Water use by mining in Pilbara. I live and work in the Pilbara and had a mate from Tom Price come over on the weekend. He works for a major engineering contractor (to Hammersley Mining among others) in Tom Price. He reports that a couple of weeks ago they were sent on a job to erect safety fences around bore wells in the Karijini National Park. The water is pumped to run mine operations. What was of interest, is that so much water is being sucked from underground, that the area around the individual bores is collapsing (ground sinking). Apart from any concern about so much water leaving the area that the ground is sinking, it was also reported that in the newly depressed areas that plants and ferns are now springing up in the sink holes. That is, the environment is being changed by the removal of water and the change in the ground. When this was raised at a “toolbox” meeting with the mine, they were less than impressed to have it raised. 1) It is an internationally acclaimed National Park and nobody seems to be aware of the problem (except to put up safety fences). 2) It must be a lot of water going out of the area. (With an increase to come with new mine expansion.) 3) What is CALM doing (if they are aware) about the subsiding landscape?

The West Australian, Julian Grill and Brian Burke. I’d suggest the newfound sympathy has more to do with the number of times Grill and Burke are on tape at the CCC bragging about the number of senior reporters at The West the pair had it their pocket. Don’t forget that it was Burke that arranged a meeting between Armstrong and then Education Minister Lil Ravlic after The West had been hammering her about OBE for a couple of months. The rumour in media circles here is that the last time The West went the dynamic duo about their lobbying efforts there was a not-so-veiled threat made to hand over a list of journos, meeting dates and subsequent stories to one of the paper’s national competitors…

The NT intervention. Advice from within NT Health is that 90% of the children being examined already have up-to-date health check records as part of the ongoing routine program run by the Territory.

You’ve compeletely missed the point with the Dollar Wind Farm argument. The reason the project is no longer commerically viable comes down to a few key points: – lack of federal MRET credits – uncertainty around VRET – design concessions made by Merridian during the project design and initial panel hearing reduced the number of turbines and the most effective locations of turbines. Let the locals think they’ve had their victory. The reality is with some 250+ turbines due to be built at Macarthur, Portland and Yambuk in Western Victoria – South Gippsland is just too hard for such a minimal payback…

George W Bush’s changes to his holiday dates are disrupting the whole of Sydney. Now APEC begins on Fathers Day the 2nd – this is 5 days prior to the original planned starting date of APEC. Here is todays email from REX (regional express) airlines to passengers. “Important information for passengers travelling from/to Sydney between 2nd and 9th September 2007 Dear…, Booking Ref : … Flight Date : Tuesday, September 04, 2007 Flight Number : … Thank you for choosing to fly with Regional Express for your flight out of Sydney. We would like to inform you that the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) Summit will be held in Sydney from 2 – 9 September 2007. As such, we are anticipating much heavier road traffic than normal to and from the Sydney Airport. This applies particularly to 7 – 9 September 2007, on which days many world leaders will arrive in and depart from the Sydney Airport. To ensure that you arrive in time for your flights, the NSW police have advised passengers to consider taking the train to the airport rather than driving or taking a taxi. Please visit http://www.cityrail.info or call 131 500 for more information on Sydney train services…”

Qantas security is a joke. I have been on more than 50 domestic flights in the last 12 months, and NOT ONCE have I been asked for id any any stage in the process: from booking, through check-in and airport security to boarding. Ring up, quote your frequent flyer number, print your own boarding pass and you’re away, no questions asked. And get this: the booking system is so hopeless that it allows one person to be booked on two different flights at the same time. So I can be on a flight to Melbourne, and another person pretending to be me can be on a flight to Canberra, with absolutely no risk of being asked for id. Pick the security risk, anyone?