Gas goes down
The NSW Labor Governments Christmas present to rural NSW would do disgraced former Minister MacDonald proud. The fossil fuel industry leads this Government by the nose. In this years final sitting days, suddenly, with no community consultation, debate or investigation, a Bill is introduced to give the gas mining industry carte blanche access over, through and under prime farming lands which will make even Queensland’s draconian laws look weak.
The Government’s Bill views the Plains as ‘sparsely settled, non urban land’, and solely as a sequestration sink and coal mining source. Landholders rights and privileges are effectively abolished in the name of development. The inevitable mixing of underground stored carbon dioxide with ground water will ultimately ensure the effective demise of farming and grazing.
Welcome to the 21st century, and Merry Christmas.
Geosequestration review here. DPI summary here.
Tonight they packed out the Gunnedah town hall to experience the academy nominated documentary ‘Gasland‘. With local, state and federal politicians in attendance, film maker Josh Fox presented his expose of the desolation wrought by Coal Seam Gas mining on US heartland, which was both poignant and highly relevant to our local area.
Analogous to Big Tobacco, the film highlighted the duplicitous actions of mining companies when faced with evidence of animal deaths and human health degradation by exposure to toxic ground waters linked to cocktails of carcinogenic chemicals pumped into coal seams to release trapped gas. The film highlighted too, legal exemptions granted these companies for this resource exploitation. We are rightly scared that all this will be repeated locally.
And it has. First evidence is emerging in Queensland of contaminated farm water as the gas industry attempts to … Read More »
In its first reporting tranche, the Namoi Water Study nominated service provider, Schlumberger Water Services , today held local public meetings. Its essential brief: to develop water models anticipating the impact of gas and coal extraction. The technically impressive analysis requires entering all available information into a database to create a mathematical model and GIS (Geographic Information System), with the ultimate goal of delivering analysis of surface and subsurface waters and geological features.
The ambitious timeline drawn by MOC chair Mal Peters for a March 2012 completion, belied the enormous task, the inevitable data gaps, ambiguous and conflicting historical data from previous analyzes, the tight funding, as well as political input and pressures from commercial interest groups.
It’s a big job. CCAG wish them well.
The X File
A railway crossing sign quietly appearing on a local road with no rail lines anywhere near, could be a portent of future mining activity, or just a prank. Whilst Government and mining companies may deny knowledge, locals can contemplate a future with a busy rail link through the heart of prime farming country. And just like a crop circle, it too may disappear, for now.
Press Pause NOW
The call by NSW Farmers for a moratorium on new mining and exploration is fully endorsed by CCAG.
NSW Government has failed to show any diligence on investigating the Liverpool Plains and its resources before rushing in and awarding mining and gas exploration contracts. The scientific Water Study, long sought for by CCAG, is just basic common sense for an area as diverse as this, and must precede any irreversible resource extraction. The intervention by Murray Darling Basin Commission to further limit water extraction and usage adds another layer of complexion over the Plains.
CCAG supports the call to pause the process, and to rewrite the antiquated mining legislation to ensure we have the ability to sustain our Agricultural future for all time. Current legislation does not allow this to happen.
We call on all parties to support this vital step.
So what do they know? Local farmers and indigenous groups are reporting an exodus of koalas from the Caroona State forest and ridge lines, heading into the plains. Coincidentally mining exploration, test drilling and blasting are also occurring in the forest.
There must be plenty of alternative homes, somewhere…
Gas Heats Up
The gas wars are coming. Various groups including CCAG have coalesced to ignite a fire under Government. With fracking, the controversial coal seam gas extraction process which releases multiple nasty chemicals deep into coal seams to fracture and release the gas and water, now coming under increasing scrutiny, the public gaze is being directed downwards.
Whilst Sydney siders are waking to find their water supply dam being undermined and potentially polluted, the Liverpool Plains is being assaulted with contaminated acquirers, inappropriate pipelines and unwanted polluted surface water discharges. The MDB may get more river water flows, but it may also become just a gas mining industry drain.
New film released. More gas news updates and links here.
Utter Madness video – showing the effects of gas and coal extraction on the Liverpool Plains.
Also available on YouTube – here.
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Ticking the boxes – another view
The CCAG met with the BHPB to discuss the issues and concerns expressed by the community affecting its future fate. Thankfully the exchanges have become more cordial in the five years that have elapsed since that fateful day in April 2006.Still many issues remain on the “to do” list or the “taken on notice” but the first glimmer of engagement has been sighted.
Somehow we have morphed into the mine planning stage without the bat of and eye- thankfully, BHPB have agreed to wait for the outcomes of the Namoi Water Study; unlike the works of the other prospectors in the region.
The Hydrogeology 101 presentation had all been seen before and failed to address many of the concerns of the landholders- once again these concerns were taken on notice:- we eagerly … Read More »
Tick the box
Four years on and today the CCAG community met BHPB and its associates where it all began, at Caroona Hall. Summonsed to hear progress reports on our concerns, we left with unanswered questions – no progress – and no road forward. We reworked the same ground. Four years on and we are still work-shopping the same issues. The promise : another four years and then a mine development application.
The process has become mine planning, not exploration. From oversimplified maps masking ground water, to inappropriately placed dust monitors, to ‘minimize’ agricultural water impacts in lieu of ‘no impacts’, to the promise of 3 mines entrances in Doona forest, but with no underground linkages, and 80 access agreements across 65 farms in the EL… what!!? – the bureaucratic process spins round and round. And you want a social license to mine? … Read More »