Greens express concern for Minister’s health



16 September 2014


The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today expressed his concern for the health of Resources and Energy Minister, Anthony Roberts, after the Minister admitted that he drank coal seam gas waste water contaminated with heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons.  Mr Roberts drank the water at Santos’ Narrabri project, claiming it tasted like “Bondi Surf”.

Question on Notice: (Returned 12 September)

  1. Mr JEREMY BUCKINGHAM: What chemicals, heavy metals or other pollutants were in that water (Santos’ Narrabri coal seam gas project pond water) you drank?


The following chemicals, heavy metals and other pollutants were in the water I drank:

  • Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Barium
  • Germanium
  • Strontium
  • Aluminium
  • Lithium
  • Boron
  • Iron
  • Fluoride
  • Ammonia
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons – NO BTEX
  • Bacteria


“I’m very concerned for Mr Robert’s health.  Coal seam gas waste water can contain serious contaminants, which is why so many people are concerned about the industry,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“A court recently ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to release reports that documented 243 cases of water well contamination due to drilling and fracking for unconventional gas.

“The Greens wish Mr Roberts well, and urge him to be less reckless when consuming industrial waste.”

Contact: Max Phillips - 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916


  • I can tell you that the Minister has nothing to worry about my rain water tank as all those and worse and I have an email from QLD health protection unit to say it is fine to drink so don’t worry be happy


  • pH is much lower in the Pilliga region than in the QLD fields which typically provides higher concentrations of both heavy metals and radioactive elements mobilised in the water column instead of dropping out in a precipitate form. I note radionuclides are missing from that list.


  • Obviously the levels of those contaminants are low in your tank, if they are considered safe. And I expect whoever organised the stunt with the minister knew that a single glass was unlikely to do harm. The problem is for those who have to drink water contaminated by fracking - and those who eat meat of animals watered by it, or fed by plants grown on it, as well as veggies grown there. Going up the food-chain the chemicals concentrate.


  • Rain water is not contaminated with metals, ammonia etc - I find your comment hard to believe.


    • Um? Not talking about rain water? Talking about the fluids pumped under ground to force out fossil fuels - and no, it is not rainwater. I find you hard to understand


  • Mr Jenkyns lives in Queensland gasfields area which also has been shown by Southern Cross University to have high levels of gas and chemicals in the air so through air pollution his rainwater is affected. Others in the region have water bire issues and can set ther water on fire! His family continues to have health impacts QGC has quietly been buying out a number of affected landholders but those that have not been iverly outspoken it seems and slapping confidentiality clauses on them and thus officially won’t take responsibility for contamination. For those left the nightmare continues!


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