Environmental Impacts Will Still Occur Under New Coal Seam Gas Legislation

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15th October 2010, 12:22pm - Views: 727

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Queensland Conservation 166 Ann St, Brisbane, QLD 4000 

ABN: 89 717 887 219

Ph: 07 3221 0188    

Fax: 07 3229 7992


14th October 2010

For immediate release

Environmental impacts will still occur under new coal seam gas legislation 

The purpose of the Government’s proposed amendments to the Water Act 2000 and the Water

Supply Act 2008 is to introduce regulations to better manage impacts to groundwater and town water

supply sources from coal seam gas (CSG) production. 

Nigel Parratt from Queensland Conservation Council highlights that despite the proposed

amendments, adverse environmental impacts will continue to occur as CSG companies still retain the

right to extract unlimited amounts of groundwater under the Petroleum and Gas Act (PGA).

“Extracting unlimited volumes of groundwater is clearly unsustainable and no amount of

management measures will be able to successfully manage the impacts that are likely to occur,” said

Mr Parratt.

Although well intentioned, the proposed amendments are fundamentally flawed due to the stronger

emphasis on managing impacts once they occur, rather than introducing measures to avoid potential

impacts from happening in the first place.  

“The Great Artesian Basin and other aquifers will remain threatened while CSG companies retain the

right to extract unlimited amounts of groundwater.  We believe a far better approach is to convert the

right under the PGA to remove groundwater to a licence to extract groundwater under the Water Act,

which would require CSG companies to sustainably manage groundwater, rather than treating CSG

associated water as a waste by product,” Parratt continued.   

“In their current format, the proposed amendment’s largely ignores the public interest and the

precautionary principle, which must be rectified for them to be credible. Otherwise, this will be seen

as yet another example of legislation that puts the interests of multinational companies before the

environment and communities that rely on groundwater,” Parratt concluded.

Media enquiries:

Nigel Parratt, 0407 962 652

Media Release

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