Frackman. More fiction than fact.

February 25th, 2015

The Energy Resource Information Centre has fact checked claims made in the film.

Frackman The Movie is presented as: ‘a film about a bunch of ordinary people caught up in a multinational gold rush to secure and exploit coal seam gas’.

But it’s worth taking a look at the motivation, funding and drivers behind the film as well as being aware of the facts.

There’s a lot of accusations made in the film, and a lot of claims made about the natural gas industry.

Check back regularly, because we’ll be updating this section as more claims are made about the industry.

UPDATE: Our Frackman fact check focus on some of the key claims made in the film.




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  1. sagesydney on 24 February, 2015 Reply

    Well that’s an interesting range of source providers you’ve got there the Government, Gasfield and AGL. Now there wouldn’t be any chance that the information provided by them would be a little one sided or dare I say pro CSG? Just a thought.

  2. sagesydney on 24 February, 2015 Reply

    I am surprised by the source providers used here to challenge Frackman. We have- The Government, AGL. and Energy Resource Information Centre . That’s a likely pro CSG group if I have ever spotted one. Oh and by the way the link to NSW Mining that has been used to dispute “437 million hectares of Australia is covered by coal and coal seam gas licenses or applications, eighteen times the size of Great’ page cannot be found. So you may want to rethink this one. Are you sure that all your facts are right?

    • ERIC on 25 February, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for bringing the broken link to our attention. It’s been fixed.

      • sagesydney on 26 February, 2015 Reply

        Morning ERIC, you’re welcome.
        Now let’s be honest here and I wish ERIC was. For some reason you chose not to post my comment yesterday which would have revealeD that over 4 of your sources could not be found. Today I note that they have all been removed and your fact v fiction page looks a whole lot different. Why is that ? ERIC needs to stand by it’s claims , not just change things around to suit. Didn’t ERIC accuse Frackman of the same ? I think ERIC is looking the guilty party from where I sit. shame on you. Let’s see if you have the decency to post today’s comments.

        • ERIC on 26 February, 2015 Reply

          There’s no great conspriacy at play – we’ve updated the page now that the movie is out. The links you referred to all worked at this end.

  3. Simon Nasht on 24 February, 2015 Reply

    As one of the producers of Frackman, we welcome your engagement and look forward to a civilised debate. This is not a great start, however. We will pleased to respond in detail, but perhaps we should at least all wait until the film is available for viewing? That would be nice. In meantime, you might like to clarify one important point: are you now admitting that in fact landholders have the right to prevent access to their land by mining companies if they so choose? A simple yes or no will suffice. We’re happy you are taking an interest in our little film, given that its budget is dwarfed by the massive marketing, promotional and lobbying resources of the industry. For all those interested, please visit and sign up to be informed of further developments in this discussion

    • ERIC on 25 February, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Simon – likewise, we look forward to a civilised debate – and one that is based on fact rather than emotion.

      • Name (required) on 13 March, 2015 Reply

        Answer the question – Are you stating that landholders have the right to prevent access to their land by mining companies if they so choose?

  4. Simon Nasht on 25 February, 2015 Reply

    Sure Eric,
    We are surprised that you are making so many claims BEFORE actually seeing the film, but then we do acknowledge that you are an efficient lobbying organisation- we had no idea you were also clairvoyant. Wow.
    You asked for facts, so let’s start with one: According to the Queensland Government (source below):
    “If a company has met all of its legal obligations it is an offence for anyone without a reasonable excuse to obstruct a resource company from:
    *entering or crossing land to carry out authorised activities
    *carrying out authorised activities.”

    Are we clear now?

    With $70 billion invested (and a collapsing business model) we appreciate the CSG industry will defend its interests vigorously. But part of your PR problem may be based on an unwillingness to acknowledge that you actually have a problem in the first place. Ignore it if you wish, it only gives our little film oxygen. But pretending cherry picked ‘facts’ are not contested, and spinning misleading references (like labelling submissions from Santos as being sourced from ‘NSW Parliament’) is not really a smart move. But not my business to offer gratuitous advice.

    Over to you.

    • ERIC on 25 February, 2015 Reply

      Simon, we’ve seen the film – at the public screening in Adelaide on 24/02.

  5. Alfons on 26 February, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for putting some facts into this debate. At $20 a movie ticket this seems to be one big fundraising exercise for the Green movement, extraordinarily supported by $500,000 of taxpayers money. I want a refund!

  6. Kerrie on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Gee I just can’t wait to see the movie. I think from reading all the above myths that It is well worth $20 to see it to find out the real facts about this dirty fossil fuel industry that is threatening our kids future. I’m glad at least some taxpayer’s money has been spent to off set the mega dollars spend on advertising by the gas industry.What really amazes me is if it’s such a good safe industry why does the gas industry have to spend so much money on trying to tell us so? One can only imagine what those mega advertising dollars would have done for the renewable energy industry.

    • Name (required) on 6 April, 2015 Reply

      MMMM real facts you say, best you don’t go see the movie then.

    • Name (required) on 10 April, 2015 Reply

      Kerrie – renewable energy is not some kind of ticket to a utopian society full of rainbows and strawberrys. Renewables will also be developed by corporations large and small guided by the capitalist principals of return on investment. Sure, like any industry would, renewables will use the marketing of their so called social license to gain more support and investment. however, once renewables are a dominant part of the energy mix, do you really think all word problems will be solved? The vast amounts of land and natural resources required for industrial scale solar and wind won’t cause the same kind of environmental and land use conflicts? The same anti-capitalist protesters will suddenly be happy with corporations turning a profit?

  7. Drew Hutton on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Difficult to know where to start with this very selective treatment of available research material but let me start with something very simple – land access. With all your statements about negotiation of access agreements with Queensland landholders you failed to mention that that the Petroleum and Gas Act states that, if a landholder refuses to allow access, then s/he can be taken, after a mediation step, to the Land Court which can then order access – and this is always stated to recalcitrant landholders by your land liaison folk. Of course it’s a hollow threat because it would be a terrible look – a foreign corporation using Qld Police to arrest a farmer at his front gate in order to get onto his property to trash it with CSG. It’s hollow but unfortunately, many landholders believe it.

    • Alfons on 4 March, 2015 Reply

      With all due respect to Mr Hutton I find the façade of supporting farmers far removed from the agenda outlined by Lock the Gate in an interview with the Green Left Weekly.
      Drew Hutton quote – “This is the battle for the end of the fossil fuel industry. This is the end game,”

    • Allan on 19 March, 2015 Reply

      Santos managing director stated directly “If you don’t want us on your land, we wont be there” on Q&A ABC TV panel on 11Nov2013. QLD Farmers are accepting. NSW Farmers have had hesitations. NSW has been warned about lack of local gas development in

  8. Tim Hale on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Drew – there has not been one incident of a CSG company using the police to enter a property. Just thought worth mentioning. However, there has been many cases of Surat Basin land occupants attacking company equipment and threatening people trying to earn a living. There are also many cases of people vandalising property owenrs padlocks and gates with glue etc, because they support the CSG industry.

    • ERIC on 4 March, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for the comment Tim – unfortunately vandalism isn’t restricted to Queensland – in Western Australia, a shale gas well was found to have been deliberately damaged (, while in NSW protesters concreted barricades, including star pickets, into roads leading to an approved exploration project.

  9. Name (required) on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Firstly lets ask the farmers who have the wells on their property what they think. That’s all the farmers not the selected bunch of antis, the whole 100 % who have wells on their land.
    Then lets find out how many wells were actually ‘fracked’ last year in Australia against the total drilled etc.
    Then lets ask the “antis” how many of them use CSG, most will not be able to tell you where and who uses it and what it is used for.
    This movie will be like the INCONVENIENT TRUTH a lot of people talking and wringing their hands, sticking a few stickers on their cars and making some more banners about saving the world they are just as responsible for destroying and in the end it all comes to naught ……. because they are laying a smoke screen to hide their bad habits.
    So its one sided if the industry supporters have their view but of course the FRACKMAN crowd are not biased at all…… please give me a break, a couple of stickers and a mocumentary don’t make a credible argument one way or the other.

  10. Name (required) on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Response to Fracman from industry = science and protective legislation. Response from alarmists= we still believe the hippies. People in the industry that have kids living in the regions of CSG and have come forward to blow the whistle=0. Alarmists that have come forward to beleive a concept like “it’s dirty and unsafe, nothing more to say” = all of em. Uneducated and drew should be ashamed to be misleading them.

  11. terry on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Drew, I still eagerly wait for your reply or reaction to the question of CSG vs the Cotton Farmer, for years the Cotton Farmers who are found all around most the CSG areas have been using their Super fertilizers to grow bumper crops of snowy white cotton and then Aerial Spraying the Agent Orange like defoiliants to make harvesting easier, you talk about shutting the gate on exploration companies well how about shutting the airspace on these guys, I wonder how many people with rashes or itches have been subject to Defoiliate Spraydrift

  12. Csimmo on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    Well I have a farm in the salad bowl of Queensland and I can tell you I would much rather a CSG (Natural Gas) well over a coal mine any day. I grew up with natural gas in Brisbane as a kid, never had any issues for cooking and hot water. I’ve never heard of any water issues so far?? Those poor guys in Hunter Valley, bet they wish a CSG project got in first, of course that’s the only other option, I run off the grid these days with an expensive solar system, batteries and genset, but solar is not practical or economical for most. It won’t power your homes overnight folks, surprisingly. So what are the real options to CSG, Coal and Nuclear… Make a choice Frackman!! Did you see Alan Jones talking about the farmer in Chinchilla suffering as a result of a coal mine next to his property? Go and have a look at a “CSG” neighbouring property? What do you see? Cows grazing peacefully and us farmers getting on with their business in the long run at least… Not so Hunter Valley and NSW…

    • CSGguy on 13 March, 2015 Reply

      You claim are a farmers in the “salad bowl” of Qld, yet you have a $78,000 stand alone power system? The area has mains power.

      • Craig on 14 April, 2015 Reply

        Too far off grid, was going to be 210k for poles and transformer, so had to go solar…

    • Mother on 28 April, 2015 Reply

      Csimmo, You are sadly mistaken if you think you grew up with CSG, sure the natural gas process has been around for many years but the CSG process has only been in practice since 1998 & only became a more common practice since 2002….it’s all about the process which is totally different to natural gas…and oh let’s not forget the CSG industry doesn’t want you to know the difference now labeling CSG natural gas…not one in the same by a long shot!

      • ERIC on 28 April, 2015 Reply

        Thanks for the contribution. Hydraulic fracturing – a completion process used in CSG – has been used around the world for more than fifty years, not the more recent dates that you refer to. And CSG is a natural gas – comprised primarily of methane gas.

  13. Rick on 3 March, 2015 Reply

    How are you arms after taking a sledge hammer to Yulllaroo. Leaky gas well! ” got caught out there” Didn’t see your horses ” oh you drove” These mocumentaries are deliberate lies and disinformation
    Next time you want to salt some pollution use some lipstick, drano, and a pack of instant soup at least you will get the chemicals right and only half a lipstick otherwise it would be obvious and would exceed the actual concentration
    Next time I’m sick I might consult a pig farmer perhaps he could also explain the mass of the Higgs boson or advise I give up statins
    will he make lots of money after all it’s green

  14. Jim Simpson on 4 March, 2015 Reply

    With all this brouhaha about Frackman, I’m reminded of a recent documentary called Fracknation that was produced in response to the Josh Fox’s Gasland documentary. Recommended viewing IMHO, especially for those promoting Alarmism re the Fracking process. It debunks virtually all of the concerns raised & highlights dubious practices employed by the environmental lobby. Follow this link for the Fracknation trailer.

    • ERIC on 4 March, 2015 Reply

      Great pointer Jim – you might also be interested in a film that our colleagues at Energy in Depth produced in response to the Gasland ‘documentary’ – you can find it here:

      • Jim Simpson on 4 March, 2015 Reply

        Noted with interest thanks Eric. I’ve dropped a line to ‘Energy in Depth’ together with a request for at least one copy of Truthland, more if possible to share with others here in Oz (Sydney specifically)equally sceptical of the Alarmism surrounding Fracking. Tks for mentioning it! I suspect we have more than a little in common!! Drop me an email if you can pick my email address up from this web site? Cheers’nBeers, Jim

        • ERIC on 5 March, 2015 Reply

          No need to wait for the DVD to arrive Jim – you can watch it here:

  15. Simon Nasht on 5 March, 2015 Reply

    OK, we can take the word of the industry that everything is just wonderful out there in the Surat Basin, with contented farmers happily coexisting with CSG. Or we can delve a little deeper. Here’s an example of what happened to one Chinchilla land holder. For all of you who blindly defend the industry without question, think about what it would mean to be in this poor blokes situation.

    With thanks to Dave Monk for making this video

    • Csimmo on 5 March, 2015 Reply

      Simon and Dave Monk how is the flare dangerous? Aren’t they temporary till the CPP is online? Isn’t this just methane burning? There is no doubt farmers are affected, I guess my point is this is a far better alternative to coal. We are an industrialised nation who dig up the ground, so we can have tractors, and fuel them.

      I think we need to work on finding ways to improve our renewables, but these cannot sustain our country, I can only hope over time once construction is complete and the flare gone, that some normality returns.

      • CSGguy on 13 March, 2015 Reply

        Csimmo – it is dozens of flares and most have been continuously flaring since August. It’s not pure methane. Also re Gladstone, Phil Dash (former asst coordinator-general) made the point that 12.5% of the gas produced is used in liquifying the gas, and this involves burning the gas. For a one LGN Project (200pj) 26 pj is required. This is the equivalent of the entire CO2 emissions from a 400MW gas power station. Any wonder GHG were struck out of the assessment documents for the Qld projects?

        • Csimmo on 14 April, 2015 Reply

          CSG Guy, i’d presume they won’t flare for long?? Otherwise they won’t have any gas to sell? Just a thought… I’m fairly sure once the plant is finished it would compress the gas and send along a pipeline rather than burn it. I think if you look into this you’ll find the flares are diminishing as they come “online”.

  16. Archie on 5 March, 2015 Reply

    SO csg is a far better alternative to coal power? SOLAR POWER Trumps them both comprehensibly!NO poisoning of water tables or any other water,,no pollution,,no fall-out! Just pure sunlight! Pity that the big dough investors can,t get their hands on it! I guess that,s why there is not huge investment in it(like the$$400million per year going on “clean coal”).

    • Jonathan on 20 March, 2015 Reply

      Archie, manufacturing solar panels requires energy… they don’t just build themselves. They also don’t supply baseload power (think cloudy days or night time). To do that, you either need a grid connection (which is burning fossill fuels) or you need batteries. Again, batteries take massive amount of energy to manufacture. All that lithium, nickle, plastic, etc. I agree we should all be working towards a world that doesn’t rely on fossill fuels (that fusion reactor in the sky is a great source of energy) but we’re not there yet.

  17. Csimmo on 5 March, 2015 Reply

    OK Archie, I run 100% solar power on my place, love it BUT it cost $78,000,00. Why? Because I’m a long way from the grid. Problem is, you guessed it, the sun goes down… And when it rains our generator backup is running several hours to charge batteries. Put the oven on, and yes, batteries are suffering. What do you use for power at night Archie? Batteries?

    With $28000 for the batteries alone per household, it won’t happen. How would Australia buy batteries to run on Solar each night for every household. It’s NOT FEASIBLE ARCHIE.

    And as for the polluted water? Can someone actually show me an instance of this honestly? Good luck with your dream mate.

    • Clean water on 6 March, 2015 Reply

      Csimmo, let’s not pretend that CSG extraction doesn’t affect water. It does Here is some MSM reporting on water contamination. The extraction also results in water drawdown and water bores have been lost on some farms.
      Ross Dunn from APPEA quoted ”Drilling will, to varying degrees, impact on adjoining aquifers”, “The intent of saying that is to make it clear that we have never shied away from the fact that there will be impacts on aquifers,”:
      I also recommend to everybody to listen to what Anthony Ingraffea from Cornell University has to say about wells, well integrity and fracking. He has worked for the gas industry and his area of specialty is rock fracture mechanics.
      I also expect ERIC, in the interests of honesty and transparency to publish my post including links in its entirety.
      Here is Ingraffea’s excellent explaination and presentation:

      • ERIC on 6 March, 2015 Reply

        Thanks for your contribution to this important debate.

        In the interests of honesty and transparency, we recommend you read this about Ingraffea’s repeated claims:

        And this about the claim that the Pilliga incident you refer to:

      • Alfons on 6 March, 2015 Reply

        Dear Clean water – some context would be good. Produced water from CSG production represents only a small percentage of underground water used by agriculture and many other industries for example. Funnily enough we don’t hear that too much from the LTG crowd about that. The work of Ingraffea, the academic of choice for the US anti-resource movement, has been widely discredited. For just one example, and there are many, see here

  18. Dion on 11 March, 2015 Reply

    Archie while I applaude your love for australia to go solar, I do have to ask, 1. Where do you think the metals, glass, wiring, control units, batteries, that all go into solar panels come from? They are all derived from mined products!! Also if we build this super solar farm, what are we to do to stop it killing all the bird that fly over it? The computer/smart phone you read this on has done more damage to 3rd world countries than CSG has here.

    • Csimmo on 14 April, 2015 Reply

      Great thought Dion, can you imagine the amount of batteries? I haven’t counted mine, about 18 I think? So 18 batteries per household, lead acid, maybe gel if you can afford. 18 Million Batteries?? Lead, Hydrochloric acid… ha ha, of course very good for environment, disposal would be interesting. Plus you’ll have to build a special room which is ventilated, they can’t go in the paddock or backyard

  19. John Hughes on 15 March, 2015 Reply

    I just watched the frackman movie ( and encourage everyone – australian or otherwise, to see it. It made me sick and sad to see how our state and federal governments (which are publicly traded corporations on the US stock exchange BTW) are selling out future generations of Australians for short term profits on money that is printed for free by a handful of central bankers. What I struggle to understand is how you in the CSG industry, government officials, testing labs, et. al. can be in such denial and so deluded about the safety of this industry? How can you all face yourselves in the mirror in the morning? And no, I am not some dumb hippie!

    • Alfons on 16 March, 2015 Reply

      John, pleased you called it a movie because it’s sure not a documentary. I’d be sad too if I was inclined to accept
      the film, part funded by “anti-resource” group Get Up, as factual.

  20. Name (required) on 19 March, 2015 Reply

    I have no thoughts about this movie, it’s pathetic, and for a Roma resident and oil and gas wife I cannot wait for this movie to be shown in roma! Or will it be? To close to the real people living in these areas? To close to the farmers and communities that are for the oil and gas industry? You drive your cars to work, live in homes that were built, you all wear clothes and go to supermarkets! If you walked here by foot, wore clothes that you made by hand and caught your own food…… Maybe I would even bother to turn up to a “protest” and give you a peace of my mind!!

  21. Name (required) on 25 March, 2015 Reply

    Yes yes. Please show it in Roma chinchilla, etc. I want the media coverage of that street gathering. Can the average punter PLEASE read some science? The “scary CSG” information you’re getting comes from MOVIES and the Internet

    • Ray Cowell on 30 March, 2015 Reply

      Number 41 do some more research, but that will be difficult as you have pointed out that the internet is only “scary ‘ information.
      To be fair and I don’t think you are playing fair , yes the internet has truths and untruths in it’s information but that is why our creator or perhaps human development has given us an I.Q., we as humans can research for our self and find the truth on CSG, Coal, Uranium, and Thermal Solar, CSV. and Wind.
      remember when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow you always can fire up an old coal boiler as back up but not until your thermal solar heat tank is half depleted at 9 hours of no sunshine .

      • Name (required) on 8 April, 2015 Reply

        do you live here guess not 41 is spot on to be honest

  22. Name (required) on 5 April, 2015 Reply


    The ground whether it is fracked below or above the water table will always result in contamination.
    1. Millions of gallons of water laced with chemical which are pretty diabolical including radio active sources are pumped down a developed well with only %50 of that sludge returned to the surface to put in holding ponds that you just don’t know what to to with. The %50 down the well does not return will just materialize in another universe?

    2. The ground fractured beneath the water table releases gas “Only to the pipe casing” and not any where else through the bedrock or sub strata?

    3. The obscene amount of water used in this hideous process does not lower the water table in the aquifer or underground water courses?

    All of these issues are so obvious to anyone who has followed this evil attack on the planet and mankind. After Josh Fox first exposed what was going on in the US your days were done. Oh yes I forgot Gasland was debunked wasn’t it because proponents of your campaign said it was, even though the devastation to lakes, rivers, streams and air quality anywhere near these insidious operations were devastated, not to mention the communities surrounding them. You can apply as much “Corporate Science” as you like, but it does not wash with critical thinkers as you will still stand and look anyone in the eye and lie to their soul. All the contamination and pollution caused to date you try to explain away as natural occurences shows that your big NWO club is nothing more than the sum of your own corruption. Train a parrot to listen and repeat your own bilge as they are the only ones that are listening.

    • Name (required) on 10 April, 2015 Reply

      #45 – if you are such a critical thinker, you really should do some technical research on completions processes used in Australian CSG Wells before commenting. To someone involved in the industry, It really sounds like you are sprouting off things you have heard in Internet blogs

      • Jerome on 15 May, 2015 Reply

        I have worked in the mining industry for 22 years in mainly a geo-technical, hydrology area as I have already stated above you cannot and will not argue your way out of this issue because your answers will only reveal BS. Simply answer the above questions and save everyone on here the crapola of your spin campaign.
        Once I see your “corporate science” I will then have the joy of pulling it to shreds. Lies disguised as science tumbles so easy in the sunlight.

  23. Name (required) on 5 April, 2015 Reply

    please do show it in Roma as they would nearly be run out of town with there rubbish and lies for gods sake Roma has been a oil/Gas town for a very long time and a bloody good farming town as well.but lets get real this idiot is only sore he was not able to sell his lot off and run like they all do.

  24. Name (required) on 24 May, 2015 Reply

    Your thoughts…

  25. Jac J on 29 May, 2015 Reply

    Saw the movie last night in Fremantle. Sold out. Hoyts had to keep offering a bigger theatre. Brilliant stuff. My mind is consumed with the families who have suffered at the hands of these big gas companies. The children who have serious health problems. What is happening with these people now. CSG is destroying the country only for such short term gain for SOME people. Dayne and the Gil makers are champs in my eyes.

  26. Curtis on 21 June, 2015 Reply

    well, I’ve read the previous comments, interesting….I’ve just watched the movie.
    I’ve spent nearly 20 years in mining and to be honest, I know how mining companies work….it’s the wedge principal….a smiling face, warm handshake, empty promises….before long….it’s too late!
    The only bullshit I saw in this movie, came from the company reps and the government ‘facilitators’.
    The producers of this movie haven’t been motivated by anything but a desire to stop this absolutely destructive mining practise. Once the wells are drilled, your ******* (Edited).


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