Campaign update: CSG in Sydney’s suburbs
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DId you see the news? The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that NSW is at greater risk from “fracking”* as energy companies push to set up gasfields in suburbs according to NSW’s Chief Scientist1. Contact your local State government member now and let them know you expect them to proect your community from CSG: www.getup.org.au/broken-promises
Coal seam gas giant AGL has broken its pledge to not use fracking, a risky and damaging gas-mining technique, in the Sydney suburbs. This promise not to frack was backed by Premier, Barry O’Farrell, who said the plan was to “horizontally drill under people’s homes”2.
But it’s not just AGL that has misled us and it’s not just Sydney under threat. Premier O’Farrell has broken promise after promise when it comes to coal seam gas and mining and we can’t let them get away with it any longer.
The NSW Cabinet has the power to prevent AGL and other CSG companies from fracking under our homes, on our best farmland or near drinking water catchments that sustain us. It’s up to us to let them know we won’t stand for the lies and the risk to our most valuable assetts. Not now, not ever.
Will you take 5 minutes to email your local Liberal and National MP, and ask them to pressure Barry O’Farrell to prevent gasfields in our suburbs and most important agricultural and environmental areas?
We know AGL owns dozens of CSG wells between Liverpool and Campbelltown, areas that are home to tens of thousands of Australian families. These communities are now no longer protected from a risky form of drilling for coal seam gas that may cause gas leaks, water pollution, damage aquifers and pollute water with its mix of potentially toxic chemicals. Nowhere is protected, despite the promises.
In his ‘Contract with NSW’ before the election Barry O’Farrell said that if he didn’t deliver on his election promises he would be ‘happy to resign’. Yet, through the Strategic Regional Land Use Plans, he’s allowed CSG mining to occur in our precious agricultural and drinking water catchment areas despite promises to the contrary.3 Some of these pristine sources of drinking water carry fines of $11,000 if someone even walks through them but the O’Farrell government has approved mines in these very same areas. Now he’s about to let the industry get away with what is widely considered the most risky drilling technique for human health in a parts of NSW where there are homes, schools and hospitals.
Don’t let Premier O’Farrell backtrack on his promises. Tell your Liberal and National MP that you expect Cabinet to tell the Premier that CSG is not worth the risk: www.getup.org.au/broken-promises
The frightening truth is, we don’t yet know enough about the potential health and environmental impacts of coal seam gas mining – particularly fracking – to move ahead at the speed with which we’re currently accepting development proposals. We need to take the precautionary approach to this industry and protect our most at-risk places; urban areas, agricultural land, water catchments and high conservation value natural areas.
Let’s stand together against the vested interests of coal seam gas companies and ask the O’Farrell government to stand up for our community – as he promised.
Thanks for fighting the good fight,
The GetUp team.
PS — In what can only be viewed as a major win for the coal seam gas industry, the NSW government has replaced the entire board of the Sydney Catchment Authority. Who chairs the new board? Only the former director of two of Australia’s largest mining companies. Click here find out more and email your local MP to lobby Premier Barry O’Farrell to uphold his promise to prevent NSW’s most important places and neighbourhoods being fracked: www.getup.org.au/broken-promises
* Fracking is a technique used to create fractures deep under ground. These fractures allow gas to travel more easily from the rock pores to the production well. In order to create fractures, a mixture of water, proppants and chemicals are pumped into the rock or coal formation at high pressure. This practice is highly controversial as gases can make their way to the surface endangering human health; aquifers can be irreparably damaged; and water sources contaminated.
1 Sydney more likely to become a hot spot for fracking, says Chief Scientist. Sydney Morning Herald, January 17, 2013.
2 Andrew Moore interviews NSW Premier about a range of topics including coal seam gas. 2GB, Wednesday January 2, 2013.
3 Barry O’Farrell press conference, February 2009.