Media Releases | 2nd Mar, 2011

CoalWatch website reveals extent of coal mining leases

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Environment Victoria today launched CoalWatch, an online resource that tracks the dangerous expansion plans of Victoria’s brown coal industry.

“The CoalWatch website includes a Google-Earth map that enables people to zoom in and see the extent of coal mining leases over towns and farmland in their region” said EV Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham.

“From the Otway Ranges to East Gippsland tens of thousands of square kilometers of farmland, towns, bushland and key tourism icons are subject to mining or explorations leases – it’s like a ticking time bomb.”

“We’re sure that many Victorians are not aware that the rights to the coal resources deep beneath their homes have already been granted to a coal mining company.”

“CoalWatch will provide a way for ordinary Victorians to keep track of the coal industry’s ambitious expansion plans, and ensure that Victoria’s polluting brown coal stays in the ground,”

The Wikipedia-style online database provides details on coal mining leases, power station developments, coal export plans, and so-called ‘clean coal’ developments all over Victoria.

“Victoria has 65 billion tonnes of commercially accessible coal sitting in the ground, and there are dozens of proposals on the books to find new ways to mine and burn it, creating even more greenhouse pollution.”

“Victoria has fantastic wind and solar energy resources that we could be could be investing in to create new clean technology jobs in instead of continuing to rely on outdated polluting brown coal technology.”

Coalwatch is based on the successful CoalSwarm website in the US which became the nerve-centre for an anti-coal movement that so far has succeeded in preventing the construction of over 90 new coal plants.

For interview contact:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director on 0439 700 501

CoalWatch home page: http://www.environmentvictoria.org.au/coalwatch

Google Earth coal maps: http://www.environmentvictoria.org.au/media/coalwatch-map-and-tour