Submitted to the Herald Sun in response to this article.
Activists often try to frighten people with their talk of ‘ecological catastrophe’ and the ‘industrial wasteland’ supposedly created by natural gas drilling.
As Ed Gannon acknowledged in his article ‘Gas squabble shows that farmers now have muscle’ (HS/Oct12), the real experience is nothing like that.
In fact, “unobtrusive and well managed” is the phrase used by Victorian farmers who have natural gas wells on their properties, according to Mr Gannon.
Natural gas has been safely extracted in every mainland State and the NT, dating back more than 100 years, and offshore Victoria, WA and the NT since the 1960s.
In NSW, AGL has drilled gas on Sydney’s south-western fringe for almost 20 years. Other than locals, most people would not even know there is a gas plant there – yet it is close to the highway and big enough to supply 5% of the State’s total needs.
In south-west Queensland, thousands of landholders have hosted wells for several years, as our East Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) export business has blossomed – delivering huge employment and income benefits to Queensland and the nation.
Most of those Queensland landholders are a lot better off financially, and the wells do not stop their usual business. The activist-predicted environmental disaster simply has not happened – and the farmers certainly do not regard themselves as living in an ‘industrial wasteland’.
Director, Energy Resource Information Centre