The moratorium on fracking in Victoria is likely to be lifted this month. The minute that happens, fracking for unconventional gas will commence in some of Victoria’s prime agricultural land!
The rapid expansion of Victoria’s coal and unconventional gas industries threatens the health of rural communities, will destroy farmland, devastate natural ecosystems and contaminate water supplies.
We call on Premier Denis Napthine to institute a moratorium on all new coal and unconventional gas mining until it can be scientifically proven safe for us and our future generations.
Last year, in response to growing community opposition, the state government placed a moratorium (temporary ban) on all gas mining operations involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
However, this moratorium does not extend to other methods of gas extraction and does not cover coal mining at all - practices that also pose great risk to our health, climate and environment.
It is also likely to be lifted in the next few weeks when the National Harmonised Framework on CSG is released – national regulations on coal seam gas mining currently being developed by Australia’s energy ministers.
Very little is known about this framework and there is grave concern that it will not adequately protect communities and the environment from the devastating effects of coal and coal seam gas mining.
Mining licences cover almost all of Gippsland, some of Victoria’s most valuable agricultural land that produces food worth $1.3 billion each year.
There is a dangerously high risk that unconventional gas mining will directly compromise the state’s ability to produce uncontaminated food and water.
Now is the time to urge the government to take all necessary action to stop irreversible damage to Victoria’s most valuable agricultural land, to protect our farmland, our food and water supply and our climate future.
For more information visit www.coalandgasfreevic.org