The announcement by the Victorian Government that it will introduce legislation to permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas is a regressive step for the nation, not just Victoria. 

With mining and minerals processing a large user of electricity, Australia’s ability to compete on the international stage depends on access to inexpensive, reliable energy supplies. 

This decision removes a safe, proven energy generation option from the energy mix at a time when generating capacity is being diminished with the closure of the Hazelwood power station.

The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016, which will also extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 30 June 2020 will likely further disadvantage Victoria as an investment destination.

Instead of exercising leadership and working with communities regarding this key energy option, the Victorian Government is adopting an anti-science position and turning its back on energy-intensive industries.

The Victorian Government seems intent on increasing the state’s dependence on expensive and part-time energy sources and committing Victorian households and industry to higher energy prices.

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