The National Toxics Network (NTN) and the Lock the Gate Alliance are calling on federal and state governments to take urgent action to protect the health of all communities living around coal seam gas (CSG) fields after the release of the Queensland Government’s report into the health of Tara residents.
Lock the Gate president, Drew Hutton, pointed to the report’s shortcomings.
“Despite the fact this was not a comprehensive health study it still found children living at Tara were exposed to numerous toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, some at levels above health criteria,” Mr Hutton said.
The Queensland Government Health Report acknowledges that while it was ‘..unable to determine whether any of the health effects reported by the community are linked to exposure to Coal Seam Gas activities, it does provide some evidence that might associate some of the residents’ symptoms to exposures to airborne contaminants arising from CSG activities.’Read more
The Bill to amend the Federal Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, proposed by the Gillard government to assess the water impacts of coal and coal seam gas projects, will be little more than a toothless tiger unless a number of urgent amendments are made to it.
The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has stated the new water trigger will apply to coal and coal seam gas and will ensure the impacts of these projects on water resources are properly assessed. However, the proposed Bill has serious flaws.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said his organisation would be lobbying hard before the Bill is debated in Parliament to ensure it is amended to do the job it is supposed to do. The Alliance is writing to all parties and parliamentary representatives today with an eight point plan to fix the Bill.
"There are several fatal flaws in the water Bill and, unless they are addressed by the Parliament, the much-vaunted water trigger will be little more than a shabby act of political grandstanding," said Drew Hutton, President of Lock The Gate Alliance.Read more
A planned gas pipeline through the Scenic Rim to Ipswich and Swanbank appears to have been dealt a final blow, with the announcement today that New South Wales coal seam gas company Metgasco is indefinitely suspending its operations in the Northern Rivers region.
Lock the Gate - the alliance of communities against inappropriate mining - says the Metgasco decision is a huge vindication of the efforts of thousands of people across the region to protect their land, water and communities from the threat of coal seam gas.
"Over the past 2 years people from all walks of life have become engaged in the issue, working to stop gas in our regions and to prevent the pipeline from being built," said Cassie McMahon, Lock the Gate Community Outreach Co-Ordinator for South East Queensland.Read more
Today's announcement by coal seam gas company Metgacso that it was suspending its operations in northern New South Wales is a recognition that the Northern Rivers community would not give it a social licence.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said Metgasco was simply recognising that every time it attempted to set up new infrastructure it would be blockaded.
"A simple example of this opposition is that a de facto blockade of Metgasco's drill site at Doubtful Creek, near Kyogle, by to 80 locals has been in existence for the last month, to such an extent that they cannot even get the rig out now that the drilling has finished," Mr Hutton said.
"Metgasco will be the first of the dominos. Many communities have spoken, they don't want coal seam gas and they will oppose it using non-violent action.Read more
Northern Rivers communities are celebrating the news today that Metgasco have indefinitely suspended all their coal seam gas operations in the Northern Rivers. The Lock the Gate Alliance says that this is a huge vindication of the efforts of thousands of people across the region to protect their land, water and communities from the threat of CSG.
“Whilst the company may blame regulatory uncertainty for their decision, the fact is that their operations have faced massive opposition from communities across the region,” said Boudicca Cerese, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Northern Rivers.
“In the past two years we have seen the growth of an unprecedented social movement made up of people from across the political spectrum who are totally opposed to the industrialisation of our beautiful region for coal seam gas mining.”
“We have seen all sorts of innovative and creative actions from community members ranging from the development of the grass roots gas field free community surveys to the formation of community action groups like the wonderful Knitting Nannas Against Gas.”Read more