Friends of the Earth
Ignoring community concerns about CSG a risky strategy for state government
Victoria is seeing a surge in exploration for coal seam gas (CSG) and new coal
operations at present, with around 30 proposals to look for this resource
lodged or approved across the southern parts of the state.
"The prospect of an emerging fossil fuel industry is being strongly
resisted by local communities, as has been shown by huge meetings at Deans
Marsh, Forrest and Bacchus Marsh” said Friends of the Earth campaigns
co-ordinator Cam Walker. “People understand that the only time we will be able
to stop this industry is before it gets going. Already a number of companies
have walked away from their applications because of community opposition”.
“There is no doubt that a CSG industry - if allowed to develop - would have a
significant impact on our environment. It will threaten landscapes, ground
water, rural communities and food security. Proposed new fossil fuel operations
will also have a massive climate change impact.”.
“Yet our State Government is pretending there is no threat posed by this
emerging industry. Why does our Premier say that we haven't had a 'big problem’
with CSG? Member for Polwarth Terry Mulder has dismissed calls for the
Government to ban exploration for coal-seam gas. Most other regional MPs are
quiet on the issue”.
“Government strategists will be keenly aware that regional seats will be
strongly contested in the 2014 election. Yet the government has attacked the
wind industry, which will cost hundreds of jobs and millions in investment in
regional Victoria, and is choosing to ignore the rising opposition to CSG. CSG
and new coal operations will be electoral poison for any MP in western or southern Victoria who chooses to remain silent on the issue.”
“The Baillieu government should take a sensible and precautionary approach to
this new industry. We urge them to put a moratorium in place until there has
been a thorough assessment of the likely impacts on our food production,
landscapes and water, and communities across rural Victoria”.
Friends of the Earth will hold a series of forums in western Victoria this week
to highlight the threat posed by the expansion of CSG, coal, and shale gas in
the region, featuring leading anti-CSG campaigner Drew Hutton. Events are
planned in Warrnambool, Colac, Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne.
The first forum is tomorrow evening, in Warrnambool.
For full details on the CSG forums,
please check here.
For details on the costs of the
governments wind farm policy please check here.