Stephanie Dale

Stephanie Dale

Citizen Journalist at No Fibs
Stephanie Dale is a journalist and author with a background of 25 years in media, politics and publishing. Stephanie believes we need to find new ways of sharing our Earth, and making way for all its people, not just those privileged by the current economic system, and all its creatures - on their own terms.
Stephanie Dale
I have two published books available - the novel Hymn for the Wounded Man and the travel memoir My Pilgrim's Heart, which was reviewed recently by the Huffington Post.
Coal seam gas wells near Tara, in Queensland

Coal seam gas wells near Tara, in Queensland (Photo courtesy Moira McDade)

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 country.

Now if a CSG company moves in and draws down millions of litres of water from the aquifer for their operations, and your bore levels drop dramatically, is this not data? If a neighbour’s leaking bore can have an impact on your bore levels, then why is not possible to ‘prove’ the draw down from a CSG company is having an impact?

Why is it that that a bore down to the aquifer that has watered stock and humans for decades, that only becomes contaminated and undrinkable for stock and humans when a CSG company moves in and their drilling punches through the aquifer releasing methane from the coal seam, not considered data?.

There is documented proof of previously used water bores that can be set alight only since the CSG companies moved in – why is this not data?

Why is it when previously healthy families complain of being sick and blood tests are showing up heavy metals and other toxins in their children’s blood, a CSG Compressor less than 2km from their home is said to be having ‘no impact’?

A National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) report on just one of these 200 or so compressors lists a release of 680,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides, 44,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide, 39,000 tonnes of formaldehyde and 90,000 tonnes of Volatile Organic Chemicals. These chemicals were not being released into the air prior to the CSG industry moving in so how can it be said there is ”no data’ and ‘no impact?

I am not a scientist – my observations and beliefs about the impact of CSG are based on common sense and experience.

I reject the ‘no data therefore no problem’ argument propagated by government and the CSG industry.

Is there really ‘no data’ – or just a refusal of government and industry to accept available evidence?