Open letter to the committee, re ‘Unconventional Gas’.
I have lived in Korumburra, Jumbunna and Outtrim area all my life.
My great grandparents moved to Korumburra over 100 years ago and my grandparents over 70 years ago.
I have been on our farm at Outtrim for 24 years and with my wife for 15 years.
I would like to start with the first reason why coal seam gas should remain where it is, locked within the earth’s crust.
The CSIRO states that CSG or methane has a global warming potential 21 times that of carbon dioxide.
Furthermore, I am concerned that the introduction of CSG into Victoria will negatively impact on the viability of our agricultural business and farming business in Victoria.
Also, the chemicals used in the fracking process would have a profound impact on the environment.
Ground water movement, if polluted, would spread the chemicals (poisons) to unknown distances and locations.
I am concerned that ground water, springs that bring water to a lot of our farms would become too toxic to be able to use.
We have an organic dairy farm and even if these concerns were laid to rest, I cannot see how, and don’t believe, that any organic operation can co-exist with CSG.
It would certainly pose a potential risk which would not be able to be managed.
The DEDJTR is saying that it may be able to manage the risk, but at what expense, both cost and health?
The scientists from the CSIRO and Professor LD Nighiem who took part in the study into unconventional gas, CSG, shale and tight gas, had grave concerns about the viability of CSG and other onshore gas production on valuable farming land and the transparency of the companies that run them.
The Senate Enquiry, the CSIRO and the AMA all question the introduction of unconventional gas mining in areas such as South Gippsland and all areas in Victoria where licences to mine are being considered.
Whether it is damage to the future productivity of the land, or the health of the people in these communities, it seems to me that the DEDJTR is ignoring all this scientific and medical information and pressing on regardless with the issuing of mining licences.
I question the reasons for these mining licences being issued. Something stinks and at the moment, it is not the methane.
Who are the people that make up the DEDJTR and what are their interests?
It appears from the outside that there is a conflict.
I would also like to know what it will take for our current government to realise the impact on our beautiful state of Victoria.
It is your state as well, so why would you ruin it for generations to come?
You must take into consideration the devaluing of land in this area, along with the blow to tourism.
If CSG does come to our area, we will be forced to sell our property and our home.
Not only because of our operation, but our personal choice to preserve the health of our family and ourselves as it is known that exposure to fracking chemicals causes cancer.
The ideal of organic farming does not go hand in hand with environmental destruction and carcinogenic chemical exposure.
We will personally continue the fight against CSG and onshore gas mining and the protection of our environment and farmland, and as a community will join forces with other groups against the current government intentions to sell off our right to organic and sustainable farming.
In closing, I find it very difficult to believe how far our government in Australia is behind leaders in other countries.
Europe is well aware of the detrimental effects of mining to farming and the environment and has realised the necessity to place the importance of environmental stability over financial governmental gain.
It is time our country took a stance on environmental stability and stopped selling out our natural resources.
The development of renewable energy through solar power, hybrid power, wind turbines etc, makes it clear that our research and development of these areas need to be a priority.
I want my children and their children, to have healthy soil to grow plants and not to have to clean up the mess from this ludicrous generation we call ours.
David Joyce, proud organic dairy farmer, Outtrim.