Venting on gas

A SEASPRAY farmer has urged Gippsland residents fearful of the environmental effects of onshore natural gas to stand firm against what he claimed was a renewed industry push for exploration.

Trevor Flint believed federal government statements show the gas industry is pushing for more exploration in east Gippsland on the premise more gas was needed because gas prices were high.

“This is self-interested nonsense. The reason gas prices are high is because the gas industry exports most of what it produces, at the expense of Australian homes and businesses,” Mr Flint said.

“Despite nearly quadrupling production by covering Queensland in gas wells, the bulk of the gas is sold to overseas customers and Australians are left paying higher prices.

“The profits go straight into gas company pockets and those of their investors, many of which live overseas. Finding more gas will do nothing more than boost their bottom-line because international demand just continues to grow.”

“The state government has taken the sensible decision of a moratorium; the next step is a ban,” he said.

“There is too much at stake to risk onshore gas mining in Victoria especially when the real driver is corporate greed.”

Mr Flint discussed the community’s position with the state Resources Minister Wade Noonan when the minister visited Sale recently.

“I accept the minister has to make the best decisions for the whole Victorian community, but, on gas it’s simpler because the real driver is company profits, not gas for communities,” Mr Flint said.

“Finding more gas will not lower gas prices.

“In my view, Mr Noonan is clear about the very real risks gas exploration poses to the environment and rural communities. Victoria is very different from Queensland; all the risks are amplified here because of our closer settlement.”