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Grinch McGowan gives gift to gas companies, wrecks Christmas for farmers fighting Waitsia

Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the WA McGowan Government and companies behind the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 to rule out fracking after joint owners Mitsui and Beach Energy announced their final investment decision yesterday.

Bizarrely, and despite outstanding environment approvals, the McGowan Government today issued a press release saying it had “executed arrangements to support the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 proceeding to construction”. 

Lock the Gate Alliance WA Mid West Coordinator Simone van Hattem said, “What is the point of an environmental assessment process when pro-gas governments announce dodgy deals have been done on Christmas Eve to support a project that does not even have final approval yet?

“Local landholders remain deeply sceptical of company claims that the gas they seek is ‘conventional’ because, based on McGowan Government policy, there is nothing to stop Mitsui and Beach fracking if they choose to.

“Waitsia has been fracked before, and we know there are tight gas reserves here that would require fracking to extract.

“We would like to see a firm announcement from the companies and a formal condition from the government that there will be no fracking at this location.

“We are also concerned the companies plan to re inject wastewater into old oil and gas wells - this sort of activity has been shown to cause earthquakes in other places around the world.

“The environmental plan also shows there will be drainage of the Yarragadee Aquifer, and there could be an impact on a local wetland - the Ejarno Spring, which is culturally significant for First Nations people in the area.

“Even if Mitsui and Beach do not frack, this project will still be a carbon bomb - adding more than 38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere at a time when we need to be doing all we can to reduce the impacts of global warming.

“Proposed offsets by the company do not even take into consideration scope 3 emissions - emissions that will be generated where the gas is burned.

“It is disgraceful of the McGowan Government to announce this dodgy deal on Christmas Eve with Waitsia’s environmental assessment yet to be complete. Western Australians deserve better.”

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