CoalWatch – Tracking Brown Coal’s Creep

A new web site that will track the expansion of Victoria’s brown coal industry is now live, exposing the true extent of the coal mining land grab in the state’s farming regions.
    
The website, CoalWatch, is part of Environment Victoria’s campaign for a moratorium on new coal mining leases, which the organisation argues inhibits the development of renewable energy resources in the state and delays Victoria’s transition to a clean energy economy. 
   
Using a Google Earth map, Coalwatch will allow users to log on and view areas of the state that have been leased to coal companies and zoned for future mining purposes. 
  
"From the Otway Ranges to East Gippsland tens of thousands of square kilometers of farmland, towns, bushland and key tourism icons are subject to mining or explorations leases – it’s like a ticking time bomb," said EV Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham.
  
"We’re sure that many Victorians are not aware that the rights to the coal resources deep beneath their homes have already been granted to a coal mining company."
  
The launch of the site comes on the back of comments in The Age newspaper from the Victorian state government that, despite agreeing to honour the former Labor government’s 20 percent greenhouse emissions reduction target, they would protect Victoria’s brown coal industry "come hell or high water." 
  
The Age also reported the Liberal Baillieu government would consider proposals to open up prime dairy country for coal exploration in South Gippsland.
Environment Victoria have continued to voice opposition to any expansion of coal mining or new coal-fired power stations in the state. 
  
"Victoria has fantastic wind and solar energy resources that we could be could be investing in to create new clean technology jobs in instead of continuing to rely on outdated polluting brown coal technology,” Mr Wakeham said.