HORROR, disappointment and shock is how local Jennifer Schoelpple described her feelings in a letter to the minister for sustainability, environment, water, population and communities, Tony Burke, after learning of the “ill judged” decision to approve coal seam gas (CSG) leases at Gloucester.
Last week it was announced the federal government conditionally approved AGL’s 112 coal seam gas well project around Gloucester.
Jenny believes an investment in renewable energy sources should be the focus of the federal government, not the approval of schemes like CSG mining which she fears poses risk of irreparable damage to the environment.
“There is no excuse for your delivery of such a blatant ‘slap in the face’ to the Australian citizens you supposedly represent. It is painfully clear - to anyone who chooses to listen - that the overwhelming majority of Australians do not want CSG,” she wrote to Mr Burke.
Jenny thinks Australia does not need CSG as there are more than enough alternatives in renewable energy sources to cater for energy needs without CSG.
“You cannot deny that is the case, as countries with only a small percentage of our solar supply (to name just one renewable resource) put us to shame in solar energy collection technology and usage.”
Jenny’s home in the Killawarra/Mount George area is ‘off the grid’ and operates on solar power.
“I have 15-year-old solar technology running my home. Just a mere 16 old-fashioned panels. I run a dishwasher, a huge pigeon pair fridge and freezer, washing machine and all the other normal things a household has. If I can do it, anyone can,” she said.
“This is what you should be fighting for - clean, renewable energy.”
Jenny asserts Mr Burke is doing the opposite by setting up the structure where the “insidious” CSG industry can move forward.
“Every responsible Australian citizen wants to know why?” she said.
Jenny speaks of Mr Burke’s recent spate of ill-judged decisions about Australia’s precious and irreplaceable natural environments and describes the latest announcement as an “unconscionable directive” to give CSG leases the green light at Gloucester.
She said there are volumes of evidence questioning the safety of CSG, which illustrate the irreparable damage done, and hazards and pollutants released by CSG which can impact the natural environment and communities.
“How can you even contemplate approval for such a scheme anywhere, let alone at the headwater of one of Australia’s most beautiful, valuable (in terms of environmental richness) and populated river valleys?” she questions.
“No-one with the best interests of this country and its citizens at heart could make such choices and still sleep at night.”
The visible groundswell of unrest regarding the form of energy extraction, Jenny says, is only a small indicator of the true extent of ‘the people's’ disapproval.
“There are so many of us...who are unable to make more public and effective displays of our strength of feeling on the matter due to work and family commitments.
“You should recognise that this by no means diminishes our passionate resolve that this must stop.”