Contamination unlikely: DDIP boss

THE Queensland Government has outlined its expansion plan for the coal seam gas industry with a focus on reducing pollution risks and utilising greener products.

Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning strategic economic projects general manager Dennis Bird told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday there were currently 3500 CSG wells drilled across Queensland.

Between 10,000-15,000 wells were planned for the Surat Basin and 7000-10,000 for the Bowen Basin.

In light of the significant growth engulfing the basins, Mr Bird responded to concerns about the affect of fracking, a controversial gas extraction process where sand, water and chemicals are pumped into a well.

He contested the widespread belief fracking had a significant impact on aquifers.

The chemicals used in the process could be purchased down at the local Woolworths or Bunnings Hardware store, he said.

"It is unlikely to provide any contamination whatsoever in the amounts they are used," he said.

"Somebody once said to me their daughter's nail polish is more dangerous to their health than the chemicals."

The State Development, Infrastructure and Planning department had received interest from mining company Schlumberger in bringing environmentally-friendly fracking fluid to Australia.

The green prospect sparked interest in Mirani MP Ted Malone: "That is really where we want to be."

The Queensland Government is planning to introduce a legislative amendment to allow the processing of salt left behind from CSG activity.

The amendment would allow the shipping of brine - salt and water residue - to a central location to be processed as a chemical.

The process would provide a boost to regional employment, Mr Bird said.

"You can imagine a factory at Dalby, for example, that would treat the salt and ship it to where ever," he said.

"We have been approached from a number of companies interested in processing that."

Mackay MP Tim Mulherin requested information on how the chemical would be transported and how much would be produced.



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