Mining minister calls for ‘people power’

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The call has gone out for more ‘people power’ to join a grassroots water bore monitoring program in the Surat Basin.

Speaking in Toowoomba at the Surat Basin Energy and Mining Expo, Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham called on landholders to join a growing network of almost 300 landholders in the CSG Net.

“CSG Net uses people power to help gather unprecedented levels of information about the short and long-term impact of coal seam gas development on local groundwater levels,” Dr Lynham said.

“Landholders monitor their own water bores on a monthly basis and send this data to a central database where it can be shared across the Basin.

“By working together with industry government can build a bigger, more meaningful picture of groundwater trends in local communities and move quickly to respond to any anomalies as required.

“CSG Net also allows us to independently cross reference and verify monitoring results from CSG companies; leading to better transparency for local communities in and around areas with coal seam gas development.”

Dr Lynham said 10 landholder groups already were operating in the Chinchilla, Condamine, Millmerran South, Kumbarilla, Wallumbilla South, Wallumbilla North, Injune East, Injune South West, Eurombah Creek and Taroom West districts.

“We are looking for more landholders to get involved and set up local groups – with about 30 landholders in each group – elsewhere in the Basin,” he said.

CSG Net data supplements data from a network of water bores that the Department of Natural Resources and Mines monitors. All the data and information from CSG companies is collated on the department’s groundwater database and made publicly available on the Queensland Government’s CSG Globe.

Dr Lynham said start-up workshops provided volunteers with support and assistance on how to set up a local CSG Net group, how to monitor their water bores, and how to provide the information to the database.

Landholders are also informed about local groundwater systems, how coal seam gas is extracted, and methods to accurately monitor water levels in their own bores.

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