Extinction Rebellion

Police Stop Protesters from entering Carbon Capture AGM and Symposium in Torquay

Police Stop Protesters from entering Carbon Capture AGM and Symposium in Torquay

By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 22 November 2021

Climate groups and coastal communities came together on Victoria's Great Ocean Road on Monday to confront gas companies with the real truth behind carbon capture and storage.

Members of Surfrider Foundation Australia, OCEAN (Otway Climate Emergency Action Network), Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future were amongst those taking part in the protest at the RACV Torquay Resort in Victoria. Police were tipped off and waiting for protesters as they arrived, blocking them from the entrance.

Attendees at the Symposium, organised by CO2CRC, included Santos, Woodside, Chevron, Coal Innovation NSW and J-Power. CO2CRC is a conglomerate of gas companies researching and developing carbon capture and storage from gas production on the Shipwreck Coast of Victoria. CO2CRC operates the Otway International Test Centre in the west of Victoria – a pilot scale CCS facility.

Nicola Philp a teacher from Apollo Bay and OCEAN member, pointed out:

"The facility is only removing reservoir CO2, it does not address the serious issues of methane gas in the atmosphere nor the CO2 released at the point of burning. In fact, the research at the Otway Test Centre is enabling the gas industry to exploit reserves that may otherwise be deemed unsuitable due to their high CO2 content. How is that helping our net zero target?”

Surfrider Australia Chair, Sean Doherty spoke to the crowd about Carbon Capture and Storage and explained that the technology will actually increase the release of CO2 in Australia. He said:

“The only thing carbon capture and storage technology currently captures is taxpayer dollars. The promise of it is being used by the gas industry to justify massive expansion, which will ultimately see millions of tons of carbon pollution released into the atmosphere whether carbon capture and storage works or not.” (See Juice Media's 'Honest Government Ad - Carbon Capture & Storage')

The groups pointed out they have no issue with research and development of carbon capture and storage in the area of agriculture and other emerging technologies. They will be distributing potted trees to delegates and the public as ‘proven technology in carbon capture and storage’.

Activists at RACV Torquay Resort in Victoria

Activists at RACV Torquay Resort in Victoria

Lisa Deppeler of OCEAN described the symposium as a “Fossil Fuel Feeding Frenzy”.

The big players in the gas industry are meeting to strategize how to obtain the biggest share of the Federal Government’s $500 Million allocation for new technologies. Carbon capture and storage is NOT new technology; they have been trying to make it work for decades now. It is prohibitively expensive and it has an overwhelming failure rate. This is yet another one of our Prime Minister’s lies to the people of Australia.

Photos by Matt Hrkac


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