MEMBERS of the South East community were this week warned to form a community-led lobby group in the face of a new unconventional gas industry being touted for the region.
Community information meetings took place at Kingston and Mount Gambier on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, where farmers were given advice on how they should tackle a growing number of mining companies that were pushing to make money from subterranean resources.
Eyre Peninsula Community Mine to Port Consultative Committee spokesperson Brian March said it was imperative that independent information was readily available to landowners about what their rights were, and what the greater implications were for mining.
"When you look behind the company spin, there's a lot of information that's missing," he said.
"That's information that is critical to make a rational decision on whether it's a good thing for the community or not."
The Lower EP was under mining exploration tenements that covered more than 426,000 hectares of prime agricultural land, and, as well as massive pit mines and associated infrastructure and groundwater usage, it was facing access corridors that could stretch over 300 adjacent properties. In addition, there were an unnerving number of potential mine locations listed on the Australian Stock Exchange by companies that were only mentioning a small percentage of those projects to locals.
In the South East, Beach Energy is proposing to drill two exploration wells for tight and shale gas near Penola – a region that has been heavily earmarked for unconventional gas extraction by the State Government in its Roadmap for Unconventional Gas for South Australia.
* Full report in Stock Journal's October 31 edition.