Boora Power Station

Obed West (Sydney Morning Herald 1882) said Long Bay (Boora Boora) was the principal Aboriginal camping place between Sydney and Botany Bay and that ‘several well-beaten paths led down to the bay …’ The north headland of Long Bay is still called Boora Point (boora = ‘stay place’). Maroubra was from aboriginal mooroo boora (mooroo = ‘path to’). (Aboriginal words from the Eora language spoken by the Cadigal clan, the ‘traditional owners’ of the district.)Outline of land used for Jonathan
Area of potential availability within red

BACKGROUND

In the 19th and 20th centuries Malabar Headland was used as a rubbish dump and army defensive site. Despite this, it retains tracts of bushland, including several endangered ecological communities. When dumping ceased, the huge fill site, about a square kilometre in area, was used as a rifle range. For safety reasons the public was warned not to venture onto the headland during shooting, indicated by the flying of red flags. When a safety survey of the whole headland found asbestos in many of the old buildings and in the ground, people were advised to keep off at all times. There are ongoing efforts to remove weeds and contaminants, move the rifle range and hand back the land to the state for public access and recreation.

The gun batteries established on Boora Point were to defend Sydney from attack by sea. In the 21st century this would be as futile as it was in the 20th. The main threat to Sydney from the sea in the 21st century is climatic, that is: the increasing severity of storms and the rise of the sea due to global warming. Sydney people are also already under threat from the air, that is: the pollution of the air by the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, factories and power stations. There is strong evidence to suggest that the two threats are linked, that is: the emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are causing global warming through the greenhouse effect. Also these emissions, being mostly absorbed into the oceans, are increasing their temperature and acidity, adding to the loss of life already being experienced from over-fishing.

Screen grab of DP of leased areas coloured yellow
Yellow: currently leased to NSW Riffle Association

VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE

  • Sydney eastern suburbs residents live in clean air and swim in clean water.
  • Their national parks, reserves and beaches used for recreation are preserved.
  • The quantity and bio-diversity of life in these reserves and the ocean are maintained.
  • Their housing, businesses and vehicles are powered by cheap clean renewable energy.
  • They own the energy source and profit by it, selling the excess power generated.
  • The profits are invested in local organic agriculture and community services.
  • Their well-being and life-styles are sustainable.

PROPOSAL

The proposal is for a community owned renewable energy power station on most of lot 301 (see map in appendix 1). Lot 301 contains an enormous fill site, which is currently used as a rifle range, and small areas of natural bush to the north, south – abutting the Malabar Sewerage Treatment Works (MSTW) – and west – abutting the Malabar Headland National Park (MHNP).The Federal Government has transferred the eastern bush (lot 202) to the State to be added to the MHNP, which previously comprised most of the western bush (lot 102). Some smaller bush areas in lot 301 have also been transferred.

There are plans to move the rifle range off the headland to be established elsewhere, but this may take years. The alternative site must be suitable to international standards and include a similar 900m range. Homebush is under consideration, but this would be costly as it lacks a range of this size. Designs for the Boora Power Station should assume that it would co-exist with the rifle range initially and be expanded onto the range when it is vacated.

Depending on feasibility and cost effectiveness, the power station would have one or two sources:

  • Solar: any flat rifle range land available could be occupied either by mirrors for a solar thermal facility or panels for solar voltaic.
  • Wind: the high land behind the targets could accommodate one or two large wind turbines.
  • Biofuel: bio-waste, such as used cooking oils collected from restaurants, could help to ensure a more continuous power supply.

The feasibility of providing clean wind and solar voltaic power to the eastern suburbs has been assessed in a preliminary feasibility study conducted by the UNSW, who have statistics on the sunshine and wind available and up-to-date knowledge of the technologies required. This shows that both could be feasible from all three points of view – economic, environmental and social, although the idea of large wind turbines in full view met with considerable opposition (50/50).

The electricity would be fed into the existing grid, so negotiations would be required with the grid owners, currently Transgrid for transmission and Ausgrid for distribution. The end price to the consumer should be equal to or less than that of ‘dirty’ power, so that many eastern suburbs residents and businesses unable to generate their own power would buy it.

Criticism of wind and solar voltaic sources is that excess power generated is wasted and that, on the other hand, they cannot supply base load power, i.e. they cannot meet demand at all times. There are several possibilities other than bio-fuel to address this issue which may be considered:

  • Solar thermal using heat storage for steam power generation.
  • Battery storage.
  • Pumped hydro energy storage, where excess power is used to pump sea water into a large reservoir made in the landfill and released back down through a generator when there is a shortfall.

The power station would be built and run by a business owned jointly by residents and businesses of the eastern suburbs and Randwick and Waverley (or an amalgamated) City Council. Applications would be made for seed funding from organisations set up for the purpose of supporting renewable energy technology or projects, such as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

However, no promises will be made of any return to investors for many years, since the cost will be large and the income may be slow to build, especially if the existing major suppliers, such as AGL, compete aggressively.  

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Dear fellow CASES Members and Supporters,

Our last meeting for the year 2016 is at 7pm Wednesday 23 November.

There are lots of new projects for you to collaborate with fellow CASES Members on.

Some background on recent forays towards making a more sustainable future:
Jonathan Milford has been working tirelessly with Richard Deng to create a feasible proposal for a renewable energy power station on Malabar Headland. At a meeting the other day with Bruce Notley-Smith, Jonathan was given Bruce Notley-Smith’s support for the idea.

Richard Deng will give us a summary of his scoping and feasibility studies that were presented at the  meeting. Richard’s initial draft is for a solar system that would not require removal of the rifle range.

CASES is keen for any insights you can contribute to assist formulating a joint submission on the NSW environmental future funding package. (Visit engage.environment.nsw.gov.au).
CASES ought to make a submission as it is alarming that most of the funding is to go towards Policy and Advocacy instead of Operations, ie. mostly words and little action. Also the target of net zero emssions by 2050 is pathetic and we doubt very much whether it is compatible with the Paris Agreement.

It would also be great if you have any thoughts on recruitment and future plans.

Your sincerely for a sustainable World,
Ian Rose on behalf of the CASES Team

CASES meets at 7pm the 4th Weds of every month except December
Barrett House, 6 Barrett Pl. Randwick NSW 2031 (map)
Copyright © 2015 CASES, All rights reserved.
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Bill McKibbon answers your questions at Paddington Town Hall 21-4-2016

This is a rare opportunity to hear Bill McKibbon speak in Sydney and have him answer your questions. Affordable tickets still available for a short time as they are selling fast.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.43.24 AM

Bill McKibben is a relentless campaigner and co-founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide grassroots climate change movement.  An influential author and educator for 30 years, Bill was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2014.

Bill McKibben will present his talk “The Hottest Year, The Hottest Fight” followed by a conversation with Bill and a yet-to-be-named MC (watch this space!). Bill and our MC will take questions from the audience via Twitter. 350 Australia CEO Blair Palese will introduce Bill, our speakers and the national context.

WHEN
WHERE
Paddington Town Hall – 249 Oxford Street , Paddington, NSW 2021, Australia – View Map
$27.12 – $32.34  Last few tickets left, get yours now.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.43.24 AM

Posted in Carbon Price, Clean Water, Climate Change News, Climate Science, Coal Mining, Coal Seam Gas, Comment, Divestment | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Local Flickerfest Selection ‘From Above’

Excellent films at Bondi Pavilion Flickerfest 2016

‘From Above’ session screening: Sat 16 Jan 2016, 4.30pm, Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach, Sydney. 

FromaboveTest    Flickefest Laurel 2016 png

During the last production period for Battle for the Tarkine documentary, Julian Knysh and ‘Tarkine In Motion’ Crew brought to Tasmania for the first time the Shotover K1 aerial cinematography mount, the only one in Australia and one of only about a dozen in the world.

By special arrangement Robin Kover, a graduating student at Sydney Film School, completing his thesis film project accompanied our crew. His initial interest was in the technicalities of aerial cinematography. He ended up being thrown into the deep end of the wilds of the Tarkine and has now completed his short film From Above, a documentary about their documentary production.

Robin’s film captures a behind the scenes look at cinematographer Peter Beeh and director Julian Knysh battling the constraints of a very tight budget and wild weather on a shoot to capture the wild and raw beauty of the Tarkine Wilderness.

We are very pleased to announce that SFS documentary From Above (Director: Robin Köver, Producer: Nick Martinelli, Editor: Raphael Palencia) has been accepted to screen in the Green Flicks Programme at  (all film screenings details) Flickerfest’s 25th International Short Film Festival.

 

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Sign & Share: No New Coal Mines

For the leaders of Pacific nations that lie just metres above sea level, climate change is a matter of life and death.

That’s why His Excellency Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, has written to world leaders ahead of Paris asking them to back a global moratorium on new coal mines and coal mine expansions.

Kiribati 1

No New Coal Mines is an initiative of The Australia Institute.

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Council Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign Under Way

350.org are running a council divestment campaign and CASES are into it. Their first target is Sydney City and CASES are targeting the three eastern suburbs councils – Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra – who have a joint Sustainability programme. Have a look at the Council Divestment Argument for Sydney, below.

The Council Divestment Argument for Sydney

Divestment CASES 2 2015-09-24

Divestment is the modern world’s way to address climate change. It contrasts with the old world government models mired in corporate influence and conservatism which struggle to find the momentum necessary for this cause. The driver behind divestment is a simple ethical principle: “if it is wrong to wreck the environment – it is wrong to profit from that wreckage”.

The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown exponentially worldwide, from local councils—including Marrickville, Leichhardt, Lismore, and the recently announced Newcastle, and other globally leading cities such as San Francisco, Oslo and Paris—to universities, churches, museums, businesses and pension funds. Notably, Norwegian Pension Fund recently divested $900 billion dollars, while the University of California took $200 million away from coal and tar sands last week.

Over the last few months a range of world respected authorities have clearly communicated that more urgent action is needed if the world is to have any chance of limiting warming to 2°C. Eighty to ninety percent of unexploited fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. Continued exploration for fossil fuels and investment in opening new deposits is unjustified. Divestment’s aim is to create a paradigm shift that erodes the social license of the fossil fuel industry that continues these destructive practices.

While divestment is an ethical one in many instances, it is also been increasingly recognised as a financially sensible move. One of the reasons for this is the increasing potential that fossil fuel companies may be forced to ‘write off’ fossil fuel holdings should they be deemed unburnable and therefore no longer a bankable asset. A recent report found that California pension funds incurred a massive loss of over $5 billion in the last year alone from their holdings in the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Similarly, among Australia’s biggest pure play coal producers, values have shrunk over 60% since 2012 .

Sydney City Council is evidently concerned about minimising the potential for climate change as seen in the great strides the council is making to reduce carbon emissions through the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Plan. The focus on improving energy efficiency and identifying alternative sources of energy is setting much needed Australian benchmarks in emissions reduction and innovation.

However the boldness of Sydney City Council’s commitment to sustainable systems, policies and practices in reducing carbon emissions is not matched in the Council’s financial policies and strategies. We are aware that Australian councils are not permitted direct exposure to the sharemarket and that the bulk of investments are in term deposits with banking institutions. A review of the Council’s investments shows that it is heavily dependent on investments in fossil fuel investing banks – in particular the ‘Big 4’ domestic banks – who are financing billions of dollars worth of coal and gas projects around the country. The latest Sydney City Council investment report as of 30 June, 2015 revealed that 69%, or over $430M, of its term deposits were invested in these banks.

As developing “environmentally and socially responsible investments” (SRIs) is already a built in component of Sydney Council’s Investment Strategy, the first major commitment has been made. However, the councils’ adopted strategy of further developing SRI options solely through “engagement with financial institutions” falls short of what Sydney can do to show that it is the progressive and sustainable-minded council that it touts itself to be. The next obvious step is to make commitment to divest from the very banks that support this environmentally destructive industry. Setting new investment policies to give preference to banks that do not fund the fossil fuel industry can be the most powerful way that Sydney City can engage with financial institutions.
Since Marrickville passed a divestment motion in November 2014, their fossil free index has followed suit, while still maintaining a “well-diversified portfolio with 98% of its portfolio spread among the top three credit rating categories. It is expected that the Council can continue to achieve benchmark returns with prudent investment selection for its short and long term holdings.”
Divestment CASES 1 2015-09-24

Recently 350 Sydney released a 3-Step Divestment Guide for Local Government. We have enclosed a copy for your consideration. It is not a one size fits all approach, the possible approaches range from: stating a preference for fossil free banks; through setting targets for a percentage of funds in fossil free banks; to a full divestment going forward of all Council funds. The guide envisages a practical 3-year timeline to fully divest. It includes a sample divestment motion that has successfully passed in other councils.

350.org urges you to consider supporting a motion to divest part or all of the City of Sydney’s funds from fossil fuel investing banks. Divestment would be a natural counterpart to Sydney’s already substantial commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. It would solidify the City of Sydney’s reputation of being one of the world’s most progressive councils.

We are seeking residents in the three council areas to join us in talking to councillors. If you are interested contact for:
Randwick, Jonathan Milford at milford@bigpond.net.au,
Waverley, Nicolas Miliaret at n.miliaret@gmail.com or
Woollahra, Ian Rose at ianrose3@gmail.com.
Divestment is snowballing and we expect that the major banks, starting with the Commonwealth, will be obliged to go fossil free with their investments of our money.
Divestment CASES 3 2015-09-24

 

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We’re Putting Surry Hills Crown St CommBank ‘Under New Management’

  • 435 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia

    In Crown St Surry Hills we are going to put CommBank ‘Under New Management’ as part of a wave of community actions across Australia from 13-15 August.
    CoalBank Melb 2-15-08-03 1

  • CommBank’s decision makers have time and time again failed to heed the community’s call to put an end to their involvement with the Galilee Basin mega coal mines. So in August we will be taking matters into our own hands and showing CommBank, at branches around the country, how they should be managing their business.CoalBank Melb 2-15-08-03 3Sign up today and we’ll be in touch to let you know how you can be involved.

    If you would like to get involved with organising this or another action, contact josh.creaser@350.org.au

Rules:

I commit to:

  • uphold the values of non-violent direct action and not take part in activities that cause fear, intimidation or property damage
  • respect all CommBank managers, branch staff, customers and other members of the community
  • CoalBank Melb 2-15-08-03 2
Posted in Carbon Price, Clean Water, Climate Change News, Climate Science, Coal Mining, Comment, Divestment, Environmental Justice, For fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tarkine in Motion

As part of this years ‘Head On’ photo festival, ‘Tarkine in Motion’
will be at Salerno Gallery (details below)
28th April – 24th May, 2015

Tarkine in Motion April 2015

Events during the month for Tarkine in Motion at Salerno:
Responsible Runners
Costa Georgiadis from ABC Gardening Australia and model Laura Wells will Launch of their short film, “7 Days, 8 runners, 140 kms; 1 wilderness” – epic!
Thursday 30th April, 6:30 pm

Greenups.
Monthly networking event.
Tuesday 5th May

Official Opening.
With key note speech by TV star actor Simon Westaway.
Monday May 11th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm>Think Act Change.

Monthly meet up & drinks Friday 15th May

Christina Christensen composer and cellist performing Tarkine inspired solo works and cello loops.
Author & TV personality Gretel Killeen will an inspiring talk.
Sunday 17th May, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Continual updates via facebook.

Address: 70 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
Post: P.O Box 823, Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: (02) 9660 0899
Email: contact@salernogallery.com
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5.30pm. Saturday 10am – 3.30pm. Other days by appointment.

Posted in Carbon Price, CASES Events, Clean Water, Climate Change News, Divestment, Head On, Photo festival, responsible runners, Tarkine, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walk for Water, Protect Our Drinking Water Catchments from Mining Madness 21 to 28-2-2015

On the edge of our City, Sydney’s drinking water catchments are under serious threat and in danger of being forever polluted if we can’t stop the mining madness now.

Once CSG is in your water, that’s it. Maybe the mining advocates think a purifier will be developed by then. I wonder who’s taxes will pay for that, seeing as mining only pay 13% now and we have seen the pittance in clean up contributions from them before. Read Mining Australia’s account of a recent spill and imagine that in our pristine drinking water.

Over the coming week (from 21 to 28 Jan) people from all over Sydney will be Walking for Water to help create awareness of the dangers of increased mining in our drinking water catchments.
No where else in the world allows mining in their drinking water, yet the corrupt NSW Govt want’s to increase it.
This is particularly galling seeing as Barry O’Farrell promised “that the next Liberal Govt will ensure mining will not occur in any water catchments, no ifs no buts a guarantee”, see him speak here.
It seems they are only good at accepting developers money as ICAC has proven with 11 of them either losing their jobs and/or position.

Faced with an inactive and deceitful Govt we have been left with no choice but to take it to the streets.
So if you prefer your water not to be flammable and poisonous, now is the time to join the the Walk for Water here and sign on for the section(s) of the walk you are most like to enjoy.
Sydney drinking water catchment

Posted in Clean Water, Climate Change News, Coal Seam Gas, Environmental Justice, For fun, Governement Energy Policy, Resources | Leave a comment

AYCC call out CommBank to stop funding fossil fuel madness.

This Valentine’s Day eve as part of a Global Day of Divestment Action join AYCC and 350.org for a rally at Commonwealth Bank HQ – ready to “break up” with the bank for refusing to rule out funding the controversial Abbot Point coal port on the Great Barrier Reef.

Where: Commonwealth Bank HQ, 1 Darling Quarter (just at the end of Liverpool, St Sydney (map)  
When: 12pm, Friday 13 February
RSVP: at 350.org
More info: Australian Youth Climate Coalition facebook event.

It will be great if you could share the info around your networks as well!

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 5.24.18 pmmap of Global events so far

 

 

 

 

 

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