The Lock the Gate Alliance has called on coal seam gas company, QGC, to abide by its promise to stay away from the residential estate outside the southern Queensland town of Tara after vehicles belonging to a drilling company, contracted to QGC, injured two local residents today.
QGC previously promised that they would not drill on the Tara Estate until 2014, and if that changed then all residents would be notified. However, today a rig arrived unannounced without any notification to local residents.
In the ensuing discussions, a vehicle driven by one of the company employees was driven into local resident, Dayne Pratzky, and another was driven into resident, 18 year-old BJ Palmer. Mr Palmer was taken to Dalby hospital with suspected broken ribs and Mr Pratzky was taken to Chinchilla hospital with back injuries.
Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, said 'This is a very serious incident and we are calling on police to investigate urgently to see if the vehicle drivers have committed offences. We are also calling on QGC to honour its promise to stay off the Tara estate.
"The Federal Resources Minister has tried to demonise residents who oppose CSG mining as 'lawbreakers' and 'anarchists', but the very dangerous actions of CSG workers today in driving cars into local residents shows the shoe is actually on the other foot.
"Despite the attempts by QGC to blame the residents for this incident it is two Tara residents who are in hospital tonight with serious injuries and the QGC contractors' vehicles with smashed windscreens.
"Peaceful residents are having their lives disrupted, their lands invaded, and their health threatened, and when they seek simple advance notification of drilling plans, this is the way they are treated.
"The drilling was set to take place within one kilometre of the residence of George and Marion Palmer and their children. The Palmers blame the nearby CSG infrastructure for illness experienced by several of their children, and numerous Tara families have reported health problems over the last year" he said.
Contact: Drew Hutton 0428 487 110