by Livia Cullen
We told you Gina Rinehart was coming to town. Well, she’s arrived and here’s what she’s been up to.
In the dark of night on Monday 13th May, Lakes Oil slipped a letter into the mailboxes of Victoria’s Seaspray residents informing them that the company would begin “testing” (i.e. preparation for fracking) their ‘tight gas’ wells that same day. That’s less than 24 hours notice!
Whilst the company is unable to frack until the current moratorium is lifted, Lakes Oil Chairman, Robert Annells said “the Wombat gas field was ready to be fracked as soon as the moratorium was lifted.”
According to the staff at Energy and Resources Minister, Nick Kotsiras’ office (who we’ve been calling incessantly!) the moratorium on fracking is still in place. They claim that the public will be notified in the event that something changes. So, what does Lakes Oil know that the community does not? Why are they preparing to frack?
Just days after a successful community information meeting on unconventional gas with over 180 residents in attendance, Seaspray community members were on site bright and early to meet Mr Annells and grill him on the impacts of ‘tight gas’ mining in their community.
Lakes Oil seeks to put ‘tight gas’ in a different category to coal seam gas (CSG) in an attempt to hoodwink Victorians. Yet the extraction process for ‘tight gas’ involves hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and poses the same risks as that of CSG.
What this highlights is the urgent need for the Victorian Government to broaden the current moratorium to include all unconventional gas extraction and to ensure it stays firmly in place until these practices can be proven safe for our rural communities, our food and water supply, and our climate.
RIGHT NOW we are flooding Energy and Resources Minister, Nick Kotsiras’ office with calls – and they’re working! We need you to help us inundate them with calls until they tell us the truth about what is going on in Seaspray!
We need to work together to stop Gippsland becoming a Gasland!