Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Drilling starts at Putty

Drilling starts at Putty, bore water testing, council and RFS not notified, a week of protests, media focus on coal seam gas and Putty.

Dart Energy started to drill a core hole on Friday 19 August to explore for coal seam gas at 8646 Putty Road. By Saturday afternoon they had drilled down to approximately 100m and started to set the blowout prevention equipment on the hole. This was expected to be completed on Monday.

Putty landholders were advised to take samples of bore water when it was discovered that another mining company was offering an independent specialist to test the bore water of landholders near an exploration core hole.

Enquiries have been made to Singleton Council and to the Rural Fire Services Singleton Fire Control to find out if Dart Energy notified them of any activities in the area. Both organisations were not aware of drilling taking place.

Last week was a big week in the campaign against CSG at Putty, starting with the protest on the Putty Road on 14 August. The ABC chopper flew in and we were on the news that night. A photographer from the Hawkesbury Gazette and a journalist from the Land also attended the protest.

On Monday morning Deb Cameron on 702 was calling for people to call in and twitter about coal seam gas and she heard from a couple of people from Putty. On Monday night on Q&A Malcolm Turnbull answered a question on coal seam gas and said – it’s about the water. We cannot afford to tamper with water unless we know the consequences.

On Tuesday I went to a meeting at St Peters Town Hall where the noisy crowd were not pacified by Dart Energy’s Robbert de Weijer saying that they would not drill a core hole there until 2013. He continually said how the company wants to be open and transparent. When the going got tough he handed over to Dart’s new Principle Geologist Malcolm Bocking.

Dart Energy keeps saying that they are only drilling a core hole at Putty and my answer to that is that we have only just started our campaign against CSG.

On Thursday I was with protesters outside the Wentworth Hotel where the government and mining companies were having a conference. The diverse group of people were from the city and country, from all political parties and varying social backgrounds. When the Enough is Enough Stop Coal and Gas Expansion banner was unfurled by two abseilers out the front of the hotel, the crowd roared their approval.

Friday morning I was on my way to a meeting at the Sydney Town Hall with Clover Moore when I heard about the ABC chopper accident. Although none of the crew in the crash had been to Putty I was deeply saddened. I was more aware than ever about how the people of rural Australia are indebted to the ABC to get their stories heard.

At the Town Hall I met many people from other areas who were against coal seam gas in their area. Drew Hutton from Lock the Gate reiterated the organisations five key points –
1. Protect agricultural land
2. Moratorium
3. Protect closely settled areas
4. Protect aquifers
5. Protect sensitive environmental areas

Clover Moore said he should add a sixth point – that the industry be independently regulated – I agree.

Media attention to coal seam gas mining has escalated and Putty is getting a mention – see below.

Get Up’s Stop Coal Seam Gas petition is now at 36,000 signatures. Please sign at http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/coal-seam-gas/petition/stop-coal-seam-gas

23 August 2011 – The Australian

22 August 2011– New Matilda
The Expanding Anti-Gas Coalition - by Kate Ausburn http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/22/expanding-antigas-coalition

19 August 2011 – Singleton Argus

19 August 2011 - DailyTelegraph
Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has told mining executives that the O'Farrell government is "open for business" - unveiling a map showcasing NSW's resources and inviting them to dig in. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/energy-minister-chris-hartchers-invite-to-mining-bosses/story-e6freuzi-1226117760501

18 August 2011 - Hawkesbury Gazette
Putty people say no to coalseam gas drilling plan by Anna Yeo, http://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/news/local/news/general/putty-people-say-no-to-coalseam-gas-drilling-plan/2262927.aspx

16 August 2011 – New Matilda
Coal Seam Gas drilling begins near Wollemi - by Wendy Bacon, http://newmatilda.com/2011/08/16/csg-drilling-begins-near-wollemi

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