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Big Gas to exploit Queensland’s need for disaster relief revenue

Heard of Coal Seam Gas … sounds a decidedly dull topic, right? Well, Queenslanders, sit up FAST!

While Queensland is still reeling from severe flooding, plans for a local ‘Gasland’ (Josh Fox’s documentary title) are about to unfold RIGHT HERE. Oil Giant Santos has struck while the iron is conveniently hot to capitalise on the $16 billion CSG project. Money speaks: anticipated revenue for disaster relief applies formidable pressure to
rush Big Oil’s investment through Parliament. But this ‘cocaine injection’ of CSG funding is NOT a rational answer.

The innocuous term ‘natural gas’ connotes safety. Far from it! Although some CSG wells have free-flowing gas, sections of reduced permeability require hydraulic fracking’ (fracturing). This process entails pumping up to 596 chemicals into water tables. (Radioactive sand is also sometimes used to measure the fracture trace). Carcinogenic emissions and effluent, alone, pose major safety risks.

Contaminated wastewater will interconnect with groundwater, watercourses AND drinking water. Imagine the repercussions from floodwaters blended with volatile biocides such as benzene, xylene, toluene and ethylene glycol surging through Queensland!

In USA, the CSG industry is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act; follow their giddy trail of chronic human illness and dying animals to summarise potential threats to every species. Australia’s only reliable freshwater irrigation source, the Great Artesian Basin, is our nation’s lifeblood – essential for economic health. What of the economic deficit when prime arable land is reduced to toxic wasteland? Without those vital resources, lasting security as a farming nation is dead. That myopic path leads only to financial and environmental ruin!

Political ‘representatives’ do NOT have a mandate to toss two-up on the stakes: Queensland’s stable future versus a hazardous ‘Gasland’ lunarscape. I call for an immediate moratorium. We are now at the crossroads; a referendum on sustainable energy is our turning point. Australia needs serious investment in RENEWABLE energy sources!

Christine Bennett
Maroochy Greens

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