CLAIMS made by a senior Queensland Government bureaucrat that coal seam gas fracking chemicals could be bought in supermarkets were just PR spin, the National Toxics Network declared yesterday.
Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning strategic economic projects general manager Dennis Bird briefed a state parliamentary committee on coal seam gas last Wednesday. He told the committee that concerns about the chemicals used in the CSG industry process of fracking (where coal seams are fractured to open the flow of gas) were unfounded.
Mr Bird said the chemicals used in the process could be bought down at the local Woolworths or Bunnings Hardware store.
National Toxics Network co-ordinator Jo Immig, who was involved in a detailed assessment of coal seam gas chemicals, said such statements were "just PR spin".
Ms Immig said she had often heard the public relations claims that such chemicals could be found in household products, including ice cream.
"The proponents of the industry often use these PR lines, and it's just total PR spin - the chemicals people are concerned about are not chemicals you can find in supermarkets or under the kitchen sink.
"And the (federal) government has recognised this, having already started an emergency review of all the chemicals involved in fracking.
"One of the biggest concerns for us is that while some of these chemicals may have been assessed for one industrial process, many have not been assessed for use in fracking."