Establish a Royal Commission into the Human Impact of CSG mining
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Last night I tabled this petition as well as a community run petition with some 65,000 signatures in the Senate.
In addition I tabled an interim report for the Senate Inquiry into Unconventional Gas Mining, of which I was chair.
This report included 18 landmark recommendations which will change the face of Unconventional Gas Mining in this country.
To view my speech, press release and the recommendations, please 'Like' and view my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senatorlazarus
Senator for Queensland
Leader of the Glenn Lazarus Team
'VALE George Bender'
My name is Glenn Lazarus. I am an independent Senator for Queensland in the Australian Senate.
I need your HELP to assist rural and regional communities, farmers and landowners across Australia being impacted by Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining. I would like your support to call on the Turnbull Government to establish a Royal Commission into the Human Impact of CSG mining.
Please sign this petition.
CSG mining involves drilling deep down into the earth to reach methane gas trapped in coal seams by natural water pressure. The gas is released by drawing out huge volumes of water from the underground water table. A toxic cocktail of chemicals is mixed with the water to facilitate the extraction of gas. Hydraulic fractering (fracking) is undertaken which involves the use of highly toxic chemicals and the injection of water under extreme pressure deep down into the earth to crack open the bedrock and stimulate the extraction of gas. Drilling into the earth is extensive and involves horizontal drilling along large parts of underground areas.
In Queensland, people have few, if any, rights to say no to CSG mining being undertaken on their properties and as a result, many farmers and landowners now have CSG wells and infrastructure all over their properties. Landowners have been bullied, harrassed and intimidated by CSG mining companies into signing agreements without any legal support. The value of their properties has plummeted. Parts of rural and regional Australia are littered with CSG wells and above ground infrastructure.
Farmers and landowners across Queensland have experienced significant issues associated with CSG mining. Bores and wells have gone dry, animals are dying, surface water has been contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals and people are becoming ill. Farmers, who once used their bores as a source for fresh water can no longer access fresh water as the bores now have methane gas bubbling up from them.
Communities across the world are collectively saying 'NO' to CSG mining due to the health and environmental impacts. The industry has exploded before the scientific community has had time to properly assess and determine the real dangers.
CSG mining is considered to be highly harmful to humans:
- It involves vast amounts of contaminated water as extraction of gas draws water out of the coal seam that is highly saline and can contain toxic and radioactive compounds, endocrine disruptors and heavy metals;
- Fracking contaminates large quantities of fresh water with sand and toxic chemicals that are pumped under extreme pressure underground;
- The underground fresh water table is depleted leaving landowners, farmers and communities without water;
- Remaining water is contaminated;
- Wells, processing plants and pipelines leak;
- Toxic chemicals make their way into the land, soil, water and air;
- Direct and indirect health impacts include heart, lung, kidney and neurological problems and cancer;
- It is associated with increased seismic activity such as earthquakes and earth tremors;
- It causes ground subsidence and sinkholes; and
- It has a global warming impact that is as bad if not worse than coal, over a twenty year period.
Communities affected by CSG mining are experiencing a range of chronic health problems directly traceable to contamination of their air, of their water wells/bores or of surface water. CSG mining companies are supposed to 'make good' to replace affected water supplies with potable water or water purification kits. Experts are of the view that underground water will never return to many areas across the country and if it ever does, it will be recontaminated because the chemicals used in the CSG extraction process take many years to break down, if ever. As a result, property owners can not sell their land.
There is mounting evidence that CSG mining poses substantial risks. Communities across the country are calling for: a freeze on the approval of any further CSG projects (in particular bans on CSG development in drinking water catchments); a ban on fracking; extensive independent scientific research to be undertaken; the establishment of a Resources Ombudsman to support Australians affected by mining, in particular CSG mining; and the conduct of a Royal Commission into the human impact of CSG mining.
The resource sector is an important industry for Australia, but as a country, we can not allow the health of our people to be compromised. All levels of Government have let the people of Australia down allowing the unfettered growth of an industry which is known to be harmful to the environment, human health, communities and ultimately our future.
We NEED to undertake a Royal Commission into the HUMAN impact of CSG mining. I am calling on the Turnbull Government to do this. Support this petition if you agree.
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