Victoria announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, and coal seam gas.
Premier Daniel Andrews says move, the first in Australia, is designed to protect the clean, green reputation of Victoria’s agriculture sector and its 190,000 employees.
The premier says Victorians have made it clear that they don’t support fracking and that the health and environmental risks involved outweigh potential benefits.
“Our farmers produce some of the world’s cleanest and freshest food,” he says. “We won’t put that at risk with fracking.”
In NSW, the state government has has been buying back licenses from exploration companies in response to widespread protests from regional communities.
In Victoria, the 2015 Parliamentary Inquiry into Onshore Unconventional Gas received more than 1600 submissions, mostly opposed to fracking.
Until the legislation is passed by state parliament, the current moratorium on unconventional onshore gas exploration and development will stay in place.