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The Hon Denis Napthine
Premier of Victoria
We are heartened by the fact that you intend to keep the moratorium on fracking until there has been meaningful consultation with the community and continued gathering of information to determine whether this industry will be safe for the people, land and water of our state.
When we look to the example of other countries and other states like Queensland, where the unconventional gas industry is well advanced, we see that there are many well documented contamination incidents of ground and surface water.
I do not believe that unconventional gas – coal seam gas (CSG), shale gas, and Tight Gas – are suitable energy options for a densely populated state like Victoria where we rely so strongly on a limited area of land to produce food for local consumption and export.
There are significant greenhouse impacts of gas drilling. There is the risk of contamination of land and water. Onshore gas drilling involving fracking will require millions of litres of water. There will be massive volumes of contaminated water that will need to be treated. We will see the industrialisation of farming communities and negative impacts on other industries like tourism.
For these reasons I do not support the further development of new coal or unconventional gas operations in the state.
Please extend the current moratorium on fracking to include all exploration for coal and gas.
Please initiate an independent investigation into the likely impacts of this industry on water resources, farmland and food security, local communities and natural biodiversity so we can take an informed decision on whether this industry should be allowed to proceed in our state.
I expect the government to look after our rural landscapes and communities.
If the Coalition government is to really represent rural constituencies, it must move to legislate against future CSG and coal operations in Victoria as a matter of urgency.