Saturday 21 March 2015


Senator Glenn Lazarus has called on the Australian  Government to hold a Royal Commission into the human impact of coal seam gas (CSG) mining.  Senator Lazarus, formerly a member of the Palmer United Party, and now an Independent, is a Senator for Queensland in the upper house of the Australian Parliament.

After visiting Dalby and Chinchilla, areas in Queensland which are being mined for CSG, Senator Lazarus came away deeply concerned about the impact this industry was having on local people.

He stated that communities were being devastated by CSG mining.  He believes that Australians would be horrified if they could see what is happening in areas where CSG is being mined. 

Among the concerns he raised in a media statement early in March were:
  • the toxic chemicals used in the mining process which were "making their way into the land, soil, water and air", 
  • the fact that property owners have few, if any, rights to prevent miners accessing their properties, 
  •  the bullying and harrassment of property owners into signing long term agreements with miners.
  •  the drying up of bores and their contamination with methane and other chemicals
  •  effects on the health of property owners and their animals
  • economic impacts on farmers' businesses
Senator Lazarus said he was calling for a Royal Commission rather than for an other form of inquiry  because " a Royal Commission has significant investigatory powers including sourcing documents, offering indemnities and summoning witnesses under oath."

In order to convince the Government that there is strong public support for a Royal Commission on this matter Senator Lazarus has started an online petition .  At the time of writing over 42,000 have signed the petition.

After his visit to Dalby and Chinchilla Lazarus addressed the Senate about his experience.  Video of this address.