Victorian Onshore Gas Inquiry
Update- 30/8/16 Victoria bans onshore unconventional gas
Community Over Mining submission here
The resource sector in Victoria has been leading the role of informing and educating landowners about the virtues of mineral exploration and mining and how good it is going to be for our communities and why Victoria needs an onshore gas industry.
But, the community chose to get their education elsewhere and what industry said just didn't add up.
The following is a prospectus that just happens to note risks that a company must legally declare to their shareholders.
Disclosure of Risks
- to Investors
Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development - Enduring Value
Element 4.3: Inform potentially affected parties of significant risks from mining, minerals and metals operations and of the measures that will be taken to manage the potential risks effectively.
LAKES OIL NL
ABN 62 004 247 214 LISTED UNSECURED CONVERTING NOTES 10% INTEREST PER ANNUM RIGHTS ISSUE PROSPECTUS
- (g) Operating Risk: Industry operating risks include the risk of fire, explosions, blow-outs, pipe failure, abnormally pressured formations and environmental hazards such as accidental spills or leakage of petroleum liquids, gas leaks, ruptures or discharges of toxic gasses, the occurrence of any of which could result in substantial losses to Lakes Oil due to injury or loss of life, severe damage to, or destruction of property, natural resources and equipment, pollution or other environmental damage, cleanup responsibilities, regulatory investigation and penalties and suspension of operations, the occurrence of any of which could result in substantial losses to Lakes Oil. Damages occurring as a result of such risks may give rise to claims against Lakes Oil.
Every resource company has the same information as to the risks, to the person, to the land, to the environment, to the state yet if the community note the same concerns we are, somehow, spreading misinformation.
This is not misinformation, not without foundation but is entirely justified.
‘What other private commercial entity can enter your land without your permission for the sole purpose of making a profit and, adding insult to injury, eventually leave your property worthless?’
- John Nader QC (The Land Article, ‘Mining Acts Need Severe Surgery’)
“Inquiry after inquiry has found that a properly regulated natural gas industry is safe and delivers real benefits to regional communities,” said Paul Fennelly, chief operating officer at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
What we found was disturbing; legislation was archaic, lacked uniformity, government regulation was ineffective, industry wasn’t compliant and the risks were too many and too great. But worse was that our government was actively promoting mining expansion, specifically onshore natural gas extraction, into populated areas without adequate forethought to the legal, social and economic impacts that we would incur.
To be noted is the sheer inconsistency with which industry geologists and the like treat fractures and fluid flow along fractures - on one hand they love to focus on them as pathways for oil, gas, metal-rich solutions etc., but that's geology - from an environmental view though, fractures never leak but of course!!!
Inquiry into Unconventional Gas in Victoria 2015
Four years on, apart from the moratorium, the community still feel ignored with
Government, Industry and media stating our concerns are unfounded.
Collectively, the community have the smarts, always have and always will. This inquiry is our
opportunity to inform the Government of their duty to protect the people and the
environment and inform all why we are concerned. After all, without a healthy environment
you have no economy.
This inquiry is now Governments opportunity to accept the evidence and prove to
landowners and their communities that they have heard and can finally develop a strategic
plan to move forward based on what you now know rather invest millions of taxpayers
monies in speculative industries and guess what the future directions the markets will take.
To understand how a new industry can operate in any given environment you must first
understand the needs of that environmental for it to maintain integrity, stability and
health. If all three of those are in question your answer should be obvious.
For every decision there is a consequence.
Let’s hope the committee’s decision is for the right reasons and they were.