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Arrow Energy backs down in the face of community opposition

Arrow Energy had moved in drill rigs and were preparing to commence drilling at one of four proposed holes in the Scenic Rim. The residents of the Scenic Rim have been long opposed to Coal Seam Gas Mining in the area, which is home to eight national parks, many of which fully or partly fall into the Central Eastern Reserves Rainforest Australian World Heritage Area.

"The local community had geared up and was ready to commence blockading the site, when reports came in that the drill rig was moved out this morning, workers appear to be packing up the rest of the site," said Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance said.

"Like many other communities and groups around the nation, Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic was asking for a water study to be completed before any drilling commenced, and had been, to date, ignored," Green said.

"The campaign by Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic to blockade drilling until a comprehensive, rigorous water study had been completed, had the complete support of Lock The Gate Alliance, as do other communities fighting inappropriate extractive industries in their areas, particularly in the absence of proper assessment of social and environmental impacts."

Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic spokesman Innes Larkin believes strong talk of a community blockade was enough to make Arrow Energy consider the implications of its drill being trapped onsite for an extended period.

Mr Larkin said the community had been forced to consider direct action to protect its water supplies, vital to agriculture, residents and the area's famed ecology.

"The whole point about base-line tests is to be able to show the state of bores and aquifers before drilling. There is ample evidence elsewhere to show coal seam gas drilling has potential to cause problems with underground water supplies, so we need to be absolutely certain our water will be safe," Mr Larkin said.

"Deciding to take action was really hard for landholders who are law abiding citizens, however with that personal journey now done, the Scenic Rim is ready to challenge any drill that comes into the shire."

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