What is it that stretches underground from the tip of Cape York across Queensland and into NSW as far as Dubbo, past Coober Pedy in South Australia and into the Northern Territory? What could possibly be so large that it lies under almost a quarter of the Australian continent?
It is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world called the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). It is also Australia’s most important water source – especially important when you consider that Australia is the driest continent in the world.
Sacrifice Zone, showing this Sunday in Mullumbimby, is a documentary that looks at the importance of the GAB and the impact of human activity, especially the mining of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) will have if CSG mining expands.
‘I think the key message in this film is that, the GAB is under 22 per cent of this country,’ said filmmakers Eve Jeffery and David Lowe.
‘It waters one of the world’s most productive food bowls in a place that simply cannot survive with the annual rainfall.’
In they US where there has been CSG mining for 20 years there are significant issues relating to the pollution of water, land and air due to the procedures and chemicals used in CSG mining.
The government is currently looking to open up the GAB for further CSG mining and they are planning 850 wells in the Pilliga forest as the first stage of the project .
Rejected by the people
With 96 per cent of people over 3.28 million hectares in north west NSW not wanting to live in a gas field Sacrifice Zone looks at what the governments and miners are asking Australians to give up. It looks to how we build a future where there is still safe drinking water and secure land for food production.
‘CSG wells fail – some straight away, some later on, but they fail, they don’t last forever,’ said Ms Jeffery.
‘In the words of Michael Caton, “Once you pollute that, you can’t unscramble the egg.” If this project goes ahead the chances that the GAB will be poisoned, are pretty much guaranteed. When that happens, only the rich will enjoy clean food.
‘We are being gassed to death. The government are mortgaging our children’s future and there’s no repayment plan. There a no jobs and no food on a dead planet, but our leaders just don’t seem to care.’
Sacrifice Zone is being shown this Sunday, July 29 at Wildspace, Mullumbimby Commons from 6pm.
Entry by donation and $7 for a home cooked meal.