Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Southland lignite proposals “100% stupidity”

Southland lignite proposals “100% stupidity” Aussie farmer tells meeting

Gore - January 20, 2013 - The idea of digging up fertile farmland for lignite coal is “100% stupidity,” an Australian farmer told a Southland meeting today.
 
Rob McCreath was addressing the “Keep the Coal in the Hole” summer festival in Gore.  The Queenslander told the 150-strong gathering how his community group, Friends of Felton, stopped a large coalmine and petrochemical plant from going ahead on prime agricultural farmland on the Darling Downs.
 
He has been in Dunedin and Southland for the last few days and was struck by the beauty of the farmland in the area.
 
“It’s hard to imagine a more productive farming area as I’ve seen in Southland.  In Australia we are peppered with New Zealand’s 100% Pure adverts.  It’s disgraceful that you have a government-owned company and they’re allowing it to dig up this beautiful farmland. That’s 100% stupidity,” said McCreath.
 
Five years ago, coal company Ambre Energy was set on digging a 2000ha opencast mine that would produce 8 million tonnes of coal a year from the Felton Valley and building a petrochemical (coal to liquids) plant there.
 
Friends of Felton occupied the state premier’s office, marched to parliament, erected giant billboards along roadsides, and established a local food festival as part of their successful five-year battle against the coal miners.
 
Just last week Ambre Energy admitted it would no longer be pursuing its mining plans in the Felton valley.
 
This year’s Keep the Coal in the Hole festival was organised by the Southland Coal Action Murihiku group, and had a more local focus, with many people from the local area coming to the three-day gathering.
 
"We face the very same threat here with the Southland lignite proposals still in Solid Energy's sights," said Tim Jones of Coal Action Network Aotearoa.  "We can learn from our Aussie neighbours how to work together to safeguard our food producing farmland."
 
The meeting also heard the latest on climate change from science writer Gareth Renowden, who told the members of the audience that anybody under 36 years old had not experienced a year below global average temperatures.  The real impacts of climate change were yet to come. 
 
“We're hitting the climate bell with a very big hammer and it hasn't really begun to ring yet."
 
He warned that, in a climate-changed future, coal could be deemed a liability in the future, rather than the “asset” it is seen as today.
 
This year’s festival has been celebrating the success of the coal action movement over the last year, where a number of new groups have sprung up around the country, with a big boost in membership. 

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news