The decision today to halt exploration for Coal Seam Gas in Victoria is profoundly disappointing.

Decisions on granting exploration licenses should be based on rigorous scientific assessment and best practice environmental management rather than external pressures.

Today’s announcement is not consistent with the merits-based decision making processes required under Victoria’s mining laws.

The coal seam gas industry in Victoria is different to other states as it regulated under mining rather than petroleum laws. The mining laws contain robust community and environment safeguards.

The decision to rely on a national framework for CSG exploration is concerning. Given the progress of other efforts to establish national laws, this framework may be delayed for years. If this were so Victoria would be turning its back on an industry that could generate thousands of jobs and provide significant taxation revenue for the state.

There is a well-funded and organised campaign against CSG relying on myths and misinformation from people who wish to prevent all forms of mining and mining-related development.

All Governments should be relying on sound science to make decisions about exploration and mining rather than listening to activists bent on halting economic development.

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