Tag Archives: Gloucester

Don’t mess with Gloucester – Rocky Hill mine recommended for rejection

MEDIA RELEASE – 23 October 2017

NSW Greens resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today congratulated the people of Gloucester for fighting off the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine after it was recommended for rejection by the Department of Planning.

The Department of Planning’s report concludes:  The Department does not believe that the impacts of [the mine’s] proximity are able to be dealt with through conditions to the consent, and as a result the Department has not made any recommendations in relation to possible conditions. Having assessed all matters relevant to the amended project as set out in this report, the Department does not consider that the amended project is able to or should be approved, and the Department does not recommend that the Commission approve the development.” [page iii]

“Has the worm finally turned?  Finally some common sense from the Department of Planning on a mine application in NSW!” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The Planning Assessment Commission should now reject this mine and the government should cancel the exploration licence for the area to give the residents of Gloucester some certainty for the future.

“This is fantastic news for the people of Gloucester.  The mine was far too close to residential areas and impacted good agricultural land and would have severely impacted the town and the valley.

“Gloucester should be a hub for tourism, agriculture and lifestyle.  The Greens congratulate the Gloucester Groundswell community group and all the residents who campaigned to preserve the beauty and amenity of their wonderful valley.

“This resilient community has fought off AGL’s proposed 300 coal seam gas wells, and now a coal mine that would have come within a kilometre of the town.  It shows that gaining a social licence to operate should not be dismissed by corporate leaders.

“In an era of climate change we must phase out coal mining.  There should be no new coal mines built in NSW and the government should implement a structured phase out of coal with a transition strategy for those communities and regional economies that are impacted by coal mining.”

AGL pull out of coal seam gas, time for Baird to ban it   

 

Media Release – 4 February 2016

NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham welcomed the announcement by AGL that they were pulling the plug on coal seam gas in NSW and Qld, saying it showed the company wanted to transition itself to a clean future, and called on Premier Mike Baird to ban coal seam gas across NSW.

“This is a wonderful and smart strategic decision by AGL to get out of a fossil fuel that was floundering in the face of community opposition, concern about pollution and climate change, and an accelerated transition to renewable energy.

“The Greens recognise that AGL seems to be making a significant efforts to transition itself from climate baddie, to an energy company with a clean future.  We hope this continues.

“With one deeply unpopular and troubled coal seam gas project left in NSW, it is time for Premier Baird to act and ban coal seam gas across the state.

“This decision shows that a social licence is necessary to operate in a community.  Coal seam gas is opposed by the vast majority of people and coal is rapidly losing its social licence to operate in NSW.

“The Greens congratulate the efforts of so many people over so many years to oppose coal seam gas in the Gloucester Valley and share their joy of being able to move on with their lives knowing that their land and water is protected.

Gloucester Council calls on Mike Baird to buy back AGL’s CSG license  

MEDIA RELEASE – 18 November 2015

The Greens NSW mining and agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today congratulated Gloucester Council on passing a motion that calls on Premier Mike Baird and Mining Minister Anthony Roberts to commence negotiations with AGL to buy back their CSG license over the Gloucester Valley, citing the impacts CSG is having on the social fabric of their community.

The motion, put up by Mayor John Rosenbaum, read as follows:

 

“That Council write to the Premier and Minister Roberts requesting negotiations be commenced with AGL to buy back the Licence for the following reasons.–

  • the social fabric of the Gloucester community is suffering
  • mental health issues and trust.”

“The uncertainty, stress and division that coal seam gas has brought to the town and valley of Gloucester is having a big impact on the community and I respect Gloucester Council for looking out for their residents,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“It is time to end the farce of coal seam gas in NSW and for the government to act to provide certainty for the communities of Gloucester, Narrabri and Fullerton Cove.

“It’s clear the world is moving towards renewable energy, so the idea of expanding fossil fuels at this point in time is a foolish one.  I believe the new management at AGL are coming to that conclusion.”

 

Where is the 212 tonnes of missing coal seam gas waste? 

 

MEDIA RELEASE – 20 September 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and AGL to locate 212 tonnes of coal seam gas waste that has allegedly gone missing or been disposed of at a unlicensed composting facility.

An EPA site inspection report, released after a year long FOI request (download here), on AGL’s Broke coal seam gas facility notes 212.26 tonnes of waste was taken to an unlicensed facility Bettergrow, but Bettergrow dispute that they ever received the waste.

EPA GIPA extract

“AGL and the EPA must reveal exactly where this toxic coal seam gas waste has been dumped.  Has it been mixed in with compost?  Was it dumped somewhere else?  Why has the EPA taken absolutely no action?” asked Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The issue with coal seam gas is the large quantities of toxic waste it produces and there has been a litany of spills and serious pollution incidents.  This latest dangerous debacle shows that neither AGL nor the EPA can be trusted.

“The systemic failures revealed in this report show why AGL should not proceed with fracking 100 CSG wells in the beautiful Gloucester Valley and why there should be a ban on this industry across NSW.

“The EPA has again let a polluting corporation off the hook and failed to protect the environment, and Minister Speakman must explain why AGL have not been prosecuted.”

 

 

AGL should ditch Gloucester gas after recognising CSG unwanted, unviable

MEDIA RELEASE – 6 July 2015

The Greens NSW coal seam gas spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has today said that AGL’s decision to ditch their controversial coal seam gas expansion plans for Sydney’s west and the Hunter Valley is a recognition that coal seam gas is unwanted and unviable, but their failure to also ditch their Gloucester gas project was a missed opportunity to repair their corporate reputation and was a decision that they would have to return to in the near future.

“This decision is recognition by AGL that coal seam gas is unwanted and unviable in the face of resolute community opposition and a growing renewable energy sector,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The writing is on the wall for coal seam gas as communities around the country refuse to accept the risks to their land, water and the climate.

“This is a great victory for the communities that have been opposing coal seam gas and reflects well on the direction the new CEO Andy Vesey is taking with AGL.

“But it is also a missed opportunity for AGL to repair their battered corporate reputation by ditching their risky Gloucester gas plans.

“The community opposition to this crazy project will continue to grow and this latest announcement will only strengthen the people of Gloucester’s resolve not to be the only place in NSW destroyed by this toxic industry.

“The $193 million write down of this project is a recognition that coal seam gas in Gloucester doesn’t stack up and the Greens look forward to AGL packing their bags in the near future.

“The buy-back process should not be a cash cow for the gas industry and the Greens believe that AGL’s worthless licenses should be handed back without compensation,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

 

Naturally occurring BTEX highlights the need to ban fracking

MEDIA RELEASE – 19 May 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said that fracking should be banned across NSW following the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that concluded that BTEX chemicals found in AGL’s frack water at its Waukivory coal seam gas operations was naturally occurring in the coal seam and wasmobilised by fracking.  He expressed concern that neither the EPA or the Department of Resources and Energy (DRE) discuss or make findings on AGL’s nearly two week delay in reporting the incident.

The EPA report:

“It is likely that the fracturing process has led to naturally occurring BTEX being detected in flowback water at levels above background levels. However, the EPA also found that it is unlikely that BTEX travelled outside of the fractured part of the coal seam.” 

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said: “The fact that toxic BTEX chemicals are mobilised by the fracking process highlights the need to ban fracking across NSW.

“The ban on BTEX additives to fracking and drilling fluids was always a smokescreen for the fact that BTEX occurs naturally in the coal seams and can be brought to the surface by gas extraction techniques.

“BTEX chemicals are known carcinogens and should be left in the coal seams underground, not brought to the surface in coal seam gas waste water.

“Once again environmental regulations have had to change to catch up with the coal seam gas industry.  The simple fact is that no amount of regulation can make safe an industry that extracts large amounts of salty, chemical laden water to the surface.

“The Greens are still very concerned that AGL took two weeks to report the detection of BTEX.  Neither the EPA nor the DRE discuss or make findings on AGL’s delay in reporting the incident.

“The public have a right to know why the detection of toxic chemicals went unreported for nearly two weeks and the relevant Minister’s should explain why this is the case. They can’t just sweep this failure under the carpet,” he said.

 

AGL corporate reputation fracked after another coal seam gas breach

MEDIA RELEASE – 5 March 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said AGL should ditch their coal seam gas operations in Camden and Gloucester before they do their corporate reputation any more harm after the EPA fined them $15,000 for breaching their Environment Protection Licence in relation to a leaking gas well at Spring Farm in Sydney’s west.

“Another day, another fine for a coal seam gas company. When it comes to the coal seam gas industry, and AGL in particular, the public are sick of the routine and systematic failures which demonstrates it is unsafe,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham

“AGL are a regular offender when it comes to breaching their Environmental Protection License and it is past time they ditched their coal seam gas operations at Camden and Gloucester before they do any more damage to their battered corporate reputation

“Fracking is hurting AGL’s corporate image and I urge the company to concentrate on renewable energy which has strong public support.”

“The Greens want a complete and permanent ban on coal seam gas and the immediate cancellation of AGL’s licence over the Gloucester Valley,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

 

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