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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news