The Victorian government’s decision to extend a moratorium on fracking for onshore wells has been criticised by some in industry.
The Australian and others report that the Victorian government has confirmed work plan approvals would not be considered until further studies were complete. This would mean any changes to allow onshore gas extraction would have to wait until after the November state election.
“It is clear to the Coalition government that there is community concern around prospective onshore gas exploration under currently held licences,” Victorian energy minister Russell Northe said.
“In the spirit of the current moratorium the Coalition government will put a hold on making any decisions on the approval of current onshore gas exploration work plans.
The widening of a ban on CSG drilling to onshore areas was a negative, packaging company Orora told The Australian Financial Review.
Peter Dobney, Orora’s head of energy and resources, said there was “no confidence” in the Victorian government “getting anywhere in providing industry access to reasonably priced gas within the next two to three years.”
Dobney added that there was “extreme pressure” on east coast gas users due to LNG exports.
Victorian onshore gas wouldn’t be an immediate boon for users, but would “certainly assist in long-term supply constraints,” said Innes Willox, CEO of the Australian Industry Group.