Mayor vows to block CSG expansion
A REPORT into the effects of coal seam gas extraction on ground water in western Queensland has justified the Scenic Rim Regional Council's stance against the industry, according to the mayor.
Scenic Rim mayor John Brent said the council's opposition to the CSG industry had been supported by the Queensland Water Commission's Underground Water Impact Report released last week.
"The findings of the Queensland Water Commission's Underground Water Impact Report have clearly vindicated the position of this council to oppose the expansion of the coal seam gas industry in the Scenic Rim," he said.
"I made strong personal representations to Premier Campbell Newman on this issue and he has made it clear to the resources sector that CSG and opencut coal mining is off limits in the Scenic Rim. Cr Brent said any expansion of the CSG industry would threaten the area's agriculture and tourism industries.
"Council is not prepared to jeopardise the security of the Scenic Rim's vital primary industries through the potential long-term dangers of CSG mining.
"The community has also been vocal in its opposition to this activity and its possible impact on the rural lifestyle and amenity that makes the Scenic Rim such a great place to live."
The report looked at the impact on underground water in the Surat Basin in south western Queensland. It found the industry was expected to reduce ground water levels and pressure significantly in coming years, more so than existing agricultural water-bores due to the depth of the wells.
It stated in the absence of action such as the reinjection of treated water, levels would drop by 1.2m, with an average of 1100 megalitres being removed annually.
While a number of test wells have been drilled by Arrow Energy in the Scenic Rim, Mr Newman promised to stop any CSG expansion into the region.