THE Victorian Government yesterday blocked a Labor party motion to establish an inquiry into Coal Seam Gas exploration in Victoria.
It is the second time this year the Opposition has attempted to set up an inquiry into the impacts CSG exploration has on Victoria.
Energy and Resources Minister Michael O'Brien accused the Opposition of being "lazy".
"This motion just shows that Labor and the Greens are too lazy to rewrite their motion from May this year and too dopey to realise their motion has been superseded by decisions the Victorian Coalition Government has already made," Mr O’Brien said.
"We currently have a moratorium on fracking, a permanent ban on BTEX chemicals and are working with other states and the Federal Government on developing a national framework.
But ALP resources spokesman John Lenders said it was important an inquiry was established to alleviate farmer, local council and environmental concerns about CSG.
"Regional Victorians deserve to know the risks associated with CSG exploration and I’d urge the Baillieu Government to support Labor’s motion for a parliamentary inquiry," Mr Lenders said.
"Labor's second attempt to establish a CSG inquiry comes from community concern that is clearly falling on deaf ears within the Baillieu Government."
Environmental group Friends of the Earth said the Coalition had failed Victorians by voting against the motion.
"Community concern about new coal and onshore gas operations continues to run high across southern Victoria, especially in Gippsland, where much of our best agricultural land is currently under license for exploration for coal, CSG or Tight Gas," campaigns coordinator Cam Walker said.
"Given the evidence mounting in Queensland about the negative impacts of this sector on farming and water, this is a common sense approach.
"The best time to assess possible impacts, and make a strategic assessment about the industry, is before it gets established."