The Andrews Labor Government is giving farmers and regional communities the certainty they deserve by banning fracking and getting on with a geoscience program to better understand Victoria’s gas supplies.
The Victorian Budget 2017/18 includes $42.5 million over four years to fund the Victorian Gas Program – a comprehensive study spearheaded by the state’s Lead Scientist Amanda Caples.
The program will be completed during the extended moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration and development – part of the Labor Government’s historic Fracking Ban Act.
Currently, there are no proven or probable onshore gas reserves in Victoria.
This program will include geoscientific, environmental and economic studies – every bit of hard evidence we need to properly assess the potential for any onshore conventional gas exploration in the future. It will also examine Victoria’s prospectivity offshore and gas storage options.
The Victorian Gas Program will go further than any study has gone before to determine the impacts, risks and potential benefits of onshore conventional gas exploration and development.
The community will be heavily consulted during the study – including a stakeholder panel made up of farmers, industry, local government and community members.
In March, the Labor Government banned fracking forever – a win for both farmers and our regional communities.
The landmark Fracking Ban Act:
- Permanently bans all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development – including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas
- Extends the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 30 June 2020
The Labor Government will always back our farmers and do what’s right to protect our world-class food and fibre heartland.
Victoria’s agricultural sector exports $12 billion in food and fibre products each year and employs about 190 000 people. We won’t put this at risk.
The Victorian Gas Program provides the means to get the answers we need on gas, consult communities and inform future decisions on Victoria’s resources.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Resources Wade Noonan
“Regional communities deserve certainty – and that’s why we’ve banned fracking and commenced a comprehensive research program to get the answers we need on gas in Victoria.”
“We’re not wasting a minute. By engaging experts and communities in this study, we will inform future decisions on gas supplies and do what’s best for our food and fibre heartland.”