Labor makes pledge to ban fracking ‘for good’

A RE-ELECTED Labor state government will enshrine the legislated ban on fracking in the Constitution of Victoria, protecting prime agricultural land for good.

The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Act passed the state parliament in March last year, banning all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Labor introduced the fracking ban, and only it would keep the ban for good, “backing our hard-working farmers and protecting our world-class food and fibre industry, which employs close to 200,000 Victorians”.

“Our clean, green produce is the envy of the world, and we want to keep it that way,” Mr Andrews said.

“We won’t let gas companies destroy our prime agricultural land.”

Labor says it will also provide $1 million for export-focused marketing activities, to promote Victoria’s clean and green food and fibre sector to the world.

This spend will fund a number of minister-led trade missions, bringing leaders from agriculture, food processing and government together with major buyers of agricultural exports.

The campaign will begin next year, capitalising on the Global Table event in Victoria in 2019.

Global Table will be the largest food business event ever staged in Australia, with more than 5000 participants.

It will involve a series of internationally-focused business events that will promote Victoria as the destination for investors and traders to connect with business leaders from across the globe.

Victoria’s agricultural sector exports $13 billion in food and fibre products each year, and employs more than 190,000 people.