Back to Bolted-Down Industries
by Viv Forbes, Science Writer
Once upon a time Australia was attractive to processing, refining and manufacturing industries using our abundant mineral and food resources, our reliable low-cost coal-fired electricity and a workforce trained in technical skills.
Our last oil refinery has closed, leaving just 3 weeks supply of refined motor fuel in the country and for the first time in at least 60 years Australia no longer produces motor vehicles. China and India have about 430 coal power plants under construction but Australia has not built a single coal-fired power station for seven years – some politicians even rejoice when they manage to close and demolish one. Brisbane’s new trains are being made in India, Victa mowers are made in China and most coastal shipping died decades ago. Steel works and refineries producing aluminium, copper and zinc are under stress. All these industries are being pushed overseas by costly unreliable electricity and other government barriers and burdens.
Red-green policies being pushed by all major parties are making Australia more dependent on bolted-down industries such as mining and farming that can’t be sent overseas because their basic resources are here. And green opposition to nuclear power increases Aussie reliance on coal.
A century ago Australians relied on wool, wheat, gold, silver, copper, lead-zinc, butter, beef and timber – all products of bolted-down industries.
Red-green policies are pushing us back to those days. Politicians need to remember Newton’s Law of Bureaucracy – whenever the government tries to use the force of law to achieve economic goals the long term results will be equal and opposite to those intended.
So in the long run, red-green energy and environmental policies will make us more dependent on the industries they now attack – mining, farming, forestry and fishing.
Construction of new coal-fired power plants is increasing in at least 35 countries:
Asia is returning to Coal:
Greens Disappointed by Economic Growth:
We Made It – Nannas Come Marching Home after 1,005.5 Kilometer Walk to the Tip of Cape York The 12 Knitting Nannas Against Gas/Greed who left Cairns on 17 June 2015 to walk 1000 kilometers between Cairns and the tip of Cape York (Pajinka) on the Nanna Dreaming Project, exceeded their target by 5.5 kilometers, despite five Nannas returning home early, support vehicle trouble at Moreton and Laura, heat, dust and exhaustion.
Nine of the Nannas from Gloucester and Lismore in New South Wales, and Brisbane, Cairns and Daintree in Queensland, will reunite this morning at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Trinity Wharf at 9.30 – 10.00 am to celebrate the successful conclusion of the walk.
SpokesNanna for the group, Nanna Purl Stockingstitch (aka MaryBeth Gundrum) said that the support from Cape York residents and tourists was consistently good.
Nanna Purl said “The support along the way was absolutely amazing – the Nannas were assisted by two bush mechanics to fix ‘Canhardly’ an older four wheel drive that limped into Lakeland on Saturday after major mechanical problems at Moreton and Laura on Cape York, and people who gave donations of food and fuel to help the Nannas reach the top of Australia.” “We thought we might meet some people who would not like our mission, but even CSG mine workers talked to the Nannas about the negative impacts on communities caused by unconventional coal seam gas mining”.
Highlights of the trip were meeting the weaving women of Cape York and First Nation people from all over Cape York at the Laura Dance Festival, a smoking ceremony by Traditional Owners, being walked off country by several groups of traditional owners and a Dingo Gorgeous (Coyote Ugly) performance dancing on tables at Coen which has gone viral on FaceBook.
“Some of the Nannas in their sixties and seventies have been pulling 20 to 25 kilometers a day, without a single day off since we left Laura – they are incredible and should be lauded as national heroes.” Nanna Purl said.
The Nannas were joined by two documentary makers, Dan Hodgson from Cooktown and ‘Celestial Serpent’ (Mathew Marsh) from Byron Bay on the journey and are now trying to raise funds through crowd sourcing to complete the documentary which will be free to air as soon as they have raised enough funds to complete the Nanna Dreaming Project documentary.
People can support the project at – www.planetfunder.org/projects/Nanna-Dreamin
IT IS TIME TO CREATE THE NEW STATE OF NORTH QUEENSLAND
Coal Seam Gas exploration is about to start in Far North Queensland. A recent public information day held at Mareeba was visited by 150 people most of whom voiced their opposition to this insidious industry owned and operated by foreign companies, which are exploiting Australian gas reserves to the detriment of the future generation.
There will be little or no permanent work for local people of the districts in which the gas wells operate. There is no direct, lasting economic benefit to the people of Far North Queensland.
The environmental hazards associated with the ‘fracturing’ method of gas extraction threaten the very survival of underground water supplies. Hydrologists believe the Great Artesian Basin could be poisoned by chemical cocktails pumped underground into the fractured water aquifers and that these subterranean water reserves eventually could be contaminated and drained, effectively depopulating the interior of the State in time to come.
A drilling exploration company has been issued with a permit to explore known coal reserves at Mt Mulligan, west of Mareeba, in the iconic Mitchell River catchment.
This will be the start of the Far Northern CSG industry. The LNP State Government in totally controlled by the CSG industry and there will be no respite from it.
An alliance of indigenous groups, conservationists and land owners has initiated the Cairns rally where more information about this destructive industry can be heard.
If you are serious about helping protect FNQ from this foreign-owned scourge come along to the information day at
FOGARTY PARK, CAIRNS ESPLANADE, SATURDAY AUGUST 2, STARTING AT 2PM
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.lockthegate.org.au or CSG free NQ on Facebook
Door to Hell
The Door to Hell is noted for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petrochemical scientists in 1971. The fire is fed by the rich natural gas deposits in the area. The pungent smell of burning sulfur pervades the area for some distance.
People visiting “The Door to Hell”, a huge burning gas crater in the heart of Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert on May 3. The fiery pit was the result of a simple miscalculation by Soviet scientists in 1971 after their boring equipment suddenly drilled through into an underground cavern and a deep sinkhole formed.
Fearing that the crater would emit poisonous gases, the scientists took the decision to set it alight, thinking that the gas would burn out quickly and this would cause the flames to go out. But the flames have not gone out in more than 40 years, in a potent symbol of the vast gas reserves of Turkmenistan, which are believed to be the fourth largest in the world.
First week of LNP rule criticized by eminent corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald QC, as ‘jobs for the boys’
Former Liberal member claims the Mareeba-based LNP spent more than $120,000 much of it from private sources, to keep KAP out
The Far North Queensland seat of Cook produced a big surprise at the State election on Saturday when LNP candidate David Kempton (pictured left) got over the line.
Pundits had predicted the Katters party candidate Lachlan Bensted to take the seat from incumbent ALP Member Jason O’Brien.
Bob Katter’s son Robert won the seat of Mt Isa from the ALP, and incumbent Shane Knuth, a former LNP Member held the adjoining seat of Dalrymple with 66 per cent of the primary vote.
The local LNP spun into overdrive after confidential polling found that Lachlan Bensted (pictured right), Katter’s hand-picked 26 year old Mareeba prodigy, should win the seat.
Candidate David Kempton, according to the source, dispatched emissaries to far-flung Aboriginal communities in private air charters to entice them to support the LNP and if they did, alcohol restrictions in their communities would be lifted.
Consequently a sufficient number of communities did support the LNP, now leaving the party with the problem of delivering on their subterfuge.
The LNP also conducted an expensive recorded telephone message campaign targeting people across the electorate trying to bolster their hopes.
Bensted polled evenly or beat Kempton in the Mareeba area and lower part of Cape York Peninsula but lost the Cooktown area by just 60 votes.
Coastal communities in the Port Douglas area withdrew considerable support after the airing of the KAP’s controversial television advertisement of Campbell Newman saying he supported gay marriage. The intent of the ad was to show the potential leader said one thing to one group and something else to another. This message was lost in the ensuing public debacle.
It was the Queensland Electoral Commission’s ‘two party preferred’ allocation of preferences which saw Katter’s candidates across the state involuntarily surrender their preferences to either LNP or the ALP.
The so-called ‘two party preferred’ system has been branded as a scam by numerous candidates and scrutineers around the state over many elections.
NSW electoral systems analyst Lex Stewart said the optional preferential system has been designed to keep either the ALP or LNP in power and keep alternative parties out.
The sealed envelope trotted out at each polling booth by the returning officer after counting begins, dictates to which party the preferences must be allocated. In this election, like most others, the secret instructions from the Electoral Commissioner gave the KAP preferences to either ALP or LNP.
One booth worker reported that a radio news item at 8.30 on the morning of polling day, had the LNP as having already won the seat.
Such is ‘democracy’ in Queensland and NSW, however voters there have a backstop with the Upper House. LNP leader Campbell Newman has said there will never be an Upper House while he has control of the Parliament.
A former LNP member told Cairns News Kempton got over the line due to the LNP brand.
“It wasn’t anything to do with Kempton,” said the source, who asked for anonymity in fear of reprisal.
“The whole state wanted to get rid of the Labor Party and everyone voted in a bloc, which upset the support for the Katter Party.”
Kempton was the candidate his party didn’t want. Prior to the local plebiscite last year, some LNP members were furious that Kempton, now a Cairns-based solicitor, had nominated. Favours were called in and a now prominent LNP MP contacted the members of the selection panel advising them not to support the former Cooktown lawyer.
The campaign against Kempton nearly succeeded, but for one vote, he now would not be in Parliament.
Yesterday, Bensted said he was “still around” in spite of demands in newspapers from LNP members, telling Bob Katter to get out of local politics. Privately, the source said they are complaining about the huge amount of money it cost them to keep Bensted out of Parliament.
A spokesman for the Mareeba KAP, Alan Webb, said he had received a lot of inquiries about formalising the existing interim party branch and getting involved in local issues.
“We are here to stay and I have no doubt we will get much bigger so we will keep the bastards honest.” Mr Webb said.
“The LNP is bankrolled and owned lock-stock and barrel by the coal seam gas industry and oil companies,” Bob Katter warned a week before the poll.
“We hope people will be able to hear their televisions over the noise of the drilling rigs in their back yards,” Mr Webb added.
“And it will be fruitless to complain about the expected 20 per cent jump in power prices after the LNP sells our power stations.
“Most pensioners I know can’t speak Chinese or Indian.”
More election stories soon from Queensland correspondent
Robert J Lee
When I was contracting in the Central Queensland Coalfields 2009-2011 I saw the beginnings of the CSG industry at Moranbah. Arrow was still Arrow albeit in the throws of being swallowed up by Royal Dutch Shell. I believe Prince Phillip has a sizeable stake in this company. I have seen first hand the huge amounts of water needed to operate gas wells. Friends were contracting to Arrow with semi water trucks. It was great lurk for contractors.
Having a rural journalism background I could see what was going to happen to our great brigalow belt across Queensland. It is our best grazing and farming country comprising cracking clay soils with high humus content in many cases. Much of this state’s wheat, barley, sunflower and sorghum crops and cotton are grown in this huge area. Many towns and farming communities are supported by this foodbowl, not to mention that it also represents some of best grass fattening country in Australia. Millions of export Jap ox and domestic slaughter cattle have been produced in the brigalow belt for most of the last century.
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To make an informed decision at the polling booth on March 24, take time to view this video.
Will Bob Katter take government ?
Ask Queenslanders who have had their land rights stolen, government sanctioned gas wells installed on their property, being jailed for protecting their property, farmers production closing down from unworkable legislation, then Katters Australia Party will control queensland parliament for the people not the party.
Take time to view this video.
Visit this website – http://www.ausparty.org.au/ to be informed to make your vote on March 24 count for Queensland.