The State Government has a permanent ban on fracking and a moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration in Victoria until 2020. Fracking is the term used to extract unconventional gases such as coal seam, tight and shale gas by pumping high-pressure water and chemicals into rock, fracturing it to release trapped gases.
Victorian farmers have told the VFF their views on onshore gas. In 2015, the VFF provided the State Government with the following position:
Victorian farmers should hold the right to veto over mining and petroleum activities on their land
- Landowners must receive appropriate commercial payments for all mining and petroleum activities on their land
- Any water of suitable quality obtained from exploration of gas on farmland be made available for agricultural use subject to stringent regulatory requirements
- There must be no long-term adverse off-site impacts from mining and petroleum developments such as water supply or quality
- Farmland must be rehabilitated to its previous productive use at the end of the life of a mining or petroleum development
- Information on mining and petroleum issues must be made available to VFF members
- The rights of landholders must be protected in minerals and petroleum legislation
- Baseline information must be collected prior to the development of mineral or petroleum resources and independent monitoring must be undertaken during the development
- In the case of land, air or water contamination the onus should be on the mining or gas company to prove their activities are not causing the impacts
The strongest voice and recognition from the VFF to the State Government was to ban fracking and extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration in Victoria. In March 2017 the State Government amended legislation that banned fracking and extended the onshore gas moratorium until June 2020.