The Geological Survey of Victoria is hosting workshops across the south west in order to develop a land use model that captures the region’s unique natural, cultural and environmental features.
The workshops are part of the State Government’s Victorian Gas Program, which is assessing the risks, benefits and impacts of potential onshore conventional gas projects in the Otway Basin.
The onshore part of the Otway Basin extends along the south coast from Geelong to Lucindale in South Australia. Most gas production in the region is offshore but there have been some onshore conventional gas discoveries over the years.
The model is made up of over 140 data sources. It identifies areas of sensitivity and significance – such as national parks, wetlands and habitats of endangered animals and plants – that would need to be considered if onshore conventional gas exploration or development is allowed in the future.
Currently, there is a moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration in Victoria, which is due to expire in June 2020.
The workshops will test the model with local communities to ensure that key landscape features or values have been identified.
Local residents are invited to arrive on the hour for a short presentation, followed by time to view the model and provide comment.
Geologists and other specialists will also be at the workshops to answer questions about the land assessment process, local geology and the progress of the Victorian Gas Program. Details of the upcoming workshops are:
- Saturday 19 October – 10am, 11am and 12noon Port Campbell, Port Campbell Surf Club
- Tuesday 22 October – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Warrnambool, Lighthouse Theatre
- Thursday 24 October – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Port Fairy, Charlie’s on East
- Tuesday 29 October – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Penshurst, Volcanoes Discovery Centre
- Thursday 31 October – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Portland, Portland Library
- Wednesday 6 November – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Camperdown, Killara Centre
- Thursday 7 November – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm Casterton, Casterton Town Hall
Fracking is not part of the Victorian Gas Program as it was banned in 2017.