The Greens call on the Queensland and federal governments to reject Arrow Energy’s massive expansion proposal to drill hundreds of new coal seam gas wells at Hopeland in the Western Downs Region and lay 440km of pipelines in fertile farm land.
Arrow Energy has applied to increase its number of coal seam gas wells at the Hopeland site from six to 286. The state government previously declared the area off-limits for future coal seam gas projects after land and groundwater was contaminated by the Linc Energy underground coal gasification disaster.
Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson for mining and resources, Senator Larissa Waters, said:
“The Linc Energy project was one of Queensland’s worst environmental scandals. The Queensland Government recognised the extent of damage when it set a no-go zone in the area for future coal seam gas projects and I call upon them to now reject Arrow’s expansion proposal outright.
“I also call on the federal government to reject Arrow’s application as ‘clearly unacceptable’, given the obvious threats the project poses to the region’s groundwater.
“The Greens will always stand up for our communities, our farmland, our water, and our climate in the face of corporate interests and mining magnates.
“Governments need to stop sacrificing our farmland to the highest bidder. We must protect our precious food-producing land, respect the rights of farmers and traditional owners, and stop our water from being contaminated and the climate crisis turbo-charged by leaking gas (fugitive emissions).
“That’s why for the last 10 years I’ve had a private members bill before the Senate to give landholders the legal right to say no to coal seam gas and to ban fracking, but the big parties who take donations from the fossil fuel industry keep voting against it.
“Noting the Prime Minister’s obsession with the misnomer of a gas-led recovery, I will be asking in parliament about the treatment of Arrow’s huge expansion proposals and what it will take for the government to start protecting rural communities from the massive risk to water, the climate and farm land.”
“I also encourage all farmers to lodge an objection to Arrow Energy’s expansion application to the Queensland government by 15 February.
“It’s time state and federal governments listened to scientists, farmers and First Nations Peoples about the risks to land, water and climate. You can’t eat coal or drink gas,” concluded Senator Waters.