The Greens have joined the Liberal Party in taking aim at Premier Daniel Andrews’ claims that the Coalition would win gas if it won government on Saturday.
The Labor Party has hit the opposition hard with ads and text messages to voters warning Liberal leader Matthew Guy to reintroduce fracking in the state.
The opposition has promised to drive down energy prices by reserving 100 per cent of all new gas found on land for local households and businesses without fracking – the crushing of rock to extract gas – which was banned in Victoria in 2017.
The premiere was given an opportunity at the Sky News/Herald Sun People’s Forum on Tuesday clarify the party’s “misinformation” after Mr Guy repeatedly denied the allegations.
Sir. Andrews continued to double down, pointing to a leading scientist report that he said showed there were no gas reserves on land that could be extracted without fracking.
But the Greens have now joined the ranks of those rejecting the Prime Minister’s claims, with MP Dr. Tim Read claims that there were still conventional gas reserves in the state.
“I think he’s wrong,” said Dr. Read to 3AW’s Neil Mitchell on Thursday after being asked if the Prime Minister’s claims were true.
“I think the credibility of the two is in question just because the heat has risen in the argument and they are desperate to throw shade at each other.
“But the truth is usually a little bit in between.”
The Liberal Party has rejected the Prime Minister’s summary of Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr. Amanda Caples, who said in her Victoria Gas Report that there are “likely to be commercially viable onshore conventional gas resources”.
“Regional environmental studies conducted by the program showed that development of these gas resources would not compromise the state’s groundwater supply or agricultural sector,” said Dr. Caples.
The Liberals issued a statement on Thursday declaring that the Prime Minister lied about the party’s gas policy.
It said the Coalition would “unlock” the state’s gas reserves while maintaining Victoria’s ban on fracking – which was added to the constitution in 2021.
“Daniel Andrews’ desperate lies will not save him or fool Victorians,” the statement said.
But despite the chief scientist’s report, the prime minister continued to toe the line on Thursday.
While campaigning in Melbourne’s north on the government’s Metro Tunnel project, Mr Andrews said voting Labor on Saturday was the “only way to protect Victoria from fracking”.
“Their (Liberal Party) gas plan … is completely at odds with what the chief scientist has said in two reports,” Andrews said.
“And very recently, just last week, the only way you can get that gas out of the ground is by fracking, and that will absolutely destroy our pristine natural environment our farmland.
“The Liberal Party can offer a fossil fuel future. I offer the SEC (State Energy Commission) 100 percent renewable electricity, state-owned for the people on a non-profit basis.”