Australia’s burgeoning liquified natural gas industry is no laughing matter for Central Queensland farmers faced with falling property prices and a growing maze of gas wells on prime agricultural land.

Something stinks. Picture: David Martinelli.

With the recent green light for two controversial multi-billion dollar LNG projects, and a third granted conditional State Government approval this week, a national land rights organization has urged landholders to exercise “extreme caution” in dealing with gas exploration ventures.

Many farmers themselves are madder than Jumping Jack Flash and threatening a “Lock the Gate” campaign.

The warning from Property Rights Australia, a non-profit group dedicated to protecting landowners’ interests, follows Environment Minister Tony Burke’s approval of ground-breaking liquefied natural gas projects worth $30 billion.

These were subject to 300 environmental conditions, including planned testing of the underground water supplies essential to farmers.

The coal seam development projects are the first of several proposals involving gas liquification plants on environmentally- sensitive Curtis Island in Gladstone Harbour. They require drilling thousands of wells in the Surat and Bowen basins, with the gas piped hundreds of kilometres to Gladstone for conversion to LNG and shipping.

Industry groups claim the two ventures -  Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas project and British Gas Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG project – will eventually create up to 18,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Opponents say the real number will be much less. They also claim the liquification plants pose a threat to endangered wildlife, including the rare snubfin dolphin and dugongs, as well as a safety risk to Gladstone residents.

Meanwhile a third gas project gained conditional approval this week, with the State Government boasting the LNG industry had “really gained momentum”.

Premier Anna Bligh announced that the Australia Pacific Liquified Natural Gas project had been approved by Co-ordinator General Graeme Newton.

Also based in Gladstone, the project has a life of 30 years and is subject to about 600 conditions, including a massive local housing development, but it still needs Commonwealth approval.

Water containing salt and other contaminants is a by-product of the gas extraction. Traces of benzene have also been found in some wells, and property owners in the gas fields are concerned at possible damage to the vital Great Artesian Basin underground supplies.

PRA chairman and Central Queensland grazier Mr Ron Bahnisch, said yesterday the organization would back any calls for a moratorium on gas projects by other lobby groups such as AgForce.

His warning to property owners follows the release of the Queensland Government’s Standard Conduct and Compensation Agreement applying to coal seam gas exploration..

“As in the Vegetation Management debacle, there is a risk of landowners’ personal wealth being redistributed to other sections of the community, some to overseas shareholders.

“PRA’s advice to landowners is to proceed with extreme caution and use all the advice available from lawyers and accountants, as all the expense involved is recoverable” Mr Bahnisch said.

His statement follows a PRA meeting addressed by an independent consultant who described the new agreement as a virtual “wish list” for the gas companies. One clause would apparently allow the tenement holder (exploration company) to unilaterally make unlimited changes to activities specified in the agreement, such as from exploration to gas production. 

“Full disclosures of levels of development need to occur, with any escalation of activities subject to negotiation,” Mr Bahnisch said.

“The government uses the precautionary principle to stop developments on northern Wild Rivers with consequent reduced opportunities for indigenous employment, but won’t stop a very real threat to the integrity of the Artesian Basin.

“At the very least, the water balance must be preserved. Water out must equal water re-injected.

He said the ‘Make good provisions’ for irreparably damaged water supplies would seem impossible to deliver, “except in exceptional circumstances.”

It would be “perfectly understandable” for farmers concerned at the prospect of food production land being permanently damaged by short-term gas extraction, to contemplate “a peaceful non-cooperation campaign”.

“PRA believes that if the two industries can’t co-exist on prime agricultural land, the prior rights of agriculture must prevail,” Mr Bahnisch said.

If these rights were not upheld, the organization understood why disadvantaged landowners would support a developing “Lock the Gate “ campaign.

Surat basin grazier and PRA vice-chairman Lee McNicholl added that uncertainty surrounding the gas ventures had resulted in “only a handful” of property sales throughout the Basin in the past six months.

“It is really eroding property values in the area, as you don’t know what you are in for,” he said.

“I would not want to be living in Gladstone anywhere near the liquification plants. If they go off it would be like a nuclear bomb,” he said.

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    • acotrel says:

      06:28am | 12/11/10

      It seems that the anti-development lobby should give themselves a name, and come out into the political open?  I would have thought that gas fields in Queensland would give an opportunity to value add to our mineral resources, by such things as aluminium smelting, and steel making?

    • Macon Paine says:

      08:08am | 12/11/10

      They already have acotrel, they are called The Greens!

    • Peter Firminger says:

      10:30am | 12/11/10

      How about commenters using their real name “acotrel”... what are you hiding from? You can’t seriously comment on un-named sources under a pseudonym.

    • Robert Smissen, rural SA, God's own country says:

      11:34pm | 13/11/10

      Macon Paine, I hate the the “Greens” with a passion, Oz is being sold off at an obscene rate. Just tell me what you’ll eat after we have depleted all our resorces & poisoned the last water supply? ? ? Buy food from China fertilised with yummy raw sewrage? ?

    • murray says:

      07:29am | 12/11/10

      I’d say ‘whinging farmers’, but that is a tautology.  Bring on the coal seam gas.

    • Peter Firminger says:

      08:22am | 12/11/10

      Where do you live murray?

    • fedup says:

      08:53am | 12/11/10

      Why do comment sites publish these mindless, insulting digs at farmers. If it ads nothing specific to the debate forget it and don’t add to the arrogant demonisation of farmers.
      PS If you want to insult the farming community- Give Up Eating.

    • Robert Smissen, rural SA, God's own country says:

      11:36pm | 13/11/10

      What’s the bet that Muray likes on the coastal fringe & thinks food comes from super markets

    • Greg Blackmore says:

      07:56am | 12/11/10

      This article does not make representation on behalf of any anti development lobby. It serves purely as a warning to landholders who may be affected to ensure their own rights are protected. The organisation giving the warning is named as “Property Rights Australia, a non-profit group dedicated to protecting landowners’ interests”.
      While environmental groups scour the Murray Darling Basin for more water, we have to be sure that these developments do not deplete or contaminate our substantial underground reserves of water.
      The search for cheaper sources of energy drive these projects as well as the, short sighted, opportunity to “flog” the gas off to other countries.
      Environmentalists will ensure that our cheapest form of power from coal will become more expensive as a new carbon tax is applied to ensure that happens.

    • Wild Violet says:

      09:10am | 12/11/10

      Well said Greg Blackmore.
      No, “murray” and “acotrel” you have got the wrong end of the “stick here”.
      Looking after landowners private property, their environment, and the quality of the water, so that their livelihoods and those that draw water further down below them, is anything but “whinging farmers”.
      “Anti development”? How naive a statement is that? lol - no, fighting for ones rights, on land that they have paid for that ..oops…they have developed…no, how dare those farmers do that! How unreasonable to protect their homes? Should they just roll over and be shafted by big companies? Let gas come and decrease their water quality, and affect their health? Is there not a better way for this to happen? Not too simple is it?
      Might either of you be whinging employees for the gas industry? I really dont care actually - the line is drawn - let the battle begin!

    • Gregg says:

      12:39pm | 12/11/10

      Could be worse Greg for there are reports about on how those substantial underground reserves of the Great Artesian Basin are somewhat quite depleted from tapping over the past century.
      The theory is that the Artesian Basin has built up over many centuries of surface water seepage through porous geological layers.
      Add thousands of rural windmill pumping to a thousand or so pressure bores and many bores register substantially lower pressures than when first installed.
      There have been a number of water contamination developments already occur in some locations as found with quality of water pumped out for stock and as sorry as companies may be amidst claims of installing water treatment plants etc. that does nothing for the bans put in place re that stock and grazing and the fact that if the contamination is occurring underground down where the coal seam is burnt to create the gas, it is likely that massive contamination will not be revealed until it has happened.

      This is about as smart as the theory of pumping CO2 underground for you’ll not know about leaks until sometown gets suffocated.
      Have a read of how that has already happened:
      http://www.pbs.org/wnet/savageplanet/01volcano/01/indexmid.html

    • ibast says:

      09:15am | 12/11/10

      The arguments against Coal Seam Methane based on environmental reasons are just ridiculous.  This is coming from someone who supports the conservation of the rare spotted snail.  Coal seam methane processing takes up mere square meters of room.  The plant can be made very quiet and most people wouldn’t even see it from a few hundred meters away.

      It removes methane from the environment which is not only a danger to the environment, but a danger to miners, and turns it into energy.

      This article however is not about that.  This article is about digging up old dirt.  For getting close to 40 years now it has been very clear that land owners do not own what is below their top soil.  Build a bridge and get over it.

    • Peter Firminger says:

      09:53am | 12/11/10

      Yes ibast, you can hardly see them…

      http://wage.org.au/gallery/display/1279

      The private access roads (on your land but owned by the Gas Company) are no imposition, nor are the security fences, nor the huge pumping and processing plants (you can see them clearly in the photo)... all of this whether you consent or not. This isn’t under the ground ibast, it is very much surface activity. Square metres? Tens of thousands of them!

      Stop reading the industry lies as truth and have a look for yourself.

    • ibast says:

      10:30am | 12/11/10

      Typical NIMBY scare mongering.  Once installed Coal seam Methane constitutes a half car shed in the middle of a paddock (typically surrounded by the cows that were there in the first place).

    • Dale Stiller says:

      10:34am | 12/11/10

      ibast, sorry your views have no connection to what is the reality here in the Surat Basin. Granted, a well planned, researched coal seam methane has many apparent advantages of other energy alternatives but what has occurred here is a rush of indecent haste to extract the gas, pipe it to Gladstone, liquidfy it & export it at low cost.
      There is environmental damage occurring with this operation & I am not an environmentalist, rather a farmer who strongly believes in stewardship of the land. If you believe that this is a quiet operation try living within a Km of a compressor station.
      Possibly you have in mind a different scenario than what is really happening in the Surat Basin.

    • fedup says:

      11:08am | 12/11/10

      The Great Artesian Basin is obviously not warm and cuddly nor as interesting as the “rare spotted snail” but its conservation should be of interest to anyone who is not just an armchair conservationist.
      If you are not interested in preserving one of the large rare natural features of this country you are not a conservationist, just a part-time greenie.

    • ibast says:

      12:41pm | 12/11/10

      Fair enough Dale, if they taking a ham-fisted approach.  My frustration on this subject in general is based I my knowledge of the objections in the Campbelltown region and “Wollemi” region in NSW.  In these areas there is little real reason for opposing it, other than ignorance.

    • Peter Firminger - Wollombi NSW says:

      02:36pm | 12/11/10

      Ibast, I’m sure you mean “Wollombi” (where I live) and not “Wollemi” which is a National Park and out of reach of Coal Seam Gas miners.

      Why would it be different? Wollombi is a populated hobby farming district and viticulture/historic tourism area. Campbelltown is an urban area. Are you talking about Camden or Scenic Hills, or maybe the new one at Rouse Hill/Riverstone in an urban development zone?

      Ibast, you are believing the rubbish that gas companies tell you about the “Exploration” phase, where there may be a core-hole here and a test well there. Production is totally different with all the infrastructure that comes with it as evidenced by the photograph I posted - never mentioned in the glossy brochures and spin that gas companies give you.

      The ignorance is in those that believe this spin without honestly looking at the issue and the next stages which are deplorable and absolutely kill communities. See GASLAND if you are serious and then make up your mind - have a look through our website as well.

      There’s nothing NIMBY about this, we are fighting to stop it EVERYWHERE.

      Peter Firminger
      Wollombi Valley Against Gas Extraction Inc
      http://wage.org.au/

    • Lee Mc NIcholl says:

      10:30pm | 13/11/10

      Sorry Ibast, I never take anyone that hides behind a “pseudonym” seriously. In my view annonymous bloggers often are Trojan Horses for all sorts of vested interests. Who knows you could be a spin doctor for a multinational CSG company or even the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Assoc.
      So I’ll tell you why I am going to “Lock the Gate ” on my property and if you would like to identify yourself you could try gaining forced entry.

      Recently a “concept map” developed by a major CSG company with many local has been made public.It confirms that their optimal development scenario is to have a CSG well in a 750 metre grid or approx every 60 acres. These wells are connected via a spider web of pipelines and surface service roads. All vegetation is cleared by the CSG companies from 15-30 metres above all the pipelines and roads plus approx 2 acres for every well.  Much of the remaining vegetation in our region will be clear felled as a result of the 40000 plus projected wells plus associated infrastructure.
      If I let the CSG mob on our beautiful Arklow we could end up with 200 odd wells. THis would severely impact our grazing and farming operation operation. The 40000 plus wells will also impact on the GAB and my vital bore . These are just some of the reasons why I am locking my gate. DR. Lee Mc Nicholl BVSc., M.SC. { Range Management}

    • Melissa says:

      09:27am | 12/11/10

      Please see the documentary ‘Gasland’ by Josh Fox which depicts the effects of natural gas wells and the state of the industry itself in the US. It will be released next week.  Previews are showing this week. Education is vital on this issue. http://gaslandthemovie.com/

      Hopefully we will have stricter controls and not employ the same hydraulic fracturing processes depicted in the film.

    • Gregg says:

      01:10pm | 12/11/10

      It’s either Hydraulic Fracture it Melissa and there is some information on that to be done with a high pressure water/sand mix and one would hope that is all that was to be used - http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/education/fact_sheets/coal_bed_methane.jsp
      Though I have also seen reports on trials to actually ignite some coal seams.
      But we can only hope all will be well though as per usual when governments are going to have all sorts of controls in place, they may be hidden away in some clause with little oversight of what actually goes wrong and less knowledge of it until it is revealed.

    • Dixie says:

      09:48am | 12/11/10

      Coal Seam Gas exploration just got a whole lot more visible with drilling rigs alongside Highway 1 between Rockhampton and Mackay. The scale of this industry has the potential to be like nothing the general population has ever seen before. Maybe they will find their amenity sensibilities affronted sooner rather than later. Maybe then they will also start to comprehend the fact that these developments will seriously impact food production.  Maybe then government sanctioned scramble to sell off our resources will be questioned. For how much? I thought I heard 8c a litre.  I pay $127 for a 88 litre bottle of LPG. About $1.44 a litre.

    • Karyne Gough says:

      10:29am | 12/11/10

      Coal Seam Methane Gas Mining is catastrophic for the environment, water aquifers and peoples lives. Take the time to look at relevant web sites here and in America to see the destruction. It defies common sense to allow this type of mining if there is even the remotest chance of a water course or underground aquifer being poisoned. I can only assume that ibast hasn’t really looked into this type of mining before making such comments or that he/she is an employee of one of the gas companies

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      10:29am | 12/11/10

      Todays politicians have no morals, no conscience,no empathy, no sympathy, They are just a glop of pure vanity.

      We are born, we exist and we die. Polies know this better than most and exploit as much as fast as they can. To reap the fast buck and the short sighted splender their spin doctors create.

      Like dumping garbage out of the car onto the road, they are well gone before the stink and disease starts and some poor mug is left to clean up (if possible.)

      Like the current mob selling off our assets for the fast quid. They will wallow in the loot and our grandkids will suffer the pain.

      The polis will stuff themselves with swill and be gone.

    • Gregg says:

      01:51pm | 12/11/10

      It may not just be water contamination issues to be dealt with either for with the coal seam fracturing that will occur to release Methane, it is not just methane but according to http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/education/fact_sheets/coal_bed_methane.jsp you can also get CO2, that nasty we are all led to believe is giving us climate change, and so how is that to be monitored and or controlled/stored whatever.
      Santos would claim to be doing their bit for underground storage - http://www.santos.com/exploration-acreage/moomba-carbon-storage-project.aspx but click to get some detail and you have to be signed up to http://www.beta.fusion.com.au whatever that is.
      Maybe a nice way not to reveal too much.
      But in view of http://www.pbs.org/wnet/savageplanet/01volcano/01/indexmid.html I would not want to be living too close to voluminous stored CO2 and will they know leakage is occurring while they are still pumping it in!
      http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas/cbm is another site that looks to have some interesting data on what has already been occurring in the US.

      A different process of igniting Coal Seams is also being experimented with, one that has already been used extensively overseas but again there is the query over adequate contols on all gases.
      http://www.ucg-gtl.com/australian-UCG-underground-coal-gasification-process.html for info.

      I read a while ago of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh beating the drum re a trial somewhere to store CO2 underground, somewhere closer to populated areas than Moomba I recall and she is actually on record as saying no new coal fired power station will be constructed in Queensland under her watch unless the CO2 created can be stored underground which might just be wishful thinking for even if secure storage could be had, getting the gas out of masses of ultra high temperature power station gases will be achieving next to the impossible.

      Nevertheless, I did shoot of a query on how underground storage could ever be permanently guaranteed, given earth tremors can develop cracks/shifts in what may have previously been thought of as impervious geological material.
      I even got a reply from the Mines department where the query had been punted to, a reply that was very mamby pamby about every precaution being taken but saying substantially nothing.
      All very much as it would seem to be with the CSM processes and despite CO2 separation and piping back underground in the North Sea off Norway, there seems to be very little said about the CO2 with the gas extraction already taking place or planned.

      Perhaps there could be scope for some investigateive journalism on that aspect too.

    • Thumbnail says:

      02:17pm | 12/11/10

      Like any technology, it should be tested, tried and true before bringing it into our land and water.  If basic property rights are bulldozed along with the rights of access, compensation and water quality, what sort of food do you think we will all be consuming?  Soylent Green anyone?  Pass the salt.  There will be plenty of it I hear.

    • Dale Stiller says:

      04:16pm | 12/11/10

      You’ve got it Thumnail, The technology should be tired & tested.
      It has to seen to be believed in the Surat Basin the rush to get production, exports & royalties at any cost.  There has been no proper planning, any thought of any possible negative side affects. Personally I believe that a gas industry should proceed but proceed with caution, proceed with regards to the environmental, social & productive value of the land and proceed that if it is a must for the greater good that the individual landowner is properly compensated.

    • Colin J Ely says:

      04:50am | 13/11/10

      Mikko
      As I understand things you cannot stop mining on your land providing both parties agree to just compensation, they can even get a Residence Area Right to build a house on your land. Interesting on the things that have been found in the water such as Xylene? Xylene is a hydrocarbon and wouldn’t you expect hydrocarbons to be found in a coalfield?

    • Peter Firminger says:

      10:06am | 14/11/10

      Colin,

      Mother earth has done a really good job of Carbon Sequestration for millions of years… yes you would expect to find hydrocarbons in a coal field… safely locked away deep in the earth until some idiot comes along and “fracks” it or mines it.

      The complaints about these chemicals in the water are new. The water bores have run for years, sometimes for decades without contamination, and when the gas companies come along and do their “harmless” work, all of a sudden they are contaminated, and the gas company simply says “prove it was us” (with full backing by State Labor Governments).

      It just sucks.

      As for access agreements, you only get to oppose in the “Exploration” phase (and they can still over-ride you through “State Significant” laws). When they go to production, the State Government gives them full permission and you have NO rights whatsoever. They pay you a trinket per well - about enough to buy a good suit to go and see your local member.

      They can (and do) stop you using your land and (apparently) can even move your house if they feel like it.

    • Mikko says:

      09:47am | 13/11/10

      I can see both the potential benefits plus the negatives of the LNG developments, not least of which are the effects on Gladstone Harbour with extensive dredging of seagrass beds, stockpiling a huge volume of spoil on tidal land, and the plants themselves on Curtis Island which is in the Great Barrier Reef heritage area. Some of this dredging will happen anyway with a major coal terminal expansion at Wiggins Island.
      Regarding treatment of contaminated water from the gas extraction process, the process is reverse osmosis, the same as the system used to purify recycled sewage to drinking standards and for ocean desalination plants, but as with any system problems can arise as we have seen with the very problematic plant at the Gold Coast and recent reports of E Coli readings in Sydney.  It employs a membrane which requires regular backwashing to prevent clogging. I managed a business that used a small system producing several thousand litres a day and there was a built-in automatic reverse flush, with impurities washed down the drain into the sewer system. But that was ok seeing it was using treated town water to start with.
      Systems big enough to handle all the water from gas extraction would have to be huge and the wastes from back flushing would still have to be stored and disposed of, unless someone has found a better way.
      Meanwhile it’s only natural farmers would be concerned both over just property agreements and the risks to food producing land.

    • Dale Stiller says:

      10:06am | 13/11/10

      The Qld Govt’s role in the promotion of an immediate gas industry at any cost smells of gross hypocrisy.  On one hand over the last two decades the Labor Govt has imposed a vast array of environmental regulation upon land owned by farmers & pastoralists in order to gain Green party preference deals & establish green credentials with the urban population. On these very same lands basic environmental safeguards have been thrown out of the window in regards to activities of gas & mining companies hidden behind the spin of employment & a boost to the economy. In some cases after only a 30 year lifetime extraction program can leave once highly productive land damaged for generations.

    • Joanne Rea says:

      04:39pm | 14/11/10

      Well said Dale.
      The coal seam gas industry is only in the very first stages of exploration with nothing like the levels of activity that will occur when production is in full swing.
      Already, hydraulic fracturing of the rock layers, which is carried out using high pressure and chemicals whose components are sometimes unknown, has caused water contamination and symptoms of illness similar to those experienced on overseas sites.
      Under threat is the Great Artesian Basin, the farming community, some 270,000 square kilometres of prime agricultural land (more fertile and valuable than grazing land), and the environmentally sensitive Curtis Island off Gladstone.
      All have been abandoned by a State Government with $stars in its’ eyes and the large Environmental Groups who traditionally are present and making a lot of noise about the “precautionary principle” when the target is a soft one like farmers.
      When mining companies are involved their silence is deafening and landholders have been forced to set up their own network of organisations to try to combat the excesses of the companies.
      The Great Artesian Basin is a huge natural resource and essential to the farming and grazing community but it is not warm and cuddly and is out of sight out of mind.
      There is potential for this activity to cause the greatest environmental disaster this country has seen and we are diving headlong into it.
      In thirty years or so when the life cycle of these mines is exhausted are we prepared for an environmental disaster both above ground and below ground where the Great Artesian Basin now sits.
      Come on urban Australia: show that you’re not just about warm and cuddly, put the mainstream environmental groups on the back burner for a while and give the home grown action groups a hand.

    • poppycock says:

      03:35pm | 13/11/10

      Coalbed gas is not natural.  It is ” created ” by setting fire to the coal deposits underground and since there is a distinct lack of oxygen there, it smoulders slowly producing smoke/gas in the process. The chemicals and dirty generated power required to turn this into a commercially viable, clean commodity spell the doom for a lot of surface based activity such as farming.  In the process we may also slowly be poisoned in more than one way.

    • Peter Firminger says:

      09:27am | 17/11/10

      Poppycock, you’re talking about UCG - Underground Coal Gassification. This is a totally different process to Fracking a coal seam. The Methane is in the coal, held there by water (and atmospheric) pressure. They dewater the coal seam and fracture it to allow more surface area for the gas to let go, and allow flow - hopefully - to their extraction pipe.

      Coal Bed (Seam) Methane is by far the largest greenhouse gas problem in NSW due to open cut mining. The methane gas in the exposed coal is simply released into the atmosphere where it is much more damaging than CO2.

    • Ron Bahnisch says:

      05:41pm | 13/11/10

      Dixie says, “Coal seam gas exploration just got a whole lot more visible with drilling rigs alongside Highway 1 between Rockhampton and Mackay”.

      Coincidentally we received a notice to attend an Arrow Energy Styx and Capricorn Coal Seam Gas Exploration Community Information night last Wednesday, covering the very area Dixie is referring to. The area stretches form Bajool to Stanage Bay through Rockhampton city.

      The presenter proceeded softly softly to get maximum confidence in the process and had to be goaded into revealing the more nasty details of interference. They particularly scorned my suggestion to immediately consult a lawyer and accountant in negotiating levels of compensation but agreed to follow the government generated Coal Seam Gas and Standard Conduct and Compensation Agreement when I brought the matter up.

      The tenement holder who has purchased the community held interest in what is under your land must fully compensate you for every aspect of the disturbance to your prior surface rights. The result must be: your equity intact with a substantial upfront and ongoing and indexed compensation for disturbance. Ideally there should be no financial penalty for owning land with a coal seam gas tenement and as little as possible amenity disturbance.

    • Elizebeth Flower says:

      04:33pm | 14/11/10

      Very well said, Dr Lee McNicholl.

      Lee Mc NIcholl says: 10:30pm | 13/11/10
      “Sorry Ibast, I never take anyone that hides behind a “pseudonym” seriously. In my view annonymous bloggers often are Trojan Horses for all sorts of vested interests.”

      It is very easy to berate another - e.g. a section of the rural community, in whose ‘shoes’ you have never walked - from behind the safety screen of a pseudonym.  It surely is a cowardly pastime.

      My suggestion to those such as Ibast (who has no firsthand knowledge of the situation as revealed by erroneous comments) would be to visit one of these areas, spend a few days ‘walking in the shoes’ of the people, living the life and sharing the pain, and then decide whether you wish to justify your position. 

      Until that time, remember you are totally unqualified to pass any derogatory judgment.

    • Mikko says:

      09:36am | 23/11/10

      Good to see some of the MSM catching up on the story broken here almost a fortnight ago including this from Aunty last night
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/22/3073435.htm?section=justin
      “.....Representatives from eight farming and conservation groups gathered outside Parliament House in Brisbane today to launch the Lock the Gate campaign.
      Dayne Pratzky from the Western Downs Alliance says hundreds of farmers will wage a program of non-cooperation to keep mining companies off their properties.
      ‘They’re going to need a lot more than a piece of paper and a bulldozer to get into our homes,’ he said.
      Lee McNicholl from the Dulacca Action Group says prime farming land is at risk.
      ‘You can’t eat coal for breakfast so there has to be a balance there,’ he said.”

    • Ali says:

      07:41am | 03/12/10

      is the precautionary principle ever really applied?

    • Dixie says:

      09:51pm | 03/12/10

      Ali, the precautionary principle is a handy weapon to brandish when votes are to be bought and sheathed when money is to be made.

      For those concerned about the ability of Australia to continue to provide food for it’s people from established farmlands the Bligh government is to provide a 36 person “enforcement unit” in 2011 to ride shotgun on those who may wish to despoil such land.

      We can rest easy knowing help is on the way!

    • Paul Archer says:

      02:10pm | 08/08/11

      More misguided sentiment from the sunshine patriots in the environmentalist camp. They won’t come out and organize because they can’t get enough members who are convinced of their rightous dogma.

    • cheap says:

      09:56pm | 08/05/12

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    • buy authentic jordans says:

      08:39am | 08/06/12

      I like the idea of being you. People love to hear about you, your story, what’s going on for you, especially the bad. I guess misery loves company.

    • Ivy says:

      10:29am | 09/07/12

      Halllejuah! I needed this-you’re my savior.

 

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choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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