Unconventional gas exploration and mining is incompatible with farming.
The only groups who claim otherwise are miners with vested interests and the politicians and others believing the rhetoric of the miners.
For every one job created by mining, 1.7 jobs are lost in agriculture (VFF submission to Parliamentary enquiry into unconventional gas exploration and mining).
Agriculture in Victoria employs close to 200,000 people, is the greatest export through the Port of Melbourne and provides more than a quarter of the nation’s food and most of that from Gippsland.
Do we really want to risk this so that a few miners will get rich?
There is no evidence that a “regulatory framework” will be sufficiently strong enough to protect the land – and who is going to police this?
We have testimony of soils so polluted that they are significantly less productive, water supplies poisoned and communities devastated.
The Liberal Party should be congratulated for recommending a moratorium until 2020.
However this is not enough for the communities threatened by the currently existing licences.
Farmers find it difficult to plan for the future with the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads and their land.
We need to ban unconventional gas exploration and mining from our prime agricultural land in South Gippsland.
Deborah O’Connor, Berrys Creek