media release August 19, 2015
Friends of the Earth
Communities across Gippsland and Western Victoria are relieved and heartened that today's Victorian Auditor General's report has warned the government that well recognised risks may make unconventional gas mining unsuitable for Victoria because of it's dense population, scarce water resources, and high reliance on agriculture.
The report, called Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts, released this morning, outlines that "substantial national and international studies have comprehensively identified the potential and known risks that unconventional gas poses to the environment and the community ... Environmental and social values are integral to this conversation if we are to avoid a damaging legacy in years to come."
It points out the gross inadequacy of the current regime for regulating earth resources, stating "the regime has too few environmental controls, and weak consideration of the competing interests for land involved and potential social impacts".
"The auditor generals report confirms what the community has been arguing for years: that the risks are too great, agriculture and existing economies too precious and ultimately, we just don't need the gas" said Friends of the Earth spokesperson Chloe Aldenhoven.
"It's evidence gives the certainty the current cross parliamentary committee needs to call for a permanent ban on all forms of unconventional gas. In rural Victorian communities, this issue is above party politics, and we ask that in this spirit all committee members and all parties recommend to the Premier that we put in place a permanent ban on unconventional gas in this state. Evidence of the risks of unconventional gas mining is snowballing, and we hope that no party finds themselves on the wrong side of history."
For more comment contact Chloe Aldenhoven 0432328107
The report is available here: http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/reports_and_publications/latest_reports/2015-16/20150819-unconventional-gas.aspx