Who we are
Apollo Bay Community Against Fracking (ABCAF) are a community group formed to raise awareness and take action against fracking in the Otways. We act in solidarity with other groups opposing fracking and support all communities facing the imminent threat of unconventional gas exploration/ exploitation on or near their land.
Why we exist
There are now active exploration permits for unconventional gas (requiring fracking) right across Victoria, including licenses held by Lakes Oil covering Geelong to Anglesea and Moonlight Head up to and beyond the South Australian border. (See PEP 163 and 169).
The current moratorium ban on fracking is likely to be lifted in 2015, allowing the possible contamination of our water and destruction of our farmland and environment among countless other concerns. Now is the time to act before this dangerous industry gets the green light. We need to band together as a community to keep our health, water and environment protected. Community groups have already formed across Victoria to protect their towns and farms from industrialisation.
Communities in action
Locals from across Gippsland feel that the regions water, environment, food and agricultural production will be put at risk if Lakes Oil's plans to drill go ahead. Several communities have now declared themselves coal and gasfield free, locking their gates to resource companies and pledging to disallow fracking in their areas. This strategy has proved successful in NSW where land owners and farmers have succeeded in defending their communities from the gas industry.
You can watch and share Lock the Gate's film 'Fractured Country'.
Visit Lock the Gate.
FRACK FACT I
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the process of drilling and injecting a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture rocks to release the natural gas inside. Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde.
Currently, Lakes Oil, a company part owned by Gina Rinehart, holds exploration licenses over the Otway Region. In a rece ntly leaked Operation Plan, Lakes Oil admits that "A spill could contaminate soils and surface or groundwater, the extent of which depends on the volume of any spilled materials... A spill has the potential to impede the growth of pasture and injure or kill wildlife or stock through the direct ingestion of spilled materials."
Apollo Bay Community Against Fracking is a newly formed group in Apollo Bay to take action against fracking. Its next meeting is Monday 24th February at 6pm, Marrar Woorn.
FRACK FACT II
Fracking (used in unconventional gas exploitation) uses A LOT of water. A single fracturing job requires between 4 – 30 million litres of water, roughly 130 – 1100 truckloads. Unconventional gas needs 100 – 10000 times more water than conventional gas operations. Only 10 – 40% of the water and chemicals injected underground to frack gas wells ever returns to the surface. The rest is permanently removed from the water cycle.
The Federal Government 'Water Group' estimates that 5400 billion litres of water could be used in unconventional gas extraction each year, almost three times the 1872 billion litres used by all the households in Australia each year combined. The depletion of aquifers is a well known and common consequence of unconventional gas exploitation.
FRACK FACT III
Fracking uses A LOT of chemicals.
Approx 152,000 ltrs. of chemicals are used per hydraulic fracturing job.
More than 75% of the 600 different chemicals used in fracking fluid could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. 40-50% could affect the brain and nervous systems, immune and cardiovascular systems and the kidneys, 37% could affect the endocrine system, and 25% could cause cancer and mutations.
Nearby residents to unconventional gas fields are experiencing spikes in conditions including nausea, headaches, blood noses, rashes etc. especially in children.