3 October 2014
Vote 1 Local Jobs founder James Purcell has hit back at claims of coal seam gas confusion, saying there is absolutely no misunderstanding in local opposition to the controversial issue of unconventional gas extraction.
Mr Purcell said while it was true we have a more abundant supply of tight and shale gas than coal seam gas, the methods to extract these forms of gas were just as frightening.
“Generally speaking the tight and shale gas supplies lie up to four kilometres below ground and because of this deeper depth there is the possibility of fracking occurring every 500 metres along a horizontal tunnel to try and extract the gas,” Mr Purcell said.
“How can we construe a potentially increased amount of fracking as a positive thing?
“The evidence we see from the US is largely based on shale and tight gas and these have the same potential effects as coal seam gas.”
Mr Purcell said there were many other factors relating to the industry that were extremely risky to the environment and our way of life.
“The water table in Gippsland has been reported as dropping by one metre per year for the past 30 years. Farmers in that area have had bores dry up and had to drill new, deeper bores to compensate.
“These unconventional methods of gas extraction involve the removal of massive amounts of underground water, which is known to drop water levels.
“Why would we pose further risk to our underground water table? Can our farmers and our towns continue to rely on water tables if the water levels drop significantly? It’s a risk no one should be taking.
The extracted water then sits in evaporation ponds, which are so big they are visible on google maps. “In Queensland they are up to 1.5 kilometres wide and long and there are absolutely dozens of them.
“The water can contain some of the extracted chemicals used during the fracking process and has very high salt levels.
“The question we need to ask is where is that salty water going to go? When the winter comes and they overflow where is that salty water and the chemicals in the water going to end up? If the salt is extracted where does it go?
“There are too many unknowns, too many concerns and way too many risks. I have no doubt we need a permanent ban.”
For further details or a photo opportunity please contact James Purcell on 0407 550 707 or Tanya Waterson on 0437 658 007