For years now, governments and water authorities have determined that offshore oil and gas operations are causing groundwater in Gippsland to drop. But nothing has been done to solve the problem. The all-powerful oil and gas industry is well known as a major string puller of governments of every colour. The Commonwealth Government pockets $1.6 billion a year in resource rent taxes from oil and gas industry in the Gippsland basin.
Under public pressure and in order to stall doing anything for another few years, the Federal Government has provided $5 million for a study to find out ‘once and for all’ what is causing declining groundwater levels.
A study by the CSIRO two years ago found subsidence of the Latrobe aquifer was caused mostly by offshore oil and gas extraction.
The Victorian Farmers Federation says the aquifer has been dropping at the rate of one-metre a year for the last 40 years.