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Mining groups critical of SA fracking ban

AAP logoAAP 29/11/2016

Mining groups have criticised the South Australian opposition's call for a 10-year moratorium on fracking in the state's southeast, saying it send a dangerous message to the oil and gas industry.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has promised the Liberals will introduce the moratorium if the party wins the next state election in 2018.

But South Australian Chamber of Miners and Energy chief executive Rebecca Knol says the ban is inconsistent with the strong safety record and scientific facts of gas exploration and development.

"Political decisions such as this send a worrying precedent to the wider resources sector that regions can be ring-fenced based on little consideration for the factual evidence, and by default pose a sovereign risk," she said.

Ms Knol said gas was a crucial part of the energy mix and to block access a known resource would lead to higher energy prices in South Australia.

Mr Marshall said the 10-year moratorium in the southeast would protect jobs in the world famous agricultural region.

"It makes no sense to put this highly productive region and South Australia's enviable clean and green reputation at risk by opening up some of our best farming land to fracking," he said.

Fracking involves injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks to open cracks and allow oil and gas to be extracted.

On Tuesday, a state parliamentary committee found that to be used in the southeast the process would need community consent to proceed.

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