Fracking ban calls renewed after Petragas abandons exploration licence

PUT THE CUE IN THE FRACK: Frack Free Tas members have welcomed Petragas' decision to abandon shale gas exploration in the state's midlands. Picture: Supplied

PUT THE CUE IN THE FRACK: Frack Free Tas members have welcomed Petragas' decision to abandon shale gas exploration in the state's midlands. Picture: Supplied

Frack Free Tas has renewed calls to permanently ban fracking in Tasmania after Adelaide-based company Petratherm surrendered its licence to look for shale gas in the state's midlands. 

Through its subsidiary Petragas, the company was awarded a five year licence in early 2014, a year before the state government declared a five year moratorium on fracking.

In a report released in June, Petragas announced it would cease its Tasmanian operations after the company “elected to change business direction”.

“The five year moratorium on hydraulic fracture stimulation, high public concern with regards to petroleum exploration in the Midland areas of Tasmania, and an ongoing poor investment market for petroleum all combined in the company electing to take a new business direction with lower risk and higher growth potential,” the report read.

“As a result the board elected to make application to surrender the EL3/2013 in June 2016.”

Frack Free Tas president Shaun Thurstans said the decision was a win for the people of Tasmania. 

“We relish this massive victory,” Mr Thurstans said. 

“The fact that the company cited high public concern as an obstacle shows they heard the community voice loud and clear.”

Mr Thurstans said the onus was now on the state government to step up its stance on the practice. 

“Victoria have permanently banned all unconventional onshore activities, listening to their farmers concerns about their brand and their water.

“I don’t know if any other place on earth is more dependent on their clean green image than Tasmania.  

“This company, Petragas, listened to the community and moved in a new direction, now the government can too.” 

RELATED: Calls for permanent fracking ban

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