On 17 March 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic crisis, the Victorian government announced a decision to overturn the existing moratorium on onshore gas mining, to allow ‘conventional’ onshore gas.
This decision was justified by reference to the Victorian Gas Program Progress Report No.4 (VGPPR4). The Victorian Gas Program is a program of research to assess the potential for onshore and offshore conventional gas in Victoria, undertaken by the Earth Resources branch of the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
A key claim in the report is that the emissions from onshore gas are low and do not threaten the state’s climate targets.
The report claims emissions from onshore gas in a high production scenario would be 249,067 tCO2e per year.
However, it is clear that combusting the gas from this development would produce a far larger amount of emissions. It appears that the VGPPR4 has ignored combustion emissions in its environmental assessment.