Letter to the Editor-Wednesday, October 23: Message is clear
I SEE that The Daily Examiner's letters to the editor section is still making heavy going out of one particular coal seam gas exploration/mining survey, whose respondents predominantly did not favour the industry in question.
However, there has been more than one Australian survey on the subject and these surveys, which have been conducted by Essential Research, Galaxy, Newspoll, Nielsen, MyOpinions Research and Southern Cross University over the course of the last three years, show that most of those surveyed recognise the potential adverse effects of such mining.
This one quoted below was conducted this year.
"Research undertaken for NSW landholder groups has confirmed that a massive 85% of people surveyed agree that the coal and coal seam gas industries are threatening our water supplies, including groundwater.
"The poll of 1100 people in New South Wales conducted by Essential Research also revealed that 81% of those surveyed agreed that the coal and coal seam gas industries threaten the state's farmland and agricultural industries.
"Also of concern, but not new to NSW Farmers was the finding that 81% of respondents to the poll agreed that coal and coal seam gas extraction offered short-term economic return to investors but at the expense of local long-term industries such as farming and tourism.
"NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said these messages, which are strong and incredibly consistent across all areas of the state are still not getting through to the government." [NSW Farmers media release, June 20, 2013]
Hall & Partners Open Mind, on behalf of one national newspaper, also conducted a survey of senior oil and gas executives this year which found that "69% agreed community concern over the effect of CSG production on groundwater was valid."
Judith M. Melville,