Portland residents urged to attend onshore drilling information meeting

PORTLAND district residents concerned about unconventional gas exploration have been urged to attend an information meeting at Heywood on August 5 as part of the state government’s moratorium on onshore drilling.

Earlier meetings at Casterton, Terang and Colac heard widespread fears about the risks that fracking and coal-seam gas exploration methods posed for the environment, water tables and food quality.

Portland member of Gas Field Free Glenelg, John Coverdale, told The Standard the government needed to be reminded of community concerns.

“We’ve been in contact with Denis Napthine (Premier and South West Coast MP) who reminded us the exploration permits were issued by the previous government,” Mr Coverdale said.

“But our concerns are that if the moratorium is lifted what’s to stop these companies using methods that cause serious damage. 

“The government needs to be very diligent.”

The Heywood meeting will be at the local football netball clubrooms from 2pm to 8pm.

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