Australian state Victoria passes Fracking Ban bill
The Parliament of Victoria, Australia, has passed the Fracking Ban bill that prohibits all onshore unconventional methods to extract gas.
The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 was widely supported by the farming community and passed by the upper house of the Victorian Parliament without any amendment.
This new legislation permanently bans all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and coal seam gas.
The bill also extends the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 30 June 2020.
Victoria Minister for Resources Wade Noonan said: “This is a historic day for our state. We promised we would ban fracking, and that is exactly what we have done.
“This is a win for people power and regional communities across Victoria who have campaigned for years to see this ban in place.
“We will now use the moratorium on conventional gas exploration to better understand its potential risks and benefits and we’ll listen to the experts.”
This ban is expected to protect the agricultural sector of the state, which employs more than 190,000 people.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said: “Fracking has been resoundingly rejected in our regional communities.”
“We’re putting our farmers first and protecting their world-class produce and our environment.”
The extension of the moratorium will enable the government to conduct an extensive geo-scientific research to understand the potential risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas and development.
The research will be carried out by Victoria’s lead scientists in consultation with an expert panel comprising farmers, industry, local government and community members.