The South East of South Australia is the home to some peculiar bunches of Activists associations and hangers on!

Over recent months there has been much ado in the local press (the South East of South Australia) about the installation of a 10 year fracking moratorium for the SE, which was a policy the Liberal Party took to the State election in March 2018.

Since the SA State election when the Liberal Party won Government, there has been an effective moratorium on fracking in the SE of SA, even though fracking is continuing to be approved for petroleum activities in the north of the State, the Cooper Basin.

Nonetheless, the local activists in the SE of SA continued with their campaign to have the fracking moratorium enshrined in legislation, which the Liberal State Government agreed to in early September 2018.

The local activists in the SE of SA consist of the Limestone Protection Alliance (LCPA), Lock The Gate (LTG) and an associated disparate cohort/s all vying for oxygen in the local press outlets. These are all grouped together for this article as ‘Activists’.

What has been apparent from the Activists is they don’t want to be grouped together, as the apparent infighting as to who is is in control has spilled over into their press releases etc.

Basically, they have hit a wall.  Their sole aim of a 10 year fracking moratorium has been adopted, and now there is nothing of value they can deliver to the local community, except get in the way of local jobs and prosperity.

The first letter below is an example of the confusion and misdirection typical of the Activists over the last few months.

The Norwood Resource responded to this letter, and a number of similar confused letters to the editor from the Activists.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Published in The Border Watch – 24 October 2018

Agricultural advocate addresses ‘farcical’ alliance letter

LIMESTONE Coast Protection Alliance (LCPA) wrote a farcical public letter regarding mining, which needs to be addressed.

The current LCPA committee has never been involved with mining or fighting it.

Some original committee members left because of the questionable direction LCPA was heading in.

LCPA appears to show lack of understanding of the definition of mining, which is the process of obtaining coal or other minerals from the ground.

On thorough reassessment, it appears that government does not take notice of social licence and in fact, discussing social licence appears to distract from the real science provided.

Many South East residents do not want any mining or petroleum activities at all, apart from extractive.

The LCPA history account written in this letter was totally incorrect.

The LCPA claims “Lock The Gate has limited mining activities in the South East.”

This is totally incorrect, as it has never been involved with mining in the South East and as far as petroleum activities go, is contrary in my opinion.

Donations are listed separately from grants.

LTG has received $4m in grants from 2013 to 2017 and yet, during this time, they went to a peak body in the South East twice, as I understand, asking for huge donations.

In 2017, LTG records show “cash at bank included $1m, held in a public fund established under auspices of the Register of Environmental Organisations maintained by the Department of Environment”.

Usually grants came from the government. If this is so, for LTG, there is conflict of interest.

The original Lock The Gate does not resemble what it is today.

LCPA included the following statement “LCPA has found in the Limestone Coast that almost all mining personnel are FIFO as the talent pool does not exist here for those kind of jobs”.

As previously stated, the current LCPA committee has never been involved with “mining”.

At this point, although there are exploration licences for lignite and mineral mining (e.g. silver, copper, lead and zinc), there has never been mining in the South East apart from industrial and extractive minerals for construction of buildings and roads.

People are under the illusion the fracking moratorium in the South East was a win, which is far from the truth.

LCPA was asking people to write emails to politicians to support Troy Bell’s inadequate “fracking only” bill.

This will do nothing to protect the South East from the impacts of 4km deep wells.

Conventional gas activities risk contamination of air (because of flaring), soil and water. Impacts were felt in Queensland long before there was any fracking.

By only focusing on or supporting the fracking only moratorium, it is clear the petroleum industry has received the message from the South East of South Australia that conventional is okay.

I quote a recent media release from Lakes Oil (Gina Rinehart is a major shareholder),”the well is located in a jurisdiction that encourages petroleum exploration”.

Anne Daw, Agricultural advocate, Kingston SE

Published in The Border Watch 14 November 2018

‘Anti fossil fuel brigade’ ignores gas production benefits

I AM writing in relation to a number of articles and letters published in the Border Watch over recent weeks.

Firstly, the new Liberal State Government has moved to enact legislation to prevent fracking in the South East, which effectively enshrines their election promise to institute a 10 year moratorium on fracking in the region.

While we do not agree with the ban on fracking for a full 10 years, this was the Liberal Party policy before the election, which they took to the election, so no surprises here and it is an administrative instrument to enact the ban, although they had already effectively instituted the ban by simply not approving any fracking in the South East since elected in March.

However, we also note the local disingenuous anti fossil fuel brigade in the South East now wants to ban all oil and gas exploration and drilling, with rifts in the anti-gas movement due to perhaps egos and personalities?

The silly notion all oil and gas is somehow “bad” ignores the benefits that have flowed to the local region in the past when there was gas production and local electricity production using locally produced gas.

Local gas production (from Beach’s Haselgrove-3 discovery) is likely to result in lower priced gas for the local major employers (such as Kimberly-Clark), thus enhancing their ability to continue to employ more locals.

Further, with the entry of Lakes Oil and Vintage Energy to explore for gas in the local area, which if successful may result in greater competition, thus reducing gas prices for local users as well.

This is all good stuff.

However, the disingenuous noisy anti fossil fuel activists, such as the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance (LCPA) and Lock The Gate (LTG), do not want you to have lower petrol or gas prices (and perhaps electricity prices), as they would rather have these products come from far and wide, thus increasing the local energy prices (due to extra transport costs which could be up to $3/GJ alone).

We see the confusion in the activists (LCPA, LTG, et al) in they now have a 10 year fracking moratorium are looking for something else to object to, since they actually have nothing else of substance to protest about, except perhaps the ideology of dumping all fossil fuels in preference to the utopian 100pc renewable energy to meet all energy requirement (including the making of plastics, asphalt, tyres, etc from some soon to be invented renewable energy source), although they and their families depend upon fossil fuels and their by-products in their everyday lives. For example, mobile phones, computers, buildings and even wind turbines, fuel for their vehicles, etc.

The anti fossil fuel advocates are so confused that one section of the anti fossil fuel activists also attempts to separate out mining and “extractive” mining.

All mining is extractive. Otherwise you are just digging in the dirt for no return.

It does not matter if you are mining for road base, clay, gold, copper, lead, zinc, oil or gas, the aim is to extract the product, process (refine) it and use it or sell to customers.

So, we have a situation where the local LCPA, LTG and other self-appointed activists have nowhere to go except to protest for “protest’s sake”, except ideology perhaps, which the Greens used in the recent state election and saw their vote drop by 50pc to a few miserable percentage points.

It is time to tell these (LCPA, LTG etc) organisations – okay, you have achieved the fracking ban, now move on and support the organisations that are trying to discover gas locally to make low priced energy available to the community.

It is time to unlock the gate and welcome those organisations trying to develop local industry.

Bruce Holland, Secretary, The Norwood Resource