In the past decade, the expansion of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in Australia has been nothing short of momentous. In the Eastern states, where the growth has been concentrated, this progression has generated increasing social and environmental concerns. Uncertainty regarding the effect of coal seam gas extraction upon ground water aquifers, the full impact of hydro-fracturing, and how to effectively dispose of gallons of “associated” water without causing cross-contamination have all contributed to this. Additionally, land-holders in these areas have been subjected to what the New South Wales Senate Standing Committee has recently described as an “aggressive” assertion of mining rights.
This article has been published on The Conversation 11th May.
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A new national agreement designed to protect water resources from coal seam gas extraction and coal mining could offer a level of protection so far unseen in Australian environmental legislation. Any states serious about protecting water for farming and the environment should be signing up.