Warning from doctors: protect yourselves from gas mining

What will it take to protect the health and well-being of the local residents and environment from fracking and gas mining? This question was investigated at a public meeting in Geelong, Australia, on 12 December 2013.

Dr Jacinta Morahan

“People like us who speak up about these environmental issues are labelled as somehow ‘radical’. But human health relies on the maintainance of a healthy environment, clean drinking water, secure food production, and supporting community and family life, and there is nothing radical about that sentiment. Any new development should ensure human health is protected, and I think any reasonable human being would agree with that. So the new Coal Seam Gas gold rush shouldn’t be allowed to endanger the health of generations of Australians.”
Dr Jacinta Morahan, Doctors for the Environment

Joan Lindros

“I think that this issue is looming up to be one of the biggest environmental issues in Victoria that we have seen. Not perhaps as large as global warming – however, it has got huge impact in all sorts of directions. I think the only way that we will be able to combat it is by the city people and country people working together. Both will have different concerns, different points of view, but unless city and country work together, I’m sure that we will see the [gas mining] come to some places.”
Joan Lindros, Geelong Environment Council


On 12 December 2013, a public meeting in Geelong featured expert speakers who looked at the risks associated with unconventional gas mining and ‘fracking’ in the Geelong and Surf Coast area. The meeting was attended by 80 people – citizens of Geelong as well as farmers from the region.

‘Fracking’ is the controversial process of injecting high pressure fluid into the ground – including toxic chemicals which make their way into the water table – to fracture rocks and release natural gas.

For those who missed this opportunity to learn about the implications of an onshore gas industry in the region, audio recordings of the presentations can be listened to below.

Call for council to ban fracking
Will the Council of City of Greater Geelong get its act together and call for a permanent ban on gas mining in Victoria just like the neighbouring Surf Coast Council recently has done it?

This question was left unanswered at the public meeting on 12 December, since no councillors or representatives from the City Council had found the time to show up. The new mayor of Geelong, Darryn Lyons, has however stated in a sustainability survey conducted by The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse during the election period in November 2013 that he is against fracking.

The Frack Free Geelong groups invite citizens who would like to take active part in the groups’ activities to a follow-up meeting at Geelong Trades Hall on Thursday 19 December at 6pm.




» To open or download this recording, right-click here: mp3-file (Mac: CTRL + click)

Tim Gooden from Trades Hall says welcome



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Dr Jacinta Morahan from Doctors for the Environment

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Ariane Wilkinson from the Environment Defenders Office

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Joan Lindros from Geelong Environment Council

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Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth Melbourne

After the presentations


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Mixed remarks from the speakers

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Comment about compromising water safety

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Impressions and statements from the audience

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Tim Gooden about new anti-demonstration laws and the unions’ role

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Dr Jacinta Morahan

Closing remarks from three of the speakers, Dr Jacinta Morahan, Joan Lindros and Ariane Wilkinson

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Closing remark from Cam Walker

This is the film which was shown at the meeting: ‘Gippsland Is Precious’ – a documentary about Coal Seam Gas mining

‘Gippsland Is Precious’ explores what is at stake for Victoria’s Gippsland region, and what communities and individuals can do when they unite.

Kieran Kennedy

“We’ve got a main industry of dairy, beef, and potatoes, the industry is worth billions over years, and it’s always been that way. We have very rich soils, and the most important thing of all is our water resources. Coal Seam Gas mining companies can drill within hundreds of meters of any water reserve or dam, so, look – it is just crucial: water is the link of life, and if we let these people in to destroy that for a short term profit and a few fly-in fly-out jobs, our community will just disperse and we will end up barren.”
Kieran Kennedy, mayor of South Gippsland, Victoria

Gasfield Free Kyogle

Published on youtube.com on 23 December 2013.

On 23 November 2013 the people of Kyogle, in northern NSW, Australia, came together for a moving ceremony to declare their region gasfield-free. Speakers included local and federal politicians, community members, and health experts.


“We are seeing democracy in action. We are seeing people flocking to this event to say ‘We don’t want unconventional gas in our area. That is essentially what it comes down to. And as representatives of the people, we should be enforcing that position. So that is why I am here today.”

“They are afraid for the children, their grandchildrens’ futures. They are afraid for their health. Air. Farmland. Water. There are so many issues around Coal Seam Gas that are unresolved.”

“The chemicals in particular concern me – in terms of our groundwater. Because without water, we die. That is what it comes down to. Whether it be your cattle, whether it be your crops. Anything. We have talked today about the contamination of these things.”

“The state government has introduced a range of regulations which are the most stringent in Australia whilst at the same time we can acknowledge that governments of all persuasions have a poor track record of regulating industries when questionable promises of large sums of money flow into depleted government coffers.”

“I am proud to represent a community that stands up for social justice and is so committed to preserving its way of life that it demands to be heard.”
Danielle Mulholland, Mayor of Kyogle


“Professor Anthony Ingraffea says 6 percent of the pipes fail immidiately. 60 percent fail after 20 years. And they all fail eventually. So when we get the spin from this industry telling us that it is all safe and we are looking after you, we know that that is lying. That is not true.”
Ian Gaillard, Lock the Gate Northern Rivers

Continue reading about the achievements of the Kyogle community:

Echo Netdaily – 25 November 2013:
Kyogle says it loudly and proudly: no CSG!
Kyogle declared itself a coal seam gas (CSG) free community over the weekend as more than 90 per cent of the local government area (LGA) handed in road declarations to Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland.
Article by Melissa Hargraves


Say no to fracking

Together, Australia’s houses could produce more electricity than they use, according to think tank Beyond Zero Emissions. And the transition need not take long. The Australian Energy Market Operators, the organisation that oversees all power generation and distribution in Australia, has acknowledged that the shift to 100 percent renewables will cost no more than ‘business as usual’ over the next 30 years. In the United States, wind energy was recently reported as becoming cheaper than natural gas.

The alternatives to gas and coal are available. And they make a lot of common sense, also economically. This is important to be aware of — in particular in the discussion about the claimed ‘need’ for extracting coal seam gas, shale gas, tight gas, and so on.

In short: our community does not need this gas mining.
We do not need to pollute our drinking water and flood the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.

The message from science is very very clear: What we do need, urgently, is to STOP extracting, digging, mining and burning fossil fuels. So why should we allow drilling for gas? Just because it brings a bit of wealth to those few people who own or have shares in the fracking companies?

We say no thanks.

The age of the fossil fuels is over. Some who have not understood this are, unfortunately, our elected leaders – along with the CEOs of this mining industry which is as powerful and clever in manipulating politicians as the tobacco industry was in maintaining that smoking didn’t cause cancer just a few decades ago. It is getting harder and harder to understand how they can defend among themselves to be so irresponsible and greedy on behalf of the welfare of future generations.

It took 40 years to get out of the tight grip of the tobacco industry’s lobbyists. Climate scientists are telling us we don’t have 40 years to get you out of society’s fossil fuel addiction. We have just a few years before the tipping points begin to pass.

We can no longer allow this madness to continue. Peaceful public resistance, saying ‘Fossil fuels – No thanks!’, combined with self-financed, crowdfunded and community-financed zero-carbon energy initiatives at all levels is the only sensible way forward now.

Mik Aidt

Dig deeper

Friends of the Earth Melbourne:
» What’s happening with gas exploration in western Victoria?

Fossil Fuel Free Future:
» Why you should be concerned about ‘fracking’
» Geelong protests against fracking

Grist – 10 December 2013:
Wind energy becoming cheaper than natural gas
In the blustery Midwest, power agreements with new wind farms are being signed for even less than gas plants. Wind is breathing down the necks of coal and nuclear too.

Fracking is being banned

It is important to understand that around the world, the practice of fracking has been banned in numerous countries and states. The list is only getting longer and longer. There is a reason for this, and the reason is the high risks of contaminating water resources along with the numerous other environmental concerns. The practice of hydraulic fracturing has been permanently banned, for example, in France, BulgariaNewfoundlandScotland, and many many more places.

In the United States, the list of cities, counties and states which have put a stop to or a ban on fracking is growing as well. Vermont was the first U.S. state to ban fracking. Most recently, Dallas have imposed local restrictions on fracking. See the list on foodandwaterwatch.org

In Australia, the Government of Victoria has issued a temporary so-called ‘moratorium’ on fracking until June 2015

» List of bans on fracking world-wide

Surf Coast’s motion to support ban on coal seam gas exploration

On 26 November 2013 the Surf Coast Shire Council met in Torquay and addressed the serious issues of fracking in the region by putting a motion forward to state government in support of a permanent ban on coal seam gas exploration:

“Surf Coast Shire has firmed its support for a ban on coal seam gas exploration on the back of strong public opposition to the practice. The council voted this week to write to the State Government to reaffirm its backing of the moratorium on coal seam gas exploration and to request a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of the industry.

Premier Denis Napthine announced earlier this month the government would continue to consult the community about fracking — the controversial process of injecting high-pressure fluid into the ground to fracture rocks and release natural gas — and would keep its moratorium in place until mid2015.

Council said it was aware of two current approvals relating to unconventional gas exploration in the shire — Western Victoria Energy Pty Ltd for coal seam gas and the other, Mirboo Ridge Pty Ltd for tight gas.”

Geelong Advertiser – 28 November 2013:
Gas mine fears grow
Surf Coast Shire toughens anti-fracking stance
Article by Andria Cozza

Surf Coast Council’s Notice of Motion:

SurfCoast_Notice-of-Motion_Cr Margot Smith wrote in her proposal for a Notice of Motion to the Surf Coast Council:

“That Council write to the State Premier, the Minister for Energy & Resources, the Member for Polwarth and the Member for South Barwon:

1. Reaffirming Council’s support for the continuation of the current moratorium on coal seam gas exploration and operations; and

2. Requesting a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of unconventional gas exploration and mining on public health, the environment, agriculture and food security, local communities and tourism.

The State Government is currently considering a report on coal seam gas mining in Victoria. The report recommends support for coal seam gas mining, including hydraulic fracturing, proceeding in Victoria.

Council is aware of two current approvals relating to unconventional gas exploration in the Shire – one for coal seam gas held by Western Victoria Energy Pty Ltd and one for tight gas held by Mirboo Ridge Pty Ltd (Lakes Oil).

Unconventional gas mining is a matter of serious concern to communities in the Shire. A community meeting on coal seam gas was held in Moriac on 13 November 2013 and a further community meeting is scheduled for Deans Marsh on 25 November 2013. Both these communities are considering declaring themselves ‘coal seam gas’ free consistent with ‘Lock the Gate’ campaigns conducted in Queensland, New South Wales and Gippsland.

There are significant potential risks from coal seam gas mining, including adverse impacts on key industries like tourism and agriculture, public health and wellbeing implications and environmental implications, including potential contamination of groundwater.

Council previously resolved on 22 August 2012 to call on the Victorian Government to institute a moratorium on all new coal seam gas exploration and operations until there had been a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of the industry on the environment and local communities. This investigation has still not occurred. It is critical that a comprehensive investigation be conducted and the results shared with the public before the State Government gives any consideration to lifting the current moratorium.

I commend this Notice of Motion to Council.

Councillor Margot Smith”



Right-click to download
Right-click to download this motion

Letter to the Editor

On behalf of the following groups: Frack Free Geelong / Surf Coast / Bellarine / Moriac / Deans Marsh, I would like to congratulate both the Surf Coast Shire Council and Barwon Water for their recent public statements of concern about the negative impacts which they believe the exploration and extraction of unconventional gas will have in our area.

We wholeheartedly support them for taking the concerns of their constituents seriously and acting on them. The question now remains, how do the City of Greater Geelong Council and Barwon Health view this practice?

Anthony Gleeson



I asked Barwon Water – Victoria’s largest regional water corporation – for a comment on the report from Western Australia that the Water Corporation there wants a ban on fracking.

Their reply was: “Barwon Water supports the Victorian Government’s current moratorium on coal seam gas mining. Barwon Water would object to any proposal deemed detrimental to the region’s water resources.”

Local media coverage

Water Corp wants fracking ban

WA-water-corp-ban“WA’s monopoly water provider has called for the gas drilling technique known as fracking to be banned in areas where it affects drinking water sources, saying contamination risks are unacceptable.
(…) Water Corporation said the chemicals used in fracking and the risks of mistakes meant it should be “excluded” from areas that contained drinking water sources. It was particularly worried about the risks to groundwater sources in regional areas where there were no potable water alternatives – except expensive and impractical options.
The corporation said such areas represented less than one per cent of WA’s landmass and they should be quarantined from fracking and have a 1.5km buffer to further reduce the risk.
“Water Corporation does not endorse any decision to increase public health risks in drinking water source areas as it runs counter with the fundamental principles of drinking water management,” it said.
“Such a decision will come at a huge social, financial and ecological cost to the community.” ”

The West Australian – 18 December 2013:
Water Corp wants fracking ban
Article by Daniel Mercer

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Bid for ‘trendy no-frack zone’

Lakes Oil chairman Robert Annells said declaring a frack-free zone set a “dangerous precedent”:
“These things become trendy and there may be an area elsewhere that is influenced by these frack-free zones and I don’t think we should be making those sorts of decisions.”
“There are areas considerably west of Moriac that are suitable for fracking and every area should be looked at on geological merits rather than emotively.”

Geelong Independent – 17 December 2013:
Bid for ‘trendy no-frack zone’
Article by John van Klaveren

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Moriac to fight fracking


“Frack Free Moriac are asking residents whether they want to delare themselves as coal and gasfield free. The survey will cover landowners in Moria, Modewarre, Paraparap, Gherang, Mt. Moria and Buckley.
Moriac resident Damien Marchant said one exploration has taken place in Moriac.
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos said the Government would not support onshore gas prodution until scientifi facts are shown and “clear evidence has shown that suh an industry would not risk the state’s assets”.”

Geelong Advertiser – 14 December 2013:
Moriac to fight fracking
“Residents group fears gas exploration on farmlands” 
Article by Andria Cozza

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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.
The Government issued the permit before receiving a report on the future of CSG, Mr Lenders said.”

Geelong Independent – 8 November 2013:
New ‘fracking’ permit
Article by John van Klaveren

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Huge risks to health and land

“The licence, held by Lakes Oil subsidiary Mirboo Ridge Pty Ltd, allows for exploration of ‘tight gas’ which is held deeper than coal seam gas and requires more fracking. Fracking uses pressurised liquid to fracture rock to enable any gas, petroleum or uraniumbearing solution to pool into a well and be collected.

Friends of the Earth spokeswoman Chloe Aldenhoven said the Government had failed to inform or consult the community on a decision that posed “huge risks” to health and land.

“The people of Geelong and the Surf Coast should be allowed a public debate about whether they want their drinking water put at risk by tight gas fracking,” she said.”

Geelong Advertiser – 9 November 2013:
Fracking fracas over gas
“Anti-fracking campaigners are outraged a gas exploration licence has been granted over Anglesea Borefield – a source of 20 per cent of Geelong and the Surf Coast’s drinking water.” 
Article by Courtney Crane

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Barwon Water ‘fracking’ fears

“Barwon Water has revealed concerns about fracking potentially contaminating water supplies.
Barwon Water managing director Joe Adamski said the organisation supported the Victorian Government’s moratorium on coal seam gas mining.
“Barwon Water would object to any proposal deemed detrimental to the region’s water resources,” Mr Adamski said.”

Geelong Independent – 15 November 2013:
Barwon Water ‘fracking’ fears
Article by John van Klaveren

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Massive gas exploration lease

“The ABC has obtained a map that indicates one major resource company has laid claim to the exploration rights for a tract of land stretching the outskirts of Geelong to the Surf Coast.”

ABC – 1 November 2013:
Massive gas exploration lease
7pm TV News VIC | Duration: 2min 13sec | By Jeff Waters
» See the tv-news report: www.abc.net.au





New report: ‘Fracking: What’s The Evidence?’
On 16 December 2013, Greenpeace launched the 52-page publication ‘Fracking, What’s the Evidence?’ which collates evidence from around the world to produce an overview of the fracking picture.

From water pollution, to gas flares, to seismic activity to property prices, the report takes an indepth look at what fracking involves, and the key social and environmental risks that should be taken into consideration as the UK Government attempts to open England up to this new form of extreme energy.

The report outlines key research and address evidence surrounding the full range of issues that have been raised around the controversial drilling process.

Changing conclusions are inherent to all scientific research, which necessarily has to incorporate new information and analysis. As such, this report is not a standard, static document. Greenpeace encourages readers to view it as a “living document”, which will regularly be updated as new findings are made public. Each new version will be updated numerically; the version launched is version 1.0.

» Read more: www.greenpeace.org.uk

» Version 1.0 can be downloaded here: docs.google.com

Report: ‘CSG and Your Health: Understand the Risks, Protect Your Family’
Self-help Risk Management Tools: A Report on the Health Impacts of CSG and Shale Gas Mining & CSG Health Checklists. By Dr Wayne Somerville, B.A.(Hons.), M.Clin.Psych., D.Psy. Clinical Psychologist.
54 pages. Published on 23 October 2013.

» More info: coalseamgasnews.org/documents/csg-health-impacts

» Download report: coalseamgasnews.org

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Report: ‘Symptomatology of a gas field’
‘Symptomatology of a gas field – An independent health survey in the Tara rural residential estates and environs’. By Gerralyn McCarron, an Irish doctor working out of Brisbane.
Gerralyn McCarron was so disgusted with the way the residents were being treated (or mistreated) by the government when she visited fracking devastated Tara in the Western Darling Downs that she conducted this study on her own time and at her own expense. Gerralyn McCarron is a dynamo who copped heaps for bringing out this report by friends of fossil fools, but her report exists and it raises several issues which can’t be ignored.
Published in April 2013. 124 pages.

» Right-click here to download / open the report in PDF-format: cloudfront.net

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• The Bamberger report – by Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald: ‘Scientific Solutions: Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health’. PDF, 27 pages

» Open or download PDF document: Bamberger_Oswald_NS22_in_press.pdf

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• Marvin Resnikoff, Radioactive Waste Management Associates: ‘Radon in Natural Gas from Marcellus Shale’ Executive Summary, Januar 2012, PDF, 14 pages

» Open or download PDF document: radonmarcellus.pdf

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• Melissa Belcher, M.S. and Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D.:  ‘Hydraulic Fracturing – Radiological Concerns for Ohio’  – fact sheet prepared for FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio
PDF, 37 pages.

» Open or download PDF document: OHIO_FACT_SHEET_6-10-13.pdf



Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith speaking at Kyogle NSW, Nov 2013

Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith, Senior Policy Advisor at the National Toxics Network, is an acknowledged international expert on toxicology. She gave a competent and insightful presentation Kyogle Gasfields-Free Community Celebrations, northern NSW, Australia, 23 November 2013, explaining the latest medical research relating to unconventional gasfields and human health. The video reccording of it goes for just under 20 minutes.

» Published on youtube.com on 3 December 2013.
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‘Fractured Country’: all webisodes are online now
‘Fractured Country: An Unconventional Invasion’ is a new film from Lock the Gate Alliance (Australia) about the risks to communities from invasive gasfields. On YouTube the film has been split up in six ‘webisodes’:

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 1
‘Fractured Country’ webisode 2
‘Fractured Country’ webisode 3
‘Fractured Country’ webisode 4 – food
‘Fractured Country’ webisode 5 – natural icons
‘Fractured Country’ webisode 6 – community

» More information: www.lockthegate.org.au/films

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Fracking Nightmare – Episode 2

Ian R. Crane speaks with Brian Monk from Queensland, Australia.

» Streamed live on 4 November 2013 on youtube.com

» More information: www.frackingnightmare.com

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Leo Sayer and The Aussies Against Fracking Allstars: ‘No Fracking Way’

» Published on youtube.com on 16 December 2013.


from the Australian news stream

Peter Reith wrote on ABC.net.au on 29 October 2013 under the headline ‘Fracking scare campaigns threaten our prosperity’:

“The scare campaigns surrounding fracking have been allowed to run for far too long and will have adverse repercussions for living standards and jobs. I hope that the Victorian Government will make a positive decision on the future of the gas industry sometime before Christmas; the only barrier is politics. In my opinion, in order to secure existing jobs and to provide the prospect of more jobs, both Victoria and New South Wales cannot afford to delay. Victorians have a choice; they can close their eyes to the future or they can follow in the steps of great Victorians like John Monash and Henry Bolte and strive for the investments and jobs that could be the destiny of our state.”

» Continue reading: www.abc.net.au

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“Taskforce chair Peter Reith says it is sensible for the government and other eastern states to promote production of additional gas supply to help keep prices down. The report recommends the government introduce legislation and licence conditions to allay environmental concerns. The opposition and Greens have described Mr Reith’s inquiry as a sham as it did not consult widely enough and its eight members were all representatives of energy and industry groups.” (…)
“Victorian Greens environment spokesman Greg Barber said the report was a propaganda exercise, with the proposed gas commissioner the salesperson and the consultation process a roadshow. He said the government should be looking at energy alternatives.”

Geelong Advertiser – 21 November 2013:
Lift ban on Vic gas fracking, report says
The Victorian government should lift its moratorium on coal seam gas, appoint a gas commissioner and offer incentives to businesses to develop the industry, a report on the state’s gas market says. Article by Charisse Ede

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Chemicals used in fracking may be a mystery even to drilling companies

One of the big criticisms of fracking is that there is no transparency by the drilling companies as to what kinds of chemicals they are pumping into the earth’s surface in order to release the flow of natural gas. Documents from a new lawsuit against Texas-based Range Resources suggests that the companies themselves may not even know what those potentially harmful chemicals may be.

The documents are part of an appeal that a resident of Washington County, Pa., has made to the state’s Environmental Hearing Board. Here’s what went down in the lawsuit. The plaintiff in the case alleges that a Range wastewater impoundment, which holds water left over from hydraulic fracturing operations, contaminated well water…

» Continue reading: www.ema-online.org

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Tony Abbott meets anti-CSG activist

Tony Abbott met with anti-CSG activist Debbie Orr in Queensland. During their conversation, Mrs Orr said, Tony Abbott made three promises:

First, the Prime Minister would see to it that more environmental health testing was carried out in Tara to ascertain whether there were links between the coal seam gas wells and the sickness being reported by Mrs Orr and her neighbours.

So far, Queensland Health has studied Tara and found no proven link between gas drilling and health problems in the district.

But Mrs Orr believes the air, soil and water testing – much of it done by the CSG company QGC – has been inadequate. QGC has been contacted for comment.

Second, Mrs Orr said the Prime Minister assured her “it won’t happen again” that a gas well is built so close to residential areas.

She said Mr Abbott told her CSG mining “should never be allowed in residential areas”.

Third, Mrs Orr said Mr Abbott told her “nobody should be forced to have a gas well on their property”.

Whether Mr Abbott agrees with Mrs Orr’s representation of the meeting is unclear, with a much less descriptive account of the meeting coming from his office.

“The Prime Minister delivered on his commitment to visit Ms Orr and listened to her concerns. It was a constructive meeting,” was the office’s sole response.

» Continue reading: www.smh.com.au



from the international news stream

Inside Climate News – 17 December 2013:
Study of High Fracking Areas Finds Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
Fracking may increase health risks from hormone-disrupting chemicals released into the environment, say researchers.

Canada: Pressure growing for a federal fracking freeze

In November, Newfoundland and Labrador put the brakes on fracking – and the Council of Canadians is calling on other provinces and territories to do the same.

Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley said that the government would not be “accepting applications for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing.”

Opposition to fracking – a process that contaminates massive amounts of water to extract natural gas from underground rock formations – has been growing in Newfoundland and Labrador following proposals for exploration in three sites along the west coast of the province. The possibility of fracking in Gros Morne National Park received international attention when UNESCO raised concerns about how it would affect the area and its World Heritage Site status.

Communities in Nova Scotia are also speaking out about fracking. The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities recently passed a resolution supporting a province-wide ban on the practice.

“From coast to coast, communities are calling for a stop to fracking. We’re relieved to see that the Newfoundland and Labrador government is taking a common-sense approach by reviewing regulations, conducting impact studies and engaging the public before moving ahead,” said Emma Lui, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians, following the government’s announcement. “Now that fracking is on hold in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s time for other provinces and the federal government to do the same.”

» The Council of Canadians: www.canadians.org

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Grassroots group tells Big Gas to frack off

Suzanne Spiegel – 8 December 2013:
A grassroots anti-fracking organisation in Colorado, US, has shown that people power really works when it comes to challenging state legislation.

» Source: evefisher.com

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Divine intervention? Pope opposes fracking

The worldwide leader of the Catholic Church, none other than the motherfracking pope himself, has come out in opposition to the worldwide scourge of hydraulic fracturing.

Pope Francis has been posing for photographs while holding anti-fracking T-shirts.

» Continue reading: grist.org

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American report reveals impacts on freshwater resources

Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The report, Water Resource Reporting and Water Footprint from Marcellus Shale Development in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, provides the most recent and comprehensive investigation of water used and waste generated by fracking operations in the two states.

“Water use and contamination are among the most pressing and controversial aspects of shale gas and oil development.”

A report released on 30 October 2013 reveals the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development on freshwater resources.

» You can download the report (PDF, 88 pages, 2 MB): marcellus_wv_pa.pdf

» Read more about the report here: www.ecowatch.com

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Fracking could peak as soon as 2016

“Production numbers is that oil and gas production from fracking could peak in some places as soon as 2016.”

We don’t want toxic chemicals in our drinking water, or in our rivers and lakes. That’s one reason to ban fracking. But the strongest argument why we don’t want to see any fracking going on in our region is that it is a dead end. Drilling for fossil fuels is NOT what we should be doing when science (United Nations’ IPCC report, ect) is telling us we are doomed if we continue burning fossil fuels as we do now.

Scientists studying oil and gas well production data are beginning to question how long the fracking boom will last, and they suggest that a shale oil and gas bust may come sooner than expected, even as the industry keeps insisting that the boom (particularly in the United States) has been and will continue to be a success.

British Columbia-based geoscientist David Hughes, whose research was presented at the Geological Society of America meeting this week in Denver, said the story hidden in oil well production numbers is that oil and gas production from fracking could peak in some places as soon as 2016.

» Continue reading: www.climatecentral.org

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Unconventional shale gas production proved short lived and oversold

This, in short, appears to be the American experience.

Australian politicians ought to listen and learn from the United States?

“Industry and its proponents including such entities as the Wall Street Journal, have made fantastical comments about natural gas providing “benefits to the poor” which will be long lived particularly with respect to lower electricity costs for the consumer. Such benefits are already evaporating. We do not live in Camelot regardless of industry and media hype.”

» Continue reading: www.ecowatch.com – ‘Hyped Benefits of Fracked Gas Already Fading’

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Why industry’s so-called “guarantees” are useless

As it is happening now in United Kingdom, governments will say to us that “fracking is safe” and they will refer to reports that give green light to the drilling madness.

To that we will be replying like Helen Rimmer, energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth UK, did, because these “guarantees” are useless and missing the point.

“Evidence suggests fracking has contaminated drinking water in Australia and the US. There’s no guarantee it won’t happen here – especially given gaping holes in regulations. If we’re going to tackle climate change we can’t afford to burn more dirty fossil fuel – we should be developing renewable energy instead.”

There is not one single good reason why millions of taxpayers’ dollars should be invested in fracking infrastructure and locking us into using gas for another 50 years at a time when world science is warning us, basically shouting at us as loud as scientists possibly can, that we are on track to climatepocalypse, meltdown, The End… u-n-l-e-s-s we act quickly now and spend all society’s time, money and attention on creating sustainable carbon-free solutions?

Making the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is essential for the future of our planet.

It remains a mystery why governments think they should be gambling with our safety, and our children’s and grandchildren’s safety, by supporting explorations and drilling for more fossil fuels at a time when really all we should be doing is getting OFF that gas-oil-coal-reliant system and shutting down the dinosaur infrastructure connected with it, while putting all attention on clean energy and the infrastructure and technologies we need to build a carbon-free world.

» Read more: www.theguardian.com


350.org pledge:

SUMMER HEAT – as the temperature rises, so will we

This text from 350.org is, as they write, “going to be a little long. But stick with us. It’s an important one.”

“Earlier this year, the planet lurched past 400 parts per million of CO2 — for the first time in human civilisation. That’s dangerously beyond the safe limit of 350 ppm – the number that scientists tell us is essential for a safe climate. Yet as we begin to create dangerous “new normals”, our politicians continue to ignore the facts. Tony Abbott is powering ahead with his plans to repeal the carbon price and introduce his laughable ‘direct action’ plan.

The moment has come – the moment to ask you to do important, challenging and powerful things. Last year Australia experienced an ‘Angry Summer’. Temperature records were smashed nationwide. And with the 12 months leading up to this September being Australia’s hottest on record, we can expect Summer 2013-14 to be one of extremes too.

This year we want to make it politically hot as well. That means we need you, out on the frontline. We need to show up and speak out. We need you to show Tony Abbott and the fossil fuel industry what direct action is really all about.

Pledge now to help us ramp up the fight against the coal and gas industry this summer: joinsummerheat.org/pledge

Around the country, communities are fighting on the front lines of Australia’s coal and gas expansion. In New South Wales, the Maules Creek community is determined to stop Whitehaven’s plans to start a massive mine in the Leard State Forest. In WA, gas mining in the Kimberley and Midwest wildflower country is being fought at every turn.

In Queensland, the fight over the Galilee Basin, which would involve nine new massive coal mines, is heating up. If the Galilee Basin is opened up for exploitation, the impact will be global. Just six or seven places on earth have concentrated stores of carbon as large as the Galilee’s. Unless the carbon within them remains in the ground, catastrophic climate change is a certainty.

We have never confronted such a dramatic and dangerous expansion of fossil fuel extraction. It is time not only to challenge these projects individually, but to challenge this extreme expansion in a united effort. We need to fight it at every turn.

We’re calling this next phase of the fight “Summer Heat.” Over Summer 2013-14, from Northern Queensland to the South West of WA, we’ll be delivering the message that it’s time to stop the reckless expansion of the fossil fuel industry in Australia. And that means it’s time to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our climate, and our future.

We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will aim to unite thousands of people — perhaps sometimes on the other side of the law.

For those on the front lines these fights are often, understandably, about the local immediate impacts. And now all of us together need to add the weight of our anger and hope as well. It’s one big fight for our future. Front-line communities need and deserve reinforcements, pouring in to help the people who have been carrying these struggles as they begin to impact upon us all.

This movement isn’t made up of professional protesters. For the most part, it’s students, teachers, retirees, civil servants, farmers, businesspeople, fisher folk, artists, religious ministers. It’s about the people whose homes were demolished by the floods in Queensland or the fires in New South Wales.

We’ll be facing up against some powerful opposition. Mining magnates such as Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart will do anything to make a profit, even at the expense of our planet. And with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister the fossil fuel industry has right of way. We can’t outspend them, but we have other currencies to work in: community, passion, creativity, spirit. And sometimes we will have to put our bodies on the line – like the climate movement in the United States has over recent years to halt the Keystone XL pipeline.


Here’s how it works.

1. First, sign the pledge. joinsummerheat.org/pledge. This is a pledge to say that you will stand up to the fossil fuel industry and say ‘your time is up’. You can make this statement even stronger by sending in your photo with your pledge as a show of defiance against an industry determined to wreck our planet. Once you’ve signed the pledge, we’ll connect you to events in your area.

2. Second, check out this list of actions planned so far. More will be added in the weeks ahead as we work with our friends in the movement. Find the one nearest you and be there when the time comes: joinsummerheat.org

3. If you’re prepared, add your own action, and we’ll support you to get it up and going: act.350.org/event/summer_heat_australia/create

4. Finally, update your facebook profile picture to show your solidarity for those fighting on the frontline: twibbon.com/Support/summer-heat


This is the fight of the decade and we need you on board.

Let’s make summer 2013-14 an historic show of solidarity not just with the Australians who suffer most from the coal and gas industries, but with the people across the planet whose lives are at risk as the world warms — and indeed with the planet itself, beleaguered but still so worth fighting for.

If you weren’t needed, we wouldn’t ask. But in a fight as big as this, we are all needed, now more than ever.

In solidarity,


Blair, Aaron, Charlie, Josh, Simon, Katie, Alana, Claire, Sarah, Lexy, Isaac, Lily and the rest of the 350 Australia team

350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis.





Frack free news service

You can follow the news updates on


– a page which compiles the news feeds from:


• Frack Free Geelong:

• Frack Free Bellarine Peninsula:


• Frack Free Surf Coast:


Newly added:

• Frack Free Moriac:
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The Frack Free Otways Basin groups

Frack Free Geelong is a newly formed community group which is concerned about the risk that coal, coal seam gas, tight gas and shale gas explortion will have on Geelong and the Surf Coast. Similar groups have formed in the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast, Colac, and Moriac & Deans March. In 2014, an Otways Basin Alliance of the various groups in the region is seeked to be established.

» You can contact the Frack Free Geelong, Bellarine & Surf Coast groups on this e-mail address: frackfreegeelong@gmail.com

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Read more about fracking on this site: climatesafety.info/?tag=fracking