Restrictions on onshore gas

Onshore conventional gas moratorium

The Resources Amendment Legislation (Fracking Ban) Act 2017 came into operation on 16 March 2017.

It amends the Petroleum Act 1998 to impose a moratorium on any petroleum exploration and petroleum production in the onshore areas of Victoria until 30 June 2020.

The Act prevents the Minister from granting an exploration permit, a retention lease or a production licence during the moratorium period.

The moratorium does not affect:

  • any requirement or obligation imposed on the holder of a relevant authority by or under this Act or under a condition of the authority during the moratorium period.
  • Petroleum Production Licences Nos. 1, 2, 3, 11 and 13.
  • the authorisation under a production licence of petroleum storage in a reservoir that is carried out in accordance with a storage development plan that applies to the production licence.

Exploration and production for offshore gas can also continue, including drilling from onshore to offshore.

Unconventional gas ban

The Resources Amendment Legislation (Fracking Ban) Act 2017 also amends the Petroleum Act 1998 to ban hydraulic fracturing and amends the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 to:

  • ban hydraulic fracturing
  • prevent the exploration for and mining of coal seam gas.

A person who discovers any coal seam gas on any land must report in writing that discovery to the Minister as soon as practicable.

Inquiry into onshore unconventional gas

In May 2015, the Victorian Government held a Parliamentary Inquiry into onshore unconventional gas exploration and production.

The Inquiry heard from a number of experts, reviewed the scientific evidence and consulted with the community to examine a broad range of social and environmental factors associated with onshore unconventional gas.

The 'Inquiry into Onshore Unconventional Gas in Victoria' final report was tabled in Parliament on 8 December 2015. This report was a precursor to the Government’s decision to ban onshore unconventional gas exploration in Victoria.

More information

To view the final report and the submissions to the Inquiry please visit the Parliament Victoria website.

Page last updated: 21 Apr 2020