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Government lifts ban on new gas projects

Victorian Earth Resources
Victorian Earth Resources

Onshore conventional gas developments are making a comeback after Victoria decided to stop prohibiting activity across the Garden State.

The State Legislative Council recently approved the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill, which supports restarting the gas industry for domestic use in July 2021.

6400 jobs

This means up to 6400 jobs could be created and as much as $310 million annually generated for regional economies, particularly in the state’s Gippsland and Otway Basin regions where early work has found significant conventional gas resources.

The decision came the Victorian Gas Program conducted a three-year detailed scientific investigation that found no compelling evidence that an onshore conventional gas industry would truly compromise the environment and agriculture sector.

Future of gas is bright

Lead scientist Amanda Caples recommended the bill should be passed after consulting with her independent Stakeholder Advisory Panel comprising of farmers, environment groups, industry representatives and city councils.

State Resources Minister Jaclyn Symes confirmed gas would always play a role in the state’s transition to a cleaner energy future.

“The work of the Victorian Gas Program gives us the confidence that an orderly restart of the industry can deliver benefits for all Victorians and create jobs, without compromising our clean and green farming reputation,” she said in a public statement.

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Proponents are expected to start exploration and development work once public consultation has ended and the State Government has finished implementing its best practice regulatory framework.

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