On 28 May Dayne Pratsky filmed this dramatic footage of gas bubbles which have appeared in four places over a five-kilometre stretch in the Condamine River near Chinchilla. As this Channel Ten item shows (both courtesy of gasileaks) Origin Energy were quick off the mark with calming words.
The company claims that such seepage has occurred naturally for at least 30 years, according to local knowledge. Drew Hutton from Lock the Gate says that local farmers have never heard of it. Dayne Pratsky told Fran Kelly that the landholder had been there 40 years and knew nothing of it. Another local had fished the hole for 60 years and had never seen anything like it. Among other problems Pratsky had seen in his local area was a crack in the ground which had opened up, leaking methane.
The State Minister quoted the Government CSG Enforcement Unit as saying it was all AOK. Pratsky reckons they call it the CSG Endorsement Unit and says they did their investigation from an office in Brisbane by ringing Origin Energy.
Gavin Mudd, an academic hydrogeologist from Monash University, said at The Conversation he would “find it hard to be convinced that CSG has nothing whatsoever to do with the gas bubbling away in the Condamine”. He wants hard data, not bland assurances.
Unfortunately that is where we are going to have to leave it for now, I think, until such data is generated, but we also need transparency and trust, which seem to be lacking at the moment.
Whatever the truth about this incident, I suspect that we are going to see more nasty surprises as the CSG industry proceeds. I’ll tell you why.READ MORE