Fifth Midwest WA community declares itself Gasfield Free

Published: June 12, 2015

The settlement of Irwin, 380km north of Perth, has become the latest community in the Mid West to declare itself Gasfield Free.
The declaration will be celebrated with a community picnic in Irwin on Sunday, June 14.

Spokesperson for the group organising the declaration, grower Rod Copeland from FAIR WA, said that by becoming a Gasfield Free community Irwin was sending a clear message to the unconventional gas industry that it did not have a social licence to operate in the district.

“More than 98 per cent of the community of Irwin has expressed a wish to be declared gasfield free,” Mr Copeland said.
“Much of our area has already been pegged by the unconventional gas industry but we are saying loud and clear that fracking is not welcome in Irwin.
“We are not willing to risk our water, our agricultural industries and our health for this short-term and risky industry.
“We are calling on the fracking industry to pack up and move on. They are not welcome here.”
Spokesperson for Lock the Gate in the Midwest Irene Ghannage said Irwin settlement was the fifth community in MidWest WA to join the Gasfield free community movement and followed declarations in Carnamah, Central Greenough, Green Head and Cervantes.
“More than 30,000 people in Geraldton and surrounding towns get their drinking water from the same aquifer that the fracking industry is targeting in the Irwin area,” Ms Ghannage said.
“To put our drinking water at risk is pure stupidity and communities across the Midwest as saying “no” to the unconventional gas industry in ever growing numbers. Fracking is not safe and is not needed. We call on the industry and the government to listen to the will of the people and say No to fracking.”

Gasfield Free community declarations started in the Northern Rivers region of NSW and have since spread around the nation taking in scores of communities and covering more than 3 million ha of the nation’s agricultural lands. They involve everyday people working together house by house, street by street to survey their neighbours to see if they want to declare their properties and their communities gasfield free zones.

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