Fisrt Study in the Series 'Undermining Australia- Fracturing the code of silence'


This ongoing documentary project aims to bring to light the implications of CSG mining on a personal level through documenting grazier families in central west Queensland. Drought has always been the enemy of the Australian farmer. Central Queensland has recorded high numbers of tragic drought-linked suicides. Coal and gas exploration licences and applications cover more than 50% of Australia and there are plans to double coal exports and become the biggest gas exporter in the world. CSG mining is not only a serious environmental concern but is rapidly becoming a significant human rights issue. Figures show when severe drought persists in a rural community and financial and emotional stress levels climb, suicide rates increase sixfold. Issues associated with coal seam gas continue to gain momentum in Australia. Australia’s precious water resources and some of the best agricultural food producing lands are at risk. In agricultural terms that's death for a farmer. The process of CSG is highly invasive and has never been proven safe. At risk are Australian rural communities, many of whom belong to generations of families who have made a living from agricultural farming and grazing, and who are already being compelled to CSG test drills on their (leasehold) land. Alongside unprecedented environmental impacts are significant social concerns including loss of livelihoods and potentially human life. The introduction of CSG is likely to exacerbate these issues as farmers endure another threat to their survival in the name of short-term profit. 

© 2019 by Vanessa Harper-Mathews

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