Carol Phayer – 17 May 2014

Dear Inquiry Commissioner,

My name is Carol Phayer and I am a long term resident of Humpty Doo since 1984.

Darwin is sometimes a hard place to live with the high cost of living and build up weather conditions, but I live here because  I love our pristine environment , clean water and great fishing.

Looking at the evidence from Australia and overseas from scientists and medical reports it is clear that there are some serious issues with this mining practice of fracking.
My many concerns are:

The NT already has a legacy of bad mining practices with poor government decisions. We have not even worked out what to do with waste from mines 50 years ago, which the taxpayer, not the mining companies get left with.

Our carbon emissions quota will be adversely effected by the release of methane gases that do happen in this unconventional  gas mining practice, the USA underestimated their carbon release into the atmosphere by a third as they did not counter in all the released methane through fracking.

The government will tell you we have been fracking for years in the NT, but this is a very small area in central Australia.(vertical fracking only)
No study has been done on monsoon tropical areas, anyone who has been through a wet season in the top end knows that all our rivers, creeks, run offs, causeways and flood areas are all interconnected.

The EPA have indicated that because there will too many mines, it will be too expensive to do an environmental  impact study on each one and the mining companies will just have to follow the guidelines, without any proper independent overseeing.

The Katherine river has already been over allocated with water licenses  and for some crazy reason mining companies do not need water permits., Yet the fracking process uses so much water.

Mining companies spend millions of $ on cleaver lobbing to government I want the government to look at the science and evidence form everywhere and not just believe the big sell from the mining companies.

If the majority of people in the NT disapprove of this destructive unconventional gas mining  should not the government at least hold a moratorium to do proper risk assessment study before we start making the mistakes that have and are happening all over the world.
I have attached a letter from the NSW government regard the suspension of a mining license  in the Bentley area.

Kind regards Carol Phayer

Dear Carol Phayir

Thank you for your recent telephone call to the Premier’s office concerning Metgasco’s Rosella exploration well at Bentley in northern NSW. I have been asked to write to you on behalf of the Premier.

The NSW Government supports the safe and environmentally sustainable growth of NSW’s gas reserves and understands and appreciates your concerns. This is why we have implemented strong, comprehensive and effective regulation that serves the public interest. Applications that are not able to meet these regulations will be refused.

The Government is aware of community concerns about gas and coal seam gas activities and is committed to improving industry compliance, transparency and effective community engagement to ensure only safe and sustainable development of gas reserves in NSW.

In response to these concerns, the Government has put in place the most comprehensive regulatory controls for the gas industry in the country to protect our vital land and water resources.

Between 1996 and 1998 the Carr Labor Government issued three Petroleum Exploration Licences to explore for natural gas in NSW’s Northern Rivers region, which were subsequently acquired by Metgasco.

Following an application from Metgasco, the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG) granted approval for the construction of a petroleum exploration well on a disused quarry site at Bentley near Lismore. The approval of this well, known as Rosella E01, was subject to more than 300 strict conditions and obligations.

On 15 May 2014 the Director of OCSG suspended the approval on the grounds that it did not fulfil a condition of its exploration licence, namely to undertake genuine and effective consultation with the community as required.

The Director of OCSG has advised that fundamental concerns have been expressed by members of the affected community about the way in which Metgasco has characterised its activities in Bentley.

Metgasco must now demonstrate to OCSG that it has complied with this fundamental condition of its licence before any activity at the Rosella E01 exploration well can proceed.

Thank you for bringing this matter to the Premier’s attention.

Yours sincerely

David Elliott MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier