Cattle empire under threat from coal seam gas project  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Courier Mail has a story on the clash between pastoralists and coal seam gas producers in Queensland - Lee cattle empire near Roma under threat from coal seam gas project.

ONE of Australia's most successful beef barons fears he may be wiped out by gas miners trampling his rich cattle pastures and plundering his bore water.

Trevor Lee, of Australian Country Choice, says there is mounting evidence the extraction of gas is likely to deplete underground aquifers.

The miners have to extract the water to release the valuable gas trapped under it in coal seams.

Lee's fears are supported in part by the gas miners themselves. The big three gas miners admit in their environmental impact statements that the process could reduce bore water flows. One even warns of a possible "cessation of flows from existing landholder bores".

There are 13,000 licensed bores in Queensland. For many towns and properties it is the only available water supply for domestic and agricultural use.

Australian Country Choice is a Queensland cattle colossus with 28 grazing properties, a Brisbane abattoir and a major feedlot near Roma in the middle of the richest coal seam gas region.

The Lee family operates a billion-dollar business that represents a lifetime of labour for Trevor Lee and his father Norm, a Cabinet minister in the Joh Bjelke-Petersen government.

Trevor Lee says: "In this state you can spend a lifetime building a business of state importance and a mining company can walk in and, without any warning, strip our business from being viable. We put together 45,000 acres (18,210ha) as an integral part of a beef export business to 22 countries. There is no amount of money that can compensate for a lifetime's work like that. "I view coal seam gas as a major risk to the viability of our entire business."

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