UPDATE: Meeting a big success with 150 local residents attending and pledging to oppose coal-seam gas drilling in the Inner West and elsewhere.
The meeting will discuss Macquarie Energy’s approved drilling site in Sydney’s metropolitan inner-west suburb of St Peters. Speakers will include Cate Faehrmann MLC and Marrickville Mayor Fiona Byrne.
Monday, December 6 · 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Petersham Town Hall
107 Crystal Street
Unknown to Sydney residents, Apollo Gas, via a subsidiary, Macquarie Energy, was granted a petroleum exploration licence by the NSW government in October 2008, allowing it to prospect across the Sydney region.
This licence covers a huge area some 3285 square kilometres – from Kurnell to Gosford and west to Eastern Creek. There are big coal seams containing coal seam gas several hundred metres underground stretching from the city to the Hunter Valley.
Last week Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann successfully obtained documents exposing the
inadequacies in environmental regulation for coal seam gas in New South Wales.
Cate’s office discovered that Industry & Investment NSW seem to be
doing little more than rubber stamping exploration proposals without the
input of the Department of Environment, including sites where hydraulic
fracturing is to be used – a dangerous method of stimulating gas reserves
kilometres below the surface.
The office also unearthed a secret drilling proposal for coal seam
exploration below the metropolitan Sydney suburb of St Peters. The local
residents, councils and other stakeholders were unaware, but the NSW
Government has already approved the drilling. The Review of Environmental
Factors from Macquarie Energy identifies risk of contamination of
groundwater and impacts on local residents.
Farmers and the community in the Liverpool Plains are also concerned at the proposed coal seam gas projects in that region, and the potential impacts on farmlands, aquifers and health.
The Greens in NSW and federally are calling for an immediate moratorium on all coal seam gas exploration and extraction until an independent investigation has occurred and environmental regulations are strengthened
to guarantee the safety of water supplies, farmlands and communities’ health.