Committee Divided, Community United

on Dec 9, 2015 ; Category: Gas, Gippsland, Latrobe Valley, Melbourne
Committee Divided, Community United

Yesterday, the final report from the unconventional gas inquiry was tabled in parliament.  The bad news is that there was no unanimous recommendation.  The good news is that nobody even considered allowing the industry to go ahead immediately.  There were four minority reports.  The Coalition pre empted the outcome of the inquiry and in mid 2015 announced they support a five year extension of the current moratorium.  We were impressed by the fact that the Coalition reps on the committee listened to community concerns about the industry, however they were hamstrung by their party’s position.  There is some more detailed analysis of each of the reports available at the end of this message.

The Greens and two key ALP MPs combined to recommend a permanent extension on the UCG industry in Victoria.  The representative from the Shooters Party also said he supported a ban.  This is clearly what the community wants and expects from our government. This committee received more than 1,700 submissions, breaking the record for inquiries into environmental issues. The committee heard compelling evidence about the impacts of the industry on land, water, climate and communities. We appreciate the MPs who had the courage to translate that community opinion into a recommendation for a permanent ban.

We made our presence known on the step of Parliament on the day of the tabling of the report with haybales and a sign proclaiming: only a ban will do.

victorian fracking banWHAT NOW?

The state government now has to consider it’s response to the inquiry. It is expected to do so within a broader policy on gas, and this is expected by March 2016.  Ultimately this is a call that needs to be taken by the Premier.  But we need to convince all of Cabinet that the community wants a permanent ban.  Many thanks to the many people who have responded to our emails and phone calls asking you to contact your local MP and express your support for a ban.

Show your support for Labour MPs Harriet Shing and Shaun Leane:

Tell the Premier you support a permanent ban on ALL onshore gas drilling (the question of ‘conventional’ gas drilling will be one that the government needs to consider).

Thanks for everything you have done these last few years. We’re on the home run at this point – if we can keep the pressure up, I hope we will see the end of this industry in our state by mid next year.