DEPUTY Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan is encouraging the people of Gippsland to make their views known on coal seam gas.
In December, Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien released for public consultation a draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework for coal seam gas and called for community comment.
Mr Ryan said submissions on the framework are invited until February 18.
He said the national framework process considers leading practice approaches to the regulation of the coal seam gas industry, including water management and monitoring; well design and integrity; hydraulic fracturing; and chemical use.
“The draft framework makes the important point that governments play a crucial role in delivering regulation that is effective in managing coal seam gas activities and efficient in maximising the benefits to the community,” Mr Ryan said.
“The framework aims to provide greater levels of consistency, certainty and transparency in the development of the coal seam gas industry throughout Australia.”
In August the Victorian government announced a series of changes aimed at providing certainty for communities and industry ahead of the development of the national framework.
“These changes include a hold on the use of hydraulic fracturing and the issuing of any new exploration licences for coal seam gas until after the development of the national framework, and a permanent ban on the use of BTEX chemicals in Victoria,” Mr Ryan said.
He said exploration for coal seam gas in Victoria was at a very early stage, with no coal seam gas production currently occurring anywhere in Victoria.
“While the location of Victoria’s coal resources is well known, the amount of any associated gas and the feasibility of extraction remain uncertain,” Mr Ryan said.