Midwest farmers; nannas protest fracking industry conference in Fremantle

Knitting Nannas, farmers and conservationists are among WA community members sending a message this week to oil and gas conference delegates in Fremantle, letting them know that their industry’s fracking plans are not welcome.  

Members of the community group No Fracking Way will also be attending the conference at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle this afternoon to hold a peaceful demonstration against gas fracking in WA.

Farmer Rod Copeland is attending the Government’s Petroleum and Geothermal Open Day today to raise questions about landholders’ rights. “Farmers need more say about what is happening – at the moment, we don’t have a legal right to say no to gas companies; that has to change.”

“Nowhere else in WA is there a community living within 1-2 km of an operational gas-field with fracking wells. We in Irwin consider that we are at ‘ground-zero’ when it comes to fracking in the Midwest, and we will fight to stop this insidious practice.”

Wednesday’s ‘Good Oil’ conference saw a ‘knit-in’ by the Mid West Knitting Nanas from FAIR (Fracking Awareness Irwin Region), to raise awareness of community concerns about a tight gas fracking project proposed for the Irwin area. Nanna Lynette Sunderland said, “We want to tell the gas industry that we are against tight gas fracking – we need to protect our water, land and air.”

The industry conference comes just two weeks after Carnamah Shire released a community statement, recognizing shire-wide community concern about fracking in the region.

The Carnamah statement recognises that community surveys have now taken place in the towns of Carnamah and Eneabba, resulting in an overwhelming 96.1% of shire residents opposed to unconventional gasfields in the area.

The statement also notes the special conservation values and traditional industries of the area.

The Shire is part of a global biodiversity hotspot, with a very high number of unique plants and animals that exist nowhere else on Earth.

Conservation Council spokesperson Chantelle Roberts said “the gas fracking industry is receiving a very clear message from communities across the Mid West – their water, communities, farms and conservation areas are too precious to risk.

“People in Perth are standing with farmers and communities across the Mid West to protect our beautiful conservation areas, the farms that supply our food and the water that our regional communities rely on.”