Politicians and environmental groups are split over the impacts of coal seam gas extraction, with a community info day planned.LAURA HURLEY July 24, 2014 3:37am
The explosive debate on ‘‘fracking’’ will reach Numurkah next week with local politicians and environmental groups split over the environmental and economic impacts.
The open day on Wednesday, July 30, at the Numurkah Visitor Information Centre, is, according to the Victorian Government website, ‘‘an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions and talk about the issue of onshore natural gas in the context of how they believe it affects themselves, their family or their community.’’
With a moratorium placed on coal seam gas exploration in Victoria until July next year, State Member for Murray Tim McCurdy said the open day was a means for people to educate themselves about the issue and create a dialogue between the community and legislators.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity for people to come along and form their own opinion,’’ Mr McCurdy said.
The Nationals MP said he still had an open mind about the issue.
‘‘I ask that everyone keeps an open mind, gets educated and forms their own opinion,’’ he said.
Mr McCurdy said from his own experience, coal seam gas exploration could offer a lot of benefits to rural communities.
‘‘In terms of onshore, I went to Queensland with a group of MPs last year to study coal seam mining, and it has a huge amount of benefits for smaller communities,’’ he said.
‘‘There was a significant improvement to the areas, including better infrastructure, attracting jobs and young people.’’
Much of the opposition to fracking involves environmental impacts the process can have, as well as concerns the chemicals used can contaminate water supplies.
Mr McCurdy said the Victorian Government had taken these concerns into consideration.
‘‘We have no intention of doing anything to harm the environment,’’ he said.
Victorian co-ordinator for environmental group Lock The Gate Chloe Aldenhoven also encouraged communities to educate themselves on the issue, but did not share Mr McCurdy’s belief that coal seam gas mining benefited communities in Queensland.
‘‘Many people in Queensland have said that it has divided the community,’’ Ms Aldenhoven said.
‘‘There needs to be a thorough assessment on the impacts (of fracking) on existing economies
Ms Aldenhoven said in communities where coal seam gas exploration was occurring, it had created a ‘‘fly-in fly-out culture’’ that had driven a need for skilled workers, lowering the employment rate of locals.
‘‘There are also concerns for health and water pollution. It has a huge impact on agriculture and tourism,’’ Ms Aldenhoven said.
Police have caught two people allegedly responsible for a spate of burglaries across the region between Broadford and Numurkah.
Yarrawonga’s Brea Roadley has been presented with the prestigious Academic and Sporting Excellence Award at the 2015 Victoria University Awards night.
Murchison Primary School parents were recently informed by the Department of Education and Training that its modular five portable (two classrooms) will be removed from the school on December 7.
CAMPASPE Shire is one of the most secretive councils in Victoria, according to figures from the recently-launched Know Your Council website.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Kyvalley celebrate final hot shots
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
The arrival of a tall crane in William St last Tuesday heralded the end of an era for Cobram’s Country Fire Authority building.
Mathoura car crash sparks grass fire.
Victoria’s strict dangerous dogs laws are considered a laughing stock by other countries, a canine behaviour expert says.
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