Protertors rally against CSG

A ROWDY mob of protesters including Northern Rivers groups blockaded the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane where the coal seam gas industry is holding its annual conference.

Queensland Environment Minister Kate Jones was forced to remain inside the hotel for security reasons while police kept bout 100 protesters away from mining bosses.

Rally leader and Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, who spoke at the Byron Bay human sign protest on Main Beach on Sunday, wants gas companies off prime farming land and says not enough has been done to ensure the industry is safe.

He says there’s been no comprehensive study on the environmental and social impacts of an industry being rolled out on prime agricultural land and on land close to residential areas.

"This industry is going to destroy our farming land and ruin the environment and Kate Jones is condoning it," he said.

The two-day summit which concluded yesterday also heard from industry leaders about coal seam gas projects across Australia, exploration opportunities in Asia and Europe and environmental safeguards.

Opponents are concerned about the chemicals used in the coal seam extraction process, groundwater contamination, contaminated wastewater and the degradation of farm lands though the government and miners say the gas is a cleaner energy alternative to coal and will provide a massive economic boost for Queensland and northern NSW.

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