St Peters CSG mines would affect entire area, says activist
Louise Steer, public officer for Stop CSG Sydney, made the remarks below at Marrickville Council’s May 8 meeting.
The council unanimously agreed to place a condition on the development application of St Peters waste recycling business Alexandria Landfill to prohibit coal seam gas mining at the site.
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Stop CSG Sydney’s point is that the applicant, Alexandria Landfill, misled Marrickville Council by failing to reveal the agreement with Dart Energy on its application.
There is no way that the applicant can conduct a recycling operation on a coal seam gas well, which will affect the entire area.
Perhaps the owner, Mr [Ian] Malouf, was ignorant of the extent of the coal seam gas proposal and the extent of the impact it may have.
However, the owner of the waste recycling site must have had arrangement with Dart Energy for the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to be approved by the NSW government.
The REF has not been revoked, and Dart Energy (the coal seam gas miner) can begin drilling any time.
Dart Energy has informed the Stock Exchange of its intent to drill 10 wells by the end of this year. Is St Peters included? The fact that this is just “exploration” is irrelevant.
Dart Energy has already applied to the NSW government to have the approved “exploration” well changed to pilot production. This means that the company considers the resource to be worth extracting.
Dart Energy informed Stop CSG Sydney that it was 95% certain that the St Peters well would become a production well.
Dart Energy has failed to answer questions about the impacts of “exploration” let alone pilot production or production. For examples of the extent of “pilot production” take a look at the Pilliga which is currently under pilot production.
Whatever the owner of the recycling and waste management site has to say about land use is irrelevant because the REF has been granted and stands until it is revoked by the government, or rescinded by Dart Energy.
Once Dart Energy moves to a production licence, the owner of the site no longer has any effective say in the proposal.
Given our dealings with Dart Energy, it is entirely possible that the owner of the site was misled by Dart Energy, including about the extent and impact of coal seam gas mining at the site.
The Marrickville Local Environment Plan 2011, which is legislated (that is, it is not a policy or guideline) prohibits “extractive industries”, “offensive industries” and “open cut mining” in general industrial and light industrial zones.
While coal seam gas is not mentioned, it clearly falls within the categories of “extractive industries” and “offensive industries”.
The reference to “open cut mining” reveals that the council acknowledges that mining is inappropriate use of industrial zones in Marrickville.