Palmer blasts ‘poisonous’ coal seam gas industry
Mining magnate Clive Palmer has launched a scathing attack on Australia’s coal seam gas industry, saying the technology is unproven and could have a devastating environmental impact.
Concerns have been raised about the impact of the industry on water sources and its inability to find a permanent solution for waste disposal.
A Senate inquiry is examining the economic, social and environmental impacts of coal seam gas.
Speaking to the National Party’s Federal Council in Canberra, Mr Palmer said a leading Chinese firm had raised issues with him about the Australian industry, saying extraction techniques they abandoned 20 years ago are still being used here.
The Queensland mining billionaire told the crowd that his Chinese counterparts had delivered a stern warning.
“Coal seam gas technology currently used in Australia is lethal and will kill Australians, poison our water table and destroy the land,” he said.
Speaking to the ABC after making his address, Mr Palmer said international firms are worried that companies undertaking exploration in Australia do not have sufficient expertise.
“The discussions I’ve had with overseas companies that do extract coal seam gas and are in operations and are using different technologies … they’re concerned that maybe the people who are doing it in Australia are not as skilled, not as well trained and do not have the same technological background that they do,” he said.
Mr Palmer says it is up to the Government to ensure the industry does not destroy regional Australia.
“The risk if they don’t get that right is the contamination of the water table with things like arsenic and other carcinogens,” he said.
“We don’t want that to happen because that affects stock and it could affect human life when we’re eating the stock and drinking the water.