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Unconventional drilling concerns in letter to MP

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline

Mitch Williams MP,

I understand that you are fairly sure that our aquifer would not get contaminated by “fracking”, and I am yet to be convinced of that, but what about the high water usage, contaminated settling ponds, the clean up afterwards and the hundreds, or more likely thousands, of sites across the region spoiling the appearance of our area.

The amount of water used, as you are no doubt aware, is extreme. The aquifer is supposedly fully allocated and yet the miners appear to be able to use as much as they want for their drilling and fracturing process. Are the local users going to have to go without? Are the remaining lakes in the area going to be allowed to dry up as the water table drops? Is there going to be enough water left even for the reticulated water in our towns?

The settling ponds at each of the sites will contain a vast amount of water contaminated with toxic chemicals. One of these settling ponds has been confirmed as having leaked recently in N.S.W. Can you 100% guarantee the local population that that type of contamination will not happen here? What will happen to all the water birds that will find the ponds attractive? Who is going to monitor that? The mining companies have already shown what they will do. If you don’t know, ask around. Won’t the water become more toxic as the level in the pond dries up making it even more toxic for our wildlife? What happens to ducks that drink from the ponds and then get shot by some shooter to be eaten? Aren’t some of the chemicals in the poisonous mix cumulative toxins?

Who is responsible for the long term viability of the thousands bore holes? How are they monitored to ensure their integrity and that they are still keeping our aquifers separate from the contamination below them? When the mining companies have finished with each site, will they leave each pond to evaporate and then dump the contaminated solids somewhere in our area? Do the mining companies have to return the sites back to their original condition, albeit with a well head?

If, God forbid, the mining does go ahead and gas is produced from all these wells, will we, the local population, see any of it for sale locally or is it earmarked for sale to the overseas market? If it does go on sale here, will it be any cheaper than current gas prices? If not, why should we suffer all the pain for no gain?

Can you truthfully answer each of these questions secure in the knowledge that you are fully informed of all the facts.

I have not touched on the huge social cost to communities in areas that are being mined as intensively as it appears we could be. There could well be new jobs, but at what cost?????

Yours truly,

Stewie Pounsett


cc. Millicent Times, The Border Watch, Penola Pennant, Naracoorte Herald, 5THE FM/Wattle Range Now.

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