Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



26 February 2015

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources

Fracking Moratorium to Continue

The Hodgman Liberal Government will introduce a five year moratorium on the mining practice of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, after consideration of a review into its potential use and impact on Tasmania.

The Liberal Government supports a strong and thriving agriculture industry in Tasmania, which is why we have applied a precautionary principle when considering any measures that could impact on the sector's ability to grow ten-fold to $10 billion a year by 2050.

This is a considered and prudent approach to the potential use of fracking in Tasmania, and takes into account the review's findings, submissions and subsequent industry and community representations.

The Government received 157 submissions as part of the review conducted by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, together with the Environment Protection Authority and Mineral Resources Tasmania, which concluded earlier this month.

The Minister for Primary Industries and Water Jeremy Rockliff said given the uncertainty around fracking this would protect Tasmania's reputation for producing fresh, premium and safe produce.

"There is considerable concern around the potential negative impacts of fracking, particularly within our rural communities and farming families who rely so heavily on our global reputation for producing premium and safe products," he said.

"It is also clear that there is considerable concern for landowners' rights and public and environmental health. After consideration, advice and consultation, it is prudent that we introduce a five year moratorium on fracking in Tasmania."

The Minister for Resources Paul Harriss said the Liberal Government supports the right mining techniques in the right areas.

"The Liberal Government continues to support exploration for resources like shale gas or petroleum, without the use of fracking," he said.

"Exploration will allow us to better understand whether Tasmania has an economically viable resource and its potential impacts.

"This allows mining and energy exploration to continue while the state's economic prospects for energy, and our understanding of the economic viability of the resource, may change over time."

During the five year moratorium the Government will continue to consult all stakeholders and monitor national and international developments in policy, scientific understanding of fracking practices, environmental and public health issues and energy and market developments.

A review into the practice of fracking will be conducted before the moratorium expires in March 2020.

The policy will be available after 4pm here: http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/about-the-department/review-of-hydraulic-fracturing-(fracking)-in-tasmania



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