Claims of illnesses and cover-up as D-day looms for coal seam gas projects

Courier Mail - 21.10.2010

A HEALTH scare and claims of a political cover-up have clouded coal seam gas projects a day before the Federal Government has to decide on two multibillion-dollar LNG schemes for Queensland.

Residents of Tara, near Dalby, yesterday released graphic images and accounts of rashes, illnesses and infections they claim occurred last year when coal seam gas project teams operating in the area used water from their extraction process to suppress dust.

The Western Downs Alliance, a group fighting against the CSG projects, said government officials asked them to not publicise the photographs until after it investigated the issue and a case against the company, Queensland Gas, went to court.

The Tara residents began complaining in 2008 about leaking gas wells and the dumping of CSG water on roads, as well as a brown, oily substance in a creek.

One resident said people had been forced to leave their properties because of stress and related illnesses, including nose bleeds, nausea and vomiting.

“I can’t prove we were getting sick because of it but it was all around the same time,” the resident said

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