Sneaky change could allow risky 'tight gas'
extraction in Queensland
22 April 2014
The Basin Sustainability Alliance (BSA) is calling on the Government to
reject QGC’s application to amend an existing
Environmental Authority for its Wandoan Project which would allow it to start
extensively fracking to extract ‘tight gas’ in
Basin Sustainability Alliance chair David Hamilton said tight gas and shale gas
extraction, had been fraught with problems in other countries. Both these could
get the go ahead thanks to this loophole.
"We understand that extracting commercial quantities of shale or tight gas
requires techniques like horizontal drilling, extensive fracking and pumping
acids into the well to dissolve the cements between rock grains."
"For QGC to apply for an amendment of this magnitude with no risk assessment, no
transparency, and no opportunity for public comment, is a major concern to us.
"We do not wish to scaremonger, however, the doubts surrounding these kind of
activities should be enough of a reason for our Government to at least assess
environmental and health risks before giving this practice a tick of approval in
our state. Each different resource mining practice requires a separate
Mr Hamilton said he was concerned about how regularly EAs were being amended and
worried about what other risky activities might be sneaking past without proper
"Unless you wade your way through every amended EA and compare the original EA
to the new EA and try and identify all the changes, it is impossible to keep
track of what changes are being let through. If you take the month of March for
example, there were at least 15 new or amended EAs over the month – that equates
to one every two days. One wonders if they are getting the full environmental
Earlier this month the lack of appropriate environmental conditioning and
monitoring of resource projects in Queensland was highlighted in the Auditor
General’s report on "Environmental regulation of the resources and waste
"The Auditor General’s report validated things we have been saying to the
Government for over four years. We have written to the Premier and to Minister
Powell to ask for them to take this report seriously and apply much tighter
environmental scrutiny to the CSG industry, Mr Hamilton said.