15 July 2015
Rugby League legend, Senator Glenn Lazarus, will give audiences some insights into his stoush with Prime Minister Abbott over CSG, at a special public screening and Q&A event for the documentary FRACKMAN, next Wednesday July 22nd in Brisbane.
Journalist, Mike Munro will host the public Q&A event.
Other speakers will include Drew Hutton, President of the Lock the Gate Alliance, community leaders -- both for and against future CSG expansion -- as well as Dayne “The Frackman” Pratkzy.
The audience will also field questions and answers. Among the audience will be a representative of the rural lobby group Agforce, Daniel Phipps, who is the Agforce CSG Project Leader. Event organisers have invited representatives from the energy and resource sector to participate.
Senator Lazarus is likely to be a drawcard for what is currently a polarizing issue in Queensland, which has the largest developed gasfields in Australia. The Queensland Senator has been raising the issue of CSG in Federal Parliament, asking why the PM seems more concerned about wind farms than the impacts of gas exploration.
"I have threatened Tony Abbott to shirtfront him about this issue," Senator Lazarus said. “Tony Abbott in 2013 said that no-one should live anywhere near, or in amongst coal seam gas wells, and I think he should remind himself of that.”
The movie, Frackman, is a David versus Goliath story about a knockabout Aussie bloke, Dayne Pratzky, referred to by the media as an “accidental activist”, who takes up a fight with Big Gas. The film depicts stories of people who live in the gasfields and whose lives are affected by CSG, particularly those in the Tara-Chinchilla region.
Another Rugby League great, Darren Lockyer, is on the other side of the debate to Senator Lazarus.
Pratzky in the Courier Mail, said Roma-born Lockyer, a paid ambassador for Origin Energy’s $23 billion Australia Pacific gas project, would be “embarrassed and ashamed” once the “devastating” impacts of CSG extraction were felt.
Dayne Pratzky challenged Darren Lockyer to attend the July 22nd screening. He has said that Lockyer might one day regret putting his name to the practise of fracking for coal seam gas in Queensland.
Pratzky has re-iterated his call for the Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and her Government to see the controversial film.
“I think the people of Queensland would like Annastacia to take her Cabinet Ministers to see the film for some home truths about the effects of coal seam gas on Queensland,” said Dayne Pratzky.
“I would like to personally invite her to attend a screening and join me and those from both sides of the debate at a Q&A on July 22nd in Brisbane.
“Frackman’s aerial photography shows the shocking extent of the gas-fields across the Queensland landscape and there are anecdotes from affected landowners in the film. This should be seen by government to make sure decisions politicians make in the future about new CSG leases are truly in the best interests of Queenslanders. Despite the fact that the deals for CSG were done back in Anna Bligh’s government, it’s not too late to save much of Queensland from further damaging CSG activity, particularly to our aquifers and farming land.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should encourage all Queensland politicians to see Frackman. It will help them to make better decisions about the future as it shows the other side of coal seam gas mining on Queensland, and that it is not just the financial bonanza with no down-side that we were led to believe,” said Pratzky.
Frackman is now screening in Brisbane after travelling around Australia to packed cinemas. The grass-roots campaign for Frackman, a movie-length documentary about ordinary Australians caught up in a multinational ‘gas rush’, went viral on social media, with views of the trailer on Facebook alone reaching one million in the first ten days.
Since then, Frackman has won Best Film at Byron Bay Film Festival, and Best Feature Film (Factual) at the Western Australian Screen Awards, its central character, Dayne Pratzky , has become a media superstar, and hundreds of individuals and community groups have requested to screen the film in their region using the “cinema on demand” platform Tugg that Frackman is partnering with. In Queensland the Lock the Gate Alliance is conducting many of the Tugg screenings. The trailer has been viewed in more than 30 countries, and even has some intrepid viewers in Antarctica. Thousands have joined in a lively commentary on the site.
The Queensland producer of Frackman, Trish Lake, says the documentary is very timely.
“We are seeing a spirited debate in the comments between those affected by coal seam gas, and those who work in the gas industry. But overall there are a huge number of comments from people who had no idea just how widespread the effects are of Big Gas in Australia.
“It’s a debate that is much overdue. People want to know more and they want to have a say. They don’t want to leave it to the politicians and “Big Gas” to make unilateral decisions about how energy impacts Australians’ health and their environment.”
There are Q&A screenings tonight, Wed 15th and next Wed 22nd July at Palace Centro, and a Q&A screening at Indooroopilly Event Cinemas on Wed, July 29th.
Tickets for the Palace Centro events can be bought online
Further screenings continue to roll out in cinemas throughout regional and metropolitan Australia, through an innovative “cinema on demand” campaign where audiences can book and organise screenings at local cinemas by a push of a button, through the Frackmanthemovie.com and Tugg.com.au websites.
If you're interested in organizing a screening of Frackman near you - or would like to know if a screening is already happening in your area - go to www.tugg.com.au
The film has been supported by Good Pitch Australia, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and ScreenWest.
For further media inquiries contact: Trish Lake, +61 7 3252 4551 / 0412 189977
The producers, Trish Lake and Simon Nasht, Director-Producer, Richard Todd,￼￼￼and Dayne ‘Frackman’ Pratzky are available for interview.