Shadow Mines Minister Andrew Cripps

April 18, 2016

The Opposition has called on the State Government to “honour its commitment to full transparency” and release the evidence it used to determine Underground Coal Gasification should be immediately banned.

Shadow Minister for Environment Steve Bennett said the LNP took Queensland’s investment reputation seriously “so we call on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to release the evidence it has relied on to make this decision”.

Mr Bennett noted that all three companies involved in the UCG trials had come to the attention of government for environmental issues.

“Carbon Energy was fined in December 2012, Cougar Energy was fined in September 2013 and Linc Energy was charged in April 2014, so the UCG industry has an unfortunate record of non-compliance with Queensland’s environmental regulations,” Mr Bennett said.

“The LNP took these issues seriously, but we also take Queensland’s investment reputation seriously.”

Shadow Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the former LNP Government had pursued an extremely robust process to test the technology being used.

“The LNP put an independent scientific panel (ISP) in place to help the Queensland Government make an informed, science-based decision on the potential for a commercial UCG industry to be established,” Mr Cripps said.

“The recommendations of the ISP were then reviewed by a team of scientists led by Queensland’s chief scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett, which endorsed its recommendations and the former LNP Government accepted that decision.”

The ISP recommended that the State Government allow Carbon Energy and Linc Energy  to continue their pilot trials; a planning and action process be established to demonstrate successful decommissioning of the underground cavities used as part of the UCG process; and until decommissioning could be demonstrated, no commercial UCG facility should be commenced.

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