Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, has raised the expansion of unconventional gas in western Victoria as a Matter of Public Importance in the federal Senate.
The speech followed her visit to the area with Victorian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale on October 9 and 10.
“I was inspired by the community spirit of so many Victorians banding together to protect their land, water and climate from the big gas companies and I wanted to raise this in Parliament at my first opportunity,” Senator Waters said.
In the speech, Senator Waters said:
“In western Victoria and the Otway Basin they have something really special. It is a wonderful, fertile area with good rainfall in many areas and the capacity to be a powerhouse for sustainably producing food and fibre for the country and for the world.
“The communities of western Victoria and Gippsland are facing off against a very powerful adversary: the unconventional gas-fracking industry.
“They are responding with an inspiring display of grassroots, participatory democracy and their momentum is building. At last count, 43 communities across Victoria, including 11 in western Victoria, have declared themselves 'gasfield free'.
“It was a pleasure to see this part of the world a few weeks ago with my colleague Senator Richard Di Natale and our Greens candidate for the western region, Lloyd Davies.
“Lloyd would work with local communities rather than against their interests and would work to avoid some of the mistakes that Queensland, sadly, has made in rolling out the red carpet to the gas-fracking industry,” Senator Waters said.
In her speech, Senator Waters acknowledged the “incredible work” of Gasfield Free Portland, Frack Free Geelong, Gasfield Free Torquay and Frack Free Moriac.
Video of speech: http://youtu.be/SHuB41wn70o