From the Coalface - Edition 01 (25/08/14)

Events SHCAG - Monday, August 25, 2014


Welcome to the first edition of the monthly newsletter of SHCAG's volunteers.    

We hope that through this newsletter we will be better able to keep you up to date with the activities of your committee and the many devoted volunteers who are at the coalface, so to speak, on a day to day basis.

Hopefully you have all read Peter Martin’s July newsletter which has given you an update on our activities so far (please see our website if you have not). I ask you to send this, and also Peter’s newsletter, on to all your contacts as this is a great way to spread the word about our successes so far and our immediate plans for the ongoing fight.

Each month we will profile a volunteer so you can understand what motivates their activities.  We will also be highlighting some supportive businesses as these are the businesses we in turn need to support so they can grow their sustainable businesses, and help grow our community without destroying our precious environment.  As like-minded people it is uplifting for us all to support one another and build the community we want.


Volunteer Activity Update

Last Friday about 30 of us had a small peaceful 45 minute protest outside Hume’s office with signs and singing. We wanted the Moss Vale community and Hume Coal to know that we are not going away and will fight to the end.  Many supportive toots were forthcoming from the passersby, and all in all we had a great time. There certainly is a good feeling when you participate in something like this. We plan to do this monthly so if you would like to join us please contact me ( for details. 


This Month’s Volunteer Profile   

Ann Mawson - A founding volunteer whom I met on Exeter Railway station of all places. (Yes, I never stop harassing people about coalmining …)  Ann lives in Exeter and plays in the Southern Highlands Community Band.  Ann always puts her hand up and writes the absolutely best letters to the local paper and loves a good protest in front of Hume Coal’s office in Moss Vale. Here is an example of Ann’s special talent as she sums up her feelings with her rewriting of Blowing in the Wind.

“How much destruction, will it take ‘til we know,

That mining will destroy our land and water

Til’ we make, the people understand.

How many crooked politicians must we find,

Before blatant bribery is banned,

Yes and, How long can trees, birds and animals survive?

When miners drain the water, from the ground,

And where will the people go, who no longer have a home If we bury our heads in the sand”.

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the  wind,

The answer is blowin’ in the wind” (Bob Dylan)

Be aware that coal mines produce coal dust pollution that also blows in the wind.

A Mawson, Exeter.  

Please contact me if you would like to join our volunteers group. All hands welcome (   


This Months Business Highlights

Exeter General Store

Craig and Lauren have totally revamped the General store since they took over and it is now the hub of social life in the area - our local Café, Post Office and featuring pre-loved books and gifts and food items, many of which are sourced locally.  Craig and Lauren’s view is that to ensure the long term future of our regional economy and social outcomes, we need to focus on our sustainable natural competitive advantages, particularly our beautiful and productive environment, coupled with our proximity to Sydney. We need to bolster our offering as a food & wine destination, and continue the development of high value agriculture.

Cafe Pirouette Robertson

79-81 Hoddle St, Robertson, Tel 4885 1930   Carole, Mark and their crew always provide friendly service, great coffee and my favourite, bacon and egg on Turkish. Carole feels very strongly that the environmental integrity of the Highlands must be protected at all costs, not only for the present but to protect future generations.  “Some things are too precious to lose“ says Carole. 


Other News

An Important Project - Living Under a Coal Cloud

A Photographic Essay Project by ANU’s Greg Sorenson and Yasmin Idriss. The Project will cast light on the ongoing SHCAG campaign against the proposed Hume Coal mine in Sutton Forest and Exeter. Greg and Yasmin will be photographing and interviewing landowners who may be affected adversely by the mine.  The project will broaden the awareness of the outside of the region to create additional support for the campaign by the work being shown at the prestigious ANU School of Art Show. 

If you are interested in participating please contact Sam Bailey by email –  



Please be aware that our last Thursday of the Month ACAC (Anti Coal Activity Catchup) meeting will be held this Thursday 28th August at the Sutton Forest Pub at 6.30 pm Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month, (the dates are also on the website). Catch up on the latest news, ask questions, share ideas, have fun and meet like minded people - bring along friends!  ALL are welcome!  


Open Gardens - 28th September 2014

An Open Gardens day will be held on Sunday 28th September 2014 in support of the Carters Lane Blockade - a fundraiser supported by the SHCAG.  Please refer to the website for further details as they become available.   


Committee Update

Please refer to Peter Martin's July newsletter for a full update on the work the committee has been doing.   

Further updates in our next newsletter …  


Resources for Information

The Australian Institute

The Conversation

Both available free of charge if you subscribe on their websites  


I hope that you will find our newsletter of interest and please feel free to contact me if you have suggestions or comments  

Virginia Ellsmore  

Four Corners battle for the reef.

Admin | SHCAG - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 here

Old Soldiers (Protesters) Never Die ...

Events SHCAG - Thursday, August 14, 2014


SHCAG's volunteers are alive and well as this protest, last Friday - in front of Hume Coal's office in Moss Vale - demonstrates. 

A belated and heartfelt thank you to all those who participated, and thank you too to all the drivers who showed support as they drove by!  


Support the Exeter Soccer Club

Events SHCAG - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As many in the community would know, the Exeter Soccer Club committee accepted $7,500 sponsorship from the Hume Coal project in order to stay viable. Following concerns expressed about the sponsorship from club members and others in the local community, the club made what must have been the very difficult decision to return the sponsorship funding to Hume Coal.

The club now has a new funding approach for 2015 and beyond to fund the club through alternative long-term sponsorships, fundraising events, junior recruitment and revised player fees. Some new major sponsors are already on-board. Club running costs are minimal, with the vast majority of club funds going toward unavoidable costs such as competition fees.

For 2014 however, they now need to raise funds to meet the budget shortfall and ensure the continued viability of the club into next season. All funds raised will go toward essential expenses such as soccer association fees and equipment. 

The Club has done the right thing so it would be great for the community in turn to show their support for them - so please, donate if you can.  You can click here to go to their fundraising page. 

Scientists link fracking to earthquakes.

Admin | SHCAG - Friday, August 08, 2014 here

An interactive map coal mining versus the Great Barrier Reef.

Admin | SHCAG - Thursday, August 07, 2014 click here

Anti coal seam gas protesters vow to give AGL hell over tracking.

Admin | SHCAG - Thursday, August 07, 2014 here

Australian Story featuring Drew Hutton.

Admin | SHCAG - Wednesday, August 06, 2014 here

Why the shale gas fracking fad is the new dot com bubble.

Admin | SHCAG - Wednesday, August 06, 2014 here

Living under a Coal Cloud

Events SHCAG - Tuesday, August 05, 2014

We're privileged to have been approached by Greg Sorenson (ably assisted by Yasmin) who is looking to document the plight of our community - and others - in the fight to protect our peaceful way of life from the clutches of the South Korean coal and steel giant, POSCO (also known as Hume Coal).

This project is currently in its infancy and we look forward to watching the development of this new, visual voice for the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group (SHCAG) and other regions under threat. 

If you would like to participate in this project please email expressions of interest to - participation would be by way of an interview with accompanying photography - they would particularly like to get in contact with local landowners & businesses. 

And here's the link to Greg's blog where you can keep an eye on the project as it develops!