It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

Two fracking free towns in Western Australia

double win waThere are now two towns in Western Australia to declare themselves fracking free zones, where fracking activities are not welcome.

Earlier this week the town of Greenough declared itself frack free and now they have been followed by the Shire of Coorow.

On Wednesday Coorow councillors unanimously backed a request to put a hold on all fracking work at energy company AWE’s Drover-1 well.

The request was submitted by residents from the local Green Head and Leeman communities.

Of course it drew the usual responses saying fracking is a ‘safe’ process and doesn’t need to be put through rigorous environmental assessment, despite our aquifers being at risk.

But neither the process of injecting high pressure chemicals into the earth, nor the resulting escape of methane is safe for our environment.

Methane is far more potent a green house gas than carbon dioxide in the immediate term, and fracking wells are notorious for creating methane leaks.

It’s simply not worth the risk.

I stand with the peoples of Greenough, Green Heads and Leeman in their fight to prevent fracking in Western Australia.

We will win the day.

WA Farmer’s fear for livelihood as fracking moves in.

No FrackingFarmers in the Green Head area of the Perth basin, south of Geraldton, are worried about their water supply.

Gas exploration company AWE is pushing ahead with plans for Western Australia’s first hydraulic fracturing (fracking) project to extract ‘shale’ gas.

Local resident Peggy Hodgson has been farming in mid west since 1960s.

She has fought to keep her drinking water safe from mining companies for decades, and will continue that fight now in her retirement.

“Our water supply our water quality and our water quantity. All of it is under threat should anything go wrong with the fracking and the boring that’s going to go on out here” said Peggy.

The Department of Water confirmed that the AWE project will drill through the same aquifer that supplies the town’s drinking water.

Department of Mines and Petroleum spokes person Jeff Haworth says the the Perth basin is “by far” the most likely fracking project to go ahead.

Watch the ABC report by Kathryn Diss

 

Investigate the EPA in WA. #100DaysOfBlogging #Day18

EPA of WA should be under investigationNew South Wales are conducting a Parliamentary Inquiry into the effectiveness and performance of that states Environmental Protection Authority.

The move comes after a string of controversial decisions by the EPA and criticism that it was “more focused on protecting polluting industries than looking after the community and human health”. I’d agree with that assessment and would say it also applies to the EPA here in Western Australia too.

The Environmental Protection Act of 1986, in outlining the functions of the Environmental Protection Authority states as one of it’s key functions, this:

“to coordinate all such activities, whether governmental or otherwise, as are necessary to protect, restore or improve the environment in the State”

In WA they are at best terribly ineffective at their job.

Back in 2006, the transportation of ‘lead carbonate’ for export by Magellan Metals lead to large-scale poisonings in Esperance. Kids had high levels of lead in their bloodstream. Birds literally fell from the sky. Continue reading Investigate the EPA in WA. #100DaysOfBlogging #Day18