Opposition calls on mining companies to do more to allay fracking fears

BOTH the government and Labor plan to keep quiet on the issue of fracking until after the state election. 

Neither party is yet to completely support or condemn the controversial mining method, with each side calling for more studies. 

Speaking to The Standard this week, Labor energy spokeswoman Lily D’Ambrosio said mining companies could be doing more to sell their message and were fuelling community fears by remaining quiet. 

“I would say any lack of interest on their part to come out and explain their technology and their process and assure Victorians that there is nothing to see here ... the lack of that is cause for some concern,” she said. 

A Labor government would hold a parliamentary inquiry into the science of fracking and coal seam gas (CSG). 

“As far as we’re concerned there will be no fracking unless the science is able to show that it is absolutely safe, we would need to ensure that there is absolute community trust in the process,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“We’ve made it absolutely clear that we would have a parliamentary inquiry.”

The coalition has maintained a moratorium on onshore gas, that includes fracking and CSG until July next year.  

The government has also maintained claims that Labor allowed 73 licences for coal seam, shale and tight gas exploration and approved 23 fracking operations. 

Since April, community consultation meetings have been held around the state.

“All that’s happening is that communities are turning up and expressing their anxieties,” Ms D’Ambrosio said, adding that communities were not being given any scientific evidence. 

Ms D’Ambrosio also claimed the government had made up its mind on the issue. 

“Denise Napthine’s claims of support for the renewable energy target is undermined by the fact that he thinks gas should be a part of it, but which gas? Where’s it going to come from? Is it going to be coal seam gas?”  

Earlier this month Dr Napthine told Hamilton and Portland residents there would be no fracking or CSG if farmland was threatened “under my premiership”.

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