The state’s peak environment group the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) and Frack Free Future alliance have welcomed today’s announcement by the McGowan Government to implement a ban on fracking in the South West, Peel, and Perth regions and a moratorium in other areas pending the results of an inquiry.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said the Council and Frack Free Future welcomed the fracking ban and moratorium.
“The McGowan Government’s fracking ban in the South West, Peel, and Perth regions is a big step in the right direction and delivers against an important election commitment.
“Communities in the South West will be breathing a sigh of relief that fracking will not be allowed to occur in their region, while in other areas we will have to await the outcome of the Government’s inquiry process.
“We will continue to work with people across the state who care about clean water, healthy food, and our natural environment, as well as communities from the Mid West, Kimberley and other areas at risk from fracking, to achieve similar protections for these regions.
“Under the previous government, unconventional gas exploration licenses were issued across vast areas of the state and covering some of our most important groundwater aquifers, farmland, tourist areas, and environmental assets. The community was never given a say and there was never any environmental impact assessment before these exploration leases were issued, so it is important that it occurs now through this inquiry process.
“We are very confident that the overwhelming message the inquiry will receive from non-industry stakeholders is that the ban on fracking should be extended. According to the recently released Australian Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Science Survey, 7 out of 10 Australians are opposed to fracking.
“Opposition to fracking across the state was a major issue during the recent election, and hundreds of people from across the state rallied outside the WA Labor Conference last weekend to highlight the issue.
“At the same time, renewable energy development is rapidly overtaking fossil fuels as a driver of new economic activity and jobs in many countries, and this is fast making fracking a risky and redundant proposition.
“Fracking is not just an issue of environmental impact - it is a strategic question for the entire state regarding how our future energy needs will be met. We are disappointed that this critical question will not be considered as part of the inquiry, however we are confident that community sentiment will continue to make it clear that people want renewable energy not fracking. CCWA will continue to reflect and support that community sentiment.”