Mining opponents to be at Penola site

A photo submitted by Merilyn Paxton showing Penola with an overlay of gasfields at the same density as the fracking gasfields at Barrow Island.
A photo submitted by Merilyn Paxton showing Penola with an overlay of gasfields at the same density as the fracking gasfields at Barrow Island.

Opponents of mining in the South East are expected to have a presence at Beach Energy’s Penola drill site this morning when parts of a gas drilling rig arrive.

Major parts of a gas drilling rig are expected to arrive at the Haselgrove 3 well site this morning after leaving Moomba yesterday on three vehicles, accompanied by a police escort.

Limestone Coast Protection Alliance spokesperson Merilyn Paxton said the alliance remained concerned that the drilling operation was a “Trojan Horse”.

“Beach Energy and the State government have been at pains to describe Haselgrove 3 as a conventional well, which will not be fracked,” she said.

“The Department of State Development has more recently described it as an exploratory well which is looking for shale and tight gas. It is not a production well as it was presented previously.

“When located, the shale or tight gas can only be extracted by fracking.

Haselgrove 3 is a Trojan horse, which will open the door to fracking in the Limestone Coast and could lead to over 3000 wells across the region.”

Ms Paxton said a 2016 peer reviewed report examined 685 scientific papers that clearly showed gasfields cause harm. Most of these point to risks to air, water and health.

She said some fracking chemicals were known to cause cancer, damage organs, and interfere with hormones and reproduction.

“The communities of the Limestone Coast do not want to see any form of gas exploration or extraction in the South East. The Limestone Coast Protection Alliance has surveyed nearly 50 communities with an average of 96% of people in those communities opposed to gasfields in the region.

“The Limestone Coast is South Australia’s food bowl, the place where Adelaide people spend their holidays, and contributes greatly to the economy of South Australia.

“We do not want to jeopardise our water, fresh air and reputation as a provider of clean and green produce in our state, nationally and across the world.

“The communities of the Limestone Coast will have a presence at the site to say ‘No’ to gasfields.”