Gas mining blockade continues in Queensland

Residents at Tara, west of Brisbane, have blocked the Queensland Gas Company (QGC) from continuing seismic testing in the gas-rich Surat Basin amid concerns over the company’s operations.

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Activists from environmental group Friends of the Earth have joined the blockade because of concerns about the effect of the coal-seam gas extraction processes on the Great Artesian Basin.

Coal seam gas extraction uses large amounts of underground water.

Campaigner Drew Hutton said a meeting with QGC officials on Monday failed to break any ground.

Another meeting with senior executives is scheduled for 11am (AEST) on Tuesday, but blockaders were not hopeful of an outcome, he said.

“I have a suspicion that those talks are not going to lead anywhere,” Mr Hutton told AAP.

“I don’t think the company is terribly keen to do much more than simply a tactical retreat at this stage and we would want much more than that.”

The landowners say they are being affected by noise and air pollution from the company’s wells and want action from management before it moves ahead with plans for a multi-billion-dollar LNG project.

Mr Hutton said about 25 people had taken part in the blockade and vowed it would not end until management agreed to make their operations more transparent.

“This is a community that has been badly impacted by this gas mining development, we want the community protected from it,” he said.

“We’ve got people out here who are ill from the emissions they’re having to deal with close to their homes.

“People have come here … bought some land to live their dream and they’re faced with a nightmare.”

He said Tara had about 60 gas wells but QGC wanted to build hundreds more.

Comment is being sought from QGC.

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