Letter to the Editor from Dr Catherine Pye
Posted by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Election Candidates have been asked to pledge their support for statewide moratorium on unconventional gas and an independent inquiry looking at all the concerns.
Community Action for Sustainability Inc & Limestone Coast Protection Alliance Inc have written to the Election Candidates for MacKillop and Mount Gambier seeking their opinion on unconventional gas, oil and coal projects and the rights of landowners to say NO to mining companies.
“We are concerned ratepayers and ordinary citizens of the Limestone Coast who are greatly concerned about the potential impacts of unconventional gas, oil and coal projects on our water and our health. We are aware that currently Victoria has a moratorium on unconventional gas projects due to concerns about its impact on water, health and communities.
We ask the electoral candidates that they apply the “precautionary” principle if elected and seek proof from mining companies that no harm will be done to our water.”
The questions put to the candidates are;
1. Will you work for and vote in the House, for a two-year moratorium on unconventional gas, oil and coal exploration and mining, during which time the State Minister must appoint a genuinely independent expert panel, to prepare a report on the future and long term impacts of unconventional gas, oil and coal exploration and mining, including fracking, on water quality and quantity, human and animal health, air and soil health, climate change and local economies.
2. Will you work for and vote in the House, for the rights of farmers and land owners to say NO to exploration and mining on their land.
3. Will you work for and vote in the House, for the creation of ‘no-go zones’ which provide a permanent ban on unconventional gas, oil and coal expansion in key locations for agriculture, health or water in SA. These zones would include important water resource, farming (land and water), and conservation areas and include an appropriate buffer around homes.
REPORT TO DATE: Sitting member, Don Pegler has already indicated his support for all three questions. Mr Pegler is supporting a moratorium on unconventional gas for 4 years while there is an independent inquiry into the impact this will have on our water, land, air and health.
We look forward to a response from Liberal Candidate Troy Bell, who is running up against sitting MP Don Pegler. As Don Pegler has now declared his support, we hope that this will put pressure on the State Liberal party and Labour Party to call for a state-wide moratorium on unconventional gas projects until an independent scientific and evidence based inquiry answering all the concerns has been heard. We are hoping this will be a deciding factor in the election on March 15th especially in the Mount Gambier and MacKillop electorate.
Dr Catherine Pye, Community Action for Sustainability Inc.