12 March 2013: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter praised the Federal Government’s move extending its environmental powers to halt the drilling of new CSG wells and mines that pose significant health and environmental risks to our water supply.
“I’d like to express my appreciation to the Government and Australians across the country that have fought for this announcement today.
“I represent a third of the Great Artesian Basin, which represents almost all of the cattle and sheep industry of Australia. If this area is contaminated, sheep, cattle and livestock industries will be under serious threat.
Mr Katter said, “They are drilling holes through the Great Artesian Basin like it’s a piece of Swiss cheese. There are holes going down every day, and reports that some 18,000 wells had already been agreed to by the Queensland Government.
“They are drilling in people’s backyards — in the suburbs of Toowoomba, Ipswich and Newcastle to the outskirts of Sydney. It is unbelievable that the rights of landholders are being violated to serve the profit interests of foreign corporations,” said Mr Katter.
“In Queensland, the state government has continued to let these people run amok. They can do whatever they like and everybody knows it.
“The farming community in Australia has been treated like dirt by ALP and LNP Governments, particularly in Queensland. They are just cannon fodder for the huge mining companies.
Mr Katter emphasised that upon the project development phase completion, the CSG industry in Australia will have become worthless.
“The coal seam gas industry employs nobody. There are no jobs, no tax revenue and the profits boomerang back to foreign corporations. So what does Australia get out of it? A poisonous pin cushion of contaminated waterholes,” Mr Katter said.
In February 2013, Mr Katter re-introduced legislation to implement a two-year moratorium on coal seam gas aquifer drilling after his previous bid was voted down by both major parties in mid-2012.
“Today there has been a pull back and we are deeply appreciative that this has happened.
“But one can remain a little bit cynical in so far as that we moved a motion in May last year and again four weeks ago, and we had no takers and no support. But as an election gets closer, MPs are jumping on the bandwagon,” Mr Katter said.