Alison Worsnop & Mike Bowman - 29 May 2014

Dear Commissioner

We note that the terms of reference relate solely to the environmental impacts of Coal Seam Gas exploitation rather than the cultural and economic implications. Consequently, we trust that you will call appropriately knowledgeable scientific expert witnesses to give evidence who are independent of the major industry and government stakeholders.

What we can contribute from direct personal observation, as resident Territorians for 20 years, living next to an active mining operation in Darwin’s rural residential area is that:

There is  no way we can have any input or influence on the decisions affecting this operation.

We see Uranium mining in our national parks operating dangerously and hazardous wastes released into the river system. We see unsafe, abandoned mine sites passed from one foreign owned entity to another leaving rehabilitation unfulfilled.  Groundwater usage is uncontrolled – not even monitored.  Valuable licences to use enormous volumes of surface water are handed out in questionable circustances.  Nothing seems to have been learned from experiences elsewhere in the world.

So what hope is there that CSG will be managed with any consideration for the environment and the people of the Northern Territory, let alone ‘best practice’ whatever that might be?  None, so far as we can see.  

We submit that the short term economic gains will be enjoyed by a few multinationals, a few expert fly-in workers.  Australia and particularly the people of the Northern Territory will be left with a poisonous legacy of hideous and dangerous, decaying infrastructure and the likely loss of our most precious resource: water.

We request a moratorium and refer to the various other public submissions.

Alison Worsnop & Mike Bowman