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.
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.
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.