"Two days ago Arrow Energy appeared to be listening to community concerns and pulled their recently installed drill rig out of Nindooinbah Estate Road, Kerry in the Scenic Rim area of Queensland. Community campaigners had been asking for a water study to be completed before any drilling commenced," Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance said.
"Yesterday afternoon Arrow Energy moved the drill rig back into location. This morning workers from Arrow Energy turned up and then left the site. Campaigners were then surprised to see them return escorted by the Queensland police," Green said.
Local resident Sally Undery said, "Arrow had indicated that they would consider taking part in a community research and testing program and a meeting to start planning was scheduled for January 31. I for one am extremely disappointed that they don't appear to be taking any of it seriously and have started drilling before a plan can even be made."Read more
Arrow Energy had moved in drill rigs and were preparing to commence drilling at one of four proposed holes in the Scenic Rim. The residents of the Scenic Rim have been long opposed to Coal Seam Gas Mining in the area, which is home to eight national parks, many of which fully or partly fall into the Central Eastern Reserves Rainforest Australian World Heritage Area.
"The local community had geared up and was ready to commence blockading the site, when reports came in that the drill rig was moved out this morning, workers appear to be packing up the rest of the site," said Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance said.Read more
The recent announcement by the NSW Government that they are reviewing the legislation that gives coal seam gas companies a 5 year royalty free period and sees them not paying the full royalty payments until the tenth year of production is cautiously welcomed by Lock the Gate Alliance as a step in the right direction, but long overdue.
Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance says, "The royalty free holiday has always been one of many concerns we have had about the legislation and regulation around this industry. We are pleased that the NSW Government is starting to take our concerns seriously".
"We assume that this means that the NSW Government has finally noticed inconsistencies between the claimed economic benefit by the coal seam gas industry and reality."Read more
Lock the Gate Alliance says that today's revelations today that Martin Ferguson has been pushed by the energy industry to increase surveillance of environmental activists, is more evidence that the fossil fuel sector is really running Australia.
"Once again the federal government has demonstrated it exists for the convenience of the fossil fuel sectors. It is prepared to criminalise those constituents standing up for clean air, clean food and clean water because the almighty dollar is deemed more important than the health of well-being of Australian communities," said Jacinta Green, Vice President of Lock the Gate Alliance.Read more
Tough restrictions on wind farms announced by the New South Wales government should also apply to coal seam gas and coal.
The restrictions announced by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard give a veto to anyone living within a 2 kilometre radius of a proposed wind farm.
Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton said it was illogical to apply these restrictions to wind farms when the environmental and health impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction were, potentially, so much greater.Read more