Conservation groups, trade unions and farmers congratulated delegates at the ALP State Conference this weekend after the party adopted a moratorium on gas fracking across the state.
The new policy states that if elected, the ALP will hold a public inquiry into gas fracking, and place a moratorium on any further gas fracking development until it can be shown that fracking will not compromise the environment, groundwater, public health or contribute adversely to climate change.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said “We congratulate the ALP for hearing the concerns of communities across WA whose land, water and health is under threat from gas fracking.
“The Barnett Government has been pushing ahead to establish a gas fracking industry WA against the strong wishes of landholders, Traditional Owners and communities from the southwest to the Kimberley.
“The governments current approach to this issue could see thousands of fracking wells drilled through our farms and groundwater aquifers with inadequate safeguards.
“This would be a disaster for communities and would risk the environment, groundwater, agriculture and tourism values that are so important to our economy.
“Now the communities in the Kimberley, Midwest, Southwest and Perth have a clear alternative with the ALP adopting a policy that will help protect our land and water from gas fracking.
“The ALP have adopted a strong position on this issue because they know that our groundwater, farmland, natural environment and communities are too important to risk.
“Trade unions have played an important role in achieving this result, because they understand community concerns and they know that gas fracking could place jobs and workers at risk.
"We are confident that a public inquiry held by the ALP will show that gas fracking cannot be done safely without major consequences for the environment, groundwater, communities and the climate.
“Gas fracking has been an important election issue in NSW and Queensland and we anticipate the same will occur here in Western Australia. Environment groups and communities will continue to campaign strongly on this issue in the lead up to the next state election.”
Comment: Piers Verstegen 0411 557 892
WA ALP platform adopted today
Unconventional Gas Development and Fracking
16. WA Labor condemns the Barnett Government's risky and reckless approach to shale and tight gas fracking, which is not supported by the WA community, and is not based on rigorous environmental assessment or adequate regulation. This approach puts put groundwater, farmland, communities and public health at risk.
WA Labor acknowledges that communities have expressed strong opposition to gas fracking in their regions.
WA Labor supports a scientific approach to the regulation of fracking, and will conduct a public inquiry to examine environment, health, agriculture, heritage and community impacts (including full analysis of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions) prior to any fracking activity (including future exploration).
WA Labor will place a moratorium on the use of fracking until such an inquiry can demonstrate that fracking will not compromise the environment, groundwater, public health or contribute adversely to climate change.
WA Labor supports strong, enforceable measures to protect groundwater aquifers from pollution, contamination or depletion by industrial activities including the oil and gas industry.
WA Labor will target renewable energies in order to combat climate change and diversify regional economies to create employment opportunities.