Anti Fracking groups have held simultaneous actions on either side of the state with a message for the state government that they believe onshore conventional gas extraction is a way for fracking companies to ‘get a foot in the door’. South West Victorian and Gippsland communities congregated on Nun’s beach in Portland and Seaspray beach respectively with the message “conventional gas is where it starts” .
The state government has been rumored to be considering taking onshore ‘conventional’ gas drilling out of the current moratorium on onshore gas exploration.
“Our understanding is that there aren’t commercially viable onshore conventional gas reserves in Victoria. Any amount of gas that could be extracted with conventional mining techniques would be minimal, the more significant reserves are caught in tight and shale rock formations and would have to be horizontally drilled or fracked’ said Gasfield Free Glenelg spokesperson Rob Bartlett.
“Lakes Oil have already stated that the ‘conventional’ reserves in the South West are equivalent to their gippsland tight gas reserves – reserves that they have already fracked to test the flow of gas
“Companies like these are probably trying to get a foot in the door to frack later. Its been made very clear that communities in the South West do not want an unconventional gas industry risking the local environment and economy. If onshore conventional gas exploration is the foot in the door, we don’t want that either.
“If the state government wants to investigate the viability of conventional gas, they have data from existing wells across the south west to examine. Why let them drill now so they can frack later when we already have decades worth of data?
“We need protection. We hope our Local Labor MPs Gayle Tierney and Jaala Pulford, and resources minister Lily D’Ambrosio are hearing us.”
In Gippsland, Seaspray group ‘Gasfield Free Seaspray’ staged a similar action, reminding the government that they will be willing to blockade any drilling operations in their area.
“Our understanding is that there aren’t reserves of gas in the Seaspray area that could be extracted at commercial volumes without unconventional techniques like fracking. If there were big reserves of gas that just needed a conventional drilling operation to extract, it would have been done years ago” said Gasfield Free Seaspray spokesperson and local dairy farmer Julie Boulton.
“Lakes Oil are trying to claim that they can extract commercial amounts of gas by conventional means in areas that they have already fracked. It’s a con. If the state government take conventional onshore drilling out of the moratorium, they’ll be letting the frackers get a foot in the door” said Mrs Boulton.
“We want to remind Premier Andrews and the state government that we will blockade and risk arrest to stop any gas drilling project that threatens our water. Seaspray is going to remain Gasfield Free, protected by community.”
For more comment please contact:
Chloe Aldenhoven, Lock the Gate Coordinator 0432 328 107
Rob Bartlett, Gasfield Free Glenelg
Ursula Alquier, Lock the Gate Coordinator 0474 803 740
Julie Boulton, Gasfield Free Seaspray