“For Sale” sign on car attracts parking fine

Queensland woman Marie Bennett has been fined by local council for putting a “for sale” sign on her vehicle.  It is something she had seen on countless other cars and had thought it was quite legal.  However, little did Ms Bennett know that there was a local law forbidding the sale of vehicles on “local government controlled areas and roads”.  The amount of the fine was $220.

Water is becoming scarcer for the people of Mauritius island

The water supply of the island nation of Mauritius is becoming scarcer as its water authority and meteorological officials warn that recent weather patterns coupled with rising water usage are a constant threat.

Mauritian water resource officials and meteorological scientists say that the water demand situation is becoming gradually more challenging with declining rainfalls recorded from May this year to present being a worrying sign.

WGAR News: Australia's boom is anything but for its Aboriginal people: John Pilger, The Guardian

Newsletter date: 1 May 2013


* John Pilger, The Guardian: Australia's boom is anything but for its Aboriginal people

* Daniel Emerson, The West Australian: Nation's political bloodshed 'ignored'
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: The Killing Times
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: WA Governor states that he was misinterpreted

* The Wire: Coalition says remote communities should fund own water, sewerage [interview with Paddy Gibson]

* Rachel Siewert, New Matilda: When Did Labor Stop Caring?

* Other articles

Video: Campbelltown rally hears how Sydney's water catchments under threat from CSG

On Sunday around 300 residents rallied in Campbelltown in western Sydney and called on the NSW state government and Federal Government to protect drinking water and drinking water catchments, and for local communities to protect their farmland and water resources from Coal seam gas (CSG) development. Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra spoke passionately and outlined the campaign to stop coal seam gas mining in Sydney's water catchments and the threat it poses to the millions of people who live in greater Sydney area. Here is her speech with transcription.


Sydney's water supply under threat from BHP Longwall coal mine extension

"Allowing BHP to undermine our drinking water supply defies common sense and breaches a personal commitment by Premier O'Farrell to prevent mining in drinking water catchments," Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke declared on Tuesday with the announcement that approval had been given to BHP Billiton's Mount Kembla Dendrobium coal mine to extend under part of Sydney's water catchment.

On Monday 11 February the New South Wales State Government Department of Planning and Infrastructure gave approval to BHP Billiton's Mount Kembla Dendrobium Area 3B long wall mine extension plan. This involves several underground excavations directly under Sydney's Woronora water catchments. The approval was strongly criticised by conservationists including Total Enviropnment Centre director Jeff Angel, and the NSW Conservation Council Pepe Clark who accused the Premier Barrie O'Farrell of breaking a key pre-election promise of not to mine in Sydney's catchments.

Related: Longwall mining, subsidence and damage to Sydney waterways and wetlands | Aboriginal Heritage: Water - Everyone's Future

BHP gets approval for world's largest open pit mine at Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton Olympic Dam mine expansion in South Australia has received a go ahead from Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke on 10th October 2011. This will create the world's largest open pit mine, over 1km deep, 4.5km long and 3km wide. The export of uranium is expected to increase from an average of 4,000 tonnes per year to 19,000 tonnes per year, and the production of copper, gold and silver also expected to increase. Olympic Dam already consumes an inordinate amount of ground water extracted from the Great Artesian Basin every day - for free. The mine expansion will entail BHP Billiton expanding groundwater extraction and building a 280 megalitres-a-day desalination plant at Point Lowly, northeast of Whyalla on Spencer's Gulf which will impact the only known breeding ground of the giant Australian cuttlefish, prawn fisheries and the sensitive marine environment.

Save Point Lowly | Save the Great Artesian Basin |
Events: National Day of Action against BHP Billiton - Thursday, October 20 - Melbourne Facebook page or Adelaide Facebook page | BHP Billitons Annual General Meeting at the Melbourne convention centre on November the 17th at 10:30am.


Italians reject nuclear power, water privatisation, court immunity for ministers in referendum

In a referendum over the weekend Italians have rejected plans by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for nuclear power and water privatisation. More than 50% of the electorate needed to vote, including the estimated 3 million Italians living overseas, for the referendums to be binding. About 57% are estimated to have participated with official projections showing that 95% rejected water privatisation and 90% rejected Berlusconi's plans to build 4 nuclear power plants.

Murray Darling Basin Plan needed despite floods says Conservation Foundation

While flood waters continue to rage in Queensland with more rain continuing to fall, debate on the Murray Darling Basin is stepping up. Flood waters are slowly making there way down the Murray Darling system to the Lower Lakes of the Coorong.

The Murray Darling Basin has experienced its wettest year on record and there are now calls for the basin water plan to be deferred and for dams to be built to mitigate future flooding.