Frack Free Tas welcomes the Tasmanian Labor Party’s new stance on fracking. At their recent state conference the Labor Party endorsed a motion supporting a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and gas.

“This new policy recognises that fracking seriously threatens Tasmania’s reputation as a producer of clean, fresh produce and is not consistent with the aspirations of our rural communities nor the extensive investment in irrigation schemes”, said Shaun Thurstans, Frack Free Tas. President.

“Labor’s new position is significantly different to the Hodgman Government’s five-year moratorium. It shows the Tasmanian Labor members were listening when many agricultural, tourism and community submissions, to the recent Tasmanian fracking review, highlighted the permanent damage that would be inflicted on water quality with flow-on effects for our health, environment and economy”, stated Mr Thurstans.

“When governments properly weigh up the demands of the fossil fuel industry against the costs of extraction, including on the health and future prosperity of their citizens, the decision is obvious. The pressure is now on the Hodgman Government to explain why Tasmania cannot join other jurisdictions around the world and ban the practice immediately.”

The fact both the Liberal and Labor parties are keen to keep the gate open for fracking for geothermal energy production is extremely concerning. It indicates industry lobbying has convinced them it is worth the risk. This, despite the large volumes of water and acids required to frack and the danger of volatile organic compounds and radioactive waste being produced and brought to the surface.

Mr Thurstans warned, “this inconsistency indicates we all need to know a lot more about geothermal, and need to ask our representatives why they think fracking for geothermal in Tasmania is worth the risk?”

Background information

The motion passed at the recent ALP State Conference:

Hydraulic Fracturinq

It is unlikely that Tasmania has economically viable coal seam gas or unconventional hydrocarbon resources. Tasmania’s only known area of potential resource is located in the southern central Midlands and covers an area of high-value agricultural land that is subject to significant irrigation investment.

Labor believes that ‘fracking’ unnecessarily threatens Tasmania’s reputation as a producer of clean, fresh produce and is not often consistent with the aspirations of our rural communities.

For these reasons, Labor supports a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for the purposes of hydrocarbon extraction.

Labor continues to support closely regulated hydraulic extraction for the purposes of geothermal energy production in appropriate locations.