5 June 2012
Residents on the western Darling Downs last night were lodging bitter complaints with the Queensland Environment Department after a temperature inversion on the Downs brought gas from local coal seam gas operations into their community, making people ill.
Residents of the Tara residential estate are complaining this morning of having spent the night with severe headaches and nausea and are directing their concern at the nearby Kate coal seam gas field.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said residents in the area were attempting to work cooperatively with government to address the health issues associated with living in the middle of a gas field but were becoming increasingly desperate as they watch members of their families experiencing chronic health problems such as nose and ear bleeds, headaches, nausea and sleeplessness.
The noise from nearby machinery was also causing many to lose sleep at night.
“The Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, must immediately order a health study into these issues,” Mr Hutton said.
Ian Gaillard of Northern Rivers Lock the Gate Alliance said Northern Rivers residents will be exposed to the same public health risks as Tara Estate residents.
“With temperature inversion a regular feature of our climate, gases from venting and flaring are held in valleys and close to the ground by such inversions. If gas exploration and production is allowed to go ahead in our region, those living nearby will be forced to breathe the toxic byproducts of this so called clean natural energy source.”
“This is a particular issue with already approved projects such as Metgasco’s Casino Gas Project adjacent to the RV village in Casino, and Red Sky’s Talma pilot production well which is right next to a dwelling on the Summerland Way south of Casino. Arrow/Shell/Petrochina still looms with a planned core well between Casino and Kyogle.
“The air pollution hazards of this industry need to be urgently considered by the NSW government following these latest reports from Queensland.”