NEWS 20 August 2021 |

The Andrews Government has approved new onshore/offshore gas extraction operations in one of Victoria’s prime natural jewels – the Great Ocean Road.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has given consent for a gas exploration well near the Twelve Apostles and underneath Port Campbell National Park to be upgraded to production (see The Guardian article)

National parks are there to protect Victoria’s biodiversity for all time. However, the Environment Minister has the power to override this in some circumstances. She has now exercised that power in favour of the gas well.

This news comes when Victoria has recently supported the Federal Government’s opening up of large new ocean areas for exploration close to the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park (see article in The Age)

Approving new fossil fuel mining doesn’t align with the Andrews Government’s professed ambitions to mitigate against climate change.

Extraction like this also raises alarm bells when it comes to the impact on groundwater and catchment health for the Otways.