The state government has announced a consultation process to determine community attitudes to onshore gas drilling. This includes the ‘unconventional’ gases – CSG, tight gas and shale gas.
We appreciate that the government wants to hear from the community. Our experience is that regional communities do not want this industry unleashed on their lands. And experience from overseas and interstate shows that this industry has a deeply negative impact on farming wherever it gets established.
Dozens of regional communities in Victoria are currently door knocking to test the level of support for gas and coal operations. Of the 19 communities that have completed their surveys, none have ever polled less than 88% support for the question: do you want to declare our community coal and gas free? (more than 3,500 houses have already been polled). The average support in polled communities for making a coal/ gasfield free declaration has been 95%.
Onshore Gas is bad for Victoria! Just say no. It has no social license to operate. Please send a clear message through the consultation process that you don’t want it.
And please scroll down to find details on the public forums.
why oppose unconventional gas?
WATER: Gas mining ruins groundwater. There are confirmed cases of contamination with heavy metals, radioactivity, and asbestos. (http://dea.org.au/news/article/media-release-doctors-alarmed-by-water-contamination-from-unconventional-ga)
LAND: Gas mining makes land useless for food production. It depletes groundwater, contaminates the soil, causes property prices to plummet and often makes insurance very hard to get. (http://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/news/csg-to-cut-property-values/1644228/)
HEALTH: Gas mining causes skin diseases and other human health issues related to exposure to toxic chemicals and polluted water and air. (http://stop-csg-illawarra.org/csg-risks/health-impacts/)
JOBS: Gas mining companies have repeatedly lied about the economic benefits of their business. In fact they employ less people than the renewable energy sector. (http://www.tai.org.au/node/1820)
CLIMATE: as an energy intensive fossil fuel, unconventional gas is not part of a climate friendly energy mix. We need to transition to renewable energy sources, not further entrench our reliance on fossil fuels. Unconventional gas will not bring down energy prices.
Rural Victoria generates more than $8 billion of high quality food each year, employs tens of thousands of people and keeps regional centres alive. Why jeopardise this by unleashing this dangerous industry? Just say no.
Check our facebook page for details on info sessions.
Our advice to people is:
- get along to the open days if you can. More than 1,200 people have already attended sessions,
- just come along and speak to the consultants, and explain briefly what your concerns are about unconventional gas. Speak from the heart and explain how it will impact on your local land and community.
Final dates - government Open Days
|Wangaratta||Tuesday 29 July 2014||2pm-8pm||Wangaratta Uniting Church Hall
10 Rowan Street
|Numurkah||Wednesday 30 July 2014||2pm-8pm||Numurkah Visitor Information Centre
Council Chamber and President’s Room
99 Melville Street
|Heywood||Tuesday 5 August 2014||2pm-8pm||Heywood Football Netball Club
Cnr Princes Highway and Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road
|Torquay||Thursday 19 June 2014||2pm-8pm||Torquay Bowls Club
|Casterton||Tuesday 24 June 2014||2pm-8pm||Casterton Town Hall, Foyer
67 Henty Street
|Terang||Wednesday 25 June 2014||2pm-8pm||Civic Hall, Rose Room
|Colac||Thursday 26 June 2014||2pm-8pm||Colac Uniting Church Hall
The terms of reference
The Community Consultation Process will discuss and seek community input on issues surrounding the potential of an onshore natural gas industry in Victoria.
The process will focus on five broad areas:
1/ The findings of the Gas Market Taskforce Report
OUR RESPONSE: The Gas Market Taskforce Report was biased, misinformed, was widely rejected by economists and scientists, and ignored by the Premier.
2/ Local and state-wide economic, environment, employment and community impacts of a potential Victorian onshore natural gas industry
OUR RESPONSE: An onshore gas industry would have massively detrimental impacts on water, soil, employment, health, and the economy.
3/ The potential for current land and water use, prime agricultural land, environment, liveability and health of Victorian communities to co-exist with a possible onshore natural gas industry
OUR RESPONSE: There is no way an unconventional gas industry can co-exist with healthy, happy rural communities.
4/ The robustness and operation of regulations and legislation governing exploration licences and industry engagement with landholders and local community
OUR RESPONSE: The regulations are clearly not working to protect communities, otherwise the moratorium would not be required. The government is yet to implement most of the reforms from the Inquiry into Greenfield Mineral Developments, and most of these will further entrench the power balance towards industry and away from community and land owners.
5/ Better understanding of technologies and processes for extracting onshore natural gas, including drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes and their impacts.
OUR RESPONSE: communities likely to be impacted by drilling understand invasive gas drilling techniques, like fracking and horizontal drilling, and they do not want them.