Stop Onshore Gas Drilling

Protecting Regional Communities from Onshore Gas Drilling

On June 16 2020, the Victorian Upper House voted on legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore gas development from June 30, 2021.

This is a heartbreaking outcome as the moratorium was the only protection communities and the natural world had from conventional onshore gas drilling.

But the fight is far from over. Community opposition will not go away.

Companies will not be able to apply for exploration licences until July 1, 2021. Then there is the approvals process, which takes time. We are likely at least two years away from any serious activity happening.

With all we know about climate science, the prospect of drilling new sources of gas looks like a worse decision than it was back in 2014.
Community resistance will happen when and where companies seek to develop onshore gas reserves. Friends of the Earth will be there to support them.

Across Victoria, communities have been opposing fossil fuel projects that threaten their health, their water, their economies, and are incompatible with a liveable climate.

From 2011 until 2017, Friends of the Earth played a key role in the successful campaign to:

  • win a permanent ban on the process of fracking (a dangerous drilling method used to access unconventional forms of gas)
  • win a moratorium on all onshore conventional gas drilling and exploration, and
  • see off a number of plans for new coal mines in Victoria.

Latest News



On June 16, the Victorian Upper House voted on legislation to lift the moratorium on onshore gas development from June 30, 2021. This is a heartbreaking outcome as the moratorium was the only protection communities and the natural world had from conventional onshore gas drilling. But the fight is far from over. Companies will not be able to apply for exploration licences until July 1, 2021. Then there is the approvals process, which takes time. We are likely at least two years away from any serious activity happening. Community opposition will not go away. It was the community of Seaspray... Read more


Community members in South West Victoria have responded to the lifting of the moratorium on onshore gas drilling.  Members of the Protect the West Alliance from the Otways to Portland have collected over 1000 signatures on a petition calling for an extension of a ban on onshore gas exploration. Premier Dan Andrews made the announcement to scrap the temporary ban on onshore gas drilling in March, one day after declaring a state of emergency in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.  Yesterday, the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill was moved in the Victorian parliament to formally lift the ban.  The Bill was met... Read more


Community members in Victoria's south west have collected over 1000 signatures on a petition calling for an extension of a ban on onshore gas exploration. Community opposition to drilling remains strong across regional Victoria with over 70 communities declaring themselves 'gasfield free' as part of the campaign that also banned fracking. The announcement to scrap the temporary ban on onshore gas drilling has come just as community members from local group Protect the West in the south west of the state prepared to submit over 1,000 signatures in opposition to a lifting of the ban to the Premier’s office.  ... Read more


Our voices must not be silent in the face of the decision by Dan Andrews to scrap the onshore gas ban that puts our climate and our futures at risk. The restrictions on public gatherings means we are deferring from the face-to-face actions and change the way protest happens to ensure we protect communities.  That’s why we are calling on you to participate RIGHT NOW in our ‘DIGITAL SNAP ACTION’, by ‘checking in’ en-masse at the Premiers Office on Facebook. Check in @Treasury Place with a selfie telling Dan Andrews why you think he has made the wrong call on... Read more