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Originally published 07Oct2012


more CSG Northern Rivers news

7 October 2012



CSG FREE BROOKLET/FERNLEIGH/NEWRYBAR who kicked off the "Lock the Gate, Lock the Road, Protect the Region" process with their community seed meeting on Sunday at Newrybar Hall. It was well attended with about 60 people, all but 2 voting for gasfield freedom. Volunteers became road coordinators to survey local residents for their opinions. Notes from the meeting are below.

CSG Free Main Arm Group for completing their surveys of each household for LOCK THE ROADS campaign. They are currently collating the information and they will hold their official celebration when they make their Declaration to make Main Arm CSG Free to the Shire Mayor at Durrumbul Hall on 17 November. This will also be a family activities day.

MULLUMBIMBY SEED MEETING is coming up! If you want to be involved in making Mullum CSG Free, please come to the Mayors Room, Neighbourhood Centre, on Wed 10 October at 6 pm when we shall make plans for the community meeting.

BALLINA AND BRUNSWICK HEADS are also in the process of protecting their communities: please ‘contact us" at for contact details. Otherwise visit upcoming Mullumbimby Community meeting when areas will be allocated coordinators.

CSG FREE RALLY MURWILLUMBAH 13 OCT – please bring your placard and wear yellow. Arrive showgrounds 9.30am for 10 am March against Mining in the Northern Rivers through town. Rock the Gate concert starts 1 pm.



Organised by Jess Gilmore of Brooklet
Speakers: Richard Deem from Kyogle GAG (Group Against Gas)
Dr Wayne Somerville, Clinical Psychologist specialising in trauma, is also farmer living west of Kyogle http://http://(
Annie Kia, Community Strategist, CSG Free Northern Rivers

Richard spoke first and showed area map of Northern Rivers Petroleum Titles and Boreholes with coloured sections showing which mining companies have licences to explore in northern NSW. The Arrow Energy Licence PEL445 covers much of N Rivers. Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina are the co-owners of Arrow Energy who currently operate about 500 producing coal seam gaswells across Queensland. Gas is piped to Gladstone where Arrow have put in massive infrastructure and dredged parts of the Barrier Reef for their processing and export facility. An alternative is moving the processing offshore onto a FLNG (Floating Liquified Natural Gas) vessel (dubbed ‘King of the Ocean") which can be moved on to the next gasfield. Arrow have ordered 10 FLNG vessels costing $3.6m each, the first is due in 2017, and could work out cheaper than piping gas via Lions Road to Queensland. Because of all the work at Gladstone, Arrow is apparently not currently test drilling in Byron Shire – although there was a concreted site on the hillside east of the highway approaching Newrybar which looks suspiciously like a gas well pad, about the size of a football field (highway upgrade site?)

Richard showed diagrams and explained the different ways of extracting gas including the fracking process and horizontal drilling; in Argentina underground horizontal drills go for 11 kms in each direction. When water is removed from the coal seam deep below the earth, it can cause the migration of freshwater from surface aquifers downward into the coal seam so fresh water is less available for agricultural or human use (see for more info). In Surat Basin Arrow Energy is drilling down 150metres for coal seam gas. "Metgasco says it will need about 1000 wells operating in the Casino area to make its economic forecasts come true" (ABC North Coast 28 May 2012). Wells set about 1 km apart create a network of roads, pads and pipes (see photo which makes it very difficult for mining to co-exist with agriculture. See google maps of Sonora Texas CSG wells – its breathtaking!

The impact of mining on local communities is well documented in ABC Four Corners programme of 28 May 2012. For example, the rent for a small house in Moranbah is $1,500 per week making normal life for residents impossible as the local economy is stuffed.

Dr Wayne Somerville spoke next, saying CSG mining was "the most dangerous threat ever faced by rural Australia". He explained how coal seam methane gas was created deep in the earth about 120 to 90 million years ago and has been kept safe geologically all this time, through ice ages and the eruption of Wollumbin. However, the release of this methane now is a threat of unknown proportions; there is no controlling of fugitive emissions which are one of the most potent greenhouse gasses on earth ( Films of bubbling gas in the Condomine River demonstrate what"s coming up through the water, we"ve seen tapwater ignited because gas has infiltrated fresh water, but we can"t see what"s emerging through the soil. Methane is odourless, colourless and tasteless. In Dalby in CSG mining area on the Darling Downs Qld (200 ks west of Brisbane) emissions ignited from an exploration hole on 12 August and burned several days before being capped. Please see Dr Somerville"s website

Annie Kia spoke of the 30 communities (or parts of the communities) who have already declared their regions gasfield free, creating a strip right up to the Queensland border and include Nashua, Dunoon, North Lismore, Nimbin, Lilian Rock, Cawongla, Kyogle, Tyalgum, etc.
These communities have expressed their solidarity in making a Statement of Intent; it is a bottom-up grassroots process. She was asked about growers" rights to stop CSG on agricultural land and said that if the government deemed the mining was of "state significance" then nothing could stop them; (Frank Sartor"s Part 3A of the Planning Act lives on).

FEELGOOD CLIP rounded off the meeting on a positive note.

FILM - CSG FREE NORTHERN RIVERS is hoping to make a 30 minute film with shots of Tara and Chinchilla, Qld. Costing about $30,000 benefactors are needed! Please!!



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