All posts by Steve Posselt

2014-11-4 – To Townsville – Mining depression

Stopped at Gladstone. The coal port there caused untold havoc – generation of toxic algae, hundreds of dead turtles and dugong, habitat loss, sustainable fishery loss, health problems with fisherman, scandalous performance of CSIRO, abysmal engineering practice, destruction of Curtis Island… the list goes on. The big problem is that they got away with it. An even bigger problem is that many people don’t care. It’s depressing really, so I shot through to Mackay.

Mackay greeted me with a drenching. The company was good though. During the downpour I dropped into the Mackay Conservation Group, but only Moira was home. Ellen arrived back by bus at 9.00pm and Gemma was in Airlie Beach. Moira organized for me to stay at the share house where I met Phil. He told me that Mackay was better now. The drunks on meths have gone and the streets are safe at night which 18mths ago they certainly weren’t.

Conservation is tough in Mackay. It loves mining, even though mining pushed prices of everything through the roof, and caused a loss in population of 10,000 people when the bubble burst. The local Italian eatery had a wine list with about half the bottles over $150 each. The house red at about five bucks a glass was fine though. A marina berth is still 60% more than Brisbane, so maybe there is still some rationalization left to occur.

With mines cutting jobs and increasing mechanization Phil reckons depression is a big problem. Luckily our politicians understand that coal is good eh!

2014-11-3 To Townsville – remembering a win

It was great to be reminded of a win. Spent the night at Tiaro with Ross and Gail Smith whom I met on the Save the Mary River Campaign and have stayed in touch with Tanzi, their daughter. We didn’t know during the campaign that we would win. Government money and propaganda was stacked against us, but we were pretty sure that the Federal Labor Govt would not sacrifice the EPBC Act, and go against two senate enquiries, for a bunch of Qld cowboys. When they lost, the Water Resources Minister – Stephen Robertson – reckoned he was devastated. Didn’t take it well when I suggested why he lost. Sent him a copy of my book so that he might learn something, but I doubt that he read it.

Interesting that there was no enquiry into how the stupid dickheads managed to waste over a billion dollars of Queenslander’s money. Seems like it is good Queensland practice though, with the Newman Govt investing heavily in what will be stranded coal assets to prop up something that is only 4% of their revenue, minus what they spend of course, which last year was about half that.


The trip will involve a petition but this is still under development. Under consideration is:

If two of the worst emitters per head will not take a lead then who?

Australia’s massive deposits of hydrocarbons, mainly coal and gas, are a menace to life on earth as we know it. Most of it must be left in the ground to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic global warming. It’s time for all governments in Australia to shoulder their responsibility and not pollute the world.

Canada’s tar sands are equally destructive and it’s time for Canadian governments to recognise this.

We call on the governments in both countries to take a reasonable approach with risk and cease their reckless behavior.

 Sign the petition on line or better still bring a copy to Steve to deliver to Canberra.