Tag Archives: Gloucester

BTEX chemical nightmare spells end for AGL’s Gloucester fracking

MEDIA RELEASE – 27 January 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said that AGL should pack up and leave the Gloucester Valley following the detection of highly toxic BTEX chemicals at about 10 times the background levels in their flowback water. AGL have announced the voluntary suspension of their Waukivory pilot program following the pollution incident, but Mr Buckingham says this does not go far enough.

“BTEX chemicals in the water are an absolute nightmare and the Greens want a permanent ban on coal seam gas and fracking in NSW. Coal seam gas is unsafe, unnecessary and unwanted,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“AGL should pack up and leave the Gloucester Valley for good following this latest pollution incident before they do any more damage to either their battered corporate reputation or our precious water.

“How many more spills, leaks and accidents will it take before the government acts to ban coal seam gas?”

“The Baird Government and the National party are now out on a political limb by backing this toxic industry, it is past time that they listened to the community and put our land and water ahead of their donors and corporate mates.”

“A moratorium on coal seam gas is no longer good enough; the Greens’ policy of a permanent ban is the only responsible policy to protect our communities and environment,” Mr Buckingham said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916


Greens & community win on coal seam gas as Santos deadline passes

MEDIA RELEASE – 23 January 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy today declared that the Greens, farmers and the community had won the debate over coal seam gas over the last four years saying the industry had been stopped in its tracks.  He cited Santos’ announcement yesterday that they would not proceed with the Narrabri coal seam gas project until the “back end of the decade”, as well as the expiry today of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NSW Government and Santos to fast-track the Narrabri coal seam gas project.

In February 2014, the NSW Government signed an MOU with Santos declaring the Narrabri gas project a ‘Strategic Energy Project’. The MOU included a timeline in which Santos were due to lodge their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on 30 June 2014, and the final planning determination was to be made today, 23 January 2015.  Santos have still not lodged their EIS and the final determination date has now passed.

“The Greens, farmers and the community have won the campaign against coal seam gas.  The community are informed and dead set against fracking, and the industry has either packed up and left NSW, or their projects are at standstill,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“When the Coalition took office in March 2011, coal seam gas was set to roll out in the suburbs of Sydney and Sydney’s drinking water catchment, across the Hunter Valley, at Gloucester, throughout the Liverpool Plains and up to Moree, as well as in the Northern Rivers, Mid-North Coast, Newcastle,  and Southern Highlands.

“After four years campaigning the industry is now banned in urban areas, has been crushed by strident community opposition in the Northern Rivers, and even the giant Narrabri project has fallen over.

“Driving around many regions of NSW, yellow ‘No Gas’ triangles, Lock the Gate signs and ‘No Coal Seam Gas’ bumper stickers are everywhere.  In the last four years, the community uprising against coal seam gas has become the biggest environmental and social movement seen in NSW for decades.

“Santos’ Narrabri gas project appears dead. The MOU has expired, Santos have slashed their capital expenditure by hundreds of millions, and the project is on hold as they desperately try to sell down their stake in the project.

“The issue of coal seam gas is sure to be a big factor for many voters at the coming election, and the Greens are very proud of our track record on this issue,” he said.

Working hard to oppose coal seam gas in NSW Parliament

In direct relation to coal seam gas in the last term of parliament, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has given:

  • 73 speeches
  • 68 Questions on Notice
  • 74 questions without Notice
  • 260 questions in budget estimates
  • 39 Notices of Motion
  • 3 calls for papers (production of documents)
  • 4 Bills into Parliament:
  • Coal Seam Gas Moratorium Bill 2011
  • Responsible Mining (Protect Land, Water & Communities) Bill 2014
  • Central Coast Water Catchment Protection Bill 2014
  • Mining Legislation Amendment (Right of Landholders to Refuse Access) Bill 2013
  • Established the Legislative Council Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas
  • Established the ongoing Legislative Council Inquiry into gas supply and price

He has also:

  • Exposed spills, leaks and pollution incidents at CSG operations
  • Conducted a Frack Finding Tour of the USA
  • Toured Wyoming farmer John Fenton to Australia
  • Successfully campaigned for a ban of CSG in urban areas
  • Successfully campaigned to remove the royalty holiday for CSG
  • Stopped the passage of the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013
  • Raised the issue of domestic gas supplies being diverted to export
  • Worked with NSW Farmers Association, Lock the Gate and other community groups
  • Stood with community members at blockades of drilling sites , including at Bentley, Gloucester, Narrabri and Fullerton Cove
  • Campaigned for greater the right of landholders to say no to exploration on their land
  • Produced and distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets, stickers and other campaign materials
  • Visited all coal seam gas affected areas of NSW and other states

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

CSG report card

Fracking fluid water contamination means game over for coal seam gas

MEDIA RELEASE – 15 January 2015

The Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the communities worst fears had been realised, with the Environmental Protection Authority announcing they were investigating AGL’s detection of fracking chemicals in ground water after recent hydraulic fracturing operations at Gloucester.

He repeated the Greens call for fracking and coal seam gas to be prohibited in NSW. “One of the great fears with coal seam gas is water contamination from fracking chemicals, and now it appears this fear has come true with AGL’s fracking operations at Gloucester,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The industry can no longer pretend that fracking for coal seam gas does not contaminate ground water.  First we had Santos contaminate an aquifer with uranium and other heavy metals near Narrabri, and now we have fracking chemicals being detected in groundwater at Gloucester after recent hydraulic fracturing operations.

“This mirrors contamination incidents in the United States, where in Pennsylvania alone, 243 cases of ground water contamination were directly linked to fracking or drilling for unconventional gas.

“Premier Mike Baird has said that he “absolutely” wants coal seam gas in NSW, but is he happy to have our water resources contaminated with fracking fluid too?

“Coal seam gas is set to be a major issue at the upcoming state election as voters make their concern know at the ballot box.  The Greens want a complete ban on coal seam gas.

“The Greens urge the EPA to investigate this incident with all of their powers and prosecute if a licence breach has occurred.  AGL have had multiple breaches of their pollution licences relating to coal seam gas, only to cop a ‘slap on the wrist’ fines of $1,500,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

Greens concerned with AGL security guard assaults on citizens


11 November 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has written to the Police Minister Stuart Ayres expressing his concern about an alleged assault by AGL security personnel on protesters on public land.  The letter requests that police investigate the incident, which was recorded on video, and that sufficient police resources be made available to ensure AGL security guards do not assault protesters in the future.

Mr Buckingham has also written to all AGL board members making them aware of the incident and asking for AGL’s assurance that their employees or contractors respect the right to protest and refrain from assaulting members of the public.

“I became extremely concerned when I watched video footage where AGL security appear to assault members of the public who are simply standing peacefully on a public road and quite clearly say to the security guards they do not wish to be touched,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“I do not believe there is any legal authority for private security guards to assault members of the public who are on public land and have shown no intention to trespass.  It is a matter for the police only to deal with protests occurring on public land.

“The police must investigate this incident and if AGL security guards have broken the law, they should be prosecuted and the company held to account.

“The right to protest peacefully is an extremely important part of our democratic society.  A company hiring goons to rough up protestors should remain in the history books and has no place in modern Australia.  AGL should apologise to the protestors involved and provide an assurance that it will not occur again,” he said.

Read Jeremy Buckingham’s letter to Police Minister Stuart Ayres

Read Jeremy Buckingham’s letter to AGL Board of Directors.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

Labor’s patchwork position on coal seam gas needs to be clarified

MEDIA RELEASE –29 October 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham called on Labor to clarify their position on coal seam gas in relation to AGL’s Gloucester project and Santos’ Pilliga project, after Labor Leader John Robertson added the Clarence Valley to the list of areas where CSG would be banned by a Labor government.

“With this new announcement, the Labor Party continue their ad hoc approach to coal seam gas that seems motivated more by political expediency than any philosophical or scientific concern,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“John Robertson needs to put on the record what the Labor Party’s position is on fracking in the Gloucester Valley, as well as Santos’ coal seam gas proposal for the Narrabri area.  If he fails to do this then his ad hoc announcements in the Northern Rivers will be exposed as a cynical political exercise likely to be reversed once he is ensconced in power.

“Just south of Gloucester, AGL are now fracking – a licence that the former Labor government granted.  This is ground zero for coal seam gas in NSW right now, and John Robertson should inform the public as to whether Labor supports fracking in Gloucester.

“Earlier this week the Greens announced our policy of complete and unconditional opposition to coal seam gas,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 0419 444 916

Liberals & Nationals back fracking as Gloucester residents get shafted


6 August 2014

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham condemned the government’s renewal of AGL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL 285) over the Gloucester Valley, saying it was the start of fracking in NSW again and that local residents were being given less protection than those in Western Sydney.

Coal seam gas activity is banned within 2km of urban areas, however, AGL has been given permission to frack within a few hundred metres of houses at the outskirts of the town of Gloucester.

“This is a clear signal that the Liberal and National parties are pro-fracking and pro-coal seam gas,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“This is a dark day for NSW with the Baird government giving the green light to fracking once again, including near people’s homes,

“It’s outrageous that the people of Gloucester will have fracking within a few hundred metres of their homes, while people in Western Suburbs enjoy a 2 kilometre buffer.

“The community is overwhelmingly opposed, the scientists have warned of contamination of groundwater and the Manning River, and there is no clear plan to dispose of waste products.

“The local community will blockade fracking in the Gloucester Valley, just as they resisted at Bentley in the Northern Rivers and elsewhere,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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