It has been four weeks since the Andrews Labor Government announced the nation’s first permanent ban on fracking and coal seam gas, yet it is still unclear whether the Liberals and Nationals will support the ban.
Farming communities across Victoria have been calling for a ban on unconventional gas for years, and the Labor Government is giving them much needed certainty by introducing a permanent legislative ban.
Since the announcement, the Liberals and Nationals have sent mixed messages about where they really stand on fracking and coal seam gas.
On the day of the announcement, the Liberals put out a statement criticising the ban for “shutting the door on future exploration of conventional gas,” despite their previous policy of a moratorium until 2020.
Since then, the Liberals have stayed quiet, except for Opposition Whip and Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos, who welcomed the ban and even boasted about his efforts in support of local community groups.
On the other hand, the Nationals are still busy trying to claim credit for the ban – so long as the Liberals don’t know or hear about it.
In a letter to the editor, Nationals leader Peter Walsh said he was “proud to be part of the former Coalition government who introduced the fracking moratorium.”
The Coalition need to come clean to Victorians: do they or don’t they support a legislative ban on fracking and coal seam gas?
Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Wade Noonan
“This is one of the biggest issues affecting regional Victoria and these communities deserve to know whether or not the Coalition will support the Andrews Labor Government’s legislative ban.”
“It is clear that the Victorian community has spoken – they simply don’t support fracking. We will protect Victoria’s world-class primary producers, our regional communities and the state’s natural environment.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020