Media Release: SA Greens bill banning Coal Seam Gas mining is welcome but must go further

Stop Coal seam gas sign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday 19 June 2013, Melbourne - "The Greens in South Australia are leading the nation with their bill to ban 'fracking' for unconventional gas on SA farmland, residential land and conservation areas," said Matthew Wright Executive Director of climate solutions think tank Zero Emissions.

If properly instituted, the ban will see an end to most gas mining in South Australia.  However as an immediate action to stop this industry the bill may be too limited.

"Many wells do not initially need fracking, and the industry may choose to press ahead in those cases ignoring a successful ban.  Those wells that aren't 'fracked' in the first instance will still cause serious water table and land degradation effects on day one of operations, due to the method of gas extraction."

"Even without 'fracking' gas extraction is still dangerous, still causes subsidence, the possibility of earth tremors, damage to aquifers and uncontrolled releases of climate damaging methane even at great distances from the well head."

"Every Coal Seam Gas or Shale well is an experiment that will potentially cause dangerous health effects, damage to agricultural land and the environment."

"This is not an industry that we can afford to have in any form, 'fracking' or 'no fracking'.

Zero Emissions is calling on all the significant players in the South Australian parliament to overcome their fear of SANTOS and to stop the CSG disaster before it happens.

"This is a chance for the Libs, ALP and the Greens to stand up for South Australians, opposing coal seam gas and simultaneously introducing legislation to further develop South Australia's excellent wind and solar resources," said Wright.

FOR COMMENT Matthew Wright 0421 616 733

From Greens Media Centre

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Wednesday 19th June 2013

Greens Press for Ban on Coal Seam Gas in SA

The Greens have today introduced into State Parliament a Bill to ban 'fracking' for unconventional gas on SA farmland, residential land and conservation areas.

The Bill also creates a 2 year moratorium on coal seam gas extraction in other parts of the State until serious questions about health and environmental impacts are answered.

"We still don't know the long term impacts of fracking (the process of coal seam gas and other "unconventional" gas extraction) on underground water levels, local environments and farmland," said SA Greens Leader Mark Parnell.

"By pushing ahead before these questions are answered, the Government is risking the future of our state's precious wine, fruit and vegetable industries, as well as our cropping and grazing lands," he said.

Mr Parnell made the comments in Parliament today, in support of his Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Bill.

Under the Bill, the Minister must also prepare a report on the impact of fracking on water quality, soil health, climate change and local economies.

"While many of the impacts of fracking are not yet known. We know for certain that this will not help our efforts to tackle climate change. The last thing our planet needs as we transition towards the zero carbon economy of the future is to be finding new ways to extract and burn fossil fuels.

 "We hope that the old parties join the Greens in standing up for farmers and the broader South Australian community in ensuring that we don't let the Coal Seam Gas Genie out of the bottle without considering the long term consequences," Mr Parnell said.

For further comment contact Craig Wilkins on 0434 007 893