The rapid growth of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry — despite broad public opposition and proven risks — is bringing the gap between policy and public will into stark relief. Research remains limited, but there is mounting evidence CSG mining poses serious risks.
Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. Moore, who is also a member of the Socialist Alliance, was awared the NSW Nature Conservation Council's Rising Star award for "the most outstanding environmental effort of an individual under 30".
Stop CSG Illawarra’s Jess Moore gave the speech below at the 3000-strong rally against coal seam gas mining that took place in Clifton, north of Wollongong, on October 16. * * * Like so many people who live in the north Illawarra, there is a creek that flows through my backyard. Most of those creeks come from aquifers: the Hawkesbury Sandstone Aquifer System that the coal seam gas companies want to drill through to get the gas. This campaign is about our future and our right to protect this area — to protect our drinking water, our food and our future.
The development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry brings risks to Australia’s limited water resources. It draws contaminated water out of the ground, damages aquifers and uses and pollutes large quantities of freshwater. These risks, and the implications for health, agriculture and the environment, are central reasons for the growing community campaign to stop CSG mining. Images in the documentary Gasland of people setting their tap water on fire have made many question the impact of unconventional gas on water supplies.
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