Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Peter Walsh
The Liberal-Nationals Coalition support an extension of Victoria’s onshore gas moratorium until 30 June 2020.
The decision follows strong findings in a recent Auditor-General’s report that the regulatory arrangements for onshore unconventional gas were still some time from being ready.
In August 2015 the Auditor-General tabled the report, Unconventional Gas: Managing Risks and Impacts, in which he reported:
“There are major problems with applying the current regime for regulating earth resources to unconventional gas activities”
“… the regime has too few environmental controls, weak consideration of the competing interests for the land involved and potential social impacts, a lack of early community engagement and too much ministerial discretion.”
The Auditor-General concluded:
“Victoria is not as well placed as it could be to respond to the environmental and community risks and impacts that could arise if the moratorium is lifted allowing unconventional gas activities to proceed in this state.”
Additionally, Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee is also continuing to hold an Inquiry into onshore unconventional gas in Victoria and has recently delivered its interim report.
In 2012 the Coalition Government announced a moratorium on issuing new exploration licences for coal seam gas and on hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Comments attributable to Matthew Guy, Leader of the Liberal National Coalition:
“The findings of the Auditor-General support our view that the case for an expansion of the commercial unconventional gas industry in Victoria has not been made.
“The Liberal-Nationals Coalition position supports local communities who don’t want Daniel Andrews to rush out and make any ill-informed decisions.”
Comments attributable to Peter Walsh, Deputy Leader of the Liberal National Coalition:
“We cannot put the health of our natural environment at risk because Victoria’s farming economy is critical for our state’s well-being.
“Extending the moratorium until 2020 will allow time for the regulatory work recommended by the Auditor-General to be carried and for the findings of the parliamentary inquiry to be fully assessed.”
Media contacts: Tony Barry (Matthew Guy) on 0419 600 879
Sarah O’Connor (Peter Walsh) on 0432 074 888