Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed the announcement today by the Liberal-National Opposition in Victoria that they support a moratorium on unconventional gas drilling till 2020.
Lock the Gate has urged state Liberal-National parties across the nation to follow Victoria’s lead and adopt a consistent 5-year moratorium policy across the country to protect water, rural industries and communities.
In Tasmania, the Liberal-National Government has imposed a five year ban on unconventional gas, and the Liberal-National opposition in Victoria has today called for a ban on onshore gas till 2020 while the regulatory protections proposed by the State’s Auditor-General are put in place.
But in other states where the Coalition parties are in Government, dangerous unconventional gas projects are going ahead despite proper regulatory controls still languishing.
New South Wales there is no moratorium on unconventional gas, despite recommendations for regulatory reform from the NSW Chief Scientist not yet being implemented.
In the Northern Territory, despite a recent review finding that regulatory improvement was needed, no ban is in place and gas exploration is threatening cultural icons, environmental tourism and cattle stations.
In Western Australia, unconventional gas exploration is planned for important water resources and internationally iconic tourism areas and without adequate controls in place and no moratorium.
National President of Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, said, “We applaud the Victorian and Tasmanian Liberal and National Parties for putting the interests of agriculture and farming communities ahead of a risky and unnecessary push for unconventional gas and urge their NSW, Western Australia and Northern Territory counterparts to do the same.
“We’ve seen in Queensland what happens when invasive gasfields roll out across the landscape ahead of appropriate safeguards. It leaves people, farms and communities devastated. There’s no need to rush ahead in any other State or Territory and let this damage be done.
“The Liberal and National Parties have to get some consistency here. If unconventional gas is damaging and risky in Victoria and Tasmania, the same is true in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Territory. It should be banned until appropriate safeguards are in place.”