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Moratorium on coalbed methane to remain in place

World Coal,

Companies hoping to explore for coalbed methane (CBM) in the Australian state of Victoria will have to wait, after Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrew, confirmed a moratorium on CBM exploration will remain in place until the completion of a parliamentary inquiry.

Andrews said the moratorium on CBM exploration will stay in place until the inquiry – an election promise – delivers its findings.

"This is an important issue, it needs to be taken seriously," he told reporters.

The premier has not confirmed when the inquiry will start, but said there would be an announcement about its terms of reference soon.

Greens MP, Ellen Sandell, said there needed to be a permanent ban on fracking and onshore gas exploration. "Evidence from interstate and overseas already shows how toxic this industry is to our water, farmland and climate," she said in a statement.

"Labor is using the inquiry to delay a decision and keep the fossil fuel industry happy," Ellen added. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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