On the surface, the unconventional gas industry promises many things, including cheap energy and jobs. However in this comment piece in the Geelong Advertiser, Dr Liz Bashford says that the risks from unconventional gas are potentially serious for both human health and the environment.
As commentators in the US have said of unconventional gas or “fracking”, a process which involves pumping chemicals and water deep underground to release the gas reserves from rock, we are contemplating “an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale”.
Dr Bashford highlights that Doctors for the Environment Australia has drawn attention to the risks to human health from the industry in its submission to a current parliamentary inquiry into onshore unconventional gas in Victoria, which handed in its preliminary report on September 1.
“Where there is not enough scientific data but early warning of harm, unwilling communities and unknown risks, the Government could heed the medical maxim ‘first, do no harm’ before allowing industry to drill for gas,” urges Dr Bashford.
Liz Bashford is an anaesthetist who lives in the eastern Otways and is a Victorian committee member of Doctors for the Environment Australia.
This article was published in the Geelong Advertiser on 15 September 2015. You can read the full story, HERE.