Victoria’s State Labor Government has angered both sides of the fracking debate by delaying its decision on coal-seam gas, with the Resources Minister saying he needed more time to consult stakeholders.
The Government was due to deliver its response to the issue this week but has now extended the CSG moratorium, introduced by the former Coalition Government in 2012, until August.
A public inquiry has received more than 1800 submissions, and the Government response to that was scheduled this week.
Resources Minister Wade Noonan said he appreciated there were “significant concerns” about CSG in the Victorian community.
“I take these issues seriously and therefore will take more time to meet with industry, farmers and other community representatives.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said extending the moratorium was “common sense” given that Noonan was only sworn in as minister less than a month ago.
The Government delay was criticise by both environmental groups and industry supporters of CSG, who said the state needed certainty.
The anti-gas activist group Lock and Gate says more than 70 Victorian communities have so far declared themselves against CSG.