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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Coal-seam gas leaking into river

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Staff reporters

Lock the Gate investigators have discovered methane gas bubbling to the surface along a five-kilometre stretch of the Condamine River near Chinchilla in Queensland, not far from the site of Australia’s largest coal-seam gas mining operation.

The gas is bubbling to the surface in at least four spots along a stretch of the river and, according to a local landowner, the CSG company operating in the area – Origin – has identified it as coal-seam gas and is testing to see which of its seams it comes from.

Chinchilla CSG activist and local resident Dayne Pratzky recorded the alarming video above, which clearly shows a number of areas where substantial amounts of gas are bubbling to the surface of the river. In the video, a hand is seen holding onto a gas-measuring device, which sets off an alarm as soon as it is placed near the surface of the bubbling water.

Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton will be fronting a media conference today at 10.30am in front of the Queensland Parliamentary Annexe to describe these findings and call for Origin to release all its seismic and other data relating to potential migratory pathways from their coal seam to the Condamine River so this can be independently assessed.

‘Depending on what is found, and if a leak is established, then there has to be an assessment as to whether that whole gas field that this is a part of needs to be shut down,’ he told Echonetdaily this morning.

‘I’m not ruling out that this could be a natural phenomenon but the chances of that are very low.’

A former resident of Chinchilla, Mr Hutton said that, while it was possible for methane to naturally bubble to the surface of waterways, none of the local farmers had ever heard of it happening in the Condamine River.

‘Also, the fact that it is occurring along several kilometres of the river would suggest it is not an isolated occurrence but a major leak and has found its way to the surface along migration pathways opened up by the de-watering of aquifers or fracking.

‘I don’t think there is any doubt this extensive leak is linked to the coal-seam gas drilling, and probably fracking, that is occurring in nearby wells,’ Mr Hutton said.

‘This is just one cut in the death-by-a-thousand-cuts to the environment that will occur when we have the tens of thousands of wells across rural Queensland.’

Mr Hutton said the incident had been reported to the Mines and Environment departments by a local landowner but these departments reportedly did not want to know about it.

 


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10 COMMENTS

  1. That it is the result of the CSG activity can really be beyond doubt. It is now time for more radical activism. The time for words and petitions is past and we must take back control. They can’t secure all those wells 100% of the time. As Clive Hamilton says, how can we be expected to uphold laws that are contrary to the well being of our planet and ultimately ourselves (we are going against our own survival instincts). As such, we have no legal obligation to uphold laws that cause harm. They can’t put us all in jail.

  2. This is sickening!!!! What is wrong with our governments ,that they encourage mining corporations to pollute our water ways, pollute our drinking water & then subsidies mining corporations up to 11 times more than they are prepared to spend on clean energy alternatives!!!!!! I just don’t get it! Please God put somebody in government that is a conscious being,

  3. Are any of our political parties or elected representatives representing the Australian people? We can’t even vote out those letting us down as the alternative appears to be no better. Wake up Australia before it’s to late..

  4. These Fascist bastards have to go!!! expose the corruption and sack the government!!!!! i have no confidence in the two parties we have to choose from.

  5. One thing about Byron shire is that ignorance is in over supply.Well before we stood up erect gas was bubbling out of the ground .Ever heard of a thing called a volcano or a hot spring.If you were serious about your shire you would be putting your energies into eliminating the drunks junkies and dole bludgers roaming your streets.One day common sense will eventually seep into your society .One thing about Greens they live life with blinkers on and the rest have no right to have an opinion.

    • Heh Tom…

      If that is your opinion than I can see why the greens (people with concern for our future) don’t see it (your opinion) as being worth anything but contempt.

  6. And this is the industry that Metgasco tells us can “co-exist” with other industries on the Northern Rivers! I guess if “co-exist” means we poison the environment to the extent that other industries can’t function then Mr Henderson and Metgasco are right!
    Someone needs to tell these CSG dreamers that if the science and hence the environmental protection isn’t there, then CSG shouldn’t be there either!

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