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Tasmania doesn’t need gas and oil fracking

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Christine Milne 11 Mar 2015

The realities of global warming are pushing the world to abandon fossil fuels and take up renewable energy at an ever increasing rate.

Tasmania's investment in renewable energy and our as yet untapped solar and geothermal resources, place us in a prime position to flourish this century.

We need to capitalise on these natural advantages to attract energy users to the state who want the clean brand. These businesses can help us drive Tasmania's new, clean economy.

What we don't need is gas and oil fracking.

Why would we support a new fossil fuel industry at the end of the fossil fuel age when we already have the energy answers for the future?

Why would we sacrifice our clean water, air and land for short-term export sales of gas and oil?

Tasmanian agriculture will be less impacted under global warming scenarios, with our rainfall and temperatures not as drastically affected.

Environmentalist Lester Brown has quite rightly said countries will be fighting over food this century as they have fought about oil in the past.

And if food is the new oil, land and water are the new gold. They are precious assets that we should protect and retain control over.

I've travelled up and down the east coast of Australia and met with people who are standing up to the gas and oil companies trying to frack and mine their land.

In some towns the fight against the big gas companies is bringing the community together, but in others neighbour is being pitted against neighbour.

We don't need that in Tasmania.

When I've gone to those towns and met the ordinary Australians who are desperately trying to stop the destruction of their land it takes me back to the start of my political journey when I stood with my community against a pulp mill at Wesley Vale.

The bumper sticker I had printed in 1988 as part of that campaign still resonates for me today: Save our Soil, Sea and Sand - Protect the Land.

The Tasmanian Government should listen to the farmers and small businesses in the midlands who don't want fracking because they are speaking for all Tasmanians.

The moratorium against fracking in Tasmania should be turned into an absolute ban.

We don't need gas and oil fracking in Tasmania. We need to draw together to make the most of our natural advantages and keep working toward the new, clean economy that will deliver us the environment, lifestyle and jobs we want.

This article first published in The Mercury on 11 March 2015


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