Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bulga keeps fighting

update: Bulga comes to Sydney 7 August 

update: Wanarua elders face court 15 Sept

update: 'we live on the doorstep of the mine'

update police arrest Wanarua elders Kevin Taggart and Patricia Hansson

update: Bulga protest at Rio Tinto AGM

update: disputed land clearing

Make Some Noise For Bulga Thurs Dec 17th 2015, Macquarie Place Park 
(opposite NSW Planning Dept)
  Sydney. Image Singeton Argus

A rally calling for Justice for Bulga,Thursday 12 November
 outside NSW Supreme Court  Sydney, image: Land Water Future

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bulga loses

On October 22 the SMH reported that Rio Tinto's plans to extend the life of its Mount Thorley Warkworth open-cut coal mine has moved another step closer to final approval after it gained approval from the Planning Assessment Commission's review panel.
In its press release, Lock the Gate said the Rio Tinto Warkworth mine win robs Bulga of justice.  The independent planning panel’s recommendation to approve Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine expansion proposal is a blow for the Bulga community, who have fought the proposal for five years and twice won in court, says Mr John Krey, President of the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association.

Residents of Bulga have fought fiercely against the expansion. . .Photo John Krey

On 27 November 2015, the ABC reported:
Residents of the small Hunter Valley community of Bulga have lost their battle against a controversial mine expansion, with the project given final approval.The Mount Thorley Warkworth project has been the subject of a long-running war between mining giant Rio Tinto and the residents of Bulga.
The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) today approved the mine's expansion which will see the life of the mine extended by more than 20 years.
The proposal will involve the creation of an open cut super pit near the village of Bulga, to extract hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Whitehaven AGM protest

Whitehaven Coal held it's AGM in Sydney today, and this is what greeted the board and shareholders as they arrived: a reminder that as Whitehaven's share price continues to tumble, coal is a bad investment!

Whitehaven and its controversial Maules Creek coal mine project has long been a target of protest due to the severity of the mine's impacts on Indigenous sacred sites, the Leard State Forest and its endangered flora and fauna, the local farming community, and the climate.

30 October 2015
text & images: Land Water Future

Monday, October 26, 2015

Battle for Bylong

On the Battle for Bylong weekend of 24-5 October, as well as entertainment in the Bylong sports ground there were highly informative tours of the Bylong valley with Craig Shaw and Nell Schofield who each spoke about about Kepco's plans to mine the Bylong Valley and thereby destroy a community and highly developed and unique agricultural area, as well as contribute to climate change. 

Craig Shaw leading a tour. image: Battle for Bylong

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In memory of George Bender

Protest at Origin Energy AGM in Martin Place, Sydney, in memory of George Bender, the NSW farmer who took his own life after a long struggle to stop CSG companies mining his land. Image: land Water Future

Listen to Dr Helen Redmond explaining the health effects of fracking.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

PAC Hearing in Singleton - Rio Tinto vs Bulga

WRVAP attended the NSW Planning Assessment Commission hearing on 30 June and 1 July 2015 in the Hunter Valley town of Singleton to hear community response to Rio Tinto's proposed expansion of its open cut mine in the form of its Warkworth  and Mt Thorley 'Continuation Projects'. The audience was packed, and included many who must have rushed straight there from work without having time to remove their orange high vis jackets, and which incidentally had the effect of showing that some locals are employed by the Rio Tinto mine.
PAC Hearing audience, Singleton 30 June 2015. Ph Kate Ausburn

There were nearly two days of 5-minute responses to the proposal to expand the Rio Tinto open cut mine. The PAC heard about the contribution this expansion will make to climate change through the burning of more coal, the impact on traditional owners' responsibility to care for the land, and other damage it will do to the surrounding land, including to rare and unique ecosystems and economic viability of farm businesses. WRVAP contributed two responses—by David Watson and Margaret Roberts.
Uncle Kevin Taggart giving his response to the proposed Rio Tinto expansion. Ph Kate Ausburn


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Visit to BULGA

On May 25 WRVAP travelled with the NSW community collective, Our Land Our Water Our Future, to Bulga to find out first hand the nature of the threat Rio Tinto is posing to the town and the land. We were given an invaluable tour of the town and area and the opportunity to meet and hear traditional custodians of the land including Wonnarua elder Uncle Kevin Taggart, as well as Bulga residents speak about the impact of the Rio Tinto mining and expansion.
Uncle Kevin Taggart, Wonnarua elder who spoke about the land being destroyed by the Rio Tinto mine in the background. Photo David Watson
As part of its campaign against an open-cut coalmine expansion, Our Land Our Water Our Future has funded and produced this video profiling Uncle Kevin. He and other custodians and Bulga residents, have been fighting for more than five years to stop the expansion by Rio Tinto. They say it will create severe noise and dust pollution, destroy a critically endangered woodland and threaten 110 registered Aboriginal cultural sites. A final decision is expected within weeks.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In the Kandos Scout Hall for Cementa15

The Kandos Scout Hall
see more

The WRVAP Instruments of Democracy performance focuses on the metal lock-on equipment used as 'instruments of democracy' by many insightful and courageous people from all walks of life across NSW. Performed twice-daily during Cementa15, it is a 5 minute performance that bears witness to the non-violent direct action against open cut and coal seam gas mining that is spreading across NSW

Instruments of Democracy also included individual works by members of the WRVAP:

L-R: Suzanne Bartos; David Watson; Noelene Lucas & Juliet Fowler Smith
with cardboard lock-ons in the centre
L: Suzanne Bartos, centre + top: David Watson; R: Noelene Lucas
David Watson Checkout + Ransom Note (with Denise Corrigan) 
(powerpoint on screen), Australian Navigators 
(photographs) with performance images in front
Noelene Lucas Death by Coal video, with blackboard drawing behind
 performance objects in front
Juliet Fowler Smith Barking Owls and Weeping Woodlands
 with performance object in front
performance metal lock-ons  
top: David Watson Koala Diplomacy (2015) prayer flags;
 L: Juliet Fowler Smith; R: Toni Warburton
front: cardboard performance objects; centre floor: Margaret Roberts;
 top R:
Toni Warburton AgitPots H2O (2015) clay and ceramic 
Margaret Roberts Life4Coal piled tuille cut-outs of
threatened species.  photo Jessica Maurer
Sue Callanan Breath by Degrees (2015) coal, felt
photo Jessica Maure

Suzanne Bartos Another Meeting Pool (after Merlyn Skipper) puppets
photos by David Watson except where otherwise stated

Friday, March 27, 2015

Instruments of Democracy at Cementa15


The Williams River Valley Artists’ Project will present Instruments of Democracy in Cementa15 at the Kandos Scout Hall, open 10am to 4pm, 9–12 April 2015

At 10am and 2pm each day WRVAP’s project is animated by Instruments of Democracy, a performance work that takes on the role of witness to non-violent direct action. The piece has been developed over six months through workshopping our responses to the courage, ingenuity, discipline and stamina of environmental activists—from all walks of life—who oppose the terrible impacts of open-cut and long wall coal mining, and CSG/fracking. Vast environmental destruction is wreaked by large corporations that do not have the right to misuse, contaminate and deplete our ground water, destroy forests and natural habitats, and fray the social fabric of farming communities. When government fails, people act: urgent concern about the future is driving a new form of democracy. Instruments of Democracy is inspired by this development, especially by the the art-like actions using lock-on devices that we witnessed in the Leard, Newcastle and Gloucester blockades. It was also prompted by a performance that also bears witness—An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale by Alexandra Pirici & Manuel Pelmușthat was seen by WRVAP artists in Venice in 2013. 

Alongside the collaborative Instruments of Democracy performance, there are individual artworks by WRVAP artists:
•Suzanne Bartos Another Meeting Pool (after Merlyn Skipper) (2015) puppets
• Neil Berecry-Brown Social Licence (2013) text
Sue Callanan Breath by Degrees (2015) coal, felt
• Juliet Fowler Smith Barking Owls and Weeping Woodlands (2015) drawing on paper, mixed media
• Noelene Lucas Death by Coal (2015) video
Margaret Roberts Life 4 Coal (2015) floor cut-outs
Toni Warburton AgitPots H2O (2015) clay and ceramic
David Watson Australian Navigators (2015) photographs, Koala Diplomacy (2015) prayer flags, Checkout + Ransom Note (with Denise Corrigan) (2013) powerpoint

WVRAP would like to acknowledge and thank the Rev Peter Green and  Silver Street Baptist Mission Marrickville for providing access to facilities to help us develop this project.