Feb 25, 2013

Hippies at the gate: why the Left and Right hate coal seam gas

There are few issues that bring together the activist Left and the rural Right. But coal seam gas has Nimbin hippies protesting next to knitting nanas, writes Crikey intern Michelle Slater.

Opposition to coal seam gas projects is uniting the rural Right and the urban Left.

Law lecturer Aidan Ricketts, who wrote The Activist’s Handbook and established a university-accredited activist training program, calls the anti-CSG movement the most important social movement in modern Australian history. He says one of the unique aspects of the anti-CSG movement is the mixture of conservative landholders and liberal activists taking direct action at blockade sites across Australia.

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6 thoughts on “Hippies at the gate: why the Left and Right hate coal seam gas

  1. Mark Duffett

    “She became concerned about the issue when she learned about the industry’s effects on water.”

    Now that’s the real issue right there. What did she ‘learn’, and from who? Any chance of an examination of whether fears sparked by drilling are justified?

  2. Mark Duffett

    Sorry, should have read the subsequent story before posting my questions. To answer them, you need a science journalist.

  3. Edward James

    NSW Taxpayers in the majority giving instruction to their elected representatives are top of the hill, when it comes to what is to be permitted on our resources. Do not accept any other spin! Here is something for free thinking Crikey readers to consider.
    Barry O’Farrell, Chris Hartcher and our Federal government are scamming us. We the peoples do not want Coal Seam Gas mining, fracking, because of the perceived risk of chemical contamination to our safe ground water supplies. Governments telling us there is oversight of those permits Labor has issued and if there is a problem government will be all over it. Is rubbish tell us miners have bought an insurance police in the tens of billions of dollars I may be convinced in my dreams … I do not believe it is possible to fix destroyed aquifers and poisoned ground water after the damage has been permitted by malfeasant government at state and federal levels. These are natural resources which farmers and home owners rely on to feed themselves and produce crops for australia as a nation. I already know Chris Hartcher has let us down because I listened to him attracting voter support around the Cessnock, Wyong and Hunter regions. Telling anyone who would listen how if elected into State government he would work to protect the wine industry, primary producers and horse studs. You should resign Hartcher!
    Here are some parts quoted of easy to access information lifted from DOMGAS Alliance report dated 2002 Please hit the links and consider for yourself; At a time when manufacturing is facing significant challenges, competitively priced energy is one of the few advantages Australia has to offer and which government can help deliver. This advantage is being lost overseas as major gas producers focus on maximising LNG exports to China, Japan and Korea. Gas prices have risen sharply from $2.50 per gigajoule in Western Australia to $8/GJ, and from $3-4/GJ to $6/GJ in the East Coast. Australia is the only country that allows international oil companies to access and export natural gas without prioritising local supply. It is also the only gas exporting country experiencing serious gas shortages and sharply rising gas prices. In the United States, domestic gas prices have fallen in recent years from $14/GJ to as low as $2.50/GJ (Henry Hub). To secure this advantage, the US Government has conditioned approval of new LNG exports from the Sabine Pass on gas producers prioritising the local economy and ensuring affordable prices. We are being run into a fiscal ditch by the very same people at Federal and state levels of government whom we have given our votes to in trust. My source information dated 2002 http://www.domgas.com.au/pdf/A
    Edward James

  4. Edward James

    Hang on I had read the MICHELLE SLATER by line! and posted a comment which is moderated Thank uck it is not friday WTF

  5. AR

    Surely the other point that could be made is the about face from a couple of centuries of denigrating native peoples concern for their land being raped by white invaders?
    Take mining in this country – no probs when it’s not under white fella sacred sites, like Collins or Pitt Sts.
    Now that concern even extends to St Peters, not the most salubrious or desirable Sydney address, but whites don’t want CSG or fracking there.

  6. Liz45

    I’m against CSG mining for many reasons, but the fundamental issue is that there’s not been enough investigation as to the potential dangers to aquifers, water catchment areas and the health of populations. Also, it’s now being realised that gas is not any better than coal, and in respect of polluting the environment it’s possibly worse! Methane from gas is also dangerous to the environment.

    If you’ve seen the documentary Gasland, you’ll see why there’s growing opposition in the US.

    I live in the Illawarra. Almost all the escarpment is water catchment territory. The fine for even walking in these areas is in excess of $40,000. How can the Govt be so damned stupid as to allow even a hint of risk to our drinking water? I’ve been looking after my great grand daughter recently, and I use the microwave sterilizer religiously after each bottle’s use; use only boiled water for her formula and drinking water, and what’s the use of doing that if we pollute the water vital for her survival! It’s damned ridiculous, and the pollies can’t think further than the monies they’ll receive from this suicidal nonsense!

    Prior to the 2011 Election, Barrie O’Farrell said publicly and emphatically, that there’d be NO CSG mining in water catchment areas – he lied, but where’s the outrage from msm?

    I’ve participated in mass rallies in the Illawarra, and will continue to do so until this madness stops? The last one I was involved in was the people’s message at Bulli Showground – over 3,000 people spelled out a simple but profound message! Before that was a huge rally at Austinmer Beach, and a walk across the amazing SeaCliffe Bridge! We won’t give up until the Govt keeps its word!

    When I see the beautiful, plush farming areas around the country I want to weep! It’s sheer madness! Peoples’ properties are going to drop in value; there’s going to be damage done to peoples’ businesses, and the Govt hasn’t even mentioned compensation, or the plans in place for monitoring and how to ‘fix’ any ‘accidents’ or ‘incidents’? Common sense should prevail – get the scientific investigations done first; work out the plans for ‘tidying’ up afterwards, and not allow any drilling in catchment areas or where food and animals are; not to mention the health risks? Just plain stupid! Bloody money wins again! Well, not this time!

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