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

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news