Mining regulation failure…Martin Ferguson, failure

Governments’ failure to regulate is costing mining industry, taxpayers and environment
Lionel Elmore, Crikey naturalist, writes:
ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS, MARTIN FERGUSON, MINING INDUSTRY, NATURAL GAS RESERVES, TONY ABBOTT
A failure to sensibly regulate the mining industry is compromising its productivity, the environment — and the electoral fortunes of the Labor government. A demonstration in Melbourne yesterday against the proposed James Price Point Gas Plant, near Broome (WA), highlighted this increasingly national issue. Tony Abbot’s support for farmers against the gasification of coal in Queensland also highlights the increasing opposition to poorly planned mining. State and federal governments appear to be using mining industry projects to “open access” to Aboriginal land and high conservation areas. As green groups, farmers and Aboriginal communities are drawn into conflict with the mining, there are increasing costs to industry and taxpayers from bad planning and conflict.The mining industry as far back as 2008 proposed an offshore floating platform to process gas from the Browse Basin as a cost-effective option that would avoid conflict with Aboriginal communities and others. This is still ignored by federal and state governments. They appear to want to force this development to “open up the Kimberly”, which they perceived as having environmental and Aboriginal significance that may slow or hinder development.

This political move may have significant costs electorally. James Price Point, or Walmadan as it is known locally by the Jabirr Jabirr people, already has an indigenous eco-tourism industry. This is based on Aboriginal culture, coral reefs along the shoreline, fossil dinosaur footprints and an extraordinary range of rare, small mammals that shelter in its rocky landscape. The international profile of the Kimberly for nature-based tourism was driven for decades by the work of documentary maker and naturalist, the late Malcolm Douglas — founder and director of Save the Kimberly. It ticks all the international tourism boxes and is already generating employment and export income from overseas tourist spending….read the rest

LNG Refinery

 

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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