A Better Way To Balance Land Use
Protecting Food and Water from Gas
The rapid and destructive expansion of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry across much of Australia demonstrates what happens when governments put big mining companies ahead of caring for local communities, the environment and our long term future. In South Australia, CSG and other forms of ‘unconventional gas’ such as shale gas and tight gas are set to expand, including into traditional farming areas.
There are many known risks to our underground and surface water resources from gas mining. This is the water on which much of our agriculture relies. As well, there are public health and climate risks from “fugitive emissions” which might be some distance from the gas wells.
Extracting unconventional gas often also requires hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), which involves the high-pressure injection of millions of litres of water, chemicals and sand. When this chemical cocktail is extracted from the well, it can create huge problems for storage and disposal, risking further water contamination.
With an urgent need to act on climate change, it is environmentally and economically disastrous to expand fossil fuel industries, when renewable energy alternatives are available.
The Australian Greens stand firmly on the side of Australian farmers. We want all farmland to be protected from gas mining. Currently, under South Australian law, most landholders have no right to refuse mining companies access to their land.
The Greens plan to protect land, water, climate and communities includes:
- A ban on gas exploration and extraction in all farming lands, urban lands and conservation areas throughout South Australia; and
- A ban on fracking in all other areas where it might impact on critical water resources.
Only the Australian Greens are prepared to stand up to the big mining companies and act to protect our climate, precious farmland and regional communities.