Alan Jones, Drew Hutton call for Lockyer Valley CSG ban
THE biggest anti-coal seam gas voices in the country will call for a ban on the industry in the Lockyer Valley - even though there are no gas exploration permits in the area.
Sydney shock jock and outspoken CSG critic Alan Jones and anti-gas campaigner Drew Hutton will speak at a forum in Grantham on Sunday calling for the industry to be banned in the Lockyer Valley.
However, a spokeswoman for Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said there were currently no CSG exploration permits in the Valley.
While Arrow Energy once held an exploration permit over parts of the Lockyer Valley, a spokesman said the company relinquished its holding last year.
Despite this Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones said the area was too important to allow risks to water supplies.
"We're already very particular about bores in the Lockyer. When people drill them we're concerned because there is a high layer of saline water and if that's not capped properly it can leak into the water below."
He said the industry's nature meant more bores would need to be drilled if it came to the Lockyer Valley.
"It's the groundwater that is my main concern. This is the seventh most fertile valley in the world," Mr Jones said.
"Our vegetables are considered the best in the world food safety wise. I want to make sure that doesn't change."
Cr Jones said he did not have a problem with the gas industry as a whole, but he wanted the Lockyer's agriculture maintained.
"We're not anti-gas or anti-mining," he said.
"This isn't about what happens in other areas around Dalby or wherever. This is about the Lockyer Valley - one of the best food bowls in Australia."
- APN NEWSDESK