Friday, 17 April 2015

Ex-National Party member and local contrarian invites a response on coal seam gas

The Daily Examiner’s letters column was the scene of yet another slap down of a wannabee gadfly last week…

The letter

CSG scare success
I was somewhat taken aback by the successes of the Greens at the state elections. Their scare campaign against coal seam gas mining was clearly successful.
I will not waste time by going over old ground but I do suggest that the State itself commissions a demonstration gas field under the control of an appropriate government body to counter the fear-mongering that threatens the establishment of a much needed industry that will boost the prosperity of the region.
6 April 2015

The response

Scare claim off target
Thomas Macindoe's assertions (DE April 6) that the recent high level of support for the Greens' in Ballina and Lismore was the result of a "scare campaign", is just plain wrong.
In fact I'd describe it as a truth dissemination exercise, and the fact that the Government and mining industry could not debunk that campaign was that they knew the anti-gas campaigners were right.
Thomas' comments were simply parroting those made the previous week by our local member trying to explain the 15% drop in his own vote, and can be excused as ignorance, something that cannot be said for Mr Gulaptis, who is in full possession of all the facts.
The suggestion that the government should set up a gas field, independent of the industry, to prove that unconventional gas mining is safe, is ridiculous. We already have two closely monitored gas fields under construction in NSW, one near Gloucester, and the other at Pilligar, and both operators have already been found guilty of polluting underground water supplies; supposedly banned BTEX chemicals turning up in water in the Gloucester operation, and Uranium in an aquifer in the Pilligar.
Further to that, the NSW chief scientist and engineer spent over a year investigating all aspects of the unconventional gas industry, at the government's behest, and found that the industry did pose risks, and that there would be negative consequences.
In Queensland, pollution events, fires, massive 'draw-down' of water in peoples bores, and methane pollution of bores that can be set on fire, have all been reported in the media, including 60 Minutes and other reputable sources. Fugitive gas emissions seeping out of the ground as a result of Hydraulic Fracturing, has seen levels of methane in the gas fields up to 5 times normal levels (see Southern Cross University research), that resulted in reports of health problems among children living in those gas fields.
Most if not all those families that suffered ill health have now been bought out by the industry, with convenient confidentiality clauses ensuring that there is still no recorded evidence linking their ill-health to the elevated gas levels.
The Nationals' loss of electoral support had nothing to do with a scare campaign, and everything to do with their failure to represent their constituents.
South Grafton
9 April 2015

CSG a real worry
I am writing to respond the Mr Macindoe's letter in the DEX on Monday.
I am not sure what planet Thomas Macindoe has been living on for the past few years as there is simply no excuse to be so ignorant about the CSG issue.
With modern technology you can do your own research on anything or anyone.
To accuse the Greens of running a scare campaign is ludicrous when both the NSW Farmers and NSW CWA both came out publicly against CSG way before the NSW election.
The NSW Farmers also ran a campaign against the Nationals in the NSW election which beggars belief when farmers were once the life blood of the National Party. Even our former Governor General Marie Bashir has gone public against CSG.
And if that isn't convincing enough a world wide 'Go Fossil Free' campaign has already seen 180 institutions including universities and churches sell off their investments in coal, oil and gas in the UK and Australia.
Still not persuaded to sell your shares Mr Macindoe?
Maybe this might convince you.
Leading financial groups including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Standard and Poor's have also warned of the risk posed to fossil fuel investments by action on climate change.
A series of large funds and world banks have excluded coal and other highly polluting companies, including the world's largest sovereign wealth fund in Norway, which revealed it had dozens of coal companies earlier this year.
And finally last year, Rockefeller's withdrew their funds from fossil fuels.
Perhaps now the election is over you can stop believing all the National Party propaganda as well and do your own research. I hear the Yamba library has cheap wi-fi if you're not connected to the internet.
10 April 2015

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