where are the Landscape ‘Guardians’ when you need them?

The following piece from the Colac Herald shows a new dimension to the threats already posed to agricultural country in Victoria by mining. And apart from the mineral sands proposal outlined in this article, we have coal and coal seam gas (CSG) companies staking claims for huge sections of the state. At Anglesea, Alcoa wants another 600 hectares of heritage listed heathland so it can mine dirty high sulpher coal for 50 more years.

All manner of people across the state are upset about these developments. But where are the Landscape ‘Guardians’ in all this?

On their website, they say “Our landscape is a non-renewable resource – we cannot create more of it. It is the background or setting to our lives, and helps to define and identify us as Australians”.

“The Australian landscape is a resource which we hold in trust for future generations. As its present custodians we have a responsibility to conserve and manage it wisely, protecting it from inappropriate development, so that it will enrich the lives of our children and successive generations”.

We certainly support this sentiment. But how to they demonstrate their stated commitment to protecting landcsape where it matters – in the real world?

They are strangely quiet when it comes to any issue except wind farms… Maybe it’s time they changed their name to better reflect the reality of their pre-occupations. The coal industry guardians, perhaps?

Mining application attracts concerns

Journalist:  Lucinda Ormonde, June 13th 2011

AN APOLLO Bay man says he is “majorly concerned” about a mining company’s plans to explore the region for resources.

Gary Riches said he was worried about Western Australian company Iluka Resources Limited’s applications for three exploration licences around Irrewillipe.

The company hopes to explore for mineral sands, which comprise titanium minerals, zircon, monazite and xenotime, over a 150-square-kilometre area of private and crown land, about 15 kilometres south-west of Colac.

Mr Riches said he had spoken to a representative from the Department of Primary Industries about the applications and consequently was “really worried about our Otway Ranges”.

“I’m worried about these mining giants, they’re ruthless, when it comes to billions of dollars they don’t really care,” he said.

Friends of the Earth’s Cam Walker said mining from mineral sands was “problematic because you have to remove all the top soil and they say you have to rehabilitate it”.

“There’s also very high water consumption which is a really significant issue.”

Mr Walker said affected landowners should be concerned about the effect mining could have on their land.

“Obviously people are only exploring if they’re intending to mine if it’s viable,” he said.

“People should just outright object if they don’t want what is in effect an open-cut mine on their land.”

In a statement to The Colac Herald, Iluka Resources Limited said “the application is a preliminary, early stage requirement to secure a tenement holding”.

“Any follow-up activity, including exploration on the ground, would – if it occurred – normally not occur for many months after the tenement is granted,” the statement read.

Colac district people have until June 24 to make an objection to the application.

18 thoughts on “where are the Landscape ‘Guardians’ when you need them?

  1. Someone who guards, watches over, or protects…the landscape from large white poles bolted onto land they don’t own…
    Someone who guards, watches over, or protects…landscape removal…..

  2. This is proof that windfarm opponents are hypocrites. But really, we shouldn’t be surprised given that so many of them willingly believe nonsense while denying real science.

    There have been a number of landscape issues in South Gippsland over the last couple of years that are unrelated to wind farms and guess what, not a single landscape guardian has made any input. They are a one issue rabble who aren’t interested in democracy – unless of course any decision goes their way.

  3. If they were interested then im sure they would protest, it seems like you guys are the ones protesting here and would like them to help your cause, because they would appear to have significantly more power and money to fight with.
    Im not a member of any guardian group, but its really up to them what they direct their actions to. Trying to bait someone in this way to join your fight or paint them as only anti windfarm (which they most likely are) is so simplistic and clearly just stating the obvious.

    1. Pretty weak argument Sammy, changing the subject won’t change the fact that the guardians are hypocrites. They clearly don’t live up to their advertising. Interesting that you feel the need to distance yourself from them yet be an apologist for them.

  4. Sammy,
    i have no issues at all with them being a single issue group. But they should at least have the honesty to bill themselves as an anti wind group rather than hiding behind the Guardians name, and implying they are something more with their rhetoric of caring about landscapes in general. ‘Truth in advertising’ is always a good thing …

    (and as for your suggestion that they have significantly more money? Pray, do tell, where does it come from?)

  5. Yeah, why can’t the Landscape Guardians get a good honest name like the Australian Environment Foundation!

  6. ah yes, the good old AEF: wearing their climate sceptic colours and anti green movement politics on their website: at least they aren’t afraid to admit who they really are …

  7. It sad that an article like this is posted on this website, more energy should be placed on solving the issue of what renewables are appropriate for the environment. At this stage it seems that maybe wind turbines are the ideal renewable

  8. Cam i know a few people who are members on guardians groups who could easily fund a almost unlimited assult on whatever they wanted.
    Im not quite to sure if the wind company sponsorships are enough to fund friends of the earth or not?

  9. thanks Sammy for that info…
    Just for the record, we have not taken ‘wind company sponsorships’. Our members and supporters fund our work.
    More info on that here: https://yes2renewables.org/about/
    Unlike some other groups, we are very transparent about where our funds come from … shame some of the anti-wind groups don’t operate at the same standard of honesty.

  10. What a lot of rot, this site continues to only psuh wind and its obvious that money comes to this site from wind companies, if not throw the books open to the public

  11. Gordon, you have chosen to ignore my very reasonable request to tone down what you’re saying, so that was your last post.

    A quick response to your statement about ‘opening our books’. As I said before, we don’t get money from wind companies. We acknowledge all our external funders (companies, philanthropic bodies, etc) in our annual reports, which being a DGR listed group, we must send to the federal government, with quite strict reporting requirements. We also acknowledge our individual donors over a few hundred dollars, unless they request Anonymity. If you would like to ask direct questions of our finance manager you can contact her. Email me for her details.

  12. The more you post on this site Cam and the few others the worst the wind industry looks. The silent majority are over your mob trying to push the wheelbarrow for a scam industry such as this. the media are following this issue closely and the truth is being exposed

    [note from Cam. Gordon was banned some time ago for constantly refusing to respect the basic rules of this forum, but given that Blair has already commented on this post I will let it go through]

  13. Gordon, of course the site promotes the wind industry and wind energy, haven’t you noticed the title? You’re probably just not used to upfront honesty, your association with the guardians has warped your ability to discern truth from Guardian propaganda.

    By the way, all the opinion polls clearly show the silent majority are for renewable energy, particularly wind and solar so your little distortion of facts only further illustrates your cognitive dissonance. You guys are so predictable, just like creationists. I sometimes suspect you have been reading their handbook.

  14. I’m sorry you have comprehension difficulties Gordon, I’ll try to keep it simple for you. Wind turbines weren’t strongly rejected in Gippsland, GFFG surveyed people from Wonthaggi through to Toora and found around 80% support for wind energy and about 90% support for renewable energy in general. Interestingly the strongest support came from the areas immediately surrounding the Toora and Wonthaggi windfarms little less support from those further away. In other words, those who know and live with the wind farms are more likely to support them.

    The only problem was that the threatening, thuggish behaviour of the guardians along with a council that was (then) sympathetic to them and our misfortune to have a climate change denialist, National party leader representing us, made it difficult to get any balanced media coverage or support at government level.

    Fortunately Stanwell Corporation ignored the noise from the guardians, Peter Ryan and the local council, went ahead with their VCAT appeal and won it convincingly with strong support and representation from the local community. The anti-windies were routed at the hearing and Stanwell went ahead and constructed the Toora wind farm.

    The Dollar windfarm project was cancelled because AGL couldn’t see the point of fighting for a small project in South Gippsland after they had received planning approval for a much larger project in Western Victoria. Also you forget that Bald Hills has also received approval. In fact, of the 4 projects proposed for this region, 3 have received approval so your argument is fallacious – like much of your commentary.

    I think you’ll find the directors who have retired have gone on to other careers having successfully helped steer the Hepburn windfarm through to successful construction/completion. Their task is essentially done. There is no pending litigation, you’re just inventing convenient fictions to prop up your ignorance.

    You’re flogging a dead horse Gordon. Have the courage to admit you’ve got it all wrong.

  15. Good work Cam Walker. I have just discovered the underbelly of the Landscape Guardians where all roads lead to the “usual suspects” – the environmental bludgers, indirectly or directly responsible for chewing the a**e out of the landscape – our landscape!

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