St Peters residents rally against coal-seam gas drilling
Macquarie Energy’s Apollo Gas wants to drill for coal-seam methane under St Peters. The first exploratory drill site will be on the ‘dial-a-dump’ site, but the nature of coal-seam gas extraction means that numerous other wells would have to be drilled in the surrounding area.
The methods used to extract coal-seam gas are potentially very destructive to the environment, water quality and human health.
Greens MP David Shoebridge addressed the rally calling for a moratorium on this type of gas exploration and extraction until it is proven safe. He also said gas extraction should not happen under prime agricultural land, in important aquifers or under dense residential suburbs. This is a sensible approach implementing the precautionary principle.
Liverpool Plains farmer, Tim Duddy of the Caroona Coal Action group, who are trying to save their black soil farms from coal mining and gas drilling by BHP and China government owned miner Shenhua also addressed the rally, warning residents that it would be a tough fight to stop the powerful petrochemical industry. Famers and environmentalists are joining forces to oppose coal-seam gas mining with the ‘Lock the Gate‘ campaign.
Greens Councillor from City of Sydney said that although the city wanted to build cogeneration plants to reduce greenhouse emissions, they should not be powered by natural gas extracted in ways that are damaging to the environment. He said eventually, City of Sydney wished to power its cogeneration plants through using gas extracted from the city’s waste.
Mayor of Marrickville, Fiona Byrne was in the crowd and was asked to say a few words. She said that local residents must be informed and properly consulted before any type of drilling occurs and that she would raise the issue at the pending state election.
If you’d like to get involved in this campaign, join the facebook group Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas or contact Peter Stahel in Greens MP Cate Faehrmann’s office firstname.lastname@example.org
John Thomson from the Hunter Valley speaks out against coal-seam gas at the rally today at Sydney Park, St Paters.