Inquiry To Give Regional Communities A Voice On Coal Seam Gas

The Andrews Labor Government has asked the Environment and Planning Committee to inquire into the exploration, extraction, production and rehabilitation for onshore unconventional gas.

The inquiry will fulfil the Labor Government’s election promise to have a thorough and considered inquiry into onshore gas in Victoria, based on robust scientific evidence and community engagement.

A moratorium has been in place since August 2012 and will remain for all onshore gas activities including exploration, drilling and hydraulic fracturing until the inquiry reports to Parliament.

The previous Coalition Government commissioned a review into the mining of coal seam gas and other unconventional gases, chaired by former Federal Liberal Party Minister, Peter Reith.

The Coalition’s review failed to engage with regional Victorians – including farmers, local councils, regional communities and environment groups – and did not adequately address the scientific and environmental impact issues around coal seam gas mining.

The inquiry will provide its final report by 1 December 2015.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio

“The Coalition’s review was quick and dirty and didn’t consult local communities.”

“The previous Coalition Government failed to rule-out that fracking would put our water supplies and food production at risk.”

“We will give people a voice. Regional Victorians deserve to know the risks associated with CSG exploration, and locals must have a say in what happens in their community.”

“The Andrews Labor Government will protect communities. The inquiry will engage with farmers, local councils and regional Victorians and thoroughly get to the bottom of CSG exploration.”