Coal Seam Gas is set to be one of the biggest issues in this year’s Queensland state election. Impacting directly on farmers, rural and regional communities and the environment, CSG exploration and extraction also raises big questions about the future of our state, of our nation, and of our planet. As with many such controversies, claims and counter-claims fly, and PR and political spin hides the truth.

Working in conjunction with the prominent Australian independent media website, Crikey, we will be mining for facts and going behind the seams to tell the whole story of how CSG has become so controversial, how the debate has been shaped, and its policy and political implications.

A dedicated website and blog will sit on the Crikey website, demystifying the facts and answering the FAQs, allowing participants in the debate and affected citizens to put their own point of view, testing that point of view against expert knowledge, and providing a space for real time debate as the campaign unfolds.

Coal Seam Gas: Behind the Seams combines informative articles on scientific, social and political aspects of the impact of CSG on Queenslanders with real time discussions, and frequently updated social media content. We will also be reporting from the ground, and stimulating deliberative and interactive discussions.

We hope that this series will become a model for interactive, deliberative and stimulating debate on key issues, where the spin and the announceables that clutter the airwaves can be held accountable to facts and to reasoned argument.

We are very excited about this project, and we hope you will be too – and that you will give of your expertise, energy and citizen reporting to its realisation.

The project aims to improve the quality of both policy debate and citizen interaction.

Read about the project writers here.