Gas rush – information page

This page contains:

• Information about the public meeting in Geelong on 18 September

• Links to gas fact sheets published by:
        Doctors for the Environment
        Beyond Zero Emissions
        Australia Institute
        The Climate Institute
        Concerned Health Professionals of New York


Topic: Onshore gas extraction in City of Greater Geelong
Chair: Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat
Time: Thursday 18 September 2014 at 7:00–9:00pm
Place: Manifold Heights Baptist Church (Corner Shannon Avenue and Volum Street, Geelong).
Admission: Free

Geelong Council seeks public submissions regarding onshore gas extraction methods with a deadline on 26 September. Taking a stand on this should not be about party politics. This is about our common future and what we would like it to be. It is important that citizens voice their concerns in this matter.

Come and ask questions to a panel of independent authorities about onshore gas mining’s impact on health, jobs, economy, environment, climate and ethics.

• Dr Merryn Redenbach, Doctors for the Environment Australia
• Dr Rye Senjen, senior researcher with the National Toxics Network
Ben Courtice, Yes2Renewables and Beyond Zero Emissions

Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat

We will be watching a short film which focuses on why communities in Gippsland are opposing onshore gas extraction – also known as coal seam gas extraction, CSG mining or ‘fracking’.

Initially, Geelong Council provided only three links on their submission page which are in favour of gas mining. We contacted Council and criticised this unbalance, and the page has since been updated with three more links to organisations which are independent of the gas mining industry.

If you would like to become acquainted with views independent of the industry, we suggest you look below on this page where we have posted various Gas Fact Sheets with information from Doctors for the Environment, Beyond Zero Emissions, Australia Institute, and The Climate Institute, and more.

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About the speakers

merryn_redenbach200Dr Merryn Redenbach is an advanced trainee in Community Child Health with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She currently works for Doctors for the Environment Australia as Research and Liaison Officer on the impacts of fossil fuels on health. Her recent medical work includes child protection, child, adolescent, infant and maternal mental health, and she also has research experience in the impact of air pollution on child health.

rye-portrait200Dr Rye Senjen is a senior researcher with the National Toxics Network and also works with a number of international NGOs. She is internationally known for her work on nanotechnology and has also written on coal seam gas, bisphenol-A, sustainable hospital flooring and the hazards of biochar. She teaches business ethics and sustainability at the graduate and post graduate level.
» For National Toxics Network’s briefings on coal seam gas, see:

Ben-Courtice200Ben Courtice writes for and has worked as a staff writer for Beyond Zero Emissions – a Melbourne-based climate solutions and renewable energy think tank. He is secretary of the Moorabool Environment Group who engaged with Moorabool Council on supporting a moratorium on new coal and coal seam gas in the council. The Council finally addressed this issue at a council meeting in May 2013.

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Print this flyer in A4-size: Click on image to open PDF in high resolution
Print this flyer in A4-size: Click on image to open PDF in high resolution

» The event is listed in Council’s event calendar on:


Click on map to see larger size map
Click on map to see larger size map

How do you feel about this?

Permission to drill: When the state government grants a licence to a company, as it has done with Lakes Oil in Geelong region, existing legislation allows Lakes Oil to mine anywhere within that licence, even if it is on private land. In order to maintain good public relations, most mining companies try to gain permission from land-holders, but in reality a land-holder has no legal right to stop mining from occurring on their land.

The kind of figures we are up against: In New South Wales, the onshore gas industry – according to sources within the industry itself – is paying $135 million in land access payments to farmers and landowners, and the NSW government’s revenue is estimated to be $1.6 billion. Read more

Fact sheets

Reliable, independent organisation’s information about gas mining

Doctors for the Environment: gas fact sheets

dea-csg-factsheet2012» Coal Seam Gas Fact and Action Sheet (2012)

“Learn about the process of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, where it is being carried out in Australia and the concerns over its impacts on health and the environment. The issue of CSG extraction is extremely controversial, with both sides of the debate being extremely polarized. Where necessary, the two sides of the debate and materials produced by both sides will be used, to aid in understanding the complex issues surrounding CSG and how they are being presented.

However, as doctors and medical students, we focus on practicing Evidence Based Medicine. Therefore, question the motives and evidence behind both sides of the argument. As you will find, evidence is lacking on both sides.”

dea_bonanza-report200» ‘Coal Seam Gas: future bonanza or toxic legacy?’ (2012 – peer reviewed)

“The rapid expansion of coal seam gas (CSG) mining in Australia, has the potential for unintended consequences which could put at risk other important natural resources such as safe long-term water supplies, clean fertile
agricultural land and a countryside in which people are happy to live.

Industry and state governments have been assuring us that this rapidly expanding technology is safe for people and the environment and can deliver huge economic returns. But what is their evidence?

Disturbing information has been trickling through from the gas fields in the USA, where some observers have called the global gas drilling boom “an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale”. In Australia, there has been an unprecedented groundswell of opposition to the expansion of the CSG industry, with opponents right across the political spectrum. A recent federal Senate Inquiry into this issue suggests there are many unanswered questions. It is appropriate to question whether the legal and administrative protections are adequate to ensure public health is not harmed and that environmental damage does not leave a legacy for generations.”

Beyond Zero Emissions’ gas fact sheet

Beyond Zero Emissions flyer about why we don't need gas
Beyond Zero Emissions flyer about why we don’t need gas

Gas is a damaging greenhouse gas
“Low-emission gas is an illusion. Industry claims of the ‘green’ merits of gas are often based on the relative emissions intensity of gas versus coal, at the point of combustion. However, a) emissions from gas combustion are still too high for gas to make a useful contribution to climate change mitigation and b) combustion emissions are far from the only emissions associated with gas.”

» Read Beyond Zero Emissions’ info-flyer about gas

Australia Institute’s gas fact sheet

aus-fact-fact-sheet200Gas fields covering NSW farmland and forests are approved largely on the basis of the claims they make about jobs and economic benefits. The gas industry employs some people and generates economic activity, but often not to extent claimed by industry advocates.

This fact sheet will assist with arguing against the industry’s shonky economics.

» Download the Gas Fact Sheet

»

The Climate Institute’s discussion paper

TCI_CSG_DiscussionPaper200pThis paper focuses only on the greenhouse gas implications of Coal Seam Gas production in Australia. There is widespread concern about other environmental, social and economic impacts resulting from the CSG boom.
These are important, but they lie outside of The Climate Institute’s area of expertise and the scope of this paper.

Any decisions concerning CSG development must take full and proper account of all relevant impacts, not just carbon pollution.

Methane (the main component of natural gas and of CSG) is considered to be a ‘bridging fuel’ between coalfired power and the necessary zero/negative-emissions energy sources. At combustion, electricity produced from methane generates less greenhouse gas pollution than electricity produced from coal.
However, recent research from the United States has suggested that the emissions associated with unconventional gas production may be far higher than previously believed. As methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year timeframe, methane leakage can significantly raise the life-cycle emissions of gas consumption and cancel part or all of its emissions advantage over coal.

» Download Coal Seam Gas: Facts, questions and challenges (PDF, 19 pages, 2012)

Final Report of the Independent Review of Coal Seam Gas Activities in NSW

In September 2014, the NSW Chief Scientist delivered her final report on coal seam gas (CSG) to the NSW government, and the news isn’t good. CSG will have ‘unintended consequences’ and it’s our land, water and communities that will be left to pick up the pieces.

» See the report: ‘Final Report of the Independent Review of Coal Seam
Gas Activities in NSW’
(PDF, 23 pages)
» Read more about the report on

Concerned Health Professionals of New York’s compendium

CHPNY-Fracking-Compend200px‘Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction)’

“As fracking operations have increased in frequency and intensity, a significant body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate that these activities are inherently dangerous to people and their communities. Risks include adverse impacts on water, air, agriculture, public health and safety, property values, climate stability and economic vitality.”

» Download Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (PDF, 70 pages. Published in July 2014.)

» Research paper from Parliamentary Library, Government of Victoria – 28 March 2014:
Unconventional gas: coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas
This research paper provides an introduction and overview of issues relevant to the development of unconventional gas – coal seam, shale and tight gas – in the Australian and specifically Victorian context.

In a global perspective

SkyTruth Global Flaring Map Demo
Published on on 12 May 2014

See one of the consequences of onshore gas extraction in a global perspective.

Evaluation of 400 peer-reviewed studies

Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy in New York, USA, released a working paper analysis, statistical evaluation of the approximately 400 peer-reviewed studies to date on the impacts of shale gas development. In short, they examined what percentage of papers indicated risk/adverse impacts versus no indication of risk.
Key highlights include:
– 96% of all papers on health indicate risks/adverse health outcomes.
– 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants.
– 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate contamination
– And there is a recent explosion in the number of peer-reviewed publications, with approximately 73% of all available peer-reviewed papers published in the past 24 months and a current average of one paper published each day.
» Toward an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer reviewed scientific literature, 2009-2014

More information

» Climate and Health Alliance – about coal seam gas:

» The Australian Medical Association – about climate change and health:

» Maps – Petroleum Exploration Permit 163

» Much more about onshore gas extraction and fracking on:

» Listen to a podcast with five gas experts from Victoria: Audio postcard


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Submit your personal advice or comment to the Council of City of Greater Geelong

Have Your Say – Fracking

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News and updates from City of Greater Geelong

Council undertaking comprehensive fact-finding process on coal seam gas extraction methods
28 August 2014

Onshore Gas Extraction Public Submissions
21 August 2014

Fracking fact finding
7 August 2014


  1. Thanks for all the effort u have put into this Mik. So much info against this industry. They say it’s the way forward. All the other info from independent sources who aren’t beholding in some way to this industry is against it. Hmmm, who to believe??? Silence is taken as agreeing with the industry. So if u care, silence no more.

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