Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Questions asked but answers unsatisfactory

Last week the media focused on the effect of the mining boom on the economy. This week questions are being asked about why potential property buyers were not told about CSG drilling, what happens to waste water and how did Btex get into aquifers.

Last week the media focused on the effect the mining boom has on the rest of the economy. The Australian tourist industry is in crisis as international visitors can’t afford to travel downunder and domestic travellers fly overseas where their dollar buys more. Qantas is moving some of its operations to Asia and on the home front Airlie Beach has 60 shops vacant in the main street. Manufacturers such as BlueScope Steel can’t export due to the high dollar and training facilities are not attracting overseas students.

Will the Australian state and federal governments continue to let the mining companies destroy our landscape at an uncontrolled and increasing rate until there is nothing left for tourists to see, no land to farm and no ‘Made in Australia’? When the resources run out or when the rest of the world turns to renewable energy will Australians be importing their food, water and wine? I hope not – no one can produce shiraz like Australia!

Everyone seems to be protesting – coal seam gas, carbon tax, gay rights, refugees. Labour and Liberals only differ on a carbon tax and the NBN and both parties can only think as far ahead as the next election.

Buyers not told of proposal to drill for coal seam gas
30 August 2011 – Sydney Morning Herald
The NSW government developer, Landcom, has not disclosed to potential buyers of its land in south-west Sydney that AGL proposes to drill coal seam gas wells throughout the area. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/buyers-not-told-of-proposal-to-drill-for-coal-seam-gas-20110829-1jii5.html#ixzz1WSiACiaB

Burke admits wast water problem – Scientists want more research
29 August 2011 – Lateline ABC
Ali Moore’s interview with Tony Burke, Federal Minister for the Environment revealed that despite destruction of national parks and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park near Gladstone for an LNG plant the three companies involved are still negotiating with the government over Salinity Management Plans for the waste water produced from CSG extraction. Solutions being proposed include burying it and injecting it back into the coal seam but no one has resolved the issue of what to do with the saline water which is currently sitting in vast evaporation ponds in Queensland.

Tony Burke said every single aquifer exposed to coal seam gas mining must be tested to ensure groundwater is not put at risk. If a coal seam is watertight it won’t affect the groundwater but if it is porous you have to take a highly precautionary approach. Read the transcript at http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3305181.htm

Three of Australia's top water scientists have told Lateline more research on the safety and environmental impact of coal seam gas mining is urgently needed. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3305176.htm

Carcinogens found in coal seam gas project
29 August 2011 – ABC
Traces of carcinogenic chemicals have been found in monitoring bores at a coal seam gas operation on Queensland's Darling Downs. Arrow Energy says it has advised regulators that small traces of so-called "B-Tex" chemicals have been detected in shallow bores near the southern inland town of Dalby. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-28/carginogens-found-in-coal-seam-gas-project/2858960

Gas pipe leaks
Australian Bureau of Statistics - Detailed Energy Statistics, Australia, 2001-02 reports the following –
‘Transmission and distribution pipelines transport natural gas to end-users; this transportation can also lead to losses. Total supply losses in 2001-02 were 12,093 TJ, comprising 905 TJ of pipeline losses and 11,188 TJ of distribution losses. This represents around 1.5 % of all pipelined natural gas.’ http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/productsbytopic/0C2AA58A90E887B3CA256E60007BAB57?OpenDocument

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