Health crisis deepens on Western Downs

Published: July 05, 2012

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.

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Newman government must act on Western Downs health crisis

Published: July 04, 2012

Residents on the western Darling Downs last night were lodging bitter complaints with the Queensland Environment Department after a temperature inversion on the Downs brought gas from local coal seam gas operations into their community, making people ill.

Residents of the Tara residential estate are complaining this morning of having spent the night with severe headaches and nausea and are directing their concern at the nearby Kate coal seam gas field.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said residents in the area were attempting to work cooperatively with government to address the health issues associated with living in the middle of a gas field but were becoming increasingly desperate as they watch members of their families experiencing chronic health problems such as nose and ear bleeds, headaches, nausea and sleeplessness.  

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Lock the Gate calls on O’Farrell government to rule out Anderson as Land and Water Commissioner

Published: July 03, 2012

Lock the Gate President Drew Hutton has called on the NSW Government to rule out former federal Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson from filling the recently announced NSW Land and Water Commissioner role.

Rumours have been circulating over the last few days that the O'Farrell Government has been considering the former Chairman of Eastern Star Gas who controlled exploration licences in the Gunnedah area and Pilliga Forest before selling to Santos in late 2011.

"According to NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner the commissioner is supposed to oversee the regulation of invasive exploration activity on Strategic Regional Land," Mr Hutton said. 

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Public health emergency on the Western Darling Downs

Published: July 03, 2012

A major health emergency has developed on Queensland's western Darling Downs with residents in the Tara-Chinchilla area forming a Gasfield Community Support Group to lobby the State Government for more concerted action to address the problems being created for them by having to live surrounded by coal seam gas infrastructure.

Over the last few months residents of the area have complained about health issues like nose and ear bleeding, skin rashes, dizziness and nausea, fatigue and sleeplessness, and they are linking these symptoms with gas smells and coming into contact with bore water that is contaminated with methane and other gases.

Methane has been bubbling up in a 15 kilometre stretch of the Condamine River for many weeks now and local residents and Lock the Gate believe this is linked with the intense coal seam gas developments in the area.

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Too little, too late – Coal Seam Gas activities in NSW should cease until comprehensive, inclusive policies are in place

Published: June 23, 2012

Statements today by Andrew Stoner make it obvious that current regulations of the coal seam gas industry are severely lacking, and that given the damage that is being done to communities, to family to our land, our water and our ecosystems, the NSW Government should halt all coal seam gas activities until the new policies are developed in conjunction with concerned residents of NSW.

Lock the Gate Vice President, Jacinta Green said, “It is concerning that these announcements are specifically for exploration on strategic regional land.”

“Our water catchments, our areas of natural beauty, our urban communities and our lifestyle regions all deserve protection and from production as well as exploration.”

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Content on this site is authorised by Georgina Woods for Lock the Gate Alliance, Lismore NSW.