Kim de Rijke, The University of Queensland
Australia´s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the looming east coast gas shortage has been to secure a promise from gas producers to increase domestic supply.
In a televised press conference last month, he said:
We must continue the pressure on state and territory governments to revisit the restrictions on gas development and exploration.
But if an onshore gas boom is indeed in the offing, my research suggests that gas companies should tread carefully and take more seriously the social context of their operations.
By Hedda Askland, The University of Newcastle
The sun was glittering on the Goulbourn River. The cicadas were loudly calling in the 40 degrees heat. The constant hum of their mating song intertwined with the sound of my two sons, trying to cool down in the lukewarm water. Looking upstream, Paul (a pseudonym) sighed. ‘There never used to be water in the river on days like today. The river would be dry during summer. Now, the mines are discharging over 19 megaliters per day! The water is clean enough but there’s just too much of it. The mine manager says “its just water” and, whilst one part of me agrees the other disagrees. It’s not just water. The river has changed, the flow has changed. Nothing is the same.’