Media release. Friends of the Earth.
Another Local Council has come out in support of a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) operations in Victoria.
Yesterday, Colac Otway Shire Council voted to call on the Victorian Government to institute a moratorium on all new coal seam gas exploration and operations, until there has been a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of this industry.
“While the state government continues to peddle the line that current laws are sufficient to protect landowners when it comes to coal and CSG, clearly regional communities are not buying it” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker.
“Cr Stuart Hart and Colac Otway Shire are to be congratulated for acting on widespread local concern about CSG. Colac Otway communities have also mobilised against the potential impacts of coal mining, forcing Mantle Mining to walk away from a coal proposal in 2011.”
“There are growing numbers of people and groups opposing the development of CSG. This includes the state ALP, more than 50 regional and metropolitan based groups, Bass Coast Shire, and state MP Ken Smith. The VFF have called for a right of veto for farmers”.
“Sadly, the state government refuses to listen, instead choosing to attack proponents of the moratorium. The government is looking more isolated every day” said Mr Walker. “A number of other Councils are expected to debate the issue shortly. Ignoring the issue won’t make the problem go away”.
“This intervention by Colac Otway has special significance given that the state government Inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria is due to report next week. The minerals industry has been lobbying for a ‘streamlined’ approvals process for minerals such as coal and CSG. The Minerals Council believes there is ‘enormous potential for a coal seam methane industry in Victoria.’ Clearly rural communities do not share their vision of an expanded fossil fuel industry being rolled out across southern Victoria”.
Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047
Check here for a full list of people and groups opposing new coal and/or gas operations in Victoria. http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=node/1124
The Colac Otway motion:
Council notes the many legitimate concerns regarding the exploration for coal seam gas and calls on the Victorian Government to institute a moratorium on all new coal seam gas exploration and operations, until there has been a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of this industry on:
a) Pollution of underground and surface water resources.
b) The many side effects on adjoining farmland and effects on food security.
c) Dislocation of local communities, and including economic impacts.
d) Adverse effects on biodiversity and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.