60 Minutes ‘Keep Out’ story keeps out facts and balance

June 20th, 2016

The Nine Network’s 60 Minutes has become the latest television program to ‘investigate’ Queensland’s CSG industry, in a report more notable for what they neglected to report than what made it to air.

The story – which can be accessed here – focused only on the experiences of two landholders in the Chinchilla region, completely failing to present any views or opinions other than those they had predetermined.

Let’s look at some facts:

  • Both companies mentioned in the report – QGC and Origin Energy – provided the program with lengthy, detailed responses to some very specific questions (QGC’s response is here, while Origin’s response can be accessed here);
  • The program’s producers were offered the opportunity to speak with landholders who had positive experiences to report, and;
  • APPEA offered to provide a spokesman to talk about the industry.

Of course, neither of the latter two points were mentioned in the story, which also featured the show’s attempt to visit the seeps in the Condamine River, the scene of many activist stunts over the past few years.

At least the reporter got it right when he acknowledged that the seeps are naturally occurring.

You can read an interesting take on the program’s trip up the river here.

The only attempt to mention the industry’s response was in the final closing comments, directing viewers to the 60 Minutes Facebook page for links to the company statements.

It’s a shame that 60 Minutes chose to focus on just two examples out of the more than 5,000 landholder agreements in place across Queensland, but we won’t hold our breath for a followup story.




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