World View AWKWORD February 2, 2014 www.awkwordrap.com
In late January, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided not to assess a proposal for fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Buru Energy plans to conduct 34 fracks in the region starting this year. It intends to conduct most of these fracks at four existing wells: two at Yulleroo, 90 kilometres east of Broome, and two at Valhalla/Asgard, 320 kilometres east of Broome.
The Northern Territory's environment minister Peter Chandler has called for a government inquiry into the use of “fracking” in the oil and gas industry. Currently 90% of the NT is targeted for shale gas exploration. An anti-fracking group says an independent inquiry into fracking in the NT is needed, but must be accompanied by an immediate moratorium on the controversial practice.
Australian oil and gas company AWE has signalled its intention to mine for unconventional gas on farmland bordering Western Australia’s Lesueur National Park. The proposal, released in October, includes plans to use the damaging process known as “fracking” to extract gas, starting in March next year. The national park is a environmentally significant area. It holds more than 900 different plant species and more than 10% of the total known flora of WA. It also holds seven species of declared rare fauna, and nine taxa found nowhere else in the world.
Despite a Victorian state moratorium since last year barring the use of “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) to extract gas, communities across the state continue to protest against gas drilling and exploration. Sixty locals protested at a test drilling site in Yarragon in Gippsland, east of Melbourne, on October 19, where Greenpower Natural Gas holds a licence to explore for coal seam gas (CSG). The moratorium on fracking does not prevent exploration works such as drilling and flaring off.
Hundreds of people campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) mining delivered a petition, signed by more than 13,000 people, to NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell on August 21. The NSW-wide petition, initiated by Stop CSG Illawarra, calls on the government to: "Ban all coal seam gas prospecting and mining in New South Wales drinking water catchment areas". Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore said at the rally: "We want the land in NSW that supplies our drinking water protected.
About 500 people rallied at City Square against coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in Seaspray on August 17. Many at the rally were cattle farmers in the Gippsland area. Protesters expressed concern that CSG mining would destroy farmland, contaminate water, threaten the health of their rural community and create seismic activity. Some farmers expressed their dilemma over whether to stay and fight the CSG companies, or sell their properties before CSG becomes established in the area.
About 40 people gathered at Reg Hillier House in Darwin’s rural area on August 15 to discuss threats posed by petroleum companies wanting to explore for oil and gas. Applications for exploration under the Petroleum Act, which could include oil or gas, have reached the outer rural areas including the entire Cox Peninsula, parts of Humpty Doo and Howard Springs, the Dundee area and Litchfield National Park. Exploration may involve using the controversial method of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) if shale gas is found.
This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on August 16. *** The Socialist Alliance demands a total ban on fracking. The method of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — to extract gas from coal seams involves pumping out large quantities of water that can release salt and toxic chemicals into groundwater. Coal seam gas (CSG) wells have been found to leak methane, which is a major greenhouse gas and has a far higher global warming effect than carbon dioxide.
A public meeting held in the Tasmanian town of Oatlands on August 2 discussed the application by PetroGas, an offshoot of Petratherm, to explore for shale gas and oil in more than 3000 square kilometres of southern Tasmania. About 80 residents attended the meeting. Tim Kirkwood, general manager of Southern Midlands council, said it was the best-attended public meeting ever held in Oatlands. The process of “fracking” for gas requires millions of litres of water and a major concern for many of the farmers present was the question of where the water would come from.