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Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

SCU dismisses Metgasco attack

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Southern Cross University has hit back at claims by Metgasco that research on the presence of methane was released prematurely because it has yet to be peer reviewed.

Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson made the claim following the release of research last week showing that background methane levels in the Tara Valley, where CSG extraction is underway, were considerably higher than in the Richmond Valley.

But Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Peter Lee said it was ‘standard practice’ to release the research.

‘Science is an evolutionary process; one comes up with data, one has then to look at the data and then progress from that point,’ he told ABC radio yesterday.

‘This is nothing new; we would’ve released the data whichever way it had’ve gone.’

Mr Lee added that the lack of baseline data for the Tara Valley made it difficult to prove conclusively what was happening.

‘It’s like going on a diet where you don’t have a before picture… therefore you’re unable to tell if there’s been an improvement or not.’

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  1. Most informed people outside of the mining companies (and within it, in all probability, although the prospect of losing money would prevent them from saying so.. sad..) are probably quite convinced that the raised concentration of methane in the atmosphere local to Tara is a consequence of CSG production. One of the key lessons to be taken from this, for those people in areas where CSG mining is a possibility, is to COLLECT BASELINE DATA. Test your ground/creek/bore water; test your air; take photographs; etc. In the first instance, do what you can to keep the miners out; at the same time, prepare for the possibility that they may get in by doing what you reasonably can to record the current state of your local environment. In doing this, you (1) increase the prospect of bringing the miners to account ex post facto and (2) potentially force the miners to reconsider their plans in view of the increased likelihood of being exposed to bad press, and because of a greater potential for being exposed to litigation once cause and effect can be made out convincingly.

  2. I think we all remember it was the same Peter Henderson who claimed on ABC radio about 18 months ago, that they (Metgasco) wouldn’t go anywhere they were not wanted!

    Its the same Peter Henderson who has repeatedly claimed CSG is clean and green and safe when all evidence shows its a filthy, harmful industry until the point of burning …. but where is it to be burnt in Australia Peter?

    All I’ve read shows it’s to go overseas for burning and will do nothing to reduce carbon emissions in Australia, but actually adds to our contribution to global warming. Besides, BHP stated in May this year that they have more than enough NATURAL gas from the Bass Strait to supply Eastern Australia well into the future.

    As for Peter’s ongoing claims that Metgasco is focussed on supplying local users, why would they want a pipeline (whether it be north to Ipswich or east to the coast) unless they wanted to tap into the export market?

    People should also be made aware that there is a big difference between NATURAL GAS and UNCONVENTIONAL GAS (CSG).

    Odd – with all this, Peter and his ilk accuse citizens of giving out false and misleading information.

    Wasn’t it Peter and our own Thomas George who insisted that the Government’s Land Use Policy was rigorous and stringent, yet they hadn’t even done base line testing … ha, they all look very silly today don’t they?

    Funny too how they talk about the jobs they will create, but never mention the many more jobs that will be lost due to this industry.

  3. If anything the research shows how remiss the industry and the regulatory agencies (NSW & Qld governments) have been in establishing baseline data before giving the industry the “green light”. SCU (and others) are merely trying to plug the information vacuum that the industry has been happy to see continue, because it allows for the continued peddling of deceitful messages about the “values” of CSG without having to balance that with the social and environmental “costs”.


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