Conservation groups highlight fracking risks to shareholders at Norwest Energy AGM
Shareholders at Norwest Energy AGM today were met by conservation groups today highlighting community and industry opposition to the company’s gas fracking plans in the Mid West.
Last year the company gave assurances that it would not conduct gas fracking in a permit area around the Pinnacles desert. Since then, Norwest Energy has been pursuing a controversial fracking project in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve north of Eneabba.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said “Shareholders and investors with Norwest Energy should be aware that there will be strong and sustained opposition from community, industry and conservation groups to any gas fracking or further exploration in the EP413 Permit area which includes parts of the Beekeepers Nature Reserve.
“The area is part of Kwongan Heath vegetation which has been proposed World Heritage listing by scientists for its globally significant biodiversity values.
“Nearly 1000 people have so-far signed a petition to the WA Parliament asking for this area to be protected from becoming a commercial fracking gasfield, and gas fracking is strongly opposed by local tourism operators.
The area is also important for the WA apiary industry and WA Beekeepers have spoken out against the plans.
“Clearly gas fracking in WA and this project in particular are very risky investments.
“Members of the community will be attending the AGM to ensure those risks are made clear to shareholders and investors.
“So far the unconventional gas industry in WA has been plagued by problems with community opposition, technical difficulties, delays and failed projects.
“Now, the State Opposition has adopted a policy to introduce a moratorium on gas fracking should they win office.
“We will be doing everything we can to encourage shareholders and investors to withdraw their support for gas fracking in WA, and instead invest in a more ethical and sustainable alternatives that will no doubt produce better returns.
"We also call on Norwest to honour their stated commitment to the importance of social license and respect for the culture and environmental value of the areas they work in.
“If they are serious about these commitments they must and rule out fracking in the area around Beekeepers Nature Reserve as they have done previously with the Pinnacles Desert.”
Further comment contact:
Piers Verstegen 0411557892
In 2014, Norwest Energy were granted a new exploration permit (EP 492) and after a letter from 275 residents stating that fracking was not welcome on the Turquoise Coast, the company 'categorically' promised the community they would not frack in that permit area.
This year Norwest have cleared up to 185 hectares of native vegetation (including 55 hectares in the Beekeepers Nature Reserve) in another permit area (EP 413) to conduct a seismic survey to site WA’s first horizontal fracking well, paving the way for a commercial fracking gasfield in the area.