The Border Watch : February 12th 2014
4 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au South East gas Protesters rally to secure local KEN BR brett@ KENNEDY RETT firstname.lastname@example.org TES from the South East’s were sent a clear message when they arrived at Naracoorte Town Hall for the South East Local Government Association’s first meeting of the year on Friday morning as around 100 people lined the footpath to protest unconventional gas exploration. In the second strong showing of com- Councils wait to explore mining issue BRETT KENNEDY TAKING A STAND: Wattle Range Mayor Peter Gandolfi has successfully campaigned for hosting of a public information session by the South East Local Government Association (SELGA) on the controversial issue of unconventional gas exploration in the region. City of Mount Gambier Weekly Affairs EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST Centenary Tower – Caretaker Council seeks written Expressions of Interest from suitable operators for the right to operate the Centenary Tower as Caretaker under Licence from Council. The Caretaker role would be ideal for a person(s) with an interest in tourism and the promotion of Mount Gambier and its environment. The Caretaker is responsible to attend at the Tower during periods where it is likely that visitors, tourists and education groups would wish to access the Tower, as well as day to day maintenance of the Tower and its immediate surrounds in a clean and tidy condition. Potential applicants are advised that the Caretaker is not an employment or volunteer position. For further information please visit the ‘Tenders’ section of Council’s website. MOUNT GAMBIER LIBRARY Library Lovers Day There is no excuse to be lonely this Valentines Day as the Mount Gambier Library has something special for everyone to celebrate Library Lovers Day this Friday 14th February, 2014. There are a number of prizes available, hand selected “blind dates” suitable for all ages to borrow and much more on offer at the Mount Gambier Library. Come down and take some time out and participate in the celebrations! For more information please phone the Library on (08) 8721 2540 or visit http://www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/library/. LOVE YOUR HEART, LOVE YOUR CITY OPAL is proud to be hosting special guest Dr Rodney Tolley and don’t want you to miss the chance to meet the thought provoking and entertaining consultant from the UK. Join us for a ‘Love Your Heart, Love Your City’ Breakfast this Friday 14th February, 2014 from 7.00am to 8.30am in City Hall. Tickets are just $17 including delicious breakfast. Or come along to the ‘Question and Answer’ session from 5.00pm to 6.00pm in the Dress Circle, Main Corner, with drinks and nibbles to follow. For further information or to register your attendance please contact the OPAL team on (08) 8721 2586. NATIONAL APOLOGY ANNIVERSARY All community members are invited to attend, celebrate and participate in a free community event this Sunday 16th February, 2014 from 12.30pm to 2.45pm at the Main Corner, to mark the sixth anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations on 13th February 2008. Light refreshments available. For further information please contact Alison Brash on (08) 8721 2504 DA VINCI VOLUNTEERS The ‘Da Vinci Machines’ exhibition will be the most important exhibition to be presented on the Limestone Coast in 2014. To make sure visitors and school groups have a valuable and memorable experience the Riddoch Art Gallery need your help! They need ticketing people, meet and greet people, tour guides, gallery observers and anyone else who can help! They will explain, train and make sure you feel confi dent and comfortable. For further information on how you might provide assistance please contact the Riddoch Art Gallery on (08) 8723 9566. FOOD SAFETY Gastro Illness A reminder to anyone working in the food or vulnerable person industries e.g. childcare and aged care; anyone experiencing gastro symptoms including vomiting or diarrhoea should be excluded for a minimum of 48 hours after symptoms cease, to prevent transmission of the condition. Diagnosis and treatment from a doctor is recommended. Always check your work place standards and policies on this matter. WORKS IN PROGRESS The City of Mount Gambier outdoor staff will be working in the following areas in the coming week: • Rail Lands Site Remediation Works • Former Hospital Site Remediation Works • Wireless Road East Construction (Aramanta Drive to 500m west) • Bishop Road Construction (Penola Road to 300m east) • Access Ramp Program • Road Reseal Program For more information on City of Mount Gambier visit our website www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au. 634136 4 - The Border Watch, Wednesday, February 12, 2014 MOUNT Gambier Mayor Steve Perryman has weighed in on the debate about unconventional gas exploration in the South East, saying the City Council had not reached a position on the controversial matter. Speaking at the South East Local Government Association’s (SELGA) first meeting of 2014 at Naracoorte Town Hall on Friday, Mr Perryman said more information was needed before the council could take an informed stance. Mr Perryman threw his support behind the motion for a briefing to be held for SELGA delegates featuring industry professionals, reserving a definitive opinion on the issue until a later date. “The City of Mount Gambier hasn’t come to a position in respect to this issue, we haven’t been informed,” Mr Perryman said. “We would like to have the opportunity to have this session as proposed. “My council are certainly not experts in geology or engineering. “It will be a detailed conversation of many weeks and months.” With Robe Mayor Peter Riseley pushing for the addition of representatives from both Beach Energy - the company behind the current drilling site two kilometres south of Penola - and a representative of the opposing community groups, Mr Perryman showed preference to the original proposal. “I would at the first instance like to be given a briefing free of debate about the ‘for and against’,” he said. “I do understand with the limited information I do have in this particular activity that is happening at present that there is a veto of at least two years for us to gather some information.” Mr Perryman supported other councils’ desires to conduct their own community activities in relation to the issue. “It seems like councils will want to do their other activities and I am happy with that,” he said. “It’s likely Mount Gambier will do something simi- lar through the Community Action for Sustainability (CAS) group. “We have a number of members who reside within Mount Gambier who have been active as far as lobbying goes.” Mr Perryman said he was interested in learning about all the technical, environmental and regulatory aspects over the coming months. “While it is an issue that has the attention of a number of people in our community, our responsibility as elected members is to make sure we are fully informed before we make a decision on behalf of our whole community.” MECHANICAL problems have led to a sidetrack in the Jolly-1 well being drilled two kilometres south of Penola by Beach Energy. After drilling 2406 metres targeting the Casterton Formation within the Penola Trough of the onshore Otway Basin, the search for shale gas was abruptly halted in the Upper Sawpit Shale. Beach Energy managing director Reg Nelson said the situation was not unusual and geological formations were the main cause. Mr Nelson said the formation of the side- track - Jolly-1 ST1 - required the installation of a cement plug, before drilling at a slight munity opposition since Beach Energy began preparations to drill two kilometres south of Penola late last year, speakers took to the microphone to voice their concern while a sea of placards sent out clear and frank messages. Among the speakers was Member for Mount Gambier Don Pegler, who echoed his previous calls for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, below the Goyder Line, while strength continued to build for the Lock The Gate movement, which is calling for action to protect natural resources in the Limestone Coast. While fracking - a process using a high pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack fissures into rock to aid gas flow - has not yet been explored by Beach Energy, many fear the region’s underground aquifers could be damaged from the process or a subsequent break- FRACKING FIGHT: Penola woman Karyn Prelc has vowed to have the concerns of South East residents heard in parliament if she is elected as an independent in South Australia’s Legislative Council. down in well integrity. The rally - which served as a follow up to a similar event held at Greenrise Lake last month - attracted budding politician Karyn Prelc, an independent candidate for South Australia’s Legislative Council. The experienced educator and Penola landowner expressed her dismay over the current threat being felt by concerned residents across the region. “In Adelaide, I hear from select politicians ‘It’s not that bad, a few people are quite emotive’,” she said. Both sides of debate to meet THE South East Local Government Association (SELGA) will convene a public information session in Penola next month to provide a balanced insight into unconventional gas exploration in the region. Featuring representatives from key state government departments, plus proponents and opponents of unconventional gas exploration and development in the Limestone Coast, the session aims to provide residents with the opportunity to make an informed decision on the issue. Wattle Range Mayor Peter Gandolfi called for hosting of the session and made an impromptu address outside the Naracoorte Town Hall on Friday as he arrived for a SELGA meeting amid the coinciding protest. “I think our council - like everybody else - considers our aquifer to be the most important natural resource that we have,” Mr Gandolfi told the crowd. “We’ve taken the view that we need to make sure that we make an informed decision and comment on this matter.” Mr Gandolfi revealed his proposed motion to be discussed at the SELGA meeting, seeking to include opponents and proponents in the process. “Our main concern is the protection of the aquifer,” he said. “We will be doing more work on this, including the discussion today, and look at other avenues as to how we can do that.” Inside the meeting, Mr Gandolfi faced opposition to the motion during opening discussion. “I suggest a meeting at Penola and open it to the public,” he said. “The forum will allow us to hear from all the groups on the same evening.” With some other councils still to take a stance on the issue, it was argued that SELGA should not be involved in the process until it had acquired more information. “Not everyone can go to Adelaide, so this is their chance,” Mr Gandolfi said. “I’m not asking for a process or some form of debate. “It’s simply an information night, that’s all I’m asking.” Mr Gandolfi’s motion was eventually passed, with the addition that the Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Water be invited to participate. Facing a similar issue, Western Australia’s Department of Water told a state parliamentary inquiry it has no veto rights over fracking for natural gas, but would advise authorities against approval of shale gas fracking underneath public drinking water sources. Well drilling stalls in ‘unusual’ geological formation angle of seven degrees and then returning to a zero degree descent. “It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s not unusual at all,” he said. While there has been widespread community backlash since the introduction of the drilling rig, Mr Nelson said most people contacting Beach Energy either offered support or were searching for more information. “The door is certainly open to anyone who wants to discuss anything,” Mr Nelson said. He said he had received an invitation to speak at a South East Local Government Association information session and would take up the offer. “We want to explain that all we are doing at the moment is getting information,” he said. Having previously been questioned publicly about potentially thousands of wells being spudded in the region, Mr Nelson said the company would only look to drill 10 wells a year, often within an area the size of a housing block. Mr Nelson said the drilling process was currently using and recycling approximately two megalitres of water to drill the Jolly-1 ST1 well, but would need one to five megalitres per well if fracture stimulation was implemented.
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