Concern over gas company invasion

NOT all Central Queensland councils are getting the same treatment from liquefied natural gas companies proposing to invade their regions.

Banana Shire Council chief executive officer Ray Geraghty raised these concerns at last week’s monthly council meeting as councillors and staff discussed a proposed 600-man camp and pipeline building site at Thangool.

Cr Pat Brennan asked Technical Services manager John Walker if he had had any contact with Queensland Gas Company (QGC) about the road they were going to use at Thangool and the properties in relation to the gas pipeline they proposed to start building in November.

Mr Geraghty said the company had only come to talk with council after council approached them.

“They had no intention coming and talking with us,” he said.

Mayor John Hooper told The Observer after the meeting that QGC was the only company not to approach council off its own bat.

However, Mr Walker told the meeting there was a meeting planned for the following day.

Cr Brennan also raised concerns over information he had received about the operations of the site, including a 600-man camp and 50 heavy vehicle trips per day along a dirt road near six residences where there was only 4.2km of bitumen.

He said he had also been told the trucks would carry 42-inch pipes on them, 12 metres long and weighing 17 tonnes to build the pipeline over a period of 10 to 15 weeks.

Cr Brennan said he had heard maintenance crews would grade and water the dirt road and that he’d questioned a company representative over the cost of continual maintenance of a dirt road, compared to bitumining the road.

“I think we’ve got to really hammer them now to look after those people,” he said.

Cr Brennan also raised concerns about heavy vehicles turning off the Burnett Highway to get to the site.

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