Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining – The ‘Bender Inquiry’
In November last year I won the support of the Senate to establish a national inquiry into Unconventional Gas. I have affectionately called it the ‘Bender Inquiry’ in honour of George Bender, a champion of the rights of ordinary Queenslanders, who spent the last years of his life in a desperate struggle against the exploitation of his family’s farmland by coal seam gas (CSG) companies.
I am honoured to chair the Senate Select Committee undertaking the Inquiry. I hope the findings of the Inquiry will dramatically highlight the need for urgent national action on CSG and other forms of unconventional gas mining including the development of a national plan to manage the conduct of unconventional gas and the establishment of critical services to support those affected.
With the first hearing having been held in Dalby on 17 February, the Inquiry has already heard from Queenslanders who have endured significant issues as a result of CSG mining including health and social issues, loss of water, contamination of what water is left, livestock health issues, declining property values and other concerns.
Submissions to the Committee close on 14 March and the final report inclusive of recommendations is due to be tabled in the Senate during the month of June 2016.
In order for all Australians to have a voice concerning unconventional gas mining, it is critical the Committee hears from people across the country. Public hearings will be held in states and territories throughout Australia during the months of February to May 2016.
For more information on how to make a submission or attend a public hearing, please CLICK HERE