Walk for Water II – The Paris Pilgrimage: November 2015

We are excited to announce a second “Walk for Water” in 2015.

On November 30, world leaders meet in Paris to negotiate a new plan to address the pressing issue of our era, climate change.
We will walk for the first week of the UN Paris Climate Summit to learn what can be done, what the summit is talking about and reflect on the global change that is required.

Previously in February, a dedicated group of people from Western Sydney Environment Network led an eight day walk from the Cataract Dam South of Sydney. It is now six months after this finished, and some of our committee members are getting itchy feet to do it all again, this time as a pilgrimage to draw attention to the Paris climate talks.

In February, we followed the flow of the water for over 100 km from Cataract Dam to State Parliament following major water infrastructure, visiting MPs offices and holding public events along the way. Our focus then was the threat of Coal Seam Gas and coal mining on drinking water, and the dangers of water privatisation in compromising the public good in water decision making.

Since then we have been elated to gain commitments from the State government to cancel Coal Seam Gas in a large part of Sydney water catchments (except for Camden). The underground coal mining adjacent to our Southern Dams has continued, however the dropping price of coal has made some projects more precarious than they were before, particularly for Wollongong Coal.

This time, our focus is global. We will undertake the walk in solidarity with all the groups around the world working towards a world beyond coal and gas, in which we can find it in ourselves, our communities and our institutions to curb pollution, to stabilise carbon in the atmosphere and ensure a future of flourishing for diverse species and future generations of humans.

If you are interested in taking part, please fill in this short survey:  link here

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NOTE: All posts below this are from the original February Walk for Water and are being kept for historical reference.

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Good jobs in Western Sydney require good planning, not grovelling to mining companies… (and a Sydney city forum on Fri night)

On the same day we have an article in the Campbelltown and Macarthur Chronicle, the NSW Minerals Council takes out a full page ad saying “Hurt Mining, hurt Western Sydney”. Next to this ad, there is a special AGL gaslands tour advertised.

Chronicle-p.25-26

Jobs are a major concern for Western Sydney, with residents here bearing the brunt of manufacturing job losses in recent years. Between May 2011 and May 2012, 2943 manufacturing jobs were lost in Western Sydney, an annual decline of 3.3%. But it’s not mining that has any prospect of providing a glimmer on the horizon. In fact, mining has inflated the Australian dollar, contributing to making Australian manufacturing less internationally competitive. Jobs per megatonne of coal mined have also decreased over time with increasing mechanization of production. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for 2013 show the entire Gas & Mining Industry combined employed less than 0.2% or 20,700 Australians. This is only two thirds of the number of people employed at Bunnings. The Gas Industry would have you believe that in 2012 it created 100,000 jobs. They creatively inflate their figures by claiming incidental jobs outside their project. Those employed by CSG are only a fraction of that 20,700 and unfortunately this data is not collected by ABS.

What does offer hope, is a proactive approach by local, state and federal governments. A planned industry transition worked when the BHP Newcastle steel plant shut down from 1997- 1999 and it has worked in other cases.

Just Transitions forum

This Friday night (20 Feb), in the city at Pitt Street Uniting Church, there will be a forum about jobs beyond mining- what some people call a “Just Transition”. Hear more about it here.

And if you want to see the actual article in the Chronicle, I’ve pasted it below:

Chronicle-article1