Victoria permanently bans fracking

Victorian will become the first state in Australia to permanently ban fracking, following a decision by the opposition to support the Labor Government’s bans on natural gas exploration and development.

The bill will permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing and coal seam gas.

It will also extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to June 30, 2020.

Resources Minister Wade Noonan said the ban would protect Victoria’s agricultural industry.

“Farmers have made it absolutely clear to me… the greatest commodity in regional and rural Victoria, of course, is water, and that ‘s why this fracking ban is so important,” he said outside parliament today.

APPEA chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said the decision would impact heavily on the 1.82 million Victorians who rely on gas.

“Both sides of politics in Victoria have decided to ignore the facts about the gas industry to play short-term politics. Every independent, expert study into the industry has found that the industry is safe for the environment,” said Dr Roberts.

“The Government and the Opposition have decided not just to prohibit hydraulic fracturing – the bogeyman peddled by activists – but to extend the blanket ban on conventional onshore gas exploration and development.”