Movement for a frack free Geelong region

On 24 September 2013, 45 concerned citizens – a good mix of farmers, fishermen, tradesmen, civil servants, teachers, doctors, activists, students, and parents – met at Geelong Trades Hall to discuss how they feel about that the company Lakes Oil is going to begin drilling and exploring for gas in the region within the next three months.

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When the meeting ended, a new movement for a frack free zone in Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast had been born. Below you can hear audio recordings of some of the speakers at the meeting.


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Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth Melbourne) outlined where unconventional gas fields are in Victoria. He talked about some of the campaigns that are underway currently, and about tactics that have been used. Eight councils have come out against unconventional gas mining – Andrew Katos (Lib) is not supportive in this region. ALP is very supportive in Victoria.


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Chloe Aldenhoven (Lock the Gate) explained about the yellow signs and the need of everybody to lock their gate for it to be effective. She talked about how things start with public meetings of 70-100 people, and then usually a core group go out to see if there is a majority who want their town to be ‘coal and CSG free’, and also pledge to actively protect their towns. Chloe also talked about the importance of creating networks of communities.


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Additional comments from Chloe Aldenhoven and Cam Walker




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Leigh Ewbank (Yes 2 Renewables) would like to run a campaign in the Geelong region, as Geelong is a really good manufacturing town to develop renewables, with wind farm and solar possibilities.



FACEBOOK

Three new local ‘Frack Free’ pages have been launched recently – like a Facebook-version of a ‘phone-tree’. Let your neighbours know about this!

• Frack Free Geelong:
www.facebook.com/FrackFreeGeelong

• Frack Free Bellarine Peninsula:
www.facebook.com/FrackFreeBellarine

• Frack Free Surf Coast:
www.facebook.com/FrackFreeSurfCoast

We encourage you to there and click LIKE


“Like throwing fuel onto fire”
~ Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Melbourne


MEDIA COVERAGE – CLIPPINGS FROM THE PRESS

► Geelong Independent – 15 November 2013:
Barwon Water ‘fracking’ fears
Barwon Water has revealed concerns about fracking potentially contaminating water supplies.
By John van Klaveren

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► Geelong Independent – 8 November 2013:
New ‘fracking’ permit: Otways up for exploration
State Government has issued a new permit to explore “fracking” opportunities in the Otway basin despite a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, according to shadow resources minister John Lenders.
By John van Klaveren

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
Armour achieve shale gas first
Armour Energy has become the first Australian company to flow gas from shale using the fracking technique that has revolutionised US energy markets. (…) The boom in shale gas – which is gas trapped in rocks at deeper levels than both conventional and coal seam gas – due to advances in drilling technology has given US industry a boost by providing cheaper energy. Armour’s chief executive Robbert (Robbert) de Weijer said the company wanted to provide a similar solution in Australia.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
EDITORIAL: Moving to renewable energy
Investment of $5 million and potentially up to $25 million by the State Government in local geothermal power exploration has been welcomed by renewal energy supporters. If successful, the Geelong Geothermal Power Project could bring about a 140-megawatt plant providing clean, renewable power for 100,000 homes. Under the initial agreement between Spring St and Greenearth, a pilot power station will look to generate 12mW using hot water from 4 km underground.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
Your Say
The revelation, by an Australian mining company in the UK, that fracking has caused earth tremors near Blackpool was enough for Tony Windsor to withhold support for renewable energy “until the science is in”. Are we to allow Ted Baillieu and his Spring Street colleagues to compromise both the homes of the Otways and the water table beneath Anglesea? Shame, Ted, shame!!
By Kevin

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► Geelong Advertiser – 1 November 2013:
Growing opposition to CSG in Victoria
The Labor Party, environment groups and the Greens say there must be a proper public consultation process before coal seam gas (CSG) extraction is introduced in Victoria.

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► Armstrong Creek Times – October 2013:
Community groups vent their opposition to fracking
By James Taylor

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► Geelong Advertiser – 21 October 2013:
Licence sparks fracking friction
A mining licence that could see controversial fracking on the outskirts of Geelong must be stopped, protesters have said.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 21 October 2013:
Your Say
To Dylan of Geelong and others. When you have a gas flame coming out of you kitchen sink tap, with the water, like they did in Queensland and USA, etc. Plus you, your pet’s or farm animals, are getting sick or deseased or die. And you can’t grow anything, there goes your livihood. Or sell your property. Under ground table water is posioned, is that how you wish to live. Then, fair enough you go for it. See the documentaries, about this happening.

By Jock

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► Geelong Independent | Letters – 27 June 2013:
Frack and ruin
Phone the Energy Minister on 9651 1156, or email the Premier, and ask for the moratorium on fracking to be extended to all similar practives and made permanent.
By Christopher Bates

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► Geelong Independent – 27 June 2013:
Geelong ‘front’ of fracking
A stretch of farmland between Geelong and Anglesea could become a battleground on the controversial mining practice of fracking.
By John van Klaveren

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► Colac Herald – 19 June 2013:
Fracking fear for Otways
Colac district residents fear mining companies will mine for gas in the Otways, pumping chemicals underground.
By Scott Barnes

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► Geelong Independent – 13 June 2013:
Region a ‘fracking’ target
The controversial practice of “fracking” could come to Geelong after oil and gas explorer Lakes Oil revealed it was conducting geological and geophysical studies in the region.
By John van Klaveren

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► Stock and Land – 3 June 2013:
SE targeted for gas mining
Farmers and activists want ironclad guarantees that unconventional gas exploration in the Otway Basin will not lead to contamination of aquifers underpinning agricultural production in the South East. A 5657-square kilometre mining block in the Otway Basin closed for bidding in April, confirming the region’s status as a key component in the State Government’s Roadmap for Unconventional Gas in South Australia.
By Malcolm Sutton



Learn more

If you would like to learn more, go to this page:
Geelong protests against fracking
…where you can sign up to participate in the movement



Deakin Policy Forum on fracking on 8 October 2013

‘Coal Seam and Shale Gas: The Implications of Gas Developments in Australia, US and Globally’

The CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is coming to Geelong on 8 October to give the students of Deakin a lecture about the great benefits and wonders of fracking and coal seam gas. In the programme, the institute writes:

“This Deakin Policy Forum will raise key questions about the revolution in energy markets globally, associated with newly commercial technology in the coal seam gas and shale gas sectors of the energy market. There has been debate in the US about the extent or longevity of the boom in unconventional hydrocarbon production from shales, and in Australia about massive LNG exports using coal seam gas. Domestic gas market impacts and impacts on ground water and other industries have also been controversial.

New research suggests the boom is real, substantial and highly beneficial across the community if well managed. Australia has substantial potential to produce its own shale gas, as well as CSG, and those resources are likely to help maintain Australia’s position as a major LNG exporter, and relatively low-priced region for natural gas, for many decades to come.

Speaker Information
– Professor Peter Hartley, BHP Billiton Professor, University of Western Australia and Rice University, Houston
– Dr Peter Stone, Deputy Director, Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, CSIRO
– Mr David Byers, CEO, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)
– Associate Professor Samantha Hepburn, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin Universty

The policy forum will be chaired by Professor Michael Porter, Research Professor of Public Policy, Alfred Deakin Research Institute

About The Alfred Deakin Research Institute:
“The Alfred Deakin Research Institute generates research that informs public debate and that enables government ministers, departments and policy makers to take action based on evidence.”

deakin.edu.au/alfred-deakin-research-institute



Gas drilling near the Surf Coast?

Info night in Torquay on Tuesday 1 October 2013

Many people around the world have seen the film ‘Gaslands’, which highlights the risks of unconventional gas drilling. The process of fracking brings the danger of ground water being contaminated with dangerous chemicals.

In the Surf coast area, there are proposals to look for and potentially start production of Tight Gas. Tight Gas generally requires fracking to release the gas from below the ground.
If the prospect of gas drilling operations concerns you, then please come along to our information evening.

It will be a chance to hear about how communities in Gippsland are declaring themselves ‘coal and gas free’, there will be a brief presentation, plus a 20 minute film called ‘Gippsland is Precious’, which highlights the good news story of how communities are getting organised to protect the landscapes that they love.

116 Surf Coast Hwy, Torquay, at 6pm

» Read more: melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=node%2F1261

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Map of the Exploration Permit area

Here is the map, which you can print. It is in A3-size.
Geelong-and-AngleseaPEP163.pdf



Global initiative to ban fracking

On 19 October 2013, the ‘Global Frackdown2’ will unite concerned citizens everywhere for a day of action against fracking. Last year, activists in over 200 communities in 20 countries around the world came together through the Global Frackdown.

No activity has been planned for Geelong so far, but if you are interested in helping setting up some kind of an event, or a letter writing campaign to the politicans who could make such a ban permanent by the stroke of a pen, then go to the relevant ‘Frack Free’ Facebook page and post what you have in mind.
» Learn more about Global Frackdown here:
globalfrackdown.org



icon_small-arrow_DOWN ‘Can rural vet practice survive mining?’ (PDF)



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