Letters to the editor: Tuesday, October 3

CLIMATE CHANGE TIPPING POINT

I see from today’s Leader, (September 28), that Warren Woodley OAM, does not believe in Climate Change. In fact he derides Al Gore for his warnings on future disasters due to this man-made “Greenhouse Effect”. Mr. Woodley goes on to say that there has been a hiatus in global warming, even as carbon dioxide has increased.

How then would he explain recent headlines such as “How bleaching kills coral reefs.” and “Sea ice slides to record low in Antarctica.” In each case increasing sea temperatures are to blame. The same could most probably be said for the record storms and hurricanes to hit the United States and the Caribbean, reported as the most severe and dangerous. Clouds over the oceans pick up more evaporating moisture and  storms or hurricanes are formed. This has to be deposited somewhere and over land rainfall becomes increasingly severe.

Mr. Woodley further states that he would like to see a coal-fired power station built in the Namoi area. Please forget about such an idea, these are like dinosaurs from the past. We must now concentrate on renewables, such as solar, wind and possibly small hydros. Coal must stay in the ground and, if  Al Gore’s dire warnings are not to become reality, we must insist that our recalcitrant politicians get a move on. Scientists have warned us of a “tipping point’' when it will be too late, let’s hope it has not arrived yet.

Ron Webster, Tamworth

WATER WOES

Headlines on your paper one day tells us of the great growth in population that our politicians want for Tamworth. The next day the headlines tell us that there will be water restrictions as usual this summer. No rain, no water so dams get low!

Could Mr Joyce and co please explain how huge increase in the population will cope with little water and shortfalls in medical, housing schools and infrastrure?

Perhaps he knows a "rain dance" but I don't think the Haka will cut it! If country people like Tamworians wanted to live in a big city, wouldn't they just move there?

Country towns and smaller cities are chosen because they are not huge. Perhaps local mayors might realise that too and cease the forever chant of growth, growth when all we want is decent facilities.

P. Poole,

Tamworth 

FARMERS AGAINST CSG

After ten years opposition to Santos and Eastern Star Gas efforts to get coal seam gas projects approved, North West NSW farmers respond in alarm to ACCC suggestions that onshore gas should be rolled out in the Pilliga and across farmland. 

While supporting ACCC calls for coal seam gas exports to be curbed for domestic supply, farmers and communities who depend on safe reliable supplies of underground water will not accept any coal seam gas project that puts at risk this valuable resource. 

As extreme drought conditions are being experienced across major parts of NSW, farmers, graziers and rural communities are faced with the worrying prospect of how their water supply will hold up in these conditions.

Grazing operations that rely on runoff for dams will be totally dependent on safe reliable supplies of underground water from bores. Many towns are facing water restrictions or having to rely on water to be carted to sustain them.

The absolute necessity to protect underground water should be apparent to anyone who relies on water from a bore in these times of drought. 

The Great Artesian Basin is the only source of underground water we in Australia have. To put this resource at risk by depletion or contamination from coal seam gas extraction is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the communities and landowners across the North West.

Santos have stated that their operations will have a significant impact on the groundwater resources of the Gunnedah Oxley Basin. Ref: October 2014 Referral to Federal Government Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act – page 65…..quote: An assessment of the project indicates the duration and wider geographic extent of depressurisation of groundwater head within the coal seams and adjacent strata will cause a significant impact of the groundwater resources of the Gunnedah – Oxley Basin.”

Santos’ operations in the Pilliga, if allowed to proceed, will play out the predictions the company has made. 

The plan for 850 wells in that region and application for further wells across the Liverpool Plains will have serious repercussions on the clean reliable groundwater the North West depends on.

The Pilliga Forest is a large temperate woodland. 

ot only does the area support many forms of endangered species but the sandy soils of the whole area act as a giant filter for the Great Artesian Basin. 

The Pilliga is a major recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin. 

Santos in their quest to release coal seam gas have to drill through the upper aquifers, sealing off the pipeline to protect the upper aquifers from leaking down into lower levels. 

Despite Santos’ warning in their report to the Federal Government in 2014 that their operations will cause upper aquifers to drawdown as a result of depressurisation, Santos now expect us to believe that this will not occur.

The people who live on the 3.2 million hectares surveyed with a resounding 96.8% of people saying “NO” to a coal seam gas development in this region will not tolerate any threat to the underground water they rely on.

David Quince, Chairman Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord