Ms TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) — I move:
That the bill be now read a second time.
Incorporated speech as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to prohibit onshore unconventional gas activity in Victoria, to legislate a moratorium on onshore conventional gas activity until June 2020, and to prevent the state being the subject of litigation in relation to these matters, and to empower the minister to purchase licences and permits affected by the ban.
The bill gives effect to the commitment made by the Andrews government on 30 August 2016, in response to the parliamentary inquiry into onshore unconventional gas.
The bill will amend the Petroleum Act 1998 to ban hydraulic fracturing; and to extend the current moratorium on onshore conventional gas to 30 June 2020. The moratorium does not apply to authority holders accessing offshore gas supplies from onshore, or those undertaking research and development, gas storage, or carbon dioxide production.
The bill will amend the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 to prevent the exploration and development of coal seam gas and to ban hydraulic fracturing.
The bill also amends both the Petroleum Act and the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act to state that the state of Victoria is not liable in any way for any loss, damage or injury whatsoever resulting directly or indirectly from the proposed amendments or from measures under a policy moratorium that commenced on 24 August 2012.
Finally, the bill amends both the Petroleum Act and the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act to provide that the minister may purchase licences affected by the ban on hydraulic fracturing and coal seam gas. The price for which a licence may be purchased will be determined through ministerial direction published in the Government Gazette.
I commend the bill to the house.
Debate adjourned for Mrs PEULICH (South Eastern Metropolitan) on motion of Mr Ondarchie.
Debate adjourned until Thursday, 16 February.