News and Recent Events

Four Corners' Follow-up

Queensland top public servants are jumping ship to join the CSG industry they assessed. Read more ...

'Critical information missing' from LNG approvals. Read more ...

Questions raised over environmental assessments for billion-dollar CSG developments. Read more ...

AGL failed in its duty to properly monitor gas emissions

Energy company AGL has breached its environment protection licence by failing to properly monitor emissions from a gas plant south-west of Sydney since 2009. Read more ...

Reply to Roza Sage

In response to remarks made at the Stop CSG Blue Mountains forum about the absence of Roza Sage, the local member has defended her government's record on CSG in the Blue Mountains Gazette. This is the response to her claims from Stop CSG Blue Mountains.

Strategy

When coal seam gas company Metgasco announced on March 13 it had suspended its operations in northern NSW after a long community campaign against it, it was just the latest in a series of setbacks for the CSG industry. Read more ...

Both sides of politics implicated

"The revolving door culture of self-interest on both sides of NSW politics, means it is difficult to distinguish between government, lobbyists and the CSG industry." A report by journalist Sandi Keane.Read more ...

Not Safe in Western Sydney - Not Safe Anywhere

It is hard to be excited by the new measures announced by the O'Farrell government last Tuesday night. They are an attempt to placate residents in Western Sydney in particular but have little impact on overall problems associated with coal seam gas exploration and extraction.

Barry O'Farrell announced that: "A two kilometre exclusion zone will be imposed around residential zones to prevent new CSG exploration, assessment and production activities (both surface and underground)".

Barry O'Farrell has now admitted there are problems with coal seam gas mining. He said: "Families in residential areas should not have to worry about their quality of life being affected by the noise, visual impacts and other effects of coal seam gas mining."

He apparently thinks it is OK for rural families to put up with these impacts.

His press release also announced that: "These exclusion zones will apply to any CSG activity that has not yet been approved under the EP&A Act or the Petroleum (Onshore) Act."

So, the quality of life issues are only to apply to families not already affected. Families in areas which already have CSG mining operations in close proximity to them or families about to be affected, where licences have already been approved, are ignored. 40% of New South Wales has licences covering it but nothing will change in this regard.

His announcement made no mention of drinking water catchments, left unprotected, aquifers, agricultural land nor sensitive environmental areas like the Pilliga State Forest.

The people in western Sydney may not have to live right next door to a CSG drilling rig now, but their drinking water may still be contaminated.

The Premier's press release announced that the Environmental Protection Authority will be the main body responsible for regulation of environmental and health impacts and for compliance and enforcement of the regulations. He made no mention of increasing the staff of the EPA something like a thousand fold which would be necessary if this was a serious measure to regulate the industry now covering vast areas of NSW.

The announcement was short on detail. We do not yet know what constitutes a "residential zone" - 1,000 dwellings or 5 dwellings within what sized area? We also do not yet know what the two kilometre exclusion zone covers. If horizontal drilling is still to be employed, will this be from where the drill goes down or ends up? Drilling under people's houses could still be a reality. These sort of details we hope will be revealed in the next few weeks.

As well as residential areas, "Critical Industry Clusters - viticulture and the equine industry" will be excluded from CSG activity. One could ask: is wine more important than food to the Premier.

If CSG mining is not safe in Sydney suburbs, wine growing areas and horse studs, it is not safe anywhere.

Health concerns of CSG become an issue

"NSW Health has called for a ''comprehensive assessment of potential risks to human health'' in relation to coal seam gas drilling in western Sydney, a move that could halt plans for 66 new gas wells between Liverpool and Campbelltown." Read more ...

Entire City Sitting on CSG Reservoir

Sydney's Channel 7 reports: "Experts say the whole of Sydney, from the mountains to the coast, is sitting on a vast reservoir of natural gas, and energy companies are determined to get it. "Read more ...

Nepean River Under Threat

"A mining company has admitted responsibility for gas bubbling up into one of Sydney's major waterways, but Illawarra Coal insists there's no threat to the Nepean River. Locals though aren't convinced." Read more ...

Concerns over research funding

Australian research institutions studying CSG receive millions from gas companies causing concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Read more ...

Methane Leaks and CSG

Vast amounts of methane appear to be leaking undetected from Australia's biggest coal seam gas field, according to world-first research that undercuts claims by the gas industry. Read more ...

This Australian study reinforces concerns from overseas studies which suggest methane gas leakage is much greater than previously thought. Read more ...

South West Sydney Under Threat

Up to 66 coal seam gas wells would be drilled in south-west Sydney under a revised proposal being considered by the state's Planning Assessment Commission. Read more ...

Fracking to be used in Sydney

"Fracking is back on the table for western Sydney after the coal seam gas company AGL reversed a pledge not to use the controversial drilling technique in the suburbs. The company told Fairfax Media unconditionally on December 27 that it would not use fracking, a drilling method linked to water pollution, in its planned 66-well drilling program between Liverpool and Campbelltown." Read more ...

Reckless gambles threaten our future

An opinion piece by mining engineer, PHILIP PELLS.

Mining has been part of this country from the ochre pits of the Aboriginals, the first coalmine at the mouth of the Hunter, the gold shafts at Hill End and on to the wealth coming from Cadia gold and copper mine, near Orange. Read more ...

Media Opinion on the New Government Policy on CSG

Challenge of coal seam gas: extracting benefits for all. And hopefully people will be safe and a vital industry can proceed. At least that's the hope of the O'Farrell government, which on Tuesday acted to lance a boil, politically speaking. It announced a two-kilometre buffer zone for coal seam gas activity, making suburbs, country towns and other urban areas ''no-go zones'' for this controversial mining activity. Read more ...

Now for the downside of fracking

The experiences of families living in Pennsylvania, USA, highlight what Australians have in store for them if CSG expands further. Read more ...

Environmental affects of fracking unclear: CSIRO study

CSIRO scientists have highlighted concerns that chemicals produced by hydraulic fracturing could be affecting ground and surface waters. Read more ...

A Lack of Trust - Sydney Communities Question CSG

Quentin Dempster visits the community of Nattai, whose local council have declared themselves Australia's first CSG-free town. He also talks to a geologist with wider concerns about aquifer impacts in the Southern Coalfield. Read more ...

Katter renews bid to halt CSG drilling

Crossbench MP Bob Katter has renewed calls for a two-year pause on drilling for coal seam gas. Bob Katter wants federal parliament to put a two-year pause on drilling for coal seam gas and impose $200,000 fines for those who break the ban. Read more ...

Coal seam gas reviews 'thorough': Industry

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the approvals process for Australia's two largest coal seam gas (CSG) projects should be referred to the state's top crime-fighting body. Read more ...

Gambling on a league legend to sell coal seam gas

Darren Lockyer has become the face of a new advertising campaign to sell the image of the CSG industry. Read more ...

Burke approves huge gas and coal plans

A clutch of big coal and coal seam gas projects, including the controversial Whitehaven mine near Narrabri in NSW, have been approved by the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke. Read more ...

AGL to overhaul fracking operations

"Gas company AGL has promised a complete overhaul of air and water monitoring practices at its coal seam gas drilling operation south-west of Sydney, as the Environment Protection Authority investigates a series of apparent pollution license breaches."

"The company said it was responding to concerns raised by residents and local members of parliament about its plan to drill 66 new wells between Liverpool and Campbelltown." Read more ...

Concerns about close links between government and industry

The NSW government has replaced the entire board of the Sydney Catchment Authority. The new chairperson is a former director of two of Australia's largest mining companies, and for the first time in its history there is no public health expert on the board. Read more ...

Hospitals, schools, houses above planned gas drilling sites

Gas will be mined from directly underneath Campbelltown Hospital under plans being considered for approval by the state government. Read more ...

Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or "fracking") operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil. Read more ...

Censorship of scientific research

US media reports suggest that scientific research linking methane emissions to hydraulic fracturing in Texas has been shut down by the EPA. Read more ...

Study Links Oil And Gas Extraction To Ozone Chemicals

Oil and gas development in an area of Colorado that is in the midst of a huge drilling boom is contributing more than half of the chemical pollution that contributes to the formation of ozone, a new study by University of Colorado scientists has found. Read more ...

The Frack Finding Tour of the USA

Jeremy Buckingham, Green's Member in the NSW Upper House recently spoke about his Frack Finding Tour of the USA. Visit Jeremy's website for photos and videos from the Frack Finding Tour: Jeremy Buckingham photos. There is also a YouTube video now available for the Frack Finding Tour.

Legal aid cuts a blow for anti-gas groups

Farmers and community groups will have to seek private funding for public interest court cases against coalminers and gas drillers, after a crackdown on Legal Aid funding by the NSW government. Read more ...

Scientists links with industry

Most of the scientists advising the federal government on coal seam gas pollution have financial links with the mining industry. So reports The Australian. Read more ...

Upper House Inquiry

The NSW government has released its response to the NSW Legislative Council's Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas. The response is available for download, as is the original report, which was handed down earlier this year, in May 2012. There is also a press release which came out at the same time.

Lock the Gate Activist Vindicated

A Queensland judge has overturned the conviction of Drew Hutton, co-founder of the Greens and president of the anti-coal seam gas group Lock the Gate. Read more ...

Latest Lock the Gate Newsletter

Lock the Gate Newsletter 8 Nov 2012

Inaugural CSG Community Conference

More than 100 delegates from coal and coal seam gas (CSG) affected communities across NSW have called "Groundswell Gloucester", the inaugural NSW Coal and CSG Community Conference, a resounding success. Read more ...

Tamworth protest says O'Farrell broke promises to protect farmland and water

Community groups protested against coal and CSG mining in Tamworth, NSW, on November 5. Read more ....

Green's response to Government's new land use policy

Press release from Jeremy Buckingham regarding the new land use plan. Minister Humphries admits Land Use Plan is a dud.

Stop Coal Seam Gas

Latest

The truth about gas prices

  • Read a summary of Clancy Yeates' insightful article on how exports of CSG will push up local gas prices. Or, read the full-article, published by Fairfax on 19 January 2015.

Transpacific Partnership Agreement

  • Secret agreement imperils community's ability to control CSG and mining. Find out more
  • Latest leaks

CSG in Qld

  • Read Jane Stevenson's account of what she calls her "Trip to Hell" of her journey through the Queensland gas fields.

Science and CSG

New research from
Australia Institute

  • Some useful research has just been published exposing some of the economic myths being promoted by the CSG industry:
  • Read the Fact sheet and Three myths article

Council votes
against CSG

Pilliga Forest Protests

  • Images from the Pilliga forest protests currently underway.

Want to get involved?