The Guardian • Issue #2053


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2053

Oakey Coal Action Alliance, which is committed to saving the groundwater relied on by Darling Downs farmers in Queensland from the New Acland coal mine, launched a new legal challenge last week against the stage 3 expansion. Represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, OCAA is challenging the Queensland government’s decision to grant an associated water licence to New Acland in the Land Court. OCAA has also sought an undertaking from New Acland Coal that it will not exercise its entitlement under the associated water licence to take or interfere with groundwater until the challenge is decided. This is to prevent New Acland Coal from carrying out any operations, including the mining of coal, that could result in the taking or interference with groundwater, and to ensure no impacts to groundwater occur from those operations prior to the challenge being decided. If New Acland Coal does not provide this undertaking, OCAA will consider bringing an application for a stay to prevent New Acland Coal from acting on the associated water licence. OCAA secretary Paul King said, “The irreplaceable groundwater that sustains the Darling Downs agricultural region must be protected at all costs. The Queensland Palaszczuk government treated these farmers and the water they rely on with contempt when it granted the associated water licence to New Acland, so we are stepping in where the government has failed.”

Nurses across the public, private and aged care sectors spent International Nurses Day (May 12) reflecting on their tireless efforts to provide quality care to patients, residents and local communities despite the current workforce challenges. NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said the day was an opportunity to recognise the essential contribution of nurses and pay tribute to nurses who speak up for change. “Over the last 12 months we’ve seen commitments from governments to deliver much needed changes in the aged care and public health sectors which will have an immense impact on our ability to provide the quality care patients and residents rightly deserve. This progress is thanks to nurses and midwives across NSW demanding better, and it highlights their vital role in advocating for improved healthcare for all.” Nurses have campaigned for evidence-based nurse-to-patient ratios for many years. They shouldered the brunt of the pandemic over three long years, and they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to deliver patient-centred care, often to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. This International Nurses Day was no different, with nurses and midwives taking protected industrial action for two-hours at two major Sydney private hospitals as they fight to secure safe staffing ratios and a fair pay rise that recognises their cost of living pressures. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12 to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and the contributions nurses make to healthcare.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: The latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that each year 39,300 children and young people aged 15-24 come to homelessness services alone. Many cannot be safely reunited with family and need long term housing and support. And still more billions are being poured into the war machine.

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