Showing posts with label mining industry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mining industry. Show all posts

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Quarry Solutions fined $15,000 for operating without an environment protection licence at Woodburn

Woodburn quarry site
https://seegroup.com.au/woodburn-quarry/

NSW EPA, media release, 20 Marxh 2020: 

Quarry Solutions fined for operating without environment protection licence

The Environment Protection Authority has fined North Coast company Quarry Solutions Pty Ltd $15,000 for allegedly operating without an environment protection licence. 

Director Regulatory Operations, Regional North Karen Marler said that records obtained by the NSW EPA indicate that Quarry Solutions allegedly extracted more material than is permitted without a licence at the Doonbah Quarry near Woodburn and Evans Head in 2018. 

“Quarry Solutions hold eight extractive activity licences with the EPA for works at other quarries and are therefore aware of licensing requirements. Furthermore, they were issued two Official Cautions in 2016 for the same offence. 

“While no environmental harm was caused by the company’s actions, it is important to obtain a licence to ensure environmental safeguards can be maintained and to ensure there is a level playing field for quarry operators,” Mrs Marler said. 

Quarry Solutions now has an environment protection licence in place for works at the Doonbah Quarry. 

In considering its regulatory approach the EPA took into account factors including that Quarry Solutions cooperated with the EPA and that no environmental harm occurred and also that the company had received two Official Cautions for the same offence. 

Quarries can extract smaller amounts up to 30,000 tonnes that produce lower potential environmental impacts without needing a licence. 

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

NOTE:

Quarry Solutions, part of the family-owned SEE Group, is a specialised quarrying and construction materials production company. Since 2008 it has owned and operated quarries under various arrangements in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland.

Friday, 15 November 2019

How the world sees Australia's response to climate change


It seems it isn't just our Pacific island neighbours or other members of the United Nations which view Australia as a nation governed by backward environmental vandals intent on destroying their own country.....

https://youtu.be/m6DO3zbD83U


Channel 4 News is made for Channel 4 by Independent Television Network Ltd. Channel 4 is a publicly-owned and commercially-funded UK public service broadcaster.

It is reported that Channel 4 has a monthly audience reach of est. 79% of all UK television viewers.

This is the gist of a 13 minute news segment aired in Britain on 12 November 2019 and, which had over 17 million views on YouTube:

Despite briefly boasting more than 50% renewable power generation on its national grid this year, Australia is struggling to move on from an energy, labour and political market built on a 1950s coal-based model. (Subscribe: https://bit.ly/C4_News_Subscribe) Even as eastern Australia is consumed by flames after years of drought, the New South Wales parliament is today trying to push through a law to stop proposed coal mines from having to examine the carbon impact of the coal they’re exporting. And they’re exporting a lot. Australia's coal export market is the most lucrative on the planet, valued at £36 billion. Three people have been killed, over 150 homes destroyed, Sydney faces ‘catastrophic’ conditions, and at least 45 of the 65 fires burning through the region are out of control. Yet when Australian Green MPs suggest the industry is on the wrong side of history, they get called 'raving loonies’ by the Deputy Prime Minister. Australia is now among the very worst G20 keepers of promises made in the Paris Climate Accord. It plans seven giant new opencast pits for Queensland, even as the bush to the east is incinerated by drought caused by climate change, caused by carbon emission caused - in part - by coal.

UPDATE

The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2019:

Sweden's central bank has sold off bonds from parts of Australia and the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta because it felt that greenhouse gas emissions in both countries were too high.
Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Floden said on Wednesday the bank would no longer invest in assets from issuers with a large climate footprint, even if the yields were high.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Meet some of Meet Scott Morrsison's "indulgent" environmental "anarchists" as they sing about 200 weeks of continuous protest


Terrifying bunch aren't they? One can just see they have molotov cocktails in their back pockets and are planning violent chaos. 

Scott Morrison is such a fool.  

Friday, 25 October 2019

A few facts about the NSW Minerals Council and how it operates as an industry lobbyist in 2019


Stephen John Galilee is currently Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NSW Minerals Council, a private sector lobby group for the mining industry with less than 100 members – not all of which are directly engaged in mining activities.

The council conducts public and policy advocacy on behalf of the mining sector, with a staff of 15 full-time equivalent employees – 6 of whom are primarily engaged in work on policy and 5 or 6 engaged in public advocacy, communications & media activity.

Stephen Galilee’s previous employment was as chief of staff to then Liberal MP for Manly Mike Baird when he was Treasurer in the O’Farrell Coalition Government and, before that he was employed as chief of staff to Liberal MP for Groom Ian Mcfarlane when he was Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources.

On 21 October Galilee gave evidence under oath before a NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into lobbying practises in this state.

During his evidence Galilee confirmed that the NSW Minerals Council:
  • income is derived from annual membership fees which are set at a percentage or proportion of the value of members commodity production;
  • annual revenue is between est. $4 million to $8 million;
  • is an associate member of the Minerals Council of Australia;
  • meets with government officials “on a regular basis” and such meeting are sometimes with government ministers;
  • probably has face-to-face meetings with between four or five individual ministers at some point during the year which include council policy directors and/or the CEO;
  • has a “regular engagement with the Deputy Premier in his capacity as Minister for Resources”;
  • requests to see ministers are generally submitted by letter to their chiefs of staff (with reasons given), then followed up with a ‘phone call;
  • shadow ministers are also lobbied on occasion;
  • CEO has met with between 8 and 10 NSW Government ministers over the last 2 to 3 years and with 10 to 15 ministerial chiefs of staff. These often involve follow up meetings with ministers' offices, departments or specific policy personnel;
  • meets with the Resources Regulator and Environmental Protection Authority “every couple of months” and with the Dept of Planning’s Division of Resources and Geoscience “every two or three months”;
  • in the past four years has made “around 150 public submissions in response to government proposals for changes to legislation, policy or regulations”;
  • at the moment is regularly engaging with the Department of Planning concerning planning system issues, in particular provisions in the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act;
  • does not use the official form required since 2017 to request meetings with the Dept. of Planning;
  • has meetings with the Dept. of Planning which are not minuted;
  • CEO does not keep records of meeting he attends - often his record comprises only diary entry of meeting date and "three dot points on a piece of paper" to aid memory;
  • current focus in relation to policy advocacy regarding planning system issues is to reduce financial risk for mining/commodity investors which has been spurred on by United Wambo determination, Bylong Project decision and actions of the Independent Planning Commission;
  • is currently "running a public campaign against the Planning Minister and his planning system".
  • states that the government departments “take a lot of industry money to deliver services for us. So we like to make sure those services are being delivered...”; and
  • holds "a lot of functions and events for the industry and we invite local MPs, for example, to attend and ministers and shadow ministers from time to time come along to our functions and events".
[https://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/investigations/current-investigations/2019/lobbying-and-the-nsw-public-sector-operation-eclipse/the-regulation-of-lobbying-access-and-influence-in-nsw-a-chance-to-have-your-say-april-2019]


The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment apparently considers the NSW Minerals Council an organisation containing 'inhouse' lobbyists not a third party lobbyist and therefore doesn't record contact with this group in its Lobbyist Contact Register to date.

Based on the evidence given  on 21 October, it is possible that there may have been times when no other person has been present at a meeting between a NSW Minister and the NSW Minerals Council.

It is also clear from the evidence that the NSW Minerals Council would be unhappy with any new legislation or regulations requiring a greater degree of transparency with regard to its lobbying activities.

At the same time the NSW Minerals Council does not appear to always trust that public officials and public authorities make decisions on cogent evidence in a balanced, detached, informative way - blaming public interest advocacy and "noisy objectors" for what it perceives as skewing outcomes.

As it now stands the NSW Minerals Council as a lobbyist group seems to be minimally regulated with regard to its activities.

BACKGROUND

NSW Minerals Council membership on its official website as of 23 October 2019:
Full Members
Anchor Resources Limited
Australian Pacific Coal Limited
BHP

Bengalla Mining Company Pty Ltd
The Bloomfield Group

Centennial Coal Company Ltd
Chase Mining Limited.
Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd
China Molybdenum Co
Clean Teq
Evolution Mining
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
Glencore Coal (NSW) Pty Limited

Gloucester Resources Ltd
Great Southern Energy Pty Ltd T/A Delta Coal
Heron Resources Limited
Hillgrove Mines Pty Ltd
Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd
Iluka Resources Pty Ltd
Kepco Bylong Australia Pty Ltd
Mach Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Newcrest Mining - Cadia Valley Operations
New South Resources Pty Ltd
Omya Australia Pty Ltd
Peabody Energy Australia
Regis Resources Limited
South 32 Illawarra Coal Holdings
Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Limited
Shoalhaven Coal Pty Ltd
Silver Mines Ltd
Thiess Pty Ltd
Whitehaven Coal Limited
Wollongong Coal Limited
Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture
Yancoal Australia Limited

Associate Members

Ampcontrol Pty Ltd
ARTC - Australian Rail Track Corporation
Ashurst
Aurizon Holdings LTD

B Marheine Holdings Ltd
Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation
Civeo Pty Ltd
Coal Services Pty Ltd
ElectraNet
Emeco International Pty Ltd
EMM Consulting
EMS Group Pty Ltd
Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd

Gold and Copper Resources Pty Limited
Golden Cross Resources Ltd
Helix Resources Ltd
Herbert Smith Freehills
Hunter Business Chamber 
Hughes Mining Services
Hansen Bailey Pty Ltd
Jervois Mining Limited
Sydney Mining Club
Jennmar Australia
Johnson Winter Slattery

Geos Mining
McCullough Robertson
Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd
MRS Services Group Pty Ltd
NuCoal Resources Ltd
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
Niche Environment & Heritage
Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group
Orica Australia Pty Ltd
Pacific National Pty Ltd
Paradigm Resources Pty Ltd
Peel Mining Ltd 
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Port Waratah Coal Services Limited
Hetherington Exploration and Mining Title Services Pty Ltd

Hughes Mining Services
Rangott Mineral Exploration Pty Ltd

Quarry Mining & Construction Equipment P/L
Rimfire Pacific Mining NL
Resource Strategies Pty Ltd
RW Corkery and Company

Sapphire Resources
Seyfarth Shaw Australia
Silver City Minerals Limited
Sparke Helmore Lawyers
UNSW Mining Engineering
TAFE NSW
Thomson Resources Ltd
Umwelt (Australia) Pty Limited
University of Wollongong
XCoal Energy and Resources

Friday, 4 October 2019

And the climate change denying madness continues in New South Wales


All those political donations to the Liberal and National parties seem to be paying off for the Minerals Council of Australia – $28,800 in 2015-16, $50,645 in 2016-17, $88,700 in 2017-18.

Cheap at twice the price if this comes to pass…….

The Guardian2 October 2019:

The New South Wales government is considering legislation that could limit the ability for planning authorities to rule out coalmines projects based on the climate change impact of emissions from the coal once it is burned.

It comes after a campaign from the NSW Minerals Council over decisions that have referenced the impact of “scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions” as a reason for either rejecting a mining project entirely or for imposing conditions on it.

For a coalmine, scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions are from the burning of the coal after it is sold into the market, including overseas.

The planning minister, Rob Stokes, said it was “not appropriate for state governments to impose conditions about emissions policies in other countries”.

He said the government was looking at a range of options, including legislation or a new guideline for how planning authorities should factor scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions into the assessment process.

The recent decisions include the NSW land and environment court’s rejection of the Rocky Hill coalmine in February, which cited the impact the mine would have on climate change, including through the burning of coal in other countries, at a time when “a rapid and deep decrease” in global emissions was urgently needed.

In August, the NSW Independent Planning Commission approved the expanded United Wambo coal project near Singleton but as a condition said the coal could only be exported to countries that have ratified the Paris agreement.

In September the commission rejected the development of a greenfield coalmine in NSW’s Bylong Valley, citing the impact the mine would have on groundwater, agricultural land and on climate change.

The NSW Minerals Council has since launched attack ads that target the planning system for “failing the people of NSW”.

In a statement last week, the council’s chief executive Stephen Galilee said the decision to launch a campaign came after months of “warnings to the minister for planning and others in the government about the risk of the planning system to jobs and investment”.

He said the situation had reached “crisis point” with the Bylong Valley decision.

Stokes said the Minerals Council was one of the stakeholders the government was consulting in its development of a policy on scope 3 emissions.

We are working with key stakeholders, including the federal government, NSW Minerals Council and consent authorities, to develop a clear policy direction as quickly as possible to provide certainty to the community, industry and investors,” he said.

We are looking at a range of options including legislation.”

The consent authorities in this instance include the NSW land and environment court.

But environment groups are warning the government not to bow to pressure from the mining industry. Lock the Gate said the impact of downstream greenhouse gas emissions “is arguably the most complicated, severe and lasting environmental impact of NSW’ export coalmines”.

Lock the Gate coordinator George Woods said the public should also have a say in how planning decisions address the climate consequences of coal developments and that should be done through a public hearing process run by the independent planning commission.

It’s disappointing and frankly dangerous for the planning minister to narrowly consult only with the mining industry on a matter of profound importance like this,” she said.

The mining industry has flexed its political muscle but the government really needs to address the bigger issue and the public sentiment on this.”

Elaine Johnson, the principal lawyer with the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW, which represented Groundswell Gloucester in the Rocky Hill case, said if the government was planning changes to the way planning authorities consider scope 3 emissions, the consultation for that should be broad and include other key stakeholders such as community and environment groups.

The land and environment court, in the Rocky Hill decision, has confirmed that it is entirely appropriate for decision-makers to impose conditions on projects that will contribute to dangerous climate change in a planning context,” Johnson said.

She said that was recognised by the independent planning commission in the United Wambo and Bylong Valley assessments.

We would also say that in 2019 we are making planning decisions in a context which includes advice from the world’s best scientists that we’re approaching a climate emergency,” she said.

If global emissions continue to rise and if serious action is not taken at all levels of government, by communities and business, the impacts of dangerous climate change will be catastrophic.”...... [my yellow highlighting]

Monday, 22 April 2019

News Corp mastheads back Big Coal during 2019 federal election campaign


These were News Corp mastheads on 18 April 2019.
Images found @JennaCairney1 on Twitter

Apparently we voters don’t understand the role mining has in our country and Murdoch journalists are eager to pressure politicians on the subject of mining jobs and taxation revenue which they fear are on the line because these same politicians might go weak-kneed at the sight of Stop Adani hashtags, earrings or stage invasions[Townsville Bulletin, 18 April 2019, p.2].

I on the other hand think rural and regional areas know the mining industry rather well when it comes to jobs and taxes.

According to the Australian Government Labour Market Information Portal as of February 2019 the Mining Industry in this country“employs approximately 251,700 persons (ABS trend data), which accounts for 2.0 per cent of the total workforce. Over the past five years, employment in the industry has decreased by 5.4 per cent”.

Employment growth in the industry in the five years to February 2019 was in fact minus 14,400 employees.

Projected employment growth in the five years to May 2023 is predicted to be 2.4 per cent.

Not all mining industry employment is new jobs created by a mining venture either. The Australia Institute points to the fact that economic modelling done by Waratah Coal in 2011 found that a single Qld mine would displace 3,000 jobs in other industries and crowd out $1.2 billion in manufacturing activity.

Australian Tax Office (ATO) data for 2013-14 to 2015-16 show that almost 60 percent of corporations in the energy and resources sector paid zero tax in that period.

This percentage appears to be something of an industry norm as in 2007-08 ATO data indicated there were 4,290 mining companies operating in Australia and 68.3pc of all these companies paid no tax.

It is worth noting that in 2007 the Business Council of Australia (BCA) calculated corporate tax (as a percentage of profit) at 20pc for the mining industry.

Interestingly, BCA also stated “taxes collected are negative for the mining industry group because as major exporters survey participants reported a significant GST refund which more than offset other taxes collected”.

In 2016-17 BHP Billiton Aluminium Australia Pty Ltd with a total income $1.81 billion for that year paid no tax. Neither did Whitehaven Coal Limited with a total income of $2.39 billion, Claremont Coal Mines Ltd with a total income of $1.01 billion and Ulan Coal Mines Limited with a total income of $1.03 billion - to name just a few examples for that financial year. 

So there we have it.

An Australia-wide industry sector which in February 2019 employed less people than sectors such as Health & Social Assistance (est.1,702,700 persons), Retail (est.1,284,700 persons), Education & Training (est,1,032,400 persons) and Manufacturing (est. 872,500 persons) and, has a future growth projection which makes it unlikely to return even 2015 employment levels.

A sector which also regularly takes tax minimisation to an extreme.

Yet for some reason voters are supposed to ignore the ramifications of continuing to allow open slather to fossil fuel mining corporations as climate change impacts begin to bite.

The mining industry has pulled this sort of stunt before when it fought the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax which would have applied to mining companies involved in the extraction of non-renewable resources. It talked up inflated figures for mining employment and tax revenue and quoted the same in industry media releases.

The stakes for present and future generations were not quite as high nor as urgent then as they are now and it’s time the rapacious mining industry is firmly put in its place by concerned voters on 18 May 2019 – right at the back of the queue along with those political parties and candidates who blindly support Big Coal and Big Oil.

Australia can't afford politicians of that ilk anymore.

Friday, 1 March 2019

A reminder of just how far the mining industry will go to deny the lack of a social licence and undermine community opposition



ABC News, 19 February 2019:


Lawyers for mining firm Adani proposed waging "war" on opponents of its controversial Queensland mine by using the legal system to pressure government, silence critics and financially cripple activists, according to documents obtained by the ABC.

The draft copy of Adani's new law firm's aggressive strategy to bring the Carmichael mine to life is labelled "Taking the Gloves Off" and outlines a commercial proposal by AJ & Co to win a multi-million-dollar legal contract with the Indian mining giant.

In the document, the Brisbane firm promised to be Adani's "trained attack dog".

The strategy recommended bankrupting individuals who unsuccessfully challenge Adani in court, using lawsuits to pressure the Queensland Government and social media "bias" as a tool to discredit decisionmakers.

In a section called "Play the Man", it recommended "where activists and commentators spread untruths, use the legal system to silence them".

It also urged Adani to hire private investigators to target activists and work "with police and a criminal lawyer to ensure appropriate police action is taken against protesters".
"Like a well-trained police dog, our litigations know when to sit and shake, and when it is time to bite," the law firm promised.

"To achieve its commercial goal, Adani needs to accept it is involved in a war."