Lee Constable

'Why I don't tell people I'm a CSG miner'

COAL seam gas mining may be good money, but the trade-off is in lifestyle, sanity and friends and family who oppose it.

A Clarence Valley CSG mine worker who chose to remain anonymous said one of the worst parts of the job was the criticism when he returned home.

"I've had mixed reactions when people find out I'm a CSG miner," he said.

"Some people are interested to know what is happening in the mines.

"Otherwise I try to keep it quiet, I don't want to create any unwanted conflict.

"I want to come home and relax. I don't want to have to deal with other people's opinions."

He said some people eavesdropped and abused him when they heard he was a CSG miner.

He said he also knew miners who lost friends and had families disown them.

"I tell people I work in construction and keep it as broad as possible, or just say I work away," he said.

"The company I work for makes us go into town in casual clothes because the company doesn't want any conflict between the FIFO workers and locals."

The miner said he knew CSG mining had an impact on the environment.

"I don't like the idea of CSG mining, but I think it's better than coal mining and it's a cleaner fuel source.

"It's much more sustainable than digging up coal. There is always going to be a need for fossil fuels and it is one of the better fossil fuels.

"If people came out and saw the effort in the regeneration and the controls in place they would be quite surprised.

"I'm an environmentalist at heart so it can be a conflict of interest, but you're out here doing all you can so all the environmental procedures are correctly followed."

The miner said it was a big compromise on lifestyle being away from home two weeks out of three.

"There isn't a lot of opportunity for well-paid jobs in the Clarence Valley so you've got to make that sacrifice," he said.

"I definitely look forward to coming home to such a beautiful spot.

"I look at the bigger picture why I'm out here, to get ahead and pay the house off.

"If I wasn't here filling the position ... someone else would be."


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