CSG protesters labelled 'irresponsible' after scaling tower

Protesters on top of the 200-metre-high water treatment plant.
Protesters on top of the 200-metre-high water treatment plant.


UPDATE 5pm: In what appeared to be a warm-up for concert guests on Saturday, anti-gas activists scaled a water tower in south-west Queensland to unfurl a giant "Lock the Gate" banner.

The 20m-tall tower forms part of QGC's Kenya Water Treatment Plant, which purifies up to 95 million litres of heavily-salted water each day.

That water - left over from gas extraction operations - is then piped back into the region as drinking supplies or for use by farmers and industry.

Anti-CSG groups entered the site and climbed the tower ahead of a planned anti-gas concert on nearby farmland owned by Stop CSG president Dayne Pratzky.

A QGC spokesman described the act as irresponsible and the anti-CSG campaign as being driven by fear and emotion instead of facts.

He added that claims the water tower was 200m tall were exaggerated - the tower is closer to 20m tall.

The Tara and Chinchilla region, including the Kenya gas fields, is the epicentre of the Queensland resistance against CSG.

On Saturday, Stop CSG and Lock the Gate will have musician Ash Grunwald headlining a Concert in the Gaslands in which Mr Grunwald, activist Jarmbi'je Githabul and Mr Pratzky will hop on surfboards and paddle into "the bubbling waters of the Condamine River" wearing gas masks.

A study by the Queensland Government published in January specifically addressed concerns about the bubbling of the Condamine, finding it to be no threat to health and caused by the natural occurring gas in the ground.


UPDATE 12:45pm: Gas plant owners QGC have described the actions of anti-coal seam gas campaigners as "irresponsible" after they scaled a water tower in south-west Queensland.

Protestors climbed atop the tower to unfurl a giant "Lock the Gate" banner.

A spokesman for QGC said it was part of an ongoing campaign by activists driven by "fear and emotion instead of fact".

He said the plant purified salty water from operations that would otherwise go to waste.

According to QGC, this water is treated to meet Australian Water Drinking Quality Guidelines set by the Federal Government, before being used by surrounding townships.



EARLIER: Protesters have scaled a 200-metre-high reverse osmosis plant under construction near Tara this morning.

The plant was located on QGC's Kenya gas field.

The residents from protest group Stop CSG Tara unfurled a large banner from the top that read Lock the Gate Against Coal and Gas.

"This morning we targeted QGC's reverse osmosis plant to highlight the dangers of the coal seam gas industry," group president Dayne Pratzky said,

"We know that filtering waste water using reverse osmosis is not eliminating dangerous endocrine-disrupting chemicals."

This morning's protest is part of a continuous campaign of blockades and peaceful protests which started yesterday. A large concert is planned for Saturday at Stop CSG Tara's base camp adjacent to the Kenya gas field.

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