Residents demand AGL closes Camden CSG wells now

Issue 
An AGL coal seam gas well (partially hidden on the right) alongside new housing in Spring Hill. Photo: Zeb Parkes

Activists from Stop CSG Sydney and the Australian Student Environment Network toured the AGL Camden CSG gasfields on April 17 to see for themselves how close gas wells are to homes. AGL has promised to end gas mining in Camden by 2023. Residents want them shut down now.

The NSW government has said that gas wells cannot be drilled within two kilometres of homes, but it is happy for Landcom, the government's own developer, to sell house and land packages within a few hundred metres of major gasfields.

Activists from Stop CSG Sydney and the Australian Student Environment Network toured the AGL Camden CSG gasfields on April 17 to see for themselves how close gas wells are to homes. AGL has promised to end gas mining in Camden by 2023. Residents want them shut down now.

The NSW government has said that gas wells cannot be drilled within two kilometres of homes, but it is happy for Landcom, the government's own developer, to sell house and land packages within a few hundred metres of major gasfields.

Activists from Stop CSG Sydney and the Australian Student Environment Network toured the AGL Camden CSG gasfields on April 17 to see for themselves how close gas wells are to homes. AGL has promised to end gas mining in Camden by 2023. Residents want them shut down now.

The NSW government has said that gas wells cannot be drilled within two kilometres of homes, but it is happy for Landcom, the government's own developer, to sell house and land packages within a few hundred metres of major gasfields.

The tour kicked off with a visit to Mount Annan where AGL gas producing wells Glenlee 11 and 13 are located inside the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens less than 100 metres from homes.

The tour visited Danielle Hodges, who spoke at a post-climate talks anti-fracking conference in Paris last December. Her house, part of a new development at Spring Farm, is located about 400 metres from 19 gas producing wells.

Danielle, what health effects have you and your family suffered?

My family and I have suffered from horrific nose bleeds that can last up to 20 minutes, headaches that continue for months on end, nausea that continues for months on end and breathing issues with more serious asthma attacks. Everyone in the family has started to lose their hair — it comes out in chunks — and we've all had rashes.

How do you know this is connected to the CSG wells?

We never had these issues until we moved to Spring Farm. I have lived in the area my entire life. Until we moved here we lived five minutes up the road in Catherine Field and we never had any of those issues then. It's only since we've moved to this area, where we have a close proximity to the wells, that we've had these health issues. There are 19 wells in close proximity to my home, with the closest being about 400 metres away.

You have made complaints to AGL and various politicians. What has been their response?

I've made complaints to AGL and politicians — local, federal, even Tony Abbott when he was in office — and I've always got the same generic response: go to our website, it's safe, we've done testing. They haven't actually done testing. So we just kind of get fobbed off.

What do you want to see happen?

I want to see the wells in Campelltown closed down now, not in seven years' time. Seven years is too long. I want fracking and CSG mining and coalmining near people's homes to be stopped immediately.

Campbelltown CSG wells hundreds of meters from homes

Danielle Hodges speaks out about the health effects of living a few hundred meters from coal seam gas wells in Spring Farm in Campbelltown in south-west Sydney.

Read more about a recent tour by anti-fracking activists of the CSG wells in Campbelltown here: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61585

Posted by Green Left Weekly on Thursday, 21 April 2016

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