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Fracking fight ramps up in the West

The battle to ban fracking in WA is intensifying, with community groups now preparing for other actions in the coming week.

The next event will be held outside WA Parliament House at 11.30am this Thursday, with another tug of war between the people and “mining executive” BooBoo Energy CEO.

The rally follows events yesterday when hundreds of concerned residents protested against the lifting of the fracking moratorium in Perth, Geraldton, Badgingarra, and Broome.

There were also mass snap rallies held immediately prior to Premier McGowan announcing the fracking moratorium had been overturned last week.

The groundswell of community campaigning follows revelations the McGowan Government cancelled a briefing on a report into the economics of fracking from think-tank The Australia Institute.

That was in addition to a letter by more than 50 scientists and experts that called on the WA Government to permanently ban fracking in the state earlier this year, as well as an ongoing campaign by WA celebrities opposing the polluting practice.

Pauline Cook from Badgingarra said: “We’re feeding the state here and the Premier’s decision puts at risk not only our area’s booming vegetable and citrus production but also our exports of grain and meat products.

“The Fracking Inquiry didn’t assess the economic risks to our region, but The Australia Institute report released recently showed that in other regions 1.8 jobs have been lost in agriculture for every job created in the gas industry.”

Geraldton Groundwater Protection spokesperson Lisa Smith said: “The keen support for this outcome by the gas industry and the fierce opposition from farmers, Traditional Owners and other community members across the state on Sunday shows that this is not a fair or balanced decision.

“The Premier has given the gas industry a free run on the vast majority of existing gas leases, which means he’s effectively sold us out and abandoned us to the fracking giants. We will fight this for as long as it takes, until the state is fully protected.

Lock the Gate Western Australia coordinator Simone van Hattem said people had been energised into action.

“We are seeing an incredibly strong community response to the McGowan Labor Government decision to sell out the people of WA for fracking," she said.

“The Government has created two classes of people in Western Australia - those who are safe from fracking in Perth, the Dampier Peninsula, and the Southwest, and those who aren’t.

“We hold grave concerns about the impact of fracking on groundwater, and about the health of people who will be forced to live next to gasfields.

“If Premier McGowan thinks we’re just going to go away, he is sorely mistaken.”

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