Mayor urges solar farming over Coal Seam Gas

From ABC, journalist Chrissy Arthur.

Mayor urges solar farming over CSG

A mayor from north-west Queensland’s Gulf Country says there should be more focus on solar farming in the region, rather than on coal seam gas (CSG).

A company has announced its intention to begin exploring for petroleum and gas around Burketown and Doomadgee.

Burke Mayor Annie Clarke says any industry that will create power and jobs in the Gulf should be considered.

Councillor Clarke says there needs to be frank and open discussions with all landholders in the region if CSG exploration is to proceed.

The Carpentaria Land Council says it has not been consulted over the plans for Burketown and Doomadgee.

Companies are required to get cultural heritage approvals before exploration begins.

However, Councillor says she would like to see other “green” energy sources developed first.

“We would … [prefer] more attention being given to solar farming to set ourselves up in this area,” she said.

“We think that should be a priority probably and that any of these other type of opportunities in relation to the provision of power should be used as a secondary avenue of access.”

She says graziers also need to be at the table and environmental matters addressed.

“We are particularly protective of our aquifers and watercourses,” she said.

“They are the sorts of things that need to be on the table and cleared up and cleaned up before someone wants to madly drive the first exploration drill down into the ground.

“Some sort of a standard has got to be set and those concerns met.”

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