Gas Report Highlights Need For Exploration

Tuesday 08th December 2015

Today’s parliamentary report into onshore unconventional gas in Victoria highlights the need for exploration to continue in order to establish the extent of reserves held in the state, AWU Victorian Secretary Ben Davis said today.


“The AWU strongly believes that this is the time for conventional gas exploration and extraction using known technologies, excluding fracking, which remains a source of tremendous community concern,” Mr Davis said.


“Exploration of unconventional gas reserves, where it can be achieved without the use of fracking, should also be undertaken. Informed policy decisions can’t be made without a better understanding of the type and extent of onshore gas reserves in Victoria.”


The AWU would carefully examine the report in the coming days and would seek to engage with the State Government on the best possible path forward.


“The fact that there are four dissenting reports released today perfectly reflects the uncertainty out there about how we are going to access gas to power the state and maintain employment opportunities, while not creating environmental time bombs for future generations,” he said.


“Given the understandable community concerns about fracking it is prudent to not proceed with it at this time as the report makes quite clear.”


The recommendations agreed by the committee provide a constructive basis on which to proceed with greater information gathering and sharing.


“It is obvious that placing a permanent ban on unconventional gas exploration is short-sighted and destined to short-change Victorian taxpayers given the rapidity of technological change,” Mr Davis said.


“Victorians will be among the hardest hit if state and federal governments do not take measures now to reserve gas for local domestic and industrial use, which is why the AWU’s Reserve Our Gas campaign continues.”