Category Archives: Meetings

Public hearings into onshore unconventional gas

The Victorian state inquiry into unconventional gas in full swing. Gippsland and Melbourne hearings took place in July, and a hearing in Western Victoria – Torquay – took place on 12-13 August 2015.

Below are the transcripts which have been provided by


Tuesday 15 September 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
12.00 noon Energy Users Association of Australia pdfEnergy Users Association of Australia(PDF 291.27 KB)
12.35 pm Environment Protection Authority pdfEnvironment Protection Authority Victoria(PDF 6.14 MB)

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
7.00 pm Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 49.44 KB) pdfPlastics and Chemicals Industries Association(PDF 948.95 KB)
7.30 pm CSR Limited  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 38.4 KB) pdfCSR Limited(PDF 139.78 KB)


Tuesday 1 September 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
12.00 noon Department of Health and Human Services  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 67.91 KB)

pdfPresentation(PDF 82.25 KB)

pdfAnswers to QON(PDF 100.1 KB)

pdfGovernment of Victoria(PDF 4.52 MB)


12.50 pm Doctors for the Environment Australia  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 30.61 KB)

pdfHandout(PDF 768.09 KB)

 pdfDoctors for Environment Australia(PDF 580.83 KB)

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
12.00 noon Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

 pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 103.64 KB)

pdfPresentation(PDF 724.56 KB)

 pdfGovernment of Victoria(PDF 4.52 MB)


Wednesday 12 August 2015 – Regional Hearing

Surf Coast Shire Council, 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
12.00 noon Surf Coast Shire Council

Greater Geelong City Council

Colac Otway Shire Council

pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 59.11 KB)

pdfSurf Coast Shire Presentation.pdf(PDF 2.07 MB)

pdfAnswers to QON(PDF 754.54 KB)

pdfCity of Greater Geelong(PDF 601.66 KB)

pdfColac Otway Shire(PDF 292.12 KB)

1.30 pm Barwon Water  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 44.64 KB)

pdfHandout(PDF 504 KB)

pdfBarwon Region Water Corporation(PDF 290.2 KB)
2.15 pm Frack Free Moriac  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 40.37 KB)
3.00 pm Mike Forrester  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 41.72 KB) pdfBarwon Paediatricans(PDF 500.07 KB)
3.45 pm G21 Agribusiness

Otway Harvest Trail

 pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 40.84 KB)

pdfG21 Agribusiness Handout(PDF 274.03 KB)

4.15 pm Comments from the Floor pdfIan Clarke(PDF 12.96 KB)

pdfWendy Klason(PDF 11.04 KB)

pdfDarren Noyes-Brown(PDF 10.42 KB)

pdfAlan Manson(PDF 8.98 KB)

pdfSuzanne Yandle(PDF 10.43 KB)

pdfChris Johnson(PDF 9.28 KB)

pdfKristin Bitmead(PDF 10.62 KB) 



Thursday 13 August 2015 – Regional Hearing

Surf Coast Shire Council, 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
9.00 am 3228 Residents Association  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 42.4 KB)
9.45 am Friends Of The Earth  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 68.02 KB)


pdfFriends of the Earth(PDF 373.1 KB)

pdfAttachment 1(PDF 113.74 KB)

10.45 am Professor Samantha Hepburn, Deakin University pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 76.68 KB)  pdfSamantha Hepburn(PDF 855.26 KB)
11.30 am Michael Blackam, Coffey  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 60.25 KB)

pdfPresentation(PDF 1.31 MB)

pdfMichael Blackam(PDF 1.89 MB)
12.45 pm Dr George Carman  pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 66.14 KB)

pdfPresentation.pdf(PDF 266.41 KB)

pdfDr. George Carman(PDF 178.79 KB)
 1.15 pm Frack Free Geelong
Gasfield Free Torquay
pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 31.01 KB)  pdfFrack Free Geelong(PDF 4.27 MB)
 2.00 pm Wurdale Landcare Group pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 37.38 KB) pdfWurdale Landcare Group(PDF 27.96 KB)
 2.30 pm Environmental Justice Australia pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 49.84 KB)

pdfHandout 1(PDF 502.95 KB)

pdfHandout 2(PDF 359.99 KB)

pdfEnvironmental Justice Australia(PDF 2.8 MB)


Wednesday 5 August 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
7.30 pm Environment Victoria
Dr Nick Aberle, Safe Climate Campaign Manager
Anne Martinelli, One Million Homes Energy Efficiency Campaigner
 pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 58.77 KB) pdfEnvironment Victoria(PDF 538.08 KB)
8.15 pm Grattan Institute
Tony Wood, Energy Program Director
David Blowers, Energy Fellow
 pdfCorrected Transcript(PDF 82.06 KB)  pdfGrattan Institute(PDF 10.59 MB)

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Hearing in Parliament House

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
10.00 am Mr Tim Forcey, Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne pdfTranscript(PDF 86.94 KB)

pdfPresentation(PDF 1003.12 KB)

pdfUniversity of Melbourne Energy Institute(PDF 436.3 KB)
10.45 am Professor Peter Cook pdfTranscript(PDF 71.89 KB) pdfAustralian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering(PDF 263.44 KB)

pdfAppendix 1(PDF 9.09 MB)

11.30 am Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning pdfTranscript(PDF 66.74 KB)

pdfPresentation(PDF 1.65 MB)

12.30 pm Victorian Farmers Federation pdfTranscript(PDF 65.63 KB) pdfVictorian Farmers Federation(PDF 1.55 MB)
1.15 pm Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) pdfTranscript(PDF 91.45 KB) pdfAPPEA(PDF 1.88 MB)
2.00 pm Dr Matthew Currell, RMIT University, Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering pdfTranscript(PDF 64.47 KB)

pdfPresentation (PDF 2 MB)

pdfMatthew Currell (PDF 197.98 KB)
2.45 pm Minerals Council of Australia pdfTranscript(PDF 328.4 KB) pdfMinerals Council of Australia(PDF 5.99 MB)



Wednesday 1 July 2015

Gippsland Regional Sports Complex (GRSC), 116 Cobains Road, Sale

Time Witness Transcript Written submission
9.00 am Dr Jo McCubbin pdfCorrected Transcript47.23 KB

pdfPresentation(PDF 9.5 MB)

9.45 am Dairy Australia pdfCorrected Transcript44.38 KB
10.45 am Lakes Oil pdfCorrected Transcript101.60 KB

pdfPresentation(PDF 3.21 MB)

pdfLakes Oil(PDF 1.51 MB)
11.30 am Ignite Energy Resources pdfCorrected Transcript46.52 KB

pdfPresentation(PDF 891.11 KB)



Tuesday 30 June 2015 – Regional Hearing

Gippsland Regional Sports Complex (GRSC), 116 Cobains Road, Sale, Victoria

Time Witness Transcript
12.00 noon Wellington Shire
South Gippsland Shire
Baw Baw Shire
LaTrobe Shire
Bass Coast Shire
pdfCorrected Transcript72.64 KB  

pdfBass Coast Shire Council(PDF 88.32 KB)

1.30 pm Alex Arbuthnot pdfCorrected Transcript48.50 KB pdfAlexander Arbuthnot(PDF 183.78 KB)
2.15 pm Lock the Gate pdfCorrected Transcript52.07 KB pdfLock the Gate(PDF 1.97 MB)
3.15 pm Ross Scott pdfCorrected Transcript51.62 KB
4.00 pm Committee for Gippsland pdfCorrected Transcript38.28 KB
4.45 pm Comments from the Floor pdfCorrected Transcript64.29 KB



Transcripts source

The transcripts above are all provided by


Final report

The the final report on 1 Dececember 2015. So there is still a few very vital weeks to keep the pressure on the committee and government.

» Here is a list of things you still can do:

An article published in The Australian on 12 August 2015 under the headline ‘MPs to cede to gas ban activists’, and with the subtitle: ‘A deluge of “Lock the Gate”-style anti-exploration submissions to a parliamentary committee ­appear to have crushed the chances of Victoria establishing its own onshore gas industry in the short term.’ …would indicate that we are on the right track towards a total ban.

» Transcripts from the first hearings can be found here:


Thank you so much to all of you that put in submissions to the inquiry commission. They received a total of 1,600 submissions, most of which can be read on the website here:

For instance:

» City of Greater Geelong (PDF 601.66 KB)

» Colac Otway Shire (PDF 292.12 KB)

» Frack Free Geelong (PDF 4.27 MB)

» Geelong Sustainability Group (PDF 802.98 KB)

» Doctors for Environment Australia (PDF 580.83 KB)

» Barwon Paediatricans (PDF 500.07 KB)

» Environment Victoria (PDF 538.08 KB)

» Friends of the Earth (PDF 373.1 KB)

» Lock the Gate (PDF 1.97 MB)

» University of Melbourne Energy Institute (PDF 436.3 KB)

» Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

» Matthew Currell (PDF 197.98 KB)
Dr Matthew Currell, RMIT University, Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering, spoke at the hearing in Melbourne on 22 July 2015.

» Climate Change Our Future (PDF 517.08 KB)

» Barwon Region Water Corporation (PDF 290.2 KB)
Barwon Water supplies drinking water to a permanent population of 285,000 people – 20 percent of Victoria’s regional population – across an 8,100 square kilometre service area. However, their submission is disappointingly weak.

» Surf Coast Air Action Inc (PDF 393.87 KB)

» Andrew Laird (PDF 314.96 KB)

» VFF – Victorian Farmers Federation (PDF 1.55 MB)

» Queenscliffe Community Association (PDF 465.87 KB)

» Lakes Oil (PDF 1.51 MB)

» APPEA (PDF 1.88 MB)

» Minerals Council of Australia (PDF 5.99 MB)

The Parliamentary Inquiry into Unconventional Gas in Victoria is holding a public hearing on 22 July at Parliament House in Melbourne.  See below for details.

If you care to attend, your presence would help our numbers impact the hearing.

Media release from

Public hearing into unconventional gas

On Wednesday 22 July, a Victorian parliamentary committee is holding a public hearing in Melbourne in relation to the inquiry into unconventional gas in Victoria. The Committee is examining the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of onshore unconventional gas development.

Chair of the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee, Hon David Davis, said “the inquiry is an opportunity for Victorian communities to have input into the Committee’s terms of reference”.

“The Committee has received many submissions to date from individuals, organisations and governments.

“The Committee has previously held two days of hearings and will continue to seek community input as the inquiry progresses. This hearing in Melbourne will be an opportunity for the Committee to receive evidence from expert witnesses and peak bodies.”

WHAT: Public hearing into onshore unconventional gas

WHEN: Wednesday, 22 July 2015 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

WHERE: Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament House, Melbourne

WHO: Environment and Planning Committee will conduct the hearing with the following schedule:

10:00 am   Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne

10:45 am   Prof Peter Cook

11:30 am   Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning

12:30 pm   Victorian Farmers Federation

1:15 pm   Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)

2:00 pm   Dr Matthew Currell, RMIT University, Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering

2:45 pm   Minerals Council of Australia

Further details can be found on the Committee’s website:

Enquiries: Keir Delaney, Secretary, Environment and Planning Committee – 03 8682 2816

Issued: 16 July 2015

» Source: Parliament of Victoria

Three public meetings about onshore gas extraction

Information nights at Manifold Heights Baptist Church in Geelong and at Surf World on Beach Road in Torquay on Thursday 18 September at 7:00pm, and a ‘Town Declaration Day’ in Moriac on Sunday 14 September at 2pm

» Read more about the meetings on Thursday in Frack Free Geelong’s newsletter



Topic: Onshore gas extraction in City of Greater Geelong
Chair: Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat
Time: Thursday 18 September 2014 at 7:00–9:00pm
Place: Manifold Heights Baptist Church (Corner Shannon Avenue and Volum Street, Geelong).
Admission: Free

Geelong Council seeks public submissions regarding onshore gas extraction methods with a deadline on 26 September. Taking a stand on this should not be about party politics. This is about our common future and what we would like it to be. It is important that citizens voice their concerns in this matter.

Come and ask questions to a panel of independent authorities about onshore gas mining’s impact on health, jobs, economy, environment, climate and ethics.

• Dr Merryn Redenbach, Doctors for the Environment Australia
• Dr Rye Senjen, senior researcher with the National Toxics Network
Ben Courtice, Yes2Renewables and Beyond Zero Emissions

Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat

We will be watching a short film which focuses on why communities in Gippsland are opposing onshore gas extraction – also known as coal seam gas extraction, CSG mining or ‘fracking’.

Initially, Geelong Council provided only three links on their submission page which are in favour of gas mining. We contacted Council and criticised this unbalance, and the page has since been updated with three more links to organisations which are independent of the gas mining industry.

If you would like to become acquainted with views independent of the industry, we suggest you look below on this page where we have posted various Gas Fact Sheets with information from Doctors for the Environment, Beyond Zero Emissions, Australia Institute, and The Climate Institute, and more.

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

About the speakers

merryn_redenbach200Dr Merryn Redenbach is an advanced trainee in Community Child Health with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She currently works for Doctors for the Environment Australia as Research and Liaison Officer on the impacts of fossil fuels on health. Her recent medical work includes child protection, child, adolescent, infant and maternal mental health, and she also has research experience in the impact of air pollution on child health.

rye-portrait200Dr Rye Senjen is a senior researcher with the National Toxics Network and also works with a number of international NGOs. She is internationally known for her work on nanotechnology and has also written on coal seam gas, bisphenol-A, sustainable hospital flooring and the hazards of biochar. She teaches business ethics and sustainability at the graduate and post graduate level.
» For National Toxics Network’s briefings on coal seam gas, see:

Ben-Courtice200Ben Courtice writes for and has worked as a staff writer for Beyond Zero Emissions – a Melbourne-based climate solutions and renewable energy think tank. He is secretary of the Moorabool Environment Group who engaged with Moorabool Council on supporting a moratorium on new coal and coal seam gas in the council. The Council finally addressed this issue at a council meeting in May 2013.

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

Print this flyer in A4-size: Click on image to open PDF in high resolution
Print this flyer in A4-size: Click on image to open PDF in high resolution

» The event is listed in Council’s event calendar on:


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

Submit your personal advice or comment to the Council of City of Greater Geelong

Have Your Say – Fracking

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

News and updates from City of Greater Geelong

Council undertaking comprehensive fact-finding process on coal seam gas extraction methods
28 August 2014

Onshore Gas Extraction Public Submissions
21 August 2014

Fracking fact finding
7 August 2014

• Links to gas fact sheets published by:
        Doctors for the Environment
        Beyond Zero Emissions
        Australia Institute
        The Climate Institute
        Concerned Health Professionals of New York


‘Town Declaration Day’ in Moriac

The organisers have had confirmation that all candidates for South Barwon will attend: Andrew Katos, Andy Richard, and Lisa Ashdowne. Also federal members of parliament Sarah Henderson and Richard Di Natale will be coming. And Lloyd Davies, candidate for Western Victoria. Surf Coast Mayor Rose Hodge and councillors will be attending as well.

No sitting MP has ever attended a declaration day, and to get all of the candidates in one room is outstanding. Numbers matter in politics. So, come and show the politicians that you care about this, and that you want them to place a permanent ban on fracking.

We need a huge crowd to support the anti-fracking cause. so if you could pass on the details to your friends and followers this morning it would be greatly appreciated.

» Facebook event page:

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.

Fracking dangers highlighted at council meeting

There was a very loud applause from the audience of 150 concerned Geelong citizens who attended the council meeting on Tuesday evening 22 July 2014 whenever a question had been asked to the Geelong councillors about whether the invasive gas mining and fracking industry will be allowed to begin its toxic industrialisation in areas of City of Greater Geelong and about the council’s community consultation procedures.


“This is not about protesting. This is about advocating for plain common sense. Why should we turn Geelong region into an invasive gasfield industrial zone when we have clean, renewable energy sources that make a lot more common sense in every aspect – economically, environmentally and climate-wise?,” said Mik Aidt, a Geelong resident, father of three children aged between five and nine years, and – in particular for that reason – a founding member of Frack Free Geelong.

Council resolved at the meeting on to commence a 30 day process to educate Council on the issue of ‘fracking’. Council’s general manager Gary van Driel explained in a letter sent to Frack Free Geelong on 28 July about the expectations and dates of the process:

“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.”

» Download photos in high resolution

Reports from the meeting

At the bottom of this page you will find the Geelong Advertisers report on what happened at the Geelong City Council’s meeting:

An excerpt:

“In bringing a notice of motion, Cr Andy Richards explained that as part of the council’s Environment Management strategy’s public consultation process it became apparent the city would have to deal with concerns surrounding the practice of Coal Seam Gas Extraction, or in particular the practice of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. He noted concerns included the impact on quality and quantity of the region’s water supply; the impact on health from toxic chemicals, and the impact of heavy vehicles on the community. He moved that the council take public submissions on Coal Seam Gas Extraction, particulary fracking, for one month, and a submission report be presented to the council. (…)

Cr Stretch Kontelj suggested the notice of motion be deferred but that was defeated on a show of hands.

Cr Kylie Fisher moved an amendment, arguing for a 30-day process to educate councillors in fracking be undertaken followed by taking public submissions for a month and that a submission report be presented to council as part of the environmental management strategy.

Cr Fisher said it was important that the city would be working through a process and taking public submissions.

Cr Nelson said he knew a little about fracking and it concerned him but that more time than 30 days was needed to understand the issue. The motion was passed with Cr Nelson voting against.”

» Geelong Advertiser – 24 July 2014:
Fracking – councillors to be educated

» More about the meeting

Strategy Meeting
Members of the Frack Free Geelong group decided today to call for an open anti-fracking strategy meeting on Thursday 31 July at 7pm at Trades Hall in the Auditorium, 127 Meyers Street.
» Read more

How will Geelong Council involve the community in its decision-making processes about fracking?

The following update as to what happened at the Geelong City Council’s meeting is written by Alan Manson from Frack Free Grovedale. It was sent via email to the members of Frack Free Geelong

At least 50 people supporting our cause arrived outside Council’s chambers prior to the meeting. There were two big groups in attendance that evening – the C300 Building Planning group and our Fracking group. It was standing room only. We had plenty of placards on parade, and because of this managed to educate the occasional C300 person about Fracking.

During Question Time, Ingrid Flood asked the following question:

I am aware that Council has been attending to the issue of ‘fracking’ in relation to it Environmental Management Strategy report that is yet to become available, and that fracking was to be included in the final version of the EMS.

I am also aware that Council indicated in its 8th July meeting it had changed its mind by saying the fracking report would no longer be included in the EMS but dealt with by Council in the first meeting to be held in August.

Since then, I also understand Council’s City Services General Manager (Garry Van Driel) has written to Lyn Manson stating that Council will shortly invite public submissions regarding the issue of gas fracking for a period of one month.

I read on page 166 of Council’s Agenda for tonight, Cr. Andy Richards is putting forward a motion that says:

“Council take public submissions regarding the issue of Coal Seam Gas Extraction and in particular fracking, for a period of one month commencing 23 July 2014.”

My concerns here are that the General Manager says Council will “shortly invite public submissions … for a period of one month” and that Cr. Richards is moving that the one month period commences tomorrow – the day after this meeting ends.

Don’t these statements oppose Council’s recently announced Community Engagement Policy that was approved by your CEO as recently as the 8th July?

In Council’s document CPL10.2 Community Engagement Policy, Council has agreed to implement the procedures and guidelines that are in accordance with the IAP2 standards, which includes Council’s commitment to INFORM, CONSULT, INVOLVE, COLLABORATE and EMPOWER the community in its decision-making processes.

In the issue of fracking and the statements referred to above, it is clear that the IAP2 procedures are being swept aside.

If Council is genuinely committed towards applying IAP2’s core values into the fracking issue, shouldn’t this mean that Council should commence establishing information for the public to become educated about fracking on its website, libraries and other public places prior to commencing the period in which submissions are to be received?

My question is directed to the Mayor.
Should the proposed Notice of Motion tonight be amended to read that “Council immediately implement its Community Engagement policy by establishing information throughout the Geelong region about fracking in accordance with IAP2 standards prior to implementing a 30 day period for submissions to be received.”

The CPL10.2 document Ingrid Flood referred to was pivotal, because it explains how Council should be conducting their investigations into Fracking by implementing the procedures they have previously agreed to last meeting.

If Council implemented this policy, this would mean that:

1. Council should put information that presents the pros and the cons of Fracking on their website;

2. Establish a display area about Fracking in each of its libraries;

3. Advertise the displays to the public in the media;

4. Advertise the opening and closing dates for submissions to be received;

5. Be accountable in their processing of the public’s submissions (e.g. the contents of each submission received should be posted on their website);

6. Be transparent in the manner they conduct any public consultations;

7. Hold a public meeting to allow public discussion regarding the content of the report the Councillors will be using to vote on, which should contain comments from Council officers together with comments from the submissions received.

Establishing such a process would then permit the Geelong community the opportunity to become fully educated on ‘unconventional gas’ mining and sufficiently informed to fully ‘engage with Council’ to determine a policy.

However, the Council meeting saw councillors adding an additional period of time to that suggested in the Notice of Motion. They increased it from 30 days commencing Wednesday (23rd July) during which time the Councillors will educate themselves on the pros and cons of CSG mining followed by a further 30 day period in which submissions will be received from the public.

Although some people within the Frack Free group considered this was a good outcome, the reality is that had Council applied its CPL10.2 Community Engagement Policy document as it should have, this would mean the onus would be on Council to undertake the community education process whereas now, the requirement falls back on a few in the community to find the mammoth resources needed to undertake the community education process, and to motivate the community to make a choice whether to put in a submission or not. Naturally, such a task is doomed to fail unless a miracle happens.

Also, it seems unfair that Council are in no way seeking to disclose if they will adopt any recognised procedure relating to:

What sources of information councillors will use relating to CSG mining? Could it be political party propaganda or possibly mining company literature? Who knows?

Would they accept and use information given to them from sources (say) Frack Free Geelong?

What process do they have in place regarding the processing of the submissions so that the community can feel that their voice has been responded to?


In view of the above irregularities in this process and especially that Council has effectively circumvented its own CPL10.2 Community Engagement Policy (thereby making it null and void) I believe everyone in Geelong should write to the councillors and require them to give their reasons why they voted to avoid using the CPL10.2 Community Engagement Policy document.

Public Meeting

At the Council meeting I handed out flyers (below) that omitted the date of the meeting. I did try to correct the error before people went into the meeting, but some may not have heard.

If you know of anyone who received a flyer, please advise them the meeting is next Thursday the 31st July.

Newspaper Article

Below is a copy of the newspaper article emailed to the media for publication.

Hope to see you next Thursday!!

Alan Manson
Frack Free Grovedale

Concerned residents wait outside Council’s chambers to voice their concerns about Fracking
Concerned residents wait outside Council’s chambers to voice their concerns about fracking

Council decision on fracking postponed to September

Councilors admit during debate on Coal Seam Gas mining (commonly known as Fracking) they have little knowledge about the subject and need time to do some research.

By Alan Manson

More than 50 people from the Geelong community attended last Tuesday’s Ordinary Council Meting to express their concerns regarding Council’s attitude towards the possibility of Fracking occurring in the region despite a moratorium being in place.
During question time, Armstrong Creek resident Dan Cowdell asked why Council can’t adopt the same position as the Surf Coast Council has; and Hamlyn Heights resident Fleur Brique explained how she and her family have experienced Fracking operations in Lismore NSW first hand and the disaster it had inflicted upon the entire region. She warned councilors that those in authority overseas who had approved Fracking operations were now being personally sued for damages, and were councilors aware of this.

Grovedale resident Ingrid Flood reminded Council that at their last meeting, they agreed to implement their CPL10.2 Community Engagement Policy (CEP) that incorporates the IAP2 standards that requires Council to “INFORM, CONSULT INVOLVE, COLLABORATE and EMPOWER the community in its decision-making processes”.

Council’s history with Fracking has been quite the opposite approach, as Fracking did not appear in their draft Environmental Management Strategy (EMS) document late last year, and it was only through the community’s responses received earlier this
year that Council chose to investigate the matter further.

Council initially announced it would include Fracking in the revised EMS; but then decided to separate the EMS report for debate in their first August meeting, which was a process that excluded any community participation. Last Tuesday’s meeting voted to allow a 30 day period for Councilors to gain their own understanding about the issues related to Fracking while allocating a further 30 day period to receive submissions from the public prior to them voting on it some time in September.

Despite interjections from the gallery they were ignoring their CEP obligations that made their handling of the Fracking issue a mockery, Council continued to vote the motion through.

Considering the devastating environmental, human health, groundwater contamination and road transport issues this industry has had on communities throughout many countries of the world, Council’s hypocritical approach to their Community Engagement Policy left those in the gallery ‘fracked-off’.

A public meeting for those interested in helping to educate the Geelong community about Fracking will be held in the Trades Hall Auditorium on Thursday 31st July at 7pm.

Alan Manson, Frack Free Grovedale

Protests at the Geelong Council meeting on Tuesday 22 July

Media release – 19 July 2014 

Community to unite against fracking

CALL FOR ACTION: Community Group Frack Free Geelong plans to make a strong statement to Council with a protest at the Council meeting on Tuesday 22nd of July.

A large group is expected to attend the Council meeting with signs, banners and placards.

Fracking poses many risks for Geelong’s environment and to the health and welfare of the broader community.

Unimpressed with Councils indecision on the issue of fracking to date Frack Free Geelong’s Lyn Manson says: “Now is the time for the Geelong community to voice its opposition to fracking.”

The councilors will be put on notice with many members of the group planning to ask questions during question time.

At the council meeting it is expected that a motion for community consultation on Coal Seam Gas will be passed, this will give the community 30 days to provide submissions on the issue.

It is hoped that Councilors will support the communities concern and lock the gate on Coal Seam Gas mining.

Frack Free Geelong will also encourage Council to follow in the footsteps of the Surf Coast Shire and produce a motion to the State Government supporting the extention of the moratorium on coal seam gas exploration and operations and requesting a comprehensive investigation into the likely effects of unconventional gas exploration and mining on public health, the environment, agriculture and food security, local communities and tourism.


Photo opportunity:
There will be a photo opportunity at the Council Meeting
Geelong City Hall, 22 July 2014 at 6:30pm



Facebook event

Council meeting agenda
Includes details of the Coal Seam Gas Motion


For comment, interviews and more information, please contact:
Alan Manson
» Tel:               (03) 5291 3235

» Email:
» Website:
» Facebook:

High resolution photos for download:




Frack Free Geelong are a community group concerned about the risk that coal, coal seam gas, tight gas and shale gas exploration will have on Geelong and the Surf Coast. The group currently consists of approximately 400 concerned citizens in the Geelong region.


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