As the gas leaks and bubbles, and the contaminants creep into the falling water sources and the salt accumulates, as people itch at strange rashes, hold their heads with strange aches, or their stomachs with strange nausea attacks, and worry if they are drinking cancer-causing chemicals from the fracturing process or breathing them in from the gas flares — the coal seam gas (CSG) industry continues to advance across Australia. Gasland is here. This is Angus Bretherick, 6, with the rash his family say was caused by their local coal seam gas industry. Angus lives at Tara, hotspot of the Queensland methane push, and where residents had been complaining since 2008 about leaking gas wells and the dumping of CSG water on roads. (Photo: Courier-Mail 21.10.2010)
The Gasland film showed impacts of the coal seam gas and shale gas industry in the U.S. It put ‘fracking’ into all our vocabularies.
We have CSG rapidly spreading now; they are investigating shale gas, which always needs fracking, in three states. They want it all, in whatever strata the methane is hiding – for export, and ‘they’ are mainly foreign companies.
40,000 wells like these at a Chinchilla (Queensland) gas field have been approved in that state; the net of wells and linking roads and pipelines over the Darling Downs is more dense and more extensive now, a year later.
They can do this on your property; can you then imagine, as they claim, that CSG and farming can co-exist?
In New South Wales, nearly half the state is under petroleum exploration licences, which is what covers coal seam gas. They are test drilling in inner Sydney, in Sydney’s water catchment and all over the Hunter, Gunnedah and Northern Rivers regions, to name a few.
Northern New South Wales communities are the latest to erupt into protest, with 3000 at a rally in Murwillumbah recently. How the CSG industry ever thought they could get away with this ill-informed and heedless destruction in such an environmentally-aware (Nimbin, Byron!) region, I can’t imagine!
You cannot stop this gas rush once you have let them in to test and prove the gas reserves. But you can refuse right at the start, lock the gate, put up a sign and say ‘NO’ as thousands are now doing, one way or another, with the Lock the Gate national alliance of over 90 groups, and hundreds of individuals, from all walks of life. I am one.
One Northern Rivers local, Mookx Hanley, has written a song to show why and how the march of the methane-mongers needs to be stopped: ‘Lock the Gate, mate!’
Lock the Gate are ‘concerned with the devastating impact that certain inadequately assessed and inadequately-regulated fossil fuel extraction industries are having on our short and long term physical, social, environmental and economic wellbeing. We are particularly concerned with the damage caused by the coal and coal seam gas (CSG) mining industries.’
‘We believe that neither we, nor our governments (at all levels), are sufficiently well informed about these industries, about their true role in our economy and their impact on our health and welfare as a nation and within the diverse communities that constitute our nation.
‘We are concerned that the short-term greed associated with these industries (including that of governments through royalties and other returns) is compromising the welfare of future generations of Australians and our future ability to thrive in a new world driven by renewable energy sources.
‘We believe that the interaction of these industries with our governments and the extreme imbalance between the way their rights are measured against the rights of others in the community is indicative of a system that is no longer working for all Australians and that has lost a moral and ethical compass.’
The Lock the Gate website is a wealth of information and is now a permanent link from my site.