Government should stop coal seam gas drilling in Sydney

Media release – 4 June 2011

Revelations in today’s Sydney Morning Herald that Dart Energy plan to start coal seam gas drilling in September in the Inner Sydney suburb of St Peters should prompt the O’Farrell government into action to stop dense residential areas becoming a toxic gas field, said Greens MP and mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham.

“In a $100 million capital raising prospectus, Dart Energy revealed that they plan to drill for coal seam gas at St Peters in September and October this year, with possible pilot production in early 2012,” said Greens MP, Jeremy Buckingham.

“Residents in St Peters are right to be very concerned about gas drilling near their homes as the coal seam gas industry has not been proved safe.

“All of Sydney is covered by Dart’s petroleum exploration licence, with an estimated 13 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the coal seams below Sydney, so it’s not just St Peters residents who should be concerned.

“We don’t want coal seam gas well’s drilled in spare bits of land all around Sydney. This industry is a huge risk and has not been proved safe.

“Coal seam gas extraction can lead to gas leaks, involves the use of hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals, and leads to a millions of litres of often toxic waste water being produced that must be disposed of somehow.

“Dart Energy’s motto for coal seam gas in Australia ‘Grow Big, Grow Fast’ should be a warning bell. “This reckless industry needs to be brought under control by the O’Farrell government, beginning with a ban on drilling in dense residential areas.

“The Greens will move a bill in parliament for a 12 month moratorium on coal seam gas, and a prohibition of coal seam gas extraction in the Sydney Metropolitan Area,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916

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