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New CSG water impacts research too little too late

The Australian Greens welcome the modelling of the cumulative water impacts of coal seam gas in the Surat Basin, but say the Queensland and Australian Governments should not have issued approvals for CSG before this and other comprehensive scientific research has been done.

The Draft Underground Water Impact Report released by the Queensland Water Commission predicts some bores in Queensland’s best food-producing land will drop up to 150m and take at least the rest of the century to recover by 50 per cent.

“While we welcome this modelling about the long-term water impacts of CSG, it’s disgraceful that the Queensland and Australian Governments gave coal seam gas the green light before the science is in,” Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.

“There remain serious unanswered questions about coal seam gas, such as what to do with the many tonnes of salt extracted by CSG mining, or the real picture of the life-cycle carbon emissions of CSG in Australia.

“I am urging farmers to have their say about predicted drops in the water table from coal seam gas mining, and let the Queensland Water Commission know if these drops will impact the way they do business, or even if they can continue farming.

“It’s also important that the desktop modelling from this study is verified with checks against on-ground data, and revised annually, not just every three years as the Queensland Water Commission is planning.

“It’s well past time for the Australian Government to step in and press pause on CSG, until the necessary scientific research has been done to reveal exactly how CSG will damage our water resources, our environment and our prime agricultural land.”

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