Site Meter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fracking A!

Talk about it . . . Northern Southland women Zella Horrell (left) and Katie O’Connor discuss Riverton artist Wayne Hill’s sculpture relating to the mining practice of fracking. The sculpture sits at the entrance to the Riversdale township. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

Art questions wisdom of fracking farmland 


(Wayne's anti-exploitation artwork is continuing to attract attention to public discomfort around industry activities that threaten the integrity of the environment and local communities)

IT is hoped Riverton artist Wayne Hill’s sculpture witha hydraulic fracturing (fracking) theme will 
create a talking point for Northern Southlanders.

The sculpture has been placed in a paddock at the entrance of Riversdale township.

Northern Southland women Katie O’Connor and Zella Horrell hoped the sculpture, created from three pieces of driftwood, would become a talking point about the Government’s tender process for oil and gas exploration permits in Northern Southland.

The Waimea Valley tender block covers 1214sq km in Northern Southland.

The two women were keen to stimulate conversation about the possibilities of oil and gas exploration.

‘‘It’s just a bit of fun to make people curious and ask questions,’’ Mrs Horrell said.

One point to debate could be why two competing industries would be set up in the same area — agriculture, which had a long history in the area and was sustainable, and mining, which had a relatively short lifespan, they said.

Mrs O’Connor said Northern Southæ land had a hugely successful agricultural industry and questioned why that would be put at risk.

The area not only had a successful agricultural industry, but it had clean water and  a secure, happy community and Mrs Horrell questioned whether that needed to change.

Mrs O’Connor said robust consentæ ing processes needed to be in place to protect resources, including water.

‘‘As I have learnt more and looked into the American and Australian experience I am clear that we need robust processes in place that protect our water,’’ Mrs O’Connor said.

‘‘The key issue is that relatively shallow depths of fracking, the process used to obtain coal seam gas, could contaminate our shared aquifers. Water is a precious and scarce resource for farmers,’’ she said.

Mrs O’Connor questioned how any mining operation would impact on landowners’ day to day ability to farm their land. Drill heads could be relatively close together, at between 400m to 700m apart, roadways and double piping could be laid across farms and the companies might operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she said.

1 comment:

JayWontdart said...

It was lovely to talk with you both :-)

If you click on the mission control picture, you'll see the blogpost :-)