After a combative stand off between residents of Fullerton Cove, Australia and gas company Dart Energy, the company has been forced to stop drilling. Dart – which also recently applied for planning permission to drill 22 new wells in Airth, Scotland, lost an injunction to drill for Coal Bed Methane until a full legal challenge has been heard. Residents recently held a nine-day blockade against the Dart site, ending in a forcible eviction by police.
The same kind of gas drilling is due to take place in Airth, with the company pouring its waste waters into the nearby Firth of Forth.
Dart has recently attracted controversy for its plans to drill in downtown Sydney. Hundreds of people marched to oppose the plans.
Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group (FCRAG) had sought the injunction to stop drilling as they prepared for a court battle to have the project spiked altogether. FCRAG spokeswoman Sue Walker says the Fullerton Cove community was never consulted about whether they wanted a gas field, and they are determined to make sure Dart does not return to the area.
“We have fought hard to protect our community and the environment from a dirty and dangerous industry, and we will continue to fight until this area is protected from coal seam gas,” Ms Walker said in a statement on Thursday.
Ms Walker said the local drinking water supply and internationally significant wetlands would be at risk if coal seam gas was allowed in Fullerton Cove.
FCRAG is part of the Lock the Gate alliance, a widespread collection of action groups opposing new gas drilling in Australia. Many communities that are part of Lock the Gate have pledged that they will not allow companies to enter their areas – and have promised to stop them if they do.