All posts by Mik Aidt

Ban on fracking enshrined in the Constitution of Victoria

On 4 March 2021, the Victorian Parliament voted in favour of enshrining the State’s moratorium on fracking into the Act that supports the State’s constitution.

The Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, which passed the Victorian Upper House on 4 March 2021, fulfils the Andrew government’s 2018 election commitment to “enshrine our legislated ban on fracking in the Constitution of Victoria”.

From 2013 to 2016, we campaigned together with Friends of the Earth and Lock the Gate for a state-wide ban on fracking and unconventional gas drilling. We are delighted finally to see the ban enshrined in the State’s constitution. The outcome is an acknowledgment of a very powerful community campaign against gas – a campaign driven by more than 70 regional communities.

It is a reminder that strategic and determined community campaigning gets results.

→ Friends of the Earth – 4 March 2021:
Community Win: Victoria’s Fracking Ban Enshrined in Constitution

Christine Couzens’ speech in Parliament

Second reading, Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Ms COUZENS (Geelong) — It is a great pleasure to rise to speak on the very important Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016. I am really proud that I am debating this bill today. I am a bit confused about what the opposition is doing. We keep hearing different approaches to the bill, but we will see.

I want to start by thanking the Minister for Industry and Employment for his tireless work and consultation with the community, along with the Premier of Victoria. I also want to thank and congratulate the local communities who actively campaigned for this ban. As the Premier highlighted, this is a victory for our local communities. In particular I want to put on public record the hardworking commitment of people like Alison Marchant, who is in the gallery today, and all the dedicated people in the Geelong community who have worked hard on this issue for a very long time.

It is people like Alison who help leave positive legacies for our future generations, which is really, really important. Over the last, probably, three or four years I have had the opportunity to speak to many people about their concerns about fracking. It has been really interesting, particularly talking to young people, because young people are much more up to speed with what is going on in our community than we think they might be. Certainly when I was a kid I would never have thought of these issues. They are much more articulate and they have a much better understanding of the issues that are impacting our environment in particular. It has been really heartening, and it has filled me with confidence to talk to the up and coming young people in our community.

I also wanted to share with the chamber a couple of stories that I heard from young men who left Geelong to look for work some years ago and went into the mining industry. They worked in fracking operations in New South Wales and Queensland. I caught up with them not long ago. They actually left that industry because they knew the damage that they were causing for the companies they worked for. They had concerns for their own families and for the future of our community. I thought it was really interesting that they actually left those jobs and came back to Geelong purely out of concern for what fracking was doing to the environment. They had firsthand experience. They had to deal with protesters, particularly in Queensland, which they found very difficult because they knew what they were doing was not right. I wanted to share that story because I think it is important that we do not underestimate what our younger generations are thinking and the concerns that they have about our environment.

There is no doubt that this was a serious issue for people in Geelong and the Geelong region. During the election campaign I was approached many times by many groups and individuals asking what we were going to do about this particular issue, so I am really proud of our local community and the work they have put in. I know it has been hard for them, but they have stuck at it. Our farming communities were concerned, but there was also concern from the community about the great risk to our reputation as a clean, green region. Our farming communities, agriculture, tourism, magnificent beaches, national parks and food and wine trails were all put at risk. Our diverse communities were all getting together and talking about this issue. They came together out of genuine concern. They were concerned about the impact of fracking on farms; the environment, including through water contamination; local industry; and the health and wellbeing of our community.

The people that came together to work on this particular issue formed Frack Free Geelong, Gasfield Free Torquay, Frack Free Grovedale, Frack Free Moriac, frack free Freshwater Creek, No Fracking Birregurra, Gasfield Free Deans Marsh and lots of other local environment groups. They are a diverse group of people from many different backgrounds, industries and political views, but they all had one thing in common — that is, the fight for a ban on fracking. The three local government areas in the Geelong region — the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast shire and Colac Otway shire — all passed motions in favour of a ban and contributed to the parliamentary inquiries into onshore unconventional gas activity in Victoria.

Sixteen hundred community members, groups, experts and representatives from the resources sector made submissions to the inquiry. When the Honourable David Davis, a member for Southern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council, wrecked that process, resulting in four minority reports, the Andrews government went out and spoke to farmers, industry and community groups across our region. I note the comments earlier about the Minister for Resources in particular not getting manure on his boots and all those sorts of ridiculous comments. That sort of statement is just ridiculous. The minister, the Premier and lots of members of Parliament were out there talking to the community about what affected them and what their concerns were, and they were actually listening to the community. And we heard the message. I heard the message, and it was very clear: they did not want to support fracking, they did not support the long term damaging effects of fracking, they did not support the risks to people’s health and wellbeing, they did not support the destruction of our environment and water supply, and they did not support the damage to tourism in our region.

Tourism was another big issue for many people and so many small businesses that rely on tourism had grave concerns about what fracking would do to their industry and their reputation in the community.

I note that the member for South Barwon in his contribution today mentioned that he sent a letter to the Premier. It is good to hear that he is supporting this bill. A number of local groups and individuals have complained recently that he did not return their calls or respond to their requests for him to outline what his position was on the ban and how he would respond to this bill, but I am pleased to hear today that he is actually supporting the bill. These groups are certainly not happy with the member for Polwarth, the member for South West Coast or a member for Western Victoria Region in the Legislative Council, Simon Ramsay, who have never responded to their requests to have a discussion about fracking. Fracking would impact on all of these seats, but these members did not listen. They were not interested in listening.

The federal member for Corangamite has also been silent. She has provided no support, nor has she listened to her local community on this issue.

Ms Thomas — We know where she stands now.

Ms COUZENS — Yes, we do. This is not surprising given the commentary that is coming out of the federal Liberal government. In fact the federal Minister for the Environment and Energy has been highly critical of the ban, calling it disappointing. The federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, a Nationals member, echoed those comments. Then of course there were the Prime Minister’s comments yesterday, and I quote:

There they are, with this ideological, left approach that the Labor Party adopt, sitting on all of this gas and they are not prepared to touch it.
This is about them hiding the truth and their game of trickery. They do not want anyone to notice that the leap in gas prices is because of their longstanding federal policy. Those opposite cannot be trusted to continue a ban on fracking. Their masters in Canberra will have them change their tune down the track. This is a very real risk given that the community have strongly advocated for this ban. The state and federal Liberals have not listened to them at all.

I am really pleased to be speaking on this bill today. I am so proud of our local communities right across the Geelong region who have put in probably more than four years of hard yards and lobbying to see this bill come to fruition. I congratulate them. I congratulate the ministers involved and the Premier for the hard work they have done. I commend the bill to the house.

Christine Couzens is Labor MP for Geelong

Permanent ban on fracking in Victoria

Media release 8 February 2017:

Victoria’s gas ban a win for environment, farmers and democracy

Today the Lower House of the Victorian parliament is debating the Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016, which will permanently ban fracking in the state.

This debate is unusual, because the ALP, Greens, Coalition and minor parties have all announced their support for the ban. “This highlights the massive community opposition to onshore gas drilling in Victoria” said Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Cam Walker.

“This ban has been delivered because of an inspiring and determined community campaign. Over a period of five years, 75 regional communities declared themselves gasfield free. Regional communities refused to accept this destructive industry. Sustained opposition forced the main political parties to shift their position, and led to a state inquiry, which in turn delivered the ban commitment.”

“The Greens supported the ban from day one of this campaign. The ALP held the state inquiry and introduced the legislation. We must acknowledge the leadership of Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on this issue while the ALP was in opposition, the hard work of the Minister for Resources Wade Noonan, and the willingness of the Premier, Daniel Andrews, to listen to the community. A range of MPs from The Greens, ALP, Coalition and Shooters Party put in a huge effort during the state inquiry. And of course this outcome has only happened because of determined, sustained and strategic campaigning by many thousands of people and the 75 gasfield free communities who were the backbone of the opposition to fracking” said Mr Walker.

“This is a wonderful victory for the community, for farmers and the climate. In a time where there is ever greater cynicism about party politics, this shows what is possible when ordinary people get organised and work together for the greater good.”

“It’s an incredible day for so many communities like ours across the state, we have all worked so hard together to get to this point and it feels amazing” said Gayle Margaret, Mirboo North resident.

“Today’s history making legislation to ban unconventional gas and fracking secures my grandchildrens clean, green future in this state and l couldn’t be happier,” said Trevor Jennings, Geelong resident.

“We hope this permanent ban – the first one in Australia – will provide inspiration to other Australian states and territories who are fighting the same battle” said Mr Walker.

Cam Walker, Campaigns co-ordinator, Friends of the Earth

30 August 2016:
In a national first, the Andrews Labor Government today announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in Victoria, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas.

The permanent legislative ban, to be introduced to Parliament later this year, will protect the ‘clean, green’ reputation of Victoria’s agriculture sector, which employs more than 190,000 people. This will provide much-needed certainty to regional communities.

Minister for Resources Wade Noonan confirmed it was visiting communities and seeing the huge impact fracking was having and the potential destruction of agriculture that confirmed for them only a total ban was appropriate. He also said a moratorium on conventional gas would allow proper scientific studies on the potential risks, in particular water pollution risks.

The announcement went global and actors like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon tweeted about the ban.

We got ourselves organised
This didn’t just happen. This is the result of a tireless effort of hundreds of anti-fracking activists working with determination and as a team. Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth Melbourne wrote: “This outcome happened because ordinary people across the state got themselves organised – and stayed organised. The 75 gasfield free communities were the cornerstone of this campaign.”

So first of all a big thank you to everyone in Geelong and in Victoria who supported the anti-fracking campaign!

It is a great example of how we, the people, the ordinary citizens, can make change and create a better, safer and cleaner world – even at times when we are up against powerful industries that really couldn’t care less about anything else than their own profits.

Thinking the unthinkable
This decision announced today gives hope for many more good things to come. It still won’t happen without us stepping in, though.

If four years ago we hadn’t ‘thought the unthinkable’, things would never have come to this. We would not have seen this fantastic outcome if a group of determined residents had not got themselves organised – and stayed organised.

So it is time for Geelong region to get into thinking some more ‘unthinkable’ thoughts now, like for instance:

• Unthinkable thought #2: Geelong region powered by 100% renewable energy.

• Unthinkable thought #3: All local councils signed onto AND actively following One Planet Living principles.

• Unthinkable thought #4: Hundred of thousands of people signing the #climateemergencydeclaration petition on
– … Feel free to add!

Ten days after Daniel Andrews had announced Victoria’s policy — a first for any Australian state government — he travelled to Moriac, in the South Barwon electorate, to commend those who lobbied for the ban.

» More photos on Facebook

Thank you

Please make an effort to thank Premier Daniel Andrews and Resources Minister Wade Noonan for making this forward thinking and environment protecting decision enacting the ban. For instance, you could retweet Friends of the Earth’s tweet:

or post your own, e.g.:

Thank you @DanielAndrewsMP & @wadenoonan for listening to the community! #VicGasBan announced! Please get onto the Premier’s Facebook page and share his post about the ban and thank him.

Show your support for the ban by writing to the newspapers, commenting on articles – e.g. this one in The Weekly Times – and this one in Geelong Advertiser – and calling in to talk back.

» The Premier’s statement on

» Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s reponse: Communities applaud Premier Andrews decision to ban unconventional gas mining and fracking

Noonan - Marchant
Resource minister Wade Noonan and Alison Marchant

Audio excerpt: Interview with Alison Marchant

11 minute live phone interview with Alison Marchant, Frack Free Moriac, about the new permanent fracking ban in Victoria

“What a day! Victoria is now frack free! It has been a long 3 & a bit years. At the start when we learnt about fracking, we discussed moving. But decided to stay and fight. Sometimes it felt like the world was against us. Sleepless nights and a few tears. But my faith has been restored today. Community banded together and our ripple turned into a wave. Then it was up to convincing the right decision makers. Some more receptive than others. Some listened and some pretended to listen. These MP’s made a stand. They didn’t sit on the barb wire fence.

@DanielAndrewsMP Shaun Leane Lily D’Ambrosio @JaalaPulford @harrietshing @wadenoonan

In addition I haven’t done this alone, family and friends (new and old) have supported me all the way. Damien Marchant speech writer Nomore Coalorgas my partner in crime. Cam Walker ninja! Kristin Morris cheerleader and now tweeter! Sammi Penning and Ian my go-to rocks! And all gasfield free community go-getters. Ursula G Alquier gippsland warrior.

I may be a bit philosophical tonight, but today was momentous. I can now tell the kids, I gave it all, stay and fight for what is right. #vicgasban
Alison Marchant

Alison Marchant’s husband, Damien Marchant wrote on his Facebook page:
“Hi all, I guess I’m feeling a little reflective at the moment.
As you all know Ali and I have been involved in the anti fracking campaign for about 4 years and abit over a week ago we won.
From that the greatest thing that I have taken out this is the importance of community.
Community gives us all a sense of belonging and inclusion. It gives power to our voice, strength to our arguments and most importantly it provides support to each other and assistance to those who need it. I feel honoured and proud to be part of our strong community.
I am also extremely humbled to be married to such a remarkable woman and community builder, Alison Marchant. To tell you I love you never seems to even scratch the surface of my emotions for you, thankyou for being you. Whoever knows you cannot help but love you.”

“This is a testament to the power of determined, creative, respectful community-driven activism. Years of it. Stand down tireless warriors Chloe, Ursula G Alquier, Cam Walker, Nicola Paris, Quit Coal crew and the countless numbers of people in threatened communities who stood up to insidious industry pressure. What a fully shining example you’ve set for a powerfully growing global movement.”
Deborah Hart

Speeches in the Victorian Parliament can be found from page 41 of Hansard and then again from page 69.

Good to have a read through and to send messages of thanks to those who spoke in its favour!

The Premier’s address on 8 February 2017:

“I am delighted to rise to speak on this important piece of legislation today. I could not be prouder than to lead a government that is putting before this house and indeed the other place — this Parliament — a law to protect our clean, green image, a law to protect our primary producers, our farmers, our exporters, a law to protect our good name and good standing in international markets right across the world, a law to protect jobs, investment and confidence.

But today is not a day for the politicians to be taking credit, although I am sure some opposite will tell you that they were the architects of this bill, that all good things can be traced back to those opposite if only you spend long enough doing that tracing. This is not a day for politicians to be taking credit. This victory — and that is what it is — is a victory for common sense. It is a victory for jobs right throughout Victoria. It is a victory for farmers, for environmentalists, for activists, for ordinary Victorians. It is their victory because they said, ‘We will not stand for being ignored any longer. We want what we value protected. We want what every Victorian should value protected, and we want our voice heard’, and that is exactly what we delivered.

Whether it be farmers and environmentalists from the Otways, from Gippsland, from every part of our state, and not just from regional Victoria— as beautiful and important as regional Victoria is to the soul of our state, the production and economy of our state, our story and our meaning and purpose for the future— many people in metropolitan Melbourne have been just as passionate about these issues.

What they have said to me and what my government has said is that there is no splitting the environment and the economy when it comes to these issues. There is no splitting those two things because they are the same thing, and if you are prepared to compromise safety, certainty, our image, the health of our communities, the health of our natural environment, then you will pay a very significant economic price. It is not one that I am prepared to pay. It is not one that regional communities are prepared to pay. It is not one that this government is prepared to pay.

Others have a different view, and when they take a break from trying to claim credit for things they had nothing to do with, they turn around and start bagging those very same things they pretend to have actually delivered. That is not leadership; that is fraud. That is what that is. It is fraud, but the problem for those who operate in that way is that it is all too obvious. Chief among that list are people who would say they are great listeners, they are great people who support primary production, who support the environment, people who used to get around with a leather jacket on, used to get around with a conscience, used to get around with a ‘Don’t you know, you’d better watch out for me, because I’m right in the middle and I’m going to deal with all the truisms of politics. I can bring appeal from everywhere’. That thesis is not going so well at the moment.

Chief among those who just do not get it on this issue are the Prime Minister and his energy minister, Mr Frydenberg, because they are out there today saying that this legislation to ban unconventional gas extraction for all of our state now and forever is somehow wrong and that we should be ashamed of ourselves, that it is the wrong thing to do.

I will say to all members assembled here and for Hansard for all time that if anyone in the coalition, state or federal, is in any doubt about the community’s views on this issue, I am happy to take them to one farm after another, to one community after another, to one family after another, and hopefully they will hear the message that I have heard — that is, that this precious environment, our precious economy, all that we should cherish and hold dear are not worth gambling with. They are not worth risking, and they are certainly not worth trashing by putting up dangerous wells wherever you can see.

We are having none of that. We are having none of that in our state, and some can sit smugly thinking that they can walk both sides of the street on this issue.
No, you cannot. There might be some who will have three positions. They will say it was their work, when of course it was not. They will bag it simultaneously, and then they will cleverly just wave it through the Parliament thinking that will allow their rampant hypocrisy to go unnoticed.

Well, no, I am afraid we are onto you, and so is the community. The fact of the matter in the history of this state, once this bill passes this place and the other, is that it is a Labor government that has delivered this outcome, a Labor government that has listened to communities and a Labor government that proudly says, ‘Do not take your time to thank us’. No, thank the communities who have fought for this outcome. Thank the communities who said, ‘We will be ignored no longer. A moratorium? Not good enough. We want certainty. We deserve it, and we want a government that will deliver that’.

They are the people that should be congratulated. They are the people who should be so very proud as they listen to this debate today and in the days to come.

I want to thank my honourable friends the Minister for Industry and Employment and Minister for Resources, and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change — the first time we have ever seen those portfolios combined, and what a great job she is doing in relation to those matters— and every member of our team that has made sure they played their part as champions for their local community and in making sure that I understood.

Little did they know that I was getting plenty of representations from lots of good people without the representations they were making, but everyone did their job to make sure that we understood that this was a change that had to be made.

Too much was at stake to allow this to go on, and I just say thank you to everybody in the government for the work that they have done and to the department. The consultations have been unprecedented.

Again, he is not here to defend himself, but I will make the point that we did not go and get a certain former federal minister, not well known for consultation, to go out and run a sham consultation. We did it properly. We did not get Balaclava Pete to come out and do the sort of consultation that only he could do. We did not do that”
Daniel Andrews

Mr M.O’Brien interjected.

Mr ANDREWS — “Well, are you for this or against it? That is a question for you.”

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — “Order! Government members will come to order.”

Mr ANDREWS — “Are you for it or against it? That is the question for you, my friend. You can keep interjecting all you want, but my microphone is on and yours is not, so keep it up.”

“The question for you is: are you for this or against it, or are you sitting there pretty well on your own as you are?”

Mr M.O’Brien interjected.

Mr ANDREWS — “There will be a vote, will there? There will be a vote apparently. I sincerely hope so.”

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — “Order! Government members will come to order, and the Premier will continue through the Chair.”

Mr ANDREWS — “If there is a vote, we will be able to see who is actually for and against protecting our environment, who is for and against protecting our economy and who is for and against listening to our communities and acting in their interest and who, quite frankly, is all over the shop and a disgrace. We will be able to see that. There are no members of the National Party here.”

Mr McGuire interjected.

The SPEAKER — “Order! The member for Broadmeadows will resume his seat.”

Mr ANDREWS — “Interesting. Others can judge those who are serious about these matters and those who are frankly frauds when it comes these matters. I will leave it to the good judgement particularly of regional Victorians. They can pick someone who might qualify as a fraud a long way off. I can tell you that. I think it is fair to say they see those opposite coming. The final point… ”

Mr M.O’Brien interjected.

The SPEAKER— Order! The member for Malvern will come to order.

Mr ANDREWS — “‘Sunshine’, he is calling me. Mate, there would be no sunshine if it was up to you. Heaven knows where we would be. I am very proud to have you interject on me. I am very proud to have the member for Malvern opposed to me, because I reckon if the member for Malvern is against it, it is probably a good thing. They do not come any better than this bill, and I urge all members to support its urgent passage.”

The bill is expected to pass unamended.

Media release from Wad
Media release from minister Wade Noonan

Fracking ‘politisised’

Media release from Victorian recourse minister Wade Noonan on 31 August 2016:

After years of Coalition inaction, indecision and infighting on onshore gas in Victoria, the deep split between the Liberals and the Nationals is once again on show following yesterday’s historic announcement by the Andrews Labor Government.

In a national first, the Labor Government is introducing a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in Victoria to provide much needed certainty for regional communities.
The Liberals were quick off the mark to criticise the announcement for “shutting the door on future exploration of conventional gas,” despite their previous policy of a moratorium until 2020.
That’s a clear sign the Liberals are making policy on the run and renouncing their own policies.
Meanwhile, in a short statement not published online, the Nationals leader Peter Walsh was busy trying to claim credit: “Daniel Andrews has followed The Nationals’ lead in announcing a permanent ban on unconventional gas, including fracking and CSG activity, in Victoria.”
In fact, the Nationals had signed up to the 2020 moratorium, not a ban on fracking.
These conflicting statements speak volumes about the deep divide between the Nationals and the Liberals on one of the biggest issues affecting regional Victoria.
Will the Nationals stand up for country Victoria, or will they support the Liberals calls for more uncertainty, indecision and inaction?
It is clear that the Victorian community has spoken – they simply don’t support fracking.
The Labor Government is calling on the Nationals to stand up for country Victoria and declare their support for legislation that will be introduced into Parliament later this year.”

Read also

» Geelong Advertiser – 9 September 2016:
Premier Daniel Andrews hails Victoria’s fracking ban a win for people power

» Weekly Times – 9 September 2016:
Delayed celebration for Victorian gas ban as Daniel Andrews meets anti-gas groups

» Counteract – 30 August 2016:
6 things that won the #VicGasBan

» Weekly Times – 30 August 2016:
Victoria bans unconventional gas mining forever

Pleased to say that this is probably the last post you will see from Frack Free Geelong.

Reminder: CoGG submissions end date is on Friday

By Alan Manson,, 19 September 2014

Hi everyone,

This is a reminder that one week remains to get a submission into the City of Greater Geelong council that says you want them to oppose Fracking.

Making a submission is quite easy.  Simply do the following:


  1. Create a new email
  2. Type in the ‘Subject’ area ‘ATTENTION Rod Thomas – Fracking Submisssion
  3. Address it to

Then write an introductory paragraph.

  1. In the body of the email write a sentence or two that makes reference to the following points:
  2. Fracking has not been proven safe to either the environment or to those living in it – flora, fauna and people.
  3. Fracking relies on large volumes of heavy trucks and machinery entering and leaving local communities 24/7/365.
  4. Should any of the trucks carrying highly toxic chemicals become involved in a traffic accident, this could create a toxic spill that will need to be cleaned up.
  5. Unless the cleanup is 100% effective, the community may be in danger from the remnants of the spill.
  6. I understand the chemicals being used cause ill health and cancer.
  7. The industry does not employ locals or bring any benefit to the local economy.
  8. When finished, include your first and last name in the email – together with your postal address.  You can add a telephone number if you wish.
  9. Please send the email as soon as you can.

Helpful points about the negative issues associated with Fracking

You don’t have to add anything here in you submission if you don’t want to.  The information below aims to help you appreciate the variety of issues facing communities that allow Fracking to become a part of their community.

  1. The casings of the well do not always provide a good seal between the pipe and the terrain.  This causes leaks of methane and other elements to enter the environment or the water aquifer – therefore poisoning what they come into contact with.
  2. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORMs) in the form of uranium are brought to the surface during drilling.  This hazardous material is not always identified and disposed of properly.
  3. Evaporation ponds often leak wastewater back into the ground, thereby contaminating the aquifer from above.
  4. Mining operations continue 24/7, which involve:
  5. Very bright electric lights illuminating the plant, which disrupts the community and the wildlife during their sleeping period.
  6. Trucks moving in and out of the site day and night cause continual noise and disrupt sleep.
  7. Other noises being emitted into the community from the operations area cause community concerns.
  8. Each fracking operation requires millions of litres of the local community’s drinking water.  In Victoria (which is prone to drought) our community cannot afford to deplete our water supplies at such a rate.  Any requirement like this would become unsustainable very quickly.
  9. The toxicity of the chemicals used in each fracking operation becomes airborne.  This affects children initially and then adults.  The first sign of young children being affected is that they start bleeding from their ears and their nose.  Some have also been reported as bleeding from their anus.
  10. 06-mummy-why-am-i-bleeding

  11. The gas taken from the local community does not benefit anyone in the community.  The only beneficiaries are the mining companies (their shareholders) and the government.
  12. The fracking operations do not create any significant local employment.
  13. 09-tara-fracked-landscape

  14. The terrain becomes scarred with well heads and pipelines that connect the well heads to the compressor stations.  In this, the mining operations turn the once beautiful farm-land into an industrial gas-land.
  15. Flames can be lit from the methane in domestic taps if a Frack well seal fails and water contamination occurs.
  16. 10-water-flare

  17. Centralised compressor sites compress the gas into liquefied form for transport.  Such a facility:
  18. Runs 24/7
  19. Operates at levels ranging from 70dB (lawn mower levels) to over 90 dB (rock-band levels) only 100 metres away.
  20. The noise can travel a great distance.
  21. It is impossible for people, animals or wildlife to live in the area of a compressor station.
  22. Land and houses become affected by the fracking’s operations in one form or another.  This causes people to want to sell and move away, but if the property price has plummeted because there are no buyers (and their mortgage still needs to be serviced) then this initially causes mental health issues such as Depression, followed by the relationship breakdown of the people, which can lead people to commit suicide.


Is this what we want for Victoria?

NOW is the time to make your voice heard as it will be too late after ‘The Frackers’ move in next door.


Corner Barrabool & Scenic Roads Highton


Further Information

Therefore, if you would like to confirm some of the claims made above, I have provided some links below that you may like to check out.  I have not viewed them all – but quite a few.  Please check them out for yourself.

If you can assist with a submission, please do it this weekend.

Many thanks!





West Australian farming family concerned about water supply from fracking – watch the video!


Concerned Health Professionals of New York – The compendium


ABC Coal Seam Gas by the Numbers


a Landowners guide to hydraulic fracturing


NTN: Toxic chemicals in exploration & production of gas from unconventional sources 2013


NTN: symptomology of a gasfield; independent health survey of Tara rural residential estates & environs 2013


NTN: hydraulic fracturing in CSG mining – risk to our communities, environment & climate


Life cycle of CSG projects, technologies & potential impacts report for NSW officer of the chief scientist & engineer.


Initial report on the independent review of CSG activities in NSW


ABC: Santos fined $52,000 for pollution breach


The Australia Institute – fracking the future


The Australia Institute – is fracking good for your health


environment America: fracking by the numbers


ABC news: high gas prices


Pennsylvania’s proven cases of contamination


The Victorian Gas Market Taskforce Report

Peter Reith’s Industry Biased Report


Top Ten NY Drilling Problems


Medical Society Resolutions re Gas Drilling and Hydrofracking


Chemical and Biological Risk Assessment for Natural Gas Extraction in New York


Oil & Gas Inspections – Violations – Enforcements, Division of Oil and Gas Management;


DEP Oil & Gas Reporting Website


2010 Permit and Rig Activity Report, Division of Oil and Gas Management


fracking will cause irreversible damage council of WA


Excellent video titled, ‘Truth about Fracking’ –


Residents worry urban drilling will turn downtowns into oil towns. The energy extraction method known as fracking is moving into midsize cities – and not just on the fringes. Drilling for oil and gas isn’t new in rural or even suburban areas, but as extraction companies move into cities, it’s raising a new set of concerns. All Things Considered, NPR. 4 September 2014.

Belleville disposal site center of controversy over fracking, radioactive waste. Wayne Disposal Inc., a private landfill operation, is caught in the tug of war over energy policy in Michigan as well as other states. It has been here for several decades handling wastes that can’t be stored in a normal solid waste landfill. Detroit News, Michigan. 4 September 2014.

IRS set to clarify who qualifies for tax-favored status in the shale patch. It’s just a joke to anyone in the energy world, but it turns out to be an illustrative one. Why couldn’t a McDonald’s restaurant chain in the shale patch – or any food provider – form a master limited partnership, thus avoiding the federal corporate income tax? EnergyWire. 4 September 2014.

The crux of determining fracking’s safety. For people who live in close proximity to the current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Colorado to Texas and from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, as more and more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Greeley KUNC Radio, Colorado. 4 September 2014.

Hillary Clinton’s hard choices on energy. It has been more than six years since Hillary Clinton has been required to weigh in on domestic political issues. But as she steps back onto the political stage, the potential 2016 presidential candidate will have to make some “hard choices” on a handful of thorny issues. One of those is on energy issues. MSNBC. 4 September 2014.

Dangerous crude could still travel in misclassified tank cars, TSB says. Canada’s transportation safety agency is raising concerns that dangerous crude oil could still be travelling by rail inside misclassified tank cars, despite assurances from the federal government that the problem has been fixed. Globe and Mail, Ontario. 4 September 2014.

US mulls methane limits for fracking operations. New rules forcing oil and gas producers to cut emissions of potent greenhouse gas methane could be introduced in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief admitted yesterday. Business Green, United Kingdom.4 September 2014.

Kansas task force: No clear answers as to what’s causing quake increase. There is insufficient research available to say what has caused an increase of earthquakes in Kansas, primarily in the south-central area, a governor-appointed task force concluded in a report that was made available this week. Wichita Eagle, Kansas. 4 September 2014.

Water supply big fracking fear. Virginia officials made it clear that protecting the Potomac aquifer – which supplies water to the Fredericksburg region and half of Virginia – will be their top priority, if any companies want to drill for natural gas in the region. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Virginia. 4 September 2014.

Green groups in Jerusalem laud collapse of oil shale project. The Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Building has voted to thwart the pilot drilling project of Israel Energy Initiatives. IEI executives voiced hopes of bringing energy independence to Israel by means of secure and non-polluting technologies, but environmentalists slammed the plans as anything but safe. Jerusalem Post, Israel. 4 September 2014.

Judge to rule next week in Nevada fracking case. A federal judge plans to decide next week whether to block the release of oil and gas leases in Nevada that critics say will be used for hydraulic fracturing and cause more environmental harm than the Bureau of Land Management admits. Associated Press. 4 September 2014.

What you need to know about the new fracking rules. Illinois lawmakers promised thousands of jobs when they approved fracking last year. But drilling companies are still waiting for the go ahead. We’re now one step closer after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released its latest rules last week. Carterville WSIL TV, Illinois. 4 September 2014.

Fracking views separate candidates for governor. Democratic candidate for governor Zephyr Teachout said Wednesday she would ban gas drilling because it threatens the environment. Republican Rob Astorino would promote it to boost jobs. Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, after three years of consideration, hasn’t made up his mind. New York Newsday, New York. 4 September 2014.

Telescope builders warn on possible clashes with ‘frackers.’ The builders of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope in the Northern Cape hope to co-exist with shale gas prospectors, but if needs be will invoke new astronomy laws to protect their interests, MPs heard on Wednesday. South African Press Association, South Africa. 4 September 2014.

High-volume fracking to be banned in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia will introduce legislation to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas this fall, Energy Minister Andrew Younger said Wednesday. CBC Canada. 4 September 2014.

Ban fracking from national parks, say majority of UK public. Fracking should be completely banned from national parks, according to a strong majority of the UK public. The Guardian. 4 September 2014.

Opposition to pipeline is voiced. PennEast says the exact route of a proposed natural gas pipeline it wants to build is still unknown. The proposed project may still be in its preliminary stages, but the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network believe they know enough about it to level criticism. Hopewell Valley News, New Jersey. 4 September 2014.

Residents beat gas company in Lycoming County zoning case. Some Lycoming County residents prevailed in a zoning fight with a gas company, one of the first such battles since the Supreme Court overthrew portions of the state’s oil and gas law. Scranton Times-Tribune,Pennsylvania. 4 September 2014.

DEP: Two water contamination cases in Washington Co. A report released by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection shows just two residential water sources in Washington County have been affected by natural gas drilling in nearly seven years, prompting a local environmental group to question those findings. Washington Observer-Reporter, Pennsylvania. 4 September 2014.

Trans Energy facing criminal charges over drilling pollution. A St. Marys-based natural gas company that agreed to a $3 million civil penalty is also facing federal criminal charges related to its dumping of material from its drilling operations into West Virginia streams without first obtaining a required permit, court records showed Wednesday. Charleston Gazette, West Virginia. 4 September 2014.

Pipeline is safest way to deliver natural gas. Other environmental groups argued that the state should be pushing renewable energy sources and facilitating offshore wind and onshore solar, as if the state couldn’t – and shouldn’t – do both. Natural gas is by no means perfect. But it’s far better than what we’re using now. Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, Virginia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

No energy leadership in Nova Scotia fracking fumble. By opting to try to make the fracking controversy go away, the Liberal government has chosen peace and quiet over the harder but ultimately more productive path laid by David Wheeler’s panel on hydraulic fracturing of unconventional gas and oil resources in this province. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

Fracking banned. The provincial government’s message to Bluenosers on Wednesday was essentially: Fracking banned in Nova Scotia! That’s a lot catchier than: Fracking banned in Nova Scotia … until we decide not to ban it anymore! However, the latter message would seem more sincere. Sydney Cape Breton Post, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 4 September 2014.

‘Energy Summit’ shows who’s driving Utah’s bus. According to new research, the views of the average citizen have a near zero impact on public policy, mass interest groups have very little, but the two groups that essentially get what they want from lawmakers are rich individuals and business groups. Utah could be the poster child for this study. Salt Lake Tribune, Utah. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

Bromide: A pressing issue to address in China’s shale gas extraction. At the dawn of massive production of shale gas, China should pay particular attention to bromide. Poor management of bromide-containing wastewater would potentially cause contamination of China’s already limited drinking water resources. Environmental Science & Technology. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

Nova Scotia opts for doom and gloom over progress in fracking decision. Here in Nova Scotia, doom and gloom are good. The energy industry, which every Nova Scotia government heralds as a critical element to this province’s fiscal recovery, has got the message: The fracking door is closed. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Opinion, 4 September 2014.

$5B natural gas pipeline may run through Virginia. Dominion Resources and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the rapidly growing supply of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, Virginia. 3 September 2014.

6 things to watch when Hillary heads to Vegas. Hillary Clinton is about to give her first energy and climate speech of a publicity tour that many believe is the springboard to a presidential campaign. National Journal. 3 September 2014.

EPA may force drillers to cut methane leaks, chief says. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that would force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions, its chief said, stepping up efforts to curb the most potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Bloomberg News. 3 September 2014.

Dominion, Duke propose $5b natural gas pipeline. Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.Associated Press. 3 September 2014.

Water shortages pose larger than expected threat to shale gas. Water shortages pose a bigger threat to the global shale oil and gas industry than is widely realised, according to one of the most detailed studies to date of how much water is available at some of the world’s most promising shale sites. Financial Times, United Kingdom. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Limited water presents challenge for natural gas fracking. Extracting natural gas for energy from shale rock deep underground requires lots of water, but much of the world’s shale gas is in regions where water is already scarce, including part of California, according to a study issued Tuesday. Los Angeles Times. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Water access may stonewall shale boom, report finds. Energy producers face fierce competition for scarce water resources as they look to expand North America’s shale gas boom into regions that are facing stresses due to overuse or inadequate supplies of fresh water. Globe and Mail, Ontario. 3 September 2014.

Water shortages could limit spread of fracking worldwide. The fracking boom has arguably been the biggest energy story in the United States over the past decade. Among other things, cheap shale gas from fracking has pushed down electricity prices and curtailed US carbon-dioxide emissions. So why hasn’t the shale boom spread elsewhere? Water is one major constraint. Vox. 3 September 2014.

Forum targeting proposed PennEast gas pipeline set in Lambertville, New Jersey. In New Jersey, two environmental groups are inviting Hunterdon County-area residents to learn more about a 30-inch pipeline proposed for this area that would carry natural gas extracted by fracking the Marcellus Shale near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Hunterdon County Democrat, New Jersey. 3 September 2014.

Shell urges Obama to end 40-year oil export ban. The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell has urged Barack Obama to lift America’s 40-year ban on oil exports. Ben van Beurden told a conference in the US that the move would make the global energy system more stable. The Telegraph, United Kingdom. 3 September 2014.

King George, Virginia, planners to review drilling ordinances. In an effort to maintain “ultimate control” of any natural gas drilling that might take place in their locality, the King George supervisors on Tuesday directed the Planning Commission to review the county’s zoning ordinances. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Virginia. 3 September 2014.

Fair Lawn, New Jersey, considering ban on fracking. The New Jersey borough of Fair Lawn’s governing body is working on an ordinance that would ban fracking and related activities within borough borders for five years. Bergen County Record, New Jersey. 3 September 2014.

Study to look at financial impact of gas boom. Researchers are looking at whether money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom helps children and families in regions where companies are drilling. Associated Press. 3 September 2014.

A rush to judgment on fracking. The BLM’s decision to use results from a new study as proof that fracking is safe represents a rush to judgment, environmentalists say, and provides yet another example of a regulatory agency bending over backward to appease industry rather than protect the public and the environment. East Bay Express, California. 3 September 2014.

McAuliffe backs natural gas pipeline, disappointing environmentalists. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday unveiled plans for a 550-mile natural gas pipeline through three states, a proposal that won him kudos from the energy industry but criticism from environmental activists who had considered him an ally. Washington Post. 3 September 2014. [Registration Required]

Resetting the energy debate won’t be easy, despite premiers’ pact. Last week’s provincial agreement has the potential to reset the energy debate by reminding us what Canada stands for — a moderate approach that strikes a balance between promoting energy development and improving environmental protection. Financial Post. 3 September 2014. [Subscription Required]

Planning Committee nixes oil fracking program. The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee on Tuesday rejected a plan to erect a pilot facility to produce oil from shale in the Judean lowlands. Haaretz, Israel. 3 September 2014.

Study to look at fracking’s impact on water supply. Lawmakers and others are expected to gather at the Capitol next week for an interim study on the impact fracking has on the state’s water supplies. Tulsa World, Oklahoma. 3 September 2014.

Oil and gas wastewater pits draw fine for toxic releases. A commercial facility that disposes of oil and gas waste in Eastern Utah has been fined $50,000 for releasing excessive amounts of benzene and other volatile organic compounds without a state air emissions permit.InsideClimate News. 3 September 2014.

California oil train bill heads to governor. The bill is the last of several steps taken by the Legislature this summer to deal with safety concerns about the growing phenomena of 100-car oil trains rolling through California cities. Sacramento Bee, California. 3 September 2014.

Quit dragging feet on fracking. We would all be wise to join the fight against climate change. But a stronger Illinois economy is essential as well. Let’s get fracking. Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois. Editorial, 3 September 2014.

America is at a crossroads on energy. Texas and the entire country stand at an historical crossroad of two conflicting, incompatible forces. On one side is the game-changing upsurge in oil and gas production achieved through technological innovations first developed in Texas. On the other side is federal policy to supplant oil, natural gas and coal – now supplying over 80 percent of U.S. energy. Houston Chronicle, Texas. Editorial, 3 September 2014.

Fracking’s water woes: Drink or drill? As fracking is set to go global, one research organization warns that some of the best plays around the world are in areas that are already facing water shortages. Fortune. 2 September 2014.

Earthquake hazard linked with deep well injection in Alberta. Rural Albertans have been saying for years they can feel tremors under their feet near oil and gas activity, especially around areas of hydraulic fracturing – also known as fracking. CBC Canada. 2 September 2014.

Van Buren landfill seeks tenfold increase in radiation allowances. A hazardous waste landfill near Belleville that has gained the attention of Michigan lawmakers for accepting low-activity radioactive oil and gas fracking waste from other states is seeking approval for a tenfold increase in allowable radiation levels in the materials it receives. Detroit Free Press, Michigan. 2 September 2014.

Consent, sharing crucial on fracking file. Entrusting communities with the power and responsibility of a final say on fracking recognizes social consent is a real issue. This is a more dynamic and democratic way of dealing with a complex issue like fracking than slapping on a moratorium. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 2 September 2014.

Fracking Georgia O’Keeffe country’ Back in the 1940s, as Georgia O’Keeffe mined the Black Place for inspiration, oil and gas drillers were already penetrating the region’s geologic formations in search of hydrocarbons. This is the San Juan Basin gas field, where some 40,000 wells have been drilled. High Country News. Opinion, 2 September 2014.

Study finds more arsenic in wells near drilling. North Texas water wells within two miles of active gas drilling sites contain higher concentrations of arsenic and other carcinogens, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Associated Press. 1 September 2014.

Report riles fracking foes. The California Council on Science and Technology released an independent report Thursday, concluding that, based on scientific evidence, the environmental impacts of the oil drilling technology known as fracking (short for hydraulic fracturing), are “relatively limited.” Orange County Register, California. Editorial, 1 September 2014.

The evidence is in, so ban fracking. If anyone in New York was still buying the utopian vision being sold by the oil and gas industry regarding fracking — free energy! new jobs! no risk! — a flood of recent news should end the delusion once and for all. New York Daily News, New York. Opinion, 1 September 2014.

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air. A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development. Ecologist. 31 August 2014.

Fracking fire points out failings. Three years ago, before the shale-gas industry started booming in Ohio, oil and gas companies had permits for five hydraulically fractured wells in Monroe County. As of June 28, the day a well pad caught fire there, oil and gas companies had permits for 135 wells that either had been or could be hydraulically fractured. Columbus Dispatch, Ohio. 31 August 2014.

Amid oil and gas boom, Colorado continues role as earthquake lab. In an area peppered with wells pulling energy resources from below ground — and many pumping wastewater from the process back into it through injection wells — an old question resurfaced: Could the same geological tinkering that has revved a formidable economic engine also trigger potentially damaging earthquakes? Denver Post, Colorado. 31 August 2014.

Colorado fracking ban scorecard: 3 ruled illegal, 2 remain. Three out of five Front Range cities’ bans on hydraulic fracturing in the last few years have been struck down by district court judges in recent weeks, and two others still stand. Both Boulder and Broomfield still have fracking bans in place. Denver Business Journal, Colorado. 31 August 2014.

Iowa counties stick to home to win fights over frac sand mining. A group of northeast Iowans effectively is keeping large frac sand mine companies from mining silica-rich sand in their county by building a consortium that set aside politics and focused on dealing with the matter locally, instead of with state intervention. Iowa Watch, Iowa. 31 August 2014.

Provincial review: press pause on fracking in Nova Scotia. Hold off on fracking, says a provincial report released today. The Wheeler report on hydraulic fracturing says more research and discussion is needed before the natural gas resource extraction method is employed in the province. Hants Journal, Nova Scotia. 31 August 2014.

Shale drillers’ landfill records don’t match those of Pennsylvania DEP. EQT Corp. told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that it sent 21 tons of drill cuttings from its Marcellus Shale wells to area landfills in 2013. But landfills in southwestern Pennsylvaniatold a different story. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania. 31 August 2014.

Commission adopts fracking regulations for Nevada. A state panel has approved regulations guiding oil and gas exploration companies’ use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, in Nevada. Associated Press. 31 August 2014.

Consider all the impacts of hydraulic fracturing. While environmentalists are quick to point out the negative side effects of fracking, it is important to keep in mind the possible effects of not fracking. Higher prices at the pump, a slowing of the overall economy, and susceptibility to oil shocks from trouble in the Middle East would all have to fall into that category. Livingston Daily Press & Argus, Michigan. Editorial, 31 August 2014.

Environmentalists like Tom Steyer see Colorado as key in election. Environmentalists in Colorado may have lost a rallying cry this year when efforts to limit fracking didn’t make the ballot, but that hasn’t stopped eco-activists from painting a big green bulls-eye on the state.Denver Post, Colorado. 30 August 2014.

Environment: New California fracking report leads to more questions than answers. The battle over fracking probably won’t die down until humankind slurps up the last of the planet’s fossil fuel resources, and a new report by a California agency probably will intensify the debate. Summit County Citizens Voice, Colorado. 30 August 2014.

Louisiana approves request to establish drilling and production unit near Mandeville. Louisiana’s Office of Conservation has approved Helis Oil & Gas Co.’s request to establish a 960-acre production unit near Mandeville, clearing the way for the company to seek a drilling permit for its controversial drilling and fracking proposal. New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana. 30 August 2014.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources issues long-awaited fracking rules. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released a long-awaited plan Friday to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling that supporters hope could bring an economic boost to southern Illinoisbut environmentalists fear may be too lenient. Associated Press. 30 August 2014.

White House reviews federal-land fracking rules. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has started to review new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, the last step before the rules can be made final. The Hill, District of Columbia. 30 August 2014.

Rules for fracturing on public lands likely this year. The Obama administration is on track to impose new mandates governing hydraulic fracturing on public land by year-end, a move that will test the White House’s ability to appease worried environmentalists without derailing the drilling boom bolstering the U.S. economy. Houston Chronicle, Texas. 30 August 2014. [Subscription Required]

Fracking rules headed for final steps in Illinois. The rules for hydraulic fracturing are headed for the final steps in Illinois; the Department of Natural Resources has made their changes to the fracking rules. They will now need a legislative committee to sign off before the state can start issuing permits. Carterville WSIL TV, Illinois. 30 August 2014.

Conway, Massachusetts, residents take aim at safety, contents of pipeline. The safety of the community and questions about the contents of natural gas that will flow through a proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline dominated a special Selectboard meeting in Conway, Mass., Thursday night. Greenfield Recorder, Massachusetts. 30 August 2014.

Coal seam gas project divides residents of NSW’s Gloucester Valley as blockade begins. The Gloucester Valley in mid-north New South Wales is bracing for an invasion of protesters over the state’s first new coal seam gas project in more than five years. Australia ABC News,Australia. 30 August 2014.

Current study will not address health impact concerns. A current Irish assessment of the impact of fracking is not addressing health concerns. Share That’s according to anti-fracking campaigner, Eddie Mitchell of the Love Leitrim group. Dublin Irish Independent, Ireland. 30 August 2014.

DEP finds 243 water sources contaminated by gas exploration. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has released a final tally of the number of water sources damaged by natural gas drilling since 2008. According to the tally, the department found that 243 water sources have been contaminated. Pittsburgh Business Times, Pennsylvania. 30 August 2014.

DEP cites 243 cases of well water contaminated by drilling wastewater. The state is out with new information about how many private drinking water wells have been contaminated due to drilling activities. It comes six years into the natural gas boom. Pittsburgh KDKA TV,Pennsylvania. 30 August 2014.

State issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules. Stricter requirements for disclosing the use of chemicals are part of new proposed rules issued by the state Friday as part of the process of regulating fracking, the high-volume oil and gas drilling method that proponents hope will bring a surge of jobs to Illinois. Associated Press. 30 August 2014.

Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner. Oil producers, drilling companies and geologists frustrated with the slow process of implementing rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling are putting their money behind Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. Springfield State Journal-Register, Illinois. 30 August 2014.

Colorado town to ask higher court to uphold its fracking ban. Leaders of a Boulder, Colorado suburb on the front lines of the fight against gas drilling recently voted 7-0 to appeal last month’s court ruling that overturned the city’s ban on fracking. InsideClimate News. 30 August 2014.

Fracking poses little risk of air and water pollution, report finds; BLM to restart oil and gas leases. The Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to resume leasing for fracking in California at the same time it has released a report finding fracking methods aren’t fouling air and water and don’t raise the risk of earthquakes in the state. Los Angeles KPCC Radio, California. 30 August 2014.

Fracking views may hinge on cash. Chalk one up for the anti-fracking lobby. Although the final report by the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing isn’t shutting the door on future development of so-called unconventional gas and oil, it has concluded thatNova Scotia isn’t ready for it right now. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Opinion, 30 August 2014.

New study shows gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene. A new study out this month reveals unconventional oil and natural gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene, putting them at a higher risk for blood cancers like leukemia. Benzene is a known carcinogen that is present in fracking flowback water. StateImpact Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. 29 August 2014.

Pennsylvania releases details of cases of drinking well contamination from drilling. Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells. Associated Press. 29 August 2014.

Colorado judges tossing out one fracking ban after another. For the third time in a month, a Colorado judge has thrown out a city’s ban on hydraulic fracking, ruling that it conflicts with state laws. Daily Caller. 29 August 2014.

Congressional Staffers inspect Bakken. 15 state and national congressional staffers spent time this week, inspecting the Bakken region to find out how North Dakota’s natural resources can impact public policy. Bismarck KXMC TV, North Dakota. 29 August 2014.

California senate approves bill requiring oil industry to report water use. The California state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill requiring oil companies to report how much water they use in their drilling operations and the water’s source, a move that comes amid a severe statewide drought. Reuters. 29 August 2014.

Rochester Hills, Shelby Township groups continue push for action on oil and gas drilling. Weeks and months before the moratoriums on oil and gas drilling were recently passed in Shelby Township and neighboring Rochester Hills, there were groups of concerned residents making their voices heard. Oakland Press, Michigan. 29 August 2014.

Debate in Conway over pipeline proposals. It was a night of debate in Conway during a Kinder Morgan presentation, as the company hoped to convince residents of the need for a natural gas pipeline. Springfield WWLP TV, Massachusetts. 29 August 2014.

Fracking money flows to Rauner. When Gov. Pat Quinn signed sweeping legislation last year to regulate hydraulic fracturing, he was joined by business groups in saying the controversial oil and natural gas drilling process would mean thousands of jobs in hard-hit rural areas of downstate Illinois. Decatur Herald & Review, Illinois. 29 August 2014.

Nova Scotia energy minister hopes to make decision on fracking within month. Nova Scotia’s energy minister is promising a quick decision on the status of hydraulic fracturing after receiving a report Thursday that says it shouldn’t be allowed for the foreseeable future.Canadian Press. 29 August 2014.

UPDATED: Interim injunction granted against anti-frackers. A High Court judge has ruled against anti-fracking protesters following legal action started by energy giant Cuadrilla. Blackpool Gazette, United Kingdom. 29 August 2014.

Fracking may endanger groundwater in California. Fracking for oil in California happens at shallower depths than previously realized and could pose a risk to precious groundwater supplies, according to a federally commissioned report released Thursday. San Francisco Chronicle, California. 29 August 2014.

Flaring: the dark side of the oil boom. The flaring of natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale makes for spectacular images. And it is slowly killing Texas and the world. San Antonio Express-News, Texas. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

Don’t shut door on fracking in Nova Scotia. There’s still far too little known about risks and benefits, along with a towering wall of public distrust to scale, for the provincial government to allow any development of unconventional gas and oil resources in Nova Scotia through fracking. At least for now. Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

Editorial: Good news on the Marcellus shale front. Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation, fittingly, was the topic of the day at the state Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier. But not only are people talking about the Marcellus shale, but they are investing in developing it. Charleston Daily Mail, West Virginia. Editorial, 29 August 2014.

GUEST COLUMN: Loveland’s fracking vote not just a local matter. Residents of Loveland recently voted against a citywide ban on the energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Far from being a local matter, their decision could have dramatic consequences for millions of Americans. Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado. Opinion, 29 August 2014.

Some drillers tread lightly. Fracking fights loom in Texas and Colorado. Drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different. Business Week. 28 August 2014.

Fracking rules to be unveiled Friday. Highly anticipated rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are to be unveiled Friday. Once the rules go into effect, Illinois hopes to become the center of the next oil boom. Chicago Tribune, Illinois. 28 August 2014.

Judge tosses out Lafayette’s voter-approved fracking ban. A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday issued a ruling tossing out the charter amendment passed by Lafayette voters in November banning fracking in that city. Boulder Daily Camera, Colorado. 28 August 2014.

Chamber summit readies West Virginia for ‘tidal wave’ from future of gas. Spouting statistic after statistic, natural gas executives made the case for tying West Virginia’s economic future to their industry at the annual West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit Wednesday. Charleston Gazette, West Virginia. 28 August 2014.

COGA ‘disappointed’ with Longmont council’s move. The Colorado Oil & Gas Association weighed in Wednesday afternoon on the Longmont City Council’s decision Tuesday night to continue to appeal a court ruling that would negate a ban on fracking within the Longmont city limits, a ban put in place by Longmont voters in 2012. Longmont Daily Times-Call, Colorado. 28 August 2014.

DEP orders drilling company to clean up water supply in Stahlstown. The Department of Environmental Protection has put a drilling company on notice after drinking water was contaminated by gas drilling wastewater in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh KDKATV, Pennsylvania. 28 August 2014.

Gas drilling regulatory costs come under fire. Several employees and representatives of the natural gas industry in Southwest Virginia said Wednesday that they are concerned the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy might be over-regulating the industry with its review of some policies. Bristol Herald Courier, Tennessee. 28 August 2014.

Settling the Earth. In the past 75 years, Texans have grown accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of oil and gas exploration. But earthquakes? That’s another matter. Longview News-Journal, Texas. Editorial, 28 August 2014.

The public deserves information about New Jersey’s oil trains. Oil must travel, and the practicality of rail transport over pipelines (or barges and trucks) deserves a robust debate for as long as our oil dependency persists. Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey. Editorial, 28 August 2014.

Ruling requires native tribes’ consent for energy projects. Canada has gone from laggard to leader with respect to these important humanitarian and environmental rights. Our U.S. Supreme Court would do well to follow this example. San Francisco Chronicle, California. Opinion, 28 August 2014.

Technology will reduce need for flaring. The oil and gas industry continues to develop new techniques to reduce flaring and emissions within the Eagle Ford Shale, and in some cases has been able to completely eliminate the need to flare at the well site. San Antonio Express-News, Texas. Opinion, 28 August 2014.

Loose fracking rules could sink North Carolina. The draft rules on fracking in North Carolina are rife with loopholes that favor the drillers and could endanger the public health and the environment. Durham Independent Weekly, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Winter storms in Westcountry ‘convinced public that man-made climate change is real’, says survey. More than a quarter of people say the winter floods that hit Britain and swamped swathes of the Westcountry strengthened their belief in man-made climate change, a survey has found. Plymouth Western Morning News, United Kingdom. 27 August 2014.

Longmont City Council votes unanimouly to appeal judge’s decision on fracking ban. The Longmont City Council Tuesday night voted 7-0 to appeal Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard’s ruling in July that struck down the city’s ban on fracking within city limits.Longmont Daily Times-Call, Colorado. 27 August 2014.

Hundreds of fracking opponents cite potential harm to water sources. Water matters, they said. More than 100 like-minded people — many from Stokes, Forsyth and Yadkin counties — signed up to speak during one of three public hearings held in North Carolina this month on proposed rules that will govern shale-gas exploration. Winston-Salem Journal, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Sanford no longer backing fracking. In Sanford, where the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission held a public hearing on a draft of the state’s fracking regulations, opponents of the controversial drilling practice are waving small red flags, their ire given a menacing edge by protesters’ thumping drums and whistles outside the Wicker Civic Center. Durham Independent Weekly, North Carolina. 27 August 2014.

Fracking matter to go to voters but not until June 2016. Voters will have their say on an initiative aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Butte County, Calif., but the measure won’t go on the ballot until June 2016. Oroville Mercury-Register, California. 27 August 2014.

Glenelg Shire has declared itself a coal seam gas free zone. The western Victorian council passed a motion unanimously last night to remain free of any unconventional gas exploration. Seven southwest and 19 Gippsland communities have already declared themselves as “gas field free”. Melbourne Weekly Times, Australia. 27 August 2014.

Labour demands tougher fracking controls. LABOUR has demanded tougher regulations before ‘fracking’ is allowed to go ahead, to give people “confidence” that the technology is safe. Amendments were tabled to a parliamentary Bill to strengthen protections against water contamination and damage to the environment. Priestgate Northern Echo, United Kingdom. 27 August 2014.

State determines wastewater from gas drilling contaminated drinking water in Westmoreland County. The state Department of Environmental Protection has officially determined that drinking water at a third residence is contaminated by WPX Appalachia LLC’s leaky Marcellus Shale gas drilling wastewater impoundment near Stahlstown, Westmoreland County. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania. 27 August 2014.

Still too early to say OK to fracking. We find ourselves in no rush to join North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania and other states that have to deal with fracking’s uncertain effects on health, the economy and the environment. Oneonta Daily Star, New York

Health and fracking – what are the risks? For people who live in close proximity to this country’s current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, from Colorado to Texas, as more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Wyoming Public Media, Wyoming

People near ‘fracking’ wells report health woes. People living near natural-gas wells were more than twice as likely to report upper-respiratory and skin problems than those farther away, says a major study Wednesday on the potential health effects of fracking. USA Today

Fracking workers exposed to dangerous amounts of benzene, study says. Some workers at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene, a colorless gas that can cause cancer, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Los Angeles Times

Residents living nearer natural gas wells report more health symptoms, Yale study says. People who live closer to natural gas wells, including those that were drilled using “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, report more health symptoms than those who live farther away, according to a study reported today by Yale University researchers. Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio

Health and fracking – what are the risks? For people who live in close proximity to this country’s current oil and gas boom, are there health risks? It’s a question people are asking from Pennsylvania to North Dakota, from Colorado to Texas, as more communities find themselves in the midst of unprecedented energy development. Wyoming Public Media, Wyoming

Pennsylvania releases updated details on water contamination near drilling sites. Pennsylvania regulators found an array of contaminants in the roughly 240 private water supplies they said were damaged by oil and gas operations during the past seven years. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania

Unearthing drilling risks. A bill sponsored by State Rep. Greg Vitali (D., Delaware) provides for basic disclosure and study of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing and the chemicals used in the process. But its reasonable goals face stiff opposition in Harrisburg. The Corbett administration and too many legislators seem to fear inconveniencing the gas industry with taxes or regulation. Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania

Federal government should hold off on leasing public lands for fracking. The Bureau of Land Management should wait to approve additional fracking on federal lands as well until the environmental risks have been fully studied. San Jose Mercury News, California


Material Safety Data Sheet for Ammonia Solution, Strong; Mallinckrodt Baker (April 22, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Methanol; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 8, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ethanol, Absolute; Fisher Scientific (March 18, 2003)

Material Safety Data Sheet for 2-Propanol; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 16, 2009)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Butyl Alcohol, Normal; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 15, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Mercaptoacetic Acid; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Acetophenone; Mallinckrodt Baker (Februray 22, 2006)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Sodium Perborate; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ammonium Persulfate; Mallinckrodt Baker (January 11, 2008)

Material Safety Data Sheet for Hydrochloric Acid, 33 – 40%; Mallinckrodt Baker (November 21, 2008)

Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Glutaraldehyde (CAS NO. 111-30-8) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Inhalation Studies;National Toxicology Program (NTP), (TR-490. September 1999) NIH Publication No. 99-3980.



Anti Fracking Strategy Meeting 31 July

On 31 July 2014 an Anti Fracking Strategy Meeting was held at Geelong Trades Hall. 

About 25 people attended the venue on a very wet and cold night. A Powerpoint presentation was presented which introduced the proposal for Frack Free groups in the permit zone PEP163 to form an alliance.

The presentation suggested that seven dedicated groups be formed from volunteers; however those present felt there were insufficient numbers to accommodate what was being proposed. It was decided that as everyone present resided in the City of Greater Geelong that the following three groups be formed to address the immediate issue of having people make submissions to Council:

  • Submissions Committee
  • Public Meetings Committee
  • Media Committee

Each of these groups will be working towards maximising the amount of submissions presented to Council.

Urgent request
An article from Ross Mueller titled, “Clock’s ticking on fracking so let’s start talking now” appeared in Wednesday’s Geelong Advertiser, and it makes quite a few startling statements. We encourage you to not only read it, but to make a comment so as to add some importance of this topic to the Addy’s editor.

» See:


Audio postcard to councillors
We recommend you listen to an ‘Audio postcard from the future of fracking’ – an educational radio programme for councillors and others about the prospects of turning our farmland into industrial gasfields.


This 94.7 The Pulse programme was aired on Wednesday 30 July 2014.  In this ‘postcard’, the seven speakers depicted below are experts in their fields regarding fracking.  Good job Mik and Tony!

Anti-fracking petition
A few people at the meeting were wondering if they could obtain some petition forms for their workplace needs. 

» Here is a form that anyone can print out to collect signatures: Frack-ban_Petition

» Contact Alan Manson via email when you need to send the forms back and he’ll advise you.

» The online petition runs on:

Drew Hutton of ’Lock the Gate’ is on Australian Story
On Monday night, the story of Lock the Gate campaign founder, Drew Hutton, will be told on ABC’s Australian Story. Drew has been an inspiration to communities around the country. His extraordinary generosity, courage and vision have made Lock the Gate what they are today, but there has been a personal cost.

Submissions info
Below are some links to help you appreciate what we as the Geelong community are up against regarding fracking.  These links will help you to consider what you need to put into your submission to Council. The meeting on 31 July was informed that people DO NOT need to be a resident of Geelong to make a submission to Council.

1) If you’d like to know how the “gas people” think:
» What the gas industry is saying:

» RFC Ambrian’s Australian Unconventional Oil and Gas report from 2013: (PDF)

2) The map:
» Close-ups of the border areas in Geelong

» Overview

» Older map where the borders are not quite accurate

(If you just want to send ONE link, then they can all be found on this page:

3) The petition:
PDF for printing on paper (which some people asked for)
The online version is found here:

4) Germany close to banning fracking:

5) Britain approves fracking after suspension (moratorium) lifted:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This was what the invitation to the meeting looked like

Anti Fracking Strategy Meeting 31 July

Following the fracking protest at Council Meeting last Tuesday, Frack Free Geelong is running a strategy day to plan for the next stages of their campaign. This meeting is open to anyone who would like to attend.

Purpose: To plan a strategy in which to educate the people in the City of Greater Geelong about the issues associated with fracking so that they can make a submission to Council during the allocated period.

The meeting will provide:

•  A very brief overview about fracking for those unfamiliar about it;

•  Briefly highlight the consequences of the impact fracking operations will have on the environment/community;

•  Provide a strategy as to how the community can oppose fracking using Non Violent Direct Actions that have worked successfully elsewhere;

•  Provide a timeline regarding the COGG’s submissions period – and beyond;

•  Discuss options about attracting media attention to fracking.


When: Thursday 31st July at 7:00pm

Where: Trades Hall, Auditorium – 127 Meyers Street Geelong

RSVP: Alan Manson –

What to bring:
Plenty of ideas about

  • How we can reach the broader Geelong community with fracking information
  • How to enlist new recruits into the campaign
  • How to raise money to run public meetings
  • How to raise media interest in the campaign

Invite your friends:

» Facebook event page:

» Read more about last Tuesday’s event at Council

Council resolved at their meeting on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 to commence a 30 day process to educate Council on the issue of ‘fracking’. Council will be seeking advise from relevant State government departments and agencies as well as experts in various fields. Council will also review any information provided by community groups and individuals.

This process will be followed by Council taking public submissions on the issue of coal seam gas mining, and in particular, the ‘fracking’ process for a period of one month commencing 24th August 2014.

The process outlined will provide opportunity for Council to consider its position regarding coal seam gas mining which can then be reflected in the Environmental Management Strategy.

Peak body of 79 Victorian councils opposes fracking

What this resolution basically says is that the State Council of Munical Association of Victoria – the legislated peak body for Victoria’s 79 councils – opposes any exploration for and extraction of fracking and gas mining within the state.

Now the big question to many of us is: where does that leave our council? Why hasn’t our mayor and councillors issued a similar resolution long ago?

We look forward to hear more about the information session which MAV is planning to run with councils and Minister.

Coal Seam Gas

The State Council of MAV to oppose any exploration for and extraction of Coal Seam Gas within the State.

Contact officer:
Claire Dunn

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1) Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their communities
Unclear although, as noted in rationale for resolution, potentially very significant environmental impacts if State approves exploration and extraction activities.

(2) Number of councils affected by the issue
Eastern Vic (Gippsland) and Western Vic councils likely to be most affected.

(3) Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation
Potentially significant depending on State’s ultimate decision re allowing exploration.

(4) Immediacy of the issue
On 28 May, the Victorian Coalition Government announced its decision to put a hold on work plan approvals for onshore gas exploration until more information is available including evidence from the water study, community views, and industry impacts. The State is holding a number of “Open Days” in Gippsland and Western Vic in June as part of its community and stakeholder engagement program. The Minister also met with the MAV in April for preliminary discussions re the community consultation program and councils’ concerns.

(5) Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour
The Minister is keen to engage with the MAV and councils on this issue and has signalled his desire to speak to councils directly at a MAV-held forum.

Additional comments:

Recommended action(s):
Seek a meeting with the Minister for Energy and Resources to advise him of the State Council resolution and to get an update from him on the outcomes of the June Open Days. MAV to run an information session with councils and Minister.

At a State Council meeting of the Municipality Association of Victoria on 16 May 2014, 74 per cent voted in favour of a motion calling for a ban on fracking.

This means that the State Council of the Municipality Association of Victoria now officially opposes any exploration for and extraction of unconventional gas within the state of Victoria.

“We are pleased and encouraged that the motion put forward by Moyne Shire Council to oppose unconventional gas mining in Victoria has been passed. It is an indicator that local councils are listening and responding to the myriad concerns of their residents regarding this practice. We also hope this will decision will put additional pressure on the State Government to maintain the current moratorium on unconventional gas mining indefinitely,” said Frack Free Geelong spokesperson Elizabeth Packatt.

The motion will help build pressure on the state government to extend its current moratorium on the process of fracking to include all exploration activity.

Thanks to Moyne Shire for its leadership!

Motion 42. Coal Seam Gas

Submitting Council: Moyne Shire Council

That Moyne Shire Council seeks the support of the State Council of MAV to oppose any exploration for and extraction of Coal Seam Gas within the State.

Submitting Council Rationale:

a) Strong community support to take a position in opposition to Coal Seam Gas activities in South West Victoria.

b) Evidence from Coal Seam Gas Fields in Queensland and long established fields in the United States shows significant impaction on aquifer viability and agricultural production.

NOTE – Coal Seam Gas includes coal seam gas, shale deposits and light gas which utilize fracking, horizontal drilling and deep drilling methods.

Let government understand we want fracking banned: Come to Torquay today!

Today: Torquay Bowls Club, The Esplanade in Torquay
– come anytime between 2pm and 8pm.

Natural Gas Community Information Open Days

Just pop in to have your say!

The more people that take part in this, the more impact it has.

• Come at 6:30pm to have your photo taken with your community! •

» More information on

Transition South Barwon wrote:

Govt. gas mining “Community Information Open Day” Thurs 19 June 2014


This event is part of the State Govenrment’s push for acceptance of “onshore natural gas” (i.e.. conventional and unconventional gas).

Date: Thursday 19 June 2014

Time: 2pm-8pm

VenueTorquay Bowls Club, The Esplanade, Torquay

This event seems to have been very poorly promoted by the govenrment, but it is critical that there is strong community participation.

It looks like this is the only event for this region.

Remember that the PEP163 exploration area also covers part of Grovedale and Waurn Ponds and that the permit owners “Lakes Oil” directors include Ian Plimer – an active climate change denialist and partly onwed by Gina Reinhart. Their website states “Lakes Oil is not involved in Coal Seam Gas. We do not intend to be involved in Coal Seam Gas.” – They are targetting ways to get around the State ban on tracking as this pro-gas article shows.

If you don’t know what this might mean for our region then this simple Google image search will give you an idea.

Community opposition has already slowed and stopped a number of these projects. Now it’s our time to act. Get informed, turn up and ask the hard questions.. does it mean drilling through water aquifers… can you gain access to my property without my permission … has there been contamination to rivers in other States … etc.

I hope you can make it …

See also:

Transition South Barwon

Frack Free Moriac wrote:


Frack Free Geelong, Grovedale, Bellarine, Surf Coast & Moriac

Mayor of Geelong confirms his opposition to fracking

At the ordinary meeting of the Council of the City of Greater Geelong, the mayor and two councillors stated that they personally oppose fracking. Cr Andy Richards said the question would be addressed in the Environmental Management Strategy document when it comes back to Council in June/July. The report being presented to council at this time will be available through Council’s website on the Friday prior to the meeting, allowing sufficient time to prepare further questions to Councillors.

“If other councils have already made their stand against fracking, then why can’t Geelong Council do the same?”
Alan Manson


Fracking forgotten

Letter to the Editor by Alan Manson
Published in Geelong Independent on 23 May 2014

Last week’s Geelong Council meeting created concerns among several attendees when a lack of policy regarding Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining was revealed.

Council’s Sustainability and Environment portfolio holder Cr Andy Richards revealed that although fracking was not mentioned in their Draft Environment Management Strategy 2013-2017, he stated that since its release, “a number of people had highlighted this oversight since submissions closed” last February.

Considering the Petroleum Exploration Permit PEP163 was issued in 2002, it is concerning that Council has preferred to remain uninformed about the dangers of CSG mining over the past 12 years while exploration wells have been drilled throughout Victoria.

To his credit, and without prompting, Cr. Irvine indicated he was well aware of the dangers CSG posed to the community, and that he would oppose it in Council.

While Cr. Richards and Mayor Lyons indicated they were personally against CSG mining, there was no indication they were committed to maintaining this position.

It is feared that once the drilling rigs begin to arrive in the Geelong region sometime next year to commence fracking, it will happen without any prior warning and will be too late to stop because the community and the council have failed to become informed about the threat CSG poses to their welfare.

The time for research, debate and a positional statement is required NOW councillors! If other councils have already made their stand against fracking, then why can’t Geelong Council do the same?

Alan Manson

Alan and Lyn Manson who live in Grovedale are starting up Frack Free Grovedale as a sub-group of Frack Free Geelong – with the intention to inform residents in the suburb of Grovedale about the effects of unconventional gas mining and how their properties could be under threat from such mining activities because the PEP163 permit includes Grovedale.

For more information about this initiative, Alan Manson can be contacted via email on

Left out some key facts

In a note on Facebook, Councillor Andy Richard posted the following response to Alan Manson’s Letter to the Editor:

Hi Frack Free Geelong, having been a political activist for several years, I admire your commitment to getting the fracking issue on the local political agenda. However, in your report you have left out some key facts.

Firstly, your report omits the fact that the issue of council’s position on fracking came to light during the public submissions period for council’s Environmental Management Strategy earlier this year, along with several other environment and sustainability issues. My colleagues on Surf Coast shire raised it with me earlier this year, so effectively as a political issue it has only been on council’s agenda to deal with in the last four months. As a result, council officers decided to conduct further work on the EMS and that work is continuing.

Secondly, your story omits the answer I gave you in the council chamber on the night in question, which is that when the EMS comes back to the chamber for sign off later this year, that is when we will deal with fracking. As I said to you on the night, that is likely to be by the end of July, and possibly earlier. That is still the case. Given that the council is dealing with it’s second directly elected mayor in eighteen months and the fact that we are the biggest council in Victoria, this is an adequate time frame.

Thirdly, I am uncertain as to what the point of your statement that “there is no indication that Cr Richards will remain opposed to fracking.” Under the logic you have applied here, do I have to get up in Council each week and restate a position on fracking? I don’t think so. In public statements I make in the chamber, I do my best not to mislead the public as the tends to destroy the public’s trust in you (as the Prime Minister is currently finding out).

Finally, if your ask is that council establish a position on fracking in a timely fashion within the next three months, then that is what you are getting. Of course, it is up to other councillors as to what they think about fracking. Maybe you should ask them…

Question to the mayor about fracking

Transcript of Mik Aidt’s question to the Mayor of Geelong Cr Darryn Lyons at the ordinary council meeting on 13 May 2014:

“My name is Mik Aidt and I run a weekly radio program about sustainability on our local community radio, called ‘The Sustainable Hour’ on 94.7 The Pulse.

I am also a father to three small children – and the way I see it, they are actually the reason I am here tonight, and asking a question – which I am going to direct to you, the Mayor – it is because I am worried as a father.

I think, when trying to be a responsible parent, we have some problems in our society at the moment, and the biggest one of them is that I think we should listen to what science is telling us – they are almost screaming it at us at the moment: that we have to stop burning fossil fuels.

We have to stop filling the air with our tonnes and tonnes of carbon.

It’s time to switch over to solar, to wind, to hydro power instead, and the good news is that there are so many – many many! – good reasons to start doing that, economically, health-wise, and so on. The list is long.

But, what keeps me worried is that, even so, it is not really happening. Not at the rate and at the scale which the scientists are advicing us we should be doing this.

Before I get to my question, I’d just like to recommend and congratulate everyone here in the Council for what you were doing this weekend, for your support to the ‘M~M 2014’ event that we saw in the weekend which I think was one of the most extraordinary experiences, personally, that I’ve had in the time that I have lived here in Geelong, and thanks to you, it was lifted up to that level as it was. That was fantastic. It was beautiful. I am personally grateful for that.

At the same time, that Mountain to Mouth walk was all about – as I understood it – to connect to this land that we live on – and that’s what my question is about: It’s about our connection to the land that we live on.

Especially when it comes to this question gas mining, fracking, as it is called – unconventional gas mining.

At the moment it looks like that fracking operations is something that could begin in our region from next year, when the state moratorium on fracking that we have at the moment is going to run out.

And whether or not it will be extended – that is not a discussion I am going to go into. Certainly the moratorium will eventually run out.

Investing in gas mining in our area is not only locking us into polluting the air with more carbon, which is the wrong thing to do – we know that! – instead of going over to solar, wind and hydro, and so on, as our main sources for electricity – it is also a very destructive industry that pumps toxic chemicals deep down in the ground and leaves us with lakes of poisonous water that we can’t get rid of.

The negative effects on our health, on our environment and the climate are all very well documented by now, and I assume you are also well aware of that.

So the only reason that fracking is taking place and happening, especially in Queensland, but also now coming to Victoria, and maybe even to our region, is that there are some people out there who are making a lot of money on this, while we, the rate payers, are left with all the bills to pay and the destruction of our land.

So the question that I’d like to ask you, our mayor, Darryn Lyons, is because at the time when you were running for mayor, during the election, we put out a questionnaire for our radio program, asking sustainability questions to all the 16 candidates, and at the time you replied that you oppose unconventional gas mining and fracking.

At that time, I was pleased to hear that, but now we have seen you work as a mayor for half a year, and I haven’t heard a single word about fracking coming from your mouth since then, while we see other councils – Moyne Shire Council, Surf Coast Shire Council – making a clear stand, calling for a ban on fracking. So my question to you is:

Are you still against unconventional gas mining and fracking in our region, and if you are, what action are you planning in regard to the drilling licence to Lakes Oil under the Exploration Permit 163?

And if you have changed your mind since these days when you were in your election campaign, if you have decided no longer to be against fracking, then I would ask you to kindly provide us with what new data you have found reassuring in regards to health and safety.”

Mayor Cr Darryn Lyons:
“Well, first of all, I haven’t been asked the question. That is why I haven’t spoken about it. But my original personal view – not the view of the Council’s – is exactly the same as it was. But I would like to hand over to Cr Richards, who has asked to comment on this question as well.”

Cr Andy Richards then told that he doesn’t support fracking either, and a few minutes later Cr John Irvine stepped in, sounding somewhat upset about it. “I’m VERY opposed to fracking,” he stated and explained that he had recently seen a documentary about the issues.

No united stand on the issue
However, it also came clear that the council has not yet had a discussion or a vote about its position on fracking.

Cr Andy Richards told that his own family comes from Queensland, and he is well aware of the health impacts that fracking is having there. He promised that the issue “will be dealt with properly” in the council in the coming months.

Council’s position on fracking will be addressed in the Environmental Management Strategy which is undergoing considerable redevelopment and which will come before Council in late June, early July 2014.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014 – Held at the Council Conference and Reception Centre City Hall, Little Malop Street, Geelong, commencing at 7.00p.m.

» Download or open the full document here:  Minutes (PDF)


Mik Aidt directed his question to the Mayor:

It looks like fracking operations could begin in our region from next year, when the state moratorium on fracking runs out. You stated during the mayoral election period that you oppose unconventional gas mining and fracking. At the time, I was happy to hear that, but I wonder why we don’t hear anything from you on this topic. So I’d like to ask you: If you still are against unconventional gas mining and fracking in our region, what action you are planning regarding the drilling licences in the region to Lakes Oil under the Exploration Permit 163? If you have changed your mind since the days of your election campaign and no longer are against fracking, then would you kindly provide us with the new data that you have found reassuring with regards to health and safety to date?

The Mayor responded that he hasn’t been asked the question, but his original personal view remains unchanged.
Cr Richards added throughout his time he also hasn’t been asked the question. Comments regarding fracking were received through the exhibition process of the Environmental Management Strategy, which is due to be presented back to Council June or early July and will consider this matter.

Alan Manson directed his question to Cr Richards:

1) What discussion has the City of Greater Geelong had to date in relation to fracking and the possible effects PEP 163 might have within the municipality?
2) Would Council consider joining Moyne and other Councils in opposing fracking from being permitted within its municipality? If so, could you please explain how Council might engage in this.

The Mayor left the meeting room at 7.50pm

Cr Richards responded fracking would be addressed within the Environmental Management Strategy due back to Council June or early July.

The Mayor re-entered the meeting room at 7.52pm

Lyn Manson also directed her questions to Cr Richards:

1) I would like to know what understanding you have about the environmental dangers that come with this form of mining, and in particular the damage it would have on our community aquifer, the air quality and the drinking water?
2) I would like you to explain your reasons why you support or oppose unconventional coal seam gas mining?

Cr Richards reiterated the questions would be addressed in the Environmental Management Strategy document when it comes back to Council in June/July. The report being presented to Council at this time will be available through Council’s website on the Friday prior to the meeting, allowing sufficient time to prepare further questions to Councillors.
Cr Richards added he personally opposes fracking.

Dryden – the small town that changed the fracking game

Inspirational 10-minute video – important for all citizens in farmlands, villages and cities of the world. Watch it. Share it.

As this video shows, there are other ways to move forward than through politicians and the media – and they start in our own street, in our own neighbourhood – they start with ourselves, our families and our neighbours.

The story which is being told in this video from the United States is similarly taking place in hundreds of other cities and residential areas in Australia. This is something that takes place wherever the fracking industry pushes forward – and there are many examples of successful results: It IS actually possible to keep the gas industry out of the way, to put a lock on the gate and say: NOT HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

But it is a waste of time and energy to start knocking media and politicians on the doors. The way things work these days, we must – and we are indeed able to – for a moment completely to let the media and the politicians out of the picture.

They do not understand what’s going on or what is at stake – and they are too busy with their self-indulgent navel-gazing and short-term economic prospects to take an interest in what the consequences are. They’ll wake up eventually, but only when you and I, the concerned citizens, have managed to create the change and the popular movement that is needed.

So instead, work from ground up: with Facebook, emailing, letterboxing and meetings, go door to door and talk with your neighbours. It starts there.

You might, for example, knock at your closest neighbour’s door today and invite her/him/them over to take look at this video. It takes just 10 minutes – and then you are engaged and moving forward with this. The journey has begun, and it won’t stop until we have a permanent ban on fracking in our region.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lee Ziesche, Gasland Grassroots Coordinator, wrote:

“It’s rare you watch a video and think “wow that’s what democracy looks like” but that’s what I thought when I saw this Earthjustice video. And it’s exactly why we want to share it with you today, as our video of the week.

Watch Our Video of the Week: Dryden – The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game

Through good old fashioned organizing like neighbor talking to neighbor, and a great legal team in Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the citizen’s of Dryden were able to take democracy back and ban fracking.

I was a field organizer on the 2012 Obama Campaign, and while I’m often deeply upset about the administration’s view on fracking, I’m still grateful I was apart of the campaign because I learned a powerful lesson that has guided my work ever since. And it came straight from the President himself.

On a nationwide staff call leading up to Election Day Barack President said, “I still believe that neighbor talking to neighbor is worth more than any amount of corporate spending. “

That sentence sums everything I believe about the anti-fracking movement.

The citizens of Dryden have proven the President’s words to be true. Dozens of other communities across the world, who have passed bans or moratoria, have proven his words to be true. And even those who couldn’t keep fracking out, but now know new neighbors or have become activist for the first time are proving his words to be true.

The industry wants people to feel isolated, like they have no choice but to sign a lease. They want to fracture communities and stay in control.

But if we get organized and talk to our neighbors, we can build something they can’t buy.

I hope this video inspires you as much as it did me to keep up the fight. We are truly building something worth more than any corporation’s yearly profits.

Please watch and share tour video of the week with your community.

What you’re doing is democracy at work.

Thanks and have a great weekend,

Lee Ziesche, Gasland Grassroots Coordinator”