To: Hon Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria
protect Gippsland farms from coal and gas
No farms, no food.
We cannot allow the risk of some of our best farmland being damaged by coal and gas operations.
We call for a permanent ban on any new coal and gas mining operations in key areas in Victoria.
This should include a ban on any exploration or production in:
• productive agricultural areas
• drinking water catchments, rivers, and ground water supplies
• urban areas, and areas marked for future development
• all public land including state forests, land leased to plantation companies and all conservation reserves
Local councils must have the ability to nominate additional areas for protection.
Under Part 1, section 7 of the existing Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act, your government can create No Go zones for coal and coal seam gas. The only thing lacking is political will.
This issue is not going away. Based on the experience in Queensland, I do not believe that farming and the fossil fuel industry can co-exist in the same area. I urge you to act to protect our precious farmland from the threat of new coal and gas operations.
The Hon Nicholas Kotsiras MLA
Minister for Energy and Resources
Hon Peter Ryan MLA
Deputy Premier, Leader of the Nationals, Minister for Regional and Rural Development
Hon Peter Walsh
Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security
Why is this important?
In 2012, community concern about the threat of new coal and gas operations, especially coal seam gas (CSG) pushed the state government to ban the use of dangerous BTEX chemicals and place a moratorium on the process of fracking for gas.
The moratorium will finish shortly and the government has made it clear it wants to see renewed expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
Gippsland is one of the main farming areas in the state, producing food worth more than $1.3 billion per annum. It is threatened by climate change and pressured by urban sprawl. There is now also a risk from many proposals for new coal and gas operations. Meanwhile, western Victoria is under renewed threat. Lakes Oil are searching for Tight Gas near Port Campbell and south of Geelong.
The state government has the ability to protect farmland from mining using existing legislation. All that is lacking is political will to do so.
We are calling for a permanent ban on any new coal and gas mining operations in key areas in Victoria.
How it will be delivered
We will email the signatures to the Premier, local MPs and Ministers.