FRACKING of tight gas and coal seam gas deposits in Victoria will be prohibited until at least July 2015.
Releasing the Gas Market Taskforce report for public consultation Premier Denis Napthine on Thursday announced a number of measures, including a comprehensive and independent water study; a continuation of the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking); a ban on BTEX chemicals which will be enshrined in legislation; and a formal community consultation process that will report in July 2015.
The taskforce, chaired by former Federal Minister Peter Reith, was established in January 2013 to look at gas supply issues.
“The release of the Gas Market Taskforce’s report demonstrates the Coalition Government’s commitment to transparency and is the first step in a consultative process to seek Victorians’ views on issues of concern in regard to onshore gas in Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
“I encourage Victorians to read this report and to provide feedback through the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation website … until the end of March 2014”, Dr Napthine said.
Community feedback and individual responses will be taken by Energy and Resources Minister Nicholas Kotsiras in a 12 month community consultation which will include public submissions, facilitated community meetings and workshops with farmers, environmental groups, community groups and individuals.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.