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Fracking door still open in the South West, Peel & Metro, warns Gasfield Free SW Alliance

The Gasfield Free South West Alliance says the State Government has left the door open for fracking to take place in the South West, Peel and Metro regions.

A spokesperson for the group Kathy Thomson said the State Government’s Implementation Plan for Fracking in WA, released quietly by the government last month, had missed a golden opportunity to make the South West, Peel and Metro fracking bans permanent.

“The State Government has said it will amend the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Regulations to include fracking bans in the Dampier Peninsula and in national parks and drinking water areas but has left the South West, Peel and Metro regions out of the legislation,” Ms Thomson said.

“It has said it will maintain the bans but has not specifically committed to enshrining them in legislation.

“It is a simple thing to add the existing bans, which are currently only protected at the whim of the Mines Minister, to the new legislation. Yet the Government has not said it will do this. 

“We are aware that the fracking industry has been lobbying the government to lift the bans covering the South West, Peel and Metro regions and that the Chamber of Minerals and Energy has been actively surveying the region for support to get the bans lifted. 

“We call on the Premier and the Minister for Mines to enshrine the existing fracking bans covering the South West, Peel and Metro Areas into legislation without delay.

“The moratorium preventing fracking in existing petroleum leases is due to be lifted this month opening the door to fracking across those leases. We have three active petroleum leases in this region and one company about to do a massive aerial seismic survey over our farms, homes and natural areas in the search for gas.

“We are not happy about any form of gas development in our region. We think onshore gasfields are inappropriate for the South West and the existing leases should be cancelled.”

Ms Thomson said members of the GFFSWA would be joining regional community representatives from across the state at a Rally Against Fracking WA on Saturday August 24, outside the Labor Party State Conference at the Perth Convention Centre.

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