VIC government to ban CSG 'fracking'
The Victorian state government today announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in the state, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas (CSG).
The move is aimed at protecting Victoria’s agriculture sector, which employs over 190,000 people and produces exports of $11.6 billion annually.
There has been a moratorium on unconventional gas exploration methods in Victoria since 2012 which will remain in place until the permanent legislation is passed later this year.
The decision forms part of the state government’s response to the 2015 inquiry Onshore Unconventional Gas in Victoria. The government says the inquiry received over 1600 submissions, mostly opposed to onshore unconventional gas exploration.
"Victorians have made it clear that they don’t support fracking and that the health and environmental risks involved outweigh any potential benefits," Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says.
There will be exemptions to the ban for activities not covered by the current moratorium, including gas storage, carbon storage research and accessing offshore resources. Exploration and development of offshore gas reserves will continue.
The state Labor government also has a moratorium in place for conventional onshore gas exploration and development until 2020. The government stated that conventional onshore gas will also be studied to determine the risks, benefits and impacts of gas exploration.
This inquiry will be overseen by a panel of scientists and farmers as well as representatives from industry and community groups.
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