Home' The Great Southern Star : September 6th 2016 Contents PAGE 4 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, September 6, 2016
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THE State Government’s announcement
of its desire for a permanent ban on un-
conventional gas and fracking has de-
lighted the Mirboo North community.
Marg Thomas, of the town’s advocacy group, Coal
and CSG Free Mirboo North, said the news was a “huge
win for our community”.
“We thank the minister (for Resources Wade Noo-
nan) and premier (Daniel Andrews) for this remarkable
outcome,” she said.
“It demonstrates they have listened to the people
and made a considered decision in favour of our thriv-
ing commercial enterprises, way of life and environ-
“We have always campaigned for a permanent ban
on onshore gas, so this is a huge win for our community.
We look forward to the legislation being enacted. “
However while Ms Thomas said the group wel-
comed the extension of the moratorium on conven-
tional onshore gas, it would be “challenging this facet
of the industry as it has as large a subsurface footprint
as unconventional gas”.
Anti-CSG group Lock the Gate Alliance congratu-
lated the government’s decision and said it should lead
to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) re-
versing its push for expanded gas mining.
Phil Laird from Lock the Gate Alliance said, “This
outcome is a credit to the brave and determined farmers
and community groups who have fought long and hard
against risky gas mining, and it is reassuring to see state
governments are starting to listen to people and their
demands to protect land and water resources.
“It is ground-breaking precedent that is being
watched by people across the country, and it will set
the benchmark for states who are prepared to listen to
At long last: CSG-Free Bass Coast celebrat-
ed the State Government’s permanent ban on
unconventional gas mining with a govern-
ment in Apex Park, Wonthaggi, on Friday.
The group’s Jessica Harrison said, “It means
at last farmers can concentrate on producing
food and looking after the land, without the
threat of gas fields looming over the horizon.
“It also shows that fossil fuels are on the
way out and renewables are here to stay, and
clean energy will expand as dirty energy
sources die out.
“We want to see no more new coal mines
or other types of extraction in Gippsland.
“No more door knocking for us. It’s a win.
Thanks to everyone who attended meetings,
rallies and helped us survey the local area.”
GIPPSLAND South MLA Danny
O’Brien said the State Government’s de-
cision to ban fracking was a continuation
of the former Coalition Government’s
cautious approach in establishing the
“We have always stood side-by-side with our farmers,
while the previous Labor Government issued 23 fracking
permits and 73 exploration permits,” he said.
“In government, the Coalition introduced the morato-
rium on fracking and legislated to ban the use of BTEX
“I have seen the stress and anxiety some people have
experienced on this issue and today’s announcement will
come as a great relief to many in Gippsland.”
Mr O’Brien said he hoped the announcement would al-
low farmers and landholders to move on with their lives.
“The government’s position on conventional gas ex-
ploration and development is the same as The Nationals’
position announced in October last year,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing the details of the govern-
ment’s proposed legislation when it is released.”
Labor backs Coalition
stance, says MP
Party time: members of Coal and CSG Free Mirboo North gathered at the Mirboo North
hotel last Wednesday to celebrate the unconventional gas ban. Among them were, from left,
farmers Deborah and Fergus O’Connor and Suzanne Wightman.
Mirboo North celebrates
their constituents and prioritise agricultural, tourism
and renewable energy businesses, over the financially
unstable, short-term gas industry.”
Mr Laird said the Victorian ban, plus the prom-
ise by the incoming Northern Territory Govern-
ment to implement a moratorium on all shale gas
activities, has left the recent COAG push for ex-
panded unconventional gas mining in tatters.
“The Federal Government is woefully out of touch on
this issue and the community has not been swayed by
their confected gas supply crisis,” he said.
“We’re calling on Federal Environment and Energy
Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to urgently visit communi-
ties threatened by gas mining across the country, recon-
sider his position, and respond in a similar fashion to
the Andrews Government.”
The Mirboo North community will be having a
public celebration on Sunday, September 18 at 1pm
at Baromi Park, Ridgway, Mirboo North. BYO picnic
lunch or barbecue and everyone is welcome.
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