The NSW Government approved exploration for coal seam gas 500m from the World Heritage Wollemi National Park at Putty. The Australian 'gas rush' for export needs to be reconsidered taking into account the impacts on the environment, people’s health, livelihoods and plans for the future.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Drug Raids and Meetings
Putty drug lab arrests, meeting with Singleton Council reps and Hawkesbury Environmental Network.
Putty Drug Lab
Our dog sits on a rock and barks at every car that drives past our property. On Wednesday afternoon he was making lots of noise and I ventured away from the computer to find that the neighbour’s place had become a parking lot. I rang them in Sydney as I knew they weren’t planning to be there and when they told me they knew nothing about it we went off to investigate. We were told that a covert police operation was in progress and no more details were forthcoming.
A frosty morning at Putty
It wasn’t until 8pm that a policeman drove up to tell us that two men had been arrested at the property past our neighbours and that one had escaped. As the escapee was wearing only light clothing they expected that he would try to find a vehicle or somewhere to shelter. They reassured us that he was not dangerous but still it was all very creepy. Four police stayed up there overnight in a tent – it must have been freezing.
On Thursday the police website reported that a person was arrested in Putty at 2am and others were arrested in Sydney. It was alleged that the lab was being used to manufacture large commercial quantities of amphetamine.
We were never notified of the escapee’s arrest, which places the police on par with coal seam gas companies in community relations. They’re not good at shutting gates either.
Vision for 2021
Representatives from Singleton Council met with the Putty Community on 30 July to find out our ‘vision for 2021’ for our area. Roads, road signage, rubbish, telecommunications and CSG were the biggest issues. The uncertainty about CSG in the area is stifling any development.
When asked if this report was part of the NSW Government’s Regional Land Use Plan we were told it was a council initiative. As the Hunter is supposed to be the first area to have a Land Use Plan and funds have suddenly become available for community consultations, I wonder about this. Be careful what you wish for – good roads and community facilities are often provided by mining companies to ingratiate themselves into the community.
Hawkesbury Environment Network On Monday I attended the Hawkesbury Environment Network’s (HEN) first meeting in Windsor. HEN is a non-government, not for profit network of groups and individuals for environmental information, advocacy and action in the Hawkesbury Region.
Most of Putty is not in the Hawkesbury electorate but as our water flows through the area I thought this was a good opportunity to inform them about coal seam gas exploration at Putty. Many people spoke to me after the meeting, voicing their concern. The HEN website is not up yet at www.hen.org.au but the Facebook page is working at www.facebook.com/HAW.HEN