On August 18 communities around Gippsland are joining together at the City Square in Melbourne to tell the Government and the people of Melbourne that they simply don’t want to share their precious farmland with coal, coal seam, tight or shale gas mining.
With them will come a petition with ten thousand signatures that will be tabled in Parliament. Ten thousand voices saying no to the planned expansion of coal and unconventional mining in our region.
This issue has transcended all political persuasions and personal philosophies and has brought together a vastly diverse cross section of our communities. People from all walks of life will meet at a peaceful gathering to showcase all that will be adversely affected by this issue.
Government time and time again has refused to consult with the people about their concerns but instead, mining companies appear to have their ear. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has recently embarked on a 5 million dollar advertising campaign with questionable inducements to lure farmers into consenting to gas mining on their land. This ‘Charm Offensive’ is seemingly endorsed by the Government.
Gippsland is on the brink of realising it’s biggest export market to China: a potentially huge coup for the dairy, beef and vegetable industry in this region. Let’s not risk this opportunity by taking a chance and letting mining companies on our land. This is a poorly regulated, unsafe industry that is only concerned with short term profits; mostly for overseas shareholders.
So now, farmers and townspeople alike are taking their message to Melbourne: We can’t take a chance that our water may be contaminated or our water table lowered due to the gas mining process which includes the controversial ‘fracking’ procedure. We don’t want our land degraded or our beautiful rolling hills become an eyesore covered in gas wells.