The push to enshrine the state government’s promise for a 10-year ban on unconventional gas (fracking) in the South East into law has stepped up.
Last week Greens MLC Mark Parnell introduced a bill that he says is “no more and no less” than the Liberal party’s pre-election pledge.
“It’s not good enough to simply issue a directive to public servants, they need to back up their commitment with legislation so that it sticks and will survive for the promised 10 years,” he said.
“There is no guarantee on the promised 10-year ban when we only have a four-year electoral cycle but, worse than that, if there is a change of leadership within the government it could be out the window in an instant like we have seen in other scenarios.”
Mr Parnell was supportive of Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell’s plans to introduce a similar bill into the Lower House of parliament next month, but believed there was a greater chance of success with an Upper House bill.
“In the Lower House it can get stymed out without debate because the government have the numbers but I am determined to see it through to a vote in the Upper House and have the Liberal party members have to go on the record,” he said.
Limestone Coast Protection Alliance chairperson Angus Ralton welcomed the Greens bill and hoped it would pressure the government to back its promise with legislation.
"Wine, tourism and other business in the Limestone Coast need certainty to invest in the future without the threat of fracking,” he said.
But Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the state government had already put in place its promised 10-year moratorium, “obviating” the need for legislation.