Senate Inquiry into Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2015
This Bill proposed by Senator Larissa Waters:
- provides that Australian landholders have the right to refuse the undertaking of gas and coal mining activities by corporations on their land without prior written authorisation;
- sets out the requirements of a prior written authorisation;
- provides for relief which a court may grant a land owner when prior written authorisation is not provided;
- prohibits hydraulic fracturing for coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas by corporations;
- and provides for civil penalties.
A Senate Inquiry was initiated on the Bill on 5 March 2015.
A submission to the Inquiry was made by Sharyn Munro, member of The Bimblebox Alliance Inc and author of the book Rich Land Waste Land How Coal is Killing Australia, on behalf of The Bimblebox Allliance Committee.
Sharyn begins her submission: “I wish to draw the Committee’s attention to the adverse impacts on landholders’ mental, emotional and physical health from their current lack of rights regarding the coal and gas industries – and thus a primary reason why this Bill is essential and has our support.” She concludes at the end: “We must remove that sense of hopelessness, that to fight for what we know is right and fair is useless because Big Money will win in the end, since they have the law and government behind them. There should be no more crippling David and Goliath battles, just legal choices. We strongly support Senator Waters’ Bill as urgent and essential.”
The Bill is currently before the Senate and a report is due on 31 August 2015.
Senate Inquiry into Environmental Offsets
A Senate Inquiry was launched in March 2014 to investigate “the history, appropriateness and effectiveness of the use of environmental offsets in federal environmental approvals in Australia”. Co-owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge, Paola Cassoni, made a submission and appeared before the Inquiry Committee.
Waratah Coal’s EIS and Supplementary EIS
The public was invited to make comments on Waratah Coal’s EIS in 2011 and Supplementary EIS (SEIS) in 2013. There was a huge response in both instances. The Queensland Coordinator General’s office received over 1800 submissions on the EIS and around 4000 submissions on the SEIS. The vast bulk of these were written in support of Bimblebox.
A number of Bimblebox Nature Refuge supporters have given their permission for their submissions to be posted here, along with submissions from the Bimblebox Team and co-owners of Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
SUBMISSIONS on Waratah Coal’s EIS (a sample from more than 1800, received by the Queensland Government)
- Members of the Bimblebox Team – body and appendices
- Bimblebox Nature Refuge co-owners
- Former Bimblebox Owner
- The Australia Institute
- Capricorn Conservation Council Inc.
- Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA)
- Greenpeace Australia Pacific
- Humane Society International
- Lock the Gate Alliance
- National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)
- Queensland Conservation Council
- Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld_Upper Dawson Branch