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Health crisis deepens on Western Downs

Residents of the Tara residential estate this morning blockaded the headquarters of coal seam gas company QGC in protest at the increasing numbers of local residents reporting sick and pointing the finger of blame at emissions from nearby gas fields.

Traffic to and from the company's headquarters was backed up for 8 to ten kilometres during the early morning change of shift, according to local police.

QGC's Kate field is located on the estate and residents are blaming emissions from this field, including from the methane venting system that is built into the pipelines.

Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said many residents were now all reporting the same symptoms – nose bleeds, ear bleeds, nausea and constant headaches and he accused the Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, of refusing his department's request for a health study in the area.

"It has been obvious for over twelve months now that a health study is needed to establish why these people are getting sick," Mr Hutton said.

"The previous Labor government knew this and refused to conduct the study because they knew they might find a real issue here and this might force them to take positive action.

"Now we have the LNP government using the same evasive tactics.

"This is a betrayal of people whose only failing is they are forced to live in the middle of a coal seam gas field."

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