This just in: the Victorian Government is introducing legislation to ban the exploration and development of unconventional gas in the state, including coal seam gas and fracking.
But what is fracking you may ask? Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas. So basically, people have been going onto people’s farmland and mining for coal seam gas, largely without the owners’ of the lands permission, and much to the land owners detriment, as often the land is ruined beyond repair, and makes it unusable in the long run.
This new legislation is a huge win against the fracking industry after this year’s earlier legislation in NSW, which essentially banned protest on fracking sites, and gave those operating fracking sites unlimited power, and had the potential to land protesters with a $5500 fine.
This new ban in Victoria is certainly a step in the right direction for the farming community, and the permanent ban proposed will be a national first. This is an effort to protect the ‘clean, green’ reputation of Victoria’s agricultural sector which employs more than 190,000 people, and will provide much needed certainty to regional communities.
The ban will end the anxiety felt by many in regional areas, surrounding the environmental and health risks associated with fracking. In some areas, mining was occurring so close to people’s water sources that gas was contaminating the water to such an extent that water coming out of taps was flammable. A notable case is the Condamine river in QLD which caught fire from methane gas bubbling to the surface as a result of ongoing Coal Seam Gas mining.
This new legislation will only set a precedent for other states to stand by their agricultural industry, and support those in rural areas who have been affected by the unsustainable and dangerous practice of fracking and CSG mining. We can only commend Victoria and Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews for the fantastic work.