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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
The Lock The Gate Alliance has taken aim at the forthcoming Murray Darling Basin Plan stating only the mining industry, including coal seam gas projects, will benefit from the proposed Sustainable Diversion Limits.
The Australian Government has committed over $10 billion of taxpayer funds to buy water for the Murray Darling Basin. The proposed Basin Plan will buy more than 1900 GL over the next 7 years to help return the Basin's rivers, floodplains and wetlands to health.
The best available science indicates that 4000GL are needed to give the Basin a reasonable chance of recovering from decades of over-allocation and drought.
But Lock the Gate Alliance President Drew Hutton says the Murray Darling Basin Authority's current thinking is to allow for more than 2400 GL / annum of additional groundwater extraction.Read more