Sunday, August 31, 2008

Photographic Exhibition a great success

A large crowd of around 100 people packed the Pepperina Gallery at Nobby on Sunday for the official opening of the Friends of Felton Photographic Exhibition.The photographs on display showcase the beauty of the Felton Valley. Curator Lorraine Seipel (pictured)was given lavish praise by the gathering for the high quality of the exhibition. A number of the works have been selected to hang in the Carnival of Flowers exhibition, including one by Lorraine Seipel which recently won first prize in the Megapix Sharing the Vision Acquisitive Photographic Art Competition. The official opening was performed by Stuart Copeland MP, member for Cunningham. Music was provided by local group "Sunrise Road". The group was buoyed by the strong support from the public, and more activities are in the pipeline.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Anna Bligh scrap the Felton coal-to-liquids project?

MEDIA RELEASE 24/08/2008

Friends of Felton

Will Anna Bligh scrap the Felton coal-to-liquids project?

Friends of Felton welcome the announcement that the Bligh Government has scrapped the proposed $14b shale oil mining project in the Whitsundays.

We also welcome the declaration that other big developments will be stopped if they threaten Queensland’s pristine environment, and that legislation will be passed to prohibit new shale oil mines anywhere in Queensland.

We call on the Premier to confirm that this ban will include Ambre Energy’s proposed development at Felton, 30 km SW of Toowoomba, on the Darling Downs. This proposal includes a 12 million t/year open-cut coal mine, and a petrochemical plant to convert the coal into liquid fuel.

This project would devastate one of this country’s most beautiful & fertile valleys, contaminate underground aquifers, pollute the Murray Darling river system, destroy nationally significant populations of rare & endangered species, and produce huge quantities of Greenhouse gases.

Ms Bligh was quoted as saying “Our environment must come first”.

Will the Felton environment come first too?


Anna Bligh scraps Whitsunday shale oil proposal

Anna Bligh scraps Whitsunday shale oil proposal

Article from: Sunday Mail

Darrell Giles
August 24, 2008 12:00am

IN A victory for conservationists, the Bligh Government has scrapped a proposed $14b shale oil mining operation in the Whitsundays.

The Government also signalled that other big developments will be canned if they threaten Queensland's pristine environment. Premier Anna Bligh will today announce a 20-year moratorium on all mining activities and exploration over the McFarlane deposit, 15km south of Proserpine.

Conservationists feared the project would harm the Great Barrier Reef and local tourism, and the health of people who lived and farmed nearby.

But Queensland Energy Resources, the company investigating a plan to mine up to 1.6 million barrels of oil from the deposit, said it would have created 3000 permanent jobs, 3000 more in the construction phase, and produced oil for Australia for the next 40 years.

Ms Bligh said she would not allow the environment to be put at risk while the technology for extraction of the controversial resource was still not proven.
"Our environment must come first," Ms Bligh told The Sunday Mail yesterday.

The announcement will immediately stop plans to dig up about 400,000 tonnes of rock for resource testing of the deposit.
Ms Bligh said only one lease to mine oil shale existed, in Gladstone, and legislation would be passed so no new shale oil mines were permitted anywhere in Queensland.
"The Government will devote the next two years to researching whether oil shale deposits can be used in an environmentally acceptable way," Ms Bligh said.

Oil shale is sedimentary rock which is mined using open-cut technology. It contains kerogen, a bituminous material which is released when heated to extremely high temperatures of about 350C.
Further stages of processing produce something similar to crude oil, which can be refined to diesel.

More than 92 per cent of Australia's oil shale deposits are in Queensland – between Bundaberg and Proserpine – and QER owns the mining rights to two-thirds of it, worth about 15.8 billion barrels.

Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said small-scale demonstration plants using shale oil from the Stuart resource at Gladstone would still be allowed, but only if companies got a licence and their technology passed strict environmental standards.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Photographic Exhibition Invitation

The Friends of Felton Photographic Exhibition will be officially opened by Stuart Copeland MP on Sunday 31st August, at the Pepperina Gallery, Nobby, 30km South of Toowoomba.

This high quality exhibition has been produced by Lorraine Seipel, and comprises photographs taken by members of Friends of Felton of the Felton Valley and surrounding areas, currently under threat from Ambre Energy's proposed coal mine & petrochemical plant. One of these images, a photograph of Hodgson Creek taken by Lorraine, was recently judged the winner of the Megapix-Sharing the Vision Aquisitive Photographic Art Prize 2008. Six others were selected for the forthcoming Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Photographic Exhibition 2008.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Getting the message out

A hard frost at Felton yesterday morning didn't put off a large group of volunteers who turned out to decorate more grain bins with campaign slogans.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Young people concerned about their community

Friends of Felton Chair, Rob McCreath, was invited to give a talk to 90 Grade 9 students at Pittsworth State High School on Monday. The students are studying sustainability, and wanted to hear our concerns about the mine, petrochemical plant, and power station planned for Felton. They were a very enthusiastic audience, and very interested to discuss what effect the development might have on their town, their lifestyle, and their community.

Today's Pittsworth Sentinel printed the following letters from 2 students -

I am a student at Pittsworth State High School. We have recently had a guest speaker speaking to us and he was telling us about the Felton Mine. If the mine is out in Felton than it will eventually reach Pittsworth.
The Felton Mine will be very close to Pittsworth and will be very bad for us all. Some say it will be a good thing that the mine is put in but I don't think so. Yes the Felton Mine will give us 24 mil­lion tonnes of coal a year but it will also pollute the area and when the wind blows our way the bad polluted air will to, also the dust will be every­where.
We will get more traffic and trucks. Pittsworth is known as a quite country town and if we attract more people it will ruin it for everyone, most peo­ple in Pittsworth are happy with Pittsworth as it is.
In Felton there are families that have been living there for generations and if a mine goes there it will affect them all, they might even eventually lose some of the nice land they own. They will also hear loud explosive bangs all the time, and if children live here you can't help but think if they are going to be ok. If this mine was in Felton it would be one of the biggest mines in Queensland, it will be a great loss of agricultural land.
I am trying to stop this mine and I am hoping people will help. If you want to help stop this mine but need more information just go to
Yours Sincerely, Student 1

I am a student at Pittsworth State High School and we have recently had a guest speaker in to talk to us about the Felton Mine.
If the mine is put in it will eventually reach Pittsworth. Some say it will be good that it will reach us here because of business but it will bring trucks and dust as well. At full production the mine would take out 24 million tonnes of coal a year.
This would make it one of the biggest coal mines in Queensland. There will be a massive loss of prime agricultural land. There are families that have been living there for generations and hope to live there for many more but that dream will be shattered because of this mine.
I am trying to put a stop to this mine and if you want to help, visit the website and help us stop the mine from ruining lives.

Yours sincerely, Student 2