My name is Phil Piper and I am angry, not only for myself, but for all those people in Gippsland and beyond who have clearly stated to the Victorian Government that they don’t want the destructive Coal Seam Gas industry or any new coal mines in Gippsland.
Whole communities, with many, many more in the process, have declared themselves Coal and or Coal Seam Gas Free.
This simply means we don’t want these destructive old dinosaur industries in our areas, in Gippsland and all of Victoria.
Poowong, Poowong East, Poowong North declared – 95 per cent against. Seaspray, Giffard, The Honeysuckles and Glomar Beach declared – 98 per cent against.
Mirboo North declared – 96.6 per cent, Harmers Haven (97 per cent), Kongwak (including Wattle Bank, Bena, Moyarra, Jeetho and Jumbunna, 98 per cent), Yarragon South (96 per cent), Boolarra (88 per cent), Deans Marsh and Bambra (95 per cent).
This seems pretty simple, but the Victorian Government is running a series of ‘Consultation Days’ on Coal Seam Gas throughout Gippsland. Again, I ask the Victorian Government: “What don’t you understand about the word ‘no’?”
This is how it works; we the citizens of Gippsland have to give up some of our precious time to attend one of these consultations. Consultations?! (Consultation means providing the individual, or other relevant persons, with a bona fide opportunity to influence the decision maker.)
If our Victorian Government (the decision maker) had been listening to its people it wouldn’t be wasting public time and money in running these events.
It would simply put a permanent ban on all new Coal and all Coal Seam, Tight and Shale Gas (formerly called Unconventional Gas, now ironically and conveniently renamed Natural Gas).
But because the Victorian Government is listening to these industries and not to the people, it seems logical that they have no intention in stopping these industries and will use this ‘consultation process’ to justify lifting the current ban in 2015, and then it will be business as usual.
The areas that have declared or are in the process of declaring themselves Coal and/or Coal Seam Gas Free have had proper consultations with experts in the fields of health, geology, water and law in relation to coal and gas.
Then they were asked if they wanted these industries in their areas and they said ‘NO’!
I am angry because my town Mirboo North and a lot of other towns have gone to the trouble to learn from the experts and our own research both in Australia and overseas about the irreversible damage that these industries do to our precious environment.
We have said ‘no’ and yet our government is ignoring us, treating us like children by running these so called community consultations.
They are either not hearing or caring about us or they don’t understand about the word ‘no’!
Phil Piper, Mirboo North.