Company warned Mid-West fracking investments also high-risk
Conservation groups have welcomed the decision by Alcoa Australia to withdraw funding from controversial gas fracking operations planned by Buru energy in the Kimberley.
It was revealed today that an agreement between Alcoa and Buru Energy would be discontinued following technical difficulties, delays, and growing opposition from Traditional Owners and the Kimberley Community.
A Department of Mines and Petroleum survey showed an overwhelming majority of people in the Kimberley and Pilbara are opposed to fracking and in 2014 the Yawuru Traditional Owners voted 96% against fracking on their ancestral lands. Yarwu man Micklo Corpus has camped at Buru’s Yulleroo Well in protest against gas fracking operations for the past 10 months.
Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen said “Buru’s fracking plans have been rejected by the Kimberley community and we congratulate Alcoa Australia for cutting their losses and pulling out of this unwanted and environmentally destructive activity in the Kimberley.
“Gas fracking would be a disaster for the environment, groundwater and communities in the Kimberley and Buru’s plans have been strongly rejected by Kimberley people. We congratulate Alcoa for pulling out before more damage is done and more capital is lost on this risky proposal.
Jenita Enevoldsen Wilderness Society Western Australia Campaign Manager said “Alcoa’s withdrawal signals the death of fracking in the Kimberley and casts some doubt over Buru’s oil project. It’s time that Buru drop its plans to frack for shale gas in the Kimberley.”
Alcoa has been one of the main investors in gas fracking in WA to date, backing exploration in the Canning Basin in the Kimberley and the Perth Basin in the Mid West.
Mr Verstegen said “Communities across the state are determined to protect their land and water from gas fracking and we urge Alcoa to pull out of Perth Basin exploration projects.
“Gas fracking does not have a social license to operate anywhere in Western Australia, and any association with gas fracking would do serious damage to Alcoa’s brand and reputation.
“Alcoa has listened to the Kimberley community and taken the right decision – now we urge them to reject gas fracking as a viable option in other parts of the State as well.”
Piers Verstegen – 0411 557 892
Jenita Enevoldsen – 0405 941 500