On-shore gas drilling is the best way forward for the state's environmental credentials, according to Liberal opposition leader Michael O'Brien.
Speaking at an event in Warrnambool on Tuesday night, Mr O'Brien told The Standard it was important to continue both on-shore and off-shore gas exploration in Victoria, but the fracking ban needs to remain in place.
"As a former Minister for Energy and Resources, we don't need fracking in Victoria," he said.
"Fracking is only required where you get hard coal seams you need to fracture in order to extract the coal seam gas.
"We have a brown-coal base which is full of moisture which is why it burns so badly and creates so many emissions.
"Fracking is a complete red-herring, we don't need it in Victoria.
"Where Daniel Andrews is wrong is to be banning natural gas."
Mr O'Brien highlighted employment, electricity prices and the environment as the main reasons Victoria needed to continue exploration and development of its natural gas resources.
"A lot of businesses are in serious danger because of the high power prices in Victoria," he said.
"Look at Alcoa, it is a very energy-intensive business. If we lose the plant because it is uncompetitive because of the high power prices, there will be a huge effect on a lot of families and communities throughout the south-west.
"In relation to price, Victoria had the cheapest most reliable energy supply in the country five years ago, now we are the most expensive and least reliable.
"We need to get prices down and you can't do that by locking up natural gas.
"For the environment, the Liberal Party is committed to lower emissions and natural gas is part of this.
"Natural gas has much lower emissions then coal, so if we can increase the amount of natural gas in the grid and reduce the use of coal, it's better for the environment.
"This all-or-nothing approach that some environmentalists have, where if it is not renewables we are completely opposed to it, will not help us get to where we need to be.
"I will respectfully disagree with people who say we should keep a moratorium on on-shore natural gas, we need more natural gas for jobs, for prices and for the environment."
Mr O'Brien added there was also a need to protect farms and farmers in the development of natural gas resources.
"Farmers shouldn't have (gas development) forced upon them, they should have decisions about who comes in onto their land.
"And if there is gas there, royalties should be shared with the farmers and the local community so that it benefits everyone
"We also need to make sure the gas is used in Victoria and not sent offshore."
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