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Newman’s latest csg announcement a betrayal of the bush

The Queensland Greens say that LNP leader Campbell Newman’s latest announcement on csg is a betrayal of rural communities which leaves the main problems posed by the industry unresolved.

Campbell Newman is claiming he will to introduce a more transparent system of compensation to landholders with csg wells on their land.

‘As usual the LNP are doing the work of the gas companies by sidetracking the public debate from the main issues,’ said state spokesperson Libby Connors.

‘His strategy will mean more money to rich farmers and less money to poor blockies since it is based not on the value of the well but the value of the land.

‘The rest of the community without wells who will still face draw down of bores, salt stockpiles and increased bush fire risk get nothing but problems.

‘In true neo-Liberal style, he is advocating greater profit for some individuals while the broader community is saddled with the risks and liabilities.

‘He is in effect a mouthpiece for multinational corporations whose strategy is always to privatise the profit and socialise the problems.’

Research from Monash University has already revealed that ground water levels have fallen in some bores many kilometres from the csg wellhead while some nearby bores are unaffected.

‘Campbell Newman’s plan for compensation provides nothing to the landholder without a wellhead who is still likely to find their business and income severely disrupted,’ Ms Connors pointed out.

‘It also hard to see how Campbell Newman’s plan offers any hope for landholders throughout the Surat Basin who are worried about the massive amounts of salt to be brought to the surface.

‘A senate inquiry heard evidence in September that just one Queensland csg operation will produce 3 million tonnes of salt resulting in a salt pile 10 metres high and 11 kilometres long.

‘What use is it, if individual wellhead income is increased but we lose our rich agricultural soils to salt contamination?

‘Campbell Newman understands personal greed but nothing of community-wide ecological impacts.

‘He seems intent on proving he can be as big an environmental vandal as the Bligh government but is offering richer rural landholders a nice bribe for their support.

‘It is a very cynical and irresponsible campaign promise.’

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