The Gasfield Free South West Alliance has expressed deep concern at Bunbury Energy’s decision to begin aerial gravity surveys over the South West this week.
The company is looking for sources of gas. The surveys will cover parts of the shires of Capel, Dardanup and Donnybrook-Balingup in an 800km long grid pattern over farms, urban areas and nature reserves.
A spokesperson for the Gasfield Free South West Alliance, Kathy Thomson said the company did not have a social licence to operate in the region.
“The people of the South West have indicated loud and clear that we don’t want or need an onshore gas industry in this region,” Ms Thomson said.
“There are seven communities in the South West who have already declared themselves gasfield free. We believe that gas mining and industrialised gasfields are incompatible with the land use and population density of the South West.
“Bunbury Energy, formerly known as Unconventional Resources, will be flying their survey planes 500 feet above our homes. They have absolutely no permission from us to do this.
“They have no social licence to operate in our region. If they find gas they will be in for a major fight so they might as well not waste their money on this fruitless and unpopular survey exercise.”
Ms Thomson said while fracking appeared to be off the table at the present time the alliance was still extremely concerned at any gas mining in the area, conventional or unconventional.
“It is not only fracking that concerns us. Any onshore gas development will have a huge impact on our region and has the potential to contaminate our precious water supplies.
“A gas industry is not need or wanted in the South West. It is time to move away from dirty, high emissions industries like gas mining and towards cleaner renewable sources of energy.
“The Government has promised to protect the South West from fracking but has not enshrined that promise in legislation despite saying it will protect the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley from fracking with a legislated ban.
“Now is the time for the government to protect the South West from any prospect of fracking though changes to the current Petroleum Act. Why they are not doing this is very worrying.
“We would also like the Government to take on board the region’s strong gasfield free stance and ban all forms of gas mining and exploration from the South West.”