Coal, Gas and The Greens

I went to a meeting the other night. With the state election coming up, the Toowoomba Coal Mine Action Group, Friends of Felton and two other groups invited the candidates for the local area to attend a community meeting on the CSG and mining industry. Almost the entire area around Toowoomba has had an EPC (Exploration Permit for Coal) approved for it, so we're very interested in where the next mine is going to be, considering that we actually have to live here and breathe in whatever is put in the air. And now I'm mad. Really mad.

Anyone with half a brain knows how devastating coal mining and CSG is to the health of people. In Jondaryan, there's a huge pile of coal that waits to be transported into the trains to take it to port right next to the highway. People in Jondaryan have to wash their plates, cups and cutlery before they eat from them because they're layered in coal dust.

The state government has allowed a 2km buffer zone around coal mining activity. It's a huge joke - coal dust and toxic fumes from the mining travels much further than that. The labor representative was almost laughed out of the meeting for toeing the party line and for his refusal or inability to protect the people of his electorate from such devastation.

I also learned that mining companies have huge exemptions to the laws that farmers do. Two examples:

1) Mining companies use about 6 Sydney Harbours (or 300 000 olympic sized swimming pools) for their activities and do not pay for one single drop of it. Yet farmers pay for all the water they use and are constantly under pressure to reduce it.

2) Ade Larsen, the candidate for Toowoomba South for Katter's Australian Party (KAP), said his Dad had bought the rights to clear his land if he wanted to back in the 1970's. They didn't want to clear their land at all and so it was home to quolls, sundew and other species of flora and fauna. However, the Beattie government swung in and placed two regulations on their property. They couldn't clear because it was a wildlife corridor and because it was a protected area. Fair enough - whatever. Mr Larsen's family didn't want to clear it anyway.

However, in 2010, a mining company was allowed to clear-fell his property for coal or gas (Mr Larsen didn't specify what the mining was for).

That is absolute disgusting hypocrisy. What disgraceful double standards from the government and the mining companies.

I'm not anti-mining, but I think that mining companies should follow the same laws and regulations that farmers do - it's still the same land they work on, after all! And I think that there should be really strict laws about where mining can happen - that is, not near people's homes. At the very least, 10km away from anyone's home.

I was saddened mostly by The Greens. Let me explain. Their knowledge on mining and their passion to fight against it was wonderful - their representative really was great. But I just sat there listening to her speak about the rights of people to live in clean areas and how damaging it was to breathe in the toxic fumes from wet coal explosions......but all I could think about was the thousands upon thousands of aborted babies each year and how The Greens not only support it, but want to widen the practice of it.

How healthy is abortion for those aborted children? If The Greens want to bang on about 'rights to live without toxic fumes', etc, why aren't they standing up for the rights of unborn children to have the right to even have a chance at living?

There was a heap of hypocrisy there at that meeting that night, but the glaring hypocrisy of the best and most knowledgeable speech makers on the topic was by far and away the worst......and the most disappointing.


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