Allowing an unconventional gas industry in Victoria does not solve any problems; rather it creates a range of environmental and social problems. An unconventional gas industry:
- Would not protect Victorian gas consumers from rising prices;
- Would not solve gas supply problems, because there are no gas supply problems;
- Would threaten existing jobs in areas dependent on agriculture and tourism;
- Would create a risk of unacceptable and irreversible environmental damage to vast areas of the state;
- Would lock-in additional greenhouse gas emissions when emissions urgently need to fall;
- Cannot be made safe through close regulation, because regulatory systems inevitably fail.
For these reasons, the Inquiry should recommend a permanent ban on all forms of unconventional gas exploitation in Victoria, including coal seam gas, tight gas, shale gas and underground coal gasification.
To the extent that the Inquiry makes other findings on how gas consumers might avoid rising costs, we recommend the introduction of comprehensive energy efficiency programs for households and industry.
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