Carcinogenic chemicals in 5 water bores around the Qld town of Dalby

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Takin' it to the streets....

Carcinogenic chemicals have been reported contaminating a water aquifer near the town of Dalby on Queensland's Darling Downs. Five monitoring bores at Arrow Energy's Tipton West and Daandine coal seam gas (CSG) fields showed significant levels of benzene, toluene and xylene well above levels considered by regulatory authorities as acceptable. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has called for Every CSG aquifer must be tested on ABC Lateline, while Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer at a National Party conference has slammed the coal seam gas industry as 'unproven' and 'unsafe'.

Related: Lock the Gate - Media Release: B-TEX chemicals found in coal seam gas monitoring bores | Arrow Energy Media Release: Arrow Energy advises of monitoring results (PDF)


GetUp reports:

Carcinogenic chemicals have just been detected in 5 water bores around the QLD town of Dalby. Debbi (pictured with her daughter) is a young mother from the area. We met her last week as we continued our research into coal seam gas mining.

See Debbi's story below - we need to make sure all our friends, family and colleagues join with us and sign the petition to stop coal seam gas mining until it's properly regulated. Please forward this message to your friends and family and share the petition on facebook? Or, tweet about it.

Debbi's story:

When my son first started developing the headaches, we thought he had a tumour. We were just so scared. He had CT scans and everything and it was all clear. Then we started looking into impacts of coal seam gas development as they had just started drilling in our area and - the headaches, the nosebleeds, skin rashes that some people in the area have - it's all consistent with what other people are experiencing.

We know a local lady who lives within 200 metres of a gas well. She and her son both became quite ill - they were even passing out. Her young son's the same age as my boy and he was bleeding from the nose as well as the ears. This got us thinking as well as researching the impacts, because it was at the same time as coal seam gas came to our town, Tara. It's just scary. A lot of people won't come forward because they're worried about repercussions from the people working in the industry, so they wont speak out.

I've written letters, I've told the Premier personally -- they are all not interested. There are too few of us here to get the Government's attention. Together, we can show the Government that people right across the country are appalled by the impacts of coal seam gas. That's why I'm asking for your help.

Please join me and other locals in signing this petition to tell the government to stop this industry, stop it now - you can't replace people, don't let my kids and other families get sick.

In the past 2 years the industry has drilled 11 gas wells within 3 kilometers of our house. They plan to turn our area into a fully developed gas field - thousands of wells, spread across the area 750 meters apart. It could happen anywhere: coal seam gas reserves have been found right across the country and the industry is moving in at a breakneck pace.

When they are drilling, we can't sleep. You can hear the droning of the drill rig from inside my home over the sound of my five noisy children. When they drill, there is a sulphury-rotten egg smell in the air and sometimes you get a metallic taste in your mouth.

Coal seam gas mining has already made our property unsellable. Nobody wants to live in a gas field. I don’t want to live in a gas field. We believe this industry needs to be stopped. We'll do whatever it takes to stop it but we need your help.

Please join with us in standing up to coal seam gas mining:

With hope,

Debbi and family
Tara, Queensland.

As frightening as this is, coal seam gas mining doesn't just pose a threat to people's health. It is damaging water supplies, jeopardising agriculture and food production. It is an industry out of control, that the government won't stand up to unless they hear from us. We won't stand by and allow people's health to be threatened, watch our farmland be eroded away and the country's precious aquifers permanently damaged. Sign the petition now.


GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now!



The industry is in the process of devistating the rural areas. View the video which im sure you have been told about GasLand. There is so much money and jobs tied up in this mess that they will do whatever it takes to continue to drill. I can understand the frustration you must feel when the "corporates" come back and state.. that it 'may' impact local farmers, and local water supplies.. all wells are monitored, and tested. Cant they see beyond their CBD office mindset.. its not about just 'the farmers' and the 'local water' its our Queensland and its something that is beautiful and natural and is perfect just the way it is. Any monitoring or testing is a waste in the long run because it will monitor accidents that are in the process of happening and testing will find contamination and problems that have already occurred. Its already too late. No testing, no monitoring, leave it as it is and find another job. do something else. get out of our land.
Kind regards,

Every week Tony wakes at dawn to make his regular rounds. There are already 66 wells in the Piliga State forest near his farm, and over 1,000 more are planned. It's supposed to be a conservation reserve.

He follows the pipes, looking for leaks, and often finds them. He takes photos of the unsealed ponds where mining companies store waste water from extraction, and of the trees dying off nearby. He's right to be concerned. Analysis of waste in other areas found hundreds of industrial chemicals, and carcinogens linked to leukaemia at levels 6 to 15 times safe drinking water standards1.

Undeterred, coal seam gas companies don't want anything to slow, nor regulate, their rapid expansion. So this week they launched a new PR campaign to convince the community and the Government there is nothing to worry about.

If the industry hasn't moved into your area yet, watch this video featuring Tony and other locals to see why coal seam gas is the next big threat to our land and water:

With gas reserves under as much as 46% of the country2, even inner-city suburbs are under threat from coal seam gas. The mining process includes fracking - a process where industrial chemicals and sand are pumped at high pressure deep into the earth to fracture the rock. Water supplies are often contaminated.

Locals are doing everything they can to spread the word about the dangers of coal seam gas mining and fracking. They go gate-to-gate to speak with neighbours, hand out letters, and spend days writing detailed submissions to Government. Debbi, a GetUp member from Tara QLD, even drove 5 hours down to Lynches Creek NSW to tell a community meeting what coal seam gas is doing to her kids' health.

But they can't drive far enough, write enough letters nor speak to enough neighbours to compete with the gas companies' advertising campaign. Let's get their back.

Debbi often drives five hours to spread the word about coal seam gas - but you can help take her message right across the country with a small contribution to put this powerful ad on air.

What difference can you make? $43 can buy a TV ad during shows like Bondi Rescue in regional markets; $554 buys a prime-time commercial during the news that will reach tens of thousands.

We don't have long. Next week, Independent MP Tony Windsor will introduce a bill to Parliament to pause the expansion of coal seam gas mining until scientists have time to assess the impacts on health, land and our ancient water aquifers. That means politicians will be assessing the issue in coming weeks, and sending opinion polls into the field.

Check out this video of Tony, Debbi and other locals and help spread it far and wide.

In hope,
Paul, Justine and Simon for the GetUp team.

PS - In addition to toxic chemicals, it has been estimated that coal seam gas mining will bring over 50 million tonnes of underground salt to the surface.3 The industry admits it has no idea how to safely manage this.4 Watch this video and stand with locals calling for a freeze on expanding this industry until the impact can be understood and regulated.

1National Toxics Network. August, 2011. 'Gas industry plays down BTEX levels in groundwater'
2Based on likely coalseam occurances within Sedimentary Basin data provided by Geoscience Australia.
3 Agforce evidence to the Senate Standing Committee on the Murray Darling Basin, December 2009.
4 Senate Standing Committee on the Murray Darling Basin, August 9th, 2011.
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here. Authorised by Simon Sheikh, Level 5, 116 Kippax St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

By GetUp!

Our video is key to stopping the expansion of coal seam gas mining.

Here's what Rowan Dean, advertising expert and panelist on ABC's The Gruen Transfer wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:

"On ABC TV's The Gruen Transfer, one of the most popular segments is ''The Pitch'', where rival ad agencies go head to head on a controversial subject...This week, two very different outfits decided to give it a go for real, tackling the vexed topic of coal seam gas mining.

First the industry lobby group... launched a TV blitz... with a juicy budget funded by numerous energy companies, their ads are now airing nationally.

In the opposite corner, the online lobby group GetUp! has made an ad highlighting the negatives, and are pleading for donations to put it to air. The GetUp! campaign, with its persuasive message and simple execution, is winning this pitch."

We have the ad. And we have a killer tactic. Media buyers call it a 'roadblock': simultaneous ads on every commercial station to make sure nobody can miss our message.

Now all we need is 1,500 people to chip in $40 each to make it happen across regional TV. Can you help?

This ad was filmed by GetUp members. It stars GetUp members. And it's funded entirely by GetUp members. With no corporate coffers, no vested interests and no mining profits, it's you who decides how many people we can reach.

So much is at stake. Coal seam gas is the greatest new threat to our water and agricultural land. And it's closer to home than you might think.

There are coal seam gas reserves under as much as 46% of the country1, and there are even proposals to drill in Sydney's densely populated inner west.

Even scarier? The Great Artesian basin spans 1.7 million square kilometres over eastern Australia. It's one of many ancient, underground aquifers that could be damaged by coal seam gas mining. Any damage to an aquifer in one area can impact the drinking water, farmlands and groundwater in areas thousands of kilometres away.

There is a solution. This week, Independent MP Tony Windsor introduced legislation to force gas mining companies to prove they won't adversely impact water aquifers. If passed, it would give the Federal Environment Minister the power to review and stop dangerous coal seam gas projects.

Both Labor and the Coalition are undecided on whether to support Mr Windsor's bill. A key consideration will be: "Which side is winning the battle for hearts and minds in the bush?"

That's why the mining industry has launched their TV blitz -- and that's why our winning ad can stop them in their tracks with a 'roadblock' this Sunday.

Until Sunday,
Justine, for the GetUp team.

PS - Are you in Sydney? Join us for a rally this Sunday to protest coal seam gas mining in our city's inner west with local community groups. Hope to see you there: 11am in Camperdown Memorial Park, Lennox Street, Newtown.

PPS - Thanks for all the letters and cards people have been sending in!

1Based on likely coal seam occurances within Sedimentary Basin data provided by Geoscience Australia.