Coal seam gas company must buy out and compensate Tara residents

Published: December 16, 2012

It is becoming ever more urgent for residents of the Tara residential estate to be re-located and compensated for the health effects they are experiencing from the activities of surrounding coal seam gas companies.

Evidence collected from the Gasfield Community Support Group at Tara indicates there are members of 26 families in the area who have complained of symptoms such as nose bleeds, chronic headaches and burning eyes and they blame the coal seam gas activities in the area for these.

Local doctors have supported their claims.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said if the company was not prepared to buy out residents at a fair price, then the State Government should look at closing down the Tara-Chinchilla gas fields until a proper, and genuinely independent, investigation of fugitive emissions had been undertaken.

“The State Government and the companies must not be allowed any longer to get away with asserting these symptoms have nothing to do with coal seam gas and that fugitive emissions have been occurring forever in this area,” Mr Hutton said.

“A lack of absolute certainty must not be used as an excuse for doing nothing.

“The fact is it is very difficult to establish with scientific certainty what is happening especially when neither the government nor the companies want to find out.

“The whole Queensland community should insist these companies adopt the same responsible attitude as the ABC did with their Toowong building and move all people out of an area if they are getting sick – despite the lack of absolute certainty about the causes.

“The several thousand residents of the Tara residential estate are among some of the poorest in the state and I’m afraid the government and the company are seeing them as nothing more than collateral damage.

“Unless the health issues at Tara are taken seriously, then this pattern is likely to be repeated every time the coal seam gas industry moves into a closely settled area,” Mr Hutton said.

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