Australia’s state of Victoria, has put a permanent ban on the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas including hydraulic fracturing and coal seam gas.
According to the statement issued by the office of Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, the permanent ban, which is set to be introduced to the parliament later in the year, will protect the state’s agricultural sector and provide certainty to the regional communities.
The government noted its decision is based on the evidence that environmental and health risks associated with fracking outweigh any potential benefits to Victoria.
“Our state is the nation’s top food and fibre producer with exports worth $11.6 billion,” the statement reads, adding that the ban aims to protect the farmers and the food production industry.
Gas storage, carbon storage research and access to offshore resources are exempt from the ban as offshore gas exploration and development is set to continue.
The statement notes that the current moratorium on unconventional onshore gas exploration and development remains in force until the legislation is passed by the parliament.