Victorian Government sued over fracking ban

Lakes Oil is suing the Victorian Government for $2.7 billion in damages following the state’s ban on gas exploration.

The company, partially owned by Gina Rinehart, filed a writ to the Supreme Court of Victoria, stating the Victorian minister for resources deprived the company of its opportunity to use its exploration permits “for the purpose for which they were intended”.

“The unjust and unlawful actions of the Victorian Government, and its proposed bill to ban onshore exploration, have caused significant losses to the company and its 11,000 long-standing shareholders,” Lakes Oil said in a statement.

The damages costs include $92 million of past expenditure and more than $2.6 billion in lost future earnings.

Victoria permanently banned the exploration and development of all onshore unconventional gas in the state, including fracking and coal seam gas, due to environmental and health concerns.

However, offshore gas exploration and development is allowed to continue.

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