It was a film that first prompted Forster’s Holly Rankin to educate herself about Coal Seam Gas mining (CSG) and she aims to use the same medium to help educate others with the screening of ‘Bimblebox’ a documentary about CSG in Australia.
“I went to a screening of Gasland in Sydney in 2010 and it really scared me,” Holly recalled.
“I was completely unaware of it (CSG) what it was and what it did and afterwards I really wanted to see what coal seam gas mining was going on in Australia.”
The 2010 film directed by Josh Fox focuses on communities in the United States impacted by CSG mining and features one memorable scene in which a farmer sets his running tap water alight. It was nominated for an Oscar in 2011.
Opponents of CSG mining are concerned that hydraulic fracturing (known colloquially as fraccing), the process by which the gas is extracted, poses a threat of contamination of water sources.
“ Having grown up in Forster around our beautiful waterways I feel they need to protected from contamination and people need to be aware of the dangers CSG poses.”
As state and federal governments continue to investigate the possible expansion of CSG mining and with numerous wells already sunk in the neighbouring Hunter and Gloucester areas Holly and her group Youth Against CSG Mining in the Great Lakes, which boasts 300 members on its facebook site, have organised a screening of Australia’s first comprehensive documentary about the practice.
“It’s primarily about education,” Holly said.
“I’m not a scientist, I’m still learning about what it is and the impact it can have but we want to encourage people to find out before it ends up here.”
Bimblebox, directed by Michael O’Connell, looks at the effects of CSG around the country including the in the Hunter Valley and the Illawarra regions with interviews with residents and experts on the issue.
The film features many prominent members of the debate against coal expansion in Australia including Guy Pearse (Global Change Institute), Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (University of Queensland) and Matthew Wright (Beyond Zero Emissions) and sets shots of the Australian landscape to the music of indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (known primarily as Gurrumul).