Conservation groups are calling for more transparency and less spin on gas fracking from Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion as he opened WA’s inaugural ‘Water Management for Shale and Tight Gas Resources’ seminar in Perth today.
The Minister has labelled community resistance to gas fracking as a ‘fear campaign’, claiming that better government regulations will prevent pollution and health impacts from gas fracking in WA.
Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen responded saying “Minister Marmion’s statements will simply be seen as yet more spin by the communities across WA facing the prospect of life in a toxic gas field.
“The reality is that a commercial gas fracking industry in WA would mean thousands of gas wells bored through our drinking water supplies, farms, nature reserves and communities – with each well pumped full of toxic chemicals at extreme pressure.
“Gas fracking is not something that can be done safely under any circumstances, no matter what regulations are in place.
“That is why we are seeing fracking bans across the world, farmers locking their gates against fracking, and communities working together to resist drilling in their local areas.
“While the Minister and department are working overtime to promote gas fracking across the state, communities across the Kimberley and Mid-west are doing everything they can to prevent gas fracking because they know it will damage their health and pollute their groundwater.
A report by the US EPA this week has documented many cases in the USA where shale gas fracking and wastewater disposal has contaminated aquifers and drinking water wells.
This report puts the lie to industry and government spin that gas fracking is a safe practice that has not polluted groundwater.” [e.g Buru Energy – Frac Facts]
“The lack of transparency from Minister Marmion’s Department of Mines and Petroleum and other Department’s is deeply concerning given the potential for the gas fracking industry to pollute WA’s precious groundwater supplies,” said Martin Pritchard, Director, Environs Kimberley
“The WA government has refused to release key documents on fracking proposals in the state’s north and communities and landholders have to resort to Freedom of Information applications to find out basic information.
“This is not an open and transparent industry and we don’t have confidence in the government agency that regulates fracking in WA.” Concluded Mr. Pritchard
Piers Verstegen – 0411 557 892
Martin Pritchard – 0427 548 075