Victoria’s farmers and our proud regional communities now have certainty after the Andrews Labor Government’s historic Fracking Ban Bill passed the Victorian Parliament.

The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 passed through the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament without amendment this afternoon.

Farming communities across Victoria have been calling for a ban on unconventional gas for years – while also expressing serious concern about the potential impacts of onshore conventional gas exploration and development.

Today, that uncertainty comes to an end.

This is a win for farmers. This is a win for regional Victoria. And this is a win for all the people who have campaigned to end fracking in this state.

The permanent legislative ban will protect the ‘clean, green’ reputation of Victoria’s agriculture sector, which employs more than 190,000 people. The Bill:

  • permanently bans all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas
  • extends the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 30 June 2020.

The extension to the moratorium will allow the Government to carry out a comprehensive program of geoscientific research – to look closer at Victoria’s prospectivity, and the potential risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas and development.

That critical work will be overseen by Victoria’s lead scientist in consultation with an expert panel made up of farmers, industry, local government and community members.

Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, the Labor Government will always back our farmers and do what’s right to protect our world-class food and fibre heartland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Wade Noonan

“This is a historic day for our state. We promised we would ban fracking – and that is exactly what we have done.”

“This is a win for people power and regional communities across Victoria who have campaigned for years to see this ban in place.”

“We will now use the moratorium on conventional gas exploration to better understand its potential risks and benefits and we’ll listen to the experts.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Fracking has been resoundingly rejected in our regional communities.”

“We’re putting our farmers first and protecting their world-class produce and our environment.”