Victoria Shooters and Fishers Party MP Daniel Young said he conditionally supports Tuesday’s announcement that the Andrews Government will ban onshore unconventional gas exploration and extraction, having sat on the committee conducting a parliamentary inquiry into the issue.
“Whilst I support the announcement of a permanent ban in this instance, I am not opposed to readdressing the issue if the gas exploration and extraction industry can provide definitive solutions to the concerns raised,” Mr Young said.
Member for the Northern Victoria Region, Mr Young sat on the Environment and Planning Committee’s Inquiry into Onshore Unconventional Gas in Victoria, which received more than 1600 submissions.
“From the committee hearings and submissions, I heard loud and clear those farmers and communities gravely concerned about hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, and coal seam gas extraction,” Mr Young said.
“The concerns were that these activities would lead to detrimental consequences in personal health and in the degradation of properties. These concerns could not be ignored, nor disproven.
“My support for a permanent ban is to provide some clarity for farmers and communities frustrated by moratoriums. Meanwhile, I am challenging the gas exploration industry to take those concerns seriously. I am not opposed to using our natural resources, as long as they are used responsibly.
“A ban is a way of drawing the line on the continuous debate held during a moratorium and provides rural and regional communities with the confidence to continue their operations and invest in the state’s agricultural sector.
“It also provides the gas exploration industry an opportunity to regroup and either disprove the concerns raised or provide solutions to overcome the concerns. If the industry can do that, I would be willing to readdress its proposals.”
Mr Young said the Government acknowledged its decision for a ban is based on the best available evidence.
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