Gas blow out requires serious investigation

An explosion of gas and water that occurred at disused water bore on a property in the Hopeland region near Chinchilla last Thursday requires a full independent scientific investigation, according to landholder group the Basin Sustainability Alliance (BSA).

BSA Chair Lyn Nicholson said this was yet another sign that the coal seam gas industry was not being properly monitored and regulated.

“Landholders are experiencing disturbing occurrences in the CSG field regions including gas seeping from water bores that can be lit up, bubbling in the Condamine river, fires in abandoned mining exploration holes and gas well blowouts.”

“The issues point to unexpected changes in pressure, potential cross contamination of underground water, safety concerns and potential long term impact to water supplies for towns and farms.”

“We hope this new incident will alarm the Government enough to re-consider just what impact the CSG industry is having on individual landowners and bore owners and the long term cost to families, agricultural producers, rural and regional communities and the environment.”

She said BSA hoped the Queensland Government would equip and resource the CSG Compliance Unit to explore the incident fully and independent of political influence.

“It is not good enough for the CSG industry to say it’s not responsible, they need to prove beyond doubt that CSG is not causing these dangerous incidents.”

Ms Nicholson urged the Government, Origin Energy (which operates gas wells nearby) and the Gasfields Commission to openly communicate with the affected landholder and representatives from the Hopelands Sustainability Group as to how the incident was being addressed.

She said BSA had been calling for environmental conditioning to be tightened for the last four years.

BSA is concerned that the Queensland Government is so blinded by the excitement of capital development, jobs and royalties, that it is not taking seriously the environmental harm that is occurring and the impact on the agricultural sector.

“Until we have a better understanding of just what the CSG industry is doing to our underground aquifers and how the industry plans to ‘make good’ water losses, we should not be allowing companies to steamroll their way through farmlands.”