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Sinking feeling: Arrow measures water above sinking farmland to claim its drilling leaves no subsidence

Shell and PetroChina-owned coal seam gas company Arrow Energy is once again under fire on Queensland’s Western Downs, after the company admitted it was not accurately measuring how its mining had caused farmland to sink.

In an email to Dalby farmer Zena Ronnfeldt, Arrow Energy admitted its aerial laser surveys (LiDAR) of CSG induced subsidence “will likely not provide accurate surface elevation where there are pools of water”.

Mrs Ronnfeldt said Arrow’s response was shocking, given water now pooled and stagnated on areas of farmland that had sunk due to the company’s CSG activities (See attached photo).

“This once again shows how CSG laws in Queensland are completely inadequate - The Palaszczuk Government effectively gives Arrow the ability to self-assess whether its drilling is wrecking farmland.

“Arrow’s inaccurate monitoring and subsequent response is yet more evidence proving it doesn’t give a damn about how its gas mining is wrecking Queensland farmland, and the Palaszczuk Government turns a blind eye.

“Our farm is on the Condamine River floodplains in the Murray Darling system.  Any subsidence from coal seam gas mining has the potential to significantly change overland water and flood water and disrupt farming systems of others further downstream.”

Lock the Gate Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said the situation would likely worsen, with 22,000 coal seam gas wells still expected to be drilled across southern Queensland, in addition to the many thousands that already existed.

“As a recent University of Queensland report showed, coal seam gas is having an irreparable impact on farms across Southern Queensland, and future generations will be faced with a potentially insurmountable cleanup task,” she said.

“It seems every week we learn the coal seam gas companies operating on the Downs are behind another scandal.

“It’s time the Palaszczuk Government put an end to the failed CSG experiment. It’s time for a moratorium on any new gasfield approvals, and a thorough, independent inquiry into those that exist.”


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