Save the Pilliga!
As Rosemary Nankivell, CCAG’s gas spokesperson says, Coal Seam Gas is in the news everywhere these days. With Arrow Energy having another well blowout, on the Darling Downs, calls for shutdowns and moratoriums are being heard clearly down in political circles.
While CCAG welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement of a 60 day freeze on new exploration licenses for coal and gas, it’s only a start. It comes as news of the NFF fighting fund financial backing of a Queensland farmer challenge to Gas Company and State Government mining approvals. This NFF backing was critical too in CCAG’s recent successful challenge to NSW unfair mining exploration laws.
Locally the Pilliga is threatened by a reportedly planned 550 gas wells, and networked pipelines across the black soil Liverpool Plains. And as the cartoon shows, Santos cannot accurately find the Scrub for the trees.
With a new Government in Macquarie Street, the new NSW Resources Minister Chris Hartcher was coy today, when the media reiterated CCAGs questions as to the extension of the expired BHP exploration lease covering Caroona Exploration Area. Trusting the mining companies to ‘do the right thing’, for example, not to mine under aquifers, or not to route gas pipe lines through black soil plains etc etc is not something that is apparent to Liverpool Plains landholders.
As CCAG chairman Sandy Bloomfield said today, this mining lease renewal is a great opportunity to revisit mining exploration conditions, to formalize mining companies promises and to implement real environmental safeguards.