Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lunch with Anna

Friends of Felton

Invite you to

Lunch with Anna

12.30pm Friday 31st October

Venue : Anna Bligh’s electorate office, 90 Vulture St, West End, Brisbane.

We’re having : A picnic made from finest Darling Downs ingredients.

She’s having : A plate of coal, washed down by polluted water.

Friends of Felton


There’s nothing like a coal lunch……….

Fresh compote of carbonated leachate a-la-Ambre.

Mine Course
Chargrilled anthracite, aged to perfection ( 400 million years), marinated in D.M.E. and topped with syngas sauce.

Unlikely – due to colic!

It’s alimentary dear Bligh, coal is unpalatable, indigestible, and a Bligh-t on the land. Felton food is forever!

Our Aim – For the Qld Government to legislate to protect prime agricultural land from myopic mining madness.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Film & Information Evenings well attended

Friends of Felton organised 2 very successful Film & Information Evenings in Pittsworth and Toowoomba on Wednesday and Thursday. 190 people attended, including several TRC councillors. The event was billed as "Coal Mining in our Backyard - How will it affect us? What can we do?"

The film "Rivers of Shame 2" was shown, which highlights the impact of mining on rivers, aquifers, and local communities. It was produced by the Rivers SOS Group in NSW.

Chair of Friends of Felton, Rob McCreath, gave a presentation to demonstrate the extent of the coal mining industry on the Darling Downs at present, and to show which areas are currently covered by Exploration Permits.

"Many people are blissfully unaware that virtually the entire Darling Downs is under threat from the mining industry. This land is amongst the very best in Australia, and we must act quickly to pressure the Qld Government to protect it from mining, before it is too late. The imminent construction of the "Missing Link" rail line from Wandoan to Banana will allow the export of coal from the Darling Downs through the port of Gladstone. A large number of companies are keen to develop mines in prime agricultural areas such as Felton, Cambooya, Jimbour, and Warra. Some of these areas, such as Hodgson Vale and Wyreema are virtually in the suburbs of Toowoomba."

On Friday Ambre Energy applied for a Mining Lease at Felton. They propose building a 12.8Mt/yr open cut mine, and a petrochemical plant to convert the coal to liquid fuel.

"The Felton Project would have a horrendous impact on the environment, affecting the entire Toowoomba Region and beyond. It would poison our water supplies, and emit toxic pollution into the air. If the Felton Project is allowed to go ahead, it will be virtually impossible to stop the others, because they will seem clean in comparison" said Mr McCreath.

Dr Pauline Roberts, from the Caroona Coal Action Group, Liverpool Plains, NSW, highlighted how toxic coal is to human and environmental health. She said -

"Elements such as arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, selenium, nickel, vanadium and copper are accumulated and concentrated within coal and associated strata.

Radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and radium (the latter which decays to radon gas) are also accumulated and concentrated within coal strata. These are toxic in their own right and toxic via the radioactivity they emit.

Coal seams, even those considered ‘low sulphur’ contain significant amounts of sulphur and sulphides whose bio-toxicity increases when exposed to air or water.

The fine particulate nature of coal dust, and the toxic constituents therein are readily inhaled and lodge in the lungs as well as being ingested.

Coal strata also contain hydrocarbons and benzene-ring derivatives within their organic layers that are considered carcinogenic.

Any water that is found within coal strata will be saline in nature, contaminated with organic derivatives and toxic and heavy metals.

Children, with their increased needs for minerals are particularly at risk from heavy metal toxicity. Some of these metals, like lead, have half lives in the body of 20 years, which means that their effects will only be truly known over several decades."

Dr Roberts warned a large part of State Government mining royalties should be allocated to the Health budget to cope with the long-term impact of the present mining boom.

Acland farmer Sid Plant spoke of his family's experience of living next to the New Acland mine. He told the meeting of the constant noise from blasting and heavy machinery, saying he hadn't slept properly at night for the first 18 months. He described the dust cloud which had aggravated his wife's asthma, and contaminated their drinking water. They now drank filtered bore water, as they could no longer drink the water collected from their roof. He pointed out the favourable treatment mining companies get from the State Government. "New Hope are putting in a water pipeline to supply their proposed mine expansion, before the EIS process has been completed." He said.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Toowoomba Regional Council must protect good agricultural land.

MEDIA RELEASE 2nd October 2008

Friends of Felton

Toowoomba Regional Council must protect good agricultural land.

Friends of Felton welcomes today’s announcement from Dalby Regional Council that it is taking steps to map and identify areas of good agricultural land, in order to protect it from mining.

The Felton Valley is under threat from a proposal by Ambre Energy to build a 12.5 million t/yr open-cut coal mine and associated petrochemical plant to convert the coal into liquid fuel.

Spokesman Rob McCreath said-
“The coal mining industry is out of control. Left unchecked, it will destroy a huge area of prime farmland across the Darling Downs. Areas such as Felton are unique, and should be preserved to guarantee Australia’s food production for the future. We call on Mayor Peter Taylor and Toowoomba Regional Council to follow the example set by Dalby Regional Council, and protect our food bowl.”


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Climate Emergency Rally

Friends of Felton took part in the Climate Emergency Rally at Parliament House in Brisbane on Sunday.

Spokesman Rob McCreath addressed the crowd, and pointed out the huge environmental impact of the proposed Felton coal-to-liquids project. "Ambre Energy's own figures show their petrochemical plant would produce 3 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of fuel produced.The open-cut mine would release large amounts of methane to the atmosphere, with serious climatic consequences."He said that agriculture was under attack from coal mining on two fronts. "Large areas of prime farmland are directly threatened with destruction, whilst climate change accelerated by the burning of coal is causing more frequent and severe droughts."

Paul Benedek, rally organiser from the Climate Emergency Network, said "Emissions cannot be allowed to increase. A tripling of coal production-as is planned by the Queensland Government-is an utter insanity that must be stopped. We are rallying to demand a massive shift to renewable energy, to public transport, and to sustainability. It is ironic that we are seeing a global plan putting $800bn into bailing out merchant banks, and yet there is seemingly nothing to bail out the planet that we live and depend on."

To listen to Rob's speech, click on the link below-