Opponents of coal seam gas were quick to react to the presence of several trucks loaded with fracking equipment that were parked adjacent to the Coonabarabran Public School on Monday, 16 November.
Having camped along the Newell Highway overnight, the convoy remained stationary during the busy school drop-off.
Concerned local people, parents and respresentatives from Coonabarabran Residents Against CSG (CRAG) staged a short protest and contacted police, who directed the vehicles to move from where they were parked.
CRAG spokesperson, Peter Small, said the police were not called for those protesting.
“At no stage were we blocking traffic or the vehicles,” Mr Small explained.
“This was a hectic time as the school had just opened and parents were busy dropping their children off.
“These trucks should have left hours beforehand.”
Mr Small said there were a number of reasons to draw attention to the trucks’ appearance in Coonabarabran.
“These multiple, oversize vehicles with fracking equipment are in direct contact with toxic chemicals used in the process of coal seam gas removal. These chemicals, such as BTEX, are known as cancer causing agents,” he said.
“None of these have been tested combined together, as the fracking mixture is. Could our children from the primary school be inadvertently exposed to these dangerous residues?
“Secondly, there are multiple Roads and Maritime Service approved rest stops, plus an industrial estate that could have been used. The front of a primary school is no place for oversize vehicles. Why put our kids in danger?
“Finally, the Warrumbungle Shire Council have unanimously said they do not support coal seam gas in the shire, but the companies disregard this.”
It is believed the trucks were travelling south from Queensland, on their way back to Western Australia.
The role of fracking in the removal of coal seam gas continues to be a contentious issue.
The process involves drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.
Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
Local residents voiced their concerns regarding the presence of several trucks containing fracking equipment in Coonabarabran on Monday, 16 November.