VIC CSG Commission: Where are the farmers?

Social, legal and health issues related to air and water toxic pollution in Australia.

VIC CSG Commission: Where are the farmers?

Postby HVPA_research » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:58 am

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*Archived from "VIC CSG Commission" stream*

Victorian Government won't rush CSG decision

The mining industry says uncertainty about coal seam gas exploration in Victoria is turning investors away from the state.

The Victorian Government imposed a temporary ban on new exploration licences for coal seam gas, as well as the practice of fracking, in August last year and it's yet to be lifted.

Former federal minister Peter Reith is chairing a review into gas operations in the state and the State Government says its decision on gas exploration will be informed by that review.

But Victoria's Deputy Premier Peter Ryan says the government won't be rushed and wants to weigh up any impact on water and agricultural land.

So far so good ... BUT in another article ...

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine won't be pressured into making coal seam gas decision

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says there are growing concerns that farmers will not be able to veto coal seam gas development on their properties, if the industry gets the go-ahead.

Their worries are quite justified when you look at the membership of this august committee:

Government pressured to make report public

The Government has been widely criticised for not making public Mr Reith's report, which was commissioned by former premier Ted Baillieu in January.

The ABC has learnt that all the taskforce members, except for Mr Reith, represent energy companies or associated industries and lobby groups.

In addition to Mr Reith, the taskforce comprised of: Mr Mark Collette, the Group Executive Manager of Energy Markets for Energy Australia; Mr Frank Calabria, the Energy Markets Chief Executive Officer for Origin Energy; the President of Dow Chemicals Australia and New Zealand, Mr Craig Arnold; the Chief Executive of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, Mr David Byers; Ms Cheryl Cartwright, who is the Chief Executive of the Australian Pipeline Industry Association; a Federal Liberal MP and director of Port Jackson Partners consulting firm, Mr Angus Taylor, and Mr Innes Willox, who is the Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group.

The Victorian Opposition has described the taskforce as a "sham".

Mr Lenders, says the list shows the Government engineered the committee to ensure it recommended lifting the fracking moratorium.


Such a commission had only one possible outcome - open all the stops to fracking in Victoria . Of course, the report was well couched in some pseudo-scientific spin that promises the moon, but means nothing.

The latest information about CSG and fracking in Victoria is now over a month old and further discussion has been becalmed in the Christmas doldrums. Links to the actual "Gas Market Taskforce " report are here:

The general flavour of the report, signed by Peter Reith himself, is given in the following quote.

Clearly there is a lot of exaggeration about fracking. Independent advice to the Taskforce from Geoscience Australia and other sources provided compelling evidence that fracking should be allowed. To allay concerns about fracking, the Taskforce has recommended implementation of leading environmental and safety standards, including those recently agreed at the national level. The Taskforce also proposes that any chemicals used in fracking are to be first notified to the Victorian regulator and made available to the public on the Gas Commissioner’s web site.
Whilst the Taskforce supports the safe application of fracking, the reality in Victoria, given its different geology, is that fracking is unlikely to be as extensive as Queensland. To deny fracking to the gas industry would be to limit its ability to explore and better understand the resources. Not even New South Wales has a ban on fracking.

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