Same state, different rules: Penny Blatchford @NoCSGGurley asks why some people in NSW get special treatment?

By Penny Blatchford Most Australians enjoy the freedom to make choices about their lives – whom we marry, if we will have children, where we live and where we work. It would seem for people like me who choose to marry a farmer, have a family, live on the farm and make that farm our primary business, our freedom to continue to choose our life is being taken away. Governments across Australia, without any sense of balance or democracy, are choosing to turn our countryside , including our wilderness and our farms into a nationwide industrial gasfield. On 3 October 2013, the NSW government continued to make choices on our behalf […]

Black Rain: Waiting for results in Tara – Rob Rimmer reports

By Rob Rimmer On August 2, 2013 Western Downs resident Steve Ansford made a complaint to Origin Energy’s local office at Chinchilla regarding mysterious environmental and health impacts occurring on his property at Upper Humbug Road, near Tara in Queensland. For the second day running, southerly winds appeared to have brought an overnight shower: drops of a sticky black substance ‘with a chemical-type odour’ lay across the Ansfords’ land, house and roof — the harvesting-point for the family of four’s domestic water supply. Meanwhile, blobs deposited on the first day had begun bleaching the duco of his car. In addition to the mysterious ‘black rain’ and strange, offensive odours, the […]

Queensland knows what QGC are not, so what the fraccing hell are they? Story seeking CJ @stephaniedale22

Commercial television networks in south-east Queensland have been screening a series of advertisements from 2011 through to last weekend, for a company announcing: 1. the creation of employment in the region (despite not being an employment agency), 2. a boost to the economy (despite not being the Treasury), 3. and the injection of millions of dollars into community causes (despite not being a charity). The company behind the commercials is QGC. Amongst the onscreen text at the tail-end of the ad, and nowhere to be found on the QGC home page, is the correct term for QGC’s main form of business: coal seam gas or ‘CSG’. After clicking on the […]

Six years in a dust storm: life near a coal mine Aileen Harrison reports

By Aileen Harrison* In April 1998 we moved into our dream home at Highland Plains, near Acland, Queensland, starting a tourist attraction with bus loads of tourists arriving to see our alpacas, as well as our craft and memorabilia display. Alas for us, the Acland open cut coal mine started up in August 2002. We were told at the start there would no dust, noise, lights or any other disruptions to our everyday life. For the first two years, life next to the mine was not pleasant but it was liveable. Then Stage 2 started. We were located about 1.5 kilometres away from the actual mining, yet the lights were […]

Treated CSG water to be pumped into town water supply – story seeking CJ @stephaniedale22

Treated coal seam gas water will be pumped into Chinchilla‘s drinking supply, under a new scheme announced by Western Downs Regional Council. QGC (formerly Queensland Gas Company) has announced it will begin pumping 80 megalitres of treated water a day to the Chinchilla weir, for use in agriculture and for domestic purposes. Western Downs mayor, Ray Brown, said the water was safe to drink and while it would not ‘drought-proof’ Chinchilla, it would ensure water security. No Fibs is calling for citizen journalists who would like to follow up this story – interested? Contact us. Below are links to further information about this story Western Downs Regional Council media release […]

Groundwater: out of sight, not out of mind: @molessarah reports

By Sarah Moles Very wise people have said some crucially important things about water. For me, Leonardo Da Vinci summed it up best with: “Water is the driving force of all nature”.  W.H. Auden comes a close second: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”   Given its essential place in supporting life, it ought to follow that protection of water quality, water sources – indeed the entire water cycle – would be an over-arching principle underpinning responsible and sustainable water management. But it’s not. Somehow, here on the driest inhabited continent, policy apparently trumps principle. It is a policy objective of several of our governments that there will […]

Conflicts of interest, Tara data and baseline studies: Katherine Marchment reports

[clear] By Katherine Marchment CSG is suspected to have negative impacts on the environment (water, air and soil), as well as economically and on human and animal health. The information that can be accessed about this is too abundant for one article. Therefore, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate only on the health impacts on residents of the Tara Estates in Queensland, which a report by Queensland Health states are unrelated to the gas fields around them. Below is a table of some gasses that have been shown by the Australian Government National Pollutant Inventory to have been emitted from compressor stations around Tara. Known health effects of […]

Emerging democracy and the No Fibs Vision: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale No Fibs – we’re a citizen journalism experiment emboldened by the success of our coverage in the 2013 federal election campaign. And we’re turning our attentions to the robust CSG movement that has emerged along Australia’s east coast. It’s true. We’re upstarts, punching above our weight. During the recent election we had around 25 citizen journalists – CJs – covering their local electorates around the nation. We were the first media to understand that the Voice for Indi campaign, an organised, strategised community-driven bid to unseat the sitting Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, was on the verge of success. Being community-driven ourselves, we recognised our own. Numerous No […]

The definition of ‘data’ – Katherine Marchment reports

By Katherine Marchment I am finding it hard to understand the argument that there is ‘no data’ available for the impacts of CSG in regions around Australia. Farmers who have bores have always constantly checked them. In Central Queensland, this task is usually carried out on a regular basis by jackeroos. This is done to ensure the drinking water supply for stock and humans, and also to calculate available water for irrigation. Bore levels vary and the amount of water available varies according to seasons, use by neighbours who have bores sunk into the same aquifer and leaks or pipe blockages. This has been done since bores have existed in this […]

Wandoan – thriving or dying? Either way, a new name is in town @AnnieKia reports

By @AnnieKia It took a while for me to realise what ‘unconventional gas’ meant. When I heard Metgasco wanted to extract gas at Casino, I thought it would be a couple of gas wells. Then I saw saw the Gaslands documentary – and the aerial photo of the Tara gasfield in southern Queensland. Unconventional gas mining involves getting gas from hard-to-get places, such as coal seams, shale or tight sands strata. It can only be achieved using technologies best described as invasive, both above and below ground. My ‘dawning’ process was accompanied by dread. As a citizen, I knew I had a responsibility to make an effort to understand these new technologies. I […]