IF the Camden Haven can work to stop a multi-national company from setting up a diesel-fuelled peaking power plant in the area (2008), surely community action can give coal seam gas seekers a strong message.
According to the newly formed Camden Haven Anti-Fracking Group (CHAFG) the possibility of Coal Seam Gas exploration is high in the Lorne Basin Geological Area. This area includes Comboyne, Lorne, Kendall, Laurieton, Queens Lake and extends to Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie, Bago and around to King Creek.
Pangaea Resources surveyed the region late last year for minerals and coal seam gas via a yellow plane operated by West Australian company Fugro Airborne Surveys.
According to research by the CHAFG Coal Seam Gas (CSG) is mostly methane. It is found within coal along its natural fractures. CSG in Australia is booming, particularly in Queensland and Northern NSW. CSG production is supplementing conventional gas production to meet domestic demand.
Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a process used to extract gas from the coal seam. It involves the drilling of a borehole into a coal seam. Pressurised fluid is then injected into any fractures in the seam. This pressure causes the fractures to expand and extend through the seam. The resulting fracturing increases the gas flow rate.
The fracking fluids, along with naturally occurring hyrocarbons found in these deep deposits, are brought back to the surface as ‘produced water’. Produced water may be salty, may contain oil, grease and many toxic compounds. This mix contains known carcinogens and other compounds detrimental to human health and the environment.
The Camden Haven Anti-Fracking Group Convenor, Ian Oxenford, said residents should be very concerned about this development because CSG is a rapidly developing industry.
“Recently he said the ABC program Four Corners showed the dangers of this type of mining in Queensland where there were methane leaks and the difficulties the companies had with disposing of ‘produced water’,” Mr Oxenford said.
“It does not bear thinking about if we were to have a flood event and the tailing ponds flowed into our beautiful river system. We could say goodbye to our oyster farms, our commercial and recreational fishing as well as our farmland.
“Even without this extreme event, mining in our region would impact on everyone with three geological locations within the Lorne Basin being identified for CSG potential.”
A Camden Haven Anti Coal Seam Gas Forum will be held at the Laurieton United Services Club on Thursday 23 June at 7pm. All are welcome.
All donations to this important cause are appreciated and can be made to Camden Haven Anti Fracking Group account number 143174878, BSB 633-000, Kendall Bendigo Bank. Funds are needed to finance an extensive promotional program including advertising, promotional materials such as tee shirts, bumper stickers and information brochures.