Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mining threat to Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin and the Great Barrier Reef are called great for a reason. They are the largest of their kind in the world. Coal seam gas extraction has the potential to ruin both these Australian greats. 

The Great Artesian Basin (GAB), the country’s only permanent inland water, underlies a quarter of Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth.

For over a century the GAB has supplied water for communities, stock and industry. Through flawed government policy, landholders squandered this resource with uncapped bores, as they were told it would be recharged from rainwater, but scientists now know it will take millions of years.

Now the enormous water usage by the mining and coal seam gas industries are depleting and polluting the stressed GAB even further. It is estimated that CSG mining will use up to 1,500 billion litres of finite groundwater per year and pollute and poison the remaining water.

The GAB Coonamble Action Group has invited the community and people from the surrounding areas to a meeting and information day at the Coonamble Bowling Club, on Sunday 8th July.

The award-winning movie "Gasland" will be shown at 12.00 midday, followed by a light lunch, and then the meeting at 2.00 pm.

Guest speakers are Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance and Dayne Pratzky who lives at Tara in Queensland, surrounded by gas wells.

The flat countryside around Coonamble produces for export and the Australian market grass fed beef, feedlot cattle, medium wool and fat lambs, all reliant on bore water. It is also one of the largest wheat producing areas in Australia with around 400,000 ton of grain a year grown by the district’s farmers.

Many people in this community are aware of the problems with coal seam gas because of fractured aquifers in The Pilliga which is nearby. A recent brochure drop from a mining company to the community outlines only the benefits of coal seam gas extraction.

The GAB Coonamble Action Group wants the community to know their rights and understand all the facts, before they make any decisions they will later regret.

For further information: or contact Anne Kennedy – 0429 023 007

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