Queensland Gov't would consider shale gas
NOTHING is off the table when it comes to mining for Queensland, with the government indicating it would consider backing a shale gas industry.
On the back of reports suggesting the state could have a commercial shale gas industry within two years, Environment Minister Andrew Powell agreed it was possible.
Mr Powell said the industry's growth depended largely on the work already being done by mineral explorers.
The condition was that any firm wanting to mine anything in Queensland must prove they can do so without destroying the environment.
The government's apparent backing of shale gas is the latest in a string of announcements supporting contentious styles of mining and extraction.
In February, Mr Powell announced the government would clear a path for the oil shale industry, a sector banned by the state in 2008.
A month later, Mines Minister Andrew Cripps released a "blueprint" to restart the uranium industry, lifting a moratorium not touched since the late 1980s.
In July, Mr Cripps gave "in principle support" for the underground coal gasification industry.
The extraction of shale oil, shale gas and UCG rely on drawing out resources from underground rock.
Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said shale gas, like coal seam gas, was putting regional communities and water supplies at risk.
"Like CSG, shale gas causes land disturbance through the drilling of wells through aquifers, and that drilling combined with fracking poses serious threats of contamination and disruption of groundwater systems," she said.
Federal Government research suggests the potential for shale gas in Queensland and Australia is massive, with up to 435 trillion cubic feet available nationally.
One TCF equates to Australia's yearly gas usage.