Inquiries into unconventional gas
Further Witness testimonies have been received from KylieH and the Jang Family. These are written submissions supported by images. They very clearly present the overwhelming machine that the average person is confronted with when well resourced gas companies come to your community and you are left as individuals to prove impact. One of these submissions was provided to the Senate Select Committee into Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs (2015).
As described in the introductory video for subcase 4 – Government subsidies there has been a vast number of government inquiries into the industry.
The committee was chaired by Sen Glenn Lazarus (ever a champion of those impacted) and the members were:
- Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, Deputy Chair, ALP, QLD
- Senator Christopher (Chris) Ketter, ALP, QLD
- Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald, LP, QLD
- Senator Larissa Waters, AG, QLD (another long term champion of this issue)
The recommendations from this inquiry were contentious to say the least and importantly directly support many of the aspects of this tribunal and included:
- Queensland government ensure all mining and other major development activities are consistent with Australia’s environment and social obligations under international environmental instruments that Australia is a signatory to;
- recognition of Indigenous land rights in Queensland;
- a moritorium on CSG, fracking be banned and investigate and address the effects of CSG activities on the health of local people, animals and crops, groundwater and on the quality of soil, water and air, and also investigate the disposal of effluent containing human faeces around mining camps, local roads and agricultural land used for growing crops for human consumption and the degradation of water reserves in these areas.
As a member of the committee, Sen Larissa Waters contributed detailed additional comments to the report specifically supporting the CSG related recommendations
The Labour Senator members of the committee supplemented the report with comments that singularly and expressly rejected the recommendations directly related to CSG.
The sole Liberal Party committee member, Senator Ian Macdonald entered a dissenting report into the committee report. His recommendation was: [the report]…of the Committee should be consigned to the scrapheap.
(image credit: guardianaus - Senator Ian Macdonald (LP Qld) wearing a HiViz shirt with his name and 'australiansforcoal.com.au' embroidered on it provided to him by the Minerals Council of Australia (in background, Sen Ludlam holding sign that says SRSLY).
To date, there has been no solid progress made by successive governments federal or state on any of the recommendations from the Select Committee Report, despite there being approximately 8 inquiries before it and approximately 6 after it. There has however been further approvals and massive development in the industry with no reference to the issues raised in the Inquiry. Prominent exceptions are Moratoriums on varied aspects of the industry across 3 states (none of them Qld).
For more information regarding the political cobweb that represents this industry, please see the link to a Michael West publication.