Tuesday18 June 2019

William Light Foundation

Save the Flinders Ranges

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Join us to preserve the Flinders Ranges. 

The community of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, is calling out for your assistance to help fund to lodge court action to block the 'dirty, filthy business' of underground coal gasification (UCG) going ahead in the area. Adnyamathanha Elders, including representatives of the Anggumathanha Camp Law Mob and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Landowners Association, have spoken out strongly against UCG, stating that the proposed development threatens community and environmental safety. Monies raised in this campaign will be used to fund legal action to prevent this carcinogenic and environmentally destructive project taking place. Indigenous Elders and community volunteers are working hard with lawyers and other experts to stop UCG  in the beautiful Flinders Ranges. We need your help to carry out legal action. Please consider making a contribution today. The Flinders Ranges community greatly appreciates your support. 

What is underground coal gasification?

UCG is an experimental mining technology with a track record of failure, polluting the air, groundwater and soil. The process of burning coal underground for gas is difficult to control and produces many byproducts which are highly toxic. The gas contains carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene and other substances that are potentially toxic or carcinogenic. Gas processing, handling and transport in pipelines poses further risks to people and the environment.

After disastrous trials at Chinchilla, underground coal gasification was banned in Queensland in 2016, and production does not occur anywhere in Australia. Underground coal gasification was also banned in Scotland in 2015. Countries that explored the potential of underground coal gasification, including China, Russia and the USA, are backing away from this dangerous form of mining. 

What went wrong in Queensland?

The Queensland government investigation was the “largest and most protracted” in history with more than 100 investigators working on the case. It found the project “caused a degree of contamination that is widespread, of high impacts and, in part, irreversible”, with Government investigators at the site complaining of sustained nausea, headaches, nosebleeds and tests showed high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood. High levels of cancer-causing benzene were detected at the site and nearby properties afterwards, and the government could not rule out an ongoing underground coal fire.

The Queensland government have charged the UCG company Linc Energy with wilfully and unlawfully causing environmental harm. Linc Energy is in bankruptcy, leaving the Queensland State Government with a potential clean up bill of at least $100 million. The government imposed an “excavation exclusion zone” on 314 square kilometres around the project, meaning landholders are banned from digging deeper than two metres.

What is happening in the Flinders Ranges?

With the support of the South Australian government and $20million Chinese investment, the Leigh Creek Energy Project have ‘quickly mobilised contractors’ to commence UCG flaring in early 2018. These are similar conditions that resulted in the Chinchilla environmental disaster in 2016.

Please help the Flinders Ranges community to protect this beautiful part of the world from the irreversible damage of underground coal gasification. Every donation makes a difference.