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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

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Coal Seam Gas

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21 November 2013 - Victorian Premier Denis Napthine extended the Victorian moratorium on coal seam gas mining until July 2015 - after the next state election.

Napthine released the final Gas Market Taskforce report on Thursday, three weeks after it was handed to the government by chairman & gas industry lobbyist Peter Reith.

Dr Napthine said all Victorians could respond to the report through the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) website until March 2014.

Energy and Resources Minister Nicholas Kotsiras will also hold a consultation process with communities to seek direct responses from April 2014.

"This 12-month community consultation process will include public submissions, thorough facilitated community meetings and workshops with key stakeholders such as farmers, environmental groups, community groups and individuals across Victoria," Dr Napthine said.

The community consultation process will report in July 2015.

Reith Gas Market Taskforce

21 November 2013 - The Gas Market Taskforce has been made public

Former Howard Government Minister Peter Reith, of "children overboard" fame was paid $2000 a day consulting with the mining industry and government departments, to produce a report to the Victorian Government on how they should proceed to facilitate the gas & mining industry's expansion into this state.

The Victorian Opposition obtained freedom of information documents which revealed the taskforce, between July 2012 and September this year, held 31 meetings. All of these meetings were with gas and energy industry stakeholders and government departments.

Mr Reith did meet once with the Victorian Farmers Federation at the end of September, just weeks before the report was handed to the Government.

The Gas Market Taskforce comprised of: chair Peter Reith, a lobbyist for 1st State with links to the gas industry; Mark Collette, Group Executive Manager of Energy Markets for Energy Australia; Frank Calabria, Energy Markets Chief Executive Officer for Origin Energy; Craig Arnold, President of Dow Chemicals Australia and New Zealand; Cheryl Cartwright, Chief Executive of the Australian Pipeline Industry Association; Angus Taylor, Federal Liberal MP and director of Port Jackson Partners consulting firm; Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group; and David Byers, Chief Executive of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association.

Unconventional gas in Victoria: proceed with care
18 November 2013 - The Conversation - New approaches and perhaps new technologies will be needed if Victoria’s CSG deposits are to be commercially exploited and as in shale gas there will be a need for effective transparent regulations particularly on groundwater, but it is very unlikely indeed there will be any fracking of Victorian coals.

Rinehart's Lakes Oil in discussion with the Chinese
4 November 2013 - It was announced that Victorian gas company Lakes Oil and China Shengli Oilfield Longxi Petroleum Engineering Company (CSOLPE) of China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to investigate a possible joint development of LKO’s permits in Gippsland, Victoria.

Representatives of CSOLPE will travel to Melbourne in November to visit Gippsland and to discuss the potential project with state and local governments.

Armour Energy has a 13% interest in Lakes Oil, a gas explorer focused on the Otway and Gippsland Basins, Victoria and entered an agreement to earn 51% interest in two tenements (petroleum exploration permit (PEP) 166 and PEP 169) held by Lakes Oil and an option to acquire 50% of Lakes Oil’s interest in a third tenement

Dairy industry asks for more information on CSG mining
15 November, 2013 - ABC - Dairy company Murray Goulburn asked for a briefing paper on coal seam gas (CSG) mining from the anti-CSG Lock the Gate alliance in Gippsland. The information is now being reviewed by Dairy Australia and an industry response is expected early next year.

The briefing paper was compiled by 20 members of the Gippsland Lock the Gate alliance and covers what the alliance sees as the potential impacts of coal seam gas mining to the dairy industry.

Greens leader Greg Barber calls for parliamentary debate on CSG ban

11 Nov 2013 - Greg Barber, the leader of the Victorian Greens plans to introduce a motion to the Upper House of State Parliament calling for a ban on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry.

He wants to encourage debate to see where members of the Upper House stand on the issue. Mt Barber recently tabled in Parliament a petition signed by 5,000 people calling for a ban on CSG.

The State Government is considering proposed legislative changes to make it harder to exempt an area from mining.

The following media release from the Victorian Greens is published in full

Gina Rinehart plans to frack Western Victoria

13th November 2013 - The Greens have released Lakes Oil operations plans for unconventional gas fracking on farms in the Bellarine and Otways regions, on the same day Parliament will debate a Greens motion to ban fracking. The plans were obtained by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber by freedom of information.

"The permits are current. The only thing stopping Lakes Oil in Western Victoria is the moratorium on fracking. Gina Rinehart is waiting for a signal to start," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber

"One operations plan is for a grazing property in Moriac, near Torquay. It is for exploration drilling, with more wells planned if commercial quantities of gas are found.

"The second plan is for a cattle farm near Brucknell, between Port Campbell and Warrnambool, which Lakes Oil expects to produce gas during the exploration stage.

"The potential impacts of both operations include contamination of aquifers, which the Lakes Oil document describes as ‘extremely difficult to predict’, meaning that they can't predict whether or not it will happen and once drilling starts they can't do anything to prevent it.

"I'm for farming, fresh water and clean air," said Mr Barber

Mr Barber's motion will be debated and voted on this afternoon in Victorian Parliament:
That this House calls on the State Government to implement a permanent ban on the exploration or development of unconventional gas fossil fuels across Victoria.

NSW: Pilliga | Gloucester | Camden | Northern Rivers

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