For ten years many of the Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends have campaigned against coal and gas projects due to their emissions, the damage to the environment and the effects on climate change.
We believe there was a tipping point in 2021. Most Australians accept that Climate Change is real, coal and gas mining are big emitters, and we need to do something about it now.
Beginning of the end of coal
In 2021, after years of campaigning, NSW communities, activists and environmental organisations have stopped the following coal developments.
- Hume Coal was blocked in the Southern Highlands
- Gardens of Stone has been officially recognised as a State Conservation Area within the Blue Mountains National Park and coal mining is prohibited
- Hawkins Rumker was ruled out for new coal mining near Rylstone
- Centennial Coal scrapped plans to reopen and extend Angus Place Colliery near Lithgow
- Shenhua was paid to walk away from mining the Liverpool Plains
- Dendrobium coal expansion in the Illawarra was reject by the Independent Planning Commission but the NSW government later declared the mine to be State Significant Infrastructure
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has proved its worth with ex-politicians Obeid and MacDonald finally found guilty in court of coal mine licence conspiracy.
Federal Government’s gas-led recovery
Most Australians and energy experts have rejected the government’s gas-led recovery dreamed up by the gas industry. The science is clear. Gas is a fossil fuel, it is not a transition fuel as methane emissions are 80% more polluting than CO2 for the first 20 years after its release.
This year a world-first aerial survey of Queensland’s main coal seam gas region found methane emissions considerably higher than some previous reports. Greater transparency in global methane emissions will be publicly available in 2023 after the launch of a private satellite, MethaneSat.
The NSW government substantially reduced the areas available for gas exploration in the state but not areas that can support Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project. Their 12-18 month appraisal program starts in February 2022 ahead of a final investment decision for the next phase of the project. The project’s staged approval requires it to meet several conditions before moving into the construction phase, including an approval for a pipeline to market. After the Knitting Nannas visit to the Pilliga in May, we are particularly concerned about this project and will keep a close watch on Santos’ activities and any pipeline proposals.
Meanwhile, Santos abandoned drilling in the Great Australian Bite, offshore gas drilling in NSW is ruled out and gas demand declines.
The federal court finds that the environment minister, Sussan Ley, has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis and the government appeals the decision.
Despite the federal government’s continued support for coal as well as their gas fetish and inadequate emissions target, we have seen some real actions by state governments and some businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2021 Sydney Nannas have also been active
- saving Sydney’s koalas from developer Lendlease,
- encouraging Councils to make better decisions on waste, emissions reductions and the liveability of their LGA
- supporting groups against coal and gas in the Hunter, Illawarra and the North West
- supporting youth in their climate strikes
- promoting peace
- protecting our water
- calling out donations to governments
We catch up on events during the week, plan future actions and have a laugh during our regular Friday morning Zoom meeting. We are keen to get back on the street next year and plan our next adventure, particularly with the new Nannas who have joined us this year.
We wish you all a happy and safe festive season and let’s change more minds in 2022.
Check out our fun Christmas videos
Santos is coming to town
Lyrics: Sue Gee, Chris Maltby, Patrick Harte
Guitar: Sue Gee
Artwork: R.Dale Dengate