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Animal Deaths

If you are a little squeamish then this article is not for you.

In early December 2009 whilst doing my rounds of some of Eastern Star Gas sites I came across some smells indicating death. These smells emanated from sites Dewhurst 7 and Dewhurst 6. Upon closer inspection three carcasses of Wallaby were located at Dewhurst 6 and one very sad case at Dewhurst 7; all these were filmed and photographed.

The RSPCA was notified, however I was told that the RSPCA did not have jurisdiction over native animals, however they did take my details and advised me to call National Parks and Wires, which I did. National Parks {DECC} is, as you know, not available on weekends and as for Wires Narrabri, as soon as I told them where the deaths had occurred they abruptly pulled up stakes.

The RSPCA rang back on Sunday. I had a good talk with Sinead and she informed me that the RSPCA has interest in all animal cruelty and that the RSPCA would be looking into the matter. I have heard nothing to date.

Monday I got in touch with a Darren Pitt of the Narrabri office of National Parks {DECC},he assured me that he would take the matter up with DECC Regulatory Branch, a Stephen O Donahue and a Stephen Smith. Mr Pitt was given a copy of the photographs as well as my version of what I saw. And that was all I heard from him until 14th December 2009 when I rang him to find out what was happening. His answer was that Regulation are handling everything, I believe that DII Maitland a Mr G Summerhayes is or was handling this matter. Heard nothing here either.

Also that Monday I got in touch with the Greens MP Lee Rhiannon. At least they showed interest, and arranged for The Northern Daily Leader to run the story on page 3 Friday, 11th December 2009.

Eastern Star Gas used its right of reply on page 4 Saturday 12th December 2009, and what a lot of codswallop it was. Three months working on fencing off of the well sites and ponds; why look at the various Licences and agreements with the stakeholders, that’s right State Forests is a stakeholder, and we all know they could not see or smell a Diesel spill which went for 6km in the forest and through Bibblewindi Creek. A Prime film crew could 10 days after it occurred, but that is another story. The fences Eastern Star had put up are approximately 4ft 6ins high with Barb wire top and bottom and 1 metre of hinge joint between. The bottom barb is approx 6ins {150mm} from the ground, no room for a Wallaby or a Kangaroo to get under and of course no grass. So if the animals are not fully fit due to the dry spell and feeling a bit ill from drinking to only water DRILLING FLUIDS from sump with only a 2ft 6ins high hinge joint fence around it; I think you would surely die a very agonizing death, don’t you?

What makes it worse is that even the carrion eaters did not want this free feed; what did they know?

Mr R. Sleeman from Eastern Star gas claimed fencing upgrades are in progress. Well I can assure you that I have not seen any. He also claimed that all the deaths were from drowning. If that was the case, and yes it was in 1 case, one where the wallaby or kangaroo is in a “green soup”; what a death that must have been, trapped in a small circular pond a good 12ins{300mm} below ground level and no ledge to get onto.

Eastern Star Gas was supposed to inform DII Maitland of any native animal deaths as soon as they became aware of any. Look at the photos how long do you think these animals were dead? Not to mention how long it took for them to die. Dewhurst 6 is a well that has to be pressure read regularly so someone was not doing his or her job correctly, and neither did head office.

DII Maitland was also told of deaths on Dewhurst 10 in late January, 2010 and I know Eastern Star Gas personnel were at the site and saw the body, shonky pit fencing, why it is not even in place and what is there is only red plastic fencing.

So what is happening? NOTHING! Such is the power of these cowboys of the Petroleum Industry. They have friends in high places, well meaning but foolish, they have been blinded by so called experts that they cannot see how, in the name of CHEAP GREEN FUEL the very high price NSW and the rest of the World is going to pay for a few years of ease.


Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Maybe DII Maitland and the NSW Gov. along with the Minister will do the right thing. They had been warned about fencing and animals and humans back in May 2009 but did nothing, a clear breach of their licence by Eastern Star Gas.

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