A massive coal-to-gas project in the Simpson Desert is caught up in a campaign by the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) for a moratorium on coal seam and shale gas exploration.
ALEC says the project should be suspended "until a proper regulatory and environmental impact assessment framework is in place".
Although the Simpson Desert project by Central Petroleum (CP), aiming to produce "ultra clean diesel", does not involve the controversial process of fracking, ALEC includes it in its protest under the heading "other non-conventional gas exploration projects".
ALEC's Jimmy Cocking (pictured) says in similar ventures in China and Wyoming, USA, underground fires are burning out of control, causing major environmental damage. Central Petroleum says this is not true. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.