As mining company Lakes Oil waits for an operations plan approval to conduct risky horizontal drilling in the Seaspray community, residents have begun to take matters into their own hands.
This weekend saw a group of locals participate in a direct action training workshop to prepare them for potential direct action if Lakes Oil’s plans to drill go ahead. This workshop was not the first and will not be the last.
Seaspray residents conducted a door to door survey last year covering Giffard, The Honeysuckles, Glomar Beach, Stradbroke and Seaspray asking one question “Do you want to declare Seaspray & surrounds coal seam gas and tight gas free?” An astounding 98% said ‘yes‘
“This community has clearly spoken, we have removed the social licence for this industry to operate here and yet we are still facing further risky drilling” said local resident Maggie Evison
“That is why we are preparing to do whatever it takes to stop further unconventional gas exploration here, even if it means blockading and risking arrest” said Mrs Evison
New Energy Minister Welcomed
Seaspray residents welcomed the appointment of new energy minister Russell Northe seeing this as an opportunity to have their urgent concerns finally heard. Previous energy minister Nick Kotsiras failed to respond to many attempts via phone, email and letter writing by the community to meet with locals in Seaspray.
The Gasfield Free Seaspray group will be calling on Mr Northe to commit to extending the moratorium on fracking to include all forms of exploration works including horizontal drilling.
“We look forward to meeting with Mr Northe and discussing with him the valid and urgent concerns of this community under threat” said Ursula Alquier, Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator.
“This is an opportunity for Mr Northe to put the terrible behaviour of his predecessor of ignoring communities behind him and show that we have a energy minister now in place that is willing to listen to community concerns” said Miss Alquier
For further information or comment contact:
Kerrin Schelfhout - Gasfield Free Seaspray
Ursula Alquier - Lock the Gate 0499 991 324
Cam Walker - Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047