Call for government ban on coal seam gas
“Already, a huge show of opposition from the community of Dean’s Marsh has forced mining company Mantle to withdraw their application for coal exploration and Mecrus has withdrawn their plan to explore for CSG in far western Victoria,” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator, Cam Walker.
“Meanwhile, residents in Bacchus Marsh are standing up against a plan for an open cut coal mine near the town.
“Interstate, Liberal and National parties and politicians are standing up against the growth of CSG exploration and mining in rural and urban areas. It’s about time the Baillieu Government let the community know where it stands on this issue.
“This is a national phenomenon, as shown by the rapid growth of the Lock the Gate movement and widespread opposition among people from all walks of life.
“Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have expressed support for farmers’ rights to ‘lock the gate’ against unwanted CSG exploration. Will Ted Baillieu do the same?
“In Queensland the Liberal-National Party has vowed to provide farmers the protection they need against the burgeoning coal seam gas industry in that state and pledged to ban open-cut coal mining in prime agricultural land.”
Mr Walker said that in Victoria, the Coalition had walked away from the 20% target it previously supported for reducing Victoria’s greenhouse pollution and abandoned negotiations to shut down the Hazelwood power station. At the same time, he said they were working to close off large sections of the state to future wind energy development.”
“They are clearly out of step with community sentiment when it comes to climate change,” he said.
“And they must be keenly aware of the massive community opposition to new coal and the threat of CSG operations in Victoria.
“If the Nationals really represent rural constituencies, they must move to legislate against future CSG and coal operations in Victoria.
“We call on the government of Ted Baillieu to act rapidly to ban any further coal, CSG or other on-land gas developments until a full assessment has been made of the likely social and environmental impacts of these industries.”