Coal seam gas defects recognised

A scientific paper authored by four members of The Royal Society of Queensland has attracted considerable media attention. After peer review, the paper was published in Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland volume 131, at the end of 2022.

The paper, by Dart, Lynam, Pointon and Edwards concludes that:

“The performance-based statutory regime (which does not envisage refusal of  pplications and does not adequately monitor performance), the fragmentation of accountability across multiple authorities, the absence of any systematic resolution of landholders’ concerns over many years and the statement in 2021 by the Acting Director-General of the Department that companies, not the regulator, are responsible for gaining the community’s trust, are all evidence that the Queensland Government conceives of its role simply as facilitating this problematic industry and that the ‘public interest’ which the electorate appoints it to protect has no dimensions other than the narrow one of gas production”.

Online newspaper InQueensland published extracts from this paper in an article by John McCarthy on 1 August 2023, titled “On shaky ground: 10 years on, fight over CSG, water and farmland ramping up“. Further information on Journalist McCarthy’s article quotes extensively from the scientific paper but it is disappointing that the paper is credited to the University of Queensland rather than the Society or the authors.

The concerns expressed by the authors and their informants in the rural community and the scientific community are not new but have been aired for two decades and more. It is beyond disappointing that the Queensland Government blithely continues to issue new leases for this highly problematic industry.