POLWARTH MP Terry Mulder has backed the State Government’s rejection of calls to ban coal-seam gas exploration.
The state Labor Party proposed a vote in parliament on a coal-seam gas exploration ban, with support from environmental groups and Colac Otway Shire Council, but the idea failed by two votes.
Mr Mulder slammed the opposition’s proposal as a “political stunt”.
“Labor approved almost three quarters of Victoria’s coal-seam gas exploration licences,” he said.
“Labor’s sudden call for a ban smacks of rank hypocrisy.”
Colac Otway councillors unanimously supported a call for a ban until there could be research on the impacts of “fracking”, which involved injecting water and chemicals at high pressure into the coal seam.
Mr Mulder said the government should deal with exploration licences on an “individual basis”.
“I fully understand the need to protect our water, agriculture and environment as they have formed the basis of a highly successful local economy, giving us growth and development and a lifestyle that we all appreciate,” he said.
“However, the likelihood of local ‘fracking’ would appear to be low as there is presently no coal-seam gas extraction occurring in Victoria.”