By Chloe Aldenhoven
The day started with whisperings and rumours. Excitement mixed with disbelief. But by early Thursday afternoon, social media was going crazy with confirmation of the news.
The State Government had officially announced: the moratorium on fracking and the halt on granting of new licenses will continue until July 2015!
Premier Napthine even stated “We will never, ever allow onshore gas if it jeopardises our underground water, if it jeopardises our environment, and if it jeopardises our food and agriculture production.”
Yep. That’s right. That’s what a Liberal Premier said.
This isn’t just the Liberal/National party rolling over in bed and realising unconventional gas is probably a tad too risky to unleash on some of our best food growing areas… not to mention its contribution to Climate Change. It’s the result of some of the most amazing community mobilisation Victoria has ever seen.
Over the last 18 months, Quit Coal and Friends of the Earth have been working with dozens of communities and thousands of individuals against the threat of coal and unconventional gas. We’ve been attending meetings, creating resources, holding workshops, organising actions and rallies and generally showing big love to our country cousins. Because the fight against fossil fuels is about securing the future for all of us.
So this is a massive win for the communities who have been getting organised and creating grassroots power: Poowong, Mirboo North, Boolarra, Kongwak, Wattlebank, Koonwarra, Nerrena, Seaspray, Sale, Maffra, Newry, Briagolong, Heyfield, Darnum, Drouin, Bayles, Fish Creek, Foster, Yarragon, Yarragon South, Harmers Haven, Inverloch, Gormandale, Metung, Bairnsdale, Traralgon, Warragul, Moriac, Geelong and Deans Marsh.
And its also thanks to you, for signing petitions (wait, here’s a new one to get your teeth stuck into) coming to our actions and rallies, helping us with working bees and sharing our campaign news through social media.
But we’re only part of the way there. The current moratorium just covers the process of fracking and the granting of new licenses. We need a halt to all onshore gas exploration and development. And we need both major parties to refuse to allocate more brown coal. With a state election coming up in November and the government already feeling the pressure, this is one of our best opportunities yet.
We also have to ensure that the government doesn’t just lift the moratorium after the election in 2015, leaving Victorian communities just as vulnerable as before.
So what do we need to get a total ban and to stop new coal allocations? We need you! We have our meetings at 6pm every Wednesday at Friends of the Earth on Smith St, Collingwood. We also have working bees from 10am-8pm every Thursday, so you can come in any time to help us out!
And if you can’t come in to volunteer for the campaign, but can help financially, we’d love that too.
Thanks again for your support. And Cheers!