Liberals And Nationals All Over The Place On Fracking

31 August 2016

After years of Coalition inaction, indecision and infighting on onshore gas in Victoria, the deep split between the Liberals and the Nationals is once again on show following yesterday’s historic announcement by the Andrews Labor Government.

In a national first, the Labor Government is introducing a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in Victoria to provide much needed certainty for regional communities.

The Liberals were quick off the mark to criticise the announcement for “shutting the door on future exploration of conventional gas,” despite their previous policy of a moratorium until 2020.

That’s a clear sign the Liberals are making policy on the run and renouncing their own policies.

Meanwhile, in a short statement not published online, the Nationals leader Peter Walsh was busy trying to claim credit: “Daniel Andrews has followed The Nationals’ lead in announcing a permanent ban on unconventional gas, including fracking and CSG activity, in Victoria.”

In fact, the Nationals had signed up to the 2020 moratorium, not a ban on fracking.

These conflicting statements speak volumes about the deep divide between the Nationals and the Liberals on one of the biggest issues affecting regional Victoria.

Will the Nationals stand up for country Victoria, or will they support the Liberals' calls for more uncertainty, indecision and inaction?

It is clear that the Victorian community has spoken – they simply don’t support fracking.

The Labor Government is calling on the Nationals to stand up for country Victoria and declare their support for legislation that will be introduced into Parliament later this year.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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