Thursday, March 30, 2017

Greens dare criticize coal and climate policies during #CycloneDebbie


Original article published at nofibs.com.au

Those uppity Greens are daring to speak about climate change while severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie beat the shit out of the Whitsunday Islands (Read this report of Hamilton Island), Proserpine and Bowen, and now threatens extensive flooding from torrential rainfall for central and SE coastal Queensland.

The accusatory tone from Malcolm Turnbull and other Liberal government ministers is 'How dare you try to politicise an extreme weather event, when we should all be pulling together.', while they conveniently forget the South Australian storms in September 2016 which resulted in a system black which they conveniently and erroneously immediately blamed on the fault of the wind turbines in South Australia.

They have continued to prosecute an attack on wind energy and South Australia, despite a BOM report blaming the primary cause as the cyclonic storm with 260km per hour wind gusts. AEMO also put the primary cause as the destructive winds destroying transmission towers, but also identified in the final report that automatic wind generator protection settings (since updated) contributed to the System Black event.

No pulling together for South Australia, Queensland, or in fact all of Australia, in it's time of need to resolve the lack of coherence in energy and climate policies.

Is there the taint of hypocrisy here? You bet.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Coral, climate change, storm surges and #CycloneDebbie


Article originally published at nofibs.com.au

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross Central Queensland coast on Tuesday morning as a Category 4 Severe tropical cyclone. It will bring destructive winds greater than 200km per hour plus a storm surge with a king tide innundating low lying coastal properties, and torrential rain causing flooding. It is also cooling sections of the Great Barrier Reef reducing coral bleaching from an extensive and long lasting marine heatwave.

Update: 25,000 people in Mackay ordered to evacuate due to storm surge threat.
Update: Coal mines and coal ports affected.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie draws heat from the unusually warm waters of the Coral Sea. This will help it increase in intensity to achieve possibly Category 4, and an outside chance as a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone before it strikes land.

It is the first tropical cyclone to strike the north Queensland coast since Cyclone Nathan in March 2015. Although it may not be as strong, it is being compared in size and extent to the Category 5 cyclone Yasi from 2011.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Keppel Prince expands wind tower production with 50 new jobs at Portland



The focus on boosting renewables in Victoria through the VRET by the Andrews Labor Government is already boosting regional jobs in Portland at the Keppel Prince Engineering wind tower fabrication plant.

The Andrews Labor Government is assisting Portland engineering and manufacturing firm Keppel Prince Engineering with a $1.97 million expansion of the company's wind tower fabrication facility. This will create 50 new jobs to add to the 80 local wind tower manufacturing jobs.

Keppel Prince is Australia’s largest, and Victoria’s only, wind tower manufacturer. The wind tower division currently manufactures 110 wind towers per year, supplying them for wind farm projects across the country.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Victoria pioneering climate just transition package for Hazelwood coal workers



A special $20 million worker transfer package was announced today for workers affected by the closure of Engie's Hazelwood Power Station. This will allow early retirement for workers at other LaTrobe Power stations creating places for Hazelwood workers that want to continue their careers in power generation.

This transfer package is an important component of a suite of support mechanisms being put into place for the community, a part of a just transition being pioneered by the Victorian government driven by the necessity to move to zero carbon emissions by climate change.

“We will always stand up for the Latrobe Valley and with the worker transfer scheme for Hazelwood workers, we are doing just that. This is great news for jobs and for Hazelwood workers and their families.” said the Premier Daniel Andrews.

This particular scheme will cost $20 million to assist around 150 retrenched Hazelwood workers to remain in the power industry. In the first instance, employment transfer to AGL Energy’s Loy Yang A will be facilitated, but later transfers to Engie's Loy Yang B may be available.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Community campaign wins permanent #fracking ban in Victoria


Article first published at nofibs.com.au

To ensure it's clean green reputation of it's agricultural sector, and to guarantee the health of rural farming communities Victoria became the first Australian state officially banning fracking. It was motivated by a strong community lead campaign for a ban on gas exploration from 2011.

Legislation was passed in the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house of the Victorian parliament, for a permanent legislative ban on fracking. Victoria’s agriculture sector employs more than 190,000 people and relies on it's clean and green reputation.

The legislation was passed without amendment. The Coalition parties and Shooters and Farmers Party sought to amend the legislation regarding the onshore conventional gas exploration moratorium, but were defeated 20 votes to 18. Sex Party MLC Fiona Pattern and Western Region independent MLC James Purcell gave crucial support, along with the Greens, for passage of the bill.