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Local community group ‘Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas’ are holding a rally to protest the impending drilling for coal seam gas by Dart Energy at the Dial a Dump site in St Peters.  The rally will also be calling on the NSW government to prohibit coal seam gas mining in Sydney until all water, health & other environmental impacts are revealed.

There is much for the community to be concerned about with Dart Energy’s mine in St Peters.  Recently the Queensland government banned coal seam gas mines within 2km of a residential community of 1,000 people or more.  Here in NSW, coal seam gas mining is proposed around 4km from Sydney CBD in a high-density residential area.  This will be the first time a coal seam gas mine has been established in an Australian city.

Dart Energy intends to use a horizontal drilling technique that will allow them to drill 3.8kms & up to 6kms in all directions from the St Peters mine.  Click on the map below to see just how far 4kms is in each direction. It’s actually most of the Inner West, which makes this an issue for many more people than just those who live in St Peters.

Coal seam gas is touted as clean energy, but in reality it is just as dirty as coal once all factors in the process are taken into account. 

“Burning CSG emits less carbon into the atmosphere, but in the process huge quantities of methane are released.  The methane is, say, 20 times worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.” ~ Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

There is a significant risk of accidents that could contaminate groundwater.  In this case it is the Botany Bay aquifer, the Alexandra Canal & the Cooks River.  Wolli Creek & Muddy Creek, the lakes of Sydney Park & The Lakes Golf Club are also in the 3.8km zone, as is Botany Bay near Kyeemagh.

There is currently no known method to remediate groundwater once it is contaminated. 

Coal seam gas mines have also been known to leak methane gas.  It is highly explosive adding another serious risk.  See a short YouTube video taken on 21st July 2011 of a leaking pipe at in the Pilliga posted by Jeremy Buckingham MP –

Trucks will be bringing in water for the mining process. If Dart Energy does decide to use fracking to access the gas, more water will need to be trucked in & the polluted water will need to be put into ponds to evaporate.  Being nothing more than a hole lined with black pond liner, these evaporation ponds are open to wildlife & anything else that comes to the pond.  Problems like pond liners not in the correct position will mean that the polluted water will flow through the ground to our local waterways & the Botany Aquifer itself.  An example can be seen here –

There are a number of other serious concerns with coal seam gas mining. You can read about them, join Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas &/or  contact the organizers here –

You can watch the award-winning documentary Gasland for free here –


I made a short video of the St Peters drill site & surrounding area here –

So, for your diary…..


WHEN:   Sunday 18th September 2011

TIME:  11am – 3pm

WHERE: Meet at 11am Camperdown Memorial Park – corner Lennox & Eliza Streets Newtown.

The rally will march down King Street to outside the drill site at St Peters & then a further 100-metres to the finish at Sydney Park where there will be speakers & music. Food will be available.  Dress for the weather, wear waking shoes & bring water.

This google map shows 4kms from the Dial a Dump site in a number of directions. Click to enlarge.

Coal seam gas mining is spreading like a virus throughout Australia & plans to do exploratory drilling in St Peters this year are causing many in the community great concern. Dart Energy have said they intend to do underground horizontal drilling along the coal seams for a distance of 3.8 kms from the Dial a Dump site in St Peters & “up to 6 kms could be viable.”   This covers a vast area in the Inner West. They also haven’t ruled out doing fracking.

A coal seam gas mine has already been told to stop operating in SE QLD after they accidently poisoned the water table.  “The Queensland government has ordered Cougar Energy to shut down its trial UCG plant near Kingaroy in southern Queensland.  The decision was made after the company was found to have contaminated groundwater at the site with cancer-causing chemicals including benzene. It took two months to notify government authorities of the incident, in breach of strict environmental rules.”

With the Cooks River, the Alexandra Canal & the Botany Bay aquifer so close to the St Peters drill site, the impact of any accident could be horrendous for the water table, the Cooks River, Botany Bay & the river & urban wildlife.

Robert de Weijer, the CEO of Dart Energy Australia will be one of the speakers at the public meeting though this has yet to be confirmed.  Other speakers will be –

  • Drew Hutton – President of the Lock the Gate Alliance
  • Helen Redmond – Doctors for the Environment Australia
  • Jeremy Buckingham – Greens Mining Spokesperson
  • Rochelle Porteous – Mayor of Leichhardt
  • The MC will be Jamie Parker – Member for Balmain

First up will be a short film on coal seam gas mining in Australia, then the speeches & questions from the audience.  This is our first chance in a public meeting to listen to & ask questions of Dart Energy.  The range of speakers should make this an interesting & informative evening.

Monday 1st August 2011 7pm – 9pm

Leichhardt Town Hall – 107 Norton Street Leichhardt

No cost

This google map shows 4kms from the Dial a Dump site in a number of directions. Click to enlarge.



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