VICTORIAN resources minister Wade Noonan has said the state government will respond to the findings of its parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas in August.
In his announcement, Mr Noonan said he would take the time to meet with industry, farmers and other community representatives as he and other colleagues continued to assess the recommendations of the inquiry.
“I appreciate that there are significant concerns within the Victorian community about unconventional gas exploration and the extraction methods used,” he said.
The decision extends the state’s ban on hydraulic fracturing approvals and exploration drilling activities, which have been in place since 2013, by another two months.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive Malcolm Roberts said this was an opportunity for the government to “make the right long-term decision for the families and businesses relying on natural gas.”
“We are disappointed the government has not already removed the uncertainty,” he said.
“With output from existing gas fields expected to decline from 2017, time is running out to bring new supply into the market.”