I ATTENDED a public meeting in Seaspray recently in relation to coal seam gas mining in Gippsland.
As I looked at the faces of the people who filled the hall, I sensed not so much a mood of anger, but one of disbelief that such a thing could possibly be allowed to happen in their own backyard.
Conversely, I also sensed a quiet assurance that surely, commonsense and wise heads will ultimately prevail, and it will not in fact happen.
Surely if governments are looking to promote economic development in our region, why not encourage and invest in the great resources that already exist in Gippsland, those things that make it the unique place it is namely its people, its coastal and agricultural landscapes and the beauty of our forests, lakes, and waterways?
And direct more support and investment towards those who are already ‘mining’ the land in a sustainable way namely the farmers.
To think that the whole CSG exploration process has proceeded with little or no consultation with the local landowners.
It seems that our local MPs are showing a breathtaking arrogance and lack of respect for the very constituency that has supported them for so long.
To propose replacing huge swathes of productive Gippsland farmland with equally huge expanses of unsightly and poisonous gas fields has got to be one of the worst examples of environmental vandalism.
The potentially devastating effects to our above and below ground environments will be evident to all, and virtually impossible to reverse.