web analytics

Coal seam gas is coming to North Queensland

CSG wells across the Darling Downs

“Coal seam gas is coming to North Queensland,” Jenny Stirling Greens spokesperson for the Queensland Greens warns.

“As of June 29th 2011 there are now state government approvals for exploration by Qld Coal around the Pentlands district west of Charters Towers, Hughenden and Richmond which is in line with the massive expansion of coal mining across Queensland and the development of a new export industry based on coal seam gas (CSG). And there are plans for a giant LNG plant at Abbott Point in Bowen, meaning tankers will be plying the waters of the Great Barrier Reef with their deadly cargo of methane.

Of particular concern for Northern farmers and graziers is that these mining leases sit on top of the eastern margins of Great Artesian Basin: many properties out west rely on this underground aquifer to water their livestock. The problem is that once the aquifer is contaminated there is nothing that can be done to rectify that situation.

CSG (commonly called ‘natural gas’) involves extracting methane from the coal seams by drawing huge amounts of toxic, salt-laden water to the surface. It also uses a process called ‘fracking’ where tonnes of deadly chemicals (about 18,000kg per well) are injected into underground aquifers and the ground is broken up with explosives to release the gas.

The Premier’s announcement this week that urban areas above a population of 1000 residents will be protected from coal and gas exploration leases addresses only a small part of the problem because as AgForce chief executive Robert Walker says:”It is ok to have an exclusion zone of two kilometres around a town, but a farmer can have a CSG [coal seam gas] well 100 metres from his front door – we don’t believe that is fair,” Mr Walker said.

And neither do the Greens, said Ms Stirling. “There are now 3,000 gas wells across the Darling Downs but the CSG industry plans for over 40,000 wells which could easily contaminate and destabilise the entire Great Artesian Basin. We need a moratorium on CSG until we know more about the impacts of this new industry.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© 2017, Action on Coal and Gas