You wouldn't blame Tonkin for pessimism given his company is suing a state government which won't talk to him after seeing projects halted by legislation change that has damaged the company almost terminally.
However he is now far more optimistic, noting a public change in attitude to gas exploration.
He told Energy News the new offer started at $3000 per shareholder and the company hopes to raise $2 million-$4 million, with some of that money going to Victorian onshore exploration.
A full ban on onshore drilling seriously damaged the company and halted its work programs on the Wombat-1, Otway-1, Greenslopes-2 and Portland Energy-1 well, leading Lakes to mount a $2.7 billion case against the state government.
The company also tried repeatedly to contact both premier and the resources minister to no avail.
Yet Lakes has since learned that state legislation actually allows the continuation of work programs, even after a ban on all onshore exploration and the company plans to pursue this.
A welcome shot in the arm has come from the Liberal National Opposition which recently released a new energy policy stating that they would approve conventional drilling; the state election is the second half of next year, and hopes are rising that they could win government.
The Libs will, however, continue the fraccing ban for unconventionals.
"If you'd asked me a few months ago, obviously we were fairly pessimistic about it, but since then there has been a much more positive view and support [for onshore drilling] from the federal government," he told Energy News yesterday.
In regards to onshore drilling he said that the only outlier is the Victorian government, though the Liberal New South Wales government also continues a full onshore ban.
"Even without [state Liberal policy] we've become a lot more positive and there's a more positive vibe, it's not just us as the public is getting interested in putting more money in from a few months ago."
The plan going forward is to see how much the offer will raise but "if we do raise enough it might allow us to drill a well in Queensland but the focus is still on the Victoria work".