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The Guardian on-line news reported on 23 July 2021 that a Japanese pledge to wind down gas and coal-fired electricity much faster than previously planned has sparked warnings Australia needs to speed up a transition away from fossil fuel exports.
Australia’s oil and gas lobby group, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, rejected suggestions that Japan’s shift meant gas would play a declining role.
The Guardian states a recent major International Energy Agency report suggested the world should not open any new oil or gas fields or coal plants if it was to have a chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison recently has committed $224m to develop new gas fields in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.
This proposed subsidy has been referred to a Senate Inquiry and as set out in the submission by The Australia Institute such new gas fields are not commercially viable in the absence of government subsidies.
In another report (21 July 2021) The Guardian states shareholder activist group Market Forces has asked the corporate watchdog ACCC to investigate whether coal company New Hope misled investors by claiming that coal would “remain a significant part of the energy mix”.
David Morris, of the Environmental Defenders Office, which is acting for Market Forces, said consumer laws contained safeguards “so that investors can understand what reshaping of economies means”.
The investor action group alleges that New Hope, a thermal coal company, may have misled shareholders by referencing two IEA scenarios that were most optimistic about the continued use of coal, as opposed to two other scenarios that modelled a more aggressive approach to global climate action.
Morris said that even if coal company executives had genuinely held views that the coal would not be phased out, they were still required to disclose relevant risks to shareholders. Despite the Federal Government’s support for further gas projects it seems that other forces are going to play a decisive role. The first being the economic factors flowing from the decrease in demand from Australia’s biggest export market, Japan and the lack of commercial viability of such projects. Other factors include scrutiny by the Senate and legal action such as that being conducted by the EDO in respect of New Hope mining company.
The Federal Government should recognise these factors and act to facilitate an orderly move from coal and gas to renewable energy in line with the International Energy Agency report.
Frank Breen, President
The Society has been active in local conservation issues since 1966 and is well networked with the broader conservation movement across NSW.
The Society's Constitution states its Aims and Objectives as:
a. The education of the members and the community, particularly in the local area, in nature conservation and protection of the environment;
b. To promote ecologically sustainable land use and development;
c. To promote nature conservation including an adequate system of national parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves, wildlife refuges and corridors and urban bushland reserves; adequate protection measures for native wildlife;
d. Achieving satisfactory measures to safeguard the environment from all forms of pollution to ensure clean air, clean water and a healthy environment;
e. To work for the permanent retention and conservation of all natural areas in the local district and an increase in the area set aside for nature conservation and
f. To undertake the management of the Field of Mars Reserve with Ryde City Council as a major conservation project
We have a regular newsletter Wallumetta which is issued six times a year which attempts to update members on both local environmental issues and issues of wider impact. Our volunteer members keep the Visitors Centre open each weekend. Please contact us if you have concerns about threats to our local natural areas and the precious native fauna which depend on our sensitive bushland areas and waterways.
In the mid 1960s, with an increasing amount of waste needing disposal, Ryde Council looked to an expansion of the small tip in the Field of Mars Reserve. Council proposed to pipe Buffalo and Stranger's Creeks to facilitate a landfill area to a depth of up to 15m feet which could then be re-developed into playing fields. Local residents united to form the Anti-tip Action Group and lobbied to reverse Council's plans for a tip at the Field of Mars. The tip was moved to Porter's Creek which to this day still requires substantial funds to control the environmental damage arising from past use as a tipsite. With the Field of Mars saved the Society was established in January 1966.
In September 1966, Ryde Council advised the Society that it agreed to their proposal to development of the Field of Mars Reserve as a flora and fauna sanctuary. Hard work over following decades has seen restoration of old degraded areas of the Field of Mars and protection of the area as a Wildlife Refuge. A Visitors Centre was built and then the Environmental Education Centre which is visited by about 10,000 students each year.
Saturday 19 June 2021
The two walks visited the sites of former properties along Wellington Rd, and depression years’ developments near Cressy Rd / Buffalo Creek, including the stone bridge. We then inspected the remnants of a former logging road which is now followed by the Kunzea Track near Cressy Rd, and the southern route of the former bridle track, most of which now forms the Sand Track. Returning via Warada Track and Flat Rock, we saw how things were changed when the saltmarsh near the confluence of the creeks was used as a garbage tip in the 1950s and now forms the flat grass area.
Time did not permit a visit to the Strangers Creek area, which also has an interesting history.
(subject to current Covid-19 restrictions)
OWING TO LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ALL OUR EVENTS ARE SUSPENDED
Kelly’s Bush celebration has also been postponed. The most likely date is now Sunday 10 October, but this is provisional. Please monitor media releases from the Friends of Kelly’s Bush.
*Rug hand-knitted and kindly donated to RHHFFPS by the Holy Spirit Yarnknit Group of North Ryde.