Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Time for All to Take Stand against CSG Exploration

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Time for All to Take Stand against CSG Exploration

Article excerpt

WHEN farmer Rod Anderson from the Kerry Valley threw his hat onto the ground on Saturday morning the message was clear, C[pounds sterling]enough is enoughC[yen].

Local community members and concerned citizens had gathered over 10 days to blockade an Arrow Energy Coal Seam Gas exploration drill site. In an impassioned speech, Rod pleaded for some measure of justice and fair play.

The locals don't feel as though there has been any real consultation.

Meetings had been set down in the future to discuss the vital issue of protecting local underground aquifers Co but the exploratory digging went ahead anyway.

It seems that C[pounds sterling]consultationC[yen] simply involves informing and communicating what will take place in a certain location.

The possibility that the proposed mining will damage valuable farm land, the local tourism industry and a way of life that locals have enjoyed for generations doesn't come into it.

There seems to be no entertaining of the idea that this could be a bad idea both short and long term. The precautionary principle runs a very poor second against pragmatic schemes to Cymitigate' complaints. Of course it's not just the beautiful scenic rim that is experiencing the C[pounds sterling]rock v cropC[yen] debate.

In December I drove to Gunnedah in New South Wales and there were signs of the debate all along the way, from C[pounds sterling]Every Farmer needs a FarmC[yen] at Felton to C[pounds sterling]No Gas Mining on Prime Agricultural LandC[yen] at Moree.

The Tara residential estates are home to some of our region's poorest and most vulnerable people. Many have found a refuge from life's storms and created a simple life on a small block.

As this area gradually becomes a gas field their only asset decreases in value and they have nowhere else to go. And when the people take a stand the strong arm of the state is not far away.

The tactical response team, police on horses are all marshalled to ensure that the pipelines are laid, the drilling is done or the coal is sent to the waterfront. …

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