Tag Archives: Geelong

Geelong rejects onshore gas extraction and supports permanent ban

On 14 October 2014, City of Greater Geelong Council made a formal decision to reject fracking and call for a permanent ban on onshore gas extraction in the region. In an Australian fracking-context, this is big breaking news: with a population of 215,000 residents, Geelong now takes a leading position among Victoria’s 29 self-declared “gasfield free” zones.

Geelong wants a permanent ban on fracking. Citizens express their concerns with petition of 1,170 signatures and numerous meetings, and on 14 October 2014, the City of Greater Geelong Council decided to listen to the community and took a very strong position – unanimous in the chamber – against onshore gas extraction.

The Geelong Council’s decision didn’t happen out of the blue. Several Frack Free groups in the region have been campaigning hard with film evenings, information nights, photo shoots, social media and radio shows, letterboxing, a survey in four communities, a petition, radio program, and an endless streams of letters, media releases and newsletters over about a year’s time, culminating with a one-month submission process in Council, where Council received 447 submissions against fracking and only one in defence of it.



Duty of care
Eight councillors spoke against fracking during the debate at the council meeting. Cr Jock Irvine did a wonderful job in leading the way by proposing a motion that would ask not only for an extention of the existing moratorium, but for a permanent ban on fracking. 

“We have had a clear message sent from the community and we have a duty of care,” Cr Irvine said.

» Geelong Advertiser published a detailed report on the debate in Council.

» Council meeting minutes

» Audio interview with Cr Andy Richards, Environment and Sustainability Portfolio holder, about the Council decision.




South-west Victoria communities acknowledged in the Senate

Moment of joy
The photo above shows part of the approximately 20 citizens who had come to attend the council meeting, listen to the councillors debate and learn what they would decide on.

This was a moment of joy after a long grass roots campaign. After a lot of hard work with informing everyone, we now have got a very strong position – with both Council and community on the same front – to advocate to state and federal government that we want a permanent ban on fracking in Victoria.

In legal terms, fracking is still a state government issue in Victoria, and all Geelong Council can do, really, is come with some recommendations and send some letters. Even so, that is an important step in the right direction even so, in particular right before a state election.

Just last week, the State Government launched a website with a map where citizens who are uncertain as to whether their property may be located in a specific area allocated to a mining lease, can look up the details. What this website-launch indirectly tells us is that the Government is still quietly going ahead with more of its plans to mine for gas.

However, with citizens and Council united on this issue, we can work and stand together and support each other. Lakes Oil and whoever is thinking of starting fracking in Geelong region, including on the Bellarine Peninsula and in Surf Coast Shire and the Otways now will have to think about whether it will be worth the effort for them. Because they know what they can expect …if they really have the guts to show up with their drilling gear here.

Important breaking news from the evening in City Hall was how the renewable energy investment issue was being discussed among the councillors in a new and positive way.

“This municipality can be amonst the leaders to say that we want a renewable sector developed, and we want it now,” Cr Rod Macdonald said.

This sounded promising for the municipality’s Environmental Management Strategy which allegedly is now ready to be put forward to Council in two weeks. On 28 October the council is expected to launch its new Environment Management Strategy which is based on the One Planet Living principles, one of which is the Zero Carbon principle.

» More about this topic here.


The City of Greater Geelong has now committed itself to lobby the State Government against any attempts by the gas mining industry to establish mining in the region. If the State Government chooses to override Council’s position (say next year), then local protest action will be needed to stop the trucks rolling into the region. 

Until then, we will enjoy the break while we can.

Thank you to those who sent in a submission, and especially to those who have supported the call to assist in attending the various rallies, photo shoots and meetings. Your contributions have resulted in a great result so far.


Media coverage

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» Geelong Advertiser – 17 October 2014:
City slams door on fracking
Article by David Cairns



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» Geelong Advertiser – 17 October 2014
Council spot on with gas decision
Letter to the editor by Vicky Gosser



GI_gas-blocked16-10-2014

» Geelong Independent – 16 October 2014



GI_Lee_turning-off-the-gas16-10-2014

» Geelong Independent – 16 October 2014
Turning off the gas
Letter to the editor by Lee Gladwell



» The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse – 15 October 2014:
Your council is prepared to evolve. Are you?
“In the 47th Sustainable Hour, we report from the meeting on 14 October where Geelong Council unanimously voted to advocate for a permanent state ban on fracking.” Podcast by Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson. Audio interview with Cr Andy Richards about the Council decision.



» The Weekly Times – 15 October 2014:
Geelong council wants a permanent ban on onshore gas and fracking
Article by Cimara Doutré


» Bay FM – 15 October 2014:
Geelong council rejects fracking
Article by Rebecca McDonald


» Geelong Advertiser – 14 October 2014:
Geelong councillors say no to fracking
Article by David Cairns




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GA-FB-note-about-co_comments



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“Democracy is the big winner in this – without such extensive community involvement, the result could well have been different. Now let’s giddyup & work together to have Geelong lead Oz into a post carbon world. With the old foundations of Shell, Ford & Alcoa gone or going, a golden opportunity awaits us via a clean energy driven transformation.”
Anthony Gleeson, commenting on Geelong Advertiser’s story



Petition of 1,180 voices against fracking

On 14 October 2014, Chris Johnson and Anthony Gleeson handed over Geelong and districts’ petition favouring a total ban on fracking with 1,180  signatures to Mayor Darryn Lyons.

“This is the culmination of countless hours of work by very dedicated and concerned citizens of Geelong. Much appreciation to Friends of the Earth, Yes2Renewables, Quit Coal and Lock the Gate Alliance for their invaluable mentoring and for the overwhelming support of the Geelong and district communities who have drawn their line in the sand,” said Anthony Gleeson.

“Now all we need is for CoGG councillors to heed the advice given to  them by their staff and vote fracking down tonight at their meeting tonight,” Chris Johnson added.


» Photos in high resolution are available here

» Read the media release




Comments to Geelong Councillors

from 250 concerned citizens of Geelong


There is too much evidence showing that fracking affects the water table and pollutes water supply. The product (coal seam gas) also pollutes our environment, and the drilling rigs themselves are an eyesore. It’s also offensive that citizens most affected seem to have no say in whether these exploration rigs (and subsequent infrastructure) can invade their community.

Louise Segrave, Highton, 3216 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

I disagree with the further development of any fossil fuel based energy. We need to invest that money in new safe sustainable technologies, not short term quick fixes that are potentially risky, and keep us dependent on an outdated and polluting industry.

Ben Nunn, Geelong West, 3218 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

Our water and air quality are a higher value than financial profits!!!

Diamond Jim Legend, Corio, 3214 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

In a country where we often face water shortages it cannot be a good idea to poison our water supplies. Also this does not help tackle climate change. We need to start investing in renewable energy.

Benjamin Sexton, 3218 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

Fracking threatens our water and farmland for a product that should now be obsolete. Energy from the sun and wind is 21 Century thinking!

Judy Cameron, Otway Ranges, 3241 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

I live here and wish to protect the health of my area, my community, my family and myself!

Liz Hines, HightonVIC, 3216 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

Lots of Ford workers out of work now. Ford closed shop because to pay 3 x as much for gas for their operations to meet export parity was uneconomic. A lot of families are hurting in Geelong now because of these non local gas companies – and to add insult to injury they want to frack the Otways – the main water supply for Geelong City and poison us as well. Will they compensate or take responsibility for this? I dont think so. Frack Off Lakes Oil!!!

Katherine Marchment, Melbourne, 3122 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

csg and shale deadly SCAMS to hit Australian shores, radioactive water, fires, drought 9 million gallons of fresh water per well ?

Jane Hughes, Brisbane, 4054 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

This is a “no-brainer” that’ s why!

Ingrid Hindell, Geelong North, 3215 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

Coal seam gas mining has not been proven safe and would be irresponsible to approve it in the Geelong region. There is too much evidence of water damage. If we want more energy, we should be focusing on the renewable energy that is available right now.

Gavin Brown, East Geelong, 3219 – Australia – 2/16/14

 

“In addition to the damage done to the natural environment(water, land, air) & the health of humans & all other living things, there’s the moral obligation which comes from supporting the demands of the latest peer-reviewed climate science which is screaming out that we must leave all fossil fuels in the ground.

With the old guard of Ford, Shell & Alcoa leaving the area, it’s a golden opportunity for CoGG to forge a clean energy future. Out with the toxic past – in with a clean energy, job rich, community building future.”

Anthony Gleeson, Geelong, 2472 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Coal seam gas mining has not been proven safe and would be irresponsible to approve it in the Geelong region. Also it’s another non-renewable resource and a fossil fuel causing a variety of environmental damage issues when mined and burned. Through good design, simpler living and creativity we can reduce our need for energy which I see as the prime goal together with a variety of other solutions including using renewable energy options. Ensuring that all new buildings are passive solar is probably the single best thing we can do…free energy from the sun which when combined with storing it in thermal mass e.g. concrete slab, allows for free heating through winter…our highest energy use in Victoria.

Monica Winston, Belmont, 3216 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

The context for this discussion is decisive! Climate change, ecosystems needing regeneration, species extinction etc. The other point is that this is not a short term problem so we’ll need to come up with solutions that allow for the needs of other species and future generations to thrive. Also who is the proposed consumer of this gas? Is it for local communities or are we proposing to sell it to overseas consumers…helps determine what strategy i.e. is it an energy issue or for private economic interest?

Monica Winston, Belmont, 3216 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Because we have seen what is happening in the US this is no different no matter how much spin they put on the difference. Just do the research. Big money is destroying our land and I for one love this country. Go away Big Money. Greedy disgusting people who don’t care for anyone or anything but their fat bank accounts.

Timi Bell, Lismore, 2480 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Permitting fracking, with its attendant potential to pollute underground water, is something which must be resisted throughout Australia.

Hugh Nicholson, The Channon, 2480 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Internationally fracking has been shown to cause damage to agricultural lands, aquifers, and water supply amongst other environmental pollutants. Victoria, and in particular the South Barwon region makes up the food bowl for Australian domestic and export produce markets. To destroy it and our economy for access to gas by a few companies does not constitute short term thinking and not a vision for a successful economy or future.

Suzette Jackson, Geelong, 3218 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Fracking destroys our environment

Lorna Martin, Whittington, 3219 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

It is our God given duty to look after this earth and fracking can only destroy it

Beverley Harris, Drouin, 3818 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

There are plenty of alternative, renewable energy sources to be explored before fracking. This is the dirtiest of the lot, dangerous to communities and totally unnecessary.

Sam Smith, barwon heads, 3227 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

FRACKING or QGC have already poisoned my water & air

john jenkyn, 4413 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

The future is important for all humans. This practice (fracking) is all about quick profit and nothing about looking after our natural services. Aquifer Water basins and the communities they support depend on this renewable resource totally. Any practice whereby injecting hydrocarbon carcinogens into the areas nearby water aquifers is about as stupid as it gets. Get real and send a message to the swine who want to force this toxic process into our backyards.

Mark Hardley, 3228 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Why risk exposing our drinking water and precious farm land to hazardous chemicals from Fracking. It’s just not worth it – you can’t eat or drink oil and gas. We have the clean technology solutions to make move on from fossil fuels, we only lack the political will.

Daniel Cowdell, 3216 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Because I care about the future of this country and am horrified to see the unprecedented rush to destroy our beautiful home for export / multi-nationals. We are the driest inhabited continent on earth. What a disgrace.

Carly Woodstock, Alstonville, 2479 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Because fracking is temporary profits for permanent damage.

lindsay smith, ocean grove, 3226 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

We need more renewable energy, not more fossil fuels.

Steve Williams, Clifton Springs, 3222 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

The potential for damage to the environment caused by fracking is too great a risk to take. Our environment is fragile and must be sustained for your children and grandchildren and all future generations. If we continue to choose greed over conservation, there will be no future.

Karen Moran, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 2/17/14

 

Fracking is environmental vandlism and should not be encouraged, especially in an era where governments purportedly champion “sustainability.”

gary oraniuk, geelong west, 3218 – Australia – 2/18/14

 

This is important to me because I still have grave concerns about the safety of coal seam gas mining and I live in the Geelong area

Andrea Buckley, Geelong, 3215 – Australia – 2/18/14

 

Total Ban on fracking is important to me because I love the land and care about my environment. Please do not let it happen.Sincerely Diane Morris

Diane Morris, 3101 – Australia – 2/18/14

 

Communities have a right to determine what goes on in and around them. The future of towns and their sustainablility extends to what industries exist therein. CSG extraction is not a sustainable way for towns and communities to be given jobs, ‘growth’ or ‘economically sustainability’.

Sophia Christoe, 3070 – Germany – 2/19/14

 

The future for the Geelong region is clean green renewable energy. Natural gas is a non-renewable greenhouse gas, which we should be phasing out rather than phasing in

Dave Campbell, Geelong, 3215 – Australia – 2/19/14

 

Because fracking is a completely uncontaminated method of mining, making our towns sick.

Damien Marchant, 3240 – Australia – 2/20/14

 

We need to to substantially reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. It’s critical for the future of this planet earth. The scientific evidence on this is very clear.

Wendy Marchment, 3216 – Australia – 2/23/14

 

Greed!! Government, Council and and Business. Find another way.

Anonymous, 3018 – Australia – 2/25/14

 

This is a national health, land use and repercussion disgrace.

Shirley Parsons, 3220 – Australia – 2/26/14

 

Don’t tamper with our environment !!!

JO CANT, 3222 – Australia – 2/26/14

 

this is important because this is about the future of our lands’ capacity to continue to support the life it currently sustains

fleur monteith-brique, 3215 – Australia – 2/28/14

 

Don’t do it CoGG, please! Do you really want Geelong – Anglesea to end up looking like Tara in Queensland? Do you really want to be responsible for adversely impacting so many peoples lives? Read about what it’s like for people living on the gas fields, there is so much information out there. Find another way, please!

Naomi Betts, 3352 – Australia – 3/1/14

 

Our water resources must be protected for this and future generations.

Debbie Carruthers, 3880 – Australia – 3/19/14

 

I care for the environment and fracking destroys the enviroment

Margaret Huber, 3215 – Australia – 3/28/14

 

I am concerned about the environmental impact this will have on our doorstep. The damage it will do to the natural environment (water, land, air) & the health of humans that live in the vicinity.

Wolfgang Klemenz, 3215 – Australia – 3/29/14

 

Fracking is just one more unsustainable way to continue raping the earth in search of non renewable energy sources. All this leaves behind is a polluted environment, destroyed communities, richer and more powerful corporations. It doesn’t make sense to continue on this path we need to move to renewables!

Ernesto Sanchez, 3219 – Australia – 3/31/14

 

It is imperative that we take a stand in Victoria now, to safeguard the health of our waterways, our land and air, our people and our ecosystems. We cannot sacrifice our landscapes to invasive industrial gasfields.

Jennifer Carter, Tambo Upper, 3885 – Australia – 3/31/14

 

Fracking is a huge unknown. We have no real understanding of the long term consequences. Make Geelong a hub of new sustainable technologies and a proud, innovative frack free zone.

April Baragwanath, Geelong, 3220 – Australia – 4/3/14

 

It is about time the message was sent to our governments that cheap and easy energy is much less a future priority than sustainable and reliable locally grown food supply in and from a healthy environment.

Gerhard Grasser, Darnum, 3822 – Australia – 5/4/14

 

Australia does not need fracking, more coal mines or any shale oil developments. These are old technology,too polluting and unnecessary.The beautiful Victorian countryside needs to stay that way.

Angela Fyfe, Beaudesert, 4285 – Australia – 6/3/14

 

There is not enough known abut what the long term effects of fracking will be for our future water table and rivers. We have plenty of alternatives to choose from with wind and solar energy and there is no need to destroy our farming country for the energy that will be taken by a few and sold to many, this is just greed

Lyn Keynes, Ocean Grove, 3226 – Australia – 6/9/14

 

This impacts our future forever.

Belinda Harding, 3000 – Australia – 6/9/14

 

There is ample documentation about the ecological damage that this process causes. We should be pushing our resources towards alternative energies rather than allowing the short term profits for those involved in the mining and coal industries

Anna Hurley, 3000 – Australia – 6/20/14

 

Fracking will poison our freshwater supply and then all of us will be in REAL trouble. This is life or death so wake up!

Elfian Schieren, Goonellabah, 2480 – Australia – 6/24/14

 

Geelong is my home, we are raising a family here. Fracking is a risk I don’t believe we should take.

Rachel Burke, Highton, 3216 – Australia – 7/27/14

 

We only have one planet and our children need to have hope for a clean healthy future.

Cathy Marshall, Geelong, 3222 – Australia – 7/30/14

 

I am signing this petition because I care about the community of Geelong & our environment & dont want it wrecked for my grandchildren. Fracking is totally unacceptable for Geelong and every other community. It has caused untold damage around the world. We dont want it in Geelong.

Lynley Manson, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 7/31/14

 

Unconventional Coal Seam Gas Mining is the dirtiest and most environmentally destructive industry on earth. It should be closed down.

Alan Manson, 3216 – Australia – 7/31/14

 

“Onshore Gasfields are not compatible with agriculture, clean water, fresh air.

The short term benefits of extracting this gas for an overseas market is far outweighed by the long term consequences that all Australians will have to live with if it occurs.”

Billy Fox, 3305 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

I love my country and my Family, I don’t want to see the destruction that is caused from the extraction of CSG,,, I don’t want to lose our lucky country

Rhonda Mitchell, Portland, 3305 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

Poisoning and depleting our water table and rivers is criminal and insane. No water equals No life. It’s that simple.

Samantha Shepherd, 2455 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

 

 

we do not want gas running through our water pipes

Anne Berry, 3305 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

We are responsible for the health of our children. We also cannot live on ground or use water that is contaminated with chemicals unless we are willing to sacrifice our health and well being. No amount of money or jobs are worth this!

Patricia Rennhackkamp, Lara, 3212 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

it is very important, so we can keep Victoria and other beautiful regions pollution free

kayleen rundell, 3305 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

Unconventional gas has the potential to harmall of Victoria. It must be stopped.

Sue O’Shanassy, Torquay, 3228 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

Fracking is destroying our future. It only exists for financial reasons. We need to start making more intelligent decisions around our impact on the planet we depend on for survival.

Paul Forest, 2454 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

There isn’t a more blatant form of destructive mining i can think of. Only an idiot can’t see how bad this is.

wayne philp, 5291 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

Because i believe tracking would have an totally detrimental effect on the environment and living conditions of Victorians for lifetimes to come

Paddy O’Brien, Melbourne, 3280 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

We studied and lived in Geelong and on our many return visits, we’ve been so impressed at the way the city has developed – please keep it family friendly and attractive to visitors, and take a stand against invasive, polluting gas fracking!! Stand up for the community and stand up for the future!!

Kate Ralton, 5290 – Australia – 8/3/14

 

The infamous industry wants to take away any possibility of us being self-sustaining, and domestic gas will cost the earth, all for the benfit of overseas corporations.

roma guerin, alexandra, 3714 – Australia – 8/4/14

 

Absolutely NO – ONE knows what affect fracking will have in the future. Are we that desperate that we have stopped thinking about the horrible possibility that the after effects of fracking could, quite literally, blow up in our faces at a later date? THINK!!!!

Christine Arnel, 3300 – Australia – 8/4/14

 

I have friends and relations in Geelong, so naturally I don’t want them to be harmed by franking.

Mark Taylor, Tyrendarra, Vic., 3285 – Australia – 8/4/14

 

b/c our future is important!

caz shannan, portland victoria, 3305 – Australia – 8/4/14

 

For Life is important to me than death.

Suzanne Edge, 2456 – Australia – 8/5/14

 

Victoria provides most of the food for the whole of the East Coast. Whay would you threaten a major food source by allowing fracking?

Jeanette Geelen, West Perth, 6008 – Australia – 8/6/14

 

Fracking is like biting off the hand that feeds us and poisoning the life spring of our future generations. Just plain stupid – come off it!!

kerryl dingey, Newtown, 3220 – Australia – 8/7/14

 

this is so important to me as my ancestors are buried in and around the Western District and I do not want thier burial sites damaged,,

gavin couzens, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 8/7/14

 

Please do not contaminate our and our children’s water supply and the air that we breathe.

Martin Rennhackkamp, Lara, 3000 – Australia – 8/7/14

 

This issue should be of paramount importance to everyone. Don’t frack our land, there is no profit to gain, the international city Mayor Lyons is proposing will be in name only. House prices will fall, say goodbye to housing investment. You will also increase earthquakes, loss of water, cancer and environmental destruction to name a few. End this now.

Andrew Brique, 3215 – Australia – 8/7/14

 

do not destroy the health of nature for short term gains

berne nightingale, durbanville, 7551 – South Africa – 8/7/14

 

I live in an area where fracking may be present. Scenic Rd.

Kau Gibbons, 3216 – Australia – 8/8/14

 

Fracking is unethical and an environmental vandalism with no benefit to the community, only to a limited few. There can be no reason to support such short sighted destruction.

Kyla Vinton, TORQUAY, 3228 – Australia – 8/8/14

 

likely to cause problems to our land

neroli hawhtorne, 3216 – Australia – 8/9/14

 

This issue is important to me because i values the natural environment and industries that support environment. this industry continues to demonstrate practices opposing both of these.

Frances Kelly, PortlandVI, 3305 – United States – 8/9/14

 

Clean Water for All

David Lovelight, Byron Bay, 2481 – Australia – 8/10/14

 

Totally against mining in general, especially Fracking…they know the chemicals are toxic, their CEO’s etc don’t want this near their own places, doesn’t that tell you something?

Mick Smith, South Toowoomba, 4350 – Australia – 8/10/14

 

I’m unconvinced that fracking poses no environmental risks. Prove to me beyond any doubt that it’s safe before you risk my country !!!

Jonathan Jennings, South Yarra, 3141 – Australia – 8/10/14

 

This is important to me because I care about the future of the Geelong region and want it to retain it’s natural charm. The risks involved in fracking seem far too great and there seems to be little reward for those who actually live in the area.

Dianne Robinson, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 8/10/14

 

Geelong is my home town and deindustralisation doesn’t have to mean that our next industry be mining for the benefit of overseas consortiums and bribed and bribing politicians with no thought of the great travesty of poisoned land air and water and a dead community they leave behind. CSG will kill my children, make my house worthless, poison local produce and eternally poison ground water. CSG is a loaded gun pointed at the head of the earth and all it’s inhabitants, short-term gain for eternal devastation and destruction

Eilish De Avalon, Highton, 3216 – Australia – 8/11/14

 

Our water is finite. Fracking takes much and fouls it. Also causes fracturing of and destabilising

Sandra Camm, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 8/11/14

 

Sustainability for our childrens future!

Adam Haack, 3220 – Australia – 8/12/14

 

There is nothing good about CSG industry.It’s too risky! They have left enviromental disasters in every country that they have been in for decades to come! They need to be stopped!City of Greater Geelong needs to be like our shire. On Tuesday night 26th August 2014 our shire declared “That the Glenelg Shire be an Unconventional gasfield free zone” Motion was passed unanimously by the Glenelg shire council.

Garry Everett, 3304 – Australia – 9/5/14

 

Destruction of land and environment.

Gail Barton, 3216 – Australia – 9/9/14

 

Clean water and a healthy environment matter to me.

Glenys Parslow, Geelong, 3220 – Australia – 9/11/14

 

Fracking is stupid, dangerous, poisonous and short sighted.

Miriam Robinson, North FitzroyVA, 3068 – United States – 9/11/14

 

Because fracking is decimating our water supply and polluting our environment for a short-term gain.

Carietta White, Melbourne, 3001 – Australia – 9/11/14

 

Only people who support fracking are those profiting from it

Nicole Rowan, Hamlyn Heights, 3215 – Australia – 9/11/14

 

Why is the health of the planet important to me? Please!

Bree Schembri, Highton, 3216 – Australia – 9/11/14

 

I’m signing because our environment needs defenders.

jill hyslop, torquay, 3228 – Australia – 9/12/14

 

Fracking causes long term damage that has little chance of recovery !!!!

Ken Clissold, 3219 – Australia – 9/15/14

 

No fracking for Geelong Keep our environment safe clean and free from human interference.

Melva Russell, 3216 – Australia – 9/15/14

 

It’s will destabilize the geology of the area.

Robyn Schmidt, Grovedale, 3216 – Australia – 9/15/14

 

We need a clean liveable environment – fracking does not do this

Louise Pattinson, 3216 – Australia – 9/16/14

 

Once you pollute our waters we can’t turn back. These chemicals are poisonous to humans and livestock

Wendi Fraser, Ormond, 3204 – Australia – 9/16/14

 

We moved back from overseas to bring up our children in Geelong and we do not want their health, or ours, jeopardised because of fracking.

Allison Sinclair, 3216 – Australia – 9/17/14

 

I do not think it is healthy for the planet or the people I am strongly against this practice and if you really cared about your children you’d stop this madness !

kris heather, queenscliff, 3225 – Australia – 9/17/14

 

Renewable energy is far more important to our future than ruining our environment to sell our resources overseas.

Lesley Whitlock, 3216 – Australia – 9/19/14

 

disagree with the process and possible outcomes

colleen seeley, 3218 – Australia – 9/23/14

 

Fracking has the huge potential to adversely affect the nearby communities and businesses, not to mention it still being a polluting industry contributing to the massive issue that is climate change.

Samuel Pottenger, Richmond, 3121 – Australia – 9/23/14

 

Geelong is my home town and It should stay a safe family town where the people and community are out first

Amy-Beth Seeley, 5066 – Australia – 9/24/14

 

Fracking has not been proven safe, so why not chose renewable and sustainable options instead? I don’t want our futures jeopardised.

Johanne Walker, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking has caused significant problems elsewhere in the world and in other Australian States. Our farmland and our water is of paramount importance in the years ahead. There is no absolute answer that both of these will not be adversely affected by fracking. There is too much at stake to risk what we have.

Kate Tubbs, Bacchus Marsh, 3340 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I am concerned about the potential health ramifications

Ian Priddle, Geelong West, 3218 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

It’s not worth taking the risk

Emma Balkin, Geelong, 3218 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

If we all considered the environment before the $, we would all be living simply so others could simply live!

Kim Kemerer, 3212 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

we don’t want chemicals injected into our soil, and farming land cleared.

Goshen Watts, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking is too scary. Water is life, fracking threatens water.

John Nicholson, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Our voices HAVE to be heard

Rhonda COWLEY, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

modern world we should learn that this is bad and money is the root of all evil

sarah bridges, Geelong, 3213 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I don’t want gas fracking to poison our land and use vast quantities of fresh water in the process.

Danielle Netherclift, St Kilda, 3182 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Don’t want our and our children’s water and air contaminated

Martin Rennhackkamp, Lara, 3212 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Our environment and our health is in danger if this isn’t stopped!

Cassie Calleya, 3226 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking will wreck the soil and the water in the area

Nicoline Griffin, Clifton Springs, 3222 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking is irresponsible.

Samuel Cowan, 3121 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

To keep Geelong frack free!!

Nicole Jones, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I do not want fracking done as it is known to cause issues with ground water, and has links to health risks. Lets focus more on energy that doesnt kill us

Adam Kardas, 3220 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I want a clean future with clean energy.

April Meddick, Torquay, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

i don’t want this in Geelong

Gay Gold, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I don’t want to sacrifice food and water security for gas. In fact I’ve learned how to make my home gas free and cheap to run.

Sandra Hawkins, Canadian, 3350 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking is the worst idea EVER!

Eve Fisher, TorquayVIC, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

This seems like total insanity to even think of fracking after what has happened elsewhere, surely we wouldn’t let this happen?

Tabitha Lowdon, 3230 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Because I care about the area for future generations

Meg Rawley, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I have children and I want them to have an inhabitable planet for thier future.

Julia Chandler, CORIO, 3214 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Don’t do permanent damage to our underground water. Don’t risk methane coming up without being collected. Make a clear stand before unconventional gas mining can get any momentum.

Jan van Dalfsen, Newport, 3015 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Because it is important for my future

Meg Rawley, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I want fresh water not fracked water. No to ruining Geelong.

Ali Milner, Bell Post Hill, 3215 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

This is a no brainer, people! Have you read and seen the consequences?

celia bolton, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Prove to us that you care more about the people who live in Geelong, visit Geelong and to the environment than money!

P Mantle, 3220 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Cracking is devestating to peoples, communities land & the environment

Jess Dorney, 3233 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

“I do not want to see this region of rural Victoria ruined by fracking. Farmlands would be lost, air/land/water pollution would increase drastically and the quality of life for those of us living in this zone would fall. There are alternative,clean sources of energy which we should,as a state,be implementing (i.e. solar and wind energy) and which would have far less negative impact on the environment,if any. Please do not allow fracking to take place,here or elsewhere. ”

Patricia Grey, GrovedaleVIC, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I love and respect Australia’s environmental landscape.

Leah Martini, BrightonENG, BN1 6HF – United Kingdom – 9/25/14

 

CoGG should ban fracking – it is not wanted!

Belinda Harding, Newcomb, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking contaminates ground water.

Michael Kelly, Geelong, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Renewables is what we must invest in to combat climate change pollution.

erica vernon, jan juc, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Solar and wind are the only safe energy sources – that’s where we need to be investing. Fracking is environmentally UNSAFE!!

LINA LIBROAPERTO, AIREYS INLET, 3231 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

“CSG mining pollutes our ground water and destroys our environment ”

James Anderson, 3226 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

It would be crazy and short sighted in many ways to allow fracking in the Geelong region.

Malcolm Ayles, Grovedale, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Environmental destruction..

Dale Hovey, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I don’t believe that fracking is a reasonable option for sourcing energy resources. Our water table is too important to risk and renewable options are the ONLY way forward.

Leah Boucher, 6442 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I’m signing because I believe in a future for humans hundreds and hundreds of years from now, and for that we need our earth in a liveable condition!

Tegan Bert, Werribee, 3024 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

fracking is irresponsible and incredibly damaging for the environment!!! How many mistakes have to happen before people wake up to this!!!

Justin Harbison, 3215 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

We have our permanent home in Geelong, as do most of our family. I have seen no evidence that Fracking in the long term is safe for the environment. what is done cannot be undone – and the results of damage are not known often for quite some time into projects. Then they are permanent. We need sustainable energy options, not less and less viable fossil options.

Erica Thompson, 6728 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking ruins the environment, why ruin the environment?

Erin Campbell, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Please ban fracking. We don’t need it and we certainly don’t want it.

Kirsty Watkins, 3222 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

There is no need to run the environmental risks for this short term gain. Renewables should be the focus in this modern age.

Tim collyer, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

the environmental impact of fracking is too damaging.

Rikki Bandekow, Ocean Grove, 3226 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

“FU Corruption Follow ME Geoff Thomson SON of a WAR “”HERO””

Not a “”POMMY”” sell OUT”

Geoff Thomson, Port Darwin, 834 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I breathe oxygen therefore I oppose fracking, anywhere, anytime.

Tiffany Paterson, Melbourne, 3215 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Although I live here, It is important that this criminally destructive method is stopped everywhere. It is only for the profit of a very small few at the cost of everyone. I want my children to have a planet to live on.

Alan Netherclift, Elwood, 3184 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

It is bloody obvious why it is Important to everyone.

cathy Barker, New Zealand, – New Zealand – 9/25/14

 

Protect our beautiful city by the bay. Protect our people. No fracking now or in the future.

Thea Carbines, Geelong, 3215 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I am 100% opposed to fracking

Carolyn Anderson, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I don’t want fracking!!

Shane Elevato, Lara, 3212 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking is dangerous to ground water; damaging of productive farmland and all to produce a short-term ‘fuel’ that is not a bridge to renewables but a highway to hell…

John Knox, Airport West, 3042 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I don’t believe that fracking is good for the environment & is only a quick fix to human need at the time & not thinking about the future if our earth for generations to come

alison enders, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Do not release poison…

Benjamin Tehan, Geelong, 3215 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Because we don’t have the right to endanger water supplies for future generations.

eric oliver, cannonvale, 4802 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I’m a concerned citizen.

Philip Enders, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I am signing because I believe we should be focusing on the development if renewable resources instead of pumping our underground aquifers with 1000’s of chemicals and ruining farm land by pursuing fracking.

sonja Gwosdezki, Aireys Inlet, 3231 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

All power to your campaign from Stop CSG Sydney (which stopped the test drill site in inner west Sydney). We want the PEL covering 4 million people to be cancelled. And we want more councils to support the campaign too. Freezing old licences is not enough. We want certainty; they have to be cancelled.

Pip Hinman, SydneyNSW, 2042 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

fracking fractures land, livelihoods and lives.

Deborah Kairn, 3175 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

This is were I live & I dont want money-hungry mining companies affecting me & my fellow Geelong-ites’ water, food & recreation opportunities

Angela Smith, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

i do not agree with fracking stall!

Karen Ray, Torquay, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

there are too many unknowns about fracking, it has too much potential to permanently harm our environment

Kerrie Williams, Torquay, 3228 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking presents environmental risks.

Helen Ramsay, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking present environmental risks.

Donald Ramsay, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

Fracking presents environmental risks.

Peggie Ramsay, 3216 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

we only have one planet frack it and you’ll f****ck it

Cheryl Canning, Sydney, 2037 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

the long term damage fracking causes for the community is far more than the wealth it tries to create for the companies engaged in this venture

will blackwell, 3219 – Australia – 9/25/14

 

I want to see a shift to renewables and I am concerned about the effects of franking on our land and water. Not worth the risk!

Annie Malesic, Montmorency, 3094 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I care about my immediate environment.

Haneesh Hanewsh, 3218 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

We should be exploring and using renewable energy sources not raping and polluting the Earth which we live on and eat and drink from!

Bonnie Edwards, 3222 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

Geelong & Victoria must stay Fack Free….it’s a no brainer….we need to focus on sustainable, renewable socially conscious industry, this will destroy our state & country’s water, land, economics, job prospects, tourism, agriculture, people’s health & property values

Lynn Hofmann, 3220 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I do t want our sub soil and layers destroyed, polluting waterways and causing wide spread immeasurable harm. No Fracking!

Jodie Whittaker, 3220 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I want to save the world!

Eileen Jenkins, 3223 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

It will devastate the water table, our drinking water, our health, the environment and wildlife. It will effect tourism in the Otways change the landscape, removing trees will cause all erosion, more pest weeds and animals and a very unpleasant area to live in. Money can never compensate for a healthy environment, something future generations can never reverse. I take no part in supporting you and any future fracking.

katy rowland, 3222 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

“For the future of my grandchildren and great grandchildren and all their generations.

Why damage our country more when alternate power from wind and the sun is available. Why damage our agricultural industries just to support overseas financial interests. ”

Beatrice Kenyon, 3223 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I am against Gasfield invasion and industrialisation of regional NSW.

Carlos Vieira-Silva, 2480 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I have a voice

Melissa Smith, 3216 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

Why destroy the land in order to produce energy? Renewables are the way to go!

Shay Goossen, 3228 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I want cogg to support renewable energy, not fossil fuels that can have significant and long term detrimental impacts on our environment.

Leon Heffer, 3218 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

I’m singing because I care about the environment being protected .

Vikki Davey, 3228 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

Fracking endangers the health of the community. The damage to our beautiful environment, let alone the health of the community would be tragic.

Madeline Avene, 3214 – Australia – 9/26/14

 

Fracking causes serious environmental issues, victoria should be looker toward a future of greener energy sources.

carly sutherland, 3223 – Australia – 9/27/14

 

The onshore gas industry destroys farming, is dangerous to health. Their high export prices for gas will be passed on to all of us and will probably be the last nail in the coffin of Australian manufacturing.

Ben Courtice, 3340 – Australia – 9/27/14

 

More poison Darren – please don’t have this in your brief, and therefore history and reputation – dangerous poisons for this City you are gearing toward tourism

Carol Glasgow, Geelong, 3216 – Australia – 9/27/14

 

To me the health risks seem way too high, and who knows what the long term issues will be, possibly contaminated ground water for a very long time. This is unacceptable

Lyle Zanoni, 3226 – Australia – 9/27/14

 

We need to look at the long term picture.

Jennifer Hornsey, South Geelong, 3220 – Australia – 9/28/14

 

To prevent ground pollution

Chelsea Gielen, 3216 – Australia – 9/28/14

 

I have a moral obligation to protect the environment I live in.

Emma Carter, 3240 – Australia – 9/29/14

 

I care about the environment and the future of our beautiful beaches.

Barbara Alexander, 3158 – Australia – 9/29/14

 

fracking is a men made disaster and it is up to the human race to stop it ….unlike others nature disaster

daniele voinot-sledge, kingscliff, 2487 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

“I’m signing because I don’t believe there has been enough study into the repurcussions of cracking

Also I believe citizens rights outweigh the rights of corporations”

Robert Groth, Gunnedah, 2380 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

Learn as much as you can before blindly trusting csg industry

Daryl Morris, South Hurstville, 2221 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

I’m a resident of Torquay

Jasmine Arthur, 3228 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

i want my water to remain pollution free

rebecca draper, 3228 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

We should be looking at renewable power sources. Fracking is incredibly harmful to our health and the environment.

Kate Miles, Canberra, 2906 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

I’m opposed to humanity misusing and destroying natural resources particularly in Australia where our land mismanagement makes me weep. When I travel overseas & nationally the wonder of Australia amazes me- we truly live in a wonderland & it’s destruction for shortsighted gratification is to everyone’s detriment.

Ciri Thompson, 3189 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

Fracking destroys communities and the environment. We don’t need fossil fuels enough to die for them. Fracking has no place in modern society especially so close to home!

Aaron Parsons, 3029 – Australia – 9/30/14

 

Fracking will destroy our coastline, vegetation, livestock, wildlife and water supply. I can’t believe this kind of destruction goes on in the world and even worse our country leaders allow it to happen. Its a disgrace.

Angie Vendy, 3228 – Australia – 10/10/14

 

Of evidence

Sam Walsh, 2087 – Australia – 10/10/14

 

I’m signing because fracking is senseless, dangerous and is environmentally devastating

mary graham, 2107 – Australia – 10/10/14

 

The long term destruction to the environment and inhabitants far out weighs the short term monetary gains of conglomerates. Politicians need to look at the big picture of humanity and not just the money.

margie skimming, Highton, 3216 – Australia – 10/12/14

 




Petition handed over to councillors before moment of decision

Tuesday 14 October will see the handing over of a petition to mayor Lyons calling for a permanent ban on gas mining, and a decision on fracking made by City of Greater Geelong’s 13 councillors.

Frack Free Geelong representatives Chris Johnson and Anthony Gleeson expressed a huge vote of appreciation for the 1,170 residents who signed the petition calling for a permanent ban on fracking within the City of Greater Geelong Council area. Most of these these signatures were collected over the last six weeks when Council had called for submissions on this topic from residents.

“The petition shows a resounding lack of support for this extreme form of energy creation in this area. People have understood that we don’t have to go down this path. We now have clean and safe alternatives that aren’t going to cost us the earth, literally,” said Frack Free Geelong spokesperson Anthony Gleeson.

“The solutions to our carbon emissions crisis already exist in clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar which, when embraced, as well as reducing our emissions will provide the jobs so badly needed around Geelong at the moment,” said Frack Free Geelong spokesperson Chris Johnson.

“We are hoping that councillors and staff take this petition into account when considering their position on onshore gas extraction Tuesday evening,” added Mr Gleeson.

 

Decision in Council
Geelong Council received a total of 449 submissions about fracking. Of these 447 were opposed to onshore gas extraction and in particular the use of hydraulic fracking.

At an ordinary meeting of Geelong Council held on Tuesday 14 October 2014 at the Council Conference and Reception Centre in City Hall – at Little Malop Street in Geelong, commencing at 7:00pm – councillors will make a decision on the municipality’s official stand on fracking, voting on a report produced by Council’s officers regarding the 449 submissions.

“We hope to see many of our region’s fracktivists attending this meeting,” said Ms Johnson. “We need to let the councillors know that we are concerned about how each of them vote about this issue.”

10 of the submissions were included in the report document for the councillors to read. The council report recommends that councillors,

 

1) note the high number of submissions received opposing onshore gas extraction and hydraulic fracking;

2) write to the Victorian government requesting an indefinite extension to the existing moratorium until;

a) the Victorian Government carry out extensive community consultation in potentially affected Geelong communities and;

b) undertakes research into any potential social, economic and environmental and health impacts of unconventional gas exploration and development; and

c) there is broad community support for the development of an onshore gas industry; and

3) write to the Victorian and Federal governments requesting support for the development of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels in the provision of heating, cooling and power.

 

“To request an indefinite extension to the existing moratorium in Victoria until there is broad community support for the development of an onshore gas industry, in our view in reality is the same as to ask for a permanent ban, because there will never be broad community support for fracking in Geelong, or anywhere in Victoria. Each month, the renewable energy technologies are getting cheaper and better, whereas gas prices will only keep rising,” Mr Gleeson explained.

 

Gasfield Free Declaration Day
On Sunday 14 September, the communities of Moriac, Mount Moriac, Paraparap and Freshwater Creek – just to the west of Geelong – declared themselves a ‘gasfield free’ zone, based on a community survey which showed that 9 out of 10 residents opposed fracking. They were joined by all election candidates for South Barwon who praised the communities for taking this important stand.

“With the event in Moriac in mind, and with a decision in Geelong Council which follows the recommendation, we can start planning for a Gasfield Free Declaration Day, possibly for both City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire as a united front against this invasive gas industry, where we also can give proper thanks to Lock the Gate, Friends of the Earth, and Yes2Renewables, who have supported Frack Free Geelong all the way in this year-long campaign,” said Ms Johnson.

 

 

 

For comment, interviews and more information, please contact:
Anthony Gleeson
» Email:           frackfreegeelong@gmail.com
» Website:       www.frackfreegeelong.org
» Facebook:     facebook.com/frackfreegeelong

High resolution photos for download:
» www.frackfreegeelong.org/download

 

 

» Print-friendly A4-document: Media release (PDF)

 


petition-header

 

Petition

To: City Of Greater Geelong Council

Frack Free Geelong calls on the City of Greater Geelong council to recognise the community’s concern about coal seam gas and other forms of unconventional gas mining and advocate for the prevention of further gas exploration and mining in the area.

Frack Free Geelong recommends the Council to move a motion similar to the following:
1) That Council advocates to the state and federal governments for a ban on new gas exploration and mining/extraction in the City of Greater Geelong until it is proven to be safe.

2) That Council works with the community to stop onshore gas exploration, extraction or mining by keeping the community up to date with all relevant information as it becomes available, and by providing resource support to community groups.

3) That Council opposes onshore gas exploration, extraction, mining or infrastructural work on land it owns or manages until it is proven to be safe.

4) That Council incorporates this position into its Environmental Management Strategy.

5) That Council supports a motion at the state council of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) calling on all municipalities in Victoria to oppose the exploration for and extraction of gas within the state.

Signed,
[781 online signatures plus 389 on papersheets, in total: 1.170 signatures]

 

» See the online petition on: www.change.org
 

 

 

 

 

 

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, Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast. The group currently consists of approximately 700 concerned citizens in the Geelong region.

Geelong Council to make a decision about fracking

On the next ordinary meeting of Geelong Council – which is held on Tuesday 14 October 2014 at the Council Conference and Reception Centre, City Hall, Little Malop Street, Geelong, commencing at 7:00pm – councillors will make a decision on the municipality’s official stand on fracking.

We hope to see many of our region’s fracktivists attending this meeting.

Geelong Council received a total of 449 submissions about fracking. Of these 447 were opposed to onshore gas extraction and in particular the use of hydraulic fracking. 10 of the submissions were included in the agenda document for the councillors to read. See below.

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The following is the recommendation from council staff which the 13 Geelong councillors will be voting on at their meeting:

Greater Geelong City Council – 14 October 2014
Agenda for Ordinary Meeting
SECTION B – REPORTS – Page 35

ONSHORE GAS EXTRACTION REPORT

Portfolio: Environment and Sustainability – Cr Richards
Source: City Services
General Manager: Gary Van Driel
Index Reference: Mining/Extractive Industries, Minerals

Purpose
The purpose of this Report is to inform Council of the results of the onshore gas extraction submissions process as well as provide Council with recommendations regarding this matter.

Summary
• For many decades, Victoria has had access to low cost electricity and gas, which has provided a major competitive advantage and underpinned its strong and diverse economy. Natural gas accounts for 19 per cent of all energy used in Victoria.

• With the completion of new large scale export facilities, domestic consumers will compete with international consumers for gas. It is expected that the price of gas will significantly increase to approach international prices.

• Victoria has no coal seam gas (CSG) production or confirmed resources but there are a number of licences for exploration, one of which includes areas within the City of Greater Geelong.

• The Victorian Government has put a halt on approvals for new CSG exploration licences and approvals and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) a technique used to stimulate hard-to-reach gas deposits.

• Council has received a significant amount of feedback on Council’s Draft Environment Management Strategy regarding the potential impacts of coal seam gas, tight gas, and shale gas fracking within the municipality including its environment, agricultural land and land access issues on CSG mining on private land.

• At the 22 July 2014 Ordinary Council Meeting it was resolved that a 30-day process be commenced to educate Council on the issue of ‘fracking’, and that this process will be followed by Council taking public submissions on the issue of Coal Seam Gas Extraction and in particular, the ‘fracking’ process, for a period of one month commencing 25 August 2014.

• A Briefing Note and Information Pack were prepared to assist Council, in-line with the Notice of Motion, and the Manager Stakeholder and Community relations from Clean Coal Victoria section of the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation presented at the Councillor briefing Session on the 19th August 2014.

• A total of 449 submissions were received. Of these 447 were opposed to onshore gas extraction and in particular the use of hydraulic fracking.

• The primary concerns in the submissions opposed to onshore gas extraction and hydraulic fracking were contamination of land, air and water, health concerns, noise pollution, decrease in property values and the need to utilise renewable energy sources.

• Only one detailed submission was forthcoming in support of onshore gas extraction.


Recommendation
That Council:

1) note the high number of submissions received opposing onshore gas extraction and hydraulic fracking;

2) write to the Victorian government requesting an indefinite extension to the existing moratorium until;

a) the Victorian Government carry out extensive community consultation in potentially affected Geelong communities and;

b) undertakes research into any potential social, economic and environmental and health impacts of unconventional gas exploration and development; and

c) there is broad community support for the development of an onshore gas industry; and

3) write to the Victorian and Federal governments requesting support for the development of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels in the provision of heating, cooling and power.


Background
For many decades, Victoria has had access to low cost electricity and gas, which has provided a major competitive advantage and underpinned its strong and diverse economy. Natural gas accounts for 19 per cent of all energy used in Victoria. With the completion of new large scale export facilities, domestic consumers will compete with international consumers for gas. It is expected that the price of gas will significantly increase to approach international prices.

Victoria has no coal seam gas (CSG) production or confirmed resources but there are a number of licences for exploration, one of which includes areas within the City of Greater Geelong. The Victorian Government has put a halt on approvals for new coal seam gas exploration licences and approvals and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) a technique used to stimulate hard-to-reach gas deposits.

Council has received a significant amount of feedback on Council’s Draft Environment Management Strategy regarding the potential impacts of coal seam gas, tight gas, and shale gas fracking within the municipality including its environment, agricultural land and land access issues on coal seam gas mining on private land. At the 22 July 2014 Ordinary Council Meeting it was resolved that a 30-day process be commenced to educate Council of the issue of ‘fracking’, and that this process will be followed by Council taking public submissions on the issue of coal seam gas extraction and in particular, the ‘fracking’ process, for a period of one month commencing 25 August. A Briefing Note and Information Pack were prepared to assist Council, in-line with the Notice of Motion and the Manager Stakeholder and Community relations from Clean Coal Victoria section of the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation presented at the Councillor briefing Session on the 19th August.

Discussion
A total of 449 submissions were received during the 1 month submission period. Of these 447 were opposed to onshore gas extraction and in particular the use of hydraulic fracking. The submissions ranged from simple one line statements to lengthy multi-page submissions. A sample of the submissions is included in Appendix 1.

Copies of the submission have been made available to Councillors.

The primary concerns listed in the submissions opposed to onshore gas extraction and hydraulic fracking were contamination of land air and water, impacts of groundwater, health concerns, noise pollution, decrease in property values and the need to utilise renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels. A summary of the comments regarding these concerns is as follows;

a) Contamination of land, air and water
Submissions raised concerns that contamination of land, air and water would occur via the use of chemicals and waste by-products, including saltwater and methane. Submissions were concerned about accidental chemical and waste spills, inability to store and dispose of waste products. Of particular concern was the use of hydraulic fracking and associated use of chemicals which are injected into the ground and which may migrate into groundwater.

b) Groundwater impacts
Submissions stated that significant amounts of water are required to enable hydraulic fracking and it was not known where this would come from. It was also submitted that use of water for the onshore gas industry would complete with usage for other activities including farming and domestic supply.

c) Health concerns
Concerns were specifically raised regard the use of BTEX chemicals (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) in the fracking process. These compounds are some of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in petroleum derivatives such as petrol (gasoline) and have potential health impacts1.The Victorian government has recently banned the use of BTEX chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to extract coal seam gas. Submissions highlighted concerns regarding air pollution caused by methane leakage from onshore gas extraction. Concerns were also raised regarding noise from truck movements, drilling, machinery and other processes, particularly in rural environments. Submissions highlighted the risk of accidents occurring and the potential damage that these might cause and the difficultly in cleaning up chemical spills.

d) Decrease in Property Values and other land uses
Submissions raised concerns about the potential negative perceptions of supporting an onshore gas industry (fossil fuel) in the Geelong region. It was felt that this would be to the detriment of the regions tourism and agricultural sectors. It was also submitted that the development of an onshore gas industry would decrease property values and only bring short term profit to large international companies.

e) Utilise renewable energy
Many submissions stated that Geelong should be moving away from fossil fuels and supported the development of renewable energy sector. This would provide the platform for future economic and job growth for the region as well as decrease environmental impacts.

The only detailed submission in support of onshore gas extraction submitted that there were many benefits of natural gas usage in Australia, proposed that many attending recent anti-fracking rallies were from ‘other areas’ and put forward views and ‘facts’ about natural gas extraction

This submission put forward the following to support the extraction and use of gas;
• Natural gas has been drilled since 1947, first in the USA, then Canada, Europe and Australia, without environmental calamity.
• In Australia, gas extraction activities have been studied by health, environmental and regulatory bodies in Queensland, NSW and WA, as well as Federally. Study is underway in Victoria. No State in Australia, or overseas, has banned natural gas drilling.
• Natural gas drilling can and does co-exist with agriculture – most notably in Queensland and in Camden in NSW (on the southern outskirts of Sydney).
• Farmers do benefit from hosting natural gas wells. More than 5000 land owners have entered into commercial agreements with gas drillers in Queensland alone.
• Regional centres benefit from gas resource development, in local employment, service delivery businesses and direct spending by companies and workers
• The gas industry brings substantial economic benefits for land holders, communities and the nation, without compromising other industries, including tourism.
Queensland expects to be the country’s highest growth State in 2015, on the back of the gas industry.
• More than 40,000 people are employed in the gas industry in Queensland alone.
• Billions will be paid nationwide in taxes and royalties in 2015 and beyond.

Environmental Implications
The full environmental impacts of onshore gas extraction are likely to be unknown at this stage. There are risks associated with any industry, particularly those in rural areas, and the extraction of natural gas has the potential to result in land, air and water pollution. It should be noted however that strong regulations and implementation of best practice techniques, and technology can substantially reduce any risks. Natural gas (methane) is a greenhouse gas and its usage will contribute to increases in greenhouse gases within the atmosphere which may result in climate change and other impacts.

Financial Implications
There are no direct financial implications on Council as a result of the recommendation in this report

Policy/Legal/Statutory Implications
The state government ultimately determines whether the development of an onshore gas extraction industry will proceed

Alignment to City Plan
The recommendations in this report align with supporting our community to live sustainably under the Sustainable Built and Natural Environment pillar.

Officer Direct or Indirect Interest
There is no officer direct or indirect interest in this report.

Risk Assessment
Many submissions advocated that Council should adopt a precautionary risk based approach regarding the development of an onshore gas extraction industry. Further work is required to assess the potential environmental and health risks.

Social Considerations
There is considerable community concern regarding the potential impacts of onshore gas extraction, including the use of fracking in the Geelong region.

Human Rights Charter
There are no human rights charter issues resulting from the recommendation in this report.

Consultation and Communication
Council has conducted an engagement process which has yielded over 400 submissions, Council has been provided with information and material relating to onshore gas extraction and had a presentation from State government representatives.

Council’s position on onshore gas extraction will need to be reflected in its Environmental Management Strategy, currently in draft form. Community engagement has been extensive.

(1) www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/dc6c0439-ac47-4c53-981a-
876fa8d8e6d4/files/report6-appendices.pdf


Example submission 1;

Dear Councillors,

There are a number of issues to be considered, these include

Potential damage which is caused by the use of rural, conservation or open space land for fracking purposes will be irreversible. There will be no going back to the original condition of the land when the gas is exhausted. Natural justice would indicate that clean air, water and access to privately owned agricultural land and public open space is a right. The legislation which allows an industry the absolute right to whatever is underneath a landowners topsoil without the permission of the owner, appears to have been suitable for the 1800,s but certainly not appropriate in the 2000’s. It is therefore urged that Council strongly opposes fracking in general within its boundaries.

XXXXX urges that COGG Council join with Surf Coast and other regional councils to lobby Government to extend the moratorium in perpetuity and protect Victoria from this damaging and polluting industry. It is understood that the companies concerned will produce gas for export, which will cause a rise in local gas prices, (perhaps not understood by gas supporters).

Hazards which may result from the fracking industry include –

• Excessive use of water in the fracking process with the potential for a shortage of potable water for Geelong and district

• Impossibility for storage of the ‘waste water’ from the process of fracking, which is highly polluted with chemicals and cannot be returned to rivers or streams or placed in storage dams. No solution to this problem has been achieved.

• The potential for groundwater to become polluted from the introduction of water laced with chemicals used to achieve the fracturing of the rock areas. Groundwater is a valuable asset and no potential risk should be allowed.

• The potential for methane to be released into the atmosphere

• Loss of agricultural land for food production or natural areas and public spaces for recreation and conservation.

• Disturbance in local areas with damage to roads and noise pollution from drilling and transport

• Each drill site requires an area the size of a football field which will be disturbed or covered with a hard surface. Farm paddocks will be crisscrossed with tracks and roads for the trucks to move between the drillings.

• The fact that this industry is ‘once only’ and the land used for farming and often cared for by generations of farmers will be severely degraded and useless for food production

It is clear that farmers and landholders in this region are strongly opposed to any introduction of this very damaging industry and should be supported in their efforts to protect our landscapes and farmlands from a mining industry.


Example submission 2;

Dear Mayor, City of Greater Geelong Councillors, and Mr Thomas

The fossil fuel extraction company Lakes Oil has a licence to drill in our region. I look forward to hearing what concrete action Council will take in regard to cancelling or opposing this drilling licence to Lakes Oil under the Exploration Permit 163. 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 runs out. Judging from the state government’s website – and contrary to the “Not on my guard” election promises from Premier Denis Napthine – both state government and the fossil fuel industry appears to be very eager to get started.

In New South Wales, the onshore gas industry – according to sources within the industry itself – is paying $135 million in land access payments to farmers and landowners, and the NSW government’s revenue is estimated to be $1.6 billion. A 49-page report from 2013, ‘Getting gas right: Australia’s energy challenge’, talks about producing an estimated $50 billion-a-year gas industry in Australia by 2017, and about Australia’s role in a so-called “gas revolution” created by surging demand in Asia.

“We believe that the US shale gas revolution is about to hit Australia’s shores,” “the potential size of Australia’s shale gas resources is truly enormous,” writes the gas extraction company RFC Ambrian. “It’s Cleaner. It’s Safer. It’s Jobs. It Is The Future,” proclaims the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, APPEA. And accordingly, lots of money appears to have been invested already in trying to convince our elected representatives and decision makers in government to let what I would call “the fracking nightmare” roll out here in Victoria.

Our faith in democracy at stake
I will give some examples which explain why it will become a nightmare, if you allow this to happen. I will give you some of the reasons why I don’t think we should allow fracking for gas in Victoria – ever. You need to understand that people in your municipality are quite upset about this. “How can this happen in a democratic society when a vast majority of the population is against it?” they rightfully question. Citizens feel that their legal and civil rights have been take away from them. Old laws from another century – those days when gold mining was a big thing here in Victoria – have never been modernised, and this means that when the state government grants a licence to a gas company, as it has done with Lakes Oil in our region, the legislation actually allows Lakes Oil to mine anywhere within that licence, even if it is on private land. In order to maintain good public relations, most mining companies do try to gain permission from land-holders, but in reality a land-holder has no legal right to stop mining from occurring on their land.

In legal terms, people don’t even have the right to lock the gate on their own property and refuse gas mining on their land, and so far, I haven’t seen or heard anyone in politics advocating for an update of these old laws. This needs to change. What we need to understand here is that what is happening with the fracking question is that people’s faith in democracy is being shattered. Fracking creates anxiety and tension, and it makes otherwise normal peaceful citizens lose faith in the democratic processes and move over to unusual and often very messy civil disobedience measures with sad and expensive consequences for everyone. This is one aspect of what it is at stake if you allow this industry to enter our municipality.

Dangerous air pollution
I see some very serious problems arising in our society at the moment. The most urgent of these problems is that we are collectively ignoring what science is telling us, almost screaming 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 dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The solution is to quickly switch over to solar, to wind, to hydro power instead, and the good news is that there are so many good reasons to start doing that, economically, health-wise, and so on.

Even so, it is not really happening at the rate and at the scale which the scientists are advising us we should be doing this. You probably noticed the warnings coming from the UN Summit in New York about the same topic this week. Extensive reports from the Climate Panel of the United nations, IPPC, use more urgent language at each successive report to say we must stop burning fossil fuels if we want future generations to avoid a total runaway climate disaster.

And no, unconventional gas is not cleaner than coal – and it does not make environmental sense to use it as a “bridge fuel”. That is industry spin. Recent peer-reviewed science from Cornell University as well as several other universities raise serious doubts about the industry’s claim that gas is “cleaner than coal”, in particular because of the fugitive emissions at every stage of its extraction through to use.

Every dollar spent on gas is one we don’t get to spend on renewables, which – slows down the transition to a post carbon world. Investment in gas mining removes focus and economy from the transition to renewables and sustainable jobs. Gas mining is creating an unnecessary detour away from where we need to get to.

If you understand the latest peer-reviewed climate science, then you are aware that we must leave fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid runaway climate change. This gives you a great responsibility. Because we can see that that won’t happen unless you, our elected leaders in City of Greater Geelong, step in, take some real leadership and legislate in this area:

1) Ban onshore gas extraction once and for all

2) Move investments from fossil fuels over to renewables.

Worrying health impacts
When taking a position on fracking we must first of all look at its impacts on our health and safety – that fracking is risky gambling with drinking water and health. However, the issue also raises a question about which connection we would like to have with the land that we live on, and to that end, which possibilities we would like to have in terms of cultivating tourism.

Another issue with fracking, which you must take into account when you make your decision, is that our farmland becomes an industrial zone with lights, noise and truck movements 24/7, and how this affects the local tourism industry. We have seen this in Queensland and in the United States. Many more trucks will be on our roads. The landscape becomes mutilated by drilling towers and machinery. Geelong region’s reputation as an area for tourism gets ruined, and the real estate value of houses near gas mining wells drops.

Fracking has become known to be 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 industry claims that it knows what to do with the produced waste water, but the reality is that it doesn’t. Naturally occurring toxic chemicals and active elements which have been trapped in the rocks which are fractured are released with the gas. These plus 60 percent of the initial injected chemicals are returned to the surface. Not even reverse osmosis can remove some of these. Often these are just put into the local sewerage treatment system. Even the chemicals and elements which reverse osmosis can remove still have to be disposed of. They don’t just vanish. Where to?

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

The local pollution from fugitive emissions, toxic chemicals, mining equipment and particulates from diesel powered equipment causes citizens who live near the gas wells to get sick – and apart from the individual problems this causes, the bill for this sickness eventually becomes a bill to you, the Council, and to our society. The mining industry has impact on people living nearby and workers who are exposed to the chemicals and pollution. A study which recently came out of Yale University found that people who lived near oil and unconventional gas operations had greater respiratory illnesses and skin rashes than those who lived further away. And regardless of what the industry claims, accidents happen. Water contamination happens. The industry at the same time won’t give any guarantees that water contamination won’t happen. Evidence both from Queensland and the United States shows that this is happening. In terms of the chemicals being used for hydraulic fracturing, the industry only mentions the least offensive ones – vinegar, ‘many of the chemicals are under people’s sinks’, or ‘chemicals used in making ice-cream’. Very few of the chemicals they use have been tested for health effects on people and animals, let alone when they are used in combination.

The real bill is left unpaid
The only reason that fracking is taking place and happening even so – especially in Queensland, but also now possibly 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 (most of them not even living in Australia), while we, the rate payers, are unfairly left with all the bills to pay and the destruction of our land.

The mining industry has some very bad records for not cleaning up after itself, and unconventional gas mining is only profitable because costs of cleaning up and climate damage are not made a part of the equation.

What drives the gas mining industry forward is a desire to make profits. Local communities in Queensland are seeing the devastating consequences of this industry: Only a few people benefit financially from it, and they are not held accountable by authorities to pay the bills for the damage they create in the ground as well as in the air. Take a look at Tara in the Western Darling Downs for nightmarish health and community impacts. It becomes the local community which must bear the burden of the industry’s environmental impacts while the profits go elsewhere. Why should we, the citizens, accept being treated like that?

See through the industry spin and lies
‘Facts’ and ‘the science’ is being used as an argument for allowing onshore gas mining. Like the ‘fact’ that there has never been a ‘proven case’ of contamination of ground water because of fracking. This is not true. Facts and science can be manipulated and deliberately miscommunicated and many other myths are being created to delay the inevitable transition away from fossils fuels over to renewables. I can see that CoGG and the Victorian Government as well as local media all refer to studies and research carried out by CSIRO as if it was a reliable and ‘neutral’ scientific source. I suggest you ask yourself: Can the branch of CSIRO working on unconventional gas be relied on to be impartial when they are funded by the unconventional gas industry? They clearly cannot!

Regardless of the aggressive ‘fact claiming’ rhetoric flying through the air and through local media columns, there is one 100 per cent indisputable argument as to why unconventional gas mining must be permanently banned. That is the fact that gas is a fossil fuel and a greenhouse gas. The methane, which leaks in the gas production, is a fossil fuel and an extremely potent greenhouse gas. The greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels which we flood our atmosphere and oceans with are damaging our planet to a point where it is getting really dangerous now. It could get out of hand for humanity within the life time of our children, according to scientists in the United Nations’ Climate Panel.

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 all know that, even most of those who pretend to ignore or oppose it – instead of going over to solar, wind and hydro, and so on, as our main sources for electricity. When on top of that you add the riskfactors involved and the fact that fossil fuels in general are not just dangerous to the climate, they are very dangerous to our health as well, then switching over to renewable energy sources becomes a very obvious choice. Gas can explode, and the gas production involves a lot of risks. Renewable energy sources don’t involve any such health risks. Add to that that the gas prices are continuously rising. More fracking won’t make gas cheaper to the consumer. On the contrary, prices are expected to triple soon. Meanwhile, prices on renewables are dropping – and will continue to drop.

The list of good reasons to ban fracking appears to be almost endless. As Victoria and Geelong gets drier and drier because of climate change, the gas extraction companies’ excessive use of millions litres of water in itself represents a threat. You will need to consult with Barwon Water about this.

The vast quantities of water needed to release oil and gas by fracturing rock formations are not available in many of the large areas with the richest deposits – and globally this poses a major challenge to the viability of fracking. According to a report by the World Resources Institute, 38 per cent of the areas where unconventional gas and oil is most abundant is arid or already under severe water stress – and the 386 million people living in these areas need all the spare water they can get.

Please apply for the exemption
Our neighbours in Surf Coast Shire have put forward a motion on Unconventional Gas Exploration and Development expressing concern about potential impacts and lack of regulatory framework. (See council minutes for motion details, page 177). It seems the Shire can apply to be exempt from this type of mining, but needs the community to ask council, through letters and emails, to apply for the exemption. I therefore ask City of Greater Geelong Council to apply for this extension as Surf Coast Shire is doing, and ensure that City of Greater Geelong remains gas mining free.

Help stop this intergenerational theft
Gas mining jobs are not needed here, there are many more jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and that is the path we need to invest in. In California, for every job lost to fossil fuels, 50 new jobs have been created in energy efficiency. The most basic and fundamental question you as councillors must ask yourselves is probably: Why should we allow further investments in a fossil exploration and exploitation such as gas when we all know that what we urgently need to invest in is modern and clean, renewable energy technology? There comes a time when we must say ‘stop it’, and that time is now. Fracking is intergenerational theft. It is a shortsighted and amoral to provide energy in a world that needs to decarbonise its energy production.


Submission example 3;

Dear councillors,

I write to you as a very concerned lifelong resident of Geelong on the issue of fracking.

In the last 2 years I have taken the time to educate myself on many environmental issues including the extremely dangerous process of gas extraction known as fracking. I have learnt about the process itself and the effect it has had on towns that have been fracked and the picture is very clear – allowing gas companies to frack Geelong would be catastrophic for our region. The risks to our precious land and water supply, the health risks to our residents, the list goes on.

But apart from the innumerable negative effects it would directly have on Geelong, there is simply no sense to fracking. The simple fact is gas can no longer be extracted from the ground conventionally or unconventionally. The burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming which is creating an unstable climate. Geelong is not immune to the effects of climate change. Quite the contrary – we are a bayside town!!! We can help protect our beautiful town by making smart choices. Geelong has such a wonderful opportunity right now for clean energy technology manufacturing. Geelong is more than ready to be a ‘Clean Tech Hub’.

Councillors – you have the power to help create a safe, resilient, frack-free future for Geelong. Please use that power.


Submission example 4;

I wish to register my opposition to fracking in the Geelong area. Given the issues related to global warming and climate change, I firstly think that to uncover yet another fossil fuel makes no sense. Apart from this, the practice of fracking is invasive environmentally and potentially damaging to the underground water system. Reading accounts of the effects on locals when fracking has moved into different farming/winery/tourist areas in Australia gives some insight into its invasiveness in communities. Why would Geelong even consider letting this practice start here?
There are other ways to harness energy. Will Geelong City Council show any leadership in this area?


Submission example 5;

I would like it duly noted that I am totally opposed to any form of unconventional (fracking) gas mining/ exploration in the Geelong Region. I believe we should be expanding and transitioning into renewable energy. Fracking is a destructive energy source, puts our water supply at high risk of contamination and is not necessary. The jobs created are minimal and we know that most of the gas is exported so that fact that ‘they’ purport it is for our future energy supplies to prevent shortage is nothing more than a lie. Profits are for a few. There is no community gain in this industry.


Submission example 6;

I write as a worried Geelong resident to raise my serious concerns about fracking coming to the Geelong region. No doubt you will receive many submissions from similarly concerned residents RE: why fracking should be BANNED in the region (and essentially, across the entire world), but here are five points that I read some time ago in an article online that I believe accurately sum up my main reasons for opposing fracking so instead of reinventing the wheel I have posted them here;

http://www.rodalenews.com/fracking-2

Natural gas is not clean. Natural gas burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels, but in the course of its entire life cycle, it’s actually worse than coal, long touted as the dirtiest of our fossil fuels. Because fracking involves mixing millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals into the ground at high pressure, it creates fissures in the shale that release the natural gas. Life cycle analysis expert Robert Howarth, PhD, professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell University, discovered that anywhere from 3.6 to nearly 8 percent of the methane from shale gas drilling escapes through venting and leaks. Methane is a
greenhouse gas about 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

2. Howarth’s latest life cycle calculations updated in January 2011 find that when considering the burning of natural gas, and the methane leaks that fracking creates, shale gas produces 1.20- to 2.1-fold more greenhouse gas emissions when compared to coal during a 20-year time period. Methane leaks are worse during the actual fracking process, but they continue to slowly seep over long periods of time. When considering this, natural gas is on par with coal when looking at greenhouse gas production over a 100-year period, the Cornell research shows.

3. Fracking chemicals are extremely dangerous. Since most natural gas drilling companies will not disclose all of the products they use in the drilling process, Theo Colborn, PhD, founder and president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, set out to figure out what’s in the chemical cocktails used to drill wells and frack. She and her team found 649 different chemicals, more than half of which are known to disrupt the endocrine system. Exposure to these types of chemicals has been linked to certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome (the name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes). Fifty-five percent of the chemicals cause brain and nervous system damage, and many are linked to cancer and organ damage. The threat of exposure to these chemicals occurs via contaminated air, water, and soil. “They’re getting away with absolute murder; it’s criminal, the things they’re doing,” says award-winning scientist Colborn. “If you destroy an aquifer, you’ve lost it. You’ve destroyed your drinking water supply.”

4. Natural gas drilling turns clean country air to smog. Even if drilling and the fracking process run completely according to plan with no leaks, no methane migration into drinking water wells, no explosions, and no issues dealing with wastewater, air pollution from fracking is inevitable. It’s part of the process, as huge condensate tanks and compressor stations release toxic hydrocarbons like benzene, toluene, xylenes, and ethylbenzene (BTEX) into surrounding communities. At high levels, exposure to BTEX vapors may cause irreversible damage. That, paired with chemicals used in the initial drilling process, make it very harmful to live in the vicinity of a drilling operation, Colborn says. Her study in the International Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment found that 36 percent of the identifiable chemicals used are volatile, meaning they become airborne. Among those, 93 percent have been shown to harm the eyes, skin, sensory organs, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, or liver.

5. Fracking releases uranium. That’s right, the radioactive stuff. The 2005 Energy Act included what is known as the Halliburton Loophole, which exempts the natural gas drilling industry from many safeguards, such as the Clean Water Act, intended to protect citizens from industrial corporate activities that pollute. While the chemical cocktail used in fracking has been of much concern, new research is pointing to another fact: Contaminants and dangerous substances trapped deep underground become mobilized when fracking creates mini-earthquake-like explosions underground. A 2010 study out of the University of Buffalo found that natural gas drilling using the fracking method could potentially contaminate water supplies with uranium.

Fracking affects everyone. A natural gas survey released in December 2010 found that regardless of political leanings, most people are concerned about fracking. Even if you don’t live atop a major shale deposit, the pollution generated in fracking could affect you. Conrad Dan Volz, DrPH, MPH, director of the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities and the GSPH Environmental Health Risk Assessment Certificate Program at the University of Pittsburgh, notes that as more wells are installed in various states, there’s more toxic wastewater to deal with. Wastewater from fracking operations is often sent to municipal treatment plants that are not properly equipped to handle contamination by more than 600 chemicals, and possibly radioactive material. This wastewater is often shipped to locations where fracking isn’t even taking place, threatening rivers and drinking water supplies in those towns.

In short, the best defence against the negative impacts of fracking is to have NO FRACKING AT ALL.


Example submission 7;

We implore the Council of Geelong to remove all investment into fossil fuels and redirect it into renewable energy. Especially we want to make our opposition known to fracking. Please make the City of Greater Geelong a frackfree area.
Coal should be left in the ground undisturbed. Fracking will ruin fertile soil suitable for agriculture and risks contaminating groundwater, the two things we need most in the future.


Example submission 8;

I am writing on behalf of my sister and myself, who are co-owners of a property in Highton, and wish to register our strong opposition to any fracking being approved in the Geelong area.

The issue was brought to my attention by my sister who lives in the region, and when she told me about the proposal, I must say I thought it was a bad joke!

The environmental dangers along with the devastation caused to prime farmland by fracking are already well known from the well-documented experiences of many people in Queensland. I believe the idea that fracking could possibly be extended to the beautiful geelong region is totally outrageous.

Respected TV programs like ‘Four Corners’ have clearly explained all the negatives to this form of exploration – and how widespread those negative consequences can be (as opposed to the very narrow band of stakeholders who benefit from such resource exploitation, with wilful disregard to the environment and the local communities where they operate), so I won’t attempt to re-state those arguments here, but again, reinforce our strongest opposition to any fracking proposal for Geelong. I would also suggest that those with leadership roles in the community should be backing plans for renewable energy at every possible opportunity (e.g. wind / wave and solar, which we have here in abundance!), thus negating the need for our on-going dependence for so called ‘traditional’ energy solutions. We must look to achieve a sustainable energy future.


Example submission 9;

I am a resident of Waurn Ponds with grave doubts about the safety of fracking in light of the significant health issues which have been experience by those where fracking is well established overseas. As a former Science teacher, I have reviewed relevant information with interest and a great deal of concern.

My main concerns are:

• The toxic chemicals used in each fracking operation become airborne. This has been seen to affect 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.

• Evaporation ponds often leak wastewater back into the ground, thereby contaminating the aquifer from above. This is a very serious health and environmental issue. What will we tell our children if we decimate their future water supplies and health, as a result of ill-informed decision making now?

• 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.

• Flames can be lit from the methane in domestic taps if a frack well seal fails and water contamination occurs.

To err on the side of caution and not introduce fracking to the Geelong community would put residents health and safety first which is where it always should be.

If there is any risk to community surely prevention is better than cure.
I hereby submit my very strong objection to fracking in Geelong.


Example submission 10;

A group of coal-seam gas protesters recently “democratically” declared the areas of Moriac, Mt Moriac and Paraparap to be “frack free”. Of the 70-80 people assembled at the ‘declaration’ event, many were from other areas, including Melbourne. Yet the organisers, like colonists, felt at liberty to stake their claim over the territory. To support their belief, they presented petitions, and spoke earnestly about the evils of gas – and indeed all fossil fuels – and the need for Victoria and the world to shift to renewable energy. This is a pattern which has played out in many small-town locations in NSW and Victoria. The same can not be said for WA, Queensland, NT, and SA, where natural gas has been safely extracted for up to 20 years.

At Moriac, the whole ‘democratic’ process unfolded without any examination of the facts about natural gas extraction. Unless they were already well educated, the people who attended left the meeting ignorant to the most telling facts about natural gas. If they were already educated, they left knowing nothing more than when they arrived.

The meeting and petitions presented had as much interest in facts and science as the Lock The Gate Queensland petition which called for the closure of the CSG industry because it had supposedly caused ‘black rain’ in the Darling Downs and a host of health problems for the people in the area. Did the people who signed that petition know what they were signing? Did the organisers contact all the signatories to apologise, when a costly Queensland Health investigation came to the conclusion that the so-called ‘black rain’ was naturally occurring lerps, and had nothing at all to do with the nearby gas wells?

Will Frack Free Geraldton and the Conservation Council apologise for their deliberately misleading advertisement in the Geraldton Guardian newspaper – the one which claimed CSG turns water into a “dangerous chemical cocktail”? Will they apologise for the deceptive ‘facts’ that US research had found 6 per cent of fracking wells leak into groundwater in their first year; and that once water is contaminated, it will be contaminated forever. Each of these claims was used in advertising which WA Newspapers decided was misleading and deceptive. The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 2014) published details of these findings and other anti-gas propaganda in an article headed “Lies, damned lies and social media”. Some of these unfounded claims were aired at the Moriac meeting.

Protest groups claim blanket community support, but in the activist-targeted area of Narrabri, in Northern NSW, the ‘silent majority’ supports responsible gas drilling
(The Courier, 12 Sept. 2014).

As NSW Minister Anthony Roberts said recently: “There has been an awful lot of rubbish thrown at this industry. I would be happy to have a gas well on my property.” Mr Roberts drank water which NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham claimed was CSG poisoned and riddled with radioactive heavy metals. Mr Roberts reported no ill effects.

Key facts about natural gas extraction:
• Natural gas has been drilled since 1947, first in the USA, then Canada, Europe and Australia, without environmental calamity.
• Hydraulic fracturing has been used in a total of 2.5 million wells worldwide without a single case of groundwater contamination. This fact has been confirmed by the US EPA.
• In Australia, gas extraction activities have been studied by health, environmental and regulatory bodies in Queensland, NSW and WA, as well as Federally. Study is underway in Victoria. No State in Australia, or overseas, has banned natural gas drilling.
• Natural gas drilling can and does co-exist with agriculture – most notably in Queensland and in Camden in NSW (on the southern outskirts of Sydney).
• Farmers do benefit from hosting natural gas wells. More than 5000 land owners have entered into commercial agreements with gas drillers in Queensland alone.
• Regional centres benefit from gas resource development, in local employment, service delivery businesses and direct spending by companies and workers
• The gas industry brings substantial economic benefits for land holders, communities and the nation, without compromising other industries, including tourism. Queensland expects to be the country’s highest growth State in 2015, on the back of the gas industry.
• More than 40,000 people are employed in the gas industry in Queensland alone.
• Billions will be paid nationwide in taxes and royalties in 2015 and beyond.

At a time when manufacturing is contracting and unemployment growing, there is a big opportunity for regional Victoria to create jobs and generate additional income for land and business owners – all from responsibly managed, Government regulated resources. That is what has happened in a number of States in the US and Canada, and in Queensland — and there is good reason to believe it can happen in Victoria, to the benefit of consumers, farmers and local businesses – with environmental benefits and without harm to water supplies or agriculture. History and science show that with sensible, regulated development, the economic power of gas can be harnessed, to the benefit of all.


» The above text is a part of the City of Greater Geelong Council meeting agenda document which is found here: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/common/Public/Documents/8cbc87d1d7fc42e-Council%20Agenda%20-%2014%20October%202014.pdf

» www.geelongaustralia.com.au/council/meetings



Time to let Council know what YOU think is… right now!

Have your say
Make sure you have your say if you do not wish to have fracking in Geelong. Even a sentence or two counts, by email, online or in the mail.

Closing date for submissions to Council is today, Friday 26 September 2014.

» Council’s submission page

» How to make a submission: Step by step guide by Alan Manson



Petition to councillors
Also, we encourage you to sign this petition if you would like to put your signature under our letter to Council asking our Councillors to call for a permanent ban on fracking in Victoria.

» Sign the petition: www.frackfreegeelong.org/petition

Hints for your submission

• Your submission doesn’t have to be detailed, but it should be heart felt.

• You are better off picking a couple of points with a bit of explanation than having a lot of points with no explanation at all. Think of the person reading them.

• Try to provide an acknowledged source to back up your point(s) – as shown on this page, there are NO shortage of these. Also see: www.climatesafety.info/gasrush

• Don’t just copy something you see here. Use your words. Say why you are concerned and feel free to offer alternatives.


Inspiration for your submission

If you would like to send a letter to Council about fracking, but feel unsure about what you should write, below are some ‘talking points’ you could elaborate on. Your submission should be personal and unique, in order to count as a submission.

For instance, you could simply state that,

“Council should not allow industry practices to be deployed in City of Greater Geelong that will pollute air, waste vast quantities of water, cause 24/7 noise and light pollution, over-stress our roads, could irreversibly contaminate aquifers and even trigger earthquakes.

There is no reason why Council should allow gas mining in our municipality now that we can get our energy from renewable energy sources which are safe, better for both climate and environment, and create sustainable jobs in the region.”



Share

When you have written a submission, please share it with us so we can post it on this page in order to inspire others.



A4 flyer
A4 flyer

This A4-flyer contains information about where they might frack in Geelong, and also how to send a submission to council with your opinion on fracking in Geelong.

Print a few copies of this flyer and hand around your neighbourhood. But let us know about it if you do this, so we can coordinate what is happening. About 1,600 flyers were letterboxed in Grovedale and Waurn Ponds on 15 September.

Also, copy what you find relevant, paste it in an email and forward it to your friends, family, colleagues and network.

» If you would like to make amendments in the text, download this open Word Document





Examples of submissions


Below are some examples of what people and groups have submitted to Council – for your inspiration. We advice you not to copy-paste, but to tell your own story. Tell Council what you believe is the most important to take into consideration in this matter.


Submission by Frack Free Geelong

SubmissionbyFrackFreeGeelonThis submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014 at 1pm:

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Submission by Geelong Sustainability

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

Dear Rodney Thomas,

Any new activity proposed for the Geelong region needs to be considered in the light of current visions and goals. Geelong Sustainability submits that Geelong and surrounds should be known for its clean green economy, and that there is no place for fracking within that. Various vision statements have been created for the Geelong region, and many centre around creating a clean green future. Underpinning this is our region’s natural environment – our beaches and parks are generate a thriving tourist economy. The region’s wine and fine food industries have built upon the image of the Surf Coast and Bellarine as beautiful natural areas. There is strong demand for real estate in the because of the open spaces and relaxed lifestyle.

As organisations such a Cleantech Innovations Geelong and Future Proofing Geelong indicate, Geelong city does not sit apart from this image. Geelong Sustainability has long advocated that while climate change presents a global crisis, Geelong is uniquely positioned to be part of the solution – by manufacturing clean green technology.

Climate change is an undeniable reality. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are now higher than they have been at any time for hundreds of thousands of years. Scientists believe that the Earth is reaching the point beyond which we no longer have a safe climate. The effects for our region alone will be significant – higher sea levels, more frequent bushfires, more severe heatwaves, more droughts and threats to food security. A drastic reduction in the production of greenhouse gases (particularly carbon dioxide and methane) is required. This will require a transformation of our electricity generation and transport industries, among other things.

Recent job losses notwithstanding, Geelong still boasts a manufacturing sector. We have technical skills and expertise, coupled with the presence of a world class university that is focused on local partnerships. Geelong could and should be manufacturing components for wind turbines, solar panels and components for solar thermal power stations. The basic ingredients for all of these are steel and glass, which are mainstays of our current production. In addition Geelong is one of few cities to have hosted an automotive industry. Geelong has made its name as a manufacturer of passenger vehicles, but it could be producing electric vehicles.

Now let us view fracking within this context. Fracking has a number of physical effects both on the surface environment and the water table down below. The Geelong region’s clean green image has been painstakingly built up through a number of marketing campaigns – but perceptions can change quickly. Damage to Geelong’s water table, on the other hand, could be with us for many decades.

The onshore gas extraction industry exposes our local community to a range of environmental, health-related and psychological impacts and risks which must be considered.

The purpose of fracking is to extract methane gas which can be burned to provide power or heating. But this is not clean or ‘green’ technology. Methane is non-renewable, and produces greenhouse gas when burned. It is marketed as being more “environmentally friendly” than coal due to its lower greenhouse emissions when burned. What is often discounted is the amount of fugitive emissions caused by fracking – i.e. methane that escapes directly into the atmosphere. When methane escapes directly it has a high global warming potential, negating the so called “environmentally friendly” effects.

The so called environmental benefits of producing methane gas through fracking are questionable, and represent the wrong approach. Any new infrastructure related to power generation should be based around zero emission sources – particularly solar and wind.

The power production of the future will not reduce greenhouse gases, it will avoid producing them. Groups such as Beyond Zero Emissions have shown that a power grid comprising largely solar thermal, solar PV and wind could provide Australia’s electricity needs with zero greenhouse emissions. Geelong should play a central part in this.

Geelong is currently experiencing the trauma caused by the moving on of a number of large corporations (e.g. Ford, Alcoa). According to the best wisdom of the day, Geelong actively recruited and attracted these companies. These companies brought economic benefits over many decades and helped establish Geelong as an industrial city, but now they are departing.

We could choose to attract a new industry – fracking – to our region. No doubt the industry will spruik that they bring jobs and investment. Perhaps they will – for ten years or so, while each well is operating. Electric vehicles, wind and solar, on the other hand will be needed in perpetuity, as will the jobs they create.

Dave Campbell
President
Geelong Sustainability

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» This submission was republished on this page with permission from Geelong Sustainability. The original document is found on: www.geelongsustainability.org.au (PDF)



Submission by Dr Quentin Farmar-Bowers

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014 at 1:30pm:

“Dear Sir / Madam
I would like to make a submission about the proposed onshore gas extraction program south of Geelong. I have copied this email to the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Mr Russell Northe, MP.

I think the gas extraction program should not go ahead.

I do not see any benefit for the region nor for Australia in allowing this kind of gas development. This energy project is a negative for everybody:

(1) even for the shareholders of the fracking companies (as the opportunity cost is higher than investing in more modern energy technology companies).

(2) And negative for the banks loaning them the money because there is a backlash against them that will grow in years to come (ethical investing options, divestment in fossil fuel industry … like the recent move by the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Council of Churches and Superfunds [such as HESTA]).

(3) And a backlash against the governments who sanction these projects, when people see the physical devastation and ill health they cause.

(4) For the people in the region who will lose agricultural productivity and suffer from ill health because of the pollution and impossibility of getting compensation down the track.

(5) For the property developers in adjacent areas who find their housing estates have lost value. (6) And finally, for everybody and every ecosystem on the planet as this gas production process and consumption produces more CO2e than coal.

I would like to see a permanent ban on this industry in the region (State and Australia if possible). I don’t think it has any positive value and will cause a lot of harm.

I see this harm in terms of:

· Disruption to farming in the region both now and for decades to come because of the contamination of soil through the disposal of salt and fracking chemicals, the contamination of soil through fugitive methane and other (toxic) hydrocarbons, the contamination of ground water through chemicals, the contamination of surface water and soil from heavy metal and radioactive chemicals that will be brought up in the returned well water (placed in evaporative ponds or irrigated onto farmland or used on roadways for dust suppression), and the use of existing water resources for mining liquids.

· Contamination of air through dust and hydrocarbons released from well-heads and seeping through the ground. This contamination may last decades and may increase in future when well-head capping structure and well linings fail. The cost of resealing these numerous wells is likely to be many times the Geelong city’s total budget for the whole region. The proposed gas field is up-wind of Geelong and very close to the enormous housing subdivisions taking place between Geelong and Torque. If the gas project goes ahead these housing developments should be deferred and safer areas set aside for housing.

· There will be premature deaths from air, soil and water contamination and there may also be birth defects.

· There will be little if any economic gains for the region as the shareholders (who are likely to get dividends) are mostly overseas. The jobs in the Geelong region will be short lived but this income (and the tax they will pay) will be offset by the loss of farming income and by the increase health cost for local people. The gas companies may not be in a position to provide compensation in the decades to come, so compensation will come (if it comes at all) from community money via state and federal governments.

· The burning of the gas will increase global warming wherever it is burnt….and we know that Australia, being a hot and dry continent with its main cities on the coast, is especially vulnerable to even a small increase in warming and sea level rise and reduced rain fall.

· This gas is actually worse for CO2e emissions than coal because of the ongoing fugitive emissions and because of all the energy used in getting it out of the ground, transporting it to ports (in Queensland) shipping overseas then transporting it within these foreign countries to factories and shops.

· If in future, an Australian Government commits us to a global CO2e target, the ongoing fugitive gases (mainly methane with 72 times the warming forcing of CO2 over 20 years) will have to be taken into account. This means that Australian businesses will have to reduce their CO2 pollution further than they would have had if the gas fracking industry had not existed. In other words, Australian businesses and Australians will be left an ongoing legacy from the short lived gas fracking businesses.

· The externalities of this gas are not included in the price…if the full costs were included, the gas would never be able to find a buyer. However, the subsidy Australia is providing the fracking industry means they will be able to sell the gas. So this industry is a massive market failure. And as far as global warming is concerned, it is a classic mal-adaption.

Thanks for this opportunity to comment.

Dr Quentin Farmar-Bowers”


Submission by Centre for Climate Safety

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014:

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Submission by Anthony Gleeson

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

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Submission by Doug Rolfe

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 25 September 2014:

“I lived in Geelong for 32 years from age 7 until moving to a rural property in the Surf Coast Shire 9 years ago. We have strong existing connections to Geelong through family, church, schools and community organisations.

I am strongly opposed to onshore natural gas extraction in any area. It is an inappropriate industry.

I have worked in the oil industry at the beginning of my career and have BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. I have recently worked with a local Catchment Management Authority in analysis of water quality of local rivers. I was part of the community reference group for the Geelong Geothermal Power Project.

Apart from the obvious damage to the surface of the land, the CSG and associated industry in northern Australia and in the USA have a history of damage to local aquifers. COGG should seriously investigate the situation in the Condamine River in QLD and other rivers in northern NSW and QLD before allowing this industry anywhere near the aquifers in our area or the Barwon River.

Natural gas extraction by ‘unconventional’ methods has been strongly associated with high levels of fugitive emissions of methane. This means that overall carbon footprint of methane (natural gas) extracted by unconventional means is no better than for coal. The work of Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher at Southern Cross University has been crucial in showing that gas companies have not carried out the monitoring necessary to track these emissions. (eg. http://scu.edu.au/coastal-biogeochemistry/index.php/70/)

The majority of gas being extracted is intended for direct export and is of little benefit to the local community. I would recommend inviting Dr Mark Ogge from the Australia Institute to brief Council on the financial problems associated with this industry.

The impact of unconventional gas exploration and extraction on rural communities is devastating. The concerns of the community are not based on irrational fears. There has been enough evidence of the destructive nature of this activity that typical ‘law abiding’ farmers are having to resort to blockading their properties in acts of civil disobedience. The Surf Coast communities of Moriac, Mt Moriac, Paraparap and Freshwater Creek recently declared themselves ‘gasfield free’ with between 92-97% of the community signing on to say they reject this industry. There was strong support from Local Council, State and Federal politicians attending. We are looking for the same leadership and support from the Geelong City Council.

Geelong needs to pursue a future based on renewable energy resources and ‘clean tech’ manufacturing. Unconventional gas extraction is a dead-end technology being pursued for the financial benefit of few, to the detriment of the broader community.

Doug Rolfe”


Submission by Alan Manson

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au and also sent carbon copy as an individual emails to the 13 councillors:

“Dear Mr. Mayor,

The issue on Fracking greatly concerns me, and I also have concerns that councillors may not receive all the facts related to Fracking that if known, would immediately draw the conclusion that Fracking is unsafe to the environment and the community, and is therefore unacceptable to allow in the Geelong region.

Although I have a copy of my submission attached for your attention, if you can’t find the time to read it, then please do yourself a favour by clicking on the two links below and take just a few minutes to see how bad Fracking really is and how it is likely to impact the Geelong region adversely.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Kind regards,
Alan Manson

» Fracking or drinking water? That may become the choice
www.nbcnews.com

» Voices from the Gaslands – Megan’s Story
www.lockthegate.org.au/megan

» Submission: Onshore Natural Gas (Coal Seam Gas – Fracking) in the Geelong Region (PDF, 10 pages)”

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Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014 at 4pm:

“To The Mayor & All CoGG Councillors & All Others to Whom This Should Concern

Under NO circumstances do I agree to any form of Fracking or investing of such an industry in Geelong or Victoria….The more I learn of this industry, the more this is so blatantly obvious to everyone that it is a very harmful, destructive, dangerous, damaging industry on every level.

There is NO way I & thousands of others around the country who understand how damaging Fracking is, will allow these companies in Victoria….regardless of the approved licences. There will be massive blockades at record levels, I can guarantee it…..numbers are growing, word is spreading, we will go to every house like those in Moriac, Mt Moriac, Freshwater Creek & Paraparap if we have to.

If Council do not join with Surf Coast Council, Barwon Water & Residents to stand for keeping Geelong & Victoria Frack Free, I & many will be informing & undertaking steps to gather evidence regarding current property value, full health checks, water quality with pre testing of methane & chemical levels & water & noise quality….as base line measurement to prepare & prove damages for legal action against Council, the State & Federal Government if necessary.

I am a single mother who was born in Geelong & lived here my whole life. I am appalled that these Fracking companies have ever been allowed to enter our beautiful country & have exploratory licences even granted……all behind our backs to destroy my property value, health, water & air quality & job prospects.

Every Council member needs to see the movie Gasland

& the movie filmed in Australia, Fractured Country

To further summarise the issues specifically I’d like to state known facts:

– Fracking has not been proven safe to either the environment or to those living in it – flora, fauna and people.

– Fracking relies on large volumes of heavy trucks and machinery entering and leaving local communities 24/7/365.

– 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. Unless the cleanup is 100% effective, the community may be in danger from the remnants of the spill. I understand the chemicals being used cause ill health and cancer.

– The industry does not employ locals or bring any benefit to the local economy.

Further, I am stunned we are even having to be made to go through this process of submissions, when our neighbouring Council in the Surf Coast did their own investigations & simply decided, long ago to keep the area Frack Free. Why……because it is a NO BRAINER. There is nothing to gain, only to lose as our number 1 industry in this Region being Tourism, with the Great Ocean Road & Otways being the biggest Tourist destination outside of Melbourne for domestic & international visitors.

See stats from Tourism Victoria under what’s their main purpose for coming.
www.tourism.vic.gov.au/research/domestic-and-regional-research/domestic-visitation.html…this demonstrates the enormity of Tourism in our Region & how important it is to us the residents of Geelong as the gateway to the Surf Coast & Great Ocean Road & therefore important to all the residents (our neighbours) in that region also.

Deciding anything other than to keep Geelong & Victoria Frack Free will destroy us economically, socially, agriculturally, affecting health, jobs, food, water levels & quality, air quality, property values etc.

We as a Region, State, Country & Planet need to be ONLY focusing on Sustainable, Renewable, Socially Conscious, Peaceful (not connected to wars & violence), Clean Green business, industry & manufacturing.

On Tuesday 23 Sept 2014 many leaders of the World met to discuss this very issue based on worldwide concern on our values, priorities, plans & goals in this area. Our Prime Minister chose not to go, the world is watching us. We Geelong & Victoria have an opportunity here to be the leaders in Sustainable Renewable Manufacturing etc we are among one of the sunniest countries in the world & are one of the most arid countries in the world. We can not sustain industries raping our land, planet & people of a sustainable life through mining & war any longer.

Mr Di Caprio summed it up perfectly on Tuesday at the UN Climate Summit in New York please watch & really listen to what he is saying:

Thank you for the opportunity to state my strong views to keep Geelong & Victoria Frack Free permanently & for our region & state to focus on Sustainable, Renewable, Clean Green enterprises only.”

 



Submission by Nat Cowdell

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 26 September 2014

“Dear councillors,

I write to you as a very concerned lifelong resident of Geelong on the issue of fracking.

In the last 2 years I have taken the time to educate myself on many environmental issues including the extremely dangerous process of gas extraction known as fracking. I have learnt about the process itself and the effect it has had on towns that have been fracked and the picture is very clear – allowing gas companies to frack Geelong would be catastrophic for our region. The risks to our precious land and water supply, the health risks to our residents, the list goes on.

But apart from the innumerable negative effects it would directly have on Geelong, there is simply no sense to fracking. The simple fact is gas can no longer be extracted from the ground conventionally or unconventionally. The burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming which is creating an unstable climate. Geelong is not immune to the effects of climate change. Quite the contrary – we are a bayside town!!! We can help protect our beautiful town by making smart choices. Geelong has such a wonderful opportunity right now for clean energy technology manufacturing. Geelong is more than ready to be a ‘Clean Tech Hub’.

Councillors – you have the power to help create a safe, resilient, frack-free future for Geelong. Please use that power.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Cowdell”



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

This submission was sent to rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au on 20 September 2014

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Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

“Dear City of Greater Geelong Councillors,

I am a mother who is extremely concerned about the world in which my children and grandchildren will grow up if we continue to use fossil fuels as energy sources.

Unconventional gas is a fossil fuel which the vast majority of the latest peer-reviewed science is telling us must remain in the ground if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change.

We have alternatives in clean renewable energy sources like the sun and the wind which will not only be safer, but also will provide new jobs in Geelong and district.

Geelong is at a crossroads. We can continue with fossil fuels which have served us well in the past, but which the rest of the world is now rejecting, or we can lead our state and country by embracing a clean energy job rich future.

Choose wisely, COGG councillors! Please protect you citizens and reject this invasive, toxic industry.”



Submission by a Frack Free Geelong supporter

“Dear Councillors of the City of Greater Geelong

I appreciate the opportunity to have a say on this very important issue. I congratulate the City of Greater Geelong for this initiative.

I am particularly concerned about the health impacts on going down the path of onshore gas exploration and extraction.

The usually conservative Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged caution, saying we just don’t know enough about the health impacts to proceed at this stage. Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) go a little further and suggest a ban until the industry is able to prove that it is safe.

The health concerns come from most aspects of the gas industry’s practices:

– The mix of dangerous chemicals which are forced under pressure deep into the earth

– The fear of contamination of drinking water sources

– The impact of people living near the wells and being exposed to airborne pollutants 24/7

– The impact on mental health of seeing the area being turned into an industrial zone.

– The contribution this fossil fuel has to runaway climate change at a time when the latest peer-reviewed climate science is screaming out that we must leave all fossil fuels in the ground if we want a safe climate future.

I am deliberately focussing only on some of the health impacts in my submission. I know there are many others.

With all these concerns about the negative impacts of this industry, I can’t understand why we would be thinking of embracing unconventional gas in this area. There are alternatives, like clean renewable energy – wind, solar and wave energy, to name just three – which have none of these concerns and also have the potential to provide many more – and sustainable – local jobs in these times of high unemployment in City of Greater Geelong.”




 

Reasons why we don’t need to frack for gas

1) The local community bears the burden while the profits go elsewhere:

Gas prices go up not down – will have export parity price. Price in Asia is much higher, so gas companies won’t accept lower domestic price.

Industrial zone: Lights noise 24/7. Many more truck movements on our roads. Landscape mutilated by industrial gasfield zones. Tourism ruined. Real estate value drops

Local pollution from fugitive emissions, toxic chemicals, mining equipment and particulates from diesel powered equipment.

Risky gambling with drinking water and health. Impact on people living nearby and workers who are exposed to the chemicals and pollution. (A study which recently came out of Yale University found that people who lived near oil and unconventional gas operations had greater respiratory illnesses and skin rashes than those who lived further away.)

Water contamination: accidents happen. The industry claims – but at the same time won’t guarantee – that water contamination won’t happen. Evidence both from Queensland and the United States shows that this is happening.

Chemical use: Industry only mentions the least offensive ones – vinegar, ‘many of the chemicals are under people’s sinks’, or ‘chemicals used in making icecream’. Very few of the chemicals they use have been tested for health effects on people and animals, let alone when they are used in combination.

• Excessive use of water on the driest continent. The vast quantities of water needed to release oil and gas by fracturing rock formations are not available in large areas with the richest deposits – posing major challenges to the future viability of fracking. (According to a report by the World Resources Institute, 38 per cent of the areas where unconventional gas and oil is most abundant is arid or already under severe water stress – and the 386 million people living in these areas need all the spare water they can get.)

• What to do with produced waste water? Naturally occurring toxic chemicals and radio active elements which have been trapped in the rocks which are fractured are released with the gas. These plus 60 percent of the initial injected chemicals are returned to the surface. Not even reverse osmosis can remove some of these. Often these are just put into the local sewerage treatment system. Even the chemicals and elements which reverse osmosis can remove still have to be disposed of. They don’t just vanish. Where to?



2) Fracking is intergenerational theft, short-sighted and amoral. Here’s why:

• Unconventional gas mining is only profitable because costs of cleaning up and climate damage are not part of the equation. The mining industry has a century-old history of not cleaning up after itself.

• Investment in gas ming removes focus and economy from the transition to renewables and sustainable jobs. Every dollar spent on gas is one we don’t get to spend on renewables – slows down the transition to a post carbon world.

• Unnecessary detour. According to the latest peer-reviewed climate science we MUST leave fossil fuels in the ground if we want to avoid runaway climate change. The Climate Panel of the United nations, IPPC, reports using more urgent language at each successive report to say we must stop burning fossil fuels if we want future generations to have a safe climate.

• Gas mining jobs are not needed here, there are many more jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and that is the path we need to invest in. In California, for every job lost to fossil fuels, 50 new jobs have been created in energy efficiency.

Not cleaner than coal: Recent peer-reviewed science from Cornell University is raising serious doubts about the industry’s claim that it is cleaner than coal – fugitive emissions at every stage of its extraction through to use – methane is much worse in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than CO2.


Summarising:
What drives the gas mining industry forward is a desire to make profits. Local communities in Queensland are seeing the devastating consequences of this industry: Only a few people benefit financially from it, and they are not held accountable by authorities to pay the bills for the damage they create in the ground as well as in the air. See Tara in the Western Darling Downs for nightmarish health and community impacts.

‘Facts’ and ‘the science’ is being used as an argument for allowing onshore gas mining. Like the ‘fact’ that there has never been a ‘proven case’ of contamination of ground water because of fracking. Not true. Facts and science can be manipulated and deliberately mis-communicated and many other myths which are being created to delay the inevitable transition away from fossils fuels over to renewables.

You must ask yourself: Can the branch of CSIRO working on unconventional gas – which Council and media often refers to as the official ‘science’ on gas mining – be relied on to be impartial when they are funded by the unconventional gas industry?

If you find this ‘fact claiming’ rhetoric game a waste of time, then just stick to some of the 100 percent indisputable arguments why unconcentional gas mining must be permanently banned, such as, for instance:

• Gas is a fossil fuel and a greenhouse gas. Methane, which leaks in the gas production, is a fossil fuel and an extremely potent greenhouse gas. The greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels we flood our atmosphere and oceans with are damaging our planet to a point where it is getting really dangerous. It could get out of hand for humanity within the life time of our children.

• Fossil fuels are not just dangerous to the climate. They are dangerous to our health. Gas can explode. Gas production involves a lot of risks. Renewable energy sources don’t involve any such health risks.

• Gas prices are rising. More fracking won’t make gas cheaper to the consumer. On the contrary, prices are expected to triple soon. Meanwhile, prices on renewables are dropping – and will continue to drop.

• Why keep investing in a fossil exploration and exploitation such as gas when what we urgently need to invest in is modern and clean, renewable energy technology? There comes a time when we must say ‘stop it’, and that time is now.



» For more information about onshore gas extraction, see gas fact sheets, links to reports, videos, listen to a locally produced podcast, and find more information on: www.climatesafety.info/gasrush as well as here on this website.

» Send your submission to Council before 26 September 2014 on: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay

“No fracking ever”–resolution in Geelong

At a public information night on Thursday 18 September 2014 a motion was put and debated that Councillor Stretch Kontejl who was present would take to the City of Greater Geelong Council the following short but absolute resolution:

“We, the citizens of City of Greater Geelong, insist that both our local and state government ban onshore gas extraction (fracking) permanently once and for all: No fracking ever.”

A motion to put forward a five year extension to the existing state moratorium was voted down.


MichaelMartinezIMG_4578

The public meeting about onshore gas extraction was held in Manifold Heights Baptist Church on Thursday 18 September 2014 at 7pm. It was chaired by Michael Martinez, CEO, Diversitat, and approximately 80 citizens, candidates, politicians and one councillor from Geelong participated.

More information about the program of the evening on www.climatesafety.info/gasrush

An audio recording from the meeting of the debate about the resolution is broadcasted on 94.7 The Pulse on Wednesday 24 September 2014 at 11:05am. It will be available on www.climatesafety.info/thesustainablehour44 and in The Sustainable Hour’s podcast in iTunes on Friday 26 September 2014.

Download in hi res
Right-click on photo to download in hi res

pdf-ikon-STORT» Print-friendly media release: “No fracking ever”–resolution in Geelong (PDF, A4, 2 pages)



Reminder: CoGG submissions end date is on Friday

By Alan Manson, frackfreegrovedale@gmail.com, 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 rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

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.

map-st-lukes

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!

 

Alan

 

 


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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-09/local-concerned-about-water-supply-from-fracking/5660454

 

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’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7XgoekcrBw#t=83

 

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) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a5472.htm

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

http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m2015.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ethanol, Absolute; Fisher Scientific (March 18, 2003) http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/89308.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for 2-Propanol; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 16, 2009) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p6401.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Butyl Alcohol, Normal; Mallinckrodt Baker (September 15, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/b5860.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Mercaptoacetic Acid; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m1157.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Acetophenone; Mallinckrodt Baker (Februray 22, 2006) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a0566.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Sodium Perborate; Mallinckrodt Baker (August 20, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/s4634.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Ammonium Persulfate; Mallinckrodt Baker (January 11, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/a6096.htm

Material Safety Data Sheet for Hydrochloric Acid, 33 – 40%; Mallinckrodt Baker (November 21, 2008) http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/h3880.htm

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. http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/htdocs/LT-studies/tr490.html

http://www.npr.org/2014/09/03/345556505/residents-worry-urban-drilling-will-turn-downtowns-into-oil-towns

 

 

Government pulls strings to protect gas industry

The Victorian Government vets where onshore gas miners can speak and has alerted them not to speak at a public event in Geelong.

Frack Free Geelong media release – 15 September 2014

“We find it extremely disappointing that a community group which wants to show and discuss both sides of the ‘fracking’ story haven’t been able to do so,” said Frack Free Geelong spokesperson Chris Johnson.

Frack Free Geelong is a community network of over 600 citizens who are concerned that onshore gas extraction will turn Geelong region into an industrial zone polluting the air, contaminating aquifers and causing real estate value to drop.

“We felt it important that the community got both sides of this very controversial issue. Accordingly we invited Lakes Oil CEO Mr Robert J. Annells to address our information evening which is going to be held this Thursday night. Lakes Oil holds Petroleum Exploration Permit 163 to drill for gas in this region, an area which stretches from the Surf Coast to Highton in Geelong.”

In an email, Mr Arnells’ secretary declined the invitation while explaining his decline in the following way: “We have been alerted by the Victorian government’s Primary Agency to speak at events that are only run by approved government bodies that provide controlled, open and impartial dialogue.”

“Who is protecting who in this onshore gas game? And what is it they are afraid of?,” asked Ms Johnson: “This makes us wonder just how seriously the Napthine government is taking people’s concerns about fracking as well as its moratorium extension. Is this just a ploy to take it off the election agenda? Why do they feel that Lakes Oil need protecting? Who is on their list of ‘approved organisations’ and what criteria have been used to select these?”

“When you look at the 31-page pamphlet Lakes Oil’s has produced to tell about their gas mining activities in Victoria, why is the whole first page used to bring a disclaimer with a lawyer’s text that basically says that the company can’t be taken to court even if what is states in the pamphlet turns out to be false? What kind of business is this? We must demand answers to these questions from the Napthine government,” stated Ms Johnson.

“We can assure both Mr Napthine and Lakes Oil that the meeting’s moderator, the well-respected Diversitat CEO Mr Michael Martinez will be encouraging people to be open and impartial. The speakers will be presenting facts, and the audience will be encouraged to make comments and ask questions. Inspite of Lakes Oil’s non-attendance, we will still try our best to give their side of the issue as well.”

[ENDS]

The public meeting about onshore gas extraction is held at Manifold Heights Baptist Church on Thursday 18 September 2014 at 7pm. Admission is free. More information about the program on www.climatesafety.info/gasrush

High resolution photos for download:
» www.frackfreegeelong.org/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, Bellarine Peninsula and the Surf Coast. The group currently consists of approximately 600 concerned citizens in the Geelong region.

Have your say on fracking

The closing date for submissions to Council about fracking is Friday 26 September.

Frack Free Geelong encourages every citizen in Geelong to “have your say” on this matter. Even a sentence or two counts, by email, online or in the mail.

» Submissions can be sent to Geelong Council via this webpage:
www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay

» www.frackfreegeelong.org

» www.facebook.com/frackfreegeelong


Media coverage

Geelong
Geelong Independent – 19 September 2014

» Geelong Independent – 19 September 2014:
Fuel boss ‘gagged’ on fracking
Government ‘pulling strings’, claim activists. Article by John van Klaveren



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


SurfCoast-info-meeting-poster



public-meeting_gasrush-header

Public meeting: GAS RUSH – INFORMATION NIGHT
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.

Speakers
• 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

Chair
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: www.ntn.org.au/resources

Ben-Courtice200Ben Courtice writes for Yes2Renewables.org 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: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/events







public-meeting_gasrush-FB

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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




MoriacDeclarationDay-poster

‘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:
www.facebook.com/events/691923397554846


Write a submission to Geelong Council

Council calls for public submissions on fracking

Deadline: 26 September 2014. Council runs a fact-finding process and takes public submissions about coal seam gas mining / on-shore gas extraction / fracking. A media release from the City of Greater Geelong Council on 22 August 2014 stated:

“The City of Greater Geelong is seeking further information regarding onshore gas extraction process and will call for public submissions on the issue.

Under a Notice of Motion moved initially by Environment and Sustainability Portfolio holder Cr Andy Richards at a Council meeting in July, a 30-day process is underway to educate Council of the issues associated with this industry.

Cr Andy Richards is calling for public submissions about onshore gas extraction including coal seam, shale gas and tight gas extraction and associated extraction methods such as hydraulic fracking.

“We’re aware that there is a level of concern in the community about onshore gas extraction and are calling for people to have their say about the industry and its possible impacts on the Geelong region.”

“Now is the time to put forward your point of view and any research or evidence that contributes to the debate.”

“State Government is responsible for issuing any permits and there is currently a state-wide moratorium on coal seam gas mining.”

“Submissions open 25 August and can be emailed, mailed or dropped in to customer service centres. We’ll need your input by Friday 26 September which is the closing date for submissions,” said Cr Richards.

A report of the submissions will subsequently be presented to Council.

Background information regarding onshore gas extraction, including coal seam, shale gas and tight gas extraction can be viewed at all City of Greater Geelong customer service centres.

How to provide feedback:

Online:
www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay

Mail:

Onshore Gas Submission
Manager Environment and Waste Services
City of Greater Geelong
PO Box 104
GEELONG 3220

Email:
rthomas@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Drop off:
In designated boxes at customer service centres

ENDS”

HaveYourSay-Fracking


Please note that the three links that Council is providing are all in favour of gas mining. If you would like to become acquainted with views independent of the industry, we suggest you look on this page which contains information from Doctors for the Environment, Beyond Zero Emissions, Australia Institute, and The Climate Institute.


Ask Council to apply for the exemption

When you write your submission to City of Greater Geelong, consider copying the text below into your submission in some form or another:

Surf Coast Shire has put forward a motion on Unconventional Gas Exploration and Development expressing concern about potential impacts and lack of regulatory framework. (See council minutes for motion details, page 177, link below). It seems the Shire can apply to be exempt from this type of mining, but needs the community to ask council, through letters and emails, to apply for the exemption. If this holds true, then I would hereby like to ask City of Greater Geelong Council to do the same. Dear councillors, you must apply for this extension just like Surf Coast Shire is doing it and ensure that City of Greater Geelong remains gas mining free.

» Surf Coast Shire council minutes:
http://www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/My_Council/Agendas_Minutes/Council_Agendas_Minutes/council_minutes_14/Meeting_26_August_2014?minutes



News and updates from City of Greater Geelong

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

Have Your Say – Fracking
Thursday, 28 August 2014

Onshore Gas Extraction Public Submissions
Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fracking fact finding
Thursday, 7 August 2014