LIMESTONE COAST'S FIGHT TO STOP FRACKING CONTINUES
SA Labor and Tom Koutsantonis recently made comments about the hard-won moratorium on fracking for gas in the Limestone Coast, which Mr Koutsantonis and SA Labor would like to see reversed.
As far as gas supply goes, Australia is number two on the planet in terms of liquefied natural gas production. We are literally swimming in it.
We don't need "more". Gas production has tripled since the first exports from Gladstone, Qld, and, in spite of this glut, gas and electricity prices have tripled. This is especially peculiar given that domestic demand has fallen. It does not really follow standard economics. In the absence of any government introducing a domestic reserve this will not change.
SA Labor, SA Chamber of Mines and Energy and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association then all pile on for the 'political populist decision not based on science' bandwagon.
For more than six years, the Limestone Coast Protection Alliance and others campaigned on science.
We have scientific research spanning the globe that repeatedly backs all of our claims that gas exploration and extraction will irreparably damage our region. All of it is peer reviewed. We needed to be thorough in our research to be able to win against such big odds.
But, in all of this discussion, it seemed our agricultural sectors were left out.
In this day and age, the Limestone Coast with its good rainfall and weather pattern, potable underground aquifer and fertile soils, is a strategic asset to not only this state, but our country going into the future.
It seems the gas companies, Labor and the federal Coalition want to frack the Limestone Coast at all costs. And so we are again called upon to fight for our region.
It is up to every person living in the Limestone Coast to stand up and stand together to protect our communities and environment. The Limestone Coast Protection Alliance cannot do this alone. It must be a community effort.
Please, call SA Labor representatives, Liberal state and federal representatives and tell them we will not suffer anything less than an outright permanent ban on all fossil fuel activities in the Limestone Coast.
Limestone Coast Protection Alliance chair.
GM CROP DECISION SHOULD REST WITH LOCAL FARMERS
IN 2004, a curious debate emerged in State Parliament concerning the regulation of genetically-modified food crops.
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Paul Holloway was being asked to intervene to regulate new varieties of GM canola until the industry developed the necessary segregation and supply chain protocols to meet market demand for non-GM grain.
It was never a question of science for an industry dependent on technology.
After much political wrangling at the time, the Rann government introduced legislation to manage potential market risk by establishing powers to designate all or parts of the state as GM-free areas.
Fast forward to last year when the Marshall government established an independent review that concluded there was no price premium for SA grain, except for a niche market on Kangaroo Island.
Consistent with the extensive pubic consultation required under legislation, the state government moved to restrict the ban on GM crops to KI from December.
Without sensible regulatory reform, the SA grain industry will continue to be shackled by a discredited anti-GM agenda championed by Greens MLC Mark Parnell.
While advocating for science-based climate policies, the Greens continue to ignore the science of gene technology.
The inconvenient truth is that the Minister is applying the law as intended by the former Labor government.
After an independent review, a parliamentary inquiry and two statutory public consultation meetings, the weight of evidence is firmly behind the farming community to managing their own affairs.
While politicians argue about the merits of regulatory processes this week, grain producers are quietly going about the work of harvesting their grain and earning their livelihood from the land.
Decisions on what crops to plant should be made in the paddock by farmers as stewards of their industry, not on North Terrace.
It is no wonder voters lose faith in politics to deliver real outcomes.
Grain Producers SA chief executive officer.
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