Limestone Coast Protection Alliance members are hopeful the government will work with Independent MP Troy Bell to “give legal weight” to a 10-year fracking ban.
LCPA chairperson Angus Ralton said there was a concern that without legislation, the intent for a moratorium on unconventional mining could get “watered down”.
“Wine, tourism and other businesses in the Limestone Coast need certainty to invest in the future without the threat of fracking in our high value agricultural region,” he said.
“Having seen the NT government recently backflip on an election commitment to a fracking ban, the SA community is looking for a genuine commitment in the form of legislation.
“A ban would give everyone certainty, and it also gives the gas companies certainty.”
Mr Ralton said the Liberal government had gone to the polls in March with a promise for a 10-year ban, and most people had interpreted that ban as being enacted through legislation.
“I had understood it would be legislated, they made a promise and they need to back that promise,” he said. “I think everyone needs to remember 10 years is a minimum of two election cycles – if the government changes, that moratorium is gone.
“We need to have it protected so it at least goes through both houses of parliament.”
Mr Ralston said it was important to maintain the health of the aquifer in the South East, for the health, social and economic prosperity of the region.
“I can’t see why anyone would want to wreck the integrity of our area for one industry that gives back so little to the community and to the state’s coffers,” he said. “They need to leave the food bowl of SA alone.”