Lessons from the 'Lock the Gate' Campaign
July 20, 2020
In early 2014 I heard that the Victorian government was talking about allowing 'fracking' throughout the South-west & south-east of Victoria. What was fracking? After researching and hearing people's stories from the USA & Queensland I was horrified, scared and mobilised. Under the banner of the Lock the Gate movement, we started surveying our local communities to see what other people thought. The results were definitive. People DID NOT want this industry here. In my own little townships of Birregurra & Warncoort, 95% of the residents agreed. Meetings were held, movies shown, fundraisers and awareness raising activities exploded across Victoria. People from incredibly varied walks of life came together to protect the environment. Knitting nanas held 'sit ins' and farmers herded their sheep into visual messages recorded from the air above. Supporters baked cakes, knocked on doors, and young people sang and utilised social media; ultimately communities came together. This movement resulted with a rally & march to the Victorian Parliament on 20th September 2015 demanding that our Government, act in accordance with the wishes of the people and that Victoria be declared gas field free.
On August 30th 2016 Victoria became the first state in Australia to permanently ban the process of fracking to access ‘unconventional’ gas (gases like coal seam gas or CSG, and Shale and Tight gas). We also achieved an extension of the moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling until 2020. It was amazing!
Now, the moratorium has been lifted and both Federal and State Governments are pushing for a massive gas led, economic recovery; greatly expanding gas mining both onshore and offshore in the Otway Basin. It just doesn't make sense. The threat is here again but this time it is even bigger! I have joined OCEAN to campaign against this short-sighted development and to push for a sustainable energy stimulus that will provide more jobs and a safe, low carbon future.
We cannot afford to sit back and allow this gas development to occur in the Otway basin.
Debbie McIntyre, Birregurra
For Otway Climate Emergency Action Network, contact us to get involved and see more here.
oceanclimatenetwork (at) gmail (.) com