Communities across Victoria have won a permanent ban on unconventional gas mining and fracking. It is the first state to do so and sets a precedent for other states and territories to follow. On August 30, the Labor state government announced it was banning unconventional gas and extending the moratorium on mining conventional gas until 2020.
More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining. The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled to Brisbane for the rally.
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.
"We don't want oil or gas mining in our country,” Aboriginal traditional owner Eddie Mason, based in Maningrida, a community in eastern Arnhem Land, told a rally in Sydney on July 19. “We are protecting our land and sea rights." About 100 people rallied with visiting Arnhem Land residents outside the offices of US-based oil exploration company Paltar Petroleum. "We are saying no to Paltar,” Mason said. “We don't want exploration destroying our land and waters. You are welcome to visit our country, but don't destroy it.
Delegates arriving at the Australia-China Minerals Investment Summit in Darwin on May 17 were met with about 20 protesters. The group had a strong message for those going into the convention centre: “Stop uranium mining, lock the gates on shale oil and gas, go solar!”
“It’s move over Olympic Dam with a massive shale oil find confirmed for Linc Energy in South Australia, which sent its share price into orbit,” the ABC’s The Business said on January 29, exulting at a big discovery of unconventional oil and gas near the remote town of Coober Pedy, 800 kilometres north-west of Adelaide.
About 120 people attended a public meeting on February 20 to discuss concerns about shale oil and gas exploration in the Northern Territory. The meeting was organised by the Environment Centre NT and brought together a broad panel of speakers — representing the breadth of concern in the community about new and controversial methods of extracting unconventional gas.