The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission’s May 2019 consideration of the United Wambo coal project. The latest assessment by Deloitte, commissioned by the mine proponents, confirms Australia Institute analysis that mine voids can be filled leaving a $139 million surplus, based on EIS figures.
by Maryanne Slattery
[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 13 July 2019]
The Murray-Darling Basin is broken. Literally. As in its parts aren't joined up anymore - the Darling River/Barka hasn't flowed into the Murray since 2017. The Murrumbidgee isn't flowing into the Murray either and will be disconnected from the rest of the basin more regularly due to new irrigation development.
The Australia Institute has welcomed NOPSEMA’s decision to knock-back Equinor’s plans to drill exploratory oil wells in the Great Australian Bight.
“NOPSEMA have made the right decision in knocking-back this application. BP and Chevron have already been sent packing and now the other companies lining up to exploit the Bight should take the message and move on,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, The Australia Institute’s SA projects manager.
“Our research has found that the majority of people in South Australia and across the country do not want to see the Great Australians Bight opened up to drilling.
New research shows Victorian coal power is responsible for around 13% of the National Electricity Market’s gas and coal capacity, but 32% of its gas and coal breakdowns.
The Australia Institute’s Gas & Coal Watch initiative finds that Victoria is home to the most unreliable gas and coal power stations in the country, largely due to the states’ three brown coal plants—particularly Loy Yang A and Yallourn W.
Victoria’s brown coal fired power stations suffer from frequent breakdowns and Loy Yang A is the responsible for largest number of breakdowns on the National Energy Market, since monitoring began in December 2017, and Loy Yang A’s Unit 2 is the most unreliable unit on the grid.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 15 June 2019]
Australia's debate on the climate crisis reached a new level of lunacy this past week. Almost nowhere else in the world is the climate debate so divorced from reality.
Decisions by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to flood the Barmah-Millewa forest and drain Menindee Lakes have reduced water for NSW Murray general security holders, who have zero allocation for 2018-19. We estimate an allocation of between 16% and 61% could have been possible had MDBA complied with its official Objectives and Outcomes.
The Australia Institute has released new research showing that the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) caused ecological harm and reduced water to irrigators when it caused floods at the ‘Barmah choke’ and drained the Menindee Lakes.
“While everyone else in the Basin was dealing with drought, the MDBA created a flood and lost large volumes of water,” said Maryanne Slattery, Senior Water Researcher at The Australia Institute.
“The artificial flood from August to January was not for environmental purposes, in fact it caused environmental harm. The out of season flooding eroded banks and damaged the internationally significant Barmah-Millewa forest.
The projected rise in extremely hot days as a result of global warming presents a serious risk to the health and wellbeing of the Queensland community.
There has already been a clear increase in numbers of these extreme heat days over recent decades, as demonstrated in our profiles on:
- The Gold Coast;
- The Sunshine Coast;
- The Whitsundays; and
New research shows that Queensland is set to experience more climate chaos, including more summers with a dramatic increase in extreme heat days – like in Brisbane, where days over 35C would go from a historical average of two per year, to up to 45 days per year by 2090.
The report, written by The Australia Institute using CRSIO and BoM data, shows that such increases in extreme heat days will severely affect many key metropolitan and regional centres throughout Queensland such as Brisbane, Townsville, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays.