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1 Coal Seam Gas: Why all the fuss? Warwick Giblin FEIANZ Engineers Australia Symposium 10 th July 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Coal Seam Gas: Why all the fuss? Warwick Giblin FEIANZ Engineers Australia Symposium 10 th July 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Coal Seam Gas: Why all the fuss? Warwick Giblin FEIANZ Engineers Australia Symposium 10 th July 2012

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3 1. Lack of adoption of the precautionary principle 2. Technological change - internet 3. Farmer – company interaction 4. Proponent assumed having law & govt policy on its side was enough to win the day 5. Traditional measure of ‘wealth’ hides environmental & social costs & benefits: not suitable now 3

4  My farm is my ‘castle’ & home (ambience, spirit)  My land is everything/more than a workplace  A stranger appears  Stranger is big, strong & from a different world  Little time to build a trusting relationship  Farmer unsure, lots of unanswered questions  eg who can we trust about groundwater impacts?  What is fair compensation?  Is the access agreement fair?  Stranger ‘throws his weight around’  Farmer digs his toes in - CONFLICT 4

5  We have followed due process; have a licence to explore/produce. Done what Govt asked.  The law to enter farmland is on our side  We have commercial pressures to develop the project; get on-stream & produce revenue  Production will lift Co value & share price  We’ve offered compensation, farmers not playing fair  Royalties & jobs for the State – surely a winner!  Green energy source  Company dig its toes in - CONFLICT 5

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7  Farmers have the internet & smartphones!  Technology has enabled bottom-up communication  ie farmers linked up to form a critical mass  You Tube = Filmmaker  Mobile phone= Paparazzi  Twitter/Blog= Reporter  Companies thought complying with the law & $$ promises was enough  Biggest flaw: Precautionary Principle ignored 7

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9 If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.public environmentscientific consensusburden of proof 9

10  FIRST: Determine capacity of the natural systems especially the hydrogeology  Goal: maintain long term sustainable resource use: a)Water resources/aquatic ecosystems b)Agric land c)Biodiversity – veg management  THEN - regional land use planning based on values & risks of ALL the resources 10

11  Defn: A measure of socio-political sentiment towards a project, company or industry  Co-ownership: high trust & active support  Approval: support  Acceptance: listen & consider; wait & see  Withheld/withdrawn: opposition 11

12  Embrace Precautionary Principle  Independent baseline, catchment wide studies, with stakeholders involved, to determine risks of serious damage to g/water & s/water quantity & quality  Cumulative impact assessment  landholders/farmers entitlements need legislative protection  Community engagement before devel concept locked in  True sustainability – price environ costs & benefits 12

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14  GDP ignores costs of environmental damage & resource depletion  ‘defensive expenditures’ such as pollution clean-up costs & vehicle accident repairs increase value of GDP  Build social wellbeing & ecological health measures into ‘progress’ mix 14

15  GDP wrong metric, short term focus  Measure for both today and future  Tax ‘bads’ (pollution), not the ‘goods’(income)  Need metrics for social wellbeing + healthy ecosystems + long term economics, eg: UN & UK Green Economy Initiatives UN Human Development Index Genuine Progress Indicator (US think tank) 15

16  NSW Upper House Inquiry  Code of Practice for CSG exploration  Applications for CSG exploration licences on public exhibition  Agric Impact Statement req’d for new CSG extraction applications  Aquifer Interference Policy  Ban on toxic chemicals (BTEX) in fraccing process  Ban on use of evaporation ponds for production waters  New well design specs  Strategic Regional Land Use Plans - Upper Hunter & Liverpool Plains: Panel to assess proposals in high value agric areas before DA submitted  No more major cash payments for exploration licences  Guideline for community consultation re exploration  End to the 5 yr 10% royalty holiday  Land & Water Commissioner –vet CSG activities on prime ag land  Standardised land access agreements  Regional Community Funds: Co’s fund local projects 16

17  Senate Inquiry  EPBC Act: Expert Scientific Cttee – bioregional/catchment-wide cumulative impact assessment re CSG & mining projects  Feds: Plan a national regulatory approach re CSG (end 2012) 17

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19 Warwick Giblin Ph 0419 271 819 19

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