Greens predict gas conflict

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 09 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

THE Greens are warning of a new environmental conflict in Tasmania over shale gas and oil exploration.

Energy company Petratherm has applied for a licence to explore 3900 square kilometres of central Tasmania.

"It's a very bad idea for this company to parachute into Tasmania and start what will be a major conflict," Greens leader Christine Milne said.

Senator Milne delivered her warning alongside livestock farmer Brett Hall, who said details about how the company would proceed were scarce.

Mr Hall said he feared for his water supply if aquifers were affected.

"I'd like people to imagine if a mining company came along to their home, their land, and decided to do some mining," he said.

"And there was absolutely nothing you could do about it."

The Greens say Tasmania should be aiming to increase its 86 per cent renewable energy use to 100 per cent, rather than turning towards more use of fossil fuels.

Petratherm subsidiary PetraGas says it will consult extensively with local communities if a licence is granted.

But Senator Milne said farmers should be able to veto exploration on their land.

It's the second pitch the Greens leader has made to rural voters in as many days after the online launch of her $600 million food security policy yesterday.

"Farmers are under enough pressure as it is, rural communities are under enough pressure," Senator Milne said.

"Why would you want to add to that?"

The company says it expects a decision on its application within three months.

Its proposed 3900sq km tenement extends from the Oatlands and Orielton areas, to Bothwell, Hamilton and Westerway.

Petratherm has been contacted for comment.

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