The following is an open letter to Andrew Vesey, chief executive of AGL.
Dear Mr Vesey,
Re: Gloucester Gas Project
My name is Brad Bowden, I am a 41-year-old resident of the small community of Gloucester.
Firstly I would like to congratulate you on your first few months at the helm of AGL.
You are correct that the energy market is rapidly changing and faces significant challenges.
I am particularly excited by the battery technologies and solar farms you are investing in.
Having moved to Gloucester and experienced the warm welcome this small country town offered myself and my partner, it has been simply devastating to see the town being ripped apart by AGL’s coal seam gas project over the past few years.
It has split this town in so many ways, friend against friend, neighbour against neighbour.
But what is worse to see is that so many family or friends feel intimidated, bullied and unable to express their true feelings towards this risky project.
Your gas project has unleashed an ugly side to Gloucester, where the bullies rely on personal attacks rather than calmly discussing the concerns.
I am totally against coal seam gas development in all of Australia, especially NSW and of course Gloucester.
I believe coal seam gas is too risky to water, that it will worsen climate change from methane emissions, and that there is still no acceptable way to deal with the enormous amount of toxic waste that coal seam gas extraction produces. Tipping millions of tonnes of salt into landfill simply leaves the problem to be cleaned up by future generations. I feel you are risking AGL’s reputation in Australia if you continue to pursue coal seam gas.
All the recent positive publicity about AGL’s solar farm at Nyngan must surely indicate to you a better way forward for AGL.
It is my hope that you and the AGL board decide that coal seam gas is not a good investment for the health of your brand, nor for the health of future generations.
Until that time I will continue to march against coal seam gas, to protest at the AGL gates at Gloucester, to write letters and to promote cleaner and more ethical companies to my friends and family. Like many others already, I have minimised my exposure to your company by changing super funds, changing energy providers and asking my friends and family to do the same.This story appeared in the OPINION
Brad Bowden is a Gloucester resident.
Andrew Vesey, chief executive of AGL.
Images @ Eminpee Fotography