Monday, 11 October 2010

Nobbys protest over gas drills

From The Herald...


A COALITION of environment and community groups protested on Nobbys Beach yesterday against plans to drill off Newcastle for natural gas.

Members of the coalition, called Hands Off Our Coast, gave speeches on the beach before about 80 people.

The protest was part of a global day of action on climate change under the campaign, which involved 7300 demonstrations in 190 countries.

Lake Macquarie councillor Phillipa Parsons, who leads the anti-gas coalition, said governments must begin the transition towards a "clean, renewable energy economy and away from the fossil-fuel economy".

"They need to stop subsidising fossil-fuel exploration such as proposed offshore gas drilling in Newcastle and invest more in clean renewables," Cr Parsons said.

Advent Energy, which is planning the drilling, said gas was a "transition fuel"as the economy converts to renewable energy.

Advent executive director David Breeze said gas-fired power stations produced up to 70 per cent less carbon emissions than coal-fired plants to produce the same amount of energy.

"We support renewables, but it's abundantly clear that renewable energy in the form of wind or solar power is not capable of meeting power demand," Mr Breeze said.

Cr Parsons described the comments as "absolute rubbish".

"It's propaganda from mining corporations, who stand to profit from continuing the fossil-fuel industry," Cr Parsons said.

"Moving to a clean, renewable economy is doable and the barriers aren't technological, they are political."

Newcastle councillor Michael Osborne said a transition plan had been prepared for Australia to move to 100 per cent renewables in 10 years.

"It's not pie in the sky, we can do it today if there is political will," Cr Osborne said.

The plan was in a report called Beyond Zero Emissions , which the University of Melbourne helped compile.

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