CSG Industry has been touting that that there are only 85 CSG affected bores. However, the Underground Water Impact Management report predicted declining water levels in a further 528 bores in long term.
BSA has concerns about the land access process and the way that some CSG companies use the threat of land court to add pressure during negotiations.
While the actually well-pad may be the size of “half a netball court”, BSA is concerned that the industry and government are not considering the cumulative impacts of all the associated infrastructure pipelines, roads, powerlines, water infrastructure, compaction.
We run an organic livestock enterprise modelled on the likes of Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm. We have spent the past five years achieving organic certification and getting our property to a place where we can start to implement some of his practices.
Underground Water Impact Management report is the report the government is using for baseline modelling of underground water and BSA is aware that it has not included information from one of the major CSG company players – Arrow Energy. It also does not factor in the impact of thousands of abandoned exploration holes in the Surat and Galilee Basins.
BSA has concerns that the water from aquifers that lie above and below will be drawn down (drain into coal seams) as water is extracted from Coal Walloon Measure. There is little to no research on the long term impacts.
The Coal Seam Gas industry is predicted to extract up to 350,000 ML of groundwater per year – that’s equal to about two-thirds of Sydney Harbour or the size of Somerset Dam. And yet, there are no laws preventing an unlimited take of this water. All other water users are regulated heavily in terms of their water-take but CSG companies are exempt.
The process of removing gas will involve the drilling of up to 40,000 wells in Qld alone. The risk of Interconnection of underground water aquifers is very real. Farmers, graziers, households and many regional towns rely on underground water. If underground water aquifiers interconnect, a highly salty poor quality water supply could contaminate the nice clean high quality water supplies.
Coexistence criteria should never be a “one-size-fits” all approach. Every land use and farming enterprise is unique and every situation will require specific consideration e.g. Intensive livestock or organic farming cannot be treated just like extensive grazing and conventional farming.