Victoria has become the first Australian state to permanently ban fracking.
The Victorian Government made the announcement today and said the ban would be introduced later this year.
It aims to protect the “clean, green reputation” of Victoria’s agriculture sector, which employs more than 190,000 people and provide certainty to regional communities.
The news follows a parliamentary inquiry into fracking in Victoria last year, which received more than 1,600 submissions, with most of them opposed to the exploration and development of unconventional onshore gas exploration.
The government stated: “It is clear that the Victorian community has spoken – they simply don’t support fracking.
“The government’s decision is based on the best available evidence and acknowledges that the risks involved outweigh any potential benefits to Victoria.”
Exemptions to the ban will remain for other types of activities that are not covered by the current moratorium such as gas storage, carbon storage research and accessing offshore resources.
Exploration and development for offshore gas will also continue.
Last month the UK’s climate advisers said shale gas production will not be consistent with the nation’s climate targets unless there are tougher regulations in place.