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Environment Minister caught out twice in one day on csg water

24 November 2011 -Queensland’s novice Minister for the Environment Vicky Darling admitted in an evening news interview that she was unaware that her department had approved the discharge of treated csg water to the Condamine River (and Murray Darling system) which is harmful to aquatic ecosystems.

On the same day she issued a press release that misrepresents the csg
companies’ capacity to reinject produced water into aquifers.  [See
Ministerial Media Statements http://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au: The Honourable Vicky Darling/24/11/2011/Environment and farmers first under Coal Seam Water Policy]

The Queensland Greens say that it is further proof that the coal seam gas industry is racing ahead of the government with ministers unable to comprehend the responsibilities they have to monitor the industry.

A recent QGC submission to government makes the statement that: “While it is technically feasible in some circumstances to re-inject water produced as a result of coal seam gas extraction, this is unlikely to be possible in most cases.”

“Re-injection in the same location as the water is drawn from is even
less likely to be possible.”


Yet the minister’s statement today makes the broad claim "Under the draft policy injection is the first priority - either as injection where treated CSG water is pumped back into the groundwater system or through virtual injection where treated water is provided directly to water users.”

‘It is further proof of how out of touch the Queensland Government is with what is opening on the gasfields of the Darling Downs as well as with public opinion,’ Queensland Greens spokesperson Libby Connors said today.

‘Public knowledge and understanding of the issues appears to be way ahead of the minister’s.

‘The Queensland Greens have frequently pointed out that “reinjection” is just another “suck it and see” approach from the government.

‘The minister does not know or understand the technical aspects of this industry or even seem to know the content of industry documents submitted to her own department.

‘A moratorium might give a few government frontbenchers a bit of time to learn about the industry and catch up with other Queenslanders’ general knowledge.’

Contact: Libby Connors 0429 487 110
Media Release, Queensland Greens

The minister’s statement on the evening news is available at:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-24/chinchilla-toxic-waste-discharge-approved/3677838?section=qld

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