Western Australia’s peak environment group has renewed calls for a ban on gas fracking in WA following the release of a Parliamentary Inquiry report into the unconventional gas industry in the state.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said “Many other countries have banned gas fracking in order to protect groundwater, farming and food industries.
“If the fracking industry were allowed to proceed in WA at the scale proposed, it would mean drilling and fracking thousands of gas wells through our groundwater aquifers and turning our farms and tourist areas into industrial gasfields.
“These are not things that should ever be contemplated here in WA.
“Despite overwhelming evidence this report perpetuates a number of myths about fracking – chief among them the myth that shale gas fracking can be done safely.
“The report continues a trend where governments and gas industry simply paper over the serious risks that gas fracking presents for our groundwater, our communities, our climate and our tourism and agriculture jobs.”
Recent polling commissioned by CCWA shows that Western Australians have an overwhelmingly negative attitude towards gas fracking. In affected regions up to 70% of people have a negative view of fracking and in Perth suburbs, more than twice as many people are opposed to fracking compared with those who support the industry.
“Right now, there is an overwhelming tide of community opposition to gas fracking across the state.
“Communities are coming together to protect their land, water and livelihoods in a way that has never been seen before.
“In the last year a growing number of communities in areas facing exploration for fracking have made ‘gasfield free declarations’ backed by 96-98% community support.
“Just last month, a petition was delivered to Parliament with 30,000 signatures calling for a moratorium on fracking.
“This report is a case of too little, too late. Regardless of what the report says, a growing number of communities facing the prospect of fracking have made up their mind that this industry is a bridge too far and a risk too great.
“In the absence of credible information from government, people are doing their own research and reaching their own conclusions about this high risk industry.
“Gas fracking is by definition polluting. It pollutes the air, it pollutes the ground, it pollutes water and it damages the climate. No amount of regulation can change this and that is why the practice has been banned in a growing list of countries around the world.”
Comment: Piers Verstegen Director CCWA – 0411 557 892