27 June 2011,


A STATE Government representative has claimed the booming CSG industry is bringing ‘culture to the country’ and proffered Chinchilla as the proof after a KFC and McDonalds established themselves there.

Director of engagement for the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation Bill Date, made the claims at a mining breakfast held in Brisbane by the Property Council of Australia.

“I mainly play in the Surat Basin in the community and social aspect, so in Chinchilla, I’m seeing a new full size Woolworths being built and culture is coming to Chinchilla because KFC and McDonalds are establishing themselves there,” he says.

“There is talk of someone taking a franchise for Gloria Jeans and in Dalby, one of the biggest Coffee Clubs that I have seen is in Dalby and every morning, it is full to the brim and there are 10 full-time staff there.”

While Date’s slant on what constitutes culture is sure to ruffle the feathers of the Surat Basin communities, he says real estate is expanding.

“Also in Chinchilla in the residential property development, Brisbane style townhouses and apartments are under construction – they’re double story, four bedroom – what you’d expect to see on the Gold Coast and he’s selling them for $365000, so there’s a lot of retail and residential development in the Surat Basin,” he says.

Date says there are nine LNG plants under construction worldwide, four of which are in Australia, with two in Queensland.

“These two projects are the largest projects ever undertaken in Queensland with a combined worth of $31 million of investment with the demand for Queensland LNG fuelled by major Asian buyers including China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia,” he says.

“Queensland has well established trade links with these countries and is ideally positioned to be an LNG supplier of choice into the Asian markets."

“Project proponents have been subject to rigorous Federal and State Environmental approvals – there are some concerns about the environment – the landholders I deal with are worried about it and rightfully so, this is a new industry that is going to change the landscape in the Surat Basin.”

Date says he didn’t want to gloss over the fact the industry is expanding and that the cows on grazing properties with gas wells ‘don’t seem to mind’.

“I’ve been to a lot of properties that have had gas wells on them for a number of years and in the bigger, grazing properties, CSG is compatible – the cows aren’t frightened, in fact they rub against the fencing to get the ticks off themselves, the folks are generating income and they’re drought proofing their properties,” he says.






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