Coal-seam gas miners resist demands

ENVIRONMENT Victoria has joined a growing list of groups fighting to stop coal-seam gas exploration in the Colac district.

But Minerals Council of Australia’s Victorian assistant director Megan Davison says the council will not support a halt on coal-seam gas exploration in the Colac region.

“Moratoriums and the outright dismissal of projects, we don’t support,” Ms Davison said.

She said the State Government assessed all coal-seam gas projects on their individual merits, with “very strong regulations”.

Ms Davison said environmental concerns with coal-seam gas mining were “an emerging issue for communities” and there was “a lot of fear of the unknown”.

Ms Davis said she supported more education of communities on coal-seam gas mining.

Colac mayor Brian Crook said a ban on exploration was essential until the government improved its “seriously flawed” consultation process and could assess the impact of mining.

“Until we have the process evaluated and there is a 100-per-cent guarantee there will be no impact on aquifers and the community is happy with it, coal-seam gas exploration must stop,” Cr Crook said.

He said the council called for the mining companies to abandon exploration and would push for the support of major political parties in the Colac district’s fight against coal-seam mining.

“It’s on our agenda now and we will be talking to all upper house members of parliament,” Cr Crook said.

“There’s been a lot of media since the community meeting at Forrest last week about the process of coal-seam gas mining and there are far more questions than answers,” he said.

“And until we have those answers we need a moratorium.”

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