MOYNE Shire Council will today vote on a major onshore gas drilling project about three kilometres south of the Great Ocean Road.
A report to be presented to council backs the planning application which will form part of a dairy farm at Baileys Road, Nirranda South.
The onshore drill site would be about 200 metres north of the Bay of Islands Coastal Park and is part of Origin Energy’s larger project to extract gas from the Halladale and Black Watch gas fields. The nearest homes to the drilling site are about 1.7 kilometres to the north-east and 2.3km south-east.
The report recommends a planning permit with strict conditions and the temporary use and development of a workers’ construction camp off Baileys Road.
“The onshore drilling to an offshore site is less risky to the environment and more economically efficient,” the report stated.
The proposal, which received two objections, is made up of a maximum of four onshore gas extraction well-heads and would include the constructions of an internal access road from Baileys Road to the drill site.
“The gasfields are within an area to which Origin owns the development rights to for the duration of its lease,” the report stated. “The gas fields are located approximately five kilometres offshore and up to 2000 metres below the sea floor.
“Origin is proposing to recover gas from the gasfields by using extended reach wells, drilled from the onshore drilling site.”
The gas would supply either the Otway or Iona gas plants, operated by Origin and TRUenergy respectively, which are about 24km to the north-east of the drill site.
Drilling is expected to begin in 2013 and continue for 12 months. First gas production from the Halladale and Black Watch gas fields is expected in mid-2013, with two additional offshore wells to be drilled after that.
The report stated post-drilling operations would operate for at least eight years and a traffic management plan must require the total avoidance of traffic from the project when school buses use certain roads. The traffic management plan would also require the upgrades of Borthwicks Road, Baileys Road and Radfords Road.
Council is also looking at whether to send a team of three to the United Arab Emirates to present Port Fairy’s case at the International (Livcom) Most Liveable Community Awards, expecting to cost about $15,000.
Today’s meeting starts in the council chambers in Mortlake at 4.30pm.