Over 1200 people attended the 'Water not coal' Rally on Saturday 7 March in Corbett Gardens. It was fantastic to see such a great turnout and we've had excellent feedback on the speakers too.
If you missed it, Alan Jones gave a rousing address, with particular focus on the lack of gumption on the part of the NSW Government to stand up to miners and use the legislative powers they've been given.
Dr Richard Denniss (CEO of economic think-tank, The Australia Institute) gave a very witty address on the economic benefits of coal mining, or should we say lack thereof. It was nicely backed up with statistics from as he put it “radical pinko organisations” like the Australian Bureau of Statistics!
Our own Kim Martin gave a very moving account of the personal, psychological, and financial toll on the landowners who are forced to deal with Hume Coal against their will. Kim's address also included a little snapshot on just how POSCO thinks of humanity, as evidenced by their behaviour in India which earned them a resounding scolding by the United Nations.
Peter Martin finished with an overview of the Groundwater Study SHCAG launched in early 2014. He explained that any mining would result in enormous volumes of water flowing into the mine and the dewatering of an area of approximately 200 square kilometres.
Thank you to all those who attended, everyone who bought T-shirts & bumper stickers, and made donations (just over $5,200 on the day) and a very special thank you to the people who joined our email database as supporters at this event (& the Moss Vale Show). Welcome!
THE LEGAL CASE
For those who may not be aware, SHCAG launched legal action against Hume Coal and the Minister for Resources & Energy in the Land & Environment Court (LEC) relating to the most recent approval for 25 new holes. These holes are in addition to the 175 already drilled in the past 4 years.
3 days of hearings have been held in the Land & Environment Court and the case will continue for another 3 days later in April. We probably won't know the outcome until at least June.
We are attempting to overturn the drilling approval and force Hume Coal to submit a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before they can do anything else at all. This is a very comprehensive and expensive environmental document that must fully address all the environmental issues including the groundwater. That will make a change! Any EIS is also open to public scrutiny and submissions from all interested parties.
Sadly the well is running dry so we will be contacting all of our supporters requesting assistance with this before the aquifer runs dry too. The legal case - which will set a very important precedent - is, as you can imagine, a pretty costly exercise. Running an organisation like SHCAG, even with the wonderful contributions from our fabulous volunteers, not only requires time & effort, but also money.
We will be launching a major fundraising initiative very soon so keep your eyes peeled! We will of course accept donations at any time so just contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you would like to donate now.
IN THE NEWS
Latte Life featured the legal case on the front page of their January/February edition - nice to see some local coverage of this.
POSCO, the South Korean owners of Hume Coal, have attracted quite a bit of attention at home - hitting the newsstands with revelations of alleged slush funds in Vietnam and some other dubious corporate practices. We keep posting links to relevant articles as they come to light.
There was some great local coverage too of the photographic exhibition put on at BDAS by Greg Sorenson & Yasmin Idriss called "Authorisation 349: A community fighting to save its water". Some lovely images and they kindly contributed a portion of their sales to the fighting fund - Thank you!
IMPORTANT – DATE CHANGE FOR ACAC!
This month's ACAC (Anti Coal Activity Catchup) meeting at the Sutton Forest pub will now be 6.30 pm Thursday 23 APRIL (not 30 April as previously advised) - due to the current legal action/court dates. Please mark your diaries accordingly!