Protectors of the West by Karen Hansen


Something amazing has been happening all across the Western District of Victoria.

People are becoming educated on the dangers of indiscriminate mining on the quality of farmlands and the environment. They are aware of how precious water is to farming and the environment and are beginning to sign on to fight for the protection of the clean water and the farming in our region.

Community after community is working to declare themselves gas free.

When mining impacts an aquifer so much that the State Government offers compensation to farmers for the drop in the aquifers, as has happened in Gippsland, then you know that mining can be a blessing AND curse to farmers.

In Gippsland, the pressure of mining has seen the Gippsland Aquifer drop by 1.1 metres per year since 1972, and it shows no sign of stopping in the near future. The Gippsland Aquifer has dropped well over 30 metres in 30 years due to off shore mining and on shore coal mining……….. and we haven’t even taken into consideration fracking into this equation since this industry hasn’t really had an impact on the figures as yet.

Unpaid concerned community members all across the Western District are lobbying their elected officials, they are door-knocking communities, and whole communities are declaring themselves frack-free, and in the case of Moyne Council, whole shires are declared Frack Free.

It is amazing that communities can band together to protect their environment and the livelihood of the farmers that are so important to our local economy.

In the Otways, much of our lifestyle revolves around the beautiful national parks, which rely on the natural water from our aquifers. Scientifically, the correlation between forests and rainfall is conclusive. Rain falls on high green areas, rain rarely falls on the desert. As such, any industry that can have a negative impact on the region (such as aquifer decline) will impact farming due to changes in rainfall patterns.

Yet, day after day, we see these unpaid protectors go out and door-knock local communities all across the Western District to raise awareness of the negative impacts of gas mining for their communities.

They surely are the protectors of our lifestyles, and must be applauded.



4 thoughts on “Protectors of the West by Karen Hansen

  1. Why would we risk our food security – and our water supplies with more frequent droughts predicted – for a fossil fuel we do not need? That would be madness. We must choose our politicans carefully as they are the ones who make the decisions to allow this to happen – or not.

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