Home Australia The Political “Turntable” and Death by Fracking

The Political “Turntable” and Death by Fracking



Last Wednesday evening, cotton farmer George Bender took his own life after more than a decade of fighting resource companies planning to build CSG wells on and around his Chinchilla property.

Bender’s daughter, Helen, hit the nail on the head when commenting on QandA last night. Speaking to the politicians on the panel, she said:

“…and I certainly don’t believe any one of you politicians have listened, nor care, nor want to care. You’re a turntable. You walk in, you walk out. You walk the walk, you talk the talk, you’re just here for show. You’re not listening.”

And this is how Truthdig describes the industry in the US:

“The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline…. (and quoting biologist Shane Davis) – The fracking industry “is so intoxicated and bloated by greed that it has moved into our backyards, near our school playgrounds, our hospitals, universities, our day cares, our state parks, our national grasslands, and has its sights on the rest of our public lands across America unless we stop them,””

The fracking “players” are above the law and at the moment their activities are protected by (most of) the political actors in Canberra and beyond. It seems the mass media and courts are not relevant in this battle either.

The suicide of George Bender represents the “hopelessness” of the battle to save the Australia from these toxic companies. So how should this battle be fought?

This is a little like the tobacco fight and denial of 30 years ago. The difference is a smoker will slowly destroy his or her lungs over 30 years, whereas fracking might be destroying the food baskets of a continent.

We need to imagine what a fracked world might look like – and “prosecute” the political actors accordingly.

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  1. I followed the ‘Peak Oil’ debate for many years, it was one of the reasons I became involved with biodiesel as an alternative energy source. The peak of conventional oil was in 2006, I had expected a serious decline in oil production after that year.

    When ‘fracking’ came along, I looked at the technology and thought it was a godsend as it could release a large quantity of trapped oil and gas. I had envisioned it being used in places like Saudi Arabia of the outback of Australia where there would be very little impact.

    Again my naivety caught me out, I couldn’t conceive that humans would be so stupid as to take prime farming land and drill down through their ancient aquifers and pollute the pristine water. Like, you know, to do that is totally insane, nobody would do that…

  2. For the past few years I’ve been watching a website called ‘The Illuminati Matrix’ An artist by the name of Bryan Kemila produces it , and he refers to the world as A Delusional Three Dimensional Lunatic Asylum. As far as I’m concerned that’s it in a nutshell. If you think fracking’s insanity, take an hour and a half and listen to Leuren Moret tell you about this world. On Before It’s News click on ‘Everybody Died When They Turned On The Antennas! I’m not really ignorant of what fracking can do and has done.

  3. I copy this from ABC’s PM program website:

    MARK WILLACY: Grazier Joe Hill also remembers his last chat with his old mate George [Bender] . It was just a couple of days before the Hopeland farmer took his own life. He says his friend told him of Origin Energy’s offer for Chinta, one of the Bender farms.

    JOE HILL: And it escalated to the stage where they tried to buy his property, which is like cutting your arm off, a property that George has nurtured for years and is proud of. And I don’t think anybody should be put under the pressure of having to sell to some multi-national company.

    (Sound of music playing at funeral)

    MARK WILLACY: On Saturday, hundreds turned out to farewell George Bender – so many, in fact, they couldn’t fit into the Catholic Church at Chinchilla. For his daughter Helen, her father may be gone now, but the fight goes on.

    HELEN BENDER: I am very determined to make sure that we keep this going. We are certainly not going to be losing anything without a huge, huge fight, and I’ll do that. I have to, he was my dad, he is my dad. He’ll always be my dad.

  4. It’s far more than fracking for gas.
    They frack our future in schools so our kids are as dumb as a bag of rocks.
    They frack us at work, lowering standards and wages till we can hardly pay bills and eat real food.
    They frack our banks accounts with fines, taxation fraudulent claims by Telco’s and electricity and gas etc etc for accounts you never had and things you never used.
    They frack our morals and ethics as more people bend rules just to survive.
    Draining every moment of your life defending yourself from false claims by government and business with the attitude, “if you don’t like it take it to court”.
    No wonder this guy committed suicide, and why so many more do across this country for numerous other issues that no one cares about. It is not just fracking that pushed him over the edge, but the whole system that would have been bearing down on his shoulders.
    They are not people though only Human Resources, and when you have mined all you can out of something it becomes worthless,. If you have been exhausted by this system, be comforted, you are now worthless.

    • Dear theunfathomablemindofgod,
      Not sure I can agree with you on this one:

      “They frack our morals and ethics as more people bend rules just to survive.”

      Doesn’t personal choice come into anything? Wouldn’t one have to take a stand against that sort of fracking, rather than capitulate and throw up one’s hands?

      • Mary, I did many cases where someone had taken a stand. The legal system is a control system, it is not a justice system. I can’t count the number of people I saw destroyed by ‘the system’. I mentioned Barry Liggins, the gunsmith, in a Port Arthur thread. They ruined him with a bogus customs claim that he decided to fight. He wouldn’t give a certain intelligence agency a ‘kick back’ on his security contracts, so they used the courts to take him out.

        I mentioned biodiesel in one of my posts. Long story, but I was involved in the alternative energy movement in Oz. I could go on for hours with stories of corruption in government, even the CSIRO would produce ‘junk science’ to fit the agenda of big oil. The amount of graft that was filtered through the façade of ‘alternative energy’ projects to groups with political pull was enormous. Of course, none of those projects ever amounted to anything.

        I had invented, patented and manufactured a small, easy to use biodiesel production device. Anybody could use the system, even one of the illiterate operators in my Beta testing. The government changed the rules and made it illegal to produce biodiesel. Long story, forget environmental benefits, or balance of trade benefits, or governmental income from licensing – Treasury wouldn’t compromise with allowing a license to produce, they wanted MORE.

        I attended a meeting in Canberra for biodiesel stake holders. I remember well the words from the Treasury official as we stood in front of the lifts, “see what you can bring to the table”.

        Screw them, I don’t work for them. After all my experiences in court, I knew I couldn’t win – so I went Gault.

        I gave the whole system to a Christen missionary who worked in India. They have lots of oil seed crops/trees over there that produce inedible oil, but are fine for biodiesel. The kids could go around and pick up the seeds, a simple lever press could be used to extract the oil and the processor could produce the biodiesel. They would have fuel for generators, buses, trucks, refrigeration or just a source of income. They could use the ‘glycerine’ for soap production.

        You have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, ….

      • Good. i Most certainly agree with you on that. When we realise that we will not abdicate those principles it becomes apparent they have no rules because they have not authority.
        It is all an illusion.
        AKA In the Matrix where the boy bends the spoon. The trick to doing it was realising there is no spoon.

  5. The question that all Australians and all people everywhere that this scourge has intruded, is:-

    Given that some define ‘Freedom’ as the ability to say “NO”, where does this leave us?

    Are we The People of Australia, and especially those who grow our food – farmers like myself, Free Men and Women, or are we slaves to the corporation?

    Where does this leave the government?

    Are they a government of a free country or merely slavers and slave drivers for the ‘corporation’ – those that pay their re-election campaign costs?

    Until We The People of Australia are able to say “NO” we will remain as slaves!

    “You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.” – Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi

    It is time for all “good persons” to become ‘the one for whom we are all waiting’, to become our own Sparticus, and stand up to the evil that infests our various governments and say “So far and NO further”.

    We The People say NO – all of us!

    The government of this country are putting our food and water security in danger. Food and water security are matters of national security for all. This places the government in a position of threatening our national security in much the same way as any enemy or terrorist. It also places all and any of these political creatures that infest our governments, in a position where they should be removed to a prison for being in “abuse of office”.

    “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil” – — Michael Rivero, http://whatreallyhappened.com/

    Since I will have no part of any evil, I have already cast may last vote in this country.

    “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” — Mark Twain

    Maybe We The People need to look to the late John F. Kennedy:-

    “When peaceful revolution becomes impossible, violent revolution becomes inevitable.”

    • And thus we arrive at the rationale for Port Arthur – it took you long enough kiddies, or should I say ‘domestic terrorists’.

      I’ll bet there is more than a few of you that don’t know that there is a ‘confidential police file’ on each and everyone of you in Australia. Gee, I wonder what is in your file?

      One of the last cases I did at the Bar was in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal where a ‘confidential police file’ was tendered to the Court. My client and I had to leave the Court while the Prosecutor and Judge discussed the contents. I threw a fit!

      It used to be in the good old days you could confront your accusers, there were rules against hearsay, yadda yadda – you know, find out what the police were alleging and then cross-examine them, bring in evidence to confront the charge – you know, basic legal principles. Well, not anymore. Now, not only do you not get to cross-examine the police, Hell, you don’t even get to know what they are saying.

      I argued successfully to stay in the court and gave an undertaking not to discuss the file with my client. I still feel bound by that undertaking. What I found in the file should scare the Hell out of all of you. They can put ANYTHING into the file – and you don’t even know it is there…

      • In olden days a file was very useful, especially one’s taxation file.
        The system was to write a letter to the ATO. That would land in the mail room.
        The ‘file’ would be ordered down to be joined to the correspondence and the file would travel back up to some assessor’a desk.
        Whilst it was sitting there, further correspondence would be received and the file again went down to the mailroom etc., adfinitum.
        Great fun!!
        Decades ago I had to often communicate with a law enforcement body on behalf of whistleblowers etc. I usually closed the complaint with a notation that the correspondence be placed with my file.
        Must see it one day to make sure they complied. (:-
        I think it is filed in ‘a pain in the arse’ section.
        Note that the media also keep a filing system.

    • Given that some define ‘Freedom’ as the ability to say “NO”, where does this leave us? Well (no pun intended) it leaves us heading down a familiar path along with all the other insane atrocities we are currently detracted from, this is not going to end well anywhere i look, and let me tell ya Ive been doing some serious looking over the past 5-6 years! I DEFINE FREEDOM AS THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, not the ability, and that’s at the core, right there, (again no pun intended)

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