The issue of coal seam gas mining in residential, farming and water catchment areas is very much an unknown quantity with respect to short term and long term effects both directly and indirectly. PSI affiliate in Australia, the Australian Services Union (ASU), has a strong position in opposing development that harms or may harm local communities. ASU members are involved both in their employment and voluntary community activism in safe guarding communities.
- Read this in:
ASU notes there are also issues associated with traditional underground long wall mining and its associated dangers to water tables, water catchment areas and issues faced by ASU members and their communities.
It should also be noted that the so called natural gas shortage in parts of Australia comes at a time when gas exports are the highest they have ever been, to overseas companies. This would show that the market-based system is not working for all Australian citizens, with the export price and infrastructure favouring the export of mined Gas from large deposits, and thus the profits of some.
The ASU believes that the Federal Government should, like other country governments, earmark an independent determined amount of export gas to be retained for Australian domestic and business purposes, along with electricity generation. The ASU notes there are exceptionally large gas fields in both mainland Australia, its close sea beds and neighbouring countries .
ASU believes the large gas reserves, currently used for export, should be available to all Australians – and the development of large national Gas pipelines, should be used in place of coal seam gas mining .
For these reasons, ASU is opposed to continued coal seam gas mining – unless new factors supported by non-mining and independent experts become available.
ASU further supports the belief that local communities’ should be able to have a say and determine local projects in their community.
For more information see the ASU's original blog post: http://www.asu.asn.au/blogs/entry/asu-coal-seam-gas-mining-position