Much has been spoken about the alleged rights and wrongs of coal seam gas mining this year. I have been privy to both arguments. The Baillieu government has a moratorium in place on new coal seam gas exploration permits. There is currently no coal seam gas production in Victoria.
As a farmer, I fully understand the importance of preserving and enhancing the land, and view with caution any activity that may negatively impact that position.
Exploration and mining must be accompanied by suitable impact statements and regulation.
As such, I urge readers to have their say on the draft National Framework for coal seam gas. The public consultation period is now open, and extends until February 18, 2013.
The National Harmonised Framework includes discussion about the banning of BTEX chemicals in hydraulic fracturing (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), a tightening of regulations, water management and monitoring, and well design.
Anyone with an interest in this matter - and I know there are many of you - should read the draft framework and consider responding to it.
It can be found at www.scer.gov.au/workstreams/land-access/coal-seam-gas.