The next Beyond Coal and Gas conference will happen from 8-11 April 2016 on the New South Wales Central Coast. For more information or to share program ideas email gro.s1513148155agdna1513148155laocd1513148155noyeb1513148155@nimd1513148155a1513148155.
Beyond Coal and Gas is a national gathering of the community movement working to move beyond coal and gas. Bringing together people from one end of Australia to the other, it will be a rare and important opportunity for communities to share experiences and to learn from one another.
For many rural and regional communities that find themselves in conflict with a multinational mining company, it can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. Unfortunately it is an experience shared by people from Gippsland to the Galilee Basin, from the Kimberley to the Coonawarra, from the Hunter Valley to the Whitsundays. Mostly, people don’t choose to get involved – they just do what they can to protect their country, their home, their farm, their business or the places they love. For others involved in the community movement beyond coal and gas, the motivation is a global one. The threat of global warming looms large and the imperative to reduce greenhouse pollution is growing by the day.
Despite different motivations and different perspectives, this collection of local community groups has become a powerful social movement that is making politicians and industry sit up and listen. Over the past two years we have seen successful campaigns to protect the pristine waters of Keppel Bay from coal ports, the scrapping of Metgasco’s gas drilling license at Bentley in the NSW Northern Rivers, the fracking moratorium extended in Victoria and the Kimberley, banks walking away from financing a new coal port at Abbot Point and countless other wins. Sadly, there have been many losses as well, with people forced off their family farms, communities destroyed, river beds cracked and aquifers polluted.
All of these struggles are local. They are happening in the town of Bulga in the Hunter Valley, or near Clermont in Central Queensland, or in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, or in Broome or Margaret River in Western Australia. But they are also global, influenced by the dynamics of the global coal and gas markets, by environmental regulation in the US and the uptake of renewable energy in India and China.
This gathering is about joining the dots and about learning from each other. It is about building new relationships, sharing experiences (good and bad), gaining new skills and insights, new networks and new inspiration to protect the places we love, and to embrace a future beyond coal and gas.
We’d love to see you there.