In the next month, the campaign to protect community health and the environment from coal is ramping up to a fever pitch. There is so much happening – here’s just a snapshot of ways that you can be involved. If you can lend a hand, please don’t hesitate to let us know!
The Cover the Wagons Petition
We are looking forward to breaking some very exciting news about our Cover the Wagons petition later this week. Let’s just say that the enormous efforts of people right across the state going door to door, standing on stalls, walking around markets and engaging friends and neighbours is paying off, and setting the stage for a statewide debate. Stay tuned.
Parliamentary Inquiry into the EPA (November 10th)
On Monday November 10th, John, James and Nick from the Coal Terminal Action Group will give testimony to a public hearing in Newcastle on the EPA’s coal dust cover-up. This inquiry is a small, but long overdue, victory for the CTAG campaign and for the Hunter community. We are hopeful that this inquiry will reverse the EPA’s denial about our poor air quality, and finally force them to protect community and environmental health.
If you can make it to the Public Hearing on Monday afternoon, we would love to see you there. Details about the public hearing are here.
Join the Protectors Camp at Gloucester (November 14th – 16th)
You may have heard that despite years of sustained community opposition, AGL started fracking in the residential zone of Gloucester a week ago. Their plan is to frack four wells in the next five weeks. After that, AGL will decide whether to push ahead with up to 330 wells in the town. It is a critical time for the future of this region.
The community is standing up. Already, a dozen people have been arrested taking peaceful action to hold up the project. Many more people are preparing to step up. But there is only a small window of opportunity to show AGL the extent of community opposition to fracking, and the Gloucestor Protectors need more people on the ground.
They need you. Can you spare a weekend or two in the next five weeks?
There will be scheduled activities every weekend for the next month. For info and updates, check out the new Gloucester Protection Camp site.
If you can only make one weekend, make sure you come along for the big gathering scheduled from Friday afternoon 14th to Sunday 16th. This is our chance to send a decisive message that we won’t stand for our land, water and health being compromised by fracking.
The Battle for Jobs in the Hunter (November 11th – 13th)
A few weeks ago, in the ABC 730 studios, the chief spin doctor for the NSW Minerals Council, Stephen Galilee, challenged the Executive Director of the Australia Institute Richard Denniss to a series of debates in the coal mining towns of the Hunter region. Richard accepted the challenge, and hundreds of people chipped in money to stage a series of debates in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
Local economies need local jobs to thrive. But can coal and gas, horse breeding, viticulture and tourism co-exist? What do people in the Hunter Valley region think about the fact that their tax dollars are subsidising mining companies during a mining boom? That’s the debate we need. “The battle for jobs in the Hunter” tour will be a turning point in the coal debate for New South Wales – make sure you get along to at least one of these events:
Muswellbrook, Tuesday 11 November, 6-7pm, Uniting Church Hall, Bridge Street
Gloucester, Wednesday 12 November, 6-7pm, Senior Citizens Centre, 30 Hume Street
Newcastle, Thursday 13 November, 6-7pm, Newcastle City Hall, Hunter Room
It’s not yet confirmed whether Stephen Galilee from the Minerals Council will front up at these three events. But with or without the Minerals Council, the Australia Institute will be there to present the facts.
For more information, click here. RSVP via Facebook here.
We hope to see you at these upcoming events – thanks for your ongoing support,
Annika Dean, Hunter Community Environment Centre
On behalf of Coal Terminal Action Group
Coal Terminal Action Group