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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sunshine Coast Council must oppose coal and gas exploration on the Sunshine Coast

Posted by Jim McDonald on February 3, 2012

The Greens candidate for the Sunshine Coast, Dr Jim McDonald, has challenged the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to oppose any coal and gas exploration on the Sunshine Coast.

He said that a statement of principle by the Council opposing coal mining or coal seam gas [CSG] extraction in the region would demonstrate its true concern for the environment.

“Not many people know that the Maryborough Basin, which is presently being prepared for coal mining and CSG in the Mary Valley, extends down to Point Arkwright. I’d be very concerned that open land in Verrierdale, for example, might be exploited for coal or gas.

“People south of Coolum might not know that there is another coal basin, the Nambour Basin, that covers the rest of the Sunshine Coast. These basins with coal reserves extend from the Blackall Range out to sea.

“It is essential for the future integrity of the Sunshine Coast environment and its attraction as a desirable region for people to live in and raise their families that the open land never be degraded by these industries.

“It is generally thought that the coal mining and CSG issues facing farmers and communities in the Darling Downs and NSW have nothing to do with the Sunshine Coast. But exploration has already extended as far south as Wolvi.

“It is no accident that mining magnate, Mr Clive Palmer, is eyeing off the Sunshine Coast.”

Dr McDonald said that he has repeatedly asked LNP MPs to oppose coal mining and CSG in the Mary Valley. He said their silence spoke loudly of their support for the mining industry in our neighbourhood.

He accused the LNP of hypocrisy. “The LNP yelled loud and long against the Traveston Dam and they joined with Mary River activists and The Greens in opposing the dam. Yet when coal companies are exploring the length of the Mary River for coal and CSG, their concern for the environment disappears.

“Every major tributary of the Mary River is being explored, and their concern over Traveston for the health of the Mary River and its unique species has disappeared.

“The Sunshine Coast Regional Council must stand firm against these activities extending into the Sunshine Coast and I urge Mayor Bob Abbott to send a clear message to Labor and the LNP that the Council will lead the community in opposition to mining the Coast.

“The Noosa Greens have actively opposed coal mining along the Mary River and its tributaries. We are concerned for the health of the river, the Mary River Cod, the lungfish and the Mary River Turtle. Coal mining and CSG will threaten the world heritage sea grasslands at the mouth of the river if coal mining is approved.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate, Noosa


We need sustainable water options not more desalination plants

Posted by Steve on November 13, 2009

traveston dam canoe

Anna Bligh should pump recycled water into Wivenhoe Dam rather than squandering billions on more energy-hungry and expensive desalination plants, said the Greens today.

“The $9 billion water recycling plant and pipelines are ready to go – taxpayers have already footed the bill. Bligh just needs to show leadership and turn on the tap to supply sustainable water which is cleaner than what we are drinking now,” said Australian Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

“Bligh is continuing the Community Futures Taskforce in the Mary Valley, but what about the impact on new communities threatened with eviction, damage and pollution from desalination? No community should ever again be subjected to the cruel uncertainty and arrogance that the Mary Valley people were.

“The federal government has saved Anna Bligh $1.8 billion dollars by refusing Traveston Dam – she should use that money to supply a free rainwater tank to every remaining South East Queensland home without one, and to invest in stormwater harvesting in our cities to catch the rain where it falls.

“If Bligh is determined not to use money saved from Traveston on providing sustainable water solutions, then it should be used to reduce government debt. The cost of Traveston was one of the reasons she used to justify selling off the state’s valuable assets – now there is even less excuse for this ill-conceived flogging off of public goods.”

“Bligh should also bring back the tough water restrictions that South East Queenslanders showed they were easily able to meet. A permanent water saving target of 170L per person is achievable and will keep a lid on water costs.

“If we are to get serious about sustainable water supply for South East Queensland, we must ensure that population growth in our region is sustainable. We should refuse to grant new development approvals unless the proponent can demonstrate that the necessary water is available and that planning processes address sustainable water supplies.

With timely planning and provision of water recycling, demand and supply management, rainwater tanks, stormwater harvesting, evaporation reduction, water efficiency and sustainable groundwater extraction, there should be no need for energy-guzzling desalination.

“Bligh should also scrap the planned Nathan Dam on the Dawson River which is designed to provide water to coal mines, and invest that money into providing renewable energy which will create Queensland jobs,” concluded Ms Waters.

Greens welcome Traveston Dam refusal

Posted by Steve on November 11, 2009

Mary Valley

“This is a victory of science over politics. The Greens and the community are thrilled with Minister Garrett’s decision,” said Queensland lead Senate candidate and environmental lawyer Larissa Waters.

“Minister Garrett’s decision to apply the precautionary principle by refusing a dam with palpable risks to the environment is one which restores my faith in our federal environmental laws,” said Ms Waters.

“The challenge is now for Premier Bligh to invest in the alternative sustainable water supply solutions which the Greens and the Mary Valley community have been calling for for years.

“The Queensland government must focus on demand and supply management, rainwater tanks, water recycling, stormwater harvesting, evaporation reduction, water efficiency and sustainable groundwater extraction.

“Only after all these options have been delivered should the government consider the need for more energy-hungry and water-polluting desalination plants. If they are found to be necessary, desalination plants must be powered by 100% renewable energy, be sited out of national parks and have safe brine disposal,” concluded Ms Waters.

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Larissa's Maiden Speech