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Qld Labor government has a death wish

The Qld Labor government has a death wish: that is the only reasonable conclusion one can come to when considering its blatant disregard of the dangers associated with coal seam gas.

On Tuesday it was reported that there had been a blowout in Dalby at one of Arrow Energy’s coal seam gas wells. The well, which exploded for the fourth time and is continuing to shoot water and gas 40 metres into the air, is on a farmer’s property on the Kogan-Condamine Road.

And the Queensland Government response to the ongoing saga of mixing gas wells with housing estates and and farm settlements? It has allowed another company, QGC, to place gas wells in the middle of a heavily-wooded residential estate: there are 2-3,000 families including young children living on the estate. Surely the explosion at Dalby provides further proof that gas wells cannot co-exist with rural residential estates or closely settled farming areas.

Meanwhile, in Australia, last Friday, the newly-elected New South Wales Liberal government announced a 60 day moratorium on further coal and gas development in that state so that regional planning could be undertaken. There are deep concerns there about what fracking is doing to water and farming in the Hunter Valley, let alone what further expansion will reap.

Around the world, the South African government recently announced a national moratorium on fracking, the controversial, water-intense and polluting method of extracting coal seam gas (csg). Similarly New York State has also placed a moratorium on fracking because of concerns about long term damage to ground waters and farming.

So why is the Qld government following this course of action? Royalties: there is no other reason because it cannot be jobs, sustainable farming, water conservation or climate change. For as research from Cornell University (USA) demonstrates, coal seam gas is not a transition fuel for addressing climate change: it is set to make things worse.

Bligh has run out of excuses as to why she should not be kicked out of office. The sooner the better- that is if we want to preserve what’s left of the state’s natural resources.

Jenny Stirling

Qld Green spokesperson

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