Gloucester opponents of coal seam gas have taken their concerns to A-G-L stakeholders today, Wednesday October 23.
The company has approval to explore and drill for CSG in the Gloucester Basin.
Two Groundswell Gloucester members will be at AGL’s annual general meeting in Melbourne this morning to voice local concerns about the industry.
One of them is the former Gloucester mayor and anti-CSG activist Julie Lyford.
Another is Jenni O’Neill who said the industry threatens many of Gloucester’s sustainable and prosperous economic ventures, especially agriculture and tourism.
“We have some really vibrant, long-term sustainable industries here such as tourism and agriculture,” she said.
“My understanding is that the number of employees that could be working at this gas field long term could be as few as 12 .
“Whereas the industries like agriculture and tourism which are long term and sustainable employ hundreds, 240 in tourism alone.”
Ms O’Neill said the open letter to AGL shareholders is from community groups representing over 1000 residents.
She said the impact on Gloucester from a planned 300 plus well operation could be disastrous.
“I want to highlight with the shareholders some of the concerns that I have about the uncertainty around the science that has been collected to date,” she said.
“Also the uncertainty that comes from the science that hasn’t been completed yet.
“I think this raises serious risks for us as a community but it also risks the kind of returns they might expect to get.
“With so many unknowns its really hard to work out what’s going to happen.”
Meanwhile AGL says it has evidence to prove coal seam gas can be extracted safely in Gloucester .
Company spokeswoman, Julie Delvecchio said neither the community or shareholders should be concerned.
“AGL has been producing natural gas at Camden for over 12 years, and we are very confident we can extract the gas from Gloucester, and also ensure that the community and the environment is kept safe,” she said.
Ms Delveccio said A-G-L is happy to have the Groundswell Gloucester members at its A-G-M as residents have the right to make their case.
“We welcome the community’s right to have a say and to be heard on our projects, and I’ll be in Melbourne myself to listen to the concerns of the people who’ll be joining us at the AGM today,” she said.