Friday, June 26, 2009

Friends of Felton wins Carbon Challenge!

Congratulations to the Friends of Felton team who won their section of the Upper Condamine Carbon Challenge. The competition was run as part of the Qld Government's Low Carbon Diet community funding project, which encourages individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emmissions. Our team installed solar panels for electricity generation, changed lightbulbs, planted trees, and switched to more efficient household appliances & cars, amongst other things. Team Leader Janet Bishop said the group wanted to show that "we are committed to reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. By taking the Carbon Challenge, we reduced the need for new coal based power sources such as the proposed project in the Felton Valley. We can change the way we live and use energy."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Windmills and solar panels instead of dirty “Clean Coal”

MEDIA RELEASE 22nd June 2009


Friends of Felton today welcomed the release of the Queensland Government’s Renewable Energy Plan and offered Felton as a potential renewable energy site providing the Government bans coal mining development in the area.

The Felton Valley, 30km southwest of Toowoomba, is under threat from a proposal by Ambre Energy to build a 12.8 million t/yr open-cut coal mine, a petrochemical plant to convert the coal into liquid fuel, and a power station.

Spokesman Rob McCreath said “We know that the so-called ‘Felton Clean Coal Project’ would destroy and contaminate a large area of prime farmland with disastrous consequences for the environment and the local community with no net gain in employment. On the other hand, renewable energy production would co-exist easily with top quality food production and provide a net gain in employment without harming the environment or the community.”

Premier Anna Bligh said yesterday that “climate change is one of the great challenges of our age”.

Friends of Felton stands ready to play its part in meeting that challenge.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Call an ambulance

Minister for Mines, Energy, and Natural Resources, Stephen Robertson, declined an invitation to take part in a discussion with FOF President Rob McCreath on Agriculture v Mining on ABC 612 Brisbane last Thursday night. This discussion was a follow-up to a programme on Monday evening, involving John Cotter, Agforce President, and Michael Roche, Chief Executive of Qld Resources Council. Recordings of both discussions can be heard here -

Incidentally, if you listen to the recording you will hear Michael Roche say "the farmers at Felton are selling". This is very misleading. The truth is that Ambre Energy has bought 1 farm of 96ha. The area covered by Ambre's proposed project is approx 2800ha, and the first stage covers 355ha. Besides, according to the law, ownership of the land does not in any way influence the granting of a Mining Lease. It's a pity the Minister wasn't there on Thursday night to put the record straight.

If he had been there, no doubt he'd have brought out the Govt's favourite line -

"Agriculture and mining have co-existed for over 100 years, and there's no reason why they can't continue to co-exist".

The fact is that coal mining destroys farmland, pollutes rivers, and drains underground aquifers. When the coal is burned, it produces greenhouse gases which accelerate global warming, giving us more frequent and severe droughts.

Mining co-exists with agriculture as cancer lives in the body, not noticed at first, but gradually eating away until the vital organs are threatened. It's time to call an ambulance!