Environment

WA gas hub fight heats up

The fight to stop a gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley is stepping up despite police attacking protesters. The $30 billion project by Woodside would destroy Aboriginal sacred sites including ancient burial grounds. Traditional owners of the land have blockaded the site along with environmentalists, leading to a seven-week stand-off with police.

Carbon price cheer squads or anti-CSG campaigning?

“If we don’t make this the biggest social movement this county has ever seen, it will be the biggest social disaster this country has ever seen”, exclaimed former tunnel driller Dayne Pratsky on July 5, speaking in Byron Bay to a packed public meeting against coal seam gas.

Australia's role in Agent Orange crime

Fifty years ago this month, the US began its spraying of Agent Orange and similar chemicals containing large amounts of deadly cancer-causing dioxin over southern Vietnam. This murderous campaign lasted 10 years, poisoning uncounted Vietnamese civilians and liberation fighters and members of the US military and its allies. Dioxin also attacks sperm or egg DNA, deforming victims’ children and grandchildren. Parts of southern Vietnam are still heavily contaminated with dioxin that continues to claim new victims. The US responsibility for devising and ordering this crime is well known. Less known is Australia’s role in testing, producing and spraying Agent Orange.

Nuclear is never safe - renewable energy now!

The nuclear accident in Japan caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has affirmed many of the concerns that anti-nuclear campaigners have been warning of for decades.  Above all else, nuclear power is a deadly form of energy production. At every point of the nuclear energy cycle, there is a risk of a major environmental and social catastrophe.

Coal seam gas campaign fires up

The campaign against coal seam gas (CSG) mining has accelerated across small towns and rural areas in NSW and Queensland. An investigative documentary, The Gas Rush, aired on February 21 by ABC TV, has spurred anger at mining companies, revealing an industry that is fully backed by state and federal Labor governments.

Labor and Greens agree to sell carbon pollution permits

The federal Labor government and the Greens announced on February 24 that they had agreed to sell carbon pollution permits at a fixed price from July 1, 2012, as an interim measure. After that, a carbon emissions permit trading scheme will be introduced within three to five years.

The last disaster levy?

On March 22 the federal government finally passed the flood and cyclone levy, a one-off tax to help with the reconstruction of parts of Australia affected by recent natural disasters. The Julia Gillard Labor government expects the levy (formally known as the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement - NDRRA) to raise $1.8 billion.

Floods: Wivenhoe, dams and bigger issues

Recriminations are continuing over the management of the Wivenhoe dam and its contribution to the devastating February floods in Brisbane. Few, however, are looking at the evidence that is mounting of the considerable costs involved in the construction and failure of large dams.

From populist to puppet: not a big step

Peter Garrett, the 1980s rock star in a band noted for its anti-nuclear, anti-mining, anti-military stance, is living proof that parliamentarism will never serve the campaigns for social, environmental and economic justice.

Woodside, WA government renew 'colonialism'

Compulsory acquisition provides state and local governments with the power to acquire land with or without the owners’ agreement, provided they are compensated. It is supposed to be the claiming of land owned by an individual to be used for the benefit of the public. In other words, it is the need of an individual versus the need of the community. But the latest case of compulsory acquisition in Western Australia is being done for a totally different purpose: profits of the minority rich and powerful over the majority working people.