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Department gaslights locals as fracking commences at Surat

The Queensland Environment Department has provided contradictory information to residents who are deeply concerned about Armour Energy’s plans to frack for tight gas at its Kincora project next to the town of Surat tomorrow.

Lock the Gate Alliance first raised concerns the department had failed to appropriately assess Armour’s plans for an unconventional fracking gasfield when the company lodged an application to amend its Environmental Authority in November 2018.

The application, later approved, referenced “tight gas”, which requires fracking - universally recognised as an “unconventional” method of extracting gas. 

Bizarrely, the department has continued to use the term “conventional” in its correspondence with concerned residents, even when admitting in the same letter that fracking will occur at the site.

Armour’s Surat project, called Kincora Gas Acceleration Project, also received $6 million in Federal taxpayer funding in 2018 under the Gas Acceleration Program.

“Fracking for tight gas is universally recognised as an unconventional extraction method, and for the department to argue otherwise is a denial of reality,” said Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Ellie Smith.

“For the department to say fracking is occurring, but that the gasfield isn’t unconventional in the same letter to residents is the textbook definition of gaslighting.

“This is further proof that the Queensland Government has lost control of the fracking industry, as the state’s Audit Office found earlier this year.

“Clearly, state regulations have not kept pace as this industry has pockmarked Queensland’s Western Downs.”

Don’t Frack the Outback spokesperson and St George resident Leanne Brummell said it was “gut wrenching” to learn Armour Energy would frack tomorrow.

“In every part of the world where fracking has been allowed to go ahead, the industry has been responsible for long term environmental destruction,” she said.

“Wherever fracking occurs, there are examples of the industry causing earthquakes, water contamination, the draining of aquifers, and pollution caused by the disintegration of infrastructure over time.

“There are already serious and deeply concerning examples of this happening on the Western Downs, and the industry only began its rapid industrialisation of the landscape in earnest about a decade ago.

“I fear for the people who live in Surat, and I fear for my community of St George, which is the next town down the river from Armour’s fracking site.

“We are witnessing the death of outback Queensland, and the government is lying to us about it as it happens before our eyes.”



  • A GISERA/CSIRO report released earlier this year that has been used by some politicians to erroneously claim that fracking is safe has been thoroughly rejected by numerous independent scientists.

  • To view a timelapse of the CSG industry’s rampant industrialisation of land around Chinchilla between 2007 and 2018, click here.

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