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Our blockade of an Arrow Energy coal seam gas drilling rig continues in the Kerry Valley.

Day three achieved a 24 hour truce, so  all is peaceful lots of cups of tea and coffee are being drunk, while we wait for the mining company to come back to us.

This means it is more important than ever for people to come down and show a united front.



As you may have seen on the news last night (Saturday), Arrow Energy met with ‘Keep The Scenic Rim Scenic’ (KTSRS) yesterday afternoon, and reached agreement on a ‘truce’ for 24 hours:
Our requests:
all drilling stops until:
1. all landowner bores are tested, so if contamination/draw-down does occur, landholders are able to prove their bores have been affected.
2. an independent study into aquifers below the Scenic Rim and interconnected water systems – with the study to be undertaken by a mutually agreed party, and  the report made Public
3. genuine community consultation – including public meetings where you can hear people who know the issues ask questions you might not have thought of
4. Arrow Energy not press  charges against Daniel Robins – the person that staged a 24 hour +  protest at the top of the drilling rig – noting that  Daniel is still facing police charges

As your representatives in these negotiations, we can tell you that Arrow Energy yesterday (Saturday) told us they did feel they could work with our requests and they would come back to us within 24 hours. Also they undertook to only cary our work related to ensuring the safety of the site. The deal is no drilling will occur and the drill mast will not be lowered or dismantled). We feel progress was positive, so today we may have resolution which could see no more drilling in the Scenic Rim while water studies are carried out. Agreement might also take a little longer if we feel we need legal advice or other expert input.

COME DOWN AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!  We are in a peaceful ‘truce’ period, so let’s make sure Arrow Energy sees strong community unity in this matter.  This deal may ensure no drilling in the Scenic Rim for an extended period, but it cannot be achieved without local pressure.  As your representative in these negotiations, we feel we are making progress, but we know we must maintain the blockade, by showing a united community in opposition.  People from CSG affected communities across Australia are also joining us to show strength in numbers.

 Getting to the site

The blockade site is on Nindooinbah ESTATE rd, 12.4km south of Beaudesert. From Beaudesert, take the Kerry rd for appx 7km, then go left into Nindooinbah ESTATE rd.  The site is appx 5km along, on the left.

Reflections on our progress from Bob Irwin, father of the late Steve Irwin, who stood on the blockade with us on day three and assisted with negotiations with the mining company:
„KTSRS have made more progress in 24 hours than the combined anti-CSG  movement has made in 6 months. This is truly a watershed moment for the fight against CSG“
We believe a strong part of this apprent quick progress must also be attributed to the acts of NSW resident Daniel Robins, who spend more than 24-hours on top of the rig. His personal passion against CSG comes from his own experiences in the Piliga Forest in NSW, where CSG waste water has spilled and killed of tracts of trees.

The Kerry blockade may be a defining  moment in the Scenic Rim and also in the fight against CSG across Australia … please come down and show your support at the drill site until we know Arrow Energy’s intentions.

Why is this important?
When coal seam gas drilling in the United States allegedly contaminated underground water supplies, mining companies refused to take blame. They challenged bore-owners to prove it was them. Without test data confirming water levels/purity  pre-drilling, this was very difficult. Some Kerry farmers and others in the community have been pushing for ‘baseline’ testing, to gain understanding of local groundwater systems and also as insurance, if something does go wrong.  We know accidents happen.  We are concerned that  if Arrow Energy pushes ahead with drilling before tests are done, there is increased potential for less accurate data and contamination. We are also asking for an independent study of groundwater aquifers which extend from the Scenic Rim into the wider south-east Queensland area including Brisbane. We need to fully understand these systems to assess the risk gas production might pose.

The Detail
– WE NEED NUMBERS to maintain a blockade for days, possibly weeks
– this is a ‘truce’ time with a family atmosphere
–  Come for an hour, a day or come to stay … or maybe just drop in some fresh food and a few cool drinks
– all participants must register and sign a code of conduct
– no alcohol, drugs or violence, with respect for others at all times
– excellent camping space, please bring your own water
– please bring your video camera if you have one
– don’t forget your sunscreen, hat, drinking water, chair and maybe a picnic or food for your stay, your ‘Lock the Gate’ sign and even a musical instrument for entertainment

Code of Conduct
All participants must accept the following terms –
– to remain peaceful at all times
– no physical or verbal abuse
– follow directions of designated organisers
– no alcohol or drugs
– respect for potentially differing views of others
– possible other conditions to be confirmed

This blockade is now under the auspice of the Lock the Gate Alliance, in conjunction Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic.

 Protestors on Peaks

October 16 2011 – a proud day for our Scenic Rim


Almost 1000 people from across our shire made their stand against coal seam gas and coal mining in our Scenic Rim and what a statement we made!  
Our event was reported by all major news media, ensuring authorities and governments know exactly how we feel.

Our you-tube (below) 
and the Channel Seven News story, show just how powerful our message was. Check out our gallery for more pictures as well as  aerial images taken by photographer Andrew Peacock.

What was Protestors on Peaks all about?
Protestors on Peaks was designed to showcase our spectacular name-sake mountains and our agricultural heritage – an incredible backdrop. The event was part of a national day of action – across Australia, tens of thousands of people also marched against coal seam gas.

This is what we’re working to stop. Here you can see what has already happened at Tara/Chinchilla, only a couple of hundred kilometres from us. The webs of gas wells and pipelines, an average 800m apart, extend for miles. There are currently about 3000 gas wells in Queensland – our Government wants 40,000.

We can stop this in our Scenic Rim, if we stand united.

An overview of coal and coal seam gas in the Scenic Rim:

More than 80% of our Scenic Rim Shire (just south of Brisbane and tucked in behind the Gold Coast, south east Queensland) is covered by exploration permits for coal and coal seam gas. Test drilling is already underway in the Scenic Rim and resource company plans are progressing rapidly.

If full scale mining goes ahead it will industrialise our area, destroying our peaceful rural lifestyle, clean air and water, threatening both agriculture, tourism and other existing businesses.

Coal seam gas production also involves extracting significant quantities of underground water, raising fears of depletion of reserves, critical for agriculture.

In the Scenic Rim, gas companies plan to use two controversial extraction methods, both of which have already caused aquifer contamination in Queensland – fracking and underground coal gasification. ‘Fracking’ is already under a temporary ban in NSW, the UK, South Africa and parts of the US, with a permanent ban in France.

Coal seam gas production also involves extracting significant quantities of underground water, raising fears of depletion of reserves, critical for agriculture.


What are we doing to protect our area?

Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic has begun a campaign to raise community awareness. With an election looming in Queensland, this is of the highest priority. If you are informed, you can vote with your feet and we are already seeing our government and opposition responding to this threat.

All parties are promising to protect our Scenic Rim, but the devil is in the detail. Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic plans to meet with all parties in the coming weeks to determine how their policies and planned changes to legislation will protect us.

At this point we remain concerned because the major parties are only talking about changes to new permit rules: with 80% of our region covered by existing permits, this offers little protection.  Legislation relating to good quality agricultural land also only offers limited protection:  it only stops coal mines in country with more than 5% slope and does not stop coal seam gas.

We cannot match the mining company war chests, but all over Australia communities are mobilising to stop mining and coal seam gas in inappropriate areas and slow the process down to allow experts to assess the potential risks to our underground water supplies, health and wellbeing. A  community working together to stand up for its rights is a powerful force.


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