Inconclusive research by the gas-industry funded GISERA will do little to reassure communities surrounded by gasfields, says Lock the Gate Alliance.
Responding to the organisation’s latest report, the Alliance said like most GISERA products, the study appeared to be more concerned with improving gas industry publicity than actual science.
"This research should have been conducted before the coal seam gas industry began expanding like a rash across inland Queensland more than a decade ago. More than 10,000 unconventional wells have now been drilled. For Queenslanders to now be told that more studies are needed to determine the safety of 25 chemical factors used in the unconventional gas extraction process is extremely concerning," said Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Ellen Roberts.
“It is also concerning this study appears to have been undertaken in an area where there is very little hydraulic fracturing actually taking place*, given independent university studies in the United States repeatedly show a link between fracking and health impacts on nearby communities, particularly children and the elderly. For this reason alone, the study has limited utility.
“Based on this report, it also appears researchers did not have full access to the suite of chemicals used by coal seam gas companies because these companies are not required to publicly identify which drilling additives they use. (page 62)
“As well, the report acknowledges that ‘inadvertent releases’ are not made public. This is a major impediment for any body of work that is attempting to understand the impact of the coal seam gas industry on communities’ health. (page 62)
“While it’s nice that GISERA has committed to conducting further studies, we’d prefer to see an agency that doesn’t receive any funding from gas companies do the work.”
According to Queensland Gasfields Commision's latest report:
46% of coal seam gas well in the Central Highlands Regional Council area were fracked
19% in the Banana Shire were fracked
18% in the Maranoa Regional Council were fracked
6% in the Western Downs Regional Council were fracked