Nationals statement on coal seam gas fails the credibility test

Published: November 07, 2011

Yesterday's framework statement on coal seam gas by the federal Nationals leader Warren Truss simply continues the party's practice of telling farmers they sympathise with their plight and they will be looked after but does little to address the real problems of the too-rapid expansion of the gas industry.

President of the Lock the Gate Alliance said the Nationals must make it clear what actions they will take to protect such assets as good farm land and underground water.

"Will the Nationals support legislation that protects all good agricultural land and not just the tiny percentage the Queensland government will protect under its Strategic Cropping Land legislation?" Mr Hutton asked.

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Environmentalists call for dredging halt, independent testing in Gladstone harbour

Published: November 07, 2011

The causes of the apparent ecosystem collapse in Gladstone harbour can only be satisfactorily addressed by a halt to the dredging of the harbour and a genuinely independent testing regime.

Gladstone harbour borders the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area and Curtis Island, on which four huge liquefied natural gas plants will be built, is part of that WHA.

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Drew Hutton said neither the Queensland government nor the federal government were trusted by most people to get to the bottom of the problem because they had too strong a vested interest in seeing these projects go ahead.

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Research into CSG must not become academic ‘snouts in the trough’

Published: November 03, 2011

Research centres are lining up to get a piece of the pie in the form of research grants into coal seam gas but many of these are wholly or partially funded by the very industry they are supposed to be researching.

This money could become available if the Gillard government agrees to the demand by Independent MP, Tony Windsor, for substantial funding to be put into the impacts of the coal seam gas industry before the industry moves ahead.

Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said many research centres had a fundamental conflict of interest on coal seam gas and should be disqualified from any of this funding.

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Landowners Blockade Coal Seam Gas Project

Published: October 27, 2011

Caroona Coal Action Group: State & Federal govts called on to intervene to protect Liverpool Plains aquifer systems

Landowners from communities across the Liverpool Plains have been forced to take direct action against the mining giant Santos to stop it pushing ahead with ‘pilot production' of coal seam gas before the potential risks to the region's iconic water systems are known.

This morning local residents began parking vehicles and heavy farm machinery to blockade the George's Island Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL 1) site, near Spring Ridge, after Santos repeatedly refused to wait for the outcome of the Namoi Catchment Water Study before escalating its operations.

The independent water study – established by the NSW Government and jointly funded by the Federal Government and mining companies, including Santos – is due to be completed next year.  It is expected to provide the most comprehensive picture yet of the region's complex network of aquifers to better understand the risks posed by large-scale mining.

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Federal Government attempts to spin its way past Gladstone harbour debacle

Published: October 26, 2011

Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has put his name to possibly the most blatant piece of hypocrisy in the country by writing an introduction to an lift-out into Gladstone's local newspaper.

The lift-out is entitled "Reef Guardians" and Mr Burke talks about all the wonderful things the federal government is doing on the Great Barrier Reef overlooking the fact that it was his approval of the massive construction in Gladstone harbour, especially the dredging to allow LNG tankers into the port, that is undoubtedly one of the prime causes of the current threats to the environment.

Mr Burke also approved the dumping of toxic spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area.

Lock the Gate Alliance presdient Drew Hutton said Mr Burke will not be allowed to spin his way out of his responsibility for what is happening to this precious area.

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