THE state government has followed through on its election promise for a 10-year moratorium on unconventional mining in the South East, with legislation passing the lower house last week.
The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Bill 2018 passed the lower house on Wednesday last week, driven by Mount Gambier independent MP Troy Bell.
Previously Mining and Resources Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan had said a “department directive” achieved their election commitment but in speaking on the bill, he said it “has no practical impact… but it does clearly have an important impact for the people of the SE”.
Limestone Coast Protection Alliance chair Angus Ralston said this was a “win for common sense”, based on scientific information.
“Those who live (in the SE) can breath a sigh of relief and those in agriculture can know they hold value,” he said.
Mr Ralston said this was welcome but was a starting point, with LCPA also seeking a similar ban on conventional gas fields in the region.
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The legislation is expected to be debated in the upper house next month and Greens MLC Mark Parnell said there was sufficient crossbench support to ensure it would pass.
The SA Chamber of Mines and Energy has condemned the Liberals’ “backflip” with chief executive officer Rebecca Knoll saying it sent a worrying message that politics was more important than evidence-based industry regulation.