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February 26, 2021

CSG could impact on Rous Water’s plans

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Future drinking-water supplies could be limited or contaminated by the effect of CSG mining on the region’s aquifers, a Rous Water councillor has claimed.

Yesterday the county council, which supplies drinking water to Ballina, Byron and Lismore, announced it is developing a strategy for long-term water security in the region, including the use of water from aquifers.

Rous Water’s chair, Ballina councillor Susan Meehan, said that although the region has water security for the short to medium term, action was needed now to secure future supplies.

‘Indications are that we need to act in the near future to extend the life of our supplies and bring new water sources online to ensure our long-term water security,’ she told the media yesterday.

One of the options being considered in the plan is the investigation of groundwater sources near Byron Bay, Ballina, Newrybar and Dunoon.

But fellow Rous councillor, Lismore City councillor and Lock the Gate board member Simon Clough, believes that plans by gas company Metgasco to source CSG in the area could adversely impact on both the quality and quantity of water available.

‘If CSG goes ahead, with fracking and a very significant risk of pollution of groundwater – and the waste of groundwater when produced water comes out of CSG wells – this could significantly affect the opportunity Rous has of utilising the groundwater resources,’ he told ABC local radio this morning.

Rous will put its draft Future Water Strategy on public display from mid-February 2014 for community feedback.

‘To get the most out of this consultation we are conducting public consultation after the school holidays to ensure everyone is able to have a say,’ Cr Meehan said.

To receive the document and/or comment, email [email protected].


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  1. When will the endless beat up and lies about CSG end?
    Can’t these turkeys at least wait for the NSW Chief Scientists to publish her final report on what impact CSG harvesting might have on ground water?
    If she does find a potential impact it will be a world first.
    In relation to the Rouse story it is said they are only looking at, “One of the options being considered in the plan is the investigation of groundwater sources near Byron Bay, Ballina, Newrybar and Dunoon.” In these locations the issue of CSG simply dosen’t fly There are NO, Yes NO! coal seams in any of the locations mentioned.
    Just another Lock the Gates beat up!

  2. Cr Clough is rather short sighted. If csg mining goes ahead it will have happened over the dead bodies of the majority of Northern Rivers residents. There won’t be nearly as much need for drinking water then.

  3. John, I am not sure where you are coming from with these comments. To me it seems the endless lies about so called “clean gas” comes from within the industry. Similar to industry insiders in the past saying that tobacco was not harmful and that asbestos was safe. The evidence IS there, as is the RISK to our health not just the water supplies if that was not enough.

  4. The CSG research has been done. So much has been published about the damage resulting from fracking that to not know about this would mean that a person is only reading what they want to believe. This month’s very respected National Geographic is devoted to CSG and fracking. Their reports indicate that CSG mining is detrimental to the extreme. If this is not enough to convince the doubters just ask the residents of Tara in Qld about the negative effect of CSG mining on their lives.

  5. Groundwater extraction will impact on south Ballina coastal ecosystems and remember, this supposed future water need is for flushing toilets and washing clothes, not drinking! As a community we have fought CSG to protect groundwater so we can flush with it? I don’t think so!

  6. Community consultation is just a political ploy for Rous to appear to be doing something for example when they put out the REF for public submission for five chemical dosing plants for fluoridation scattered throughout our region they received 54 submissions against the plants and 2 for the plants. However the 54 submissions were completely ignored… why even bother going through the process if the community is to be always ignored… in other words lets just go through the motions….Its about time CSG and fluoridation were treated int he same manner they are both deliberate threats of deliberately contaminating our water with chemical toxins. Public consultations are just ignored…. better to keep up with direct action as the Rising Tide and Sea Shepherd do. What are we leaving our future generations our pristine Northern Rivers scattered with gas wells every where and poisoned water… reminds me of the Red Indian saying:

    When the last tree is cut down; the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned you will realize that you cant eat money!

  7. John Vaughan is a top 20 shareholder in Metgasco.

    No wonder his post is overly emotional, extremist and not grounded in any science.

    Groundwater draw-downs are necessary to release the gas John – these draw downs permanently alter aquifers.

  8. John, it is a unfortunate fact that most of us, at some stage in our financial lives, have made an investment that does not go as planned. I know I have. Your investment in Metgasco I’m sorry to say, is not one of your better ideas. Whilst I admire your fighting spirit in trying to turn the sow’s ear into a silk purse it is just not going to happen. Better to just admit the inevitable and get on with your life. CSG cannot succeed because it is trying to impose greed over the lives of “ordinary” people, and those people (even with their government against them) will simply not let that happen.

  9. Metgasco arrived here too late to get away with ruining this community’s way of life. There really has been much research and study done on unconventional gas mining, and we know the outcome isn’t pretty.

    Metgasco is hoping to ignore what this community wants and is planning to drill out at beautiful Bentley early next year, only 12 or 13 kilometres from Lismore city. They’ll be trying to get away with the notion that they’re drilling for conventional gas. If you haven’t already read up on tight sands gas, do a bit of research., see what you think. A tight sands gas mine didn’t seem like a real nice legacy to leave the kids according to the sources I looked at.

    Historically the area Metgasco want to use is called ‘Disputed Plains’ and it’s a stunningly beautiful location. I suspect Metgasco will see a Dispute there like no mining company in the world has ever seen. 7,000 people in Lismore marched against unconventional gas mining. How many of us will be out at Bentley to Dispute their plans? They can’t hold up much longer. Their shares aren’t trading and they haven’t got a lot of cash to play with. Disputed Plains could see the end of them if all of us that can make a stand, do. Cross fingers.

    If I was you John Vaughan I’d start wondering if those Metgasco shares were such a good investment.

  10. Coal was found and mined at Murwillumbah,Nimbin,Tyalgum ,Woodburn and Ewingsdale during the late 1800s and early 1900s.Check the government website Trove to verify my info.The coal was not in huge quantities and in some cases not of good quality but it did and does exist.So don’t always take for gospel what some folk will tell you,do your research deeply.


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