Local News at Your Fingertips

New data confirms health threats from CSG

S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

A report just released by the National Toxic Network in Queensland claims that unconventional gas drilling is becoming a health threat to people in the area and is on the increase, according to recent data collected from the National Pollution Inventory.

The report follows:

‘Latest data from the National Pollution Inventory confirms health threats to families near unconventional gas development are increasing!

These latest data from the National Pollution Inventory (NPI) confirms that Australian families have been, and are being continuously exposed to very serious immediate and long term, even generational health risks. Many thousands of tons of toxic chemicals are being pumped into the air breathed in by infants and the elderly alike.

“Harmful pollutants emitted from this industry include air toxics such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene; criteria pollutants and ozone precursors such as NOx and VOCs; and greenhouse gases such as methane. These pollutants can result in serious health impacts such as cancer, respiratory disease, aggravation of respiratory illnesses, and premature death.” (US EPA)

Shockingly particulate matters (pm) for the QGC PTY LIMITED, Kenya Processing Plant (ATP620) and Compressor Stations – near Tara, QLD have gone from 5400 kilograms of pm10 & pm2.5 in 2011/12 to a staggering 580,000 KG in the 2012/2013 reporting period !! Total VOC have also doubled. Kenya is only one of multiple gas field polluters in the Western Downs. The reported figures for Windibri are just as shocking with PM 10 and 2.5 at 1,314,000 kg in 2012/2013 (up from 16,500). Other major sources of particulate matter include Talinga, Condabri, Daandine, Tipton as well as Kogan and QGCs.

“Such outdoor pollution has been unequivocally classified as carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organisation.” says Dr. Rye Senjen. She further added “The adverse effects of particulate matter are well documented; there is no evidence of a safe level of exposure or a threshold below which no adverse health effects occur.”

Particulate matter can go deep into the lung and cross directly into the bloodstream carrying with it other toxic chemicals in the inspired mixture. Together this mixture is even more dangerous to health than the added individual risks.

Despite the published medical literature reaffirming the general populations widely held concerns about the health impacts of unconventional gas development, the Queensland government has been relentlessly pushing on with its policy of “co-existence”. This latest data from the NPI points especially to the Queensland Government’s failure in their duty of care towards people living within Queensland’s gas fields.

“Peer reviewed reports indicate increased risk of cancer in people who live close to gas development; they indicate increased risk of small for date babies and babies with congenital heart defects. Despite the desperate pleas of the people living in the gas fields of Queensland’s Western Downs regarding the health impacts they have been experiencing, the Queensland Government has allowed the industry to continue to expand rapidly without adequate health assessment or research.” says GP Dr. Geralyn McCarron “‘

Fatality Free Friday: take the pledge

S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

Tuesday, 26 May, 2014

Fatality Free Friday asks road users to pledge to themselves, their family and friends to drive safely and obey road rules. The campaign is an initiative of the Australian Road Safety Foundation and will be held nation-wide on Friday, 30 May, 2014.

Minister for Road Safety, Tony Piccolo invited all South Australians to support this important event.

“Road safety is a significant issue in our community – one death on our roads is too many,” Mr Piccolo said.

“We want motorists to remember the road safety message every time they get behind the wheel – and Fatality Free Friday allows us to emphasise this message.

“People need to realise that when they drive inappropriately, they are not only putting their own lives at risk but the lives of other road users.”

While a Friday free of any fatalities across the nation is the ultimate goal for 30 May, drivers need to concentrate on safety all year round.

Fatality Free Friday founder, Russell White said support from community leaders was imperative to help spread the road safety message and ultimately save lives.

“We all have a role to play in reducing the road toll,” Mr White said.

“It isn’t that drivers go out purposely looking for an accident, it’s that they don’t actively look to avoid one either.

“What we’re asking people to pledge is simple – slow down, stay off the phone, stick to the road rules, you never know – the life you save may belong to someone you love.”

MAC General Manager Road Safety, Michael Cornish said days such as Fatality Free Friday were a good way to generate road safety discussions.

“But we must not forget that our driving laws exist year-round,” Mr Cornish said.

“It is inexcusable that excessive speed, drink driving, inattention and non-seatbelt wearing continue to be among the major contributing factors in serious injury and fatal road crashes on South Australian roads.”

The public can pledge online at: http://www.fatalityfreefriday.com.au

Editor’s note: Minister Piccolo will be signing the pledge at 12:30pm, Victoria Square, Adelaide, and then he, along with Mr White and Mr Cornish will be available for interview.

Source: Office of Minister Piccolo

The Get Up Team report on CSG

S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

The Get Up team published the following report after the recent people-power win at Bentley. The community rallied to prevent Metagasco from drilling, saying  was a win for the community and grass roots organising.’

The report follows:

‘The community of Bentley is celebrating. Last week, the NSW Government suspended coal seam gas company Metgasco’s licence to drill on their land. Better yet, the NSW Government also referred Metgasco to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) citing insufficient community consultation.

The community had been left with no option but to stand in the way of Metgasco — literally. Thousands united to form a blockade — preventing the first CSG well from being drilled.

And now, the people have won. For the moment at least, their land is safe.

This is a win for the community and for grassroots organising. The threat coal seam gas poses to our communities can sometimes feel insurmountable. But this week, we’ve seen exactly what people power can do.

A big, heartfelt congratulations to all who have been involved in the Bentley community campaign. Congratulations too to organisations like Lock the Gate who have been central to its success.

But that’s not all that’s happened this week.

Further inland, the community of north-west NSW is standing up in opposition to gas giant Santos’ huge proposed Narribri CSG development. Here’s how you and other GetUp members have been involved:

After news broke that Santos had contaminated an aquifer with heavy metals including uranium in the Pilliga State Forest, the response was immediate.

43,448 GetUp members from across Australia rallied behind the local community, signing a petition to Santos CEO David Knox calling on him to drop the Narribri CSG project.

161 people then used their power as Santos shareholders to present the petition to the company. Together, they forced a shareholder resolution to abandon the Narribri Gas Project, to be put on the agenda of the Santos Annual General Meeting (AGM) for a vote.

The shareholder resolution was put together by The Wilderness Society, based on extensive scientific research into the damage Santos has already caused, and the threat their proposed expansion poses to a crucial recharge area of the Great Artesian Basin.

GetUp members then put in an extraordinary fundraising effort to run ads in national newspapers. 2260 donors chipped in in just 48 hours. The response was so strong our media buyer Hayley was not only able to place the ad in the Financial Review, but secured a full page ad in The Australian too. Congratulations.

The ad featured farmers whose livelihoods could be under threat from another coal seam gas groundwater contamination. Thank you to all those who took time out during harvest to help make the ad happen.

The dynamic fundraising effort helped the high impact ad reach over half a million Australians. Even better, the ad sparked national media attention, generating headlines like ‘Santos told: Your gas is on the nose’1.

On Friday, with pressure already building, dozens of farmers and Traditional Owners made the journey from north west NSW to Adelaide for Santos’ Annual General Meeting. The stories they told were incredible.

As The Australian reported, “for nearly two hours of a four hour meeting, the motion was debated, giving the group of farmers and environmentalists plenty of time to show the board and shareholders the extent of their opposition.”2

Gomeroi Traditional Owner Deborah Briggs travelled to the AGM to speak for her country and Elders,

“I’ve seen the damage that Santos coal seam gas has done to the Pilliga, the heart of our Gomeroi Nation. Our Elders would walk to the end of the Earth to protect the Pilliga, and I’ve carried their voices to the Santos AGM to speak against the Narrabri Gas Project.”

In the end, the shareholder resolution was voted down, but the message we sent was clear. With every step Santos takes in its CSG expansion into north west NSW, our resistance grows stronger. The pressure from communities and from all across Australia is building, and we won’t stop until our land and water is protected.

Santos’ CEO and executives now know they have to justify their actions to shareholders and to the public. No longer will they be allowed operate as they like, treating the land they use with contempt and not expect to face the consequences.

This has been an exceptional week in the fight to keep our land, water and communities coal seam gas free.

A special thank you for the relentless work of the Northwest Alliance, The Wilderness Society, Lock The Gate and all other groups involved. Without your dedication, none of this would be possible. ‘

[1] Santos told: Your gas is on the nose; get out. The Australian. May 16, 2014.
[2] Santos votes to push CSG project. The Australian. May 17, 2014

This article has been printed in its entirety from the report provided to wattlerangenow