Fracking Ban Could Hurt Tasmanian Economy
The decision to ban fracking in Tasmania for at least another five years could adversely affect the state’s ability to attract investment in resources projects, according to the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council.
Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Wayne Bould, said while he accepts the State Government’s
decision, he held reservations as to what it could mean for the state’s future economic prospects.
“New companies attracted to the State would add value by paying royalties to the Government,
employing workers and contractors to do the work, and purchase goods and services from local
suppliers – all of this has a positive economic flow on into the local economy as the money
circulates,” Mr Bould said.
Last week Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff announced the five year ban after his department received 155 submissions in relation to the issue.
On making the announcement the Minister said the ban extension would, “…protect Tasmania’s reputation for producing fresh, premium and safe produce”.
However Mr Bould said the Minister was failing to take a number of aspects into consideration.
“I appreciate and fully endorse the clean, green image the state needs to present to the world, but the type of fracking which is being proposed in Tasmania isn’t coal seam gas fracking, and involves a different approach in order to extract a different range of products from petrochemicals to chemicals to rare earth products.”
“There is some pretty empirical science to suggest that any incumbent risk is minimal, and if appropriate risk mitigation controls and operating standards are applied and enforced the likelihood of a failure is very very unlikely.”
“It is only fair and reasonable to remember that there are currently risks and potential impacts from
all human activities including agriculture, mining and urbanisation.”
“And the potential for impacts from these industries, including the extraction of shale gas, can be
minimised through adequate regulatory controls and the supervision and use of best practice
environmental and safety standards,” Mr Bould said.