Gas exploration is a hot button election issue in the South East which some say is splitting once harmonious communities. Erin Jones, The Advertiser February 23, 2018 5:29pm

THE fight to protect the South-East’s crucial aquifers and “clean, green” reputation has turned physical, following the first flaring of gas from a controversial well near Penola. Beach Energy last week tested its Haselgrove-3 conventional gas well, 8km south of the town, after it discovered what could be a “large gas resource” in January. The […]

Friday 19 May 2017 the Natural Resources Committee resolved to publish on its website the Minister’s response to the NRC’s Fracking report.

Friday 19 May 2017 the Natural Resources Committee resolved to publish on its website the Minister’s response to the NRC’s Fracking report.



The Bentley Effect The true story of how one remarkable community took on the giant gas mining companies – and WON!

The Bentley Effect screening:
Portland on Mon 17 April at 7pm at Portland Football, Netball & Cricket Club, Henty Street, Portland
Mt Gambier on Tue 18 April at 6.45pm at Oatmill Cinema, 7 Percy Street, Mt Gambier
Robe on Wed 19 April at 6.30pm at Robe Football Club, Robe

Today Tonight – Poisoned farms and toxic food – the bitter battle in country SA that’s now reached the city.

Watch the video here

and read a story in Advertiser

“Our concerns really are about the long-term integrity of wells and drilling, the possible leakage between the aquifers and having a higher density of wells being built and drilled in the region,” Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated president Pete Balnaves said.

The Limestone Coast Protection Alliance response to the “SA Energy Plan”

SA’s Energy Plan

The Limestone Coast Protection Alliance commends Premier Weatherill on his plan to make SA independent of the national chaotic energy mess that has caused SA’s energy problems, and the failure of the Federal government to show any leadership in energy matters.

We are also pleased about the creation of the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund to make renewable energy available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to power the state when it is needed, with the first project to be Australia’s largest grid-connected battery storage.

We believe this fund will inspire innovation amongst entrepreneurs and keep SA at the forefront of renewable energy technology in Australia and perhaps even the world as we have renewable energy companies falling over themselves to invest in SA.

However, the plan to build a new, government-owned gas-fired power station at a cost of $350 million is a complete aberration, totally unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. With progress made by these renewable energy initiatives we believe it will be an expensive white elephant by the time it is built. If we have grid connected battery storage in place by next December as promised it will not be necessary.

The incentives being offered to landholders to allow gas wells on their properties in the form of 10% of the royalties charged to mining companies equates to 1% of the value of the gas extracted and will not find support in the South East.

47 communities have been surveyed in our region, with 96% of respondents opposed to unconventional gas mining in the South East, and these surveys are on-going.

The government has no social licence to mine for gas in the South East and these incentives will not change anything. Landholders know the destruction caused by gasfields and for most landholders their land is their superannuation.

Water, air and health will be compromised. Landholders do not want roadworks, trucks, dust and noise on their properties, or their precious water supplies diverted for the use of mining companies. With gasfields on their properties they will be unable to easily farm and will lose approximately 10.9% of production.

There is no insurance available in Australia against personal or property damage caused by gas mining and mining companies do not carry insurance to cover landholders.

The value of properties with gasfields, or with

neighbouring gasfields, will fall as has been witnessed in Queensland and NSW, and may become unsaleable.

The short term gain of a small royalty would never compensate for the long term pain of such huge financial loss.

For further information please call Merilyn Paxton 8768 6100, Marcia Lorenz 8735 8418

Limestone Coast Protection Alliance says go Solar Thermal, not gas

YES to Solar Thermal. NO to gas, says Limestone Coast Protection Alliance in meeting with Tom Koutsantonis


Key leaders from the Limestone Coast SA met with the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Tom Koutsantonis on Monday to convey their position YES to Solar Thermal, NO to gas.

Merilyn Paxton, Farmer, and Chair of the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance; Peter Bissell, Chairman of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council; Dennis Vice, owner and winemaker at Highbank Wines; and Peter Riseley, Mayor of the District Council of Robe met with the Minister.

Merilyn Paxton said “We conveyed our support for a Concentrated Solar Thermal plant at Port Augusta. Solar Thermal can dispatch power when needed, night or day. It can provide baseload. It will provide much-needed competition, create jobs and put SA at the forefront of CleanTech industries”

“We made clear our request that we want a ban on unconventional gasfields in our region. Last year, a review of 685 research papers points to risks to water, air and health. Our region’s water, and our wine and agricultural industries are too important to imperil.

Dennis Vice said: “Our message is that gas drilling is a pipe dream, because we’re now connected to the high gas prices in East Asia. No amount of drilling here can change the price of gas in Asia. Why put the Limestone Coast at risk when we now have the option of reliable, clean Concentrated Solar Thermal plants that can be built in 20 months?”

Peter Riseley said “I am here to represent the 96% of people within our community opposed to gasfields. We are pleased that Mr Koutsantonis has accepted our invitation to visit our members in the Limestone Coast and to hear their concerns about the shale gas industry.”

For further information please contact
Merilyn Paxton on 0429 804 247 or 08 8768 6100
Dennis Vice on 0427 653 311
Peter Riseley 0429 799 528

The ” Gas Crisis ” Con

Have you heard about the great “gas crisis” con? Why are Australian manufacturers and grannies paying through the nose and struggling to buy any gas at all, while we’re in the middle of a boom? Share this video and make sure we don’t let those pollies and gas bullies blame farmers for their absurd mistakes. #GasCrisis #GreatGasCon

Sound economics as Victoria quits fracking for good

The Victorian Government’s decision to ban fracking is based on sound economic and energy policy.

Queensland’s experiment in unconventional gas has demonstrated that the economic benefits promised by the gas industry largely failed to materialise, and there has been an enormous downside to other industries.Arguments that the gas is needed have rung hollow as Australian domestic gas demand projections have been repeatedly slashed by the Australian Energy Market operator (AEMO), and a global oversupply of LNG has led to a crash in export prices.

Gas industry funded research into the impact on local communities in Queensland’s gas field areas has found that;

  • Local stakeholders in gasfield areas believe resource development has led to a deterioration in local infrastructure, skills, financial, environmental and social capital. (SMI 2014)
  • There were virtually no spillover jobs outside the gas industry itself. (GISERA 2013)
  • For every 10 new gas jobs, 18 agricultural jobs were lost (GISERA 2014)
  • Only 6% of people in these regions believed CSG development would improve their region. (GISERA 2014)

“The manufacturing industry has been one of the biggest losers with LNG exports allowing gas suppliers to drive up prices to Australian users, and suppliers exercising their market power keep Australian prices high even as global prices collapsed,” Principal Adviser at The Australia Institute, Mark Ogge said.

“We now have the ridiculous situation that Australian gas is now cheaper in Korea than it is in Australia. That’s a double-disaster for local manufacturing jobs.

“Experience now tells us that mining more gas in Victoria would not bring local gas prices down.

“Victorian shale gas is very expensive to extract, and wouldn’t be extracted unless gas companies could sell it at the current high prices.

“The days of cheap domestic gas are over – we are sending all the cheap gas overseas.

“Nor have promises of royalties materialised. Royalty projections in Queensland have been repeatedly slashed to a small fraction of original projections.

“Now the companies are even challenging Queensland Governments calculation of the emaciated remaining royalties.

“What benefits there are, have gone almost entirely to the overseas owners of global oil and gas companies licensed to export Australian gas, largely at the expense of Australian businesses and local jobs,” Ogge said.

Type of Publication:
Posted on:
30 August 2016

GP says Limestone Coast Health Assessment Study needed

symptomatology of gasfield

Limestone Coast Health Assessment Study Needed

Limestone Coast General Practitioner Dr David Senior is calling for a comprehensive, ongoing and detailed Health Assessment Study in the Limestone Coast before any gas extraction is allowed.

Dr David Senior, a General Practitioner from Robe, has written in a submission to the fracking hearing “Before any gas extraction were to be allowed to occur, a comprehensive, ongoing and detailed study of the entire region should be undertaken, to include the health of humans, animals and plants, with samples kept for future comparative analysis. Water, soil and air samples should be collected from a large number of sites across the region in addition to tissue samples from humans, animals and plants, as a baseline against which future similar samples could be measured.”

Dr Senior is recommending that this study would need input from organisations such as environmental toxicologists, environmental health scientists and public health professionals.

“I am calling on the Federal Government to commit funding for this baseline health study in our region. Baseline air and water testing must occur before any further gas developments”, Dr Senior says. “We need government to apply the precautionary principle and stop further gas development until it can be proven safe for human and animal health.”


Public rejection of Coal Seam Gas Mining nationally

Lock the Gate Media release 3 June 2016
Polling of 250,000 people confirms public rejection of CSG mining nationally.

Lock the Gate say this should trigger election commitments.

New polling confirms the public has rejected risky unconventional gas drilling and highlights the failure of both major political parties to act on community concerns on the issue in the lead-up to the Federal election.
The ABC has released polling data showing 67% of Australians are opposed to any easing of restrictions on coal seam gas exploration, and that this number had grown since the last Federal election in 2013.
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator, Phil Laird said, “Clearly, there is widespread rejection of the unconventional gas industry by people across Australia given the profound risks that it poses to water resources and human health.
“This polling of more than 250,000 repondants confirms that opposition to CSG and unconventional gas is a massive issue in the lead-up to the Federal election and that controls on this risky industry need to be tightened not loosened, to address community concerns
“We’re calling on both major political parties to respond by:
• Fully protecting important water sources like Sydney’s drinking water catchment and the Great Artesian Basin in no-go zones.
• Acting urgently to protect human health by creating a national Environment Protection Authority and commissioning national research on health impacts of gas drilling.”
“The CSG industry has been a nightmare for families forced to live with it in Qld. The impacts on health, water and farming communities, as well as regional economies, has been severe.
“People across Australia have learnt the hard lessons from Qld and are saying very clearly that they think Governments must take stronger action against this industry. The time for action is now.
“This new polling also confirms previous regional polling which has shown 70-80% opposition to unconventional gas drilling in various communities across Australia and 96% in door to door surveys in farming districts,” he said.


Mine rehabilitation overhaul needed to avoid a massive toxic legacy



14 June 2016

Mine rehabilitation overhaul needed to avoid a massive toxic legacy

A new report highlights systemic and structural failures in the regulation of mine closure and rehabilitation in Australia and recommends the federal government set up a national inquiry to avoid the fading mining boom leaving behind a massive toxic legacy.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has today released two reports – a research report by the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) examining the extent of the problem and a collection of stories about people whose communities have got a raw deal from mining.

The MPI report finds:

  • Most mine closures are unplanned and a result of economic and market factors
  •          A failure to reform the regulation of mine closures will result in long term pollution affecting communities, water, air and wildlife
  • While companies’ exposure to risk is usually protected by subsidiary entities and limited liability, governments and the community have limited protection against the social, environmental and financial risks when a project or company fails.

“This report reveals a looming disaster that urgently requires national action if we don’t want to have a string of off-limits toxic sites around the country and the public left to pay for their ongoing maintenance,” said ACF campaigns director Paul Sinclair.

“There are more than 50,000 abandoned mines in Australia and around 75 per cent of mines close unexpectedly or without proper site rehabilitation plans.

44Gallons of runoff

“Australia’s environmental laws are failing to protect our reefs, rivers, forests, wildlife and people from the legacy of abandoned mines.

“From Queensland Nickel’s Yabulu Refinery – which has a tailings dam only metres away from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area – to the McArthur River mine, to the brown coal mines in the Latrobe Valley and the Russell Vale coal mine in Sydney’s drinking water catchment, there are serious risks of ongoing pollution.

“With the mining boom fading fast and multinational mining companies offloading their assets, this problem is about to get a whole lot worse.

“ACF calls on all parties to commit to set up an inquiry into mine closure and rehabilitation in the first 100 days of the next parliament so big mining companies are made to clean up their mess, not leave polluted water and land for generations to come.”

Contact: ACF senior media adviser Josh Meadows, 0439 342 992

Groundtruths report ACF MPI

Useful materials

  • The research report by the Mineral Policy Institute
  • The collection of stories about people whose communities have got a raw deal from mining
  • Audio of interview with Kaye Osborn, who lives a block from the Russell Vale coal mine near Wollongong
  • Audio of interview with Wendy Farmer, who lives near the Hazelwood mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley
  • Below, the Mineral Policy Institute’s media release.



A big hole in Australia’s long-term budget

A new report, Ground truths: Taking responsibility for Australia’s mining legacies outlines the legacy of Australia’s mining boom and makes recommendations for limiting the impact of poor rehabilitation on communities and government finances.

“Failure to control mining legacies could leave a massive and recurring budget expense, equivalent to billions of dollars per year, in perpetuity, due to ongoing environmental and social impacts which need costly management,” said Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) Chair, Dr Gavin Mudd.

The report calls for a national inquiry, with seven recommendations addressing issues of financial liabilities and reporting, regulation, life of site impact assessment, national reporting and greater jurisdictional cooperation.

“A national inquiry, full impact and closure reporting and greater jurisdictional cooperation could avoid the transfer of liability we are seeing as mine sites are closed and companies go bankrupt – leaving the cost of rehabilitation to taxpayers and local environments and communities.”

The report demonstrates how industry has acknowledged the growing problem and financial liability of mining legacies for decades and the slow response from Australian regulators. A national inquiry would be able to put a clear dollar figure on the cost of cleaning up Australia’s mine sites and propose reasonable regulatory reform.

“The financial cost of fixing mining legacies is clearly enormous, but can be solved through an effective, cooperative response. The social, economic, environmental and physiological impacts of mining are made harder to address. Australia needs to act now before the problem gets any bigger,” said MPI Executive Director and report author, Charles Roche.

“The mining industry, including the International Council on Mining and Metals, have long recognised the potential costs of mining legacies, governments should support industry with effective regulatory changes.”

Contact MPI Chair: Dr Gavin Mudd, 0419 117 494; Report author: Charles Roche 0450 901 714,