28 January 2015

Fracking not welcome in Corangamite

I have today reiterated my support for Corangamite communities opposed to on-shore coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and fracking.

On ABC local radio this morning, I told Jon Faine that I stood by residents in a number of rural towns, the vast majority of whom have taken a strong public stance against fracking.

The communities of Moriac, Mount Moriac, Paraparap, Freshwater Creek, Deans Marsh, Bambra, Boonah, Birregurra and Warncoort have announced their overwhelming opposition to CSG and fracking, after conducting community surveys.  I am standing by them.  There is considerable concern about the impacts that fracking has on the water table and I am yet to be convinced that the practice is safe.

We live in a beautiful part of the world, rich in agricultural and natural assets, and we cannot afford to do anything which might impact on our environment, our farmers or our long term food security.

I do not support CSG exploration in Corangamite and I will work closely with the communities to support them in their fight.

The Victorian Government should immediately rule out allowing CSG exploration in vulnerable environmental areas such as the Great Otway National Park, the Great Ocean Road hinterland as well as important agricultural areas.

In contrast to the strong stand taken by former Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, State Labor’s inquiry on coal seam gas is an exercise in fence sitting.  Dr Napthine instituted a moratorium and extensive community consultation because he was adamant his government would not support fracking unless it was proven to be safe.

We need to see that same defence of agriculture and our precious environment from Premier Daniel Andrews.

28 January 2015