MEDIA RELEASE      

Wednesday 28th May 2014

 Win for rural communities as Victorian Government suspends drilling

Rural communities from Gippsland to Western Victoria today were overjoyed and relieved to hear of the announcement by Energy Minister Russell Northe that all unconventional gas licences would be suspended until July 2015.

The announcement came as pressure from the Seaspray community and beyond grew to reject a licence application for Lakes Oil to conduct risky horizontal drilling in a community where over 98% of residents opposed it. 

 “This decision shows that Mr Northe unlike his predecessor Mr Kotsiras is listening to community concerns” said Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator Ursula Alquier “ Although this step is welcomed, it does not mean that community opposition to gasfields will go away, this movement will continue to build in strength and numbers until we see a total statewide ban on unconventional gas”  “Any party approving onshore gas drilling will have an almighty fight on their hands, communities are united on this ” she said

 Seaspray dairy farmer Julie Boulton said “We are incredibly relieved, we have some breathing space at last but we are not going anywhere” “If the government tries to approve drilling in Seaspray again after July 2015, we will still be here, standing strong, united as a community against gasfields in Seaspray or anywhere in Victoria” she said “Our plan to ride horses to parliament tomorrow has been cancelled, but we are prepared to ride horses to the city at anytime if we need too, and next time there won’t be 7 horses, there will be 70” she said “

 “We will use the next 12 months to keep building community opposition, we will continue to support those communities right across the state that oppose onshore gas drilling, we are all in this together to protect our water, our farmland, out health and our environment and we will only get stronger’ said Ursula Alquier Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator

 For further comment contact:Ursula Alquier 0499 991 324 csgfreepoowong@hotmail.com                                                                             

For more information on ‘The Story of Seaspray’ go to: http://www.foemelbourne.org.au/seaspray_victory

Facebook Page: Gasfield Free Seaspray

 

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