Fracking for gas is a risky business and there is too much at stake for South Australians.
Countries such as France, Bulgaria, Germany and Scotland have banned fracking for gas, while others such as the UK, Romania, Denmark, Ireland, South Africa and the Czech Republic have all instated moratoriums on fracking.
Closer to home, the Northern Territory has commenced a ten-year moratorium, and Victoria is introducing legislation to permanently ban fracking.
So why aren't these jurisdictions allowing fracking on their land?
Experience interstate and overseas has shown that contamination of land and water is a real risk. Examples of pollution abound, but we don't yet know everything we need to about the long-term effects it may have on both underground and surface water resources. There are also significant risks to public health and the environment. In December 2016, the United States' Environmental Protection Authority found that fracking can pollute drinking water, particularly when waste water is poorly managed.
In November 2016, the long-awaited report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into fracking for gas in the South East of South Australia was released. The report (initiated by the Greens) found considerable community opposition and concluded that there was no social licence to undertake fracking. The Inquiry also raised serious concerns about the economic and social consequences of gas extraction.
We cannot afford to jeopardise our prime agricultural and cropping land – our long-term food resource – for a short-term economic gain from the gas industry.
The Greens want to permanently protect South Australians and our environment from being subjected to this risky and unnecessary practice, especially in relation to farming land, conservation land and residential areas.
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