Gippsland Nationals back fracking ban
Gippsland’s state Nationals MPs have continued their support for farmers in the region as the Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 passes Parliament this week.
The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 will pass through the lower house this week, banning hydraulic fracturing and placing a legislated moratorium on conventional onshore gas development until June 30, 2020.
“The Nationals support the ban on fracking and have always said we would never allow any activity that threatened our land and water resources,” Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said.
“Fracking has never occurred under The Nationals and we have always supported measures to protect our farming future.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Labor Government was a late convert to this support for farmers.
“The previous Labor Government issued 23 fracking permits and 73 licences for unconventional gas exploration with zero consultation with the community.
“By contrast the previous Liberal and Nationals Government introduced the moratorium on unconventional gas, banned the use of BTEX chemicals, undertook extensive community consultation and began work on technical studies to measure the status of our groundwater resources.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath, said Gippsland communities had been clear they did not support fracking while questions remain over its safety.
“Food and fibre production is the mainstay of Gippsland’s economy and we need to ensure our water and land resources are protected into the future. Gippsland has shown that farming can co-exist with mining and gas extraction offshore, but fracking simply does not have support in our communities.”
The Nationals Member for Morwell, Russell Northe, said the moratorium on onshore conventional gas allowed industry to work with rural communities and have a sensible discussion about the use of conventional gas beyond 2020.
“Despite the closure of Hazelwood and energy prices rising, Labor has shown no willingness to develop a sensible energy policy that will help keep costs down for households and businesses.
“Labor has done nothing to protect jobs of Gippsland workers and is presiding over energy price increases for all Victorians.”