Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Anti-CSG Campaign ramps up

On Sunday I marched with about two thousand people down King Street, Newtown in protesting about approval to drill a core hole in St Peters and about the rapid expansion of the coal seam gas industry in Australia without full scientific risk assessment.

One of the chants was ‘stop CSG, we want renewable energy now.’ Earlier this year the CSG industry tried to sell CSG to Australians by saying it was a transitional fuel between coal and renewable energy but I notice that this has been dropped in their recent advertising campaign.

The anti CSG movement argued that spending money on infrastructure for CSG will slow down development of renewable energy and we should go straight from coal to renewable energy.

Meanwhile the coal industry distanced itself from the CSG industry.

Only a small part of the coal and CSG industries is about generating power within Australia. Their prime business is exporting coal or LNG (liquified gas for transportation). These multinational companies’ prime concern is to make money for their shareholders, which justifies giving huge bonuses to their executives. With vast amounts of money behind them they have the power to easily bully governments and communities into dropping the precautionary principles that would normally apply.

I think the campaign to stop CSG has reached a new level. People I know, who a few months ago thought that CSG was the way forward, are now either hesitating or are firmly against it.

The media has exposed the industry and the same questions remain unanswered – how to get rid of the huge quantities of salt from the associated water and how to stop aquifers from becoming contaminated. Until these problems are solved CSG extraction has to be stopped.

Rumours & Community
Rumours are flying around the Putty Valley about where Dart Energy is going to drill next. The two property owners who have been singled out are well known and respected in the valley and I worry that someone hearing these rumours will believe them and give access to a mining company if asked. An email has been sent out refuting the rumours but not everyone is on email.

It is so important in small communities to talk to each other. If you hear something, question it straight away. A small community is easy prey to a savvy mining company.


What happens when CSG comes to town
20 September 2011 – Insight – SBS
As more exploration and drilling licenses are granted, coal seam gas mining is generating jobs, headlines, protests, town hall meetings and advertising campaigns.

Insight focuses on the Queensland region of Chinchilla-Dalby, where the CSG industry has operated for many years, to look at the impacts – environmental, social and financial.

Expired Exploration Licences
19 September 2011 – Sydney Morning Herald
The state must overhaul oil and gas exploration licences as it grapples with rising concerns of farmers over the loss of control of their land and a surging demand for access, environmental groups say. The call comes as the state government begins its first inquiry into coal seam gas, the first public hearing beginning on Wednesday in northern NSW. An estimated 5.5 million hectares of petroleum exploration titles have expired with no information available on the status of these licences or how they are assessed for renewal.

Are Earthquakes related to drilling?
19 September 2011 – Townsville Bulletin
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake followed by a 4.7 aftershock struck south of Townsville on Saturday with reports of buildings shaking as far away as Cairns and Mackay. Comments are made about the incidents of earthquakes around the world near drilling sites.

Is Coal Seam Gas worth the risk? The backlash to a billion dollar industry.
19 September 2011 - ABC 7.30 Report –Interview with Rick Wilkinson, APPEA.

'Phony' Claims In Coal Seam Gas Ads
19 September 2011 New Matilda
An ad campaign touting the benefits of coal seam gas drilling has been launched - and provoked a formal complaint about false environmental claims.

Academics warn of looming seam-gas 'mess'
17 September 2011 – The Australian - Amos Aikman and Anthony Klan
A LEADING resource economist has called for restrictions on the booming coal-seam gas industry until proper water quality and technology monitoring systems can be implemented.

'Time machine' will test effects of fracking
14 September 2011 - The Land
A new machine will be used to solve one of the more contentious mysteries of coal seam gas extraction - how it will affect underground water supplies.

Coal Seam Gas divides community
13 September 2011 - The Wire
The prospect of coal seam gas production has divided the community in Putty. Dart Energy is already drilling a core hole for exploration and some residents in Putty fear this will lead to commercial production of coal seam gas.

Environmental committee abolished
13 September 2011 - Sydney Morning Herald
The O'Farrell government has abolished an independent committee that was designed to balance environmental and primary industry interests in the management of natural

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