Political Party for saleWhen I was contracting in the Central Queensland Coalfields 2009-2011 I saw the beginnings of the CSG industry at Moranbah. Arrow was still Arrow albeit in the throws of being swallowed up by Royal Dutch Shell. I believe Prince Phillip has a sizeable stake in this company. I have seen first hand the huge amounts of water needed to operate gas wells. Friends were contracting to Arrow with semi water trucks. It was great lurk for contractors.

Having a rural journalism background I could see what was going to happen to our great brigalow belt across Queensland. It is our best grazing and farming country comprising cracking clay soils with high humus content in many cases. Much of this state’s wheat, barley, sunflower and sorghum crops and cotton are grown in this huge area. Many towns and farming communities are supported by this foodbowl, not to mention that it also represents some of best grass fattening country in Australia. Millions of export Jap ox and domestic slaughter cattle have been produced in the brigalow belt for most of the last century.
The CSG industry from what I have seen is a direct threat to food sovereignty of Queensland and the nation. Two years ago I wrote an article warning about the emerging CSG industry in CQ. It was published by the Mackay Mercury. Soon after covert pressure was placed on me through my work in the area. Clearly Arrow was upset. I had published details of the Friends of Felton site, one of the first groups taking the fight to the drillers. I soon realised there could only be one way to remedy this terrible conflict between food and mining. Political pressure was the only hope.

After some digging around I discovered the ALP was in bed with the CSG industry. A highly placed insurance industry source told me former Premier Peter Beattie has suddenly become quite wealthy, on paper at least, having acquired large parcels of mining and gas shares. Industry sources claimed Beattie handed out most of the gas ATP’s. No doubt in true Labor style he would not have been the only beneficiary.

There was a whiff of this bonus in the overt prosecution of former bank teller, Gordon Nuttall, once an ALP Minister. In 2011 I had the chance to interview Jeff Seeney, the Member for Callide, whose electortate is right smack bang in some of the best farming country in Australia. Mr Seeney is the Liberal Opposition Leader in Queensland. There also is much coal seam gas activity in Mr Seeney’s electorate. I asked him what he was going to do about the CSG industry. He looked at me rather strangely, asking, “Why?” He said most farmers he knew were “…doing quite well out of the gas industry….and they would not want it stopped.” I asked him about the threat to underground water supplies. He brushed it off making it quite clear he was not going to do anything about it. I then asked him what he intended to do about repealing the Vegetation Management Legislation that stopped farmers from cutting down one tree on their fee simple property, yet gave the CSG industry open slather on vegetation anywhere. He said he would not repeal it because “… too many people had been fined for illegal clearing…” I asked if he would give them back their money and exonerate them from any wrong doing. Judging by the reaction one could be forgiven for thinking I asked him to get into bed with Julia Gillard. So by this time most people involved in the CSG battle had figured out there would be no help from the party duopoly of ALP/LNP and their mirror policies on almost everything.

Along comes Bob. Now I have know Bob Katter for 35 years since he was a Minister in the Bjelke Petersen Government. Always a straight shooter, where black is black and white is white. Bob’s new party is certainly making waves in Queensland and I think Bligh and Newman or Seeney or ??? are terrified of a Hanson reincarnation.

The KAP juggernaut is sweeping the state and I have no doubt KAP will steal a swag of seats, widespread electoral fraud notwithstanding!

Katter is the only voice the CSG affected communities have, not only in Qld but in the nation. During an ABC Radio interview he said the LNP was 50 per cent owned by the CSG industry. Nobody denied it, He was right when he said recently, “I want the names of any primary producer who says he will back the LNP. I want to name and shame them.”