FRACKING exploration has been banned in Tasmania for a further five years.
Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff made the announcement about the controversial mining technique yesterday, which has been largely welcomed around the state.
However, there continues to be a push to have it banned permanently in the state.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting a combination of water and chemicals into the ground to extract shale gas deposits.
Mr Rockliff's announcement came just hours before the government released its long-awaited report into fracking.
The report was accompanied by 157 submissions, with 131 "overwhelmingly" stating their opposition to the practice or, if not totally against, seeking a more cautious approach, Mr Rockliff said.
Interestingly, not one submission came from a mining company.
"This is a considered and prudent approach to it - there are too many unknowns, there is a huge degree of concern among the community and more particularly the industry, farm industries, so a lot more needs to be known about this," Mr Rockliff said.
"Including the resource availability [which] really hasn't been quantified yet."
Mr Rockliff said exploration work would be able to continue.
Opposition Leader Bryan Green accused the government of using it as a tactic leading into the 2018 election and said they should just ban it.
"A further moratorium provides no certainty for the mining industry, no certainty for farmers and no certainty for opponents of fracking," Mr Green said.
Greens leader Kim Booth said he welcomed the government's decision as a "baby step forward".
"But a five-year moratorium is not good enough - what we need is permanent ban on fracking because people who want to invest in rural areas in Tasmania with long-term crops, need long-term security," Mr Booth said.
Denison independent MHR Andrew Wilkie echoed the sentiments and said the state government should "slam the door shut on fracking once and for all".
He said a ban was the only way to protect Tasmania's brand.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association director Greg Bradfield said the organisation supported the decision and it provided security for farmers.
He said without a proper understanding of the ramifications of the mining method, it was too much of a risk to the 'Tasmanian brand.