IN major coal seam gas developments this week, a Southern Cross University study has found methane levels in surface water and the air to be up to 10 times higher in Tara, Queensland, where CSG is in high production, in comparison with the unmined areas of the Northern Rivers NSW.
The Greens have since called on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to fund a comprehensive CSG field study.
One of the authors of the SCU study, Dr Damien Maher, said the academic study was being peer reviewed and the university's Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry
School of Environment, Science and Engineering had made a submission to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency for funds to do more comprehensive studies.
"The study raises a few questions we need to answer next," said Dr Maher.
"Firstly we need to quantify how much methane is coming out and obviously that takes considerable work.
"Secondly we need to collect more baseline data in the areas where CSG is about to go ahead.
"This will require some funding and we're putting in submissions through the appropriate avenues."