During times of drought, Mr Stewart has had to leave his land in search of a job. “It would be the greatest thing since sliced bread because it is drought-proofing the property,” he said. “This is something that rain, hail or shine, there’s an income.”
About 350 workers are needed for construction with ongoing employment for 20 people. South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said it would be a big jobs boost for the region. “Economic development is something our region really needs,” he said. “These sorts of things don’t come about often … employment driven by the economic outcomes is something that as a region we can’t ignore.” The environmental impact process is expected to take at least six months.
Queensland approves all environmental activity applicants despite ‘disqualifying events’ ‘An independent review has raised se
rious questions about the system for registering people and companies for sensitive environmental activities in Queensland.
– Applicants were approved despite leaving questions unanswered, missing documents
– Environmental lawyer describes the process as “sloppy”
– The Environment Department says it helps applicants fix applications
The ABC can reveal that not a single applicant has been denied “suitable operator” status
since the system was brought in three years ago, despite instances of missing paperwork,
inadequate information, and applications containing “disqualifying events”.’
‘Concerns over #Adani port expansion prompted review …
Background check ‘ignores foreign offences’ … ‘
Exclusive by the National Reporting Team’s Mark Willacy | ABC News
The following statement is from our client
Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping (WRAD):
http://www.edoqld.org.au/news/wrad-media-release-whitsunday-residents-take-expansion-of-abbot-point-terminal-to-court/ 24 June 2016:
“Local community group, Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping,
which aims to protect the Great Barrier Reef from damage,
is asking the QLD Supreme Court to scrutinise whether the QLD Department of Environment
properly considered legislative tests when granting authority for
Adani’s controversial Abbot Point Terminal 0 expansion to go ahead.
The first directions hearing is taking place today in the Queensland Supreme Court.
Local grandmother, former tourism worker and spokesperson for Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping, Sandra Williams said,
“Our precious Great Barrier Reef is already in poor health, and Adani’s controversial port project,
which will cause irreparable damage, has raised significant concern in our community.
“Residents in our group have never taken legal action before,
but we were forced to because of our worry that the approval of the port expansion,
which will require damaging dredging and see hundreds of extra ships through the Reef each year, was not lawful.
“There is a question mark over whether the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
properly assessed the project, as required by law, before it gave this billion dollar proposal the green light.
“It is critically important that the decision, which has such grave implications for the Reef, is properly scrutinised. … ”
To continue reading the full statement, click on this link:
Wind farm at Mount Emerald, near Cairns, set to create 150 jobs http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/wind-farm-at-mount-emerald-near-cairns-set-to-create-150-jobs/news-story/6ddd2419660c8f1666822dfde3024a8f May 27, 2016 A WIND farm to be built in far north Queensland will generate enough renewable energy to power a regional city. Ergon Energy and proponents Ratch Australia and Port Bajool on Friday signed a power purchase agreement to build the 170 megawatt Mount Emerald Wind Farm, near Cairns.
About $400 million in total expenditure is projected during the project’s two-year construction phase and 25-year operational period.
The project is also expected to boost the region’s economy by $900 million through direct and indirect flow-on impacts.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the project would mean the state’s wind energy production, which sat at 12 megawatts, would be increased by 15 times.
Great Barrier Reef tourism operators refuse media and politicians access to bleached reefs, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 28 April 16, Several major operators refuse to take Greens’ senators to bleached reefs as a backdrop for policy announcements, fearing potential impact on tourism. North Queensland tourism operators are routinely refusing to take media and politicians to see coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef for fear the attention will trigger a collapse in visitor numbers, it has been claimed.
Several major operators with the backing of industry heavyweightsrefused to ferry Greens senators Richard di Natale and Larissa Waters to reefs off Cairns, the backdrop for their election campaign announcement on reef policy on Thursday.
They were just the latest in a string of operators denying media requests to help them obtain pictures and footage and report on what scientists say is the worst bleaching event in the reef’s history, according to dive operator, Tony Fontes. Continue reading
Origin Energy signs up for output from new Queensland solar farm, The Age, May 4, 2016 Angela Macdonald-Smith Energy Reporter A 13-year deal signed by Origin Energy to buy all the electricity produced at a new 100 megawatt solar project in north Queensland has accelerated the recovery of the renewable energy sector after a stalling in new investment over the past two years.
The contract, which will have Origin buy both the output and the renewable energy certificates generated by the Clare Solar Farm, also underscores how large-scale solar is improving in competitiveness, catching up with wind power…….
The Clare project will be built by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures at a site 35 kilometres west of Ayr. Production is due to start next year and Origin will buy all of the output until 2030.
The deal follows Origin’s commitment in March to buy the output of FRV’s 56MW Moree solar farm, a project that is already in production in northern NSW. It has also applied for government funding for its own solar project in south-east Queensland.
Origin is one of the biggest liable parties under the RET regulations, which requires it to buy an increasing proportion of renewable energy for its electricity retailing activities. The deal with FRV for the Clare output will take Origin’s portfolio of renewable energy generation and purchase contracts to more than 700MW.
Origin’s head of energy markets Frank Calabria said the cost of solar “is falling rapidly compared with other renewable resources”.
“Now is the ideal time to invest in solar and we have been actively looking for opportunities to diversify and add more renewable energy to our portfolio,” Mr Calabria said.
For FRV, the contract with Origin kicks off a third new investment in Australia, after the Royalla solar project in the ACT and the Moree venture. http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/origin-energy-signs-up-for-output-from-new-qld-solar-farm-20160503-gollf5.html