Australia’s upstream oil and gas industry has welcomed the passing of legislation to lift a moratorium on conventional onshore exploration in the Australian state of Victoria.

The Victorian government’s Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 has passed the Legislative Council, a move which will allow onshore conventional exploration to resume in the state from 1 July next year, once “best practice” regulatory framework is in place.

It marks the culmination of a three-year scientific investigation by the Victorian Gas Program, which the government said found an onshore conventional gas industry would not compromise Victoria’s environment or agricultural sector.