Private land mining 'right' gone too far

Updated November 5 2012 - 2:50pm, first published March 20 2011 - 10:19pm
Private land mining 'right' gone too far

It must be heartbreaking to be a landowner and suddenly discover someone has been granted a mining licence to mine your property without your consent.It’s even more disturbing when highly dangerous chemicals are sometimes used in the mining process, contaminating the water supply used for livestock and crops. That’s exactly what can and is happening from Queensland to the Hunter Valley, the South Coast, Southern Highlands and all the way to Western Australia.And it is all happening in the name of exploration for the coal seam gas industry.In the Illawarra, mining companies are seeking approval to extract gas from Darkes Forest, the escarpment behind Austinmer and from Shellharbour to Nowra and west to Berrima.The Mercury shares the concerns of residents, environmentalists and stakeholders worried by the rapid expansion of the industry and the controversial water-powered hydraulic fracturing or ‘‘fracking’’ method often used to retrieve gas.It’s time to take a step back. Governments and mining companies must be more transparent and forthcoming in providing vital information to communities and those affected by any future drilling.

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