The Minerals Council of Australia, Victorian Division is encouraged by today’s announcement by the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources, that a Parliamentary Inquiry will be held into coal seam gas exploration in Victoria.

The MCA and the Victorian industry look forward to the release of the terms of reference for the inquiry and participating in the review process.

The industry encourages an objective and timely inquiry process and report within a reasonable period to ensure that it does not become a de facto and indefinite extension of the moratorium.  In addition, the industry suggests that the inquiry takes into consideration sound science-based research and that the recommendations are properly balanced against the legitimate interests of the people of Victoria, the economy, local and regional communities, landowners and the environment.

Further, the industry looks forward to an eventual lifting of the moratorium on coal seam gas exploration (in place since August 2012) so that work to assess whether economically viable deposits of coal seam gas exist in Victoria can begin.

Victoria has a strong history of offshore conventional gas production and over the past almost 50 years has provided a reliable and cheap supply of gas to contribute to Victoria’s prosperity over that time.

This inquiry will hopefully provide clarity to a willing industry on whether onshore natural gas can also contribute to the gas supply for Victorian households, manufacturers and businesses.

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