Barry’s government doesn’t care about Western Sydney gas leak
3 August 2011
The Greens mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham MLC, slammed the government for failing to properly investigate a coal seam gas well leak at Glen Alpine Western Sydney after the Minister Greg Pearce arrogantly dismissed a question of when the investigation report would be released.
Mr Buckingham noted that it had been over three months since he filmed the well blowing a foamy substance into the air 400 metres from the suburb of Glen Alpine and only 100 metres from the open Upper Canal that supplies 20% of Sydney’s drinking water.
He then asked when the inter-departmental report into the incident would be released given he had promised it in late June. The Minister gave a non-answer saying: “I refer to my previous answer” [from June] and did not provide any date when the report would be released.
“It’s a disgrace that Minister Greg Pearce does not seem to care about this issue. He simply dismissed my legitimate question as to when the report would be released,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The residents of South Western Sydney have a right to know what happened when a gas well blew gas and other substances into the air near their homes and workplaces.
“They shouldn’t have to wait months and months for an answer? Are they incompetent? Are they bungling? Are they just tardy? It’s not good enough.
“If this government can’t produce an incident report in three months on one gas leak, how is it going to handle this industry when there are thousands of wells across NSW?
“So far when an incident has happened with the gas industry, the O’Farrell government has just repeated lines supplied by the gas companies. Once again, the concerns of people in Western Sydney have been ignored.”
A video and report on the gas well blow out is available here
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: (23 June 2011) “I am advised that the investigation is still underway. The Office of Environment and Heritage informs me that the further, more detailed information requested from AGL is expected to be received by 27 June 2011. This information will be carefully considered by the interagency group in determining an appropriate regulatory response to the incident. No doubt I will be able to give the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham further information on another occasion.”