Wednesday, 12 December 2012 06:50
Coal seam gas companies have given the Queensland Government more than $100 million in environmental bonds in case they damage waterways or land.
CSG companies are required under the state's Environmental Protection Act 1994 to provide financial assurance or environmental bonds.
Queensland's environment department is holding just over $101,402,008 in environmental bonds lodged by CSG companies involved in major projects, a spokeswoman for Environment Minister Andrew Powell said.
"The assurance is used to cover any costs that the state government may incur to fully rehabilitate or restore the environment at the end of (the project's) life should the company fail to do so," she said.
"The assurance is usually provided as an unconditional, irrevocable and on-demand bank guarantee."
If the site is successfully rehabilitated, the companies are refunded.
Premier Campbell Newman told ABC Radio on Tuesday he was comfortable with the CSG industry's environmental position.
"All these companies are required to clean up and remediate at the end and significant bonds are lodged," he said.
He said if it wasn't for the CSG and LNG (liquefied natural gas) industry, the state would be in "a world of hurt economically".
The premier insisted there are some areas off limits to CSG activities, including the Condamine alluvials west of Toowoomba.
"There is no production drilling going on in that area," he said.
"My particular concern is the protection of the underground water."
Environmentalists are concerned CSG could contaminate underground water and leak gasses into waterways, and the air and spoil good farming land.
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