The South Australian Liberals have shown weak leadership by threatening a 10-year moratorium on fracking in the state’s South East region.

APPEA SA Director Matthew Doman said the Liberals were engaging in short-sighted political opportunism that threatened economic pain for no environmental gain.

“This is a terribly disappointing decision taken without any consultation with an industry that employs thousands of South Australians,” Mr Doman said.

“If implemented, this puts jobs and investment at risk.

“There is absolutely no health or environmental reason to impose a moratorium on fracking – we have been doing it in the Cooper Basin for decades without incident.

“Numerous inquiries have shown that the risks can be safely managed with proper regulation. This was confirmed by the final report of the two year inquiry into fracking in the South East which was tabled in Parliament today.

“South Australia desperately needs new economic opportunities. It desperately needs new sources of reliable energy. Onshore gas development can deliver both.

“All politicians have a responsibility to support sensible, fact-based decision making rather than surrender to activist scare-campaigns.”

Mr Doman said the gas industry acknowledged that it had more work to do to win the support of communities in the South East.

“There is no doubt industry and government must do more to address the genuine questions many in the community have about the impacts and benefits of the gas industry. But this is an issue of better communication, not science, and we can do that without a moratorium,” he said.