July finished on a historic note for the anti-coal and CSG movement with the "Beyond Coal and Gas" forum in Mackay. Around 80 affected landholders, farmers and campaigners met over three days, sharing knowledge, strategy and networks. After years of the coal industry's unstoppable expansion, finally cracks are appearing in many projects. As the coal price falls, finance is drying up, environmental concerns like the future of the reef are gaining international attention and renewable energy is rapidly approaching wholesale cost competitiveness with dirty energy.
Back in Brisbane on Sunday, about 50 staff and students at the University of Queensland raised their concerns about coal seam gas companies dictating the research agenda at UQ. Friends of the Earth were proud to support this action on campus to ensure the tough questions about CSG get asked and answered. While gas companies are funding the university to the tune of $15 million, the research integrity coalition have already acheived substantial concessions to ensure the integrity of research done - a tricky ask.