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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
by Elfian Schieren, 2012

1. Introduction
2. Energy and coal seam gas development
2.1 Economic viability underpinning coal seam gas development
2.2 Renewable, sustainable energy development
- Solar
- Wind
- Biogas
2.3 Coal seam gas development at a global scale
2.4 Coal seam gas development in Australia
3 Coal seam gas extraction process
- Drilling and dewatering
- Hydraulic Fracturing
- Produced Water
4 Risks to water resources from coal seam gas development
4.4 Ground water use
4.5 Water produced by coal seam gas
4.6 Contamination of Groundwater
5 Other Consequences of coal seam gas development
5.4 Impacts to agricultural production
5.5 Health impacts on humans and animals
5.6 Impacts on greenhouse gas emissions
5.7 Impacts on seismic activity
5.8 Economic impacts
5.9 Cumulative impacts
6 Potential for coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
6.1 Northern Rivers Region
6.2 Using trade-offs and opportunity costs in evaluating CSG development
6.3 Prospects for development in Northern Rivers region
6.4 Energy development in Northern Rivers region
6.5 Northern Rivers community actions and groups in response to CSG development
7 Discussion
8 Conclusion
9 References

PDF file

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer

NSW Planning Bill 2013

Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013

Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013

NSW Land & Water Commission

NSW Irrigators

NSW Irrigators
Tour of Colorado

NSW Farmers

AGL Gloucester Milk Experiment
Is Fracking Produced Water Safe in Our Milk?

Gloucester stands up to corporate gas giant AGL

Gloucester Water Studies

MidCoast Water concerned at AGL's haste

2004 gas blow out 300m away in the same wells

Lies, damned lies, statistics
and AGL

AGL’s Gloucester ‘Produced Water’ Irrigation Trial
“A Sham and a Farce!”

CSG companies ignore water quality guidelines in irrigation reports

NoFibs Gloucester Showdown

Fracking near Gloucester homes under AGL’s latest coal seam gas plans

Federal member for Lyne
Dr David Gillespie

AGL buys up Hunter Valley vineyards

AGL versus
Environment Protection Agency 2013

A matter of trust: – letter to Gloucester Advocate

Rob Oakeshott's coal seam gas press releases
2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
Water Trigger - Gloucester BioRegion - Hunter Valley health

2011 NSW Parliament
Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas

Affected Mid North Coast Councils

Upper Hunter Shire Council

Thomas Davey, Tourism Advancing Gloucester

MidCoast Water

New South Wales Farmers Associations Dairy Committee

Bruce Robertson,
Beef cattle farmer

Steven Robinson, Psychiatrist

Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance


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Coal Seam Gas

Gloucester | Pilliga | Camden | Northern Rivers | Wollongong

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)

NSWALC had lodged applications for PSPAs over four distinct areas of NSW:
1,330 sq km area about six kilometres SSE of Murwillumbah, NSW north coast.
47,040 sq km area about 45km SSW of Grafton, NSW north coast.
368,340 sq km area about 49km ESE of White Cliffs in north western NSW.

NSWALC's large western NSW application extends from Mungindi in the north, down to Dareton in the southwest.

Other smaller applications take in parts of the southern highlands, the south coast, sites around the Grafton area and a very small area on the far north coast.

STOP PRESS: CEO Geoff Scott departs NSWALC

5 December 2013 - After a successful career heading NSWALC, Geoff Scott has decided not to renew his employment contract as the CEO.

Following Geoff's decision to no longer continue in the role of CEO, the NSWALC Council acknowledged Geoff's vital contribution and commitment to NSWALC spanning from 2003-2013, both in a number of Executive positions and more importantly as CEO of the organisation.

On behalf of the Councillors, NSWALC Staff, the Network and other major Stakeholders, Chairperson Cromelin also thanked Geoff for his outstanding contribution heading the organisation and for providing a lifetime of work in, and around, the New South Wales Land Rights Network.

"Geoff Scott headed NSWALC through a hallmark period and was successful in driving the necessary reforms, setting new directions and establishing a clear focus on the organisation's core business outcomes."

"I wish Geoff every success in whatever future career he desires to follow and should he choose to pursue his continued passion and contribution to the Land Rights movement in other arenas, it will be greatly received and appreciated."

"There are a number of current challenges facing NSWALC and the Network, together we will face these challenges with clear strategic direction for our future in line with NSWALC's 2013-2017 Strategic Plan."

With this in mind Council has also arranged for Mr Lesley Turner to continue to act in the role of CEO at NSWALC awaiting the recruitment action to fill the vacancy, which is planned to be undertaken in the New Year.

Craig Cromelin

NSWALC Chairperson


Mr Scott said the process was constantly being refined every day.

"These application areas are subject to constant revision. We're always looking to pinpoint and minimise the areas of potential exploration.

"At this very early stage there's no disruption of the land at all, we're restricted to what's called 'desktop studies,' where scientific data like mapping and existing core samples are examined closely.

The true economic independence of Aboriginal people in New South Wales is another step closer to reality today following the announcement the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has progressed further with its Petroleum Special Prospecting Authority Applications or PSPAs.

This push into the mining sector is a bold move by NSWALC. It was borne out of frustration and an understanding that if Aboriginal people wait for government to invest properly in Aboriginal communities, they'd be waiting a long, long time.

CEO Geoff Scott said there was still a long road to travel for NSWALC in the resource sector, but he remained confident the state's peak Aboriginal organisation was on track.

"We're now at the point where we can notify the public of our prospecting applications formally as well as consult in more detail with our members, and we're currently doing that," Mr Scott said.

"This process is an extremely long one, but it's a course NSWALC is willing to see through and investigate fully.

"If we want to stand on our own, without reliance on government, then we have to be prepared to lead the way on issues, and that includes investing our own resources."

"The push behind this is to end Aboriginal poverty. We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations of Aboriginal people - to be in a position to meet our own needs.

"We can sit on the sidelines or we can take an active role to become part of the real Australian economy."

9 March 2012 - The NSW Aboriginal Land Council submitted a number of applications to the NSW Government for petroleum exploration licenses.

The applications are to explore for petroleum and gas in three locations:
1,330 sq km area about six kilometres SSE of Murwillumbah, NSW north coast.
47,040 sq km area about 45km SSW of Grafton, NSW north coast.
368,340 sq km area about 49km ESE of White Cliffs in north western NSW.

"I stress, they are only applications - NSWALC faces the same scrutiny and processes to which all applicants are subject. We are at the very first stage of the process - effectively we're dipping our toes in the water," NSW Aboriginal Land Council CEO Geoff Scott.

"For decades, Aboriginal people have gotten little more than scraps from mining activities. This strategy is about Aboriginal people breaking through into the real economy, and driving financial benefits back into the land rights network. It is a paradigm shift. It's about us having a seat at the table, rather than waiting for the crumbs," Mr Scott said.

"We have thrived and survived under our own steam since 1998. That is a source of immense pride for our organisation, and for Aboriginal people across the state," Mr Scott said.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council operates independently of Government and does not receive nor rely on government funding to support its activities.

"However, the needs of Aboriginal people in NSW are great. In order to move Aboriginal people to economic independence - one of the core objectives of NSWALC - we must find sources of revenue that can not only sustain our people, but also assist our people to improve their economic and social positions. Ending the cycle of generational poverty is very expensive," Mr Scott said.

Of course NSWALC has concerns about the environmental impacts of mining. That's why we intend to approach these issues from an Aboriginal perspective, and as an organisation that has an established track record of preserving the environmental and cultural sensitivities of our land.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people right across this state will have differing views on the merits of mining. NSWALC is not blind to that fact. As this process gathers pace, we intend to negotiate closely with stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes.

There are no guarantees that NSWALC will even be granted a license to explore for petroleum and gas. And even if we are, there are no guarantees that our explorations will bear fruit. But NSWALC is excited about the prospect of finally giving the Aboriginal people of NSW a real shot at self determination through economic independence.

Statement by NSW Aboriginal Land Council CEO Geoff Scott

NSW: Pilliga | Gloucester | Camden | Northern Rivers

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