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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Plan in place to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Plan in place to remediate coal bore on Darling Downs

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said work would begin immediately to extinguish a slow-burning fire in an abandoned coal exploration well on the Darling Downs.

    A meeting of Queensland Government officers and local resource companies today developed a plan to remediate the site on a road reserve north-west of Dalby.

    “Officers from the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of my Department will oversee a two-stage operation beginning tomorrow that will firstly, extinguish the shallow flame, stabilise the former exploration site, and then seal it,” Mr Cripps said.

    “Local resource companies will provide equipment and technical expertise, however officers from the State Government’s P&G Inspectorate will be on-site at all times”.

    Mr Cripps said the success of the operation would depend upon favourable weather.

    “Unfortunately rain is forecast in the area this week,” he said.

    “Earthworks will begin early tomorrow to prepare the site for the heavy equipment that will be needed later in the week to drill the test hole out.

    “That work may unfortunately be delayed if forecast rain eventuates.”

    The State Government will also make it a priority to provide regular updates to local landholders and the community, to counter the misinformation and wild speculation being irresponsibly spread by groups opposed to the coal seam gas industry.

    “I’d like to single out anti-CSG activist Drew Hutton for making constant, unsubstantiated claims that this incident is directly-related to CSG production,” Mr Cripps said.

    “Mr Hutton this morning labelled the Queensland Government’s efforts to effectively deal with this situation as ‘absurd and irresponsible’.

    “I wonder whether local community members in the Dalby area share his opinion when the absolute priority of the State Government is to put public health and safety first.”

    Mr Cripps said all parties involved in this operation were confident of success.

    “The team we have assembled involves resource companies with skilled engineers, experienced in both the coal and gas sector.

    “Many of the activities being undertaken are routine procedures for these companies, and I hope we can permanently restore this site as quickly as possible.”

    [ENDS] 21 August 2012

    Media contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Paul Sutherland 0409 891 342