The Australian state of Victoria has announced a ban on fracking and all unconventional onshore gas exploration.   The ban is in response to widespread community opposition to these industries and a recent Government consultation that demonstrated a wide range of objections.  Campaigners believe that this decision will increase the pressure on the Scottish Government to reach a similar conclusion when they assess the research conducted throughout their own moratorium processes.

 

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon commented,

 

“The fracking industry continues to lose friends all over the world. Community opposition to the fracking and unconventional gas industry has been fierce right across Australia and thankfully the Victorian Government has listened to these concerns.

 

“This ban will undoubtedly increase the pressure on Scottish Government who will be looking at similar evidence to their Victorian counterparts.  We hope Scotland will soon join the growing list of places who have rejected this industry entirely.  

 

“The Victorian government stated that the legislation to be introduced to Parliament later this year, will “protect the ‘clean, green’ reputation of Victoria’s agriculture sector, which employs more than 190,000 people.“

 

Research into the industry in Queensland has shown that 18 jobs are lost in farming for every 10 created in unconventional gas.  Dr Dixon continued,

 

“Farmers in Scotland should be worried about the impact of fracking where it ever to get the go ahead.  We cannot risk our land and water to this dangerous and polluting industry. The reputational damage to our food and whisky producers would be enormous.   

 

“From a global climate change perspective, it is encouraging to see fossil fuels being kept in the ground. Developed nations need to rapidly move away our reliance on these dirty, destructive energy sources and embrace clean, safe renewables.  Fracking should have no place in our energy mix, not in Scotland or anywhere else.”

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

1.State of Victoria Bans Fracking To Protect Farmers http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/victoria-bans-fracking-to-protect-farmers/

 

2. Reaction from groups in Australia “Communities applaud Premier Andrews decision to ban unconventional gas mining and fracking.” http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/gas_frack_ban

 

3. A moratorium in Victoria had been in place since August 2012 for all onshore gas activities including exploration, drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

 

4. Scotland introduced a moratorium on fracking and unconventional gas in January 2015 while a full health impact assessment and public consultation is carried out. This process is continuing http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking-moratorium-scotland

 

5. The Australia Institute research from November 2015 ‘Be careful what you wish for: The economic impacts of Queensland’s unconventional gas experiment and the implications for Northern Territory policy makers.’  http://www.tai.org.au/sites/defualt/files/Ogge%202015%20Be%20careful%20what%20you%20wish%20for%20FINAL.pdf 

 

6. Friends of the Earth Scotland is

* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.

www.foe-scotland.org.uk