Stakeholder advisory panel

Acknowledging the diversity of public views surrounding onshore conventional gas, an independent onshore conventional gas stakeholder advisory panel was established by the Minister for Resources in August 2017 as part of the Victorian Gas Program.

The panel was chaired by the Government’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples.

The panel overviewed the Program's environmental and geoscientific studies into onshore conventional gas and was tasked with advising the Minister on the risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas development, including social, economic and environmental factors. The panel members included representatives from farming, industry, local government, environmental and community groups.

The panel members were:

  • Mr Stephen Bell, Chief Executive Officer, Qenos
  • Mr Ben Davis, Secretary Australian Workers' Union Victorian Branch
  • Mr Gerald Leach, Chair of the Victorian Farmers' Federation Land Management Committee
  • Ms Alison Marchant, Secretary of Frack Free Moriac
  • Ms Linda French, Community Development Manager, Beach Energy
  • Mr Tennant Reed, Principal National Adviser, Public Policy, Australian Industry Group
  • Cr Joanne Beard, (Corangamite Shire) representative of the Great South Coast Group
  • Mr Jono La Nauze, Chief Executive Officer, Environment Victoria

The panel met quarterly until mid-2020 and was supported by a Scientific Reference Group. A communique was issued after each panel meeting.

Assessment of the risks, benefits and impacts of onshore conventional gas development

An assessment of the risks, benefits and impacts of potential onshore conventional gas was commissioned to tie together the Victorian Gas Program’s scientific, technical, environmental and social studies. This assessment was undertaken by EY and incorporated economic and greenhouse gas modelling.

Potential risks, benefits and impacts of seven hypothetical onshore conventional gas exploration and development scenarios in the Otway and Gippsland basins were considered in the assessment, against 17 economic, social and environmental receptors. The hypothetical scenarios included low, medium and high cases in both basins, and an extra minimum case in the Otway Basin.

The Stakeholder Advisory Panel provided oversight of and feedback on the assessment. An independent Scientific Reference Group also provided peer review input and advice and found that the assessment had been undertaken with strong technical rigour and is suitable for informing government decision making.

On 5 March 2020 the Lead Scientist wrote to the Minister for Resources, outlining the key findings of the assessment, the integrity of the process, advice from Stakeholder Advisory Panel members and providing the assessment report.

Stakeholder Advisory Panel members video

A video highlighting the progress of the panel’s work was released in February 2020:

Page last updated: 01 Dec 2021