Chinchilla family says living on gasfields is ‘hell’

Chinchilla family says living on gasfields is ‘hell’


News
 Narelle and Nood Nothdurft, Chinchilla, describe having 26 gas wells within 2km of their house as 'hell'.

Narelle and Nood Nothdurft, Chinchilla, describe having 26 gas wells within 2km of their house as 'hell'.

Aa

Members of the public have less than two weeks to make submissions into a Senate Inquiry into Unconventional Gas Mining.

Aa

Members of the public have less than two weeks to make submissions into a Senate Inquiry into Unconventional Gas Mining.

The closing date for submissions into the inquiry instigated by Senator Glenn Lazarus after the death of Chinchilla farmer, George Bender, is March 14.

The first public hearing was held in Dalby late last month but Senator Lazarus’ office was this week unable to confirm when or if any more hearings would be held.

A spokesman for the Senator said hearings could potentially be held in Darwin and Narrabri, but that no dates had been set despite a final report being due before June 30. 

Last month’s Dalby hearing heard that the state government and mining industries had violated Queenslanders’ human and environmental rights. 

Narelle and Nood Nothdurft told the hearing that their property, Bellara, Chinchilla, had 26 gas wells within two kilometres of their house.

The couple said they were living in “hell” with gas vents released regularly within 150 metres of their house.

The Nothdurfts said there was also constant noise with a compressor station running around the clock just a few kilometres from their home.

"At night the noise pounds on, destroying any chance of a solid night’s sleep, we just don't sleep," Mrs Nothdurft said.

“We can’t prove it's the gas, but something is making us all sick,” Mrs Nothdurft said of her family’s unexplained illnesses. 

The inquiry also heard from Dr Geralyn McCarron, a Queensland GP, who said she had become aware of “strange and unexplained symptoms” including blood-noses, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting in people living at coal seam gasfields.

"In recent years, during my visits to Queensland's gasfield, residents have repeatedly voiced concerns about the frequency of cancers and unusual types of cancers occurring within the rural triangle bordered by Dalby, Chinchilla and Tara," Dr McCarron said.

Hopeland landholder, Shay Dougall, said at the hearing that international law recognised the interdependence between human rights and the integrity of the environment. Mrs Dougall’s home is surrounded by coal seam gas (CSG) and underground coal gasification (UCG) projects

She said the state government was complicit in human rights violations by allowing third parties to violate the rights of locals by failing to create and implement policies to protect them and by failing to act on regulation.

"To enjoy human rights fully, it is necessary to have a safe and healthy environment; and to have a safe and healthy environment, it is critical to protect human rights," Mrs Dougall said.

“Measures must be taken to prevent third parties from violating the right to health of others by enacting or enforcing laws to prevent the pollution of water, air and soil by extractive and manufacturing industries.”

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by