Farmers in Gippsland have thrown their support behind the Victorian Government’s move to permanently ban hydraulic fracking and extraction of coal seam gas.
Victorian Minister for Resources Wade Noonan visited local farms in Lindenow and Longford – an area of Gippsland world-renowned for its dairy and fresh produce.
Victoria’s agricultural sector exports about $12 billion in food and fibre products each year and employs about 190,000 people.
Community members have made it clear that they want to protect the industry and their land from the impacts of fracking and coal seam gas operations.
During a similar tour, farmers on the Surf Coast in south-west Victoria described the importance of the ban to maintain land to grow clean and safe food, and support sustainable agriculture.
The Victorian Government’s decision to ban fracking – a gas extraction technique which involves the hydraulic fracturing of rock and coal seams – was made in response to the 2015 Parliamentary Inquiry into Onshore Unconventional Gas in Victoria.
That inquiry received more than 1600 submissions, mostly opposed to onshore unconventional gas.
In November, the Government introduced the Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 to Parliament. The legislation will outlaw gas fracking and coal seam gas extraction.
The legislation also extends the moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration and development to 30 June, 2020.