Kimberley fracking jeopardises sustainable future

Conservation groups have raised serious environmental concerns following the announcement of a gas fracking program by Buru Energy near Nookanbah in the Kimberley by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.

“The Kimberley is Australia’s most pristine landscape, one of the last great wildernesses left on the planet. It is no place to experiment with the dangerous fracking techniques. Water is too important to risk in the Kimberley, said Wilderness Society WA Campaign Manager Jenita Enevoldsen.

“Alcoa’s withdrawal from Buru’s program last month sent a strong signal that fracking Kimberley gas is simply not worth investing in.

“We really question the longevity of the local jobs produced by Buru’s activities. The Kimberley region has been developing a sustainable economy based on industries like eco-tourism and sustainable agriculture and Buru’s plans are jeopardising that promising future.

“Shale and tight gas fracking is one of the most polluting and environmentally damaging activities conceivable and it is a new industry to WA. Only a handful of wells have been fracked in WA and yet there have already been serious problems” noted Piers Verstegen, Director of the Conservation Council of WA.

“Where fracking has become widespread in the US and Queensland, it has not lived up to its promise. Employment in the industry has been short-lived but the legacy of environmental damage and groundwater contamination will be long term.

“Let’s not forget that 96% of Yawuru people voted against Buru’s fracking operations in the Kimberley and previously Buru stated that they would not frack without the support of the community.

“At least forty thousand people have already signed a petition calling for a moratorium on fracking in WA, and large areas have been declared ‘gasfield free’ by local communities throughout the state.

“Clearly the gas fracking industry doe s not have a social license to operate in Western Australia.

For further comment contact:

Wilderness Society WA Campaign Manager Jenita Enevoldsen on 0405 941 500

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen : 0411 557 892