Victoria bans fracking, will NSW follow?

The Greens are calling on New South Wales to follow Victoria’s lead and ban fracking.

The Victorian Government announced a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in the state, including fracking and coal seam gas.

In the wake of this, the Greens are calling on NSW premier Mike Baird to follow suit in his state.

“This is an incredible victory for those farmers, Greens and environmentalists who have worked together to highlight the risks of unconventional gas and demonstrate the clear community opposition to toxic gasfields,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

Victoria’s ban was implemented to protect the ‘clean green’ reputation of the state’s agriculture sector, and to end farmers’ anxiety over the environmental and health risks associated with fracking.

“Victorians have made it clear that they don’t support fracking and that the health and environmental risks involved outweigh any potential benefits,” Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said.

However, other types of activities not covered by the current moratorium are exempt from the ban, including gas storage, carbon storage research, and accessing offshore resources.

Offshore gas exploration and development will also continue.

Until the legislation officially outlining it is passed by parliament, the current moratorium on unconventional onshore gas exploration and development will remain. The government will also legislate the extension of the moratorium until 30 June 2020, with fracking to remain banned.

“NSW Labor already opposes coal seam gas in certain areas of NSW, they should go one step further and adopt a complete ban policy like their Victorian counterparts,” Buckingham added.

Last year the Tasmanian Government issued a five year moratorium on fracking in the state, while the Northern Territory found there was “no justification whatsoever” for a moratorium.

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