More families are falling ill at Queensland’s coal seam gas fields while the LNP government allows the industry to investigate itself, say the Queensland Greens.
Queensland Greens spokesperson, Dr Libby Connors says 19 families at the Tara Residential Estate on the western Downs are experiencing serious health problems.
Dr Connors says young children living on the estate have suffered headaches, nausea and vomiting for more than a year but the symptoms spread to adults last week.
The Greens have “serious reservations” that the State Government’s CSG-LNG Enforcement Unit is investigating the health problems, she said.
“The unit has only two permanent staff, one of whom is currently on leave,” she said. “We want some serious and fully independent health studies on the effects of inhalation of methane, hydrogen sulphides and oxides of nitrogen done urgently,” Dr Connors says.
The Greens are also concerned about the role of QGC which operates the Kenya Gasfield neighbouring the residential estate and which operates several wells within the estate and has been included as part of the investigating team.
“QGC has so far been unresponsive to the concerns of residents who went to the company when the symptoms first started to spread.
“Residents were so frustrated by inaction by QGC that they held a blockade outside the company’s headquarters last Thursday that backed up traffic for eight to ten kilometres during the morning change of shift.’
The Greens say that the government’s first step should be to conduct a Health Impact Assessment process for all parts of the Darling Downs where gas wells are to be located.
“We do not trust state government or company promises of air quality monitoring. The monitoring of particulates from coal heaps near Acland and Jondaryan has been a sham with the installation of equipment not capable of measuring the nano-particles that are most harmful to human health. This has simply enabled the government and the company to say that they have no proof of any harm to human health.”
Contact: Libby Connors 0429 487 110
usual symptoms that could be attributed to environmental exposures. General practices in Tara and Chinchilla have also confirmed similar findings to Queensland Heath. Department of Environment and Heritage Protection environmental officers have retrieved air samples collected in canisters by Wieambilla residents on 3 July 2012 for laboratory analysis. These samples are currently being analysed by the Air Sciences team in the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. DEHP will also use highly sensitive air monitoring equipment to monitor the atmosphere for air quality and contaminants around residents' houses in the Wieambilla Estate. Department of Natural Resources and Mines Petroleum and Gas inspectors have completed gas leak testing on coal seam gas wells and associated infrastructure at the Kate gas field operated by QGC Pty Ltd. No gas leaks have been identified. The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate has also sought technical data from QGC to ensure its Kate gas field infrastructure is operating in compliance