Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland Labor MP angry about delay to act on black lung disease

‘The hearse is waiting in the driveway’, Brisbane Times,By Felicity Caldwell, Labor backbencher Jo-Ann Miller did not pull any punches on Thursday, coming out swinging against her own government and a Parliament committeee.

October 26, 2017 Posted by | health, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland government to take over agricultural land for Adani coal mine rail line

Government resume land for Adani
A FARM group – partly backed by the Tim Flannery-led Climate Council – has hit out over the State Government resumption of agricultural land for the Adani rail line.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Townsville and Rockhampton councils could pay at least $31 million for Adani coalmine airstrip

Queensland councils to pay at least $31m for Adani coalmine airstrip
Townsville and Rockhampton councils may pay millions more if company’s bid to sew up deal with traditional owners fails, Guardian, 
Joshua Robertson, 20 Oct 17, Two local councils are paying $31m to build an airstrip for Adani’s Queenslandcoalmine – and could fork out millions more if the energy giant’s bid to sew up a deal with traditional owners hits a stumbling block.

Townsville and Rockhampton councils last week announced they would spend $15.5m each on the airport – hundreds of kilometres away – in a deal to secure Adani’s guarantee of 2,200 construction jobs for their residents.

And Townsville has agreed to pay up to $18.5m if the airport is shifted to a second location outside Wangan and Jagalingou land, where Adani’s right to build Australia’s largest coalmine is tied up in a drawn-out legal battle with a traditional owners group.

Rockhampton, which originally put up $20m for the airport in a bid to gain Adani’s guarantee, may also invest up to $18.5m but this has not been made clear.

Despite the Carmichael mine having broad support in both communities, there is some backlash to ratepayers providing infrastructure for a transnational corporation.

 An online petition by a Townsville ratepayers group member, Peter Newey, calling for council to scrap its decision, has garnered about 3,700 signatures in a few days. Cathy O’Toole, the federal MP for Herbert in Townsville, has also flagged local concerns about “giving ratepayers’ money to a multinational”.

Councillors from both cities voted in favour of paying for the airport for Adani’s workforce in closed discussions of confidential reports, recorded in minutes that did not mention the company……….

Rockhampton councillors met on 26 September for a confidential discussion about “economic development opportunities” and an update from council’s general manager of “regional development and aviation”.

The minutes make no mention of Adani but note a confidential report contained information “for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage”.

Councillors unanimously voted for their chief executive to “execute the terms sheets as discussed at the meeting” but did not put a figure on the cost to ratepayers.

Neither the Townsville mayor, Jenny Hill, nor the Rockhampton mayor, Margaret Strelow, responded to a request for comment.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Rockhampton’s Mayor Strelow misrepresents Wanganand Jagalingou

Mayor Strelow misrepresents Wanganand Jagalingou
‘Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow’s
‘thanks’ to the the Wangan and Jagalingou people for ‘our support’ is disingenuous
and clearly misrepresents the position of the Traditional Owners
of the proposed Carmichael mine area.

‘We do not support a FIFO (fly in fly out) hub that allows
a mass of people who have no respect for our land to fly in
and destroy our country and culture, and fly out again.

‘The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
don’t know who Mayor Strelow is talking to,
but it’s clearly not the W&J Applicant or the claim group or our families.

‘A majority of Wangan and Jagalingou families have
consistently rejected Adani’s sham ILUA  for the mine.
Adani has no agreement with Traditional Owners
and an ILUA has not been registered.
The purported ILUA is subject to a Federal Court trial in March 2018.

‘Our court action in March will expose the underhanded way
in which our position on the mine is misrepresented by Adani,
and our supposed support was engineered.

‘We have provided evidence to the court of Adani’s bad faith and
we will pursue this constant misrepresentation of our people and
our position on the mine until we can demonstrate once and for all
we do not and never will support this coal mine
or any project or enterprise aligned to it. …’

To continue reading this excellent statement by Wangan and Jagalingou People go here:

October 18, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Tradiational land owners Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people at forefront of opposition to Adani coal mine

‘Opposition from traditional owners of the land

‘The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people are the traditional owners of the land
on which the Adani group has proposed to build its mine and they argue
that if this mine was to be built on their homelands,
it would irreversibly destroy their customs, culture and heritage. …

‘The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council
is at the forefront of the tussle with the Adani group and
have taken the matter to the federal court of Australia.

‘The matter is up for hearing in March 2018 and is being seen
as the last legal hurdle in the way of the Carmichael coal mine. … ‘

Note: This is the first in a three-part series 
that will examine how the Adani and Carmichael coal mine has divided the Australian public
and in the process, sparked fierce debate on issues such as
coal-based energy, energy financing, jobs and the rights of indigenous people.’

To continue reading this comprehensive overview go here:

October 18, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Greens Queensland campaign: Richard di Natale attacks Adani coal project

Richard di Natale targets Adani at Greens’ Queensland campaign launch

Leader attacks connection between lobbyists and politicians, saying democratic rules are ‘rigged’ in the state, Guardian, Gareth Hutchens and Katharine Murphy, 7 Oct 17 The Greens say they will offer Queensland voters a chance to clean up politics at the looming state election, and send a clear message that they don’t want the controversial Adani mine to proceed.

The federal Greens leader, Richard di Natale, will launch their campaign on Saturday with a speech declaring the state has a democratic deficit because of lobbying and political connections, with “a revolving door between politicians, their staff and the companies that profit from government decisions”.

Di Natale will declare that “the rules in Queensland are rigged”.

The Greens leader will criticise the practice of political staff from the major parties going on to work as corporate lobbyists, and point out that Adani’s lobbyists in Queensland, Next Level Strategic Services, also “act for property developers, gambling firms and Broadspectrum – the company running Manus and Nauru detention centres”.

Federal leaders from all parties have been highly attentive to Queensland in recent months, preparing the ground for when the Labor premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, fires the starting gun.

One Nation is likely to be the kingmaker, with neither Labor nor the LNP guaranteed to win the 47 seats required for power in the unicameral parliament.

The Greens will also be in fierce competition with Labor for inner Brisbane seats. The Adani project provides a major point of difference between the two parties, and one the Greens will run hard on, as they have done in Melbourne.

Di Natale on Saturday will zero in on Labor’s assistance for the project. “Despite Queensland Labor’s election promise not to give any public money to Adani, they ultimately were able to secure a loan from the Queensland government so Adani don’t have to pay coal royalties that would go towards vital public infrastructure, schools and hospitals.”

The Greens leader will say the company was assisted in securing support from the state government by lobbyists, who were in frequent contact with the state government in the lead up to the royalties decision.

“We still don’t know what is in this contract, because the Palaszczuk government refuses to release it,” the text of Di Natale’s speech says.

“But what we do know through Queensland’s lobbyist contact register is that Next Level lobbyists were in contact with the premier’s office and her chief of staff every single day in the lead-up to the royalties announcement.”

The Queensland lobbyists contact register shows Next Level had daily contact with senior members of the Queensland government from 25 May to 30 May, when the final decision was made.

“We also know that up until that point the premier had had only 10 appointments with lobbyists – six of them were with Adani’s handlers.”

October 9, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland’s $12 million Queensland climate change policy dragging on in implementation

Slow progress on key $12 million Queensland climate change policy, SMH, Tony Moore , 7 Oct 17,  Progress appears slow on one of Labor’s key climate change policies to encourage coastal Queensland councils to formally adopt a 0.8-metre higher sea level to combat beach erosion and storm surge problems.

The state government cannot say how many of the 41 coastal councils in Queensland have formally adopted the higher sea level, despite two departments being given four days to answer.

However, funds from the $12 million set aside by the state government has now gone to 21 of the 41 oceanside councils to develop plans.

Gold Coast City Council last week formally adopted the higher sea level when they updated their Gold Coast City Plan last week, as part of Queensland’s Climate Adaption Strategy.

Fairfax Media believes Cairns and Townsville councils have adopted the 0.8-metre higher sea level but it remains unclear if Moreton Bay Regional Council has accepted the higher sea level.

 The policy allows coastal communities to better prepare homes and businesses for sea erosion and storm surge damage from increasingly frequent storms and cyclones as temperatures warm by 2100.

Gold Coast City Council last week formally adopted the higher sea level when they updated their Gold Coast City Plan last week, as part of Queensland’s Climate Adaption Strategy.

Maps produced by Geoscience Australia for the Australian government show localised flooding in three scenarios: a 50-centimetre sea level rise, an 80-centimetre rise and a 1.1-metre rise.

The Geoscience maps show a considerable flood impact on the Gold Coast’s northern suburbs and in the canal estates…….

Earlier this year Local Government Association president Mark Jamieson said more than 30 Queensland councils would be gradually affected by rising sea levels.

“More than half of Queensland’s 77 councils will be exposed to coastal hazards in the future,” Cr Jamieson said.

“It’s vital that local governments work together to assess risks and identify practical solutions that will help coastal communities prepare for serious issues such as storm tide flooding, coastal erosion and sea level rise.”

On Sunday evening, a Local Government Department spokeswoman said the department had provided funding to 20 of the 41 Queensland councils to begin planning how to cope with higher sea levels……

October 9, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australian and international scientists’ desperate race to save the great Barrier Reef

  • The amazing biological fixes that could help save the Great Barrier Reef October   John Pratt 3 Oct 2017

    In just the past two years, up to half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef has died.

  • Off Australia’s northeast coast lies a wonder of the world; a living structure so big it can be seen from space, more intricate and complex than any city, and so diverse it hosts a third of all fish species in Australia. John Pratt 3 Oct 17 

    The Great Barrier Reef as we know it — 8,000 years old and home to thousands of marine species — is dying in our lifetime.
    Can We Save the Reef?

    The epic story of Australian and international scientists who are racing to understand our greatest natural wonder, and employing bold new science to save it.   VisitJohn

October 6, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland council saves $1.9m in grid costs from single Tesla Powerpack

A Queensland local government council has installed what is believed to be Australia’s first off-grid solar and battery storage system to use a Tesla Powerpack, to maintain local drinking water quality around the clock.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, storage | Leave a comment


THE ADANI LIST: COMPANIES THAT COULD MAKE OR BREAK THE CARMICHAEL COAL PROJECT  Adani’s plans to dig up hundreds of millions of tonnes of dirty Galilee Basin coal are gargantuan, requiring input from a range of project partners. And every company that helps this nightmare become a reality would be partly responsible for the environmental and climate devastation the Carmichael project stands to inflict.

High risk companies, which have known links with Adani or the Carmichael project, are featured below [on original] . Hover over or tap on the company logos to learn how each is connected, [on original] and click to take action. Further down the page [on original] is a more comprehensive list of companies that may be involved, broken down by sector……….
Who We Are

‘Market Forcesbelieves that the banks, superannuation funds and governments
that have custody of our money should use it to protect not damage our environment.

‘Our work exposes the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects
and help Australians hold these institutions accountable.

‘We work with the community to prevent investment in projects
that would harm the environment and drive global warming.’

How We Work

‘Market Forces is proud to be an affiliate project of Friends of the Earth Australia
and a member of the BankTrack international network,
connecting us with passionate campaigners, environmental issue experts
and advocates of environmentally sustainable behaviour from the finance sector.’

Our Vision

‘Our vision is a future where institutions invest with a high degree of respect for the environment,
utilising our money to deliver solutions to major environmental issues, and
where the community holds to account the custodians of their money
to ensure it is used to benefit the environment.’

October 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani Carmichael coal mine:  Former Indian minister sounds alarm  on Adani’s track record,  mega-mine’s viability

~ Four Corners  By Stephen Long, Wayne Harley and Mary Fallon

India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is “absolutely appalled”
by the Australian Government’s approval of the Adani Group’s massive coal mine in North Queensland,
which he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, “a common heritage of mankind”.

‘Mr Ramesh, an elder statesman of India’s opposition Congress Party,
also said the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence
on Adani Group’s environmental and financial conduct in India  before granting environmental approvals and mining licenses. …

‘”You’re giving a tax break to a project that is actually going to have adverse environmental consequences,  which will have multiplying effects on weather patterns  in the region, across the world. I find it bizarre,” he said. …

Adani coal ‘will be too expensive for Indian market’
‘Australian politicians have argued India needs the coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine
in North Queensland to lift millions of India’s poor out of “energy poverty”.

‘But another respected Indian observer,  the former head of India’s Ministry of Power, E.A.S Sarma,  dismissed that as false and misguided. …

‘”We cannot afford that, it is so expensive.  My assessment is it will not be possible for the Indian market
to absorb Adani coal.” … ‘

October 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Great Barrier Reef: Queensland Labor may break election vow and allow coal ship loading

Labor vowed to ban ‘trans-shipping’ in reef waters after UN’s scientific body raised concerns about proposal in 2014, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 23 Sept 17, The Queensland Labor government has flagged breaking a 2015 election promise by allowing the loading of coal ships at sea in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

Labor vowed to ban so-called “trans-shipping” in reef waters after the United Nations’ peak scientific body raised concerns about a proposal off Hay Point near Mackay in 2014.

But the Palaszczuk government on Friday released a proposal that would allow trans-shipping off Hay Point and three other “priority ports”, including Adani’s Abbot Point…….

September 23, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Anti-Adani protesters arrested outside Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen  ABC North Qld

Updated Tue Police say they have arrested 10 protesters who were blockading the road to the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen in central Queensland.

About 50 people, including members of anti-Adani group Front Line Action on Coal, held banners and voiced their concerns at plans to develop the Carmichael coal mine facility in the north of the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

 Police said they charged 10 people with trespassing on business land, and those arrested had been taken to the Bowen watch house.

Whitsundays Police inspector Steve O’Connell said it was unfortunate arrests had to be made, but he was happy with the overall peaceful nature of the protest.

Bowen resident of 50 years, Elvyn Smith, attended the protest because she had concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed mine.

“At this time with climate change and the knowledge we have on that, that it is not a good time to be opening a large coal mine,” Ms Smith said.

“With the extreme weather events that have been happening, coal is the thing that is fuelling this.

“I am here for future generations to protect this great place that we have.”

Local councillor Mike Brunker said the protesters did not represent the views of local residents who opposed the protest.

“Finally now we see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, and now we come and see this sort of rubbish. People are sick of it,” Cr Brunker said.

Security ramped up at water reservoir

Whitsundays Mayor Andrew Wilcox said the council was taking extra measures to protect the Bowen water supply after activists hung a banner on the town’s reservoir.

Cr Wilcox said the council was not taking any risks.

“We’re taking extra precautions now. We are just making sure we’re doing more patrols,” Cr Wilcox said.

“At the end of the day it’s already all secured, but we’re just doing that and we’re also putting some cameras around the place.

“And then if we do catch some of these people, we hope that they face the long arm of the law.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Liberal National Party member would consider taxpayer funding for private coal-fired power station.

Coal-fired pledge for Qld
Queensland LNP leader would consider diverting taxpayer funds from renewable energy into a privately built coal-fired power station.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Anti Adani coal project- action is seriously hotting up in Queensland

Anti-Adani protesters promise week-long action against Queensland mine 16 September 2017 

September 18, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment