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APPEA get it wrong again: We need a moratorium!

Queensland Greens spokesperson, Dr Libby Connors, says that the Australian Association of Petroleum Producers and Explorers has been caught out using misleading spin in two media stories this morning and that the scientific uncertainty about aquifer and health data adds to the need for a moratorium on coal seam gas development in Queensland.

In the first instance APPEA misrepresented research from the University of Southern Queensland claiming it showed coal seam gas production would have little impact on the Great Artesian Basin or on aquifers used by agriculture. The author of the report has since refuted this interpretation.

APPEA also claimed that Doctors for the Environment which has called for health impact studies on the effect of coal seam gas production had to substantiate their claims about health concerns.

‘That is the whole point of a health impact study – the companies, not Doctors for the Environment, should have done the scientific groundwork before the projects were approved,’ Libby Connors said.

‘Instead APPEA and the four big multinational companies involved in CSG have brashly claimed to governments and the public that there is nothing to worry about without the scientific evidence.

‘These rich corporations have taken all the cheap shortcuts and have now been embarrassed by Doctors for the Environment pointing out the obvious truth about public health risks from chemicals released through the gas extraction process.

‘What both the USQ aquifer report and the statements from Doctors for the Environment prove is that the Queensland Government rushed through the approval processes without taking all health and environmental factors into account.

‘It is great to see members of the medical profession supporting a Health Impact Study. The Queensland Greens called for this some months back.

‘The dispute over the science means Queensland needs to join with New South Wales in calling a halt to any further development until all the necessary studies are done.

‘If Anna Bligh wants to resurrect her standing in the polls she needs to show she is listening to the widespread community concern which is building in the cities and provincial centres and call for a moratorium.

‘Then the community can have a say about where it is and is not safe for this industry to operate.’

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