Protestors tell AGL to stop fracking

Issue 
Julie Lyford (centre) from Groundswell Gloucester joins the protest. Photo: Kate Ausburn

Hundreds from across NSW gathered outside AGL's HQ on September 2 to mark the 100th week of a protest first initiated by Camden residents angry that AGL is allowed to frack near their homes. AGL first started fracking in Camden, south west Sydney, in 2001.

Speakers included Jennifer Schoelpple, Anne Thompson, an original Knitting Nanna from the Northern Rivers, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham and Julie Lyford, president of Groundswell Gloucester.

"This is going to happen every single week until AGL leaves Gloucester and addresses the health concerns at Camden", Lyford told the crowd. "CSG is a festering sore for the Baird government and AGL, and the community opposition is only growing."

Defenders and Knitting Nannas from Gloucester, Camden, Newcastle, Illawarra and across the Sydney basin took part. The Ecopella Choir sang anti-coal seam gas songs, and passers-by showed their enthusiasm for the protesters message by blasting their horns.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Defenders Office reported that AGL has failed to provide evidence it is permitted to store waste water at a farm site near its CSG pilot field in Gloucester. It had been allowed to mix the produced water, a by-product of the fracking process which is notoriously high in salts, with irrigation water. That permit expired in April and it seems that AGL doesn't have a permit to store the produced water.

John Watts, a spokesman for Groundswell Gloucester, told the Sydney Morning Herald on September 2: "It is clear that AGL are storing, and intend to continue storing, their produced water in open dams in a paddock at Gloucester without any right to do so and with no plan for its disposal."

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