Licenses to explore for coal and coal seam gas (CSG) in Gippsland extend from the Lakes in the east, to Wilsons Prom in the south and to Wonthaggi in the west – all prime agricultural land and an important food bowl for Australia.
It is also a region with immense natural beauty that depends on tourism for its economic wellbeing. The lessons learned in Hunter Valley, NSW and in south-east Qld teach us that this industry poses a massive threat to our water resources, farmland and food security, local communities, natural biodiversity and greenhouse emissions.
In light of this threat, the Foster Community Association has resolved to reject the onslaught of coal and coal seam gas mining in this district and support the South Gippsland Shire Council’s call to impose a ban on further activity until it can be proven to be safe.
We are working in close cooperation with Friends of the Earth and Lock the Gate Gippsland, to share knowledge, understanding and resources. Over the coming weeks and months, Foster Community Association members will conduct information sessions for local community groups and the general public, and encourage property owners to show solidarity by displaying ‘Lock the Gate’ signs on all access points to their properties.
Our first lunchtime information session will be held from 1.00-1.30pm on Thursday July 26th 2012 at the Community House in Station Road, Foster. All welcome.
The Foster Community Association blog aims to provide a reliable and up-to-date source of information for anyone interested in learning more about coal and coal seam gas in our part of the world.
Current applications for exploration
Open cut coal mine exploration licence at Mirboo North: ELA5429
A Notice of Application for an Exploration Licence has been lodged by WA mining company, Mantle Mining Corporation Limited to explore for coal (not coal seam gas) on 25 km of land in the actual township of Mirboo North and along the Boolara-Mirboo North Road.
The application was advertised week commencing 16 July. Any person may object within 21 days to a licence being granted. A person who objects must:
- put the objection in writing, and
- include the grounds on which it is made, and
- send within 21 days of the latest date on which the application was advertised to:
Earth Resources Tenements,
Department of Primary Industries,
GPO Box 4440m ,
Melbourne Vic 3001
Enquiries can be made by writing to:
Earth Resources Tenements
at the above address,
or by phoning the Earth Resources Business Centre on (03) 9658 4456.
Coal Seam Gas mining exploration licence application: EL5416
This application has been lodged by Leichhardt Resources Pty Ltd for the right to explore for coal and coal seam gas on private land and road reserves across the South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires, from Cape Paterson to Walkerville. The deadline for objections expired on June 23 and we await the Department of Primary Industry’s decision. Meanwhile, property owners are urged not to allow any mining company representatives on their land until they are fully informed about their legal rights.
Coal Seam Gas mining exploration licence application: EL4416
Exxon Mobil, in partnership with Ignite Energy have lodged an application to explore for coal seam gas over an area of nearly 4,000 sq km of Gippsland’s prime coastal, farming and tourism land between Yarram and Bairnsdale, including coastal localities already impacted by land subsidence. The lease includes deep coal seam gas extraction and the mining of brown coal, which is up to 100% methane.
Lock the Gate signs
How to order
Foster Community Association (FCA) has a quantity of signs available for purchase.
They will be sold individually for $5, or in packs of 10 for $50.
If you would like to order one or more signs, please contact FCA members:
- Howard Plowright
- Jenny McDonald
03 5664 2252
- Dr Margerie Linton
20 Coopers Rd Foster 3960
At the moment, Lock the Gate organisers are looking for resellers for the signs to help get the signs out there, so if you would be prepared to buy a pack of 10, then sell them individually at $5 each, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register your concerns
If you would like to object to a mining exploration application, send your submission to:
- Manager Earth Resources Tenements
Department of Primary Industries
GPO Box 4440 Melbourne VIC 3001
- Gippsland Tenement Support Officer
Department of Primary Industries
Please also send a copy to the following MPs:
- The Hon Michael O’Brien
Minister for Energy and Resources
Level 22, 1 Spring Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Tel: 9938 5963
- The Hon Ted Baillieu Premier
1 Treasury Place Melbourne VIC 3002
Tel: 9651 5000
- The Hon Peter Ryan
Deputy Premier Minister for Regional and Rural Development
Member forSouth Gippsland
Level 3, 1 Treasury Place
MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Tel: 9651 1044 Fax: 5144 7086
- The Hon Peter Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security
Level 20, 1 Spring Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3002
Tel: 9938 5954
- Hon Ken Smith
Member for Bass
26 McBride Avenue
WONTHAGGI VIC 3995
Sample objection letters and submissions
- Friends of the Earth have drafted a sample letter to the Premier Ted Baillieu and his Ministers calling for a ban on coal seam gas and new coal mining.
- If you want to access other sample letters to the Minister or see how to put together a submission objecting to a planning application, this is a great starting point.
- Several people have found the following letter to Peter Ryan a useful source of reference. Please feel free to cut and paste as needed. Peter Ryan questions
- Sample objection letter to the Department of Primary Industries regarding Mantle Mining’s application to explore for coal at Mirboo North. The deadline for submitting this letter is 7 August 2012.
Reliable sources of information
Lock the Gate Gippsland
Check out http://www.lockthegate.org.au/victoria and become a member!
This comprehensive site provides information on the following topics:
- What to do if you have been contacted my a mining company representative wanting access to your land
- 10 good reasons for farmers to lock their gates
- Coal seam gas fact sheet
- Fracking chemicals, their uses and hazards
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Ground water
- Hydraulic fracturing
- Nature conservation
- Salt and other contaminants
Lock the Gate
In addition to sample objection letters (see above) this site contains video and audio links to interviews with and presentations by a variety of experts and independent commentators, including:
- Dr Helen Redmond from Doctors for the Environment, who speaks about coal seam gas mining and its direct and indirect impacts on human health
- An ABC Four Corners Report on how the people in a once picturesque valley found themselves surrounded by coal mines, dust and toxic chemicals
- Beyond Zero Emissions report on the health costs of coal seam gas
Friends of the Earth
FoE is working to halt all new on-shore fossil fuel projects in the state – including new coal, CSG, Tight and Shale gas. In 2012 they broadened their work to also have a strong focus on the development of Tight Gas and other un conventional gas resources.
FoE’s informative brochure ‘Experimental Coal and ‘Unconventional’ Gas Fracking in Victoria can be downloaded here.
- The Coal Seam Gas Grab – 60 Minutes Australia
- Alan Jones speech to the Australian Press Club on coal seam gas (Part I)
- Doctors for the Environment – see their submission on the impact of mining coal seam gas
- Environment Defenders Office – The EDO is an independent, non-profit, community legal service, specialising in public interest environmental law.
- Department of Primary Industries (Earth Resources) provides a rich source of (feel good) information about goal seam gas, regulation of the industry and a Landholder Information booklet outlining the legalities of exploration and mining