THE Victorian Government is describing Labor's push for an inquiry into CSG exploration as a "stunt" and "hypocritical".Green groups joined the Victorian Labor Party yesterday to call for more research into the impacts of CSG exploration and other unconventional gas explorations.
Labor's energy spokeswoman Lily D'Ambrosio plans to introduce a motion next Tuesday in the Legislative Council to set up the inquiry.
She said: "Evidence is emerging that raises questions about the safety, health and environmental impacts of coal seam gas exploration and it's important these concerns are fully investigation".
CSG mining involves fracking, which injects a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemical into the ground.
"It is important the inquiry is established and moves quickly to engage with farmers, local councils, regional communities and environment groups so that concerns can be addressed."
Victoria's Energy and Resources Minister Michael O'Brien said Labor's vocal move was proof it had sold out to the Greens and a backflip on previous party beliefs CSG would contribute to Victoria's economic development.
"Victorian Labor talks about jobs, but the only three policies they have announced would each kill jobs: a new public holiday, support for Federal Labor's carbon tax and now a job-killing moratorium on exploration for new forms of gas," Mr O'Brien.
He said the state had effective resource, environment and water protections in place and at present there was no CSG production in Victoria.
"The Government will continue to work closely with all industries and local communities to protect the environment while delivering responsible economic growth, job creation and opportunities to develop affordable energy supplies.
"The Government will not support this Labor stunt, nor Labor's hollow call for an inquiry."