CSG opponents pour cold water on CSIRO fracking report
POLITICIANS and grassroots organisations have rejected the content of an explosive CSIRO-led report on hydraulic fracking in Queensland.
The report, unveiled on Monday, was a three-year scientific study into the air, water and soil impacts of hydraulic fracturing in Queensland and found little to no impacts on air quality, soils, groundwater and waterways.
The study, conducted by the CSIRO's Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), was developed in response to community concerns about the potential for chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations to affect air quality, soils and water resources.
The study analysed air, water and soil samples taken before, during and up to six months after hydraulic fracturing operations at six coal seam gas wells in the Surat Basin in Queensland.
Lismore MP, Janelle Saffin, said the Northern Rivers communities said no to CSG mining "and that will not change".
"When I first became aware of CSG mining, including fracking, I read a CSIRO report on the subject," Ms Saffin said.
"That report alerted me to the problems with water, namely quality and the massive amounts of water required to do CSG mining.
"I then read The Australian Water Commission's report and findings on the same subject matter and was even more alarmed.
"Therefore I would have to read this report against that background. So far I have read the 'good news' media release.
"It does make one pause and think. The research I trust is that done solely by CSIRO."
Lock The Gate Alliance also rejected the study and lamented the CSIRO's name is attached to it.
The group said the study looked at only six of the thousands of CSG wells across Queensland.
Lock the Gate National co-ordinator Naomi Hogan said the report was "majority funded by vested interests, with fracking company Origin Energy contributing 74 per cent, or $245,670, to phase one and 61 per cent, or $1.28m to the second phase".
"Basic sampling of air, water and soil should be undertaken as a matter of course across the industry.
"The fact GISERA is describing sampling for six months at six wells as 'comprehensive' is a damning indictment of the industry's almost non-existent duty of care to farmers, communities, and the environment,"
"It's also no surprise Origin has been so eager to fund this study, given the pollution incidents its fracking operations in Queensland have been linked to in the past.
"Farmers' fears are clearly grounded in evidence, and having gas industry-funded reports that only investigate a relatively tiny number of wells will do nothing to reassure them," Ms Hogan said.
"It is deeply disappointing that the good name of CSIRO continues to be sullied by the gas industry through its funding of GISERA (Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance).
"Let's be clear, GISERA is not an independent scientific body. Rather it is overseen by a collection of fracking executives who want to see gas wells pierce the country like a pin cushion."