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Anti-CSG group challenges well expansion in Queensland

The Western Downs Alliance has commenced legal proceedings against the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of 6100 CSG wells in Queensland.

The Santos GLNG Gas Field Development Expansion expands across almost one million hectares of land in Queensland.

The community group has lodged a case in the Federal Court of Australia against the approval under the national environmental law, arguing that the Minister’s approval was “unlawful” because he “ignored plans by Santos to discharge large volumes of CSG waste water into the Dawson River”.

Western Downs Alliance spokesperson Sarah Moles said plans for the new CSG wells is a “recipe for disaster”.

“The Environmental Impact Statement for the project predicts that it will impact on 73 water bores used by landholders in the area, and will extract 219 billion litres of water over the life of the project and produce 22 billion litres of salty brine as waste,” Ms Moles said.

“Our water resources, and particularly the nationally significant Great Artesian Basin, are far too important to be put at risk for a short-term industry like CSG.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive said the new challenge shows that “no commodity is safe from anti-resource activists”.

“This comes as no surprise though given that we are well aware of the activists’ strategy handbook ‘Stopping the Coal Export Boom’, which details tactics, such as litigation, to disrupt and delay resources projects,” Mr Roche said.

“Last year, Origin Energy Chief Executive Grant King said during a speech that if the green activist tactics deployed against coal projects had also been used against the gas sector we would have been unlikely to have seen the creation of an entirely new LNG export industry, which is delivering to Queensland faster growth in 2016-17, than any other state.

“All resource projects go through world-class rigorous environmental approvals by scientists not green activists, therefore it is ludicrous that these taxpayer-funded groups can challenge years of scientific research and subsequent approvals that have passed scrutiny of state and federal governments.”

The group will be represented by EDO NSW.

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