Victoria is facing a massive expansion of the fossil fuel industry across the state. Massive new coal mine proposals, Coal Seam Gas fracking (CSG) and plans to export brown coal pose an enormous threat to Victoria’s farmland, ground and surface water, and will produce more greenhouse pollution.
There are proposals for massive new coal mines and drilling for CSG, Tight Gas, Shale Gas and also ‘traditional’ Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) covering substantial areas of Victoria.
If allowed to proceed, this industry will transform much of the best food producing regions in the state.
Coal Seam Gas mining (or CSG, also called CBM) has taken off at an unprecedented rate in NSW and Queensland. The impact and land has been so great that farmers and environmentalists joined forces to block CSG and call for a CSG moratorium.
As in Queensland, it is likely that some of the companies wanting to explore in Victoria will want to use hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) to extract the gas from seams of coal.
Fracking blasts a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep under ground. In the USA, up to 596 chemicals make up 'fracking fluid', many of which (including hydrochloric acid) are potentially very dangerous if they chemicals contaminate water supplies. In Australia, only two of 23 most commonly used fracking chemicals have ever been assessed by NICNAS, Australia’s industrial chemicals regulator. The two that were assessed have never been assessed for use as fracking chemicals.
There are confirmed instances of cancer-causing chemicals contaminating water near fracking sites in Queensland.
Across the Australia and the world, there is growing evidence to suggest people are getting horribly sick after their water is contaminated as a result of fracking.
This on-shore gas industry is not yet established in Victoria but mining companies are pushing hard to start operations. Meanwhile there are proposals for new coal developments in prime food growing areas, like Bacchus Marsh, where land destruction and water contamination could spell disaster for our food production.
Under pressure from a coalition of groups and individuals from farmers to environmentalists to media personalities like Alan Jones, the Coalition Government in New South Wales has already introduced a moratorium preventing fracking until scientific research provides assurances that no one will be put at risk.
We must stand together and ask the Victorian Coalition government to do the same. Please sign the petition, and call on the Victorian government to institute a moratorium on all new fossil fuel operations including further exploration until its scientifically proven to be safe for our families and communities, our food production and water, and our natural ecosystems.
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