Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing) Amendment Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 6 June 2018.)

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:00): I rise to speak in support of this bill. Naturally, the Greens support this bill, having introduced it into this chamber. It is an issue on which we have been active at both state and federal levels for a very long time. Before I continue, I would like to acknowledge the years of hard work by my colleague, the Hon. Mark Parnell, and the effort, time and expertise he and his staff have put into this issue and this campaign, as well as the fact that this is definitely not the first time that he has brought such legislation before the parliament.

We know that communities, both in regional South Australia and elsewhere, do not buy that past governments had the balance right between the protection of valuable farmland and the aspirations of gas and mining companies. We also know that the world is moving on from old, polluting coal and gas industries, and that the social licence for the continued use of fossil fuels is eroding, if it still exists at all. We are seeing fracking bans and moratoriums more and more, both interstate and internationally. This legislation simply makes sense.

There is no logical case for fracking our farmland. These practices harm our environment and our communities. While I know that commitments have been made by the Marshall Liberal government as part of their election promises to not allow fracking in the South-East for at least 10 years, by putting it into legislation in this council and in this parliament we give those communities some certainty that that promise will be honoured.

As has already been pointed out, this bill is essentially putting into law a campaign promise that the Marshall government made ahead of the state election. With this in mind, we are certainly hoping that this bill will pass swiftly through the council tonight so that we can provide certainty and protection for those communities in the South-East who have been calling long and hard and loud for this measure. Indeed, it has no social licence, and I would note that the Marshall government will have no social licence if it does not support this legislation.

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