May 2 2012
Friends of the Earth. Media release.
A motion put forward in State Parliament today by the ALP for a moratorium on further exploration for CSG has been opposed by the Baillieu government.
“There is growing concern across southern Victoria about the threat posed by an expanding fossil fuel industry” said Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth. “More than 50 groups and 4 MPs have supported the call for a moratorium on new coal and gas until there has been an inquiry into the likely impacts of this industry on food production and ground water. Just last week, Colac Otway Shire voted unanimously to support the call for a moratorium on new coal seam gas (CSG) until such an inquiry has been carried out.”
“Today the ALP put forward a motion calling for an inquiry into CSG because of the need to consider the safety implications of the extraction methods used by this emerging industry. Sadly, the Baillieu government let politics over ride common sense, and refused to support the motion”.
“Recently the Premier spoke at the VFF annual conference, telling participants that his government was listening to rural voices. Yet today he refused an opportunity to ensure there is a considered analysis of the likely impacts of this industry before the doors are opened to commercial production of CSG.”
“Mr Baillieu has failed rural communities on this issue. His support for new fossil fuel developments on our best farmland is neither tenable or sustainable. Already one Coalition MP, Ken Smith, has broken ranks with the government and supported a local moratorium on coal and gas”.
“It is hard to imagine a Coalition government can continue to ignore concerns about CSG if they hope to retain their claim to represent rural voters.”
Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047.
For details on the groups and MPs signed on to the call for a moratorium on coal and/or CSG, please check here: http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=node/1124