Community group Lock the Gate has expressed its deep regret after Western Australia’s McGowan Labor Government lifted the fracking moratorium in the state, and replaced it with very limited protection for a few small areas.
WA spokesperson for the group, Simone van Hattem said fracking posed an unacceptable risk to groundwater, the production of food and fibre, and WA’s unique environment.
“This announcement sees the Premier giving the green light for greedy gas companies to frack more than 5 million hectares of land in Western Australia - that's an area nearly the size of Tasmania," she said.
“Fracking will be allowed to proceed in all regions of the state where it is currently allowed, bar one.
“This approach divides Western Australians and creates two classes – those few who are protected from fracking, and those who will be sacrificed for the sake of a quick buck from the greedy gas companies.
“Instead of learning from Victorian Labor, which was swept to a massive electoral victory after promising to enshrine its fracking ban in the state’s constitution, WA Labor has chosen to take the state down this risky road.
“Lock the Gate condemns this decision in the strongest terms possible, and vows to continue to work alongside communities in the fight against unconventional gasfields in WA.
“The only ray of hope here is that the government has committed to give farmers and Traditional Owners the right to say no, but it remains to be seen what that looks like.
“The fracking inquiry was based on extremely limited Terms of Reference and it was too narrow to properly assess the full risks of unconventional gasfields on our communities and our environment.
“We have seen the devastation fracking can wreak in communities across Australia and overseas, and we will continue fighting so all West Australians have the right to live in healthy communities.
"This will be devastating for both the Kimberley and the mid west of WA."