National news about fracking


from the Australian news stream

The Weekly Times – 15 October 2014:
Website to expose properties earmarked for coal seam gas exploration
Article by Cimara Doutré

» Sydney Morning Herald – 13 October 2014:
Coal seam gas concerns ‘valid’, says EPA chief

» The Conversation – 8 October 2014:
Chief Scientist CSG report leaves health concerns unanswered

» Soundcloud:
Energy Minister Russell Northe on ABC 774 radio, promoting the new mapping online tool, and a small insight into Liberals position.

» The new online mapping tool from government. You can enter your location and see what licences are over your area.

» Northern Star – 27 September 2014:
John Jenkyn welcomed CSG, now he wishes he’d locked the gate
When a few coal seam gas wells began springing up around John Jenkyn’s property, he welcomed what he believed was a progressive and necessary industry. Now, four years and hundreds of wells later, the 47-year-old and his family of four, from Wieambilla, Queensland, say they are physically, mentally and financially shattered.


The Courier-Mail – 23 August 2014:
Tara residents want out as coal seam gas mining takes hold
“One out, all out!” is the chant coming out of the poor community and coal seam gas hub of Tara, population 3000. Several families want the same treatment given to six families who were the ringleaders in a five-year fight against CSG. Those six were bought out by QGC, legally gagged from discussing the issue and moved on. Article by John McCarthy

“In Australia, fugitive emissions from coal mining, oil and gas production account for about 8 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions…”
Damian Barrett and Stuart Day in The Conversation

» The Conversation / Climate Spectator – 1 August 2014:
Coal seam gas emissions lower than US: first Australian study
One of the most common questions Australians ask about coal seam gas is whether the gas wells leak – and if so, how much? In the first Australian study of its kind, new CSIRO research now gives an indication of how much those “fugitive emissions” might be, and how we can start to reduce them.

The Spectator – 25 July 2014:
Energy giants’ donations boost Coalition and Labor
Australia’s major political parties have accepted almost $2.7 million in donations from companies associated with fracking and unconventional gas between 2010 and 2013. Article by Spectator’s Rex Martinich

The National Party Victoria accepted a $3,000 donation from Santos in 2010, while the Liberal Party Victoria Division accepted more than $98,600 from unconventional gas companies and their investors between July 2010 and June 2013.
In Victoria, the Australian Labor Party state branch topped the charts by accepting almost $112,000 during the same time frame from donors associated with unconventional gas.


The Standard – 8 July 2014:
Local communities express their opposition to fracking in south-west
More than 1100 people across western Victoria turned out for state government-held community consultation on fracking, with an overwhelming majority opposed to the industry. An approximate breakdown of public sentiment was 75 per cent opposed, 20 per cent undecided and 5 per cent not opposed, according to one of the independent facilitators, Mick Maguire. Nine communities have declared themselves coal and gasfield free, with another 20 communities in the process of making the same declaration. Article by Brittany Stewart


“Corowa mayor Fred Longmire has echoed concerns raised by the community regarding the impact of exploration activities on the shire’s valuable groundwater supply and the sustainability of key industries.

“The potential of groundwater and land contamination during the mining process is of major concern to the council and community
members. We cannot afford to take any risks with this,” he said.

The council is calling for a full assessment from the NSW government to determine the impact coal seam gas mining will have on the agriculture production and aquifers in the area.

“This is a big issue for us,” Cr Longmire said. “We need to ensure people have all the facts they require to make an
informed decision.” ”

The Bordermail – 26 July 2014:
Corowa coal seam gas mining on hold
Corowa Shire has reinforced its position on coal seam gas mining by placing a moratorium on exploration and seismic testing on all land under its care and control. Article by David Johnston

Sydney Morning Herald – 2 July 2014:
Coal seam gas water monitoring not good enough: chief scientist
Safeguards protecting water supplies from mining projects are inadequate and companies who conduct shonky monitoring should have their operations overhauled, the state’s top scientist says.

Moyne Shire Council takes lead in fight against gas mining

In a statewide council anti-fracking push, Moyne Shire Council is calling on all municipalities to oppose the exploration for and extraction of coal seam gas within the state.

“Moyne Shire Council hopes to lead a push to oppose the exploration and extraction of coal seam gas in Victoria. At the council’s March meeting in Mortlake Cr Ralph Leutton put forward a motion which seeks the support of councils across the state.

He called on Moyne to put forward a motion at the state council of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) calling on all municipalities to oppose the exploration for and extraction of coal seam gas within the state.

Cr Leutton received strong support from the other councillors present — Jim Doukas, Anthony Keane, Mick Wolfe and mayor James Purcell.

The state council of the MAV will be held on May 16 with all motions to be received a month in advance.”

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Excerpt from article by Anthony Brady in The Standard on 26 March 2014:

No fracking for Moyne
Council’s push to ban coal seam gas

» Continue reading here:

Coal seam gas a major drag on Australian economy

Up to $21 billion loss to the New South Wales economy due to a massive gas price hike lay firmly at the feet of multi-national gas companies pursuing coal seam gas for export as LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

A NSW specific breakdown of analysis in the Deloitte Access Economics report release, shows:

▪ a cumulative loss of  $32 billion over 2014-2021 in manufacturing, agriculture, construction and other industries;
▪ an associated increase of up to $11 billion in the gas and services industries;
▪ an overall hit of $21 billion to the NSW economy;
▪ 12,000-14,000 jobs losses in manufacturing nation-wide.

“The pursuit of coal seam gas for export is now being felt by our vital manufacturing industry and agriculture as it sends the price of gas skyrocketing.  Coal seam gas will be a major drag on the Australian economy,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

21 July 2014:
Pursuit of CSG for export leads to $21 billion hit to NSW economy
» Read more:

“The CSG industry have concentrated their efforts on three ideas: that an expansion of CSG will create a large number of jobs; that without a big increase in CSG extraction, gas prices will rise dramatically; and that an expansion of CSG will reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
But according to our new report – Fracking the Future, published today – those claims are often exaggerated, and are sometimes based on outright falsehoods.”
Richard Denniss

The Conversation – 18 March 2014:
Three myths the coal seam gas industry wants you to believe
Article by Richard Denniss 
Adjunct professor, Crawford School at Australian National University

Fracking the future: busting industry myths
Former Independent Member of Parliament Tony Windsor launched The Australia Institute’s new research paper on coal seam gas (CSG) at Parliament House in Canberra on 18 March 2014. The paper aims to bust many of the myths used by the gas industry to justify the expansion of CSG in Australia.

Listen to Tony Windsor speak to Fran Kelly from ABC Radio National about the paper.

Picture 6

Claim: We need more gas to keep down prices

Fact: Despite some in the gas industry claiming we’re facing a gas ‘crisis’, the truth is, there is plenty of conventional gas available for the domestic market. The industry wants to extract more gas so that it can export it. Once Australia’s eastern gas market is linked to the world market, via three large LNG facilities in Qld, the prices we pay will jump to match the world price. This is expected to double or triple the wholesale price of gas.

Claim: The natural gas industry was responsible for an estimated 100,000 Australian jobs last year (APPEA)

Fact: In August 2013 the entire gas and oil industry employed only 0.2% of Australian workers – less than hardware retailer Bunnings. The gas industry commissions its own economic modelling, and includes indirect jobs. For example, Santos has claimed that a CSG project in NSW that would employ 30 people would create 570 public sector jobs. They haven’t managed to explain how.

Claim: Coal seam gas is cleaner than coal

Fact: Gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels, but it is still a fossil fuel. ‘Unconventional gas’, like CSG, is extracted from many small reservoirs, making them more difficult to monitor, and providing many more sites for methane to leak from than conventional gas. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Claim: CSG is good for the economy

Fact: CSG doesn’t stack up economically either. A skills shortage caused by gas construction will poach workers from other industries; the mining and construction boom is keeping interest rates high, and the high exchange rate is hurting industries which are exposed to international competition such as tourism and manufacturing.

» You can download your copy of Fracking the Future here , read more here – or download a two-page “fact sheet” here

E-mail from GetUp on 9 March 2014:

“It’s happened. After years of insisting coal seam gas mining poses no threat to our water supply, a Santos CSG project has poisoned an aquifer in north-western New South Wales.(1)

This is the first time an aquifer has been proven to be contaminated by coal seam gas mining in Australia.

Now, it’s filled with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels, and has elevated levels of arsenic, lead, aluminium, nickel, barium and boron. And the penalty handed down to Santos? A paltry $1500 fine. Unbelievably, two days after the fine was issued, the NSW State Government signed an agreement with Santos to fast-track their coal seam gas development in the Pilliga Forest.

It’s clear. Our governments won’t stand up against dangerous projects that threaten our land, our water and our communities. Looks like it’s up to the rest of us.

Click here to sign the petition to demand Santos CEO David Knox stop the CSG developments in our beautiful Pilliga Forest immediately:

Are you a Santos shareholder? If so, there’s an amazing opportunity for you to be directly involved in Santos’ AGM. Already, 50 shareholders have put their name to a resolution calling on Santos to halt its huge CSG project in north-western NSW. But the resolution can only be put to a vote if 50 more shareholders sign on in the next few days. Click here for more details.

The AGM is being held in May, and is the perfect opportunity to voice our opposition to these dangerous projects. When shareholders meet to discuss the direction of the company, let’s make sure they know exactly how Australians feel about the CSG developments ruining our water supply and the Pilliga Forest.

Santos executives and shareholders alike need to know that Australia simply won’t stand for anyone gambling with our precious natural resources for short term profits.

If we can build a huge petition, you can be sure we’ll be in the minds of Santos’ shareholders when they make decisions about the company’s future.

Sign the petition that will be delivered at Santos’ AGM, and ask that our water supplies are protected from coal seam gas

This isn’t the only time Santos’ CSG projects have damaged the Pilliga. Earlier this year, 10,000 litres of untreated toxic CSG waste was spilled into the forest. Worse still, Santos failed to report the incident to authorities.(2) Alongside uranium, chemicals pumped deep into the ground for CSG mining include methanol, used for explosives; naphthalene, used in napalm; and hydrochloric acid, used to strip metals.

The stakes are simply too high to have these projects anywhere near our precious groundwater.

Add your name to the petition demanding Santos CEO David Knox withdraw all CSG projects from the Pilliga Forest.

This news proves what what we’ve known all along — the risks CSG pose to our water supply are just too great. Let’s demand better from our governments and our energy companies.

Thanks for everything,

the GetUp team.

PS. If you own more than $500 in Santos shares, there’s an incredible opportunity to help protect New South Wales’ water supply from dangerous coal seam gas projects. Click here to find out more and get involved:
. . . . . .

[1] Santos coal seam gas project contaminates aquifer. Sydney Morning Herald. March 8, 2014
[2] Govt urged to act after Santos CSG fine. Nine News National. March 8, 2014”

Medical Journal of Australia – March 2014:
Harms unknown: health uncertainties cast doubt on the role of unconventional gas in Australia’s energy future
By Alicia Coram, Jeremy Moss and Grant Blashki

Business Insider – 3 March 2014:
Australian Doctors Have Raised A Health Red Flag Over Coal Seam Gas Developments
Uncertainties about the health implications of unconventional gas production should be a factor in putting the brakes on the industry in Australia, say researchers in the Medical Journal of Australia.

ABC Radio – 20 February 2014:
Coal seam gas a ‘human rights’ issue
A Wyoming rancher turned anti-‘fracking’ activist says that Australia needs to reconsider its use of coal seam gas. John Fenton argues that the gas is unsafe and the process of drilling for it damages rural communities and the environment.

Geelong Advertiser – 10 January 2014:
Activists say Santos fine “pathetic”
GAS company Santos will take less than 10 minutes to earn the money to pay a “pathetic” fine handed down for failing to report a spill of 10,000 litres of toxic waste water, environmentalists say.

Water Corp wants fracking ban

WA-water-corp-ban“WA’s monopoly water provider has called for the gas drilling technique known as fracking to be banned in areas where it affects drinking water sources, saying contamination risks are unacceptable.
(…) Water Corporation said the chemicals used in fracking and the risks of mistakes meant it should be “excluded” from areas that contained drinking water sources. It was particularly worried about the risks to groundwater sources in regional areas where there were no potable water alternatives – except expensive and impractical options.
The corporation said such areas represented less than one per cent of WA’s landmass and they should be quarantined from fracking and have a 1.5km buffer to further reduce the risk.
“Water Corporation does not endorse any decision to increase public health risks in drinking water source areas as it runs counter with the fundamental principles of drinking water management,” it said.
“Such a decision will come at a huge social, financial and ecological cost to the community.” ”

The West Australian – 18 December 2013:
Water Corp wants fracking ban
Article by Daniel Mercer

Peter Reith wrote on on 29 October 2013 under the headline ‘Fracking scare campaigns threaten our prosperity’:

“The scare campaigns surrounding fracking have been allowed to run for far too long and will have adverse repercussions for living standards and jobs. I hope that the Victorian Government will make a positive decision on the future of the gas industry sometime before Christmas; the only barrier is politics. In my opinion, in order to secure existing jobs and to provide the prospect of more jobs, both Victoria and New South Wales cannot afford to delay. Victorians have a choice; they can close their eyes to the future or they can follow in the steps of great Victorians like John Monash and Henry Bolte and strive for the investments and jobs that could be the destiny of our state.”

» Continue reading: – 29 October 2013

Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
Armour achieve shale gas first
Armour Energy has become the first Australian company to flow gas from shale using the fracking technique that has revolutionised US energy markets.

Geelong Advertiser – 1 November 2013:
Growing opposition to CSG in Victoria
Ex-Howard government minister Peter Reith says Victoria must consider developing a CSG industry. The Labor Party, environment groups and the Greens say there must be a proper public consultation process before coal seam gas (CSG) extraction is introduced in Victoria.

Government report: Lift ban on Vic gas fracking

“Taskforce chair Peter Reith says it is sensible for the government and other eastern states to promote production of additional gas supply to help keep prices down. The report recommends the government introduce legislation and licence conditions to allay environmental concerns. The opposition and Greens have described Mr Reith’s inquiry as a sham as it did not consult widely enough and its eight members were all representatives of energy and industry groups.” (…)
“Victorian Greens environment spokesman Greg Barber said the report was a propaganda exercise, with the proposed gas commissioner the salesperson and the consultation process a roadshow. He said the government should be looking at energy alternatives.”

Geelong Advertiser – 21 November 2013:
Lift ban on Vic gas fracking, report says
The Victorian government should lift its moratorium on coal seam gas, appoint a gas commissioner and offer incentives to businesses to develop the industry, a report on the state’s gas market says. Article by Charisse Ede

Chemicals used in fracking may be a mystery even to drilling companies

One of the big criticisms of fracking is that there is no transparency by the drilling companies as to what kinds of chemicals they are pumping into the earth’s surface in order to release the flow of natural gas. Documents from a new lawsuit against Texas-based Range Resources suggests that the companies themselves may not even know what those potentially harmful chemicals may be.

The documents are part of an appeal that a resident of Washington County, Pa., has made to the state’s Environmental Hearing Board. Here’s what went down in the lawsuit. The plaintiff in the case alleges that a Range wastewater impoundment, which holds water left over from hydraulic fracturing operations, contaminated well water…

» Continue reading: – 30 September 2013

Tony Abbott meets anti-CSG activist

Tony Abbott met with anti-CSG activist Debbie Orr in Queensland. During their conversation, Mrs Orr said, Tony Abbott made three promises:

First, the Prime Minister would see to it that more environmental health testing was carried out in Tara to ascertain whether there were links between the coal seam gas wells and the sickness being reported by Mrs Orr and her neighbours.

So far, Queensland Health has studied Tara and found no proven link between gas drilling and health problems in the district.

But Mrs Orr believes the air, soil and water testing – much of it done by the CSG company QGC – has been inadequate. QGC has been contacted for comment.

Second, Mrs Orr said the Prime Minister assured her “it won’t happen again” that a gas well is built so close to residential areas.

She said Mr Abbott told her CSG mining “should never be allowed in residential areas”.

Third, Mrs Orr said Mr Abbott told her “nobody should be forced to have a gas well on their property”.

Whether Mr Abbott agrees with Mrs Orr’s representation of the meeting is unclear, with a much less descriptive account of the meeting coming from his office.

“The Prime Minister delivered on his commitment to visit Ms Orr and listened to her concerns. It was a constructive meeting,” was the office’s sole response.

» Continue reading: – 2 November 2013


Sydney Morning Herald – 9 October 2013:
Industry’s coal seam gas campaign is a con
The gas industry is working a scam on the people of NSW, in collusion with other business lobby groups and federal and state politicians. It’s trying to frighten us into agreeing to remove restrictions on the exploitation of coal seam gas deposits. Failing that, the various parties want to be able to lay the blame for an inevitable jump in the price of natural gas on the greenies and farmers.
3-minute video and article by Ross Gittins, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor

» More news here

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