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meeting photo

Parliamentary Petition

Petitioning parliament to make SE fracking ban law

We need your help now!

In the lead up to the last election the SA Liberal Government promised a 10 year ban on fracking in the SE of SA, but now they are elected they are dithering on putting the commitment into law. Read the background section below for more details.

meeting photo

LCPA members meeting Troy Bell to discuss fracking legislation

Independent MP for the seat of Mt Gambier Troy Bell has introduced the Legislation the Liberals should have into the lower house, and Greens MLC Mark Parnell has introduced the same legislation to the upper house.

We will be backing this push for legislation in a range of ways and we need your help – the first thing you can do is demonstrate support by signing and getting signatures on the formal parliamentary petition.

How to help

This is a formal parliamentary petition and there are strict rules about how they are filled out. All petitions must be original copies, not scanned, faxed, emailed or signed online and only signed once per person. They need to be returned in person or by mail to the address at the bottom of the petition.

  • You can download the petition here, print it out, and get started! Your first goal – get 3 sheets signed and returned. Download the petition: 10 Year Moratorium on fracking 2018 petition
  • Then take the next step – become a petition coordinator! Aim to get 6 people to do the same and get 3 sheets filled out. Use this handy Petition Record Sheet to keep track.
  • Download a printable Background and Instructions for getting signatures on the Petition for your reference and to share.
  • 1st Deadline: 30th July 2018 (please send all filled out petition sheets in by this date) 2nd and final deadline: 28th September.
  • Need help? Advice? Want us to post you printed out petitions? Please let us know how we can help get you started contact us for more info.
  • Stay informed by signing up to receive our newsletter using the form on the front page of the website or contact page. The planet and the people of the Limestone Coast thank you.

Background to the petition

The Limestone Coast region in the SE of SA is prime agricultural land, home to the Coonawarra wine region, a crucial food bowl and a thriving tourism industry. But gas mining threatens the life blood of the region – the groundwater, as well as our clean, green image and the health of our community.

The Government must put its commitment to a moratorium on fracking in the SE into law.

If you have been following the campaign you already know that after years of community organisation and action we secured from the Liberals in SA a pre election promise for a 10 year moratorium on fracking. Fracking is the highest risk form of gas mining and a 10 year ban is a huge step forward toward our goal of protecting our land, families, industries and community.

However the moratorium is currently only a verbal commitment and does not protect the South East from any potential change of government or government policy over the next 10 years.

Legislation for the moratorium is required to provide the certainty that farmers, winemakers, tourism operators, small business and the community need to invest in the future.

We need you to get hands on and help now! – it’s easy and anyone can do it, thank you for your help to keep our community safe from fracking.

 

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.

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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.”

 

Mine rehabilitation overhaul needed to avoid a massive toxic legacy

AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION

MEDIA RELEASE

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 https://www.acfonline.org.au/news-media/media-release/mine-rehabilitation-overhaul-needed-avoid-massive-toxic-legacy
  • 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.

MINERAL POLICY INSTITUTE

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, Charles.roche@mpi.org.au

 

 

Earthquakes and Fracking

Earthquakes and Fracking information on Earthworks Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing Fact Sheet

Earthquakes caused by fracking

Earthquakes caused by fracking wastewater injection

Washington Post Article

By Dan Keating and Darla Cameron

A lawsuit claims that Oklahoma’s great increase in earthquake activity has been caused by pumping waste from drilling operations back underground. The suit involves the largest measured quake in the history of the state, a 5.6 tremor that happened in Prague, east of Oklahoma City in November 2011. The pace of quakes with magnitude 3 or higher has increased since then, with 567 in 2014, and 52 in less than four weeks this month.

See article here https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/oklahoma-earthquakes/?tid=a_inl

Earthquakes and regulations in USA

Many states in USA have been experiencing increases in earthquakes including Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, and in some of states restrictions have been placed on fluid injection underground.

Oklahoma Corporate Comission issued restrictions on wells in earthquake prone areas. Similar steps have been taken in Texas.

Arkansas suspended injection wells after an earthquake swarm in 2011. https://www.earthworksaction.org/earthblog/detail/firms_suspend_activities_after_arkansas_earthquakes_linked_to_fracking#.V2BvsHlJn-d

See more at:  https://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/fracking_earthquakes?gclid=Cj0KEQjw1v66BRCV-6rh6s-Biu8BEiQAelpui1xLfC6ezKPWn2yvPxyjWvG1g-gsZja0-kR9E1e0hP8aAtGl8P8HAQ#.V2BwK3lJn-d

The Limestone Coast of SA is the fourth most seismic area in SA.

The epi-centre of South Australia’s biggest earthquake between Kingston SE and Beachport occurred in 1897, magnitude 6.5, intensity 9. It was felt in Port Augusta and Melbourne, toppled chimneys in Adelaide and there was massive damage around Beachport, Kingston and Robe and liquefaction occurred.

slumping possibly due to liquifaction near Robe

Number of unconventional gas publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals on the increase.

At least 685 papers relevant to unconventional gas impacts have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  At the end of 2015, over 80% of the peer reviewed scientific literature on shale and tight gas development has been published since January 1, 2013 and over 60% since January 1, 2014.

At least 226 have been published in 2015 alone.

Dr Jake Hays and Seth Shonkoff say  “This suggests an emerging understanding of the environmental and public health implications of UNGD in the scientific community”.

Figure 1 shows the number of publications that assess the impacts of unconventional gas development per year, 2009 – 2015. The number has continually risen.

number of papers written

Citation: Hays J, Shonkoff SBC (2016) Toward an Understanding of the Environmental and Public Health impacts of unconventional natural gas development : A categorical assessment of the Peer-reviewed Scientific Literature, 2009 – 2015. PLOS ONE 11(4): e0154164. doi: 10.1371/journal pone. 0154164

Doctors for Environment call for a National Approach

Doctors for the Environment Australia has presented their submission to the Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas and is calling for a moratorium on all new unconventional gas operations until health risk assessments of procedures and chemicals performed on an industry wide basis have been undertaken.  DEA Submission available here.

“DEA is of the view that a national approach is essential to reduce the extensive risks associated with unconventional gas mining. The most (self-) evident reason for this is that sets of unconventional gas operations may take place in regions overlying, and therefore threatening, precious aquifers, aquifers that do not recognise state borders. DEA asks the Committee to be aware that medical and health research literature on unconventional gas is rapidly expanding. Much published research comes from the United States where an estimated 15 million people live within 1.6km of gas or oil wells.”

For more information go to DEA website here http://dea.org.au/resources/submissions

 

 

 

Thirty eight Limestone Coast communities road surveyed

Congratulations to all those communities who have participated in this community-driven survey.  This is a great example of grass-roots democracy.

38 Limestone Coast communities road surveyed now!

An average of 95% of people in these communities have said YES to being Industrial Gasfield and Invasive Mining Free communities.

Declaring communities Gasfield Free is just the beginning. The reality is, we still have a number of obstacles to overcome.  Many of the politicians seem determined to expand unconventional gasfields here. Our verdant, productive region is in danger. The only option we have now is to grow a strong citizens’ grass roots campaign to put pressure on decision makers.

The key to building a social movement is staying connected. We hope you will choose to stay on our email list to receive occasional campaign updates.

The other thing that is helpful is if people join together in small Action Groups to do creative campaign activities. This kind of collaboration can be very rewarding. We don’t have to be experts in anything….just committed people who love our region. If you would like to survey your community or find out how to connect with others to protect our region from gasfields, please give Sue a call on 0408 820 797 or email gunyah236@gmail.com

95%agree

Health and Fracking Report

Background

The United Kingdom (UK) is presently set to expand ‘hydraulic fracturing’ of shale formations (‘fracking’) as a means of extracting unconventional gas. Proponents of fracking have argued that it can be conducted safely and will bring benefits in the form of: a) energy that is cleaner in climate terms than coal and oil; b) greater energy security; c) lower energy prices; d) more energy diversity and competition; and e) local employment and economic development. However, fracking has proven to be controversial and there are serious concerns about its safety and impact on the environment.

This report reviews fracking and its associated activities through a comprehensive public health lens. It examines the direct and immediate effects of fracking on health; the adequacy and capacity of the regulatory system; and the relationship between fracking and climate change.

It builds on a number of existing reviews of the evidence and interviews with various academics and experts (in the UK and abroad). Medact also requested short papers in particular subject areas to inform the production of this report. Given that much of the literature about fracking has been derived from experience in the United States (US), this report also highlights the specific features of the UK that need to be considered.

Read the full report here

healthandfrackingreport2

New Book; The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking

New Book; The Human and Environmental Costs of Fracking (Praeger Press, 2015) is available. http://www.amazon.com/Human-Environmental-Impact-Fracking-Fracturing/dp/1440832595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427722884&sr=8-1&keywords=madelon+finkel 

Madelon Finkel says; “This is an important book discussing many different aspects of an important topic. Each of the authors is an expert in his/her field, and the material is all evidenced-based (no personal opinions permitted).

Natural gas and oil prices have plunged, but that does not mean that fracking has disappeared or isn’t an issue anymore. Quite the contrary. Much more needs to be done to understand the components of the fracking fluid, for example. Much more work must be done to figure out how to dispose of the fracking byproducts. Much more needs to be done to scientifically document the potential for harm both to human and animal health and the environment. But most importantly, the public needs to get an unbiased, evidenced-based discussion of the pros and the cons of this technology. This is not an anti-fracking book; this is a book that lays out the facts and lets the reader make up his or her mind about the potential benefits and limitations of hydraulic fracturing.”

 

 

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