Royal Commission into Coal Seam Gas
Coal seam gas (CSG) mining is one of the most invasive and divisive forms of mining in the world. CSG mining is currently exploding across Queensland affecting the health and welfare of Queenslanders across the state. CSG mining is depleting the important aquifers, contaminating remaining water, damaging the health of people and animals, and destroying communities. The people of Queensland have virtually no rights to say ‘no’ to mining on their land.
I am pushing for a Royal Commission into the human impact of CSG mining and the establishment of a Resources Ombudsman to provide the people of Australia with an independent agency to provide advocacy, support and assistance in relation to mining and CSG mining issues.
In November I was successful in winning enough support to establish a Senate Select Committee into the effects of mining unconventional gas, including CSG. This is a good step forward, and I will push as Chair of the Committee to make sure the needs and voices of those most affected by CSG mining are brought to the forefront of our national political discussion. I expect the Committee’s report to further strengthen the case for a sorely needed Royal Commission into the predatory mining practices that have ravaged our nation’s environment and rural Queenslanders’ way of life for too long.
Queensland is experiencing unprecedented growth in the CSG mining sector. I have travelled to rural and regional areas of Queensland affected by CSG mining and have been horrified by what I have witnessed. Queenslanders are being treated badly and have very few rights, if any, to stop CSG mining companies from undertaking mining on their properties.
Queenslanders who try to stop CSG mining companies from coming on to their land are bullied and subjected to harassment and other nasty tactics. Farmers and Queenslanders affected by CSG mining are experiencing a range of serious issues including health issues, death of livestock, and depletion and contamination of ground water. Bores and wells are running dry and are becoming toxic because of CSG. Animals are losing their hair and dying. Children are suffering from nosebleeds and unexplained ailments. Many people have developed chronic illnesses. CSG mining has been banned in other countries because of its harmful long term economic, health, social, and environmental impacts. It is extremely dangerous and needs to be stopped in Australia. I urge every Queenslander to go for a drive into our agricultural heartland to see the damage, destruction and devastation caused by CSG mining.
If Governments think it is appropriate to put revenue from CSG mining companies ahead of the health, safety and future of our people, then it is up to the people to stand up to Governments and say ‘enough!’
I am campaigning hard to make sure:
- The expansion of CSG mining in Queensland is stopped
- Fracking is banned and support is provided to those affected by CSG mining
- Health Impact Assessments and baseline monitoring before coal, coal seam gas and other unconventional gas developments are approved
- Exclusion zones are implemented: no CSG, shale gas or coal mining near residential and agricultural and farming areas
- The people of Queensland have their right to say no: no one should be forced to have gas wells or coal mines on their property
Over 60,000 people have signed the petition I delivered to the Prime Minister last year calling for the Federal Government to act and give back rights to the people of Australia to STOP CSG mining from happening on their properties and near their homes. The establishment of the Select Committee is an important first step, but it is critical that we do not give up the fight against the monstrous effects CSG mining is having on our land and people.
We need to undertake a Royal Commission into the human impact of CSG mining, and I am calling on the Turnbull Government to stand up for the rights of Australians who are tired of their interests and welfare being brushed aside for the sake of mining company profits.
I urge you to join me in my effort to stop CSG mining in Australia. The people of Australia deserve better and I am determined to stand up for ordinary Australians no matter what!