Victorian fracking ban gets oppn support

The Australian state of Victoria is all set to become first state to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing after the government got the backing of opposition Liberal Nationals. “The Liberal Nationals support the ban on fracking. The Liberal Nationals have always said we will never allow anything to happen that puts at risk the quality or quantity of our groundwater because we know how important it is to our state,” according to a statement published on February 8.
However, the opposition stated that increasing gas and electricity costs to industry and Victorian households mean work must be done to ensure our state has a secure and competitive supply of energy in the future. “That is why we believe during the period of the moratorium, the energy sector needs to work with rural communities and have a sensible discussion about the use of conventional gas beyond the expiration of the moratorium in 2020.  Conventional gas has over 30 years of successful co-existence with Victorian country communities.”
The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 was debated in the parliament on February 8. The bill permanently bans all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing and coalbed methane. It also extends the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to June 2020. The Victorian government first announced the ban August last year.
Victoria focused natural gas player Lakes Oil has challenged the state government’s decision to ban onshore exploration in the Supreme Court of Victoria and sought damages to the tune of A$2.7bn (US$2.02bn).