Unconventional Gas Inquiry Submission Tip Sheet – 48 hours to go

on Jul 8, 2015 ; Category: Climate Change, Gas, Politics
Unconventional Gas Inquiry Submission Tip Sheet – 48 hours to go

In February 1986 Swedish glam metal group Europe unleashed their magnum opus ‘The Final Countdown’ on the world’s airwaves. The song and its accompanying video shot to number one in 26 countries and sent two clear messages to its listeners: there’s great aesthetic value in well-permed hair, and heeding deadlines is fundamental to success.

Quit Coal received these messages loud and clear, which is why we are taking the deadline for public submissions to the State Government’s inquiry into the unconventional gas industry in Victoria very seriously (and considering perms).

But seriously, we want to remind you that time is running out to put in your submission. The deadline is THIS FRIDAY JULY 10.

This inquiry is our chance to really show the government the extent of community opposition to this invasive industry. Numbers matter. So if you haven’t already got yours in, we’d suggest creating a playlist of your favourite ‘80s power ballads, pulling up the inquiry’s terms of reference and using the looming deadline to ignite your submission writing creativity.

Your submission doesn’t need to be complicated, and our submission tip sheet will see you finishing it before you make it through Bon Jovi’s greatest hits. The most important thing is that you’ve entered it to the inquiry site by COB this Friday 10 July 2015!

(from Friends of the Earth Melbourne)

Tips are in red, Terms of Reference are in black

Dear Committee members,

Start by introducing yourself (a little bit about who you are/ where you live/ what you do for a living/ why you’re concerned about unconventional gas mining)

Make it clear in your opening statement that you do not support any form of unconventional gas mining (including coal seam gas, tight gas, shale gas & underground coal gasification)

– If you live in a community that has conducted a survey, mention these results and that you and your community have removed the social licence for this industry to operate in your area and that you will never support it, no matter the potential regulations put in place.

When writing a submission it would be best to address all (of the following) terms of reference, but you can add/ remove the issues that matter to you.

(ADD – That’s right, if the terms of reference do not cover all the issues you want to talk about, then add them in, this is allowed and will strengthen your submission)

Don’t forget to recommend that Victoria ban all unconventional gas drilling permanently (and the benefits of a total ban eg. giving certainty to existing industry (agriculture & tourism), making Victoria a more attractive place for investments in these industries plus new investments such as renewables. Which will create more long term jobs in sustainable industries.

Terms of Reference:

  1. the prospectivity of Victoria’s geology for commercial sources of onshore unconventional gas;

Talk about why we would put at risk water, farmland, community health, food security, environment and jobs in other sectors such as agriculture & tourism for little or no financial gain.

  1. the environmental, land productivity and public health risks, risk mitigations and residual risks of onshore unconventional gas activities;

We can all go to town in this section, make references to peer reviewed studies if you like or the experiences of those in the US and Queensland and that the impacts felt in QLD will be even worse here due to our more densely populated region.

  1. the coexistence of onshore unconventional gas activities with existing land and water uses, including —

A key issue relating to this industry is the question of its likely impacts on agricultural production and domestic and export market requirements.

Use figures from local council and government websites to show what our existing industries (agriculture in particular) are worth to the states economy and the potential for growth here and why that cannot happen if unconventional gas mining goes ahead.

If you’re a farmer talk about how the infrastructure required for gas wells (all weather access roads, cleared well pads, compression stations, evaporation dams) would make the day to day running of your farm unviable.

(a) agricultural production and domestic and export market requirements;

If you are a farmer, food producer or work in the agriculture industry please answer point (a) in as much detail as possible.

(b)   the legal rights of property owners and the impact on property values; and

(c)  any implications for local and regional development, investment and jobs;

Point (C) is very important and something that we can all answer as we will all be impacted. Also the state labor government say they are a ‘jobs’ government so we need to show them and give them examples of why UCG will not create jobs but put at risk jobs in other sectors.

  1. the ability of potential onshore unconventional gas resources contributing to the State’s overall energy sources including —

Unconventional Gas is a fossil fuel. By definition, unconventional gases are harder to extract than conventional gas.

(a)   an ability to provide a competitive source of energy and non energy inputs for Victorian industries;

(b) an affordable energy source for domestic consumers; and

Because they need to be fracked to release the gas from the coal seam or rock, the energy cost of the gas is high compared with conventional LNG. Additionally, with the government plans to export massive volumes of gas through ports in QLD, Victorian consumers will be competing with international energy prices in coming year. So UCG is unlikely to be an affordable energy source for consumers. A much better option is to look at ways we can reduce our need to use gas (for instance through ensuring better energy efficiency standards in new homes and a gov’t funded energy efficiency retrofit program for existing houses etc

(c) carbon dioxide emissions from these sources;

Use examples of emissions and fugitive emissions from UCG comparing these to renewable energy sources. Air pollution from gas treatment plants is also important to mention and it’s human health impacts.

  1. the resource knowledge requirements and policy and regulatory safeguards that would be necessary to enable exploration and development of onshore unconventional gas resources, including —

Give examples of why this industry (regardless of regulation) has failed to be proven safe elsewhere. Put forward that the industry has had a long time to prove that their practices are safe and yet have been unable to do so. Talk about why the industry, however much it can reduce it’s risks by regulation will always pose a rick and any risk is too great.

(a)   further scientific work to inform the effective regulation of an onshore unconventional gas industry, including the role of industry and government, particularly in relation to rigorous monitoring and enforcement, and the effectiveness of impact mitigation responses; and

(b)   performance standards for managing environmental and health risks, including water quality, air quality, chemical use, waste disposal, land contamination and geotechnical stability;

  1. relevant domestic and international reviews and inquiries covering the management of risks for similar industries including, but not limited to, the Victorian Auditor-General Office’s report Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts (contingent upon this report being presented to Parliament) and other reports generated by the Victorian community and stakeholder engagement programs.

How to lodge a Submission:

Submissions can be sent via email: epc@parliament.vic.gov.au or ESubmission on the website: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc/references-committee-inquiries/article/2657

Government website: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc/article/2636

Written submissions can be sent via post to:

Keir Delaney, Secretary, Environment & Planning Committee Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne VIC 3002

Closing date for submissions: Friday 10th July 2015

 

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