Geelong says ‘No!’ to fracking

Content on this page:
The frackers are coming. Introduction
About the film evening on 10 September 2013
Audio recordings of the speakers on 10 September 2013
About the documentary ‘Fractured Country’
Take action! Start here
Videos and websites about fracking
Experts explain the dangers of fracking
Movement for a frack free Geelong region
And there is more…

See also:
Say no to fracking: Join the Frack Free Geelong movement

“The frackers are coming…” It sounds like a bad joke. But this is dead serious, outrageous, and a direct threat to you and your family.

Fracking is the fossil fuel industry’s desperate and toxic answer to the fact that the world is running out of crude oil. Hydro-fracking is the name for a technology used to extract gas from the ground — a method which is known to contaminate drinking water and wreck people’s health.

In the short term, the ‘frackers’ are a threat to us and our families’ health via our ground water. Numerous films have documented the frightening impacts of unconventional gas mining in the U.S., in Canada, and in Australia. The frackers’ toxic chemicals are finding their way into the meat of the animals we eat and the water we drink.

In the longer term, they are wrecking our environment: our rivers, lakes, wild life, and the climate.


Gina Rinehart is coming
Why you need to know more about this if you live in or near Geelong, is because the frackers – in this case: Lakes Oil, partly owned by Australian mining heiress Gina Rinehart – are coming to the region of Greater Geelong now.

This was why we organised this first video and discussion evening in Geelong – to inform about what is going on and to enable citizens of the region to understand what fracking is about, and why we need to take action against it even before they roll their drilling equipment in.

We showed two short Aussie documentary films, and a six-minute American trailer.

Greg Barber
Greg Barber

Greg Barber, Greens’ MP at the Victorian State Parliament, and Tim Gooden, Secretary at Trades Hall Geelong, who have both been public opponents of this toxic industry, addressed the audience of around 25 people.

In an inspiring discussion afterwards, we explored concrete ways in which we as a community can approach this challenge. Almost everyone in the room signed up to help start a campaign against fracking in our region, and a date was decided for a next planning meeting.

Geelong and Anglesea PEP 163
Why you need to understand what ‘fracking’ is: The fossil fuel industry will soon begin drilling for gas in Geelong Region.
Greg Barber
Greg Barber

[Almost the entire recording of Greg Barber’s speech was unfortunately lost because the recorder accidentally was pushed to the floor.]

Tim Gooden
Tim Gooden

Tim Gooden talked about the union’s stand in this matter, and how he could see them become part of a protest movement against fracking in the Geelong region.

Tim Gooden

Excerpt of the discussion at the end of the evening, around 8:45–9:00pm, where the short video ‘Campaign for Local Power’ was screened.

Flyer about the film evening

Screening of the documentaries
‘Gippsland is Precious’ (20 minutes)
‘Fractured Country: An Unconventional Invasion’ (38 minutes)
‘Campaign for Local Power’
• Address by Greg Barber, Greens’ MP at the Victorian State Parliament, who has been a public opponent of this toxic industry
• Address by Tim Gooden, Secretary at Trades Hall Geelong
• Discussion about ways in which we as a community can approach this challenge

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Greg Barber holds the Environment, Finance & Indigenous Affairs Portfolio, which includes Climate change, and Energy & Resources. Read more here:

icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Read more about fracking in Geelong here:

The film evening took place on Tuesday 10 September 2013 at Beav’s Bar, 77 Little Malop St, Geelong, 7pm–9pm. Entry was free.

The event was organised by Anthony Gleeson and Mik Aidt, two concerned citizens of Geelong, and two parents who are concerned about their children’s and grandchildren’s future.

Strong documentary about ‘fracking’ in Australia

The 38-minute documentary tells the powerful stories of Australians whose lives have been changed forever by the gas mining.

‘Fractured Country: An Unconventional Invasion’ was directed by filmmakers Brendan Shoebridge and David Lowe from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales.

The film is inspiring because it tells the courageous stories of everyday Australians who have decided to take a stand to protect the country they love.

In ‘Fractured Country’, the scale of the threat to Australia from invasive gas mining is clearly exposed – more than 54 percent of the country is at risk from exploration licences and applications.

Nothing is sacred and nowhere is safe from this industry – with fertile farmlands of the Darling Downs, natural icons like the Kimberley, and tourist meccas like the Scenic Rim all in the crosshairs of the gas companies.

The film provides shocking examples of the impacts that gas mining have on water resources, explaining the grave risk they pose to drinking water catchments, farm water supplies and the Great Artesian Basin.

Despite the devastating impacts depicted, the film ends on a high note – telling the stories of communities who have chosen to stand up to the mining giants and won.

On the film has been split up in six ‘webisodes’:

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 1

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 2

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 3

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 4 – food

‘Fractured Country’ webisode 5 – natural icons

» For more information, go to



Take action! Start here

If you live in a rural area you can:

• Lock your gate
• Show the film ‘Fractured Country’ to your neighbours, friends and family
• Organise a public screening of ‘Fractured Country’
• Form a community action group
• Survey your community using Lock the Gate’s guide
• Learn how to go Gas Field Free

If you live in an urban area you can:

• Show the film ‘Fractured Country’ to your neighbours, friends and family
• Organise a public screening of ‘Fractured Country’
• Form an action group in your suburb
• Put up a sign to support rural communities
• Speak to your local MP
• Donate to the Lock the Gate Alliance

stage1guide_cover200» Download the guide: Stage 1 Guide for mining free communities (PDF)


“The only way to counter money is with people.”
Quote from the film ‘Fractured Country’


Find more information and action-related inspiration at these sites

» — Lock the Gate Alliance is a national grassroots organisation made up of thousands of individuals and over 160 local groups who are concerned about inappropriate mining, unconventional gas, coal seam gas, shale gas, fracking, and fossil fuels in general.

» — all the tools needed to run a successful campaign.

» — Doctors for the Environment Australia is a voluntary organisation of medical doctors addressing the diseases caused by damage to the earth’s environment.

» — Climate and Health Alliance is an unprecedented collaboration of health workers concerned about the impact of fossil fuels and climate change on our health.

Videos and websites about fracking

‘Gippsland Is Precious – CSG documentary’. Published on on 9 May 2013.

“For over 100 years, Gippsland has been the beef and dairy heartland of Victoria, producing 23% of Australia’s milk as well as some of the best beef in the country. Farming is one of the biggest employers in the region, especially within the food manufacturing industry. Coal Seam Gas (CSG) threatens all of this. ‘Gippsland Is Precious’ explores what is at stake for the region, and what communities and individuals can do when they unite.”

‘Advance Australia – Lock the Gate!’. Published on on 12 August 2013.

“The first trailer of two forthcoming films from the Lock the Gate Alliance (Australia), ‘Undermining Australia: Coal vs Communities’ and ‘Fractured Country: an Unconventional Invasion’. These documentaries feature the personal stories of Australians whose lives have been changed forever by coal and gas mining. The films are directed by two Northern Rivers film makers.”

To see the effects fracking has had on Queensland, check out this Four Corners Report:

ABC – 1 April 2013:
Gas Leak!
“The coal seam gas industry promotes itself as a cleaner carbon-fuel alternative; but how do we know this is true? Until now much of the information used to back this claim has come from the industry itself.” By Matthew Carney and Connie Agius

“Let’s say goodbye to oil…”

Produced by the Post Carbon Institute. Published on on 28 August 2012.

Experts explain the dangers of fracking

Dr Helen Redmond from Doctors for the Environment talks about the impacts of coal-seam gas water contaminants and the impacts on human health. Published on Vimeo on 4 April 2011.

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith speaking about toxic risks of CSG at Lismore, explaining why these fracking chemicals are a threat to us all, and how fracking also is an air pollution issue.

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith is senior advisor to the National Toxics Network and an internationally acclaimed expert on the toxic risks of coal seam gas mining to human and animal health. In this presentation at the Lismore Community Information evening concerning CSG mining in the Northern Rivers, Dr Lloyd-Smith presents a detailed and devastating analysis of the poisonous effects of this destructive industry.

Published on 28 April 2012.

And there is more…

Why you should be concerned about ‘fracking’
Fracking is moving in — very possibly to an area near you. People all over the planet are protesting against it. Starting in the US, UK, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Norway, Romania, and Poland. What all this means is that you need to spend a bit of time to understand what the issue with ‘fracking’ is.
» Continue reading…

Movement for a frack free Geelong region

On 24 September 2013, 45 concerned citizens – a good mix of farmers, fishermen, tradesmen, civil servants, teachers, doctors, activists, students, and parents – met at Geelong Trades Hall to discuss how they feel about that the company Lakes Oil is going to begin drilling and exploring for gas in the region within the next three months.


When the meeting ended, a new movement for a frack free zone in Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast had been born. Below you can hear audio recordings of some of the speakers at the meeting.


Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth Melbourne) outlined where unconventional gas fields are in Victoria. He talked about some of the campaigns that are underway currently, and about tactics that have been used. Eight councils have come out against unconventional gas mining – Andrew Katos (Lib) is not supportive in this region. ALP is very supportive in Victoria.


Chloe Aldenhoven (Lock the Gate) explained about the yellow signs and the need of everybody to lock their gate for it to be effective. She talked about how things start with public meetings of 70-100 people, and then usually a core group go out to see if there is a majority who want their town to be ‘coal and CSG free’, and also pledge to actively protect their towns. Chloe also talked about the importance of creating networks of communities.


Additional comments from Chloe Aldenhoven and Cam Walker


Leigh Ewbank (Yes 2 Renewables) would like to run a campaign in the Geelong region, as Geelong is a really good manufacturing town to develop renewables, with wind farm and solar possibilities.


Three new local ‘Frack Free’ pages have been launched recently – like a Facebook-version of a ‘phone-tree’. Let your neighbours know about this!

• Frack Free Geelong:

• Frack Free Bellarine Peninsula:

• Frack Free Surf Coast:

We encourage you to there and click LIKE

“Like throwing fuel onto fire”
~ Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Melbourne


► Geelong Independent – 15 November 2013:
Barwon Water ‘fracking’ fears
Barwon Water has revealed concerns about fracking potentially contaminating water supplies.
By John van Klaveren

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► Geelong Independent – 8 November 2013:
New ‘fracking’ permit: Otways up for exploration
State Government has issued a new permit to explore “fracking” opportunities in the Otway basin despite a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, according to shadow resources minister John Lenders.
By John van Klaveren

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
Armour achieve shale gas first
Armour Energy has become the first Australian company to flow gas from shale using the fracking technique that has revolutionised US energy markets. (…) The boom in shale gas – which is gas trapped in rocks at deeper levels than both conventional and coal seam gas – due to advances in drilling technology has given US industry a boost by providing cheaper energy. Armour’s chief executive Robbert (Robbert) de Weijer said the company wanted to provide a similar solution in Australia.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
EDITORIAL: Moving to renewable energy
Investment of $5 million and potentially up to $25 million by the State Government in local geothermal power exploration has been welcomed by renewal energy supporters. If successful, the Geelong Geothermal Power Project could bring about a 140-megawatt plant providing clean, renewable power for 100,000 homes. Under the initial agreement between Spring St and Greenearth, a pilot power station will look to generate 12mW using hot water from 4 km underground.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 4 November 2013:
Your Say
The revelation, by an Australian mining company in the UK, that fracking has caused earth tremors near Blackpool was enough for Tony Windsor to withhold support for renewable energy “until the science is in”. Are we to allow Ted Baillieu and his Spring Street colleagues to compromise both the homes of the Otways and the water table beneath Anglesea? Shame, Ted, shame!!
By Kevin

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► Geelong Advertiser – 1 November 2013:
Growing opposition to CSG in Victoria
The Labor Party, environment groups and the Greens say there must be a proper public consultation process before coal seam gas (CSG) extraction is introduced in Victoria.

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► Armstrong Creek Times – October 2013:
Community groups vent their opposition to fracking
By James Taylor

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► Geelong Advertiser – 21 October 2013:
Licence sparks fracking friction
A mining licence that could see controversial fracking on the outskirts of Geelong must be stopped, protesters have said.

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► Geelong Advertiser – 21 October 2013:
Your Say
To Dylan of Geelong and others. When you have a gas flame coming out of you kitchen sink tap, with the water, like they did in Queensland and USA, etc. Plus you, your pet’s or farm animals, are getting sick or deseased or die. And you can’t grow anything, there goes your livihood. Or sell your property. Under ground table water is posioned, is that how you wish to live. Then, fair enough you go for it. See the documentaries, about this happening.

By Jock

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► Geelong Independent | Letters – 27 June 2013:
Frack and ruin
Phone the Energy Minister on 9651 1156, or email the Premier, and ask for the moratorium on fracking to be extended to all similar practives and made permanent.
By Christopher Bates

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► Geelong Independent – 27 June 2013:
Geelong ‘front’ of fracking
A stretch of farmland between Geelong and Anglesea could become a battleground on the controversial mining practice of fracking.
By John van Klaveren

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► Colac Herald – 19 June 2013:
Fracking fear for Otways
Colac district residents fear mining companies will mine for gas in the Otways, pumping chemicals underground.
By Scott Barnes

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► Geelong Independent – 13 June 2013:
Region a ‘fracking’ target
The controversial practice of “fracking” could come to Geelong after oil and gas explorer Lakes Oil revealed it was conducting geological and geophysical studies in the region.
By John van Klaveren

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► Stock and Land – 3 June 2013:
SE targeted for gas mining
Farmers and activists want ironclad guarantees that unconventional gas exploration in the Otway Basin will not lead to contamination of aquifers underpinning agricultural production in the South East. A 5657-square kilometre mining block in the Otway Basin closed for bidding in April, confirming the region’s status as a key component in the State Government’s Roadmap for Unconventional Gas in South Australia.
By Malcolm Sutton

Learn more

If you would like to learn more, go to this page:
Geelong protests against fracking
…where you can sign up to participate in the movement

Deakin Policy Forum on fracking on 8 October 2013

‘Coal Seam and Shale Gas: The Implications of Gas Developments in Australia, US and Globally’

The CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association is coming to Geelong on 8 October to give the students of Deakin a lecture about the great benefits and wonders of fracking and coal seam gas. In the programme, the institute writes:

“This Deakin Policy Forum will raise key questions about the revolution in energy markets globally, associated with newly commercial technology in the coal seam gas and shale gas sectors of the energy market. There has been debate in the US about the extent or longevity of the boom in unconventional hydrocarbon production from shales, and in Australia about massive LNG exports using coal seam gas. Domestic gas market impacts and impacts on ground water and other industries have also been controversial.

New research suggests the boom is real, substantial and highly beneficial across the community if well managed. Australia has substantial potential to produce its own shale gas, as well as CSG, and those resources are likely to help maintain Australia’s position as a major LNG exporter, and relatively low-priced region for natural gas, for many decades to come.

Speaker Information
– Professor Peter Hartley, BHP Billiton Professor, University of Western Australia and Rice University, Houston
– Dr Peter Stone, Deputy Director, Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, CSIRO
– Mr David Byers, CEO, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)
– Associate Professor Samantha Hepburn, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin Universty

The policy forum will be chaired by Professor Michael Porter, Research Professor of Public Policy, Alfred Deakin Research Institute

About The Alfred Deakin Research Institute:
“The Alfred Deakin Research Institute generates research that informs public debate and that enables government ministers, departments and policy makers to take action based on evidence.”

Gas drilling near the Surf Coast?

Info night in Torquay on Tuesday 1 October 2013

Many people around the world have seen the film ‘Gaslands’, which highlights the risks of unconventional gas drilling. The process of fracking brings the danger of ground water being contaminated with dangerous chemicals.

In the Surf coast area, there are proposals to look for and potentially start production of Tight Gas. Tight Gas generally requires fracking to release the gas from below the ground.
If the prospect of gas drilling operations concerns you, then please come along to our information evening.

It will be a chance to hear about how communities in Gippsland are declaring themselves ‘coal and gas free’, there will be a brief presentation, plus a 20 minute film called ‘Gippsland is Precious’, which highlights the good news story of how communities are getting organised to protect the landscapes that they love.

116 Surf Coast Hwy, Torquay, at 6pm

» Read more:


Map of the Exploration Permit area

Here is the map, which you can print. It is in A3-size.

Global initiative to ban fracking

On 19 October 2013, the ‘Global Frackdown2’ will unite concerned citizens everywhere for a day of action against fracking. Last year, activists in over 200 communities in 20 countries around the world came together through the Global Frackdown.

No activity has been planned for Geelong so far, but if you are interested in helping setting up some kind of an event, or a letter writing campaign to the politicans who could make such a ban permanent by the stroke of a pen, then go to the relevant ‘Frack Free’ Facebook page and post what you have in mind.
» Learn more about Global Frackdown here:

icon_small-arrow_DOWN ‘Can rural vet practice survive mining?’ (PDF)


Protect our region from gas mining

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