Gloucester stands up to coal seam gas

Gloucester woman Kate Fry attached herself to the gate of AGL's project on October 22.

A local man was arrested on October 23 after locking himself to the access gate to four coal seam gas (CSG) pilot wells in Gloucester, New South Wales.

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of the wells, owned by AGL, was approved in August by NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts.

But residents in Gloucester stand opposed to any CSG drilling in the area.

A resident of 25 years, Brett Jacobs, said: "AGL has a battle on its hands if it thinks it can turn our valley into a coal seam gasfield. This is our home and we are not giving up or going away.”

AGL is planning to drill 110 wells in the first stage of operations in Gloucester. It has planned up to 330 gas wells in the project's later stages.

Jacobs said: "This fracking was approved by the NSW government under laws and regulations that the Chief Scientist has said need a complete overhaul.

"If Roberts ignores the Chief Scientist by allowing AGL to commence fracking, it would be an act of supreme recklessness showing utter contempt and disregard for Gloucester residents.

"We are calling on Minister Roberts to do the right thing by Gloucester and invoke an immediate suspension of all coal seam gas operations at Gloucester until the Chief Scientist's recommendations are implemented.”

Karen O'Brien, a small tourism business owner and Gloucester resident living just a few hundred metres from AGL's coal seam gas fracking site, said: "Coal seam gas is not safe and AGL's plans to industrialise Gloucester with hundreds of gas wells puts at risk our beef, dairy and horticulture industries.

"Gloucester is a tourism hotspot and the visitor economy generates $44 million annually. Thousands of people flock to enjoy the beauty of our region each year, but who wants to holiday in a gasfield?"

Gloucester residents joined CSG protesters in Sydney on October 23 outside AGL’s annual general meeting.

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