Oil and Gas Roundtable member and agriculture campaigner Anne Daw believes a legislated moratorium on unconventional mining would not go far enough.
“I’ve made it very clear for a number of years that fracking is only one part of the problem,” she said.
She said all drilling mining was a concern in the limestone of the South East, because of its geology and the placement of the aquifer beneath.
She has just completed a hydrology study on the region and believes Vic should particularly be concerned, despite its own moratorium, as the two states share the aquifer.
“It does gradually flow back into Vic from the area near Mount Gambier to the Glenelg River,” she said.
“We have had years of drought and climate changing at a rapid rate and the groundwater modelling can no longer be accurately measured.
“We need to look after and preserve our resources – we don’t have larger lakes and rivers to depend on. Even Blue Lake is interconnected.”
Ms Daw said there were also concerns about the disposal of wastewater, cuttings and solids.
“We shouldn’t be doing any drilling of any sort in the SE to ensure the protection of water, soil and our food supply and export markets,” she said.
She is also concerned that without a ban on conventional mining, it would be a simple matter for those companies to quickly switch to fracking.
“If (a company) has already drilled through shale, if another government gets in and lifts the moratorium on fracking, then companies can go full steam ahead to frack anyway,” she said.
Ms Daw would like to see all acts governing petroleum and mining projects to be amended to exempt all areas with limestone, faultlines, a risk of sea water instrusion or on prime agricultural land, as is the case in the SE.