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Coal Seam Gas

New Legislation Prevents Onshore Gas Fracturing, Exploration and Mining

On 16 March 2017, the Victorian Government introduced the Resources Amendment (Fracking Act) 2017. This legislation amends the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1998 to ban hydraulic fracturing, prevent the exploration for and mining of coal seam gas and imposes a moratorium on any petroleum exploration and petroleum production in the onshore areas of Victoria until 30 June 2020. For more information please visit Onshore Gas.

Council Supports Community Concerns on Coal Seam Gas

Councillors have given unanimous support to rising community concerns over the possible granting of coal seam gas exploration licences in the South Gippsland region. Since 2011, many residents have rallied at several public meetings across the Shire and over 100 attended the June 2012 Council meeting where Councillors responded unanimously to support their concerns. Further issues also emerged at the July 2012 Council meeting.

Details of the Resolutions by Council meetings in 2016, 2015 and 2012 can be found below as can links to further information on this matter.

Furthermore, at the Ordinary Council Meeting of 26 August 2015, Council resolved to include the following information on our website:

  1. Parliamentary Inquiry into Unconventional Gas in Victoria - Final Report
  2. Interim Parliamentary Inquiry into Unconventional Gas
  3. Report of the Victorian Auditor General's Office
  4. Report on the Community and Stakeholder Attitudes to Onshore Natural Gas in Victoria

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Geological Survey of Victoria have undertaken water science studies, which began in early 2014, to help provide a better understanding of the potential impacts of any onshore gas development on Victoria's water resources.

The reports from this work are now available:

About the water studies

Gippsland region synthesis report


Council Resolutions – Ordinary Council Meeting 24 February 2016:
Council agreed to:

  1. Advise the Victorian Government that it endorses the key recommendations of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry Into Unconventional Gas Final Report - December 2015.
  2. Advise the Victorian Government it supports a ban on the unconventional gas industry in Victoria for all forms of unconventional gas until it can be demonstrated that the impacts will not adversely affect the environment, economy or community.
  3. Place a link to the Final Victorian Parliamentary Report into Unconventional Gas on Council's website.

Council Resolutions – Ordinary Council Meeting 26 August 2015:
Council agreed to:

  1. Note the significant economic contributions made by the agricultural, food manufacturing and tourism sectors to the South Gippsland economy;
  2. Continue to support the moratorium on all forms of unconventional gas, until it can be demonstrated that the impacts will not adversely affect the environment, economy or community;
  3. Receive a report which reviews the above mentioned reports and their implications for South Gippsland;
  4. Provide a written response to the Government which considers the community feedback.
  5. Place a copy of the following reports on Council's website:
  • Interim and final Victorian Parliamentary Report into Unconventional Gas Victorian
  • Auditor-General's Office (VAGO) Report - Managing the Risks and Impacts of
  • Unconventional Gas and; The Report on Community and Stakeholder Attitudes to Onshore Natural Gas in Victoria

    Council Resolutions– Ordinary Council Meeting 27 June 2012:
    Council agreed to:

    1. Write to the Victorian State Government calling for a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration and extraction/ mining in South Gippsland pending full public disclosure of all process chemicals used and all other features of coal seam gas exploration/mining being shown to be safe.
    2. Seek further information on regulations and controls in place in respect of coal seam gas exploration and extraction in the state of Victoria and how those regulations and controls compare to other states where coal seam gas exploration and operations are in progress.
    3. Ensure the community is kept up to date with all relevant information as it becomes available through our website, council reports and contact with concerned community groups and Bass Coast Shire Council.
    4. That Council opposes coal seam gas exploration or mining /extraction on land it owns or manages until it is shown to be safe.

    Council Resolutions - Ordinary Council Meeting 25 July 2012:
    Council agreed to:
    Prior to 8 August 2012, lodge a written objection to the granting of a mining exploration licence under Mantle Mining’s application no. ELA 5428, as advertised on p11 of the Mirboo North Times dated 18 July 2012, based on the following grounds:

    1. The applied licence area includes the entire township of Mirboo North. The prospect of mining exploration and the potential for coal mining within the town is unacceptable.
    2. The applied licence area includes critical town and agricultural water supplies. The prospect of these being threatened by exploration and potentially coal mining is unacceptable.
    3. The application licence area contains important dairying, grazing and potato growing operations. The economic value and food security of these industries far outweighs any short term gain from exploration and mining and is therefore unacceptable.
    4. To Council’s knowledge, Mantle Mining has not undertaken community consultation in relation to its intentions on previously granted exploration licences in adjacent agricultural areas, as referenced in the DPI’s exploration licence application kit.
    5. The advertisement for the exploration licence is not suitably presented, being too small in both print size and map presentation to enable reasonable notice to citizens. The application should be readvertised as was the recent case for Leichhardt’s Resources application el5416.”
    6. Inform all property owners through ‘South Gippsland Matters’ of council resolutions carried in respect of coal seam gas or coal exploration and/or mining licences in June and July 2012 Council meetings and include any correspondence sent by Council to the State Government, following those resolutions.

    Council has put forward its concerns to the industry and related governing bodies in relation to Coal Seam Gas and met with Government regulators on a number of occasions. It has received Briefings from officers and from the mining industry on the matter. Council has also supported an appeal for the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) to advocate on behalf of Councils to various government bodies regarding the concerns local government has with Coal Seam Gas. Furthermore, Council has requested the National Association raise this issue at the federal level.

    Council, in its advocacy role, is here to support the community in its pleas to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), to be judicious and protective of our environmental and economic resources. It is important to note that Council has no statutory planning decision making powers in relation to mining exploration licences, the State Government is the decision making body.

    Council continues to gather as much knowledge and information on the issue to ensure we are best placed to support our community.  At each stage, Council has promoted the need for stakeholder and community engagement to ensure our communities receive the facts they require about activities in their area, their rights and the regulatory process.

    It is important to Council that concerned residents and landowners are provided with satisfactory detail to understand the work Council has been undertaking in relation to Coal Seam Gas.  This matter continues to be at the forefront of many Council discussions.  

    Some Councillors have met with ‘Lock the Gate’ advocates on a number of occasions and welcome these supporters to many Council Meetings and Briefing Sessions.  Council acknowledges Bass Coast Shire Council  has shown a strong anti-Coal Seam Gas position and whenever possible, South Gippsland as a close neighbouring Council, has also supported their pursuits and representations to governing authorities.