Lester Brown the famous US environmentalist has said that food is the oil of this century, and that means land and water is the gold of our time.
With global warming accelerating we have to look after ecosystem health, productive farming land and water. That is essentially the message of the film Frack Man that I had the pleasure to open in Hobart on Thursday night.
I have seen the impacts of unconventional gas mining in person. I have been to the Darling Downs, I have been to the Liverpool Plains, I have sat around kitchen tables with farming families and stood around shearing sheds talking with people about the fact that they never thought it would happen to them. They never thought that people would be able to walk on to their property and essentially destroy their livelihoods, their future and what they have inherited from previous generations. People ask, how come a mining company can just walk on here and do as they like? Well they can because that is the law. They can walk onto anyone’s farm and do as they like, so that is the first thing that has to be changed.
In an age of dangerous climate change, where we know we need to shift to 100% renewables as fast as possible, we do not need this unconventional gas – absolutely do not need it.
Tasmanians do not want this unconventional gas mining, do not need it, and we will stand up for a ban on unconventional gas and fracking.
We have to ban fracking because just having a five year moratorium means that these corporations, which already have exploration licences over about 24% of Tasmania, can continue to raise money from financial institutions to keep exploring. Once that exploration is done they will then argue that they have established the resource so they ought to get the license to go ahead.
It comes down to fundamental questions of whether Australian people who live in affected communities have a right to sustain their communities and livelihoods? Or are they to be pushed out of the way for corporations making profits out of a resource that should not be used because it is accelerating global warming and undermining the very thing that we do need, which is land, water healthy ecosystems and the capacity to produce food?
The film Frack Man is confronting. It shows how rural and regional Australia is being devastated by gas mining and fracking but it offers Tasmanian communities an insight into what can happen when corporate profits are allowed to destroy a community.
That is why when governments sell-out communities we have no option but to stand up, and that is exactly what people featured in the film Frack Man are doing. It is what the Greens and Frack Free Tasmania is doing by campaigning for an outright ban on fracking and unconventional gas mining in Tasmania.