PROTECT THE HUNTER VALLEY FROM
Protect Hunter Valley - our new brochure
The future viability of the iconic Hunter Valley wine and tourism region is at stake as a result of invasive industrial activity – in the form of mining for coal seam gas (CSG).
Under present government regulations, CSG companies do not require permission from property owners to extract gas on their land - they can simply force their way in! Hunter Valley residents and their supporters - as well as communities from the South to Central coast and Gloucester, the Leichhardt, Liverpool Plains, Pilliga, Northern Rivers and many more in between - are calling for a halt on CSG exploration and mining until the long term environmental, aesthetic and social impacts are fully understood.
To voice your concern and/or support the HVPA cause:
'Follow' @HVPA_NoCSG on Twitter
'Like' Hunter Valley Protection Alliance on Facebook
Register to receive the HVPA’s newsletter - Gaswatch here
Or email Premier of NSW Barry O'Farrell MP to lodge your concerns about the negative impact CSG mining could have on the Hunter Valley.
However, our concerns go well beyond the Hunter vineyards. We are aware that the coal seam gas industry, spearheaded by the AGL Energy, is trying to establish a powerful precedent. They believe that if they are allowed to drill the densely populated Hunter vineyards they will be allowed to drill and frack anywhere. There is already more then half of the total land area of the NSW under the Petroleum Exploration Licenses (PELs) or Petroleum Production Licenses (PPLs). AGL Energy alone (PPL 1, PPL 2, PPL4, PPL5, PPL6, PEL 2, PEL 4, PEL 5, PEL 267, PEL 285) surrounds South Coast, Sydney metropolitan area, Hunter Valley and Central Coast as far as Gloucester (not included on the 2008 map , see map, 2008 SGL report). Other CSG corporations have the rest of the land. This is an area where over a million people have built their homes. It is, therefore, important for AGL to make the coal seam gas industry looking quite harmless and great fun to be with.
Under the present law CSG companies can extract coal seam methane gas from under your land without even having to seek your permission. For surface work the CSG company can go to the Land Environment Court to seek an Access agreement if landowners refuse to sign one. The Senator Heffernan Senate Committee handed down its findings in December, 2011, and those findings included:
'the coal seam gas industry is a relatively short-term prospect. Individual gas wells have a life of about 15 years. Thus the interests of the industry must not be allowed to undermine or permanently compromise the long-term future of other sectors, most notably agriculture and the environment. Given the progress of the industry it is clear that workable compromises must be struck between the competing interests. This may require further delay in approving new developments or temporary suspension of exploration in particular regions while a sound research-based understanding of geology, groundwater, aquifers and soils is developed. It may involve the exclusion of prime agricultural land or land exhibiting particular soil types or topography from gas exploration and production. Restrictions on drilling in particularly sensitive aquifers and on certain production techniques such as fracking might be necessary.'
The State Government must not issue any further PELs or renew any PELs, until there is definite, independent scientific proof that there will be absolutely no effect on the environment, particularly groundwater, from all the possible effects of CSG mining."