NSW Election Forum – Coal and Coal Seam Gas: A Political Liability?

Tuesday 24 March 2015
6.00 - 7.30PM

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General Lecture Theatre, The Quadrangle, University of Sydney



Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre, UTS

What is at stake for coal and coal seam gas interests in the NSW election?

Hosted by the Sydney Environment Institute, with the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre, UTS

Convenors: Prof. Linda Connor and Assoc. Prof. James Goodman

Coal is no longer good news in State politics. Coal seam gas projects have more public opposition than support. In Queensland, former Premier Newman’s plan to subsidise the Galilee Basin coal project from leased public assets backfired badly. Heeding the Newman effect, NSW Premier Baird has delayed his plan for sixteen new mines in the Upper Hunter. Following suit, the Federal Government has quietly deferred approval for the fiercely opposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains. Yet Baird’s failure to rein in coal mines and coal seam gas projects, despite promises at the last election, is firmly on the political agenda. ICAC inquiries into coal leases highlight political manipulation, while industry attacks on critics in the face of allegations of corruption fuel public distrust. Gas companies’ claims of looming shortages in NSW have been debunked. The Prime Minister’s statement that coal is ‘good for humanity’ only intensifies the debates. What is at stake for coal and coal seam gas interests in the NSW election? Is there a new post-coal politics in NSW? For a safe climate two-thirds of fossil fuels must stay in the ground: when will NSW embrace our post-coal future?

Chair Dr. Lynne Chester, Department of Political Economy 


Holly Creenaune The Implosion of Coal Seam Gas
Linda Connor and Tom Morton: Coal on the Liverpool Plains: Twilight for the Nats?
Paul Cleary: The Resource Rush and its Demise?
James Goodman and Stuart Rosewarne: NSW Policy: ‘Direct Action’ on Coal?

About the Speakers

Holly Creenaune is campaign coordinator of the NSW coal and CSG campaign, ‘Our Land, Our Water, Our Future’,

Paul Cleary is a journalist and author writing on the mining sector; his books include ‘Mine-Field: The Dark Side of Australia’s Resource Rush’, 2012.

Linda Connor, Department of Anthropology researches coal-affected communities; her forthcoming book is ‘Climate Change and the Anthropos: Planet, People and Places’, 2015.

Tom Morton, Journalism, UTS is an academic and journalist writing on coal and climate,

James Goodman, Social Inquiry- UTS researches social movements and climate politics, and is co-author of ‘Justice Globalism: Ideology, Crises, Policy’, 2013.

Stuart Rosewarne, Department of Political Economy researches the political economy of climate crisis; he is co-author of ‘Climate Action Upsurge, The Ethnography of Climate Movement Politics’, 2014.

 Listen to the full podcast from this event below. Thank you to all who attended!