No coal mine in Bacchus Marsh - locals and activists halt exploratory drilling

Locals and activists from Quit Coal stopped exploratory drilling in Bacchus Marsh today, 50km west of Melbourne. About 20 people occupied a drilling rig belonging to Mantle Mining on the side of Glenmore Road, near the corner of Daisybank Lane, Bacchus Marsh.

Two people locked themselves to the Mantle Mining exploratory drilling rig this morning: Paul Connor climbed to the top of the rig and unfurled a banner which read ‘No New Coal Bacchus Marsh’. Bacchus Marsh mother Natasha Mills, who is pregnant with her second child, locked herself to the bottom of the rig and told reporters "I felt a responsibility to stop drilling today because I’m determined to protect my family from a dangerous coal mine, and I don’t want my children’s future to be marked by run-away climate change."

Background: Our neighbour the coal mine? Bacchus Marsh | Quit Coal | Quit Coal Flickr Photostream | Moorabool Environment Group | Sourcewatch: Bacchus Marsh coal project


Rally says no to HRL coal power station

About 400 people gathered in the sun, on the steps of the Victorian parliament for a weekday lunchtime protest to say no new coal fired power stations. The Rally was against the propoed HRL coal fired power station for Victoria. Speakers included Adam Bandt, Greens MP for Melbourne, Kelvin Thomson, Labor MP for Wills, Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Safe Climate Campaigner for Environment Victoria, Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Julien Vincent, and Gem from AYCC.


Critical time for stopping HRL coal fired power station in Victoria

Victorian residents are fighting to stop the construction of a new 600MW coal fired power station at Morwell in the La Trobe valley. The HRL coal gasification plant proposes to turn brown coal into a synthetic gas which is mixed with natural gas to fire steam turbines to generate electricity. The pollution generated will be the equivalent of a black coal fired powered station, around 4 million tonnes of CO2 pollution each and every year.

John Howard awarded HRL $100 million, a low emissions technology 'clean coal' grant contingent on it meeting certain project deliverables including raising commercial finance by 31st December 2011. These conditions have not been met. Victorians will rally on Wednesday 1st February 2012 at Parliament House in Spring Street at 12.30pm for the Federal Government to withdraw this grant money and redirect it to renewable energy projects. And to ensure that Julia Gillard keeps her 2010 promise "that there will be no more dirty coal powered stations built in this country".

Related: July 2011 - Victorian Government needs to come clean on plan to achieve 20 percent emissions cut by 2020 | June 2011 - Ferguson and Gillard feeding HRL's coal gasification technology in Melbourne | April 2011 - Government foyer occupied to stop new Victorian coal power station | Campaign sites: Stop HRL, Quit Coal


Climate activists protest spying and surveillance authorised by energy minister Martin Ferguson

Martin Ferguson, Minister for Resources and Energy has pushed for increased surveillance of environmental and climate activists protesting coal-fired power stations and coal export facilities, after he was directly lobbied by coal and energy infrastructure companies.

Climate and Environment activists along with Occupy Melbourne paid a call on thursday afternoon to Martin Ferguson's electoral office at 159 High Street, Preston. The office, of course, was closed early supposedly on occupational health and safety grounds, and had a Federal and Victorian police presence.

Related: Northcote Independent - That's a pretty clear "No" to Ferguson's NOSIC | Photos by Takver

Xstrata Ulan coal mine expansion required to offset greenhouse gas emissions

In a landmark judgement concerning climate change, a judge in the NSW Land and Environment Court has given approval for the expansion of the Xstrata Ulan coal mine near Mudgee in Central western New South Wales, but conditional on the mine offsetting all of its greenhouse gas emissions generated in mining the coal.

Background: June 2011 - Legal Challenge to Xstrata Ulan Coal mine expansion


Environment going backwards under Ted Baillieu

Victorian Environment groups gathered to protest the Environment and climate actions of the Baillieu Victorian State Government on Sunday November 13, 2011 on the steps of State Parliament. To highlight the direction the Government is taking Victoria's environment, the protesters marched backwards to the Treasury Gardens.

Related: Melbourne Protests report | Flickr Photos from Friends of the Earth | Takver
Background: Coalition’s 2km wind farm veto sets a risky precedent | Retreating on climate policy - Victorian Government stops discussions on Hazelwood closure | Victorian Government needs to come clean on plan to achieve 20 percent emissions cut by 2020


Durban conference of the polluters

When I spoke to Patrick Bond, it was very hot in Durban. But it was 36 degrees C in neighboring Zambia. Bond predicts another wave of "heat refugees" will flee Zimbabwe into South Africa.

Durban is the site of the next Conference of the Parties, known as COP-17, starting November 28th, 2011. It is the grand gathering of the countries of the world, under the United Nations, trying to prevent serious climate damage on Planet Earth.

Rally for renewable energy, jobs and regional communities - Melbourne 29 September 2011

There were protests on Thursday 29 September in Melbourne,Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo at the Baillieu government's policies on renewable energy development in Victoria, with the slashing of the solar feed tariff and prohibitive restrictions on the location of new wind farms.

'The laws give landholders the right to veto any wind development within 2 km of a dwelling and ban them completely within 5km from regional cities. Other whole regions like the Macedon Ranges are excluded from any wind farm developments.


Burst of carbon from Indonesian peat fires - and India coal mania

Listen to this Radio Ecoshock special on Indonesian peat fires and India coal mania here:

While we worry about the economy here, developments in Indonesia and India could change the climate for generations.

Nobody is reporting on this. The peat fires in Sumatra are blanketing Singapore and Malaysia. None can put them out. Huge carbon emissions. Last time, these fires in 1997 doubled the rate of increase in greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Farms not fossil fuels - activists arrested at protest against planned coal mine at Bacchus Marsh - Melbourne, 1 Sept 2011- Updated 19 September

Four anti-coal activists were arrested yesterday following the occupation of finance company Cygnet Capital's Melbourne office in protest at its backing of a projected open-cut coal mine at Bacchus Marsh.