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No point burying heads in sand over Linc UCG environmental contamination

Lock the Gate Alliance urges the Queensland Palaszczuk Government to reject the Arrow Energy coal seam gasfield expansion planned for above the Linc Energy environmental contamination site on Queensland’s Western Downs.

Arrow Energy has plans to drill 286 new gas wells within a 10km radius of the contamination site, which was previously identified by the Queensland Government as a “no go zone” for CSG due to contamination risk created by the now-abandoned Linc Energy underground coal gasification project.

Media reported this morning that the court case against Linc’s executives had been dropped.

However, the company has already been found guilty and fined $4.5 million for the contamination. The case against the directors was a novel prosecution necessitated by Linc Energy going into liquidation and leaving taxpayers with the rehabilitation bill.

recent Queensland Government report found the risk of contamination spreading if Arrow is permitted to drill near the site remains. A decision on the gasfield was subsequently delayed by several months, and is yet to be made.

“The dropping of the case against Linc Energy directors raises questions about chain of responsibility laws in Queensland, and whether they are strong enough to ensure taxpayers are not left picking up the bill for companies that walk away from environmental damage,” said Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith.

“One thing is for sure, we cannot afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend this environmental contamination didn’t happen, and Arrow Energy should not be allowed to drill for CSG near the site and potentially spread this contamination further.

“Not only was Linc found guilty of committing environmental damage, but the Queensland taxpayer was left with the $31M cleanup bill.

“It is a travesty the Queensland public has been forced to pay to remediate contamination caused by a private company. 

“Stronger laws are clearly needed to ensure those who were responsible for disasters like this are able to be held accountable.”

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