June 2015 Forum Cam Walker Fracking in Victoria

The BCCAG Monthly Meeting on 24 June 2015 featured Cam Walker. Cam is the campaigns co-ordinator for Friends of the Earth. For the past five years the organisation has applied most of its campaign resources into grassroots activity in regional Victoria, in support of renewable energy, and to establish effective resistance to new coal and gas operations.

Cam spoke about the grassroots campaign across regional Victoria which has seen more than 60 communities declare themselves ‘coal or gasfield free’. This campaign, has focused on mobilising conservative voting rural communities and marks a new stage in environmental campaigning in our state. It set the agenda in the buildup to the November 2014 state election, with unconventional gas being declared by The Weekly Times as the second most important issue in regional Victoria.


A request that Cam made of BCCAG members concerned the current Victorian Government Inquiry into Unconventional Gas. He asks that anyone concerned about the devastation that the recovery of unconventional gas to make a submission to the inquiry. This recovery process is called fracking. More about fracking, and what is happening in Gippsland, are in the videos and articles below.

Look here for Details of How to make a Submission. Your submission only has to be a couple of pages. The total number of submissions made is important in influencing the inquiry outcome. The closing date for submissions is Friday 10 July 2015.

SENATOR GLENN LAZARUS wants to establish a “Royal Commission into the Human Impact of CSG mining”. His 13 minute speech (below) in parliament explains why. He asks that you sign this petition to support his campaign. Help him to stop what is happening in Queensland from even beginning in Victoria.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyqWX1Vfj0g]

ALAN JONES is a radio broadcaster whose opinions are very right wing. However Alan grew up in a Queensland farming community and has strong opinions on Fracking for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) on farming land. His address to the National Press Club in October 2011 voices these opinions. Here is a transcript of the address. A video is below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebP43RlZW3Q&list=PL91E200FF1DB01675]

ABC 4-CORNERS and NINE’s 60 MINUTES made full programs on fracking. The short video below shows excerpts from these programs. They summarise  the dangers and long term problems associated with fracking for unconventional gas.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93hRPRxXFg4]

FRACTURED COUNTRY is a short Australian film that explains the issues related to fracking in the eastern states. As you watch the film, you may well wonder who benefits from fracking? We need a state government that considers the long term interests of the whole community above the temptations offered by powerful industries who seek short-term profits and care nothing for the farmers whose land and water they destroy.

Public knowledge leading to a clear statement of public concern that this industry does not have a social licence to operate in Victoria is needed. We need to make use of our democratic rights. The film features Sydney shock jock, Alan Jones, expressing his opinion on fracking. Watch it, you will almost certainly agree with Alan Jones on this issue. Alan Jones was raised on a dairy farm near Oakey in south-east Queensland. This region has been devastated by fracking for unconventional gas.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrE7LzZCn1E]

Friends of the Earth have organised this petition to influence Daniel Andrews to permanently ban fracking in Victoria. Will you please sign this petition?

UNEARTHED presents the contrast between fracking industry promotions and reality. It explains the cover ups, and how victims are kept quiet. The fracking industry expands by relying on ill informed populations.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIEzSwPwT0]

Coal Seam Gas in Gippsland is covered in this ABC Gippsland report. Over a year ago Gippsland landholders began to notice the growing number of exploration licences for unconventional gas mining covering farming properties across the region. As the interest from companies exploring for these resources has grown, so too has the opposition to unconventional gas mining from a grassroots level. . . READ MORE

The map below shows exploration licences that now cover nearly 90% of Gippsland. Farmers own the land, but the government owns, controls and can sell what is under the land. When the Coalition won office in 2010, the Baillieu government reversed the Labor government’s shelving of coal licences. Dozens of companies are now exploring for coal seam gas which lies beneath Victoria’s most productive farmland.

Ask yourself, will the mining companies who have these licences, and are drilling exploration boreholes, lobby the government to frack the gas if they find valuable gas deposits? The farmers have no legal right to stop them. Sooner or later one farmer will give in, then another, and it will soon be the end of Gippsland’s valuable farm land.

Read this full article by Sandi Keane from Independent Australia, an on-line newspaper.

Here is a chart showing the health effects associated with chemicals in fracking fluid.

If you click on the image an enlarged version of the chart will display.

Hydraulic Fracturing (or fracking) was first used commercially in the USA in 1949. By 2012 over 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing operations had been performed worldwide. Wenonah Hauter, of Food & Water Watchhas written a report called “The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking”. The report is based on decades of experience in the USA.

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